This is a thrilling yet challenging time for the performing arts. As new media forms from streaming to TiVo threaten to keep audiences at home with their screens, performing arts presenters need to ask how to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive entertainment field. However, it is this very challenge that is pushing organizations to innovate and restructure how they can best serve their communities. Discussions about “community” and “creative placemaking” are hot right now and those of us who crave imaginative and new experiences in live performance are at an advantage as new ideas and ways of producing performance crop up around us.

The performing arts will always be vital because what people need most is connection to other people. The experience of being in a room with other humans while experiencing a live performance cannot be replaced by a virtual experience on-line. However, in this ever-changing landscape of entertainment forms, how do live arts presenters need to consider how technology impacts our current and future audiences’ desires and expectations?

At Pivot Arts, we believe that multi-disciplinary organizations with flexible presenting models are best positioned to thrive as this explosion of technological innovation continues. Art Centers like the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) who have diverse programming both in terms of content and presentation can cross-pollinate audiences and have flexibility in how they present work (i.e. everything from a festival to a community dance party to a world-class opera fits their mission). BAM’s model of producing a wide variety of genres while positioning itself as a world-class art center that serves its community is how we see the future of the arts. The organization feels connected to Brooklyn while also serving as an essential, world-class cultural destination.

In addition to a multi-disciplinary model, Pivot Arts also believes that partnerships between like-minded organizations are essential to a healthy arts organization. We look to create partnerships with local businesses like Uncommon Ground where our Pop Up! Performance series opens in November and also with institutions like Loyola University where our incubator program and festival have been housed. We also want to be connected to community organizations or local businesses that might not have an arts focus but can join with us in a common goal of bringing our community together to create a safe and vibrant place to live.

We named ourselves “Pivot Arts” in order to serve as a pivot point for our community around the arts. As we begin our third year of producing innovative performance events, we set a goal for ourselves of forging deeper and more meaningful partnerships with our community. Look out for upcoming Pop Ups at local businesses, a site specific performance inspired by community interviews, and maybe, just maybe we’re planning a community parade… We look forward to hearing your ideas about how you’d like to engage with Pivot Arts and how we can best serve you.