Co-Creating with the Public

Stories of projects where the public is invited to step into the role of creator alongside professional artists and/or organizations.

Featuring three dynamic leaders in the field, these 12-minute talks explored the outputs and impacts of innovative projects across the country. An in-depth discussion followed and discussion among Virtual Summit participants took place simultaneously via #ArtsFwd on Twitter. 

It Takes an Audience: The Art of Creating Performances That Cannot Exist Without an Audience
Charlie Miller & Emily Tarquin, Off-Center Curators, Denver Center Theatre Company

The Denver Center Theatre Company established Off-Center @ The Jones as a theatrical test kitchen; many of Off-Center’s prototypes experiment with new relationships between artists and the audience. Off-Center’s Recipe for programming takes into account the full audience experience and puts it at the center of the artistic process. While every Off-Center prototype requires the audience do more than just “watch,” some of our shows cannot happen without audience participation. Off-Center Curators Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin will share their learning from two such prototypes, THE ULTIMATE WII BASEBALL GAME and their upcoming production of WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE: The Scariest Game Show Ever.

From Expert to Collaborator
Judith Koke, Director, Education and Interpretive Programs, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

As museums struggle to build new audiences, many disregard a sure-fire tool: co-creation. Moving from the traditional stance of ‘the expert with important stories to tell’ to ‘building stories with community’ requires an openness and humility that is often not easy for museums.

An Orchestra’s Mission to Inspire a Community of Music Makers
Nan Keeton, Director of External Affairs, San Francisco Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony’s Community of Music Makers program takes patron and community engagement to a new level by inviting audiences to play and sing on our stage. This radical shift requires different behaviors, systems, and modes of working together, and has succeeded in fulfilling a community need by inspiring thousands of amateurs to re-connect with music, and to connect closely and meaningfully with their local orchestra.

Fishbowl Discussion

After the three Talks concluded, on-site Summit participants in Denver — as well as online participants, who contributed questions and comments via the #ArtsFwd tag on Twitter — joined together for an informal, organically flowing fishbowl discussion about the theme of Co-Creating with the Public and other topics. The online participants’ voices were represented by the Talks moderator, Richard Demato.

All of these talks were livestreamed as part of the free Virtual Summit on Monday, October 21.