Review of “20UNDER40: Re-inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century”

20UNDER40 is a collection of twenty essays written by young and emerging arts professionals under the age of forty. These essays stand by themselves in terms of topic and are independent of one another. They represent twenty different perspectives posing different challenges to the arts sector in the 21st century. With a critical eye, 20UNDER40 brings the voices of young arts leaders out of the margins and into the forefront of our cultural dialogue as each young leader shares their vision about the future of the arts and arts education, highlighting the needs, wishes, solutions, and theories as tools. In the process of doing so, this book dissects the challenges of the contemporary arts sector.

….Rebecca Novick in the fifth essay, “Please Don’t Start a Theater Company,” examines the multiplication of unexamined arts organizations that are not working (for most of the cases) and introduces new models to improve an artistic career, exploring alternative paths for emerging and mid-career artists. An interesting take in this essay is the recommendation of ‘The Rock Band Model,’ where Novick argues that one should encourage apprentice artists to self-produce work  by collaborating  or ‘band’ together to produce each other’s work. She asserts artists ought to operate like bands do, such as playing gigs, performing, and experimenting. This definitely applies to theater but what I cannot help wonder is to what extent visual artists can operate with The Rock Band Model since most visual artists are individualist by nature.

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Cultural trends

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