A TEDxBroadway Topic That Keeps on Ticking

As TEDxBroadway approaches (February 22), and we begin to think about the best that Broadway can be, there are a few things we can expect — and one is that Jim will speak about the Broadway Ecosystem. In his post TEDxBroadway Is Not a Theater Conference, he wrote:

“TEDxBroadway is a conference about a neighborhood, where theater happens to be quite important.

This neighborhood, in turn, has a really big impact on the city it’s in, and by impacting the millions upon millions of people that visit this neighborhood, and through the intellectual property it generates, it has a big impact on the world.

That’s why we talk about Broadway as a place, not “Broadway” as a symbolic term for the theater business in New York. And more than that, Broadway, the neighborhood, is an ecosystem of people and organizations, businesses, governments, residents, entrepreneurs, tourists and others.”

This topic of the arts boosting the success of communities has received attention lately. Eileen Cunniffe reports that Minnesota “is an innovator when it comes to integrating the arts into its rural communities.”

Cunniffe writes: “While some of the initiatives currently underway may benefit cultural tourism, most of the efforts seem to be based on an understanding of the intrinsic value of the arts in the life of any community and the sense of belonging that anchors people to a place. Jamie Robertson, director of the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, which recently converted an old creamery into a folk-arts school, puts it this way: ‘We want people to see art not as something you hang on your wall, but as something that makes you human, helps you understand issues and solve problems.'”

Wisconsin Public Radio’s Scottie Lee Meyers highlights that “the arts are playing an increasingly important role in stimulating the local economies of small towns and rural communities throughout Wisconsin.”

While you’re counting down the days until TEDxBroadway (tickets are now on sale here) — and more stimulating discussion on the topic — below is a refresher on Jim’s thoughts about The Importance of Ecosystem:

“[Broadway Ecosystem] is not a new idea, but it is a VERY important one. Theaters, restaurants, homes, academic institutions, hotels, tourist destinations, stores, public spaces, social services and everything else that people need and want exist together and affect each other. It sounds obvious, but the health of the ecosystem around a set of organizations, like theaters, has perhaps the biggest influence on success. Though people probably see and hear me say that in relation to New York, it’s true everywhere.”

Got a comment or question? Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

Sign Up for Emails