by Dimitar G Mavrov
It is my strong belief that on the Field of the Symbolic Culture and Masonic Arts all countries, Fraternal Organizations and Ethnic Groups are equal! By the core essence and the values of the Culture, there are not Big and Small, Old and New Countries and Grand Lodges. All together, we are serving the same great Ideals – finding the National Identities, achieving “Liberty and Justice for all”; keeping the Chain of our Brotherhood, conducting our Masonic Labor In Peace and Harmony. Building our Never Finished Spiritual Pyramid with Honor, and Faith in the Name of Supreme Architect of the Universe.
We are Freemasons, and we choose our Path to be from Darkness to Light. Symbolically, let start with the Darkest prognosis for Humanity. And we are very lucky to have the work of the British Author Prof. Jem Bendell, PhD. If we have to face a Dark Future and Ecological Collapse, the best choice to accept this will be with The Dark British Humor. The purpose of Prof. Bendel’s conceptual paper is “to provide readers with an opportunity to reassess their work and life in the face of an inevitable near-term social collapse due to climate change”. His paper offers a new meta-framing of the implications for research, organizational practice, personal development and public policy, called the Deep Adaptation Agenda. The author believes that climate-induced societal collapse is now inevitable in the near term and therefore to invite scholars to explore the implications.
Based on hundreds scientific evidences, Prof. Bendel is making his prophecy for the Global Collapse of our Society and Civilization in the form, which we know in very near time – around 2050, or in a life-time for most of the young people.
Very often, we have at least 2 models to discus – one more dramatic, rich of colors, and old history, European; and one more simplified, looking for business opportunities and deal, let say American. And if we include a little Asian Wisdom, maybe we can find a Middle Path to more Brighter Future for the Humanity, and for the Masonic Arts, in privacy.
Some of the Hollywood productions are making billions from scripts, drawing the Dark Future of Anarchy, loss of Cultural Identity, and Moral Values; and reign of the Chaos.
But Freemasonry is not Hollywood. Our Rituals, Culture and Work are based on Law and Order, Values and Brotherly Love. To the last man, standing in our Fraternal Organization, we will keep our believes and principles.
For example, in our Association of Masonic Arts we wrote: “We came to Build and Beautify the World!” On any Change we will respond in one way – Building what we believe is right. And this will be our Deep Adaptation!
walking with dark glasses in our Non-Linear World
I will try to summarize for you the very serious research of Prof. Jem Bendell, PhD in a few points, to bring to your attention the reality of the changes in the Ecosystem of our Planet – the Only Base for Existence of Human Civilization, and our creative work:
* At the present moment we reached lose – lose situation in the Ecology and Global Politic, giving us not a chance to return the harmony of the Natural processes, and to achieve a stable peace in the World.
* The Deep Adaptation agenda is not a easy topic; not serving the primitive political strike for popularity, and demand more higher level of education and morality.
* The West’s response to environmental issues has been restricted by the dominance of neoliberal economics since the 1970s. That led to hyper individualist, market fundamentalist, incremental and atomistic approaches.
* We no longer have time for experiments and career games.
* We have to start ask questions, and questioning others and ours works and motives equally.
* If we decide to work for surviving and better future of the Humanity, we have to go down to community level, and start educate ordinary people.
* We have to learn to work on multiple levels.
* Do not waste time in Projects, not connected to the Deep Adaptation and the Future of the people.
* The good and useful work can be done only on International Level.
* Other intellectual disciplines and traditions may be of interest going forward. Human extinction and the topic of eschatology, or the end of the world, is something that has been discussed in various academic disciplines, as you might expect. In theology it has been widely discussed, while it also appears in literary theory as an interesting element to creative writing and in psychology during the 1980s as a phenomenon related to the threat of nuclear war. The field of psychology seems to be particularly relevant going forward.
* Whatever we choose to work on in future will not be a simple calculation. It will be shaped by the emotional or psychological implications of this new awareness of a societal collapse being likely in our own lifetimes.
The Future of Arts through a rose glasses
I am trying to agree with Richard Koshalek, the Director of Smithsonian’s Hirshorn Museum, that around 2050 the artists will be exploring and affecting all aspects of our daily environment in the most original ways possible. We’re already seeing that artists today are moving beyond the four walls of established institutions (such as museums) and are directly engaging and inspiring a range of new audiences. Through new technologies especially, these audiences will grow, as will artists’ presence and influence.
