Art + Experience: An Interactive Potluck Dinner 

In partnership with the Coe Center for the Arts

Date and Time
Thursday, June 20, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts
In March 2019 Creative Santa Fe hosted ‘The Future of Art: A Disruptive Futures Dialogue’. The program brought together hundreds of community voices to identify the opportunities and barriers Santa Fe faces moving into the future of the arts. In a program survey distributed throughout the city to identify the top factors that draw participation in the arts, ‘Experiencing New Things’ ranked highest, being identified as a key factor in 60% of all survey responses. This finding supports La Placa Cohen’s 2017 Culture Track Report which identified that ‘play and experience’ are the top factors drawing arts and culture participation nationally.

Recognizing this growing national and hyper-local trend, the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts and Creative Santa Fe partnered to host a community discussion about art and experience on Thursday, June 20th and Tuesday, June 25th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Over 100 community members signed up to participate in this discussion over the course of two evenings. Among six groups, the questions “Is the arts experience becoming more valuable that the art object?” and “How do you imagine the market for ‘experience’ and ‘play’ could potentially shape the future of the art in Santa Fe over the next 20 years?” were explored amid many delicious dishes brought by each guest. The conversations were thoughtful, inspiring, deeply personal, and led to a few core concepts. Here are a few takeaways from the notes recorded at each table: 

  • The art object and the arts experience are inextricably linked and necessary for each-other to thrive.  
  • The arts ‘experience’ can create a low-barrier to entry allowing audiences to interact with the arts in new ways. Shared experiences can be used as a tool to build community. 
  • To succeed, traditional arts institutions will need to change the culture that creates barriers to entry and begin interacting with audiences in creative ways through new methods and perspectives. 
  • New systems for integrating the art object into daily life need to be developed, including tools for financial access and access in underserved locations. 
  • The largest gaps in perspective around this issue are between generations. This calls for more platforms for multigenerational conversation to advance the subject further. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in these discussions. We have recorded all of the feedback from attendees, and we are sharing these takeaways and others with our partners throughout the community to continue advancing the important conversations around the future of arts in Santa Fe. 

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