shift disturbing

This past Wednesday January 22nd a “Visioning Session” was held at the Church Street School as a component of the town’s Cultural Master Plan.

Like in Aurora, a cultural master plan is underway in New York. Details of which
can be found in this Hyperallergic piece here: http://hyperallergic.com/94084/city-council-members-to-hold-cultural-plan-hearing/

Contrary to our former mayor’s belief New York and Aurora are worlds apart but they share some common issues that prohibit growth, one of them being the existence and perpetuation of silos.

In a New York Times piece on New Years day titled “Great Expectations for 2014” Holland Cotter voiced his concern:

“I’m hoping against hope that the New York art establishment will wake up to the fact that by continuing to pile all its money on a minute handful of artists in a minute handful of galleries, it’s killing this city as a home to experimental new art.”

You can read the full piece here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/arts/new-york-times-critics-on-what-they-want-to-see.html?ref=arts&_r=0

I echoed Cotter’s evaluation when I was invited to participate in Aurora’s “Culture and Economic Development” focus group last December.

I brought forth the negative impact silos has on organizations responsible for delivering culture to us Rubes specifically my concerns with how woefully the the Aurora Collects Dust exhibit was executed as touched on in this previous post here: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/exhibit-a-silos/

Another concept I contributed also touched on the aspect of collaboration, it had to do with acknowledging the sharing economy, and determining its applications here in Aurora. If you’re unfamiliar with the sharing economy I suggest the following primer over on the Economist site: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21573104-internet-everything-hire-rise-sharing-economy

The town’s strategic plan emphasizes innovation and sustainability, both need to be overtly recognized in the town’s cultural development and programming.

In fact what Aurora is just beginning to conceive is being executed in Vancouver with Crowdourced Art, covered as a component of their culture days offerings here: http://culturedays.ca/blog/2013/11/05/north-vancouver-and-culture/

Another term as foreign to Aurora’s cultural scene as crowd sourcing is open sourcing. As a technological innovation the concept of open source has not been about cities but it resonates at ground level as pointed out in Saskia Sassen’s piece in Forbes here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/techonomy/2013/11/10/open-sourcing-the-neighborhood/

With respect to sustainability, which has been unproven in Aurora’s cultural scene at large, I brought forward the Shifting Gears: Fiscal Sustainability & the Future of Public Services report which identifies which initiatives are working and which hold the most promise to facilitate a return to balanced budgets: You can read it here:
http://www.kpmg.com/ca/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/pages/shifting-gears-fiscal-sustainability-the-future-of-public-services.aspx

Every corner of Aurora’s cultural fabric that I have been exposed to, and all its associated organizations seem to be guilty of lacking efficiency and duplicating efforts.

Both of these are evidence of a strong desire to stay within established comfort zones and a gross ignorance of the disruptive changes going on all around us.

All the so-called leaders of Aurora’s cultural scene need to take 5 minutes to digest the McKinsey Global Institute’s interview with MIT’s Andrew McAfee and McKinsey’s James Manyika as to Why every leader should care about digitization and disruptive innovation:
http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Business_Technology/Why_every_leader_should_care_about_digitization_and_disruptive_innovation?cid=other-eml-alt-mgi-mck-oth-1401

The more that Aurora’s dinosaurs shake their “Groupthink” heads at me the more it confirms how much of a shift is upon us.

I’m happy to be the scar tissue on Aurora’s culture of “Normality” and I’m happy there are others who see the value in that too.

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