The Man Who Runs Arts Council England Has Some Ideas About “Subsidy”

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Just compare us to Paris, Rome or even New York. The arts are cheap – 14 pence a week per taxpayer goes to the arts, a third of what the French spend. It’s a tiny sum of money.” But the subsidy is shrinking. “I don’t use the word ‘subsidy’. It’s a wet, tedious word. I use ‘investment’. ‘Subsidy’ sounds so passive.”

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The Court Battle That Could Change The Way Musicians Are Paid

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“The streaming service Pandora is squaring off against Ascap in a closely watched trial over royalty payments. Big music publishers like Sony/ATV and Universal are calling on the government to overhaul the system, and technology companies are accusing the publishers of trying to skirt federal rules meant to protect them.”

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Rethinking What We Expect From Musical Instruments

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“Digital audio gives us the opportunity to control any sound with a bunch of buttons floating beneath a glass screen, but it also offers the chance to create instruments that take new forms and inspire new types of performances, unbound by strings, sound holes, hammers or acoustics.”

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A New NEA Chief Is Great. But There’s A Bigger Problem…

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Philip Kennicott on arts in the Obama Administration: “Why has it neglected one of the fundamental tools it has for shaping attitudes to American culture? Why did President George W. Bush manage to use the NEA so effectively while Obama has manifested only indifference? Is this the sad reality of the technocratic mindset, that culture is secondary or tertiary, and not worth the bother?”

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Is Amazon Bad for Books? Not Just Publishers, But Books Themselves?

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George Packer: “Recently, Amazon even started creating its own ‘content’ … In the book business the prospect of a single owner of both the means of production and the modes of distribution is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history.”

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Amazon’s Secrecy Problem (And It Really Is a Problem)

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George Packer: “Perhaps a sector that monetizes information is more likely to become obsessed with protecting it than if the product were oil or cars. But even in this atmosphere, Amazon is reflexively, absurdly secretive … From Amazon’s point of view, there might be nothing to be gained from greater openness … But I would argue that a culture of secrecy is bound to end up harming the institution itself.”

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Actor Ralph Waite, 85

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He’s best remembered for his Emmy-winning portrayal as Pa Walton, but he continued to work frequently in television through last year and founded a theater company in Los Angeles.

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