Art is constantly evolving. Jackson Pollock’s seeming spontaneity yet formalism in abstraction changed art forever. Robert Rauschenberg moved us from Abstract Expressionism to Pop and then into new hybrid forms. Because of such breakthroughs and because of new technologies, there is going to be an ever-greater openness in art and art-making. Andy Warhol showed this most dramatically. He explored every medium of his day. He co-founded Interview magazine, he produced remarkable films, he explored new applications of traditional mediums such as silk-screening, and, of course, he completely transformed our perceptions of commercial imagery.
In the future, the art world will be even more liberated to make use of all the media around us—because artists have this passionate curiosity and ceaseless desire for new ideas.
By 2050, you’re going to see a new leadership equation emerge based on what happens in the art world. Traditionally, decisions have been made by political and corporate leadership. In the future, creative individuals—artists, musicians, architects and designers—are going to be making major decisions having to do with how we shape our society, and especially in the world’s urban environments.
A deep collaborations between artists, musicians, writers, movie makers will create bigger impact on the future development of our society. And combining with the unprecedented and unpredictable power of the new Social Medias the results will be measure with geometric progression. We cans see only the shine of the Sunrise of the New Culture. And this is breathtaking.
If we state with Allan Majorta, the Director of Picasso Mio Galleries, that the future of the art world and its business is perhaps in a more interesting state than it has ever been. This century will certainly bring more changes to the arts and culture industry than we have seen in the last one thousand years.
There are signs in the development of the Arts, that some of the major trends during the first half of the 21st century could be:
Revival of the originality in visual art and design
After a slight decline in its popularity, especially in the museum and gallery circles, art collectors and lovers will revive the trend of original paintings in art, as the most popular medium. As a consequence, artists, followed by galleries, critics and museums will be forced to return to original created paintings.
Definitely, this process will be not returning to our old understanding of original works, but a totally new level of Interdisciplinary Creation, using a lot of the new developed materials and technologies.
Comeback of pre-20th century art
Late-19th century and early-20th century trends will make a comeback, along with some of the more classical art forms. Early 21st century artists will go retro and find inspiration in what now seems to be so antiquated.
We already have a lot of examples for the inspiration of the Antic and Classical Music and Instruments in the work of some of the Contemporary Composers, and mainly in the movie business.
Modernization of the gallery business
Some of the dated concepts that have plagued the art business will soon disappear. Galleries will be forced to become sophisticated retailers and will begin employing strategies that are currently used by luxury and other retail companies. Artists will benefit from these changes and will force galleries to stop using ridiculous techniques like exclusivity clauses in their contracts, a trend already visible in the major Asian markets.
The Gallery of the Future have to cress the borders of traditionally known Fine Art, and to look for all new ways and products of Creation, including opening the stage to the Musical and Dramatic performances. More and more organization of Special Events will support the vital necessity or restoring the lost connection between the ordinary people and the creators. And more important – to include those people in the process of Creation.
Disappearance of small galleries
It will be an era of large generalized galleries and small specialized galleries. Galleries will have to define themselves as large retailers, similar to say a Saks or a Harrods, or transform themselves into very specialized boutiques; or to go on-line in cooperation with Amazon and its successors.
The gallery will either have to cater to a large audience, or to be recognized as an expert in a particular niche.
Popularization of Digital Art and printmaking
With the fast-growing open-minded middle class worldwide, we will see limited-edition art forms become extremely successful. Less inclined to follow in the footsteps of collectors before them, these up-and-comers will have more individualized and sophisticated tastes and will push the multiples to a new height.
Digital Art is not anymore part of the Museum Exhibitions. It owns its Museums, producing teams, and growing audience.
Asia will become the 2nd most important art market in the World
The economic domination of Asia will be reflected in the art markets. This will be a windfall for Asian artists , during the next 20 years, as wealthy Chinese and Indians, amongst others, continue their rampage of “heritage” acquisitions. However, in the longer term, it would be a boon for other artists as well, as Asian tastes become more global. It is only a matter of time when the Asian appetite for Picassos and Warhol, and emerging art from Europe, Americas and Africa, will become insatiable.
China, India and Japan will extend their art influence
and domination beyond the borders of Asia
The level of the unprecedented development and modernization of China, India and Japan is bringing them to dominant powers at the Art Market. They will become soon Pan cultural Center of the World.
