ARTS BEAT NEWSLETTER - Last Week's Top Stories

Arts Journal Home Page
PublishingTheatreVisual ArtsArts IssuesPeople

SearchContact Us


Nov 19-24
Nov 11-18
Nov 4-10

Oct 28-Nov 3
Oct 21-27
Oct 15-20
Oct 7-14

Sept 30-Oct 6
Sept 23-29
Sept 16-22
Sept 9-15
Sept 3-8

Aug 26-Sept 2
Aug 19-25
Aug 12-18
Aug 5-11

July 29-Aug 4
July 22-28
July 15-21
July 8-14
July 1-7

June 24-30
June 17-23
June 10-16
June 3-9

May 27-June 2
May 20-26
May 13-19
May 6-12

April 29-May 5
April 22-28
April 15-21
April 8-14
April 1-7

March 25-31
March 18-24
March 11-17
March 4-10

Feb 25-Mar 3
Feb 18-24
Feb 11-17

Feb 4-10

Jan 28-Feb 3
Jan 21-27
Jan 14-20
Jan 7-13

2001 archives
2000 archives

News Service Home`Services
Digest Samples
Headline Samples








Week of  October 8-14, 2001

1. Special Interest
2. Dance
3. Media
4. Music
5. People
6. Publishing
7. Theatre
8. Visual Arts
9. Arts Issues
10 For Fun


HIGH ART OFTEN SPEECHLESS IN A CRISIS: "Although the artistic fruits of the recent national crisis and the current war have only begun to appear, the fine arts have not been particularly responsive to the major crises of American history." The enduring images of such times tend to be produced by non-artists whose work takes on artistic meaning after the fact. The New York Times 10/14/01 (one-time registration required for access)

SILENCING MUSIC'S POTENTIAL: Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have banned many things since coming to power five years ago. Some of the bans, like education for women and shaving for men, had an immediately visible impact. But when the hard-liners banned music, they may have taken away one of the most powerful forces for national unity. Music unites, as patriotic anthems the world over show. But can lack of music actually divide a people? The Guardian 10/13/01


MEN IN THE WORKPLACE: "American modern dance, a genre spawned and nurtured by women over the last century, has also produced a proliferation of extraordinary male dancers in the last decade. Wider public acceptance of men entering the dance field, the fostering of versatility among dancers and the accessibility to better training across America have produced discernible results. More men in contemporary dance have stronger techniques, dance with refined musicality and possess a more mature artistry than ever before." The New York Times 10/14/01 (one-time registration required for access)

NEW WRAPPER, SAME PRODUCT: "Across Britain, huge sums are being spent upgrading old dance centres and building smart new ones. [But] though these centres are undoubtedly good for modern architecture's health, whether they have any value in improving the quality of modern dance performance itself is a moot point." The Telegraph (UK) 10/09/01

BALLET + OPERA = CHALLENGE: Members of the Scottish Parliament "are set to challenge the controversial merger between Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera, after conducting an inquiry into the dance company's proposed change in artistic direction. The news will be welcomed by the ballet's 36 dancers who have threatened strike action over the proposed change." The Scotsman 10/09/01

WINNIPEG BALLET BACK IN THE RED: "The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is in the red after three years of financial surpluses. In the mid 1990's, it managed to clear a debt of $900,000. But at a meeting Wednesday evening, the company announced it lost almost $170,000 last season, leaving a new deficit of $158,000." CBC 10/12/01

A NEW DEFINITION OF 'SUCCESS': "Despite incurring a disastrous $459,626 deficit in their 2000-01 season, Alberta Ballet officials asserted that the past season was a success Friday at their annual general meeting." Calgary Herald 10/13/01

THE ODD COUPLE: Choreographer Twyla Tharp and rock-star-turned-classical-composer Billy Joel are collaborating on a show which likely will open on Broadway next year. One thing they might want to change is the name. "The Thoel Project" just doesn't trip lightly on the tongue. New York Post 10/10/01


