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The Next Normal 2.0: Flexibility is the Future

The Next Normal 2.0: Flexibility is the Future

More than 1,300 participants attended Peabody Institute's February symposium, The Next Normal: Arts Innovation and Resilience in a Post-COVID World, and one of the themes that developed was the urgent need to build performing arts institutions that are more flexible and adaptable structurally and programmatically, responsive to communities, and open to evolving ways of making art.

This free, virtual follow-up event will spotlight the real-life stories of innovative artists and administrators presenting their real-world experience. A response panel will facilitate discussion and Q&A around the following thematic questions:

  • How might we address the barriers that impede institutional adaptability, nimbleness, innovation, and sustainability in the performing arts today?
  • What kind of structural changes in our business and operating models can we imagine to enable institutions to respond to the needs of their communities in real-time?
  • How can the institutions that train performing artists today instill the values of flexibility and responsiveness as central to the mindset and skillset of future artists and leaders?


  • Brad Balliett, co-Artistic Director, Decoda, and bassoon faculty, The Peabody Conservatory
  • Alan Brown, Principal, WolfBrown Consultants
  • Jake Heggie, composer and pianist
  • Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
  • Wendel Patrick, music producer, and assistant professor in Music Engineering & Technology, The Peabody Conservatory
  • Krishna Thiagarajan, President and CEO, Seattle Symphony
  • Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founding Artistic Director/Chief Visioning Partner, Urban Bush Women


  • Marin Alsop, Chief Conductor, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Chief Conductor and Curator, Ravinia Festival; Director of Graduate Conducting, The Peabody Conservatory
  • Sean Jones, Professor of Trumpet and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies, The Peabody Conservatory
  • Howard Herring, President and CEO, New World Symphony
  • Richard Kessler, Executive Dean, College of Performing Arts and Dean, Mannes School of Music
  • Alysia Lee, Fine Arts Education Program Supervisor, Maryland State Department of Education, and Founder and Artistic Director, Sister Cities Girlchoir; Professional Studies Faculty, The Peabody Conservatory
  • Timothy O’Leary, General Director, Washington National Opera
  • Alan Pierson, Artistic Director, Alarm Will Sound
  • Paola Prestini, composer, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, National Sawdust
  • Susan Zhang, Co-Director, The Concert Truck

MODERATOR: Fred Bronstein, Dean, The Peabody Institute

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Event Contact

Michele Scherch

Event Details

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 10:00 AM – 4:15 PM

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