Examining how citizens and communities engage with art and art making.
Today, the arts in America face similar transformative changes. New technologies, new systems of distribution, declining prices, increasing leisure, and a rising “creative class” foretell a potential cultural renaissance where citizens actively navigate an unlimited bandwidth of new and diverse cultural possibilities. But how exactly will this transformation play out? Who is most likely to benefit?
In the late 1990s Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s epic play about homosexuality and AIDS in the Reagan era, toured the country, inspiring protests in a handful of cities while others received it warmly. Why do people fight over some works of art but not others? Not Here, Not Now, Not That! examines a wide range of controversies over films, books, paintings, sculptures, clothing, music, and television in dozens of cities across the country to find out what turns personal offense into public protest.
Additional Engaging Art features from The Curb Center:
September 2nd, 2011
Tepper makes a strong argument that arts protests are good for democracy and not simply collateral damage from the so‐called culture wars. He suggests that the art world has too often tried to silence its critics and that a 21st century approach to arts conflicts requires balancing the needs of artists with the needs of the community. He argues that art is most relevant when people care enough to fight over it. Communities are healthiest when people have avenues for expressing their hopes and fears. Fights over art provide the democratic space to negotiate differing views of community life and community identity. More…
September 17th, 2010
In this podcast, Steven Tepper talks about how we arrived at this new era of “Engaging Art,” who the winners and losers are, and what widely held beliefs about participation in cultural life need to be jettisoned.
September 30th, 2009
This paper looks at the largely unexplored terrain of how young people find music that is new to them in an environment with an unprecedented number of possibilities. Digital media has changed not only how artists create and distribute content, but also how listeners find and access new material. The new options exist in the context of older More…
June 30th, 2009
This article explores a recent conflict over the youth phenomenon known as ‘‘raving’’ in the City of Chicago. By interviewing participants involved in the conflict, I set out to understand the extent to which the crackdown on raves in Chicago was similar to earlier social reactions to jazz, comic books, rock and roll, and Dead Head culture, as More…
September 23rd, 2007
Throughout the 20th century, the arts moved from the home and hearth to museums, symphony halls, television screens and sound recordings. They became professionalized and commodified. In the process, we lost our “back stage” access to creativity. Art products and presentations were available to us in their final, polished form. We were expected to admire and celebrate their More…
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