Los Angeles | In-Person

Conference: What Can the World Teach California About Arts Engagement?

Photo by Francisco Seco/Associated Press.

A Zócalo Public Square Conference
Hosted by Michael Alexander, Executive Director, Grand Performances

The arts face a paradoxical challenge: The struggle to attract and keep audiences grows more pressing, even as our increasingly interconnected, technologically savvy world offers greater opportunities for people to experience, patronize, and create art, both in their own communities and across vast distances. What does it mean to engage with the arts in our wide-open yet anxious digital age? Which strategies for connecting people to the arts are working best in this stressed and rapidly changing social and cultural environment? And how can arts organizations—here in California and elsewhere—think more broadly and strategically about cultivating and interacting with their audiences? A global cross-section of forward-looking producers, presenters, curators, institutional leaders, and internationally renowned artists—including Asia Society vice president for global arts and cultural programming Boon Hui Tan, Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona exhibitions chief Rosa Ferré, and Steven Tepper, dean of Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts—join Zócalo for a full-day conference to discuss their strategies for attracting new participants, and to explore what the California arts community might learn from the rest of the world about engagement.

​Featuring a performance by The Industry, a Los Angeles-based independent, artist-driven company creating experimental productions that expand the definition of opera.

This conference is free and open to the public. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The conference will be immediately followed by a catered reception for participants and featured speakers.

View the full agenda here.

This conference is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.

The Omni Hotel
Bunker Hill Ballroom
251 S. Olive St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Omni Hotel will provide valet parking for conference participants at a discounted rate of $15.

The Takeaway

Can Engaging with Art Turn a Bunch of Selfie-Takers into Citizens?

Changing Audiences Are Making Creators and Institutions Rethink Art Itself

If the essence of art is necessarily elusive and hard to define, so too is the essence of arts engagement. As audiences grow more diverse and demanding, and new digital …