The “most”… cultural “capital”… “best” blogger.  Spring for Music seems determined to narrow things down.  My professional work in teaching arts entrepreneurship and helping organizations succeed is about the reverse: expanding thinking, broadening perspectives, looking outward, cooperating rather than competing. Douglas McLellan, in his explanation of the rationale behind the design of “The Great Arts Blogger Challenge” writes, “There are as many ways to write a blog as there are people who write them. It’s difficult to compare them in a useful way. And yet you have to make distinctions somehow.”  I’m not convinced we need to make such distinctions.  Blogging is democratic and participatory.  The elimination of one over another, the recognition of one person’s perspective on culture as somehow better than another’s is antithetical to my professional and personal philosophy. And so I withdraw from Spring for Music’s “Best Arts Blogger Challenge.”  Instead, I return my focus to the list of topics around which this blog revolves:

  • Arts policy
  • Arts management
  • Culture and democracy
  • Higher education
  • Arts education
  • Local economies
  • Technology and arts
  • Creativity
  • Arts funding
  • Evaluation and assessment

…..and occasionally cooking.


A followup 3/31:  Upon reading the post above, the contest organizers emailed the following to me: “How interesting. You entered a contest, then pulled out saying it’s because it’s a contest, thereby taking away someone else’s spot. Interesting.”  To which I replied:

“I certainly did not enter with the intent of withdrawing.  My decision is not about the fact of the contest but rather about the nature of the prompts.  I was on the fence to begin with because of the focus of the first question but found a way into it.  I did not feel I could continue in good conscious when the second question seemed to be about  presenting one art form as somehow better (or at least more representative) than others.  Had the question been more expansive, I would have been more inclined to continue.

If you are concerned about my entry having taken up someone else’s spot, perhaps you can slot in a “runner up?”

Thank you for the opportunity, “

There is an opportunity here for the people who care enough about arts and culture to write about it to imagine, to look to the future rather than the present or the past, and to envision a world where orchestras are not going bankrupt, artists are not starved for opportunities or financing, and arts education is recognized and considered a necessity.  I sincerely hope that the next round of questions encourages participants to do so.

About lindaessig

Linda Essig is Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Cal State LA and principal/owner of Creative Infrastructure LLC. The opinions expressed on creativeinfrastructure are her own and not those of Cal State LA. You can follow her on twitter @LindaInPhoenix.
This entry was posted in Culture and democracy, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Withdrawn

  1. Drew McManus says:

    Kudos to you, it’s the right decision for the right reasons!

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