When it comes to the future of the arts, especially the industry I work in - the live performing arts, I am very optimistic.
I see the wide range of work being produced, from sold out theatres in NYC, to intimate productions being done in someone's living room and it gives me hope.
I see the number of artists learning how to skillfully combine technology and live peformance, not just as a way to move tickets, but as a way to make the live performance better . . . and I think "that's pretty cool."
But what I'm less optimistic about is the future of the arts industry.
What we are seeing in a lot of industries (books, music, etc.) is this separation of the industry (managers, overhead, etc.) from the art itself.
When you can publish a book without a editor and publisher, it changes things.
When you can build a small audience for your one woman show without needing to partner with a larger organization, it changes thing.
The arts industry is going to have to prove it's value and relevance in the world of 2012, not the world of 1992 or even 2002. That's going to be a difficult challenge and not everyone will make it.
But the good news is that the art will go on, with or without the industry.