Social science is an important part of my work. Fandom studies, reception analysis and social psychological research are essential for un...

Fandom Culture and Historic Places: Exhibiting at the Mozarthaus

Social science is an important part of my work. Fandom studies, reception analysis and social psychological research are essential for understanding audiences of historical genres. Validating and acknowledging their role in preservation helps facilitate a lasting personal and social connection to the genre(s) and artist subject(s).

This includes creating opportunities for audiences to celebrate and express their passion publicly. I've done this for Mozart anniversaries utilizing social media (See: "The Efficacy of Social Media and the Mozart Anniversary") and also through exhibition at one of the extant historical places associated with Mozart's life: Mozarthaus Vienna.

To mark Mozart's 259th birthday on January 27, 2015, I realized a new celebratory idea through a collection of sentiments from fans around the world to create and present Mozart's first global birthday greeting at the Mozarthaus. Now a museum with a full schedule of concerts and lectures, it was the largest and most opulent apartment ever occupied by Mozart and it is the only one surviving today. He wrote Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) here among many other works during what are considered to be some of his happiest and most prolific years (1784-1787).

Submissions utilized various media, representing 15 countries and gifted individuals from children to professionals! I'm so grateful for the partnership and support of Nina Noehring at the Mozarthaus and my colleague Brigitte Pfisterer who helped make the initiative a success. I decided to repeat the activity again the following year in 2016 in honor of Le Nozze di Figaro's 230th anniversary (See: "Figaro Provides Pictorial Narrative on Mozart Reception"). I hope that I'll be able to create a similar opportunity in the near future, perhaps in Salzburg at Mozart's birthplace or residence through a partnership with the Mozarteum.

Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, UK, USA. These are the countries represented in my 2015 project. "The Mozartian Collective" (aka "The WolfGANG") demonstrates the power of community as a vehicle for preservation as well as the universality of music which is a light in our complex world. A quote from Dr. Max Bendiner comes to mind: "Music may achieve the highest of all missions: she may be a bond between nations, races, and states, who are strangers to one another in many ways; she may unite what is disunited, and bring peace to what is hostile."

Preservation isn't just about advocacy and preserving artifacts and buildings. It's about people. Without audiences, the past has no present or future, no potential, no sustainable path forward. It has no character or depth. That's what makes my approach to preservation unique from conventional preservation professionals who focus primarily on tangibles. Experiential design is key. Experiences reinforce and strengthen audience connectivity to the history and with each other. Shared experiences establish community, invaluable insight into human interest and a foundation of support from which the past can truly flourish.



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