The severe shortage of contemporary art fairs and museums in this region will come to an end, and we will see an amazing number of new art centers and events, in all cities of Asia.
South America will be at the first line of all Cultural Changes
The traditional originality of the South American Authors, the big Cultural potential of all countries in the region, and rich Emotional World of the people, will bring them to the frontier of all changes.
Especially about the Future of Freemasonry, and Masonic Arts, South America will be decision making Power.
Convergence of Art, Architecture and Design
We will get used to the acronym AAD, as art, architecture and design converge. The future will consist of an artist design a building, an architect designing jewelry, and a designer making an art object. The future superstars will be a Zaha Hadid meets Pablo Picasso meets Mark Newson.
The United States will remain the biggest
and the most exciting art market
All is not lost for the USA. Americans will remain the biggest art buyers and most of the art superstars will still continue to be Americans. One of the primary reasons for this continuation is that in today’s cosmopolitan world, there is no society as cross-cultural as the U.S. As global tastes converge, it will be the cross-cultural Americans who will transcend countries and tastes, and give us the most interesting ideas for the 21st century.
Physical auctions will disappear
The guys wearing the suits and pounding hammers will disappear. While auctions while still remain an important way for selling expensive artworks, the new technologies will ensure that the golden days of physical auctions are over.
African contemporary art will become the trend art style
The last frontier of contemporary art – Africa, will come to the forefront. Global trend-setters will finally bring into limelight, Africa and its artists. Currently, plagued by the lack of trained artists creating interesting art, economic development will lead to the establishment of African Arts.
Art fairs and festivals will decline in popularity
New technologies and larger galleries will lead to the declining importance of art trade fairs. There will be a significant consolidation in the art markets and similar to the world of galleries, the art fairs will decline in numbers.
More people than ever will buy, and create art
Economic growth and more sophisticated tastes will imply that more people than ever will patronize the arts. This will be a great time for artists and certain galleries and auctioneers.
Museums, Libraries and Theatres will have to be successful
commercial enterprises to survive
All art institutions, including the state-owned museums will have to become entrepreneurial and cater to the tastes and whims of the public. In a way, their approach will have to become more sophisticated. Often, these museums will have to collaborate with private entities. The development of Special Events’ Management will be crucial for surviving of the Cultural Institutions.
The number of museums in Europe, Americas and Asia has grown significantly in the recent years. Now seems that every city over the size of 200,000 now has a museum, but some of them will have to close due to market saturation.
have to be clear and to understate – on the horizon is rising totally new
Culture, faraway from our old believes and emotions, with new lows of creation,
and new Creators. And all of us are building new Society – consciously, or
New Art Leadership without glasses
A clear understanding of how leadership is operating, is the first step to resetting the Association on the path to a brighter future. This understanding will help ensure that we can recruit, assemble, and retain the talent we have, and will come; embody the depth of racial and ethnic inclusion that the next generation of artists and audiences demands; and invigorate its best principles with new ways to create and experience art and culture. It means the Masonic community needs to understand the role that it plays in shaping the future of the Arts and to actively work toward the vision of the development of the Symbolic Culture, we believe the world needs.
For our presentation will use the professional terms and data-base from the research by Emiko Ono, a Program Officer in The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program, in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are updating the text with data from our Membership, to compare our present condition with the global development of the Art Resources and Leadership. We are following the advance Programs as Open Mind Consulting, and Moving Arts Leadership.
Generally, today’s workforce is largely made up of three generations spanning more than fifty years of experience — older Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers. On the field of Culture and Arts we are recognizing one more – the Silent generation. They are divided in the modern science by the dates of birth:
* Silent Generation – people born between 1925 and 1945.
* Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964.
* Generation X – born between 1965 and 1980.
* Millenials Generation – born after 1981.
In the recent history It was the Boomers that predominately led the cultural surge of 1960s and 1970s, which significantly diversified and expanded the field and established the nonprofit arts sector as we know it today. The Boomers leaded the changes in Europe, and redrew the Map of the World in 1980s and 1990s.
