How Should We Balance Access and Excellence in the Arts?

A Zócalo/James Irvine Foundation Event
Moderated by Joseph Kieta, Editor, Modesto Bee
McHenry Museum
1402 I Street
Modesto, CA 95354
Free two-hour street parking available.

Modesto’s MoBand is the rarest of beasts: a widely acclaimed music group that invites people of all ages and talent levels to perform, as long as they bring an instrument and show up to practice. But more often, arts organizations are forced to choose between offering access to a large number of participants and achieving excellence. In a time when many question the value of the arts, and funding for education and public cultural programs is stretched thin, should organizations concentrate their resources and time on the most talented artists? Or does reaching as many people as possible serve a greater public good? How do organizations make these choices, and can they effectively balance the need for both? MoBand director George Gardner, Modesto street corner singer Dellanora Green, and singer-guitarist Patty Castillo Davis visit Zócalo to discuss what communities need from the arts and from local artists, and what creative people with a range of skill sets need from their communities.

Photo courtesy of Jon Nicholls.