In less than two days, #askaconductor will officially kick off. Australians will be the first to the scene, as their December 8 starts 16 hours ahead of New York. The current participant count stands at 43 conductors, including former New York Philharmonic music director Lorin Maazel!
I’m pretty stoked.
This morning, Beth Kanter graciously published a guest post I wrote on #askaconductor and its source of inspiration #askacurator. I did a short interview with Jim Richardson, brainchild of #followamuseum and #askacurator for the article.
Beth’s book The Networked Nonprofit and her concept of “free agents” inspired the earlier #floodofsupport project. That was just one example of a free agent at work. Marcia Adair’s #operaplot is another. Of course, #askaconductor and #askacurator are yet other examples.
Beth places my guest post in the context of abundance. Rather than thinking in terms of scarcity (a trait common to most nonprofits), you should choose abundance; the abundance of goodwill, energy, and eager hands that are out there. “If you want to be an organization that chooses abundance,” writes Marnie Webb, “you have to really be able to support good work that’s happening somewhere else.”
And #askaconductor is an example of abundance in the arts. These free agents represent the abundance of goodwill, energy, and eager hands (yes, quite a few hours went into #askaconductor!) and smart, social-media-ready organizations are tapping into this.
I will be very curious to see how #askaconductor is going to play out. So far, it has been exhilarating to see it come together. I am keeping track of the conversation: the hash tag has been used more than 250 times over the past two weeks; more than 100 tweets have included links to askthemusicians.com; and the event has appeared in several blogs and newsletters and on dozens of Facebook pages. I hope to thoroughly evaluate the event after December 8 and see if we achieved what we set out to do and reached the people we set out to reach.
What lessons are we learning and what do they mean for arts organizations?
But for now, you better have started thinking up some questions to ask. December 8 is only two days away. Follow @askthemusicians.