IT'S NOT UNDERWRITING, IT'S ADVERTISING: "Federal regulators are leaning toward approving today a controversial proposal to allow public TV stations to sell advertising... Under the plan, the Federal Communications Commission would let PBS affiliates and other public TV stations show ads on data or subscription services they offer as they roll out digital TV." USAToday 10/10/01

ON-BASE EMMYS? "Television officials, looking for a new place to stage the twice-postponed Emmy awards, are considering moving the ceremony to a California military base. CBS and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are working on a plan for the ceremony to air before the end of the year, although details remain unsettled." New York Post 10/11/01

TIMES CHANGE. PEOPLE DON'T: The conventional wisdom suggested that "in this time of war, audiences would shy away from violent movies and seek out an uplifting story, sentimental nostalgia, or silly fluff." So what happened? The Michael Douglas "kidnap thriller Don't Say a Word... has now grossed $32 million. Denzel Washington had his best opening ever, to the tune of $22 million, as a corrupt, killer LAPD detective in Training Day." So Hollywood is adapting, and quickly. "What the audience wants, for better or worse, is what the audience gets." Boston Herald & MSNBC (Newsweek) 10/11/01

HOLLYWOOD'S DISASTER SCENARIO: The US government is consulting with real experts in terrorist scenarios - Hollywood action movie makers. "An ad hoc working group convened at the University of Southern California just last week at the behest of the U.S. Army. The goal was to brainstorm about possible terrorist targets and schemes in America and to offer solutions to those threats, in light of the aerial assaults on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center." Washington Post (Variety) 10/08/01

FOR NOW, BIG BROTHER IS A HERO: "For more than 30 years, a staple of popular culture in movies, books and television has been the depiction of the government as a hostile, corrupt, even evil force spinning elaborate conspiracies to manipulate and suppress Americans." Even before September 11, however, that was changing. And now it's definitely taboo as a premise. The New York Times 10/10/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE TROUBLE WITH TODAY'S FILM CRITICS: "In an age of critical bet-hedging, when an urge to spot the next trend, defend mediocre Hollywood product, go along with the critical consensus or appeal to one's audience/employer is the order of the day, few critics have the bite, the ferocity, the assurance of opinion and a willingness to offend." creativeloafing 10/11/01

CLASSICfM FACES LISTENER INPUT: "Classic fM – Britain’s most popular classical music broadcaster – is to set up an independent consumer panel to assess the radio station’s performance. The move is in response to the UK government’s proposed changes to broadcasting regulations, outlined in a communications ‘white paper’." Gramophone 10/12/01


TWO VIEWS OF TORONTO: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is on the verge of bankruptcy, and is asking its musicians to bear the brunt of the massive cuts to come. Some observers predict artistic doom for the TSO if such cuts come to pass, since lower salaries and fewer perks would drive yet more of Canada's top musicians south of the border to high-paying American bands. But others blame the unionized musicians for pushing the financial limits of Canadian orchestras far past what was reasonably possible with their contract demands. Toronto Star & National Post (Canada) 10/13/01

  • IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY: "The TSO is also divided from the city in which it lives, and becoming more so all the time... [It] has scarcely begun to react to changing demographic patterns in the city, where in the past decade 80 per cent of new immigrants came from countries with little or no tradition of European-style orchestral music. Capturing their interest is a long-term task, more likely to be served by education and outreach programs than by clever advertising." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 10/13/01

CALGARY LOCKOUT COULD BE A LONG ONE: No talks are scheduled in the lockout of the Calgary Philharmonic's 65 musicians, and both sides are digging in for a long and bitter fight. Management is worried about a potential cashflow crisis, while the picketing musicians are concerned that public support, currently on their side, could wane in the face of a long stoppage. Calgary Herald 10/13/01

KIROV SCRAMBLES TO GET DOWN UNDER: "Only the intervention of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has ensured that the highlight of the Melbourne Festival's $16 million program, St Petersburg's Kirov Opera, will arrive in time for the opening. The company was delayed by the first US bombings of Afghanistan early on Monday morning, Australian time, which forced the cancellation of the company's original flight only hours before it was due to leave." The Age (Melbourne) 10/11/01

