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Music Schools BC

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The official blog of the British Columbia Association of Community Music Schools

Friday, April 29, 2011

Arts Summit 2011

Arts Summit 2011 will showcase our excellence en masse, our group wisdom in action, and you our culture makers.

For two days we will be gathering collaborative and ingenious minds to share strategies, stories, build strength and expand capacity, complexity and connectivity in our arts communities.

Our broad themes will explore how arts organizations and artists are addressing:

  • Value and Worth
  • Audiences, Volunteers and Non-professionals
  • Venues and Placemaking
  • Quality of Life in the Arts
Peer-to-Peer dialogues in our Breakout Rooms will help identify existing and upcoming interests and priorities, the assets, people power and strategies needed to move forward. Come talk with us.

Your voice is requested.
This year will also highlight the achievement of Vancouver’s publishers. A book market will feature Vancouver authors, artists and the city as subject.

Some of the speakers confirmed so far include:

  • Jane Heyman, pioneer theatre maker, educator and Performing Arts Lodge Vancouver co-founder;
  • Sandy Garossino, publisher, businessperson, and specialist in arts governance and advocacy;
  • David Pay, artistic director - Music on Main;
  • Mo Dhaliwal, founder of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration and Asian Heritage Month Society president;
  • Sadira Rodrigues, curator, writer and director, Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design;
  • Aaron Schubart, music programmer with the Donnelly Group;
  • Tracey Friesen, executive producer, National Film Board Canada Pacific & Yukon Centre
  • Martha Rans, copyright educator at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, project lead at Creative Commons Canada, legal director with Artists Legal Outreach;
  • Irwin Oostindie, W2 Media and Arts Centre executive director;
  • Russell Wallace, Summit featured artist, composer, producer and traditional Lil’wat singer.
Register now to take advantage of the Early Bird rate, and stay tuned for further programming announcements.

Check out the Arts Alliance website for more information and registration information.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Your Board needs Term Limits

Is your board reluctant to enforce term limits? If so, the board is in danger of becoming stale and set in its ways. And when that happens, your entire organization may be at risk - sooner than you think. This is a very, very dangerous place for any nonprofit in today’s wildly shifting environment.

Five Boards Gone Down the Wrong Path
Here are the stories of five boards gone wrong:

1. The Martyrs.

This board is full of hard-working martyrs. They kill themselves with work – doing things that staff could or should be doing.
They complain:

“We work SO hard and we’re SO burned out. Woe to us.”

The irony is that this board worked very hard to enlist “diverse” members.
But when the highly valued new members saw this group’s attitude and what was expected, the new members fled.

Martyr boards are no fun. They drive new people away.
The worst thing is that this board will not be able to develop new leaders: a very serious problem for the future.

 Read the article at Gail Perry's Blog


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Weekly round up

Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival
The Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival wraps up this week with the final classes of this year's festival taking place today. Congratulations to all of our students that participated in this event, and the other regional festivals across BC. These festivals are an excellent opportunity for students to perform for each other while receiving critical adjudication and feedback about their playing.

Throwing in the towel
The arts news this past week has been dominated by more  bad news from south of the border. Some of the biggest and best orchestras in the US are suffering from the wrath of the economic downturn.  The resulting loss of financial support from both public and private donors has resulted in one of the greatest orchestras in America declaring bankruptcy.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has filed for chapter 11 protection and is asking their musicians to take a 16% pay cut.  Also this week the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra also declared bankruptcy.  Last week as reported here Syracuse Symphony has also suspended its season and is seeking Chapter 11 status.

The old financial model for big arts groups seems to be failing. We will see where this leads as new ways of promoting and distributing the arts develop. Our times and culture continue to change, and it is important to note that not all arts groups are in trouble, but certainly the warning bell for big arts groups has been sounding for quite sometime. In the past year though is the first time we are seeing the real need for groups to change how they operate, no matter how big or important you may feel you are. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Art of Science and Technological Innovations

 I've just published a study that shows that almost all Nobel laureates in the sciences are actively engaged in arts as adults. They are twenty-five times as likely as average scientist to sing, dance, or act; seventeen times as likely to be an artist; twelve times more likely to write poetry and literature; eight times more likely to do woodworking or some other craft; four times as likely to be a musician; and twice as likely to be a photographer. Many connect their art with their scientific creativity.
From "the Art of Science and Learning"
Most people are at a loss to be able to identify any useful connections between arts and sciences. This ignorance is appalling. Arts provide innovations through analogies, models, skills, structures, techniques, methods, and knowledge. Arts don't just prettify science or make technology more aesthetic; they often make both possible.

