Publications

The View From Here

A Report on the State of the Performing Arts from the Perspective of Artists

There's a reason artists have no money - and there's something we can do about it.

The Brooklyn Commune Project's report is the result of nine-month collaborative research project to investigate the economic ecosystem of the performing arts. How does it work (or not work), and how could it work differently? 

This report isn’t an argument for more, and better, funding — although we certainly would be pleased if that was a result of our efforts. Rather, this document is the culmination of our collaborative, creative investigation into the problems we face, that are presented to us as intractable and immutable. This document is an informed response, a call to see things differently, an invitation to change; we propose a complete redesign of the existing system and are embarking on the creation of a new one. This document is meant to begin a conversation to change America’s perspective on who artists are, what they do, and the impact of our work on society — not merely in economic terms, but in terms of how art benefits individuals, groups and communities, and strengthens the very fabric of our nation.

We started this project out of concern for the urgent material needs of our community, exacerbated by a lack of tangible facts about our conditions or commonly held knowledge of how we arrived at this moment in time. We have prepared this report to share our findings with our colleagues and assert our voice in the wider conversation, to educate ourselves and bring our collective creative imagination to bear on seemingly intractable problems.

We were surprised to discover that no problems are intractable, depending on how you look at them, and we’re hopeful that we may offer new perspectives and promote an alternative vision of a healthy, vibrant and diverse arts ecology in America.

Read the full report or the abridged report for artists.

Find out more: http://brooklyncommune.org/


Hosting Transformation

Stories from the Edge of Changemaking

This book is a collection of stories from people who are dedicated to unlocking the world’s potential. Inside, you will discover the spirit of changemakers through their telling of challenges and transformations faced head-on. This book is about lifelong learning. This book is about the change that is already happening. Are we there yet?

“I welcome this book with all my heart. It could be, and I believe it will be, of great significance. We are close to a tipping point – a bifurcation point in the way we manage this world and ourselves in the world. The way we have been managing ourselves and the world cannot be sustained any longer. We need to transform – ourselves, first of all – if we truly want to transform the world. Change begins at home, with each of us. And it continues with the small groups of  friends and like-minded people who get together to align their thinking, their feeling, and their vision.”    -Ervin Laszlo, Foreward

Liz's story, entitled "Just Begin." Download the full book.

More on the International Partnership for Transformative Learning


A New Point of View

Fresh Ideas on How and Why We Create the Art of Theatre

Written by Liz Maxwell as a senior undergraduate thesis for the Louisiana Scholars’ College.

"In the passionate hunt for a new form of theatrical expression that equally mixes social relevancy with dynamic quality, I found that it was imperative to look at past global examples to see where this work began before it could be localized and contemporized. The challenging of the Aristotelian theatrical norm began with Bertolt Brecht in Germany and was traced through Augusto Boal in Brazil and Jerzy Grotowski in Poland. However, the work is only as good as it is local; the contemporary revolution in American theatre is being led by Anne Bogart and her work with Viewpoints. In this thesis, I examine the forerunners of this work and present a detailed exposition as to how and why Ms. Bogart executes her ideas. There is also documentation for my experiment with the practicality of applying these ideas to an original NSU Second Season production entitled d*Construction, which premiered April 3, 4, 5, 2008 in the Loft Theatre, Natchitoches, Louisiana."

Read full thesis.