What started as a small idea for a round table discussion about the arts of South Jersey has continued to grow. It’s now a panel discussion, featuring two panels actually, with an impressive list of participants. A great opportunity to start a fresh dialogue about the arts in our region and to include those who work so hard to contribute.
A few weeks ago I posted a couple comments on ArtC’s social media sites that stirred some debate and dialogue. I needed to vent a few frustrations that I wasn’t even sure anyone would notice. Boy was I wrong. But it triggered an idea.
It is obvious there are several points of view and more than a couple misunderstandings when it comes to the arts of South Jersey. Many feel their voice isn’t being heard and I don’t disagree with them. Many want to march in protest, express their frustrations in a public forum, push for change. I do support that but what if we did it in a productive, organized environment, like a round table discussion? That idea took off, many in our arts community wanted to participate. We suddenly needed a bigger venue. We have one.
On April 10th, starting at 6:30 pm, ArtC will host its first Panel Discussions at the Eagle Theatre in Hammonton. A central location, easy to get to and with a very accommodating staff. We will have two panels of forty-five minutes each with a fifteen minute break between the two. The event will end at 8:15 pm.
Each panel will consist of six different panelists with a diversity of backgrounds. We have the first panel filled and the second is just waiting for a couple confirmations. We are also expecting a large audience. Registration will begin next week.
The format is simple. The first panel will deal mostly with organizations, the second mostly with artists and galleries, there will be some crossover. When you register you will be given an opportunity to submit a question, either for a specific panelist or a general question open to all panelists. I will serve as moderator. Each panelist will be asked one question specifically for them before we start general conversations. The goal is to create a dialogue that leads to change that is needed now and future dialogues. It’s not about one person or organization, it’s about the South Jersey arts community as a whole. It’s not about hostile questions but those that will elicit productive answers, clear up some misunderstandings and hopefully lead to changes that will benefit everyone.
We will announce panelists and post a registration form next week. I’m excited about this. Thanks for listening.