Editoriale

Arts Equity

di Tara Aesquivel

Arts Equity

Diversity in the arts has been a topic of much discussion for many years and the discussion continues to become more profound, more nuanced, and more important. As Nina Simone stated, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” The population of the United States, and many countries, has never been more diverse in terms of ethnicity­­ which is typically the type of diversity that is implied in these discussions, although there are many types of diversity worthy of attention and action. In contrast, the history of western art has been dominated by rich white men for centuries, and this is seen in the canon: faces in galleries of European paintings through the Twentieth century are plump and white with rosy cheeks; classic plays, operas and ballets are based on stories of well­to­do and royalty, presumably white. It’s no surprise, then, when recent studies show that today’s arts audiences are not diversifying at the same rate as the general public. This is a serious problem for arts organizations. The classic canon, portraying wealthy white people, is becoming less and less relevant to an increasing percentage of the population. When programming isn’t relevant, audiences shrink. When audiences shrink, not only does revenue decrease and threaten sustainability, but many organizations’ missions, which are centered on interaction with community and audience, are also threatened. The issue is compounded by the fact that the leadership of arts organizations­­typically, staff and board members­­ is not representatively diverse in terms of ethnicity, age, and socio­economic status. Community voices are, therefore, less likely to be accurately represented in strategic planning and governance decisions that determine programming. In this scenario, the programming does not adapt with changing needs of the organization’s constituency and loses relevance.

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Luoghi insoliti

Giving new function to heritage building, and it is still a failure?! The case study of an unsuccessful transformation of a historic house to a multifunction cultural center in downtown Budapest

di Melinda Harlov

Change is essential to sustaining heritage sites, enabling them to meet new uses and evolving expectations, goals, and requirements. Rehabilitation for reuse is one of the steps to be considered in order to safeguard architectural heritage. [1] In this context heritage means only something from the past without any connection to UNESCO’s [2] or the European Commission’s [3] heritage notions and institutions. The category of architectural heritage, including both buildings with defined cultural heritage and the ones that are worthy to save for next generations due to their historical-documentary or artistic value, is a comprehensive set of buildings and consequently it is a considerable variety of characteristics, values and constraints. The reuse must always be investigated thoroughly, because it is the highest form of restoration. Such project unites past and present assuming the respect for environment, historical memory, identity and local culture as basic parameters in the final outcome of the architectural resolution. [4] Accordingly, the existing building is seen as a container in which new units should be placed that are defined by contemporary lifestyle. In a process of proper protection and conservation there is an ongoing challenge to search for balance between structure and shape or old and new. The aim of this challenge is to respond to the needs of modern men and women in the limits of the existing structure. [5] For this reason many questions have to be asked and discussed regarding for instance the management of economic sustainability, integration and hybridization of uses as well as absorption capacity or compatibility. The present case study introduces the most recent phase in the life of a historical building on one of the liveliest street of the Hungarian capital, Király utca (King Street). The building had been in a very bad condition due to the destructions in World War II and the neglect since then. A private company bought it from the municipality in 1999 and got transformed to a multicultural building complex. The grand opening happened in 2007 and it operated successfully at the beginning. More than a year ago, in January 2015 it got closed down and has been stayed closed and empty since then. It is unquestionable that there are multiple effects, human falls and outside circumstances that together lead to such a tragic end of an initiative and the building but such storyline is unquestionably not unique hence it is worthy to investigate it thoroughly to find out and to propagate the prevention of these causes in the future.

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Tecno-scenari

Before Web-Marketing. Digital research for cities and cultural institutions

di Simone Lucido e Maurizio Giambalvo

1. Cultural sites Online Visibility Online visibility of a a cultural site can be considered a strong indicator of the institutional ability to activate the cultural heritage. Hand in hand with the spread of the Internet and its penetration into everyday social practices of millions of people, the search for contents relating to a travel destination or a specific monument, has gradually shifted in terms of strategic influence from traditional channels – such as print media, television broadcasts, word of mouth – to online information resources (websites, blogs, forums, social networks). This holds particularly true for Culture and Tourism search, generally conducted by people with medium-high education levels and some experience in the use of Internet. The spread of smartphones and the increased connectivity accelerate such trends, so that an ever growing number of people plan their trips via websites or mobile applications. A study on The Impact of Online Content on the European Tourism [1] highlighted a positive correlation between the presence on the internet, resulting in greater availability of data and information accessible online and the ability to some destinations to attract increasing flows of visitors: Destinations that make greater use of the internet in reaching customers have performed better than their peers in recent years. These destinations have gained market share from competitors, even after accounting for some other factors. Developed markets which have seen the largest gains in market share all have relatively high internet penetration, making good use of online channels to reach customers. Theory […] suggests that this is largely due to improved information flow supporting the market. Greece, Italy and Spain all have low internet penetration and only Italy has experienced any notable gains in market share over recent years (Oxford Economics 2013, p. 17).

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