Audience development for contemporary art in the city of total celebration



Yesterday, one of my new acquaintance who is, by the way, engaged in environmental activism, told me something like “Welcome to the city of total celebration”. Watching from the balcony an endless crowd of slightly drunk people in the most unimaginable Halloween costumes, you realize that “yes”, only the harvest festival could serve as the reason for this total celebration. Good harvest. The harvest which is enough for a whole six months waiting for the next spring.

According to statistics, which is spoken here in the CAC, 70% of the population of the NOLA is African-American. At the same time, 70% of visitors to the Center are white. The gender ratio is the same – 70/30 women/men. Last year, the Center received a grant from the Wallace Foundation to develop the audience. The size of the grant is 1.4 million dollars, it is designed for five years and is aimed at attracting the audience 25-40 years old, more often African-American.

Most of this money goes to preliminary and regular research throughout the grant period. Reports, in accordance with the conditions, are submitted every month. The most interesting in the conditions of this grant is that the main instrument of ATTRACTING THE NEW AUDIENCE OF THE CENTER OF CONTEMPORARY ART is PERFORMING ARTS.

It means dance, theatre, performance, music.

Within the first phase of the project, the centre consistently invites three African-American artists to present their work to the audience. These artists are Kaneza Schaal (, Urban Bush Woman ( and Christian Scott (http: // www. The first one is a very experimental artist from New York, who mainly deals with the performance art, focusing the most on the interdisciplinary approach. She herself says so “My work is grounded in traditions of radical borrowing.” The show will be held on November 9-10-11 and this is what I will see.

Urban Bush Woman is a company that, apart from the dance itself, is very active in educational activities aimed at gender and racial equality, the development of the community, the preservation of African cultural heritage.

Christian Scott is a jazz musician whose music has been playing in my player for a week now.

And, of course, it’s not just concerts of interesting artists. Each of them comes to New Orleans for a week and during this time takes part in daily activities, which just help to attract the local community. I`m going to tell you more of that later. The visit of the first star is already very soon and it is very interesting for me to look at the audience.

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