Last weekend my art society had their AGM and, as we have done over the past couple of years, we discussed how to entice people to join and stay members, as well as where the past members have gone. It was pretty clear that the face of art groups and how they come together and interact and ultimately stay together, has changed. It hasn't happened overnight, it is part of the whole changing face of social interaction in society as a whole.
As we sat there all warm inside but listening to and watching the cold, wet, blustery, unpleasant day outside, we all agreed that to survive we have to really look outside our normal box of what to offer our members and then keep them.
I am the first to put up my hand as a student of online classes, and I love them. I've learned so many things that I would not have had the opportunity to learn purely because of these online classes, but I think you also need to factor in creative time, face to face interaction and connection into your schedule as well. In the end I think there is room for it all.
I'd be interested to know how many people now only do online classes, face to face classes or a mix of both.
I have met some wonderful people online, a lot that I will never have the opportunity to meet in person, but their words of wisdom, compassion, and friendship have a special place in my heart. We still have to have that personal contact though, it feeds our soul on a different level, and I'm all for feeding my soul what my soul needs, desires and wishes for.
In other words I want both. Is that greedy?
I call it being well rounded :)