The future of the arts is small.
Smaller organizations. The days of a nonprofit arts organization going from one employee to 20-30 full time employees in a short period of time are gone. The organization of the future, both nonprofit and for profit, is nimble and probably can't afford to be weighed down with high employee overhead.
Smaller audiences. You see this in all forms of media/art/entertainment. 10 to 15 times more people watched The Cosby Show versus The Wire. Both great shows, but they operated with much smaller audiences. The fragmentation of audience means that it is going to be difficult for only one thing to achieve critical mass.
To survive and thrive in this future you must be very good at two things:
1. Starting and completing the right projects. An organization with a limited staff and limited resources can't afford to spend those resources on projects that don't align with their mission and values.
2. Getting the most out of every audience member. Getting an audience member is hard but KEEPING them is vital. The future belongs to those who can offer great customer service, have smart loyalty programs and can help those audience members feel connected to the purpose of the organization.
The future is small, but it can still be pretty damn good. Make the most of it.