April Can Be A Lot Of Things Month

So today is Arts Advocacy Day which provides a nice segue into April, the official Take A Friend To the Orchestra (TAFTO) month. If you are not already aware, TAFTO is the brainchild of Adaptistration blogger, Drew McManus who has been promoting the idea for about 4-5 years now. The people Drew has lined up this year to write on the subject of taking friends to the orchestra look very interesting.

The last few years have seen orchestra boards across the country seemingly making every effort to avoid having their musicians perform. If you have any inclination to go to an orchestra or even chamber performance resolving to attend a performance this month can play a small part in showing the classical music groups around the country that their organization has value to the community, even if you only attend occasionally. (Of course bringing 15 friends can play a much bigger part.)

Actually, April is a good time to resolve to attend an arts or cultural event. Places like Fargo, ND notwithstanding, the weather is getting better across the country so it is a fine opportunity to get out and attend performances and go to museums. If your community has First Friday gallery walks, this is weekend could be the time to step out, mingle with others and see some art.

I just heard my mayor on the radio last week saying he wished the First Friday activities downtown happened every Friday. It would be great if every mayor could encourage that level of activity. (I know he wasn’t entirely saying that to score political points because he chaired the committee of the National Council of Mayors that introduced four resolutions about cultivating arts activities across the country.) October is National Arts and Humanities Month so if you don’t feel your community has enough arts activities, maybe for you April can be Take A Friend to the City Council Meeting month where you get the ball rolling on some sort of event(s) for October.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.

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