Lively Arts 300

"Wir haben Kunst, um nicht an der Wahrheit zu vergehen." -- Friedrich Nietzsche


Lively Arts 300

November 10, 2023
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The term “lively arts” is often attributed to American writer and poet James Thurber. It was popularized in the mid-20th century as a way to describe various forms of performing arts, such as theater, dance, music, and other creative expressions.

Curtain for the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet


“What art is, in reality, is this missing link,  not the links which exist.

It’s not what you see that is art; art is the gap”

— Marcel Duchamp


Today we refresh our understanding of the literature that guides the safety and sustainability goals of lively art events in educational settlements.  Consortia have evolved quickly in recent years, leading and lagging changes in the content creation and delivery domain.  With this evolution a professional discipline has emerged that requires training and certification in the electrotechnologies that contribute to “event safety”; among them:


ASHRAE International

Standard 62.1: This standard establishes minimum ventilation rates and indoor air quality requirements for commercial buildings, including theaters and auditoriums.

Standard 55: This standard specifies thermal comfort conditions for occupants in indoor environments, which can have an impact on air quality.

Audio Engineering Society

Audio Visual and Experience Association

Entertainment Services and Technology Association

Event Safety Alliance

International Code Council

International Building Code: Section 303.2 Assembly Group A-1

Illumination Engineering Society

RP-16-17 Lighting for Theatrical Productions: This standard provides guidance on the design and implementation of lighting systems for theatrical productions. It includes information on the use of color, light direction, and light intensity to create different moods and effects.

RP-30-15 Recommended Practice for the Design of Theatres and Auditoriums: This standard provides guidance on the design of theaters and auditoriums, including lighting systems. It covers topics such as seating layout, stage design, and acoustics, as well as lighting design considerations.

DG-24-19 Design Guide for Color and Illumination: This guide provides information on the use of color in lighting design, including color temperature, color rendering, and color mixing. It is relevant to theater lighting design as well as other applications.

National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security

National Fire Protection Association

Life Safety Code

National Electrical Code

Articles 518-540: Arenas, Lecture Halls & Theaters

Society of Motion Picture Technology Engineers

Professional Lighting and Sound Association

Dance and Athletic Floor Product Standards: ASTM F2118, EN 14904, DIN 18032-2

Incumbent standards-setting organizations such as ASHRAE, ASTM, ICC, IEEE, NFPA have also discovered, integrated and promulgated event safety and sustainability concepts into their catalog of best practice titles; many already incorporated by reference into public safety law.   We explore relevant research on crowd management and spectator safety.

Planning and Managing Security for Major Special Events


“Art is anything you can get away with” — Marshall McLuhan



International Code Council (N.B. Changes to its Code Development Process) 

International Building Code: Entertainment Occupancies

Section 410: Stages, Platforms and Technical Production Areas

National Electrical Code: Articles 518 – 540 

Code-Making Panel 15 (NEC-P15): Public Input Report 10/1/2020

Code-Making Panel 15 (NEC-P15): Public Comment Report  11/18/2021

ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality

Princeton University: Set Design & Construction

Building the Virtual Stage: A System for Enabling Mixed Reality Theatre

University of California: Special Effects Safety and Loss Prevention

University of San Francisco Special Effects Safety

Dance Floors v. Sports Floors

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