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New Book Offers Guidance to Those in the Performing Arts on How to Use Technology to Achieve Success

Book cover for Raising the CurtainPeople who work in the performing arts seek to create programs that connect with audiences and communities. In this context, technology is continually changing how art is made and businesses are run. A new book provides guidance from nonprofit organizations and artists on how to harness technology to fuel success.

The book, Raising the Curtain: Technology Success Stories from Performing Arts Leaders and Artists, was written by Brett Ashley Crawford, a scholar at Carnegie Mellon University, and Paul Hansen, an arts consultant.

“Getting to opening night requires managing people, money, and materials,” says Crawford, associate teaching professor of arts management at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and the faculty chair of the arts management and entertainment industry management programs, jointly delivered with the College of Fine Arts. “Great art requires a great business model that includes using technology in smart ways.”

Worldwide, the performing arts are struggling to emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Audiences have not returned to pre-pandemic numbers, subscriptions are faltering, and donors are receding. Maintaining a digital ecosystem with a strategic selection of hardware and software is now more important than ever to ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in running an arts business.

Raising the Curtain is aimed at people who work in the performing arts, including arts administrators, board members, designers, and artists. Chapters address internal communication (e.g., memos, e-mail, Slack) and project management, marketing (e.g., using social media), fundraising, enhancing artistic productions, branding, touring, and diversity and accessibility. Throughout the volume, the authors describe available technological tools to help those in the art world bring their projects to fruition.

Readers can learn from individuals experienced in multiple facets of the performing arts, from set and costume designers to directors of marketing. Perspectives come from a range of disciplines, including jazz, symphony orchestras, choruses, contemporary dance, ballet, theater, and opera.

“We wrote our book to demystify technology and support performing arts organizations in their quest to find solutions to the problems they face, especially after the pandemic transformed our world,” explains Hansen.


Summarized from the book, Raising the Curtain: Technology Success Stories from Performing Arts Leaders and Artists by Crawford, BA (Carnegie Mellon University), and Hansen, P (consultant). Copyright 2024 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved..

About Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to two internationally recognized graduate-level institutions at Carnegie Mellon University: the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management. This unique colocation combined with its expertise in analytics set Heinz College apart in the areas of cybersecurity, health care, the future of work, smart cities, and arts & entertainment. In 2016, INFORMS named Heinz College the #1 academic program for Analytics Education. For more information, please visit