That's our only rule job now . . . to solve the interesting problems. I didn't come up with that statement, but it is a very true one.
To me, one of the most interesting problems we have in the arts is the relationship between an artist (or arts organization) and it's audience. This applies to both the current audience and the intended audience.
I mean isn't that what the whole (sad) blow up at the Guthrie Theatre is all about. One group thinks the responsibility is to offer what will fill the seats, getting the donors coming in and keep the institution alive. Another group thinks the theatre has a responsibility that goes beyond institutional survival and should be serving a broader community with it's programming.
The truth is that most of the easy problems in the arts have been solved. We know how to "market" our work (if by marketing . . . you mean selling). We know the mechanics of fundraising. We have the means to get revenue from individuals.
All that's left are the hard issues:
What's the appropriate relationship between an insitution and a community?
How do you keep an art form relevant?
Our job, as a field, is to keep asking and demanding viable answers to those questions. Even when it's uncomfortable. Even when many would like it if we just shut up and keep the wheels of commerce turning.
That's our job.
That's the only job worth doing.