Too Progressive, Too Elite

Public Value and the Paradox of the Arts

Tuesday, October 11, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Space is limited at offsite sessions, so a ticket is required. Tickets will be available at the registration desk beginning at 7:00 am on Tuesday morning. If the tickets for a session are all gone, you will know that it is full, and can make another choice.

Buses for offsite sessions will depart from the main entrance of the hotel at 2:00 pm on Tuesday.

Organized by Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts; Marete Wester, director of arts policy, Americans for the Arts.

Field debates on the merits of promoting the intrinsic, versus the instrumental, value of the arts are ubiquitous. But we rarely confront the paradox that the arts are simultaneously perceived and labeled as elitist and left leaning. Some hope for strategies to combat each label and others believe we need to address the truths behind them. What truths are inherent in these labels? What do we need to address as a field? What role can funders play in unpacking the paradox? This salon session, a forum for dialogue, will start with a short, lively documentary play by Tommer Peterson and KJ Sanchez of American Records Theater Company, based on interviews with a number of individuals with divergent opinions on the topic. The play will be performed by actors Britney Frazier, Elise Hunt, and Sean San Jose.

This session will be held at Emerald Tablet, a community arts center in San Francisco's historic North Beach neighborhood. Following the session, participants will have free time to visit City Lights Books and explore the North Beach neighborhood, home of The Beat Museum, Caffe Trieste, and Little Italy.