Soft Launching #ZLive tonight at Madeleine Albright lecture

imgresTwo weeks ago, we featured a blog post about live-tweeting arts events. It was part of a national twitter conversation, led by the National Endowment for the Arts following this report from PBS Newshour “ArtBeat program, “How Art Arts Organizations Using Digital Media?”  The issue surrounds use of Twitter on mobile devices during an event for audience engagement; a practice that some venues and arts organizations have been experimenting with for a short time.

The University Musical Society in Ann Arbor Michigan has initiated a practice for their programs. The Detroit Symphony uses a live twitter feed to supplement  webcast concerts. What may be the next evolution of technology enhancing the art form (think super titles running during a foreign language film or Italian opera), arts organizations are looking at new ways to deepen the engagement with audiences.

Yet some artists are opposed to the idea of floating faces illuminated by blue screens that have their focus elsewhere. Artists want a direct connection with the audience; Twitter may impede that.

Perhaps there are some activities when live-tweeting from the venue can deepen the experience for those in attendance, and for those who cannot. Tonight, Zoellner Arts Center will soft launch an experiment in live-tweeting for the Kenner Lecture: Madeline Albright. There will be invited Twitter users to sit in seats that are on the back wall of the Grand Tier. We hope that by designating this area for twitter users, even with dimmed screens, the glow will not disturb other patrons. If you are not able to come to the Zoellner Arts Center to hear Madame Albright’s lecture, sign onto Twitter at 7:45pm and follow the hashtag, #ZLiveAlbright. We’ll start the conversation with introductions from those who are Tweeting from the hall, and those in the community.

As Director of Arts Engagement and Community Cultural Affairs for Lehigh University, Silagh White offers this thought.

If we don’t take risks in the arts; we’re not really being artistic. While that could be taken as a rather bold statement, I believe that we can’t learn something about ourselves and how we might evolve as a community without a little experimentation. We’ll try this out a few times, gather data and comments, and see how it goes.

Any questions about #ZLive can be directed to Silagh White via email: or Twitter: @silagh