Guest post: “It’s Showtime, Folks!”: The Evolving Nature of Research and Public Engagement With Performing Arts Collections
Today’s guest post is from Athena Jackson, Special Collections Librarian, University of Miami who will be hosting a talk on public engagement at the 54th Annual RBMS Preconference: http://www.preconference.rbms.info
The Last Act: Closing Plenary at the 54th RBMS Preconference
“It’s Showtime, Folks!”: The Evolving Nature of Research and Public Engagement With Performing Arts Collections
Starring: Marvin Taylor, as himself (channeling his many characters, if we’re lucky!); Kevin Winkler (in analog, highlighting the digital…how au courant!); Athena Jackson (as the Compass Bearer)
It will be an honor to introduce these two illustrious professionals to RBMS society, in situ! Together, this duet will make you sit-up and stretch your ideas for your home collections as they regale you with their experiences in reigniting the natural vitality, energy, and magic that exists in our performing arts collections for researchers and the public. If you have one script, a few programs, a dozen photographs or a hundred of each in your collections, Marvin and Kevin will encourage you to realize the potential energy existing in these quiet materials eager to be heard/seen/felt again!
Marvin has been active in so many roles at the Fales Library, that it is a challenge (and will require too many commas) to list them all. Suffice it say: Marvin knows performance. At Fales, the theater and film collections span the downtown scene, off-off Broadway, and documents the experimental film and video movements, particularly in the NYC milieu. Marvin is totally aware of the “thingness” and magic in our collections. I’m certain, he will sprinkle some of the latter on the audience so that we,
too, may celebrate the countless instances of magical “thingness” in our collections back home.
In his solo, Kevin Winkler will address the digital-realm opportunities that exist when considering promotion and outreach. Kevin has a professional history that illuminates a soul deeply committed to performance arts collections. He’s held a variety of leadership roles at The New York Public Library (NYPL), and particularly at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (LPA). He will share ways we can effectively and proactively promote and celebrate our materials in the electronic ether. Indeed, take a glance at this upcoming programming to give you a sense of some of the targeted interests NYPL’s collections feed: http://www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/flamenco-100-years-flamenco-new-york
Marvin and Kevin will encourage the captive audience (and yes, these men will keep you captive!) to seriously contemplate:
“what do researchers want?”
“what does our the general public not know about these magnificent collections?” and
“what roles — no role is too small, remember! — can we play to make sure our performance
arts collections get the attention they deserve in the reading room and online?”
I am thrilled to be the compass bearer as these men break new ground, explore new opportunities, and dazzle us with their tried-and-realized experiences!