MUSIC AND THE TALIBAN: "[W]hen Can You Stop the Birds Singing?, a report into the censorship of music in Afghanistan was published in June, there was little interest. The report's publishers, Freemuse, are a Danish-based human rights organisation dedicated to campaigning against music censorship. Now that Afghanistan and its brutal Taliban regime dominate the headlines, this report resonates even more loudly." The Daily Telegraph (UK) 10/11/01

NAPSTER JUDGE DECLINES TO END CASE: From the We're-All-Having-So-Much-Fun-Why-Stop-Now file: a California judge has refused to issue a summary judgment holding Napster liable for untold millions of dollars in copyright infringement. The record industry had sought the judgment, which would have effectively ended the case, but the judge ruled that "there was not yet enough evidence to justify the summary judgement." BBC 10/11/01

BOOSEY & HAWKES FACES TAKEOVER: Music publishers tend to be companies steeped in history and rich in tradition. England's Boosey & Hawkes is one of the most venerable, with 200 years of publishing under its belt. But B&H has been in financial trouble lately, and now faces a takeover bid from an unnamed company. BBC 10/08/01

AGE OF THE DIRECTOR: If singers were the stars of yesteryear opera, today "for better or worse, we have come to the age of the director. In many ways, the play has become the thing. Apart from three senior-citizen tenors, bigger-than-life singers aren't as big as they used to be. Divas have lost their cults. Hardly any larynges inspire box-office stampedes. Bona-fide individuality of timbre and interpretive approach are becoming rarities. The stars just don't shine all that brightly." Andante 10/06/01

THE EVOLVING ORCHESTRA: "The sound of a symphony orchestra is less traditional than most of us think. Even in the romantic period, conductor Phillipe Herreweghe says, instruments were evolving. Gut strings, as different from modern metal strings as a harpsichord is from a piano, were not superseded until about 1920. The antique woodwinds are softer. A modern orchestra is, he says, at least twice as loud as its turn-of-the-century counterpart. Styles of playing have changed even more. A Wagner opera lasted an hour less in his time than now. But the whole spirit, even of Debussy, has changed." The Age (Melbourne) 10/08/01

BRINGING DEMOCRACY TO NEW MUSIC: John McLaren's 'Masterprize' competition is a unique beast in the normally predictable world of classical music. Composers from all over the world are invited to compete for a large cash prize, with finalists' works to be performed by one of the world's finest orchestras. But unlike most such competitions, the winner will be determined by a unique mix of votes from celebrities, orchestra members, and members of the global listening public. The Times (UK) 10/09/01

JAZZ IN THE HOLY LAND: There are few, if any, hot spots in the world facing more daily tension than Israel. Ethnic violence, religious fervor, and constant political infighting make casual entertainment a tough sell. But the efforts of one man have made jazz an indispensible part of life for many local enthusiasts, and the music has even begun to help bridge the considerable gap between Arab and Israeli musicians. CultureKiosque 10/09/01

LEBRECHT HAMMERS FEARFUL MUSICIANS: In the wake of the September 11 attacks, countless performers have had to decide whether to carry on with scheduled international tours. In general, orchestras that were already close to their departure dates have pressed on, while those with tours farther on in an uncertain future have begun to cancel in the face of government travel warnings. Few have faulted them for their caution, but critic Norman Lebrecht finds such cancellations cowardly. The Daily Telegraph (UK) 10/10/01


MADRID OPERA HERO DIES: "Conductor Luis Antonio Garcia Navarro, credited with reviving Madrid's opera house after its 1997 reinauguration and bringing it international fame, has died. He was 60." Nando Times (AP) 10/11/01

