The mission of the arts

Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, asks his Huffington Post readers today: Are we forgetting the mission of the arts?

It is already difficult to tell the difference between many not-for-profit theater companies and their for-profit counterparts. Not-for-profit organizations receive a tax advantage because of our educational role, our ability to take risk and our missions which place artistic accomplishment above financial reward. Yet too many of us are ignoring these objectives.

There’s been a lot of discussion and criticism this year about the idea that the administrators of arts organizations have been too conservative in their artistic choices, especially considering the state of the economy and the resulting tough financial times for arts groups. Mr. Kaiser’s comments are noteworthy, especially considering he’s been one of the targets of the criticism. As Isaac Butler commented today when tweeting a link to the article, “It’s nice that Michael Kaiser has caught up to what most of us have been saying for a decade now.”

Has your theater group made changes in its play selections that are the result of financial pressures? Is your non-profit organization neglecting its mission to encourage quality?

Author: Tom Kephart

Actor, director, writer. Social media guy. Higher ed drone. Sings for beer in karaoke bars.