TAFTO 2007 Contribution: Michael Tiknis

I write this having just returned from an extraordinary week in Beijing. The trip afforded me the fascinating opportunity to observe and discuss the diverse artistic initiatives now taking place throughout China. Through this trip, and to my surprise, I have come to realize two important truths. First, despite vast cultural differences, building audiences for live performances is a universal struggle. East or West, audience cultivation is the great and common challenge. We all share the burden that deficient arts education programs have caused, principally, a diminished understanding and appreciation for the discipline and value of artistic expression and the performers that make concerts and performances possible.