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Results: Civil Debates 2: Arts Boards

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By Michael Wheeler

Last night The Theatre Centre and Praxis Theatre held #CivilDebates 2: Arts Boards, examining the relationship between Arts Boards and Artistic Directors through debate of the resolution:

Be it resolved that Boards of Directors have the right and responsibility to overrule the Artistic Direction of a theatre company.

Arguing for the resolution was Theatre Centre General & Artistic Director Franco Boni and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Artistic Director Brendan Healy.

Jini Stolk Creative Trust Research Fellow at the Toronto Arts Foundation, and Gideon Arthurs, General Manager of the Tarragon Theatre, argued against.

Here’s some of the arguments that were put forth as summarized on twitter:

After the debate, there was a lot of continued discussion, as debaters and attendees hung out and continued conversations that could not be accommodated by the strict one minute, timed question-and-answer format that shaped the final section of the event.

We changed our voting format for #CivilDebates 2 Arts Boards:

Attendees were polled upon entering the debate as to their position on the resolution. The initial result was:

36 Yea – 10 Nay

After the debate, attendees also registered their position on the resolution as they left. The post-debate result was:

56 Yea – 9 Nay

What does this mean? First of all that some people don’t want to register an opinion if they are uncertain about a proposition. Also, there were more than 65 attendees, so some people don’t want to vote at all. Finally, it indicates that after hearing the debate and the discussion that followed afterwards, more people were swayed to vote in favour of the resolution.

Thanks to all who participated. It was a very *civil* event on what has been a contentious issue. Stay tuned for more info on Civil Debates 3: #IdleNoMore

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