Today, we are in the midst of a generational sea change, which we can expect to last until at least 2034, when the youngest Baby Boomers will turn seventy. This shift, which is palpable within the Art sector, corresponds with larger societal changes. Though generational categories are just one dimension of our experiences and are laden with stereotypes that are reductive by nature, they can still shed light on the very different expectations that individuals bring to the field of Culture and their careers — even when they share a common commitment to the arts.
The structures and cultures of the Arts organizations reflect the perspectives most associated with the generations that established these organizations, namely, the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers. Broadly speaking, those perspectives include a tendency toward hard work and long hours, valuing independence, and appreciating the clarity and efficiency that comes with organizational hierarchy.
As Millennials and Generation Xers make up a larger proportion of the workforce, there is increasing pressure on Arts organizations to include their perspectives. Those that identify with Generation X tend to value skills over long hours, want to strike a balance between personal and work time, and prioritize meaningful work ahead of career advancement. The work environments that Generation X favors are informal and flexible and provide fluid access to leadership and information. The Millennial work ethic is also inclined to question the notion of long work days and seeks to balance work and personal time with community involvement and personal development. Millennials tend to have a very collaborative and entrepreneurial approach to work. They also lean toward organizational structures that are highly networked and goal oriented and embrace technology and innovation.
These four generations even differ in their understanding of the term Leadership itself. People, who identify with the Silent Generation tend to equate leadership with seniority or something that accompanies formal status. Baby Boomers see leadership as based in experience, meaning that leadership is accrued largely through the act of doing.
Those that identify with Generation X tend to view leadership as based in merit — in their eyes, leadership is earned.
Millennials, who grew up in a much more networked society, see leadership as conferred by participation.
These differences mean that multiple generations are working shoulder to shoulder but lack agreement on fundamental workplace values. This contributes to tension and misunderstanding that flow in both directions. Younger generations, for example, can feel frustrated by a perceived lack of innovation, while older generations presume that younger individuals often want to innovate just for the sake of innovation.
We are in the midst of a shift from a culture that favors clear lines of authority and hierarchy to one that prefers flatter, highly networked, and nonlinear systems and approaches. We are in a period where positional status, hard-fought experience, and acquired wisdom are being rebalanced against calls for open access to information and opportunities, and an ethos in which the voices of all carry equal weight, regardless of position or experience.
I would like to cite this quote from a Deloitte University report, spoken by a twenty-nine-year-old manager, that illustrates how Millennials conceptualize leadership: “all points of view on this team carry the same weight. People have the freedom to express themselves whether they have thirty minutes or thirty years of experience.”
The response of one late-career leader, at that time was emphatic: “I want to know: Where is the wisdom in all this?”
This is an example of the nonprofit Arts sector grappling with how to accommodate a new set of generational perspectives. It is not helpful to resist these perspectives in this time of change. While the categories can be flawed, the varied perspectives that each generation holds are exactly what the arts sector needs to address two of its most pressing problems: unrealized talent potential and constrained adaptability and relevance.
In the Association of Masonic Arts we have next participation:
* Silent Generation – under 2%.
* Baby Boomers – 53%.
* Generation X – 30%.
* Millenials Generation – 15%.
It is showing the need of more work with younger generations. We are behind other Cultural Organization, on this sector with 25-35%. And this is one of the sicknesses of the contemporary Freemasonry – not paying enough attention to the young people, and the changes in the contemporary World and Society.
We have to do more to bring the Masonic families together to our events and Exhibitions, to share ideas on our Social Medias which are valuable for them. To recognize the authentic traditions and history, running in those families from generations.
Another point of improving our Leadership for the future is the work with women and non-masons. The ordinary people are the Force that changing the World in all directions. This is the original Power of the Nature. And now more and more people are involved in the process of creation of Artifacts. For example: the last 2 years we received more understanding and financial support for our Exhibitions, printing books, and Concerts from Non-masons. Those noble people showed true Humanitarian values, and open our eyes for new possibilities to be a real part in the Contemporary Society.
No matter if we like or don’t like, if we recognize or don’t recognize, the fact is, that Women Freemasonry exist from centuries, and developing unseen power everywhere around the World. You can find a thousands of Masterpieces, created or written by Women in the History of the World Culture. And today we have more young Lades involve in the Arts than ever. We have to make our Programs and initiatives more acceptable for them.
Time from time we have to repeat to ourselves, that the Symbols were never been anybody’s ownership. The God didn’t speak with Symbols to Churches and Organizations, He spooks to people from all countries around the World.
