How Technology is Changing the Arts

The arts field must better leverage technology to stay relevant. Artists are exploring technology as an art form in itself. Arts organizations are now in competition with everyone from audiences to tech companies. Arts administrators that adopt a maker approach will be more likely to succeed.

These are the insights I shared at SXSW this year, along with close to 100 case studies of the technology disrupting the arts field, and how the arts are responding to new

  • Social Interactions
  • Multi(tasking) Media
  • Devices
  • Learning Models
  • Co-Creation
  • Data
  • Interactive Objects

Watch the full video.

Or download the slides.

The SXSW session went pretty well. So well in fact, that I’ll be giving this presentation at least a few more times this year for different audiences.

I want to hear from you about case studies, artists, arts organizations, insights, and ideas that I’ve missed.

So get in touch.

In response to the internet about why “We Should Allow Failing Arts Organizations to Die”

From a fairly innocuous comment I made at Dinnervention, to an only somewhat well-attended breakout session I co-lead at AFTA last month, to a blog post that only a handful of people read, to the email newsletter that touched off a social media firestorm, it seems that “We Should Allow Failing Arts Organizations to Die” has touched a nerve within our industry. …

A debate that began (for me) nine months ago, finally gets real at #aftacon.

The following is the text from a debate I participated in at the Americans for the Arts annual conference in Nashville.

Agree or disagree: we should let arts organizations that don’t adapt die.

Arts organizations are already dying. In Detroit, in New York City, in the UK. From operas to art galleries. This is no longer an urban versus rural debate. A nonprofit versus for profit debate. A “one discipline is dying” but “others are inexplicably thriving” debate.

This is a simple acknowledgement that the industry represented by the people and organizations in this room, is in decline. And I think that not only should we allow it, we should encourage it.

Tracked by their 990s, over the past 20 years, 40% of arts organizations have perished. …


Devon Smith

PDX small business owner, statistics nerd, reluctant consultant, avid vagabond, arts & #nptech. Co-founder @measurecreative — strategy for progressive causes.

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