COMING TO TERMS WITH AN OLD FRIEND/ENEMY: Think of Ödön von Horváth as Germany's answer to Garrison Keillor - a much-beloved writer and teller of tales about his hometown that make locals distinctly uncomfortable. But unlike Keillor's fictional town of Lake Wobegon, Horváth's Murnau really does exist, and his airing of the burg's dirty laundry for his own literary gain has not sat well with the natives. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/11/01

IMMODEST, MAYBE, BUT STILL NOBEL: This year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, V.S. Naipaul, is nothing if not aware of his own accomplishments. He claims, among other things, to have helped bring India into modern times through his writing, and to have helped "educate" the country's population. Not everyone appreciated the help: "The trouble with people like me writing about societies where there is no intellectual life is that if you write about it, people are angry." BBC 10/12/01

DSO VIOLINIST HAS REUNION ON TOUR: "When the Detroit Symphony Orchestra arrived in Nuremberg, Germany, on Tuesday, violinist Marian Tanau added another link to the chain of his remarkable destiny. Waiting for him was Joseph Muller, a Romanian-born German national, who in 1989 risked his career to help Tanau, then 22, defect from Romania." Detroit Free Press 10/11/01

NEW CHIEF FOR SF OPERA CENTER: "American soprano Sheri Greenawald has been appointed as the new director of the San Francisco Opera Center in California... Greenawald’s appointment is the latest in a series of management changes wrought by Pamela Rosenberg, who recently took over as general director of San Francisco Opera from Lofti Mansouri." Gramophone 10/09/01


NAIPAUL WINS NOBEL IN LITERATURE: "The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2001 is awarded to the British writer, born in Trinidad, V.S. Naipaul 'for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories'. V.S. Naipaul is a literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice." Nobel Institute (Sweden) 10/11/01

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NOMINEES: The two most widely (some might say flagrantly) publicized books of the past year were Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections, and David McCullough's literary biography John Adams. Nominees for the National Book Awards have been announced; Franzen made the list, McCullough didn't. The National Book Foundation has its own website, listing all nominees in all categories. Nando Times 10/11/01

MAYBE IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASY: James Joyce's Ulysses may be the best and surely is one of the most complex novels of the twentieth century. Four years ago Macmillan published a new edition, inserting material from the author's unused manuscript material to produce an easier-to-read version. Now the trustees of the Joyce estate are suing for copyright infringement because the Macmillan edition "altered some of the author's original punctuation, spelling and name places." The Guardian (UK) 10/10/01

A NEW GOLDEN AGE OF PHILOSOPHY? If the Frankfurt Book Fair is any indication, Europe is about to be hit with a wave of high-minded philosophy tomes and arts books that address the more abstract, existential elements of art. Such books had fallen out of fashion for a time, but publishers apparently think the public is ready to embrace them again. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/10/01

LANGUAGE BARRIER: One of the greatest challenges confronting European publishers is successfully translating foreign books into the local language without losing any of the style, meaning, or minutiae of the original. A mediocre translation can mean the difference between a success and a failure on the market, and many publishers are loath to take the risk. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/12/01

CHASING THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN NOVEL: Once upon a time, Australian writers loved to tackle big, global ideas and wide-ranging philosophical subtexts in their work. But these days, it seems that every new novel to hit the bestseller list is narrowly focused, specifically targeted, and just so gosh-darned local. Whatever happened to collective experience? Sydney Morning Herald 10/13/01

SOME E-BOOKS MAKE MONEY: Prize money, that is. Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh won the $50,000 Grand Prize for Fiction, and American journalist Steven Levy won the Grand Prize for non-fiction at the Frankfurt Book Fair. To be eligible for the competition, "entrants must include technical enhancements that distinguish the ebook from its printed version." The Guardian (UK) 11/12/01

TAKING ON THE BIG BOYS: In Germany, small and medium-sized presses struggle daily against the larger corporate publishing houses to maintain their small share of the market. But "[u]nlike the United States, where 80 percent of the publishing industry is dominated by just five companies, more than 90 percent of the roughly 2,000 German book publishers remain independent." In fact, in the battle between the many Davids and the few Goliaths, the little guys have been winning more than they're losing. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/09/01

