Two overarching questions guide the current activities of the Hauser Center’s Arts and Culture Domain. The first concerns how cities around the world create and sustain vibrant artistic and cultural institutions: What does it take to ensure that symphonies, ballets, and museums stay healthy and relevant to the needs of their changing constituencies? The second concerns the ways in which artistic and cultural institutions and the media create active citizens: How do they shape the nationalism and globalism of their audiences and how do they strike a balance between the two? What is it about particular cities that creates more outward looking institutions while others create institutions primarily interested in the world outside their doors?
We explore these questions through several related sets of activities. The first will be a multi-year study, in its initial stages, of the current state and future needs of artistic and cultural institutions in six U.S. cities. The sector is confronting, simultaneously systemic and structural challenges to its financial and capital base. Audience demographics and rapidly changing patterns of participation are changing the paradigm of participation from a place-based strategy to a consumer-centric pattern. Though many recognize these threats, there is no consensus on how to deal with these issues nor is their definitive research to guide the way for policy makers, funders or institutional leaders to navigate through competing and complex choices. With a deeper understanding of the fundamental components of the institutional make-up of arts and culture institutions, this project will seek to develop a national framework, a “blueprint” of sorts, for policy makers, funders and the institutions themselves to help address these issues and develop a set of strategies to meet them.
The second set of activities is the Transnational Studies Initiative Workshop, co-sponsored by the Hauser Center and by Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The goal of the Transnational Studies Initiative is to convene an interdisciplinary group of scholars working on a range of topics who all use a transnational optic in their work. Our joint conversations identify similarities and differences across domains and try to think through collectively how they challenge conventional notions of citizenship, identity, and democracy. Many of our speakers this year, including art historians, literary scholars, and ethnomusicologists work on how arts and artistic and cultural products are shaped by globalization. The third is to
organize a variety of public panels on how museums and the media create global audiences. Our first panel, Bronzes and Broadcasts: How Museums and the Media Shape Global Audiences, which took place on March 3rd, included two sessions. The first included speakers from the BBC, CNN, and National Public Radio and the second included curators and directors from the Brooklyn Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
A second event, Atlas Versus the Cherry Tree: Museums, the Nation, and the Globe will take place on April 14th from 4-6 pm at the Weil Town Hall at the Kennedy School of Government. Kim Kanatani, Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Melissa Chiu
Vice President, Global Art Programs and Museum Director Asia Society, New York; Jette Sandahl Director, Københavns Museum/Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark;
And Irene Hirano President, U.S. Japan Council, Former President and Founding CEO, Japanese American National Museum are our panelists. Thomas W. Lentz
Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums is our discussant.
Stone, Hauser Center Faculty Director, V. Kasturi Rangan,
Professor of Marketing, Harvard Business School, and Peter
Gelb, General Manager, the Metropolitan Opera as panelists
for "A New Future for the Metropolitan Opera."
Audience members at "A New Future for the Metropolitan
Opera" panel. (Right)
Peter Gelb, General Manager, The Metropolitan Opera,
presents at "A New Future for the Metropolitan Opera"
Bill Baker, President Emeritus, Thirteen/WNET presents for "The Future of Nonprofit Journalism" panel.