Pro-Artist/Anti-Institution, PTTP deadlines and a Book Sale!

My computer has been acting up this week, especially with blogging. I think it’s time for a physical.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting article and so am sharing it with you.

When did being pro-artist make one anti-institution?

Interesting paragraph:

The artistic director of a large institutional theater referred to me as “pro-artist” a few years back. It was meant to be a derogatory comment. When did being “pro-artist” make one an enemy of resident theaters? When did large theater institutions begin to see their own interests as threatened by the interests of artists? And do we think this is a positive development for the American theater?

I find it disturbing that those that have attempted to shine a light on the needs of artists and the fact that those working in institutions have fared rather well relative to the artists they employ over the past thirty years, are now seen as divisive.

In other news, Theatre Ontario has reminded us that the October 1 deadline is coming up for the Professional Theatre Training Program

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline except performance.

And finally – Playwrights Guild is having a Summer Book Sale!  you got your Michael Ondaatje, your Rick Salutin, your George F. Walker, your Moynan King and many others. Take a wander to their website to see what they have and how to get it.

4 Comments to “Pro-Artist/Anti-Institution, PTTP deadlines and a Book Sale!”

  1. There’s an old adage that something is only worth what others are willing to pay for it. (Economical -not spiritual worth). Why would an institution pay more for artists, if plenty of artists are willing to take what they are being paid now? Movie studios seek actors who provide a big draw -and those actors are very well compensated. I’ve seen local bands that charge premium prices because they have created a following, and they are booked solid. If the artists can’t draw an audience by their reputation -what value do they have to the institution? Economically, they become commodities. This is only good if it’s the start of a career. Such artists have to use this time to build a following. Get a following to where you are an audience draw, you can command more money and work bigger venues. If no following emerges, that’s economics telling you you’re just not all that good at what you do. You’re not making good use of your resources -do something else.

    If the institutions have to do fundraising to stay solvent -it was mentioned above that ticket sales weren’t enough- I’m surprised they pay the artists at all.

    Figure out how to make your art more valuable if you want to be paid more. Don’t be a commodity. Otherwise, consider it a hobby and have fun.

  2. First, thanks for the PTTP referral!
    The pro-artist/anti-institution conversation is indeed a fascinating one – all of the opinions that are sprouting over the situation at Factory Theatre certainly illustrate that. Obviously, I’m firmly in the camp of ”the person behind the desk is NOT your enemy” – but as I have said to others, I don’t really ”work for Theatre Ontario”, I work for Ontario’s theatre artists, hopefully with the leverage that an established institution can give me.

  3. It looks like the more things change, the more they stay the same. Years ago, one of my board members informed me that arts managers were always either really good with artists or really good with boards. She didn’t say which type I was, and I never could decide – although I thought about it often. (Here’s hoping I’m one of those wondrous beings – not at all hard to find in reality! – who is an amalgam of both.)

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