Questions Considered
Tuesday, May 05, 2015 12:00 AM



ARTS Action Research


As we inaugurate this new online column, ARTS Action Research is proud to be celebrating 22 years of collaboration with A.R.T./New York’s Board, staff, and extraordinary membership. When we began this work, Executive Director of A.R.T./New York, Ginny Louloudes, was newly appointed and sought to reframe the role of the theatre service organization, setting in motion a pattern of unprecedented growth and impact in New York City theatre that has now kept pace for two decades. We like to think that it was more than just good fortune that our vision and work at ARTS Action Research were in acute alignment and measured syncopation with Ginny’s vision.  We have recently shared our experience of that defining period of growth and change in New York theatre through our latest Special Report Leading from the Center, which you can read here.

What is this new online column?  As we begin a new cycle of work through the Theatre Leadership Program and Nancy Quinn Program, we have been thinking about what we learn in the process of working with A.R.T./New York’s diverse and accomplished member theatres and how we might reflect this learning back to you. This column provides a unique opportunity to do that.

Central to our approach is a commitment to working with each theatre’s own design. We don’t engineer. We concentrate our focus on what works for that theatre, rather than what we believe should, could or ought to work. We work on understanding more than explaining, because getting the right question is fundamental to getting the right answer. It is in that spirit that we are dedicating this new column to questions. The kinds of questions that we ask the theatres we are working with, the questions they ask us, and the questions we ask ourselves in the process of doing this work.

We are always mindful that the answers to yesterday’s questions can become the unknowns of today. That is why instead of simply repeating answers to questions asked in the past, we find that thinking about how to answer them in the present moment carries greater impact through a dynamic and developing conversation. Our intention is not to provide definitive answers, but to share, understand and consider the questions, as part of our dialog with the arts professionals with whom we work.  We invite you to read along with us and offer your questions and insights as we learn together.

Do you have questions in your organization or work that you would like to work with ARTS Action Research to explore and understand?  AAR Associates are available to A.R.T./New York members throughout the year, conducting Nancy Quinn Program workshops and providing one on one consulting support through the Theatre Leadership Program. For more information about these programs, contact Ann Marie Lonsdale at A.R.T./New York.