Lets open and the Pandora box for the traditional Freemasonry – the LGBT communities. The people with different sexual orientations, in reality, are more supportive to all kinds of Art, Architecture and Design. They are involved in creation of Masterpieces, and Art technologies, developing new levels in the Design. And they are very sensitive and good Brothers and Friends, working hard to improve and defend their values and abilities in the Contemporary Society. I would like one more time to say – in the Association of Masonic Arts we are equal, we are Brothers and Sisters, Friends and Followers, shearing the common purpose of Deep Appreciation and Adoration of the Symbolic Culture and Arts.
And that is the base of the Foundation and Existence of our Association.
The last 6 months we started one new initiative – establishing more closer, private and unique relationships with Lodges and Grand Lodges. Meetings and correspondence with Grand Secretaries are now moving to the front line of our daily activities. This will be long process of building bridges and trust between our Association and Regular Freemasonry. But this is the Path to bring to successful level what we started in 2013.
My closing remarks about Art Leadership will be short:
Every day, Arts organizations are expected to know more and do more for more and different people. These are the hallmarks of a world that is changing much more quickly than our organization. It is no longer feasible for one leader alone to manage and respond to the increasingly complex and changing environment that arts organizations face. Elevating the perspectives, experiences, and visions of the next generation of arts leaders — to operate alongside current frames of thinking — holds particular promise for helping the Association of Masonic Arts to keep pace with a rapidly changing environment.
Promoting emerging generational perspectives is especially important along three dimensions: diversity, innovation, and external leadership. Our research shows that arts leaders of all generations have an appreciation for these values.
And this made our believe in necessity of remodeling of the Association of Masonic Arts, stronger.
My work is inspired by the Books and Lectures of our Chairman MW Thomas W. Jackson about the Masonic Leadership, and future of the Masonic Fraternity; and the Opening Lecture for the Second Festival Apollo in 2018. In dozens of our meetings we were analyzing the data from our results with the organization of exhibitions, concerts, festivals; publishing books, participating in conferences on different levels, and medias campaigns.
For all precious time, which he shared with me from 2010 to now, I am in life debt to MW Brother Jackson – a Mentor, a Brother, and a Friend.
My letter is also a symbolic respond to the Occasional Research Papers by Prof. Jem Bendell, PhD, released last year by the Institute of Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria in the UK, too. His scientific predictions for the climate tragedy and “inevitable near-term social collapse” is a strong signal for the necessity of more deeper analyze and understanding the results of the conflict between Human Civilization and the Nature, from one side; and between Human Cultures and Religions in the Contemporary World, from other.
To write this paper, I was helped by all e-mails and phone calls by our Grand Ambassadors and Ambassadors of Masonic Arts; and by the advises from some of our active Honorable Members. I would like to give very special Thanks to Most Honorable Brethren:
Peter Paul Fuchs, Nikola Nikolov, Paulo Koo, Carlos Spiegeler, Ryan Flynn, Janos Cegledy, Alexandre Dietrich, Ferenc Sebok, Juan Abadjian, Leon Zakrajsek, Moises Gomez, Radoslav Bogdanov, Angel Millar.
Would like to extend special recognition to Research Lodge from Southern California for their amazing Magazine “Fraternal Review”, and especially for March 2019 Edition, dedicated to Art & Freemasonry. With very serious research papers, bringing to light all achievements and problems of the Masonic Arts, from the history to the contemporary times. And the same time opening the stage for some of the members of our Association of Masonic Arts.
I would like to recognize and the work of the professional Artists, Writers, and Historians, who dedicated their lives to the cause of the good Future of the Arts and Symbolic Culture; and helped me with their thoughts and shared materials:
Sonia Bogdanov, Richard Koshalek, Allan Majotra, Emiko Ono, Clinton Ofsolitude, Jacqueline O’Neill, Bart Scantlin, Lee Barry, Pieter van der Wilt, Gul Khero, Krishnendu Mukherjee, Sam Andrew, Joanne Arnante, Mattew Moore, Neil Howe.
And the picture will be not completed, if we don’t recognize the fundamental role of our main sponsors IGD Company, and the family of Honorable Owner Ivan Dimitrov from Houston, Texas. The last 2 years they supported us in all Exhibitions, and especially at preparation and conducting the Second Festival Apollo in 2018.