THE POEM, THE TEMPLE, THE PEOPLE: The temple at Angkor Wat incorporates a poem which has never been translated into English, and never before been the subject of academic study. Now it is being studied, and translated; it's expected to reveal much about the history and culture of the Khmer people, going back to the twelfth century. Humanities (NEH) October 01

WRITERLY ATTACK: B.R. Myers provoked the biggest literary debate of the year this summer when he wrote in The Atlantic that much of contemporary fiction was not worthy of attention, then attacked critics and the literary establishment for maintaining the status quo. The counterattacks came predictably, but the most bizarre might have been by Judith Shulevitz in The New York Times... Mobylives 10/07/01

TODAY'S LIT GOING CRIT? Is contemporary literature doomed to be forgotten? "Philip Roth . . . said this: Literature 'will probably more or less disappear except in a cultic way over the next 25 years. . . . The screen did it, didn't it? . . . The human mind prefers the screen to the page. There's nothing we can do about it.' Then Naipaul was quoted in the Guardian of London this month as saying this: 'Nearly everything written in the last century will crumble away to dust - all the novels. In every novel written now, there's an element of mimicry.' " Washington Post 10/08/01


TRACING THREE DECADES OF BRITISH THEATER: Michael Billington has been the theater critic at London's Guardian newspaper for thirty years now, and he has watched the business evolve in countless ways. Where plays were once dominant, musicals are now the backbone of the industry. Superstar composers and directors have come to wield remarkable power. But "the first, and most striking, fact is that the basic structure of British theatre has more or less survived." The Guardian (UK) 10/10/01

GUTHRIE LIKELY TO BE RAZED: Minneapolis's historic Guthrie Theater, America's first 'regional' theater company, is preparing to build a gleaming new base of operations on the banks of the Mississippi River. But a great battle has broken out over what to do with the old building, which adjoins the famous Walker Art Center. Preservationists and theatre fans want it to stay; the Walker wants to tear it down in order to expand its sculpture garden. So far, the Walker is winning. Minneapolis Star Tribune 10/09/01

LO, HOW A ROSE E'ER BLOOMING: "The discovery that the remains of Shakespeare's Rose Theatre are in a reasonable condition has led to calls for more to be spent on excavating the site... It is the only Elizabethan theatre left in the world of which there are substantial remains." BBC 10/14/01

SOME OFF-BROADWAY LOOKING BETTER: Three long-running off-Broadway successes were, like most other shows, hit hard by the September 11 attacks. Still, three of them are bouncing back: Blue Man Group, Stomp, and De La Guarda. It may be no coincidence that all three and "high-energy, textless performances that require no English — or any other language for that matter — to enjoy." The New York Times 10/12/01 (one-time registration required for access)


BRITISH MUSEUM WOES: "Britain's most famous museum has fallen victim to the ambiguous benefits of lottery capital grants, which allow expansion, but do not fund the running costs. Donors like to be associated with excellence, so perhaps it is not surprising that the British Museum managed to raise the money for the Great Court. But it is harder to raise money for running costs. Thus the museum found itself with a building it can no longer afford to run." The Independent (UK) 10/07/01

THE GREAT DIRECTOR SEARCH: The National Museum of Scotland has been looking for a new director for eight months. It's a prestigious post but not much progress has been made in the search. "Insiders say they are deeply concerned at the length of time the process is taking and are worried about the future direction of the museums without a permanent director at the helm." Scotland on Sunday 10/07/01

MUSEUM ATTENDANCE WORRIES: Museum attendance in the US is down after September 11, in some cases dramatically down. "Some museums are beginning to rebound, but many smaller ones in lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center site had to close their doors for several weeks and may need years to recover, administrators say. Museums also expect that donors will divert contributions from cultural institutions to relief efforts. And as they survey the damage the museums are struggling to come up with ways to recoup." The New York Times 10/08/01 (one-time registration required for access)

