Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
During the 17th and 18th centuries, salons provided a safe place to discuss politics, socialize, scandalize, and take in an artistic performance. Whether it be poetry read allowed or an amateur on the pianoforte, the venue was intimate and promoted good conversation. In Bristol, Vermont the salon has made a comeback thanks to a group of friends who share the love of arts and community. The Bristol First-Sunday Salon Series is a season of free performances of varying genres set to take place in a room above a law office in town. In between each act there is an open discussion of what they just witnessed comparable to the salon tradition. They are open to take donations, but it is not a priority. This is simply arts for art’s sake and community involvement.
As arts managers who hope to make a living, what do we think of this? I think that this would be wonderfully fun to experience, but is this undermining what we work for? There are many instances of free art, but as artists ourselves, do we not constantly fight that we deserve to be compensated for our training and expertise? They seem to be making it work thus far and I tip my hat to these civic leaders.