Have you read this week's A&E feature about the Sarasota Culture Collective?
We asked readers their opinions on why young people aren't attending the arts in this post by The Observer and in this post by This Week in Sarasota. We asked, they answered, and here are the results:
James Moore The core idea that ultimately affects us is that art is a personal experience that is different to each individual. Whether you’re looking at an exhibit, or watching theater, the emotions that each person experiences can be different then the person next to them. While everyone can generalize a performance or work of art as great or fantastic. Opening up our true expression of emotion and feelings that makes us vulnerable can only be expressed with your closest friend or family. Therefore the Arts are not a group activity to enjoy even with a group of your 4 closest friends. It’s something to be done by yourself or with someone you’re closest to. Most young people haven't developed that connection to someone else they are willing to share that experience with. Even in the dating cycle, a point must be reached before you willing to open up that connection to someone. And in a society where you’re unlikely to see a young person at a restaurant eating dinner alone, you’re certainly not going to go to the Arts alone; it shares that whole other stigma in itself.
Granted we've all enjoyed the arts when we were younger, but these trips were guised as educational, and don’t have the same emotional response that the Arts are intended to invoke as we become older. As someone who grew up in Sarasota, what reason do we have to revisit something I've already seen, or experienced? Sure there maybe a new wing dedicated to someone who left your organization a lot of money, but it’s not worth it to gamble on the cost of entertainment for Arts because the experience can differ to each of us.
Not to worry, the young people will visit again. When they’re found that someone special, and the kids are ripe to soak in that education the arts offers; they’ll start to re-visit the arts and re-live those experiences as an adult.
Joanne Telesco Torlucci In some cases, I think it's that symptom of having things right in your backyard that you don't visit unless you are hosting out of town friends--then you get to play "tourist"! The daily, very busy lives of the 28-40 set also involve parenting children who are involved in a multitude of activities, leaving parents overbooked, or in need of a sitter (and that is something much more scarce than it was 10 years ago). When it comes to certain venues, like the VanWezel's performers, I also think artists that appeal to a younger crowd would help. Several years ago I attended the improv show with two members of the cast of "whose line is it anyway?" And it was one of THE most entertaining nights I have had! I talked it up to all of my friends and encouraged them to go when the show returned--we had a large group eager--but, sadly, those performers have never returned.
Nemo De Tuo Negotio I would be overjoyed to learn of an increase in the number of young persons attending and viewing artistic demonstrations and displays, especially in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. I was raised from a very young age to respect the arts in all forms, to keep an open mind when presented with new and challenging media and concepts, and to promote when possible the proliferation of art in every available venue.
Art is a vital part of any social structure. It provides an avenue for new and unique ideas, viewpoints, and opinions to find their way into a collective awareness. It allows those minds that would otherwise implode from the strain of coping with life a way to release the pressure of their crescive angst. Without art, without an outlet for that ennui, a society loses its ability to think, to create, to innovate, to grow. Inspiration ceases to exist. Passion becomes a memory, and even ideas eventually become things of the past.
Human history has seen, in its, time, a breathtaking scope of expression in every medium that it has invented. Music, literature, theater, visual art...the list is seemingly endless. Sometimes the task of finding new ways of expressing ideas and opinions seems insurmountable, given what has come before...but that is exactly what makes new art stimulating and exciting. "Art" is a minuscule, monosyllabic term for a vast breadth of concept. Dictionary.com defines it as "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance." It is more than that, however: I see art as a living thing, a benevolent infection carried in the mind and soul, the propagation of which is induced only through experiencing it firsthand. As a society, we cannot grow without art, and art cannot grow without us. This symbiosis is only achievable when young minds are stimulated and encouraged to seek out art wherever they find it, to take it in, digest it and recombine it into new and previously inconceivable arrangements, flavored with new perspectives and ideas.
We need young people to attend the arts. It is vital to our growth. As an amateur actor in local community theater, I see every day brilliant new young people drawn inexorably to the arts, in whom the inexplicable and the strange and the beautiful and the wonderful all coalesce into breathtaking tapestries of expression. This is a good time, and a good place, to be active in the arts. It gives me hope.
Tori Maple The arts give a knowledge of mediums with which the 'borrower' can take ownership of and apply to other aspects of their life in order to give it more meaning. How's that for an armchair response?
Matt Allison Cost
Victoria Grzeda Van Cleave Most people in that age range just graduated college and are repaying debt or have young families. My husband and I are in that age range and we have 2 young children and we simply can't afford to go to every show we would like ($30-$50 show tickets times 4 really adds up). And if it is an adult show, there is the added expense of a babysitter. Discontinuing the Saturday morning family programs at the Van Wezel was very disappointing. We LOVE the family nights at the Van Wezel and the fantastic program the Sarasota Orchestra offered last year for youth and their families. I would buy rush tickets for the family if they were available for the general population and not just students and state employees/teachers. If the fine arts want to survive, they need to make it available to families who will raise their kids to support the arts.
David Bounds It needs to be group/age oriented and interactive with Instagram and Twitter. Bring it into their realm. If you build it (in their space) they will come.
Wendy Hirschman Young people need to be introduced to the art of dance, theater and opera at an early age in order to acquire an interest and appreciation for the beauty of the experience.
Viola Mast Cost. Other cities have numerous free venues.
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.