PARIS MUSEUMS CLOSED BY STRIKE: Several museums and tourist attractions in Paris have been shut down by striking workers, who are protesting a cut in their workweek. The Orsay Museum and the Arc de Triomphe were closed all day, while "the Louvre opened its doors only in mid-afternoon [Thursday], a day after workers let all visitors in for free as part of the protest." New Jersey Online(AP) 10/11/01

THE NEW WINGED MUSEUM IN MILWAUKEE: Sunday is the official opening of wing-like steel sunshade which crowns the new addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The whole project came in at around $100 million, and was the first US job by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It may come to define the city. If nothing else, it's quadrupled attendance at the museum this year. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 10/12/01

V&A'S NEW MAN SPEAKS: The Victoria & Albert Museum in London got a new director a few months back. Not that you would have noticed, since Mark Jones likes to keep a low profile. But his tastes and preferences for the future of the V&A are gradually becoming known. "Mr Jones emerges as a an enthusiast for the proposed extension by Daniel Libeskind known as the Spiral, which has been hanging fire since 1995 for lack of funding. He is also embarking on yet another major internal reorganisation." The Art Newspaper 10/09/01

LOOKING FOR THE EXCITING YOUNG ARCHITECTS: What is it about America that it refuses to entrust important building projects to promising young architects? Many European countries provide subsidies and professional courtesies to the younger set, and the architecture in these countries is more adventurous and wide-ranging as a result. In the U.S., however, architects are practically geriatric before they even begin to get called for high-profile jobs. Boston Globe 10/14/01

REMBRANDT'S WOMEN: "Rembrandt's treatment of women - in paint, not in the flesh, though that seems to have been dismal enough - sharply divided his contemporaries. The debate proves that there is nothing contemporary about the argument over body fascism and the cult of the anorexic model." A new U.K. exhibition attempts to make sense of the arguments on all sides. The Guardian (UK) 10/09/01

NEW HEADACHES FOR TRAVELING SHOWS: While dealers and collectors consider the impact terrorism will have on art prices, exhibitors face one clear-cut fact: It will be increasingly difficult and expensive to organize traveling exhibitions. Owners will be reluctant to loan their works, and handling, guarding, shipping, and insuring art will all be more complex, time-consuming, and costly. The Art Newspaper 10/09/01

SERRANO COMES TO BRITAIN: The man whose art helped cause one of America's most notorious political dogfights, Andres Serrano, is being exhibited in London this month, and critics there are showing no mercy. Free speech advocates in the U.S. championed Serrano's photography when Congressional leaders used it as fodder for their crusade against public arts funding, but in the opinions of several U.K. writers, "he is a third-rate artist, a man who has nothing interesting, important or original to say about the subjects he treats." The Daily Telegraph (UK) 10/10/01

BRING ON THE NUDES: Conventional wisdom has long held that Victorian-era Britons were, and there's no nice way to put this, fairly prudish. Downright puritanical, in fact. Well, guess again: "As a new exhibition at Tate Britain will demonstrate, the Victorian era was one in which representations of the naked human form were highly visible, endlessly reproduced, widely circulated and eagerly consumed." The Daily Telegraph (UK) 10/13/01

KLIMT DRAWINGS UP FOR GRABS: "The art auction world's favourite fairy tale is the stranger who walks in off the street with an unknown masterpiece tucked under his arm. It has happened at Christie's: the stranger was carrying a portfolio of 17 drawings by Gustav Klimt, never seen by anyone except the artist and the stranger's grandfather who had purchased them." The collection will be auctioned this week. The Guardian (UK) 10/10/01

TRYING TO SAVE A CULTURAL HERITAGE: The position of Afghanistan's Taliban rulers on the place of art in their society was made abundantly clear earlier this year with the destruction by rocket launcher of the giant Bamiyan Buddhas carved into an Afghan mountainside. As most of the world watched helpless, one man actually tried to buy the Buddhas from the Taliban in an effort to preserve them. His bid failed, but Ikuo Hirayama remains one of the world's foremost advocates for Asian culture and art. The Art Newspaper 10/08/01