That cell phone or PDA you're carrying? It uses a form of encryption called frequency hopping to ensure your messages can't easily be intercepted. Frequency hopping was invented by the composer George Antheil in collaboration with the actress Hedy Lamarr. Yeah, really. The electronic screen that displays your messages (not to mention the ones on your computer and your TV), they employ a combination of red, green, and blue dots from which all the different colors can be generated. That innovation was the collaboration of a series of painter-scientists (e.g., American physicist Ogden Rood and German Nobel laureate Wilhelm Ostwald) and post-impressionist artists such as Seurat - you know, the guy who painted his pictures out of dots of color, just like the ones in your electronic devices.... The first programmable device was invented by J. M. Jacquard to control the looms that made his tapestries and exactly the same technique was used to program the first computers. He also made the first digital image - out of black and white threads. In fact, the computer chips that run virtually all our devices today are made using a combination of three classic artistic inventions: etching, silk screen printing, and photolithography. Data from NASA and NSA satellites is enhanced using artistic techniques such as chiaroscuro (a Renaissance invention) and false coloring (the Fauvists) to increase the contrast so it's easier to perceive the important information. Artists figured out how to hide information, too. Camouflage was invented by the American painter Abbot Thayer, who was unable to convince Teddy Roosevelt to use it in the Spanish American war. By WWI, however, painters such as the Vorticists in England and the Cubists in France were co-opted by their governments to design prints to protect troops, equipment, and planes.
Read more »

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Friday, April 8, 2011

BC Arts and Culture Week

BC Arts and Culture Week is taking place April 10th to 16th, 2011 presented by ArtStarts and the Assembly of BC Arts Councils.

Arts and Culture Week BCNow in its 12th year, this event turns the spotlight on the vital contribution that Arts and Culture make in learning and in life. Music, film, media arts, dance, books, theatre and visual art are a part of daily life. They inspire us, challenge us, broaden our horizons and help us to become informed, aware and contributing members of society.

Events will take place across the province and are listed online by region: Vancouver Island/Coast (includes Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast), Lower Mainland (includes Sea to Sky corridor, the Whistler area and the Fraser Valley), Kootenays, Interior (includes the Thompson Okanagan, Cariboo and Bella Coola), and North (includes the Queen Charlottes, Prince Rupert to Smithers, and the Peace-Liard).

Some of these events are public and others are listed to provide examples of how schools are participating within their own walls through exhibits and performances.

If your community organization or school is hosting an event that suits the BC Arts and Culture Week profile, you can submit it for listing online.

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The weekly round up

A potpourri of weekly musings thoughts and ideas collected from the blogsphere.

The Future of classical music
I am wondering out loud these days about the future of classical music, especially symphonic music. The past week has been a series of rather mixed messages. South of the border in the USA, the  Syracuse Symphony cancelled the remainder of their season this past week without warning due to financial problems and will soon be seeking bankruptcy protection while at the same time the struggling  Detroit Symphony reached a tentative agreement with their musicians hopefully ending a 6 month strike and are struggling to keep going.
On the other side of the world, the YouTube symphony concert from Australia's Sydney Opera House was streamed by 33 million viewers from around the world.  The You Tube Symphony event is a breathe of fresh air in what has become a rather stale room. I am left with the perception that Yes, our art form is still very much alive.  How we deliver that art form, and who are audience is - well, I think that part of the business now needs to be very much under review. We now live in a 21st century world of "on demand" and "just in time" delivery.  To paraphrase a well worn cliche: is really the issue here not the message, but the medium itself?  Is the problem with classical and other art music forms the fact we are delivering a 21st century product with 19th century modes of distribution and packaging?

Welcome to the Vancouver Academy of Music
BCACMS is welcoming back the Vancouver Academy of Music to our membership. It is great to see now all non profit music schools in BC are now working together to help each other improve and serve our communities better.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Restoration of BC Gaming funds for some arts education organizations

In the past week many community arts education nonprofits for children in BC, including several of our member schools have had some of their support from the BC Government Gaming funds restored. As announced at the end of March by Premier  Christy Clark, the BC Government added $15 million back into the funding pool. This has been welcome news this past week for many BC arts education groups that work with the youth of BC on a daily basis.

The past two years have been very difficult for the Arts in BC with the cancellation of many government funding programs while at the same time an erosion of funding from the private sector caused by the economic downturn. Hopefully this increase in funding is a trend that continues and better days lie ahead for the arts community in BC.

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