Photo Generation

As we enlarge the circle of those discovering our site, we have benefitted from thorough feedback, ideas and participation. (One of the changes in this ongoing process of beta testing is evident on our home page for this week. Take a look.)

The submission of photographs from festivals has been an exciting - and fun - aspect of our growth, and recognition. Every morning we review what has come in; pass it around; and perform acts of joy at what we see. Each photo - and those in a series - gives a genuine flavor of the event, place, artists, and audiences. We have set up a system for the photos on the home page to rotate through different kinds of performances from different places each week. (Maybe in the future we’ll run another “kontest” to choose the best one of each season? Wait until you see some of the ones coming up in the next weeks!)

No festival pays to have their photos highlighted on the home page. In fact — and it is a very important point for us — no festival pays for any of our information and materials on this site. This is also true of artists and artistic companies who submit information and materials.

One of the ways we can be a comprehensive site for the performing arts festivals around the world is to give all festivals and artists an open platform for promoting, informing and educating audiences and cultural tourists about their performance work. This kind of level playing field also extends to the types of festivals. If you have been diving into the site you will find high art, low art, wild art, calm art, loud art, soft art”¦ you get the idea.

What each festival shares is the creation of a community. No matter how large or how small the event, people come together to share in the delight, exploration and discovery of another citizen’s expression. Pretty cool, when you think about it. Mix in different cultures, languages (linguistic and artistic), and points of view, and it’s even cooler.

This idea of “creation of a community” is exactly what we are trying to do here on the site. Think about this: as you are reading this, there is a good chance that someone in Argentina, Estonia, Kenya, Lebanon, New Zealand, Spain and United States is also here at this moment. (And that’s just a random sample.)

As we continue our process of beta-testing — and letting more and more know about the site — we hope the community forum will be a place to engage in the “conversation”. For one example, if you are with a festival, you can “talk” about your festival, your work, or ask questions to the field.

If you haven’t registered for the forum, go ahead — it, too, is free (!), private, no hassle, and you’ll get that little tingle to know that you belong to a new community. (Just like a child’s first day at a new school when they exhale and feel so much better knowing that they have found a friend. Remember?)

In this phase of beta testing, we are beginning to introduce everyone we know to the site. You can help us by doing the same: share the site with any and all. We thrive on the feedback; we delight in the submission of materials; and, we are grateful for sites adding us as a link.

- Bill Reichblum

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