NEW HEAD OF SCOTLAND MUSEUMS: Dr. Gordon Rintoul, who was chief executive of Sheffield Galleries, has been appointed as the new director of the National Museums of Scotland, effective February 2002. He succeeds Mark Jones, who left for the Victoria and Albert in London. The Herald (Scotland) 10/11/01


LINCOLN CENTER SQUABBLE: A dangerous game of politics is being played at New York's famous performing arts complex, and the future of a massive $1 billion redevelopment project is at stake. Sorting out exactly who among the center's many resident organizations wants what is difficult, but it is safe to say that no one is backing down without a fight. The New York Times 10/11/01 (one-time registration required for access)

SETTING PRECEDENT, OR JUST MUDDYING THE WATERS? "Finding the intersection between decades-old copyright law and where it applies in the digital world remains far off the map in the wake of a critical Supreme Court decision on Tuesday." Wired 10/10/01

ARTS AS AN ECONOMIC PLUS: The conventional wisdom in the U.S. has always been that the arts, while important, are fated to be a fiscal drag on society. But in Massachusetts, a mayor is on a crusade to show the world that public investment in the arts can be "an economic engine" for the community, and he's got the numbers to prove it. Boston Globe 10/11/01

LEGACY OF A DYING TONGUE: A culture has no more basic manifestation than its language. More than simply a method of communication, language tells us an astonishing amount about the priorities, the relative prosperity, and the values of the people who speak it. So what is lost when a language dies out? It's happening right now to a native American tongue called Dakota. City Pages (Minneapolis/St. Paul) 10/10/01

SUPREMES SAY YOU GOTTA PAY: "In the second computer-age victory this year for free-lance journalists who contend they were cheated by big media companies, the Supreme Court turned down an appeal Tuesday from National Geographic over reprinted photos. The court, without comment, refused to take up a lower court ruling that the magazine should have paid free-lance photographers for pictures compiled on a compact disc." Wired 10/09/01

EXPORTING CULTURE: Germany's Goethe Institute, founded half a century ago to promote German art and culture around the world, is finding that the parameters of its mission are changing. "[W]e now live in the age of globalization, and those who continue to export culture as the extended arm of foreign policy, as a kind of minesweeping project for intercultural gaffes, make themselves redundant in the long run." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/09/01

CAPITAL CULTURE SWEEPSTAKES: British cities are scrambling for a chance to be named Europe's "Capital of Culture" in 2008. Why? "The initiative helped transform Glasgow from a declining manufacturing city to a centre for tourism and conferences. Glasgow is now the third most visited city in Britain behind London and Edinburgh." Still, since Glasgow held the honour in 1990, "the scheme has descended into confusion." The Guardian (UK) 10/05/01

UK ARTS FUNDING CRUNCH: "With the economic tide turning, the arguments for maintaining current levels of public spending on the arts - £37.5m a year - will be harder to make. The Arts Council has prepared for this eventuality, amassing vast quantities of data intended to show how greater efficiencies are being achieved, and how spending is being targeted more precisely. The problem is that while the council's flow charts may confirm greater efficiencies, the basic assumptions on which its spending is predicated are flawed." Sunday Times (UK) 10/07/01

DIFFICULT SPONSORSHIP: Corporate sponsorship of the arts may be tougher to come by due to the war. "Leaner times ahead had been signalled well before September 11 and sponsorship, especially from corporate donors, was already harder to find. The terrorists attacks have hastened that decline. So far the signs are mixed." Sunday Times (UK) 10/07/01


ONLY IN NEW YORK: A strolling violinist in a gold loincloth and very little else would cause the denizens of most cities to call the police, or at least cross the street. But in New York, such a man can become a minor celebrity, especially when he gains a reputation as the most talented street musician in the city. "In his soloperas, Thoth, a classically trained musician, is the composer, orchestra, singers and dancers. His music has elements of classical, overlayed with primal rhythms, but it defies categorization." New York