Close. Here's your cigar.

Good news from Conduit, the dance incubator of Portland, announcing today that they have raised $14,500 toward their critical goal of $15,000. I was out of town for the benefit performances -- any scuttlebutt from our readers?

So Conduit lives another day. But what does the new fiscal year look like for you? Are you, like OBT, 1/3 smaller than you were before? (That would mean an annual budget of $30K, barely enough to pay for the air conditioning.) Or will you "grow up" and "be taken seriously?"

Arts organizations that provide services more than performances tend to have a difficult time explaining their unique critical role in the community. In many ways, RACC and BCA fall into this category, too. What do they do, anyway? Do we really need them? Is Conduit just a middleman of the dance community, and an undercapitalized subsidizer of dance space -- or rather a vital, essential developer of new works and a hub for the emerging dance community? I see the value, but it's time to articulate it to the rest of the community and get past thinking of Conduit as the city's "Best Kept Secret." (Portland Monthly's Light-A-Fire Award bestowed to Conduit in 2006.)


MightyToyCannon said...

Thanks for the link to Stephen Marc Beaudoin's Mercury blog post, though I would just as soon have seen it fade away into the blog equivalent of the memory hole. I wrote a pretty extensive response to that post, which I thought unfairly picked on Conduit. My bigger concern was that using terms like "bailout" and "handouts" in reference to an arts organization seeking community support is a blow to the arts advocacy effort. Every nonprofit arts organization has to devote a lot of time and energy into seeking "handouts," if that's what we're calling "gifts" and "grants" these days.

I think you're right about the challenge organizations which provide "arts services" face in articulating their mission and role as part of the arts infrastructure.

culturejock said...

I agree about Beaudoin's post, and liked your response. Conflating all those terms is completely inappropriate. But if an arts person is this uninformed, what must the general public be thinking?

Graham Turner said...

Conduit, despite its importance as a teaching, rehearsal and performance center for local independent choreographers, is a tiny organization. Its total budget is only around $45,000 a year, and it has no paid staff. Co-artistic directors Tere Mathern and Mary Oslund are volunteers.For me the best weekend is watching their performance with a scotch whisky and cigar which i buy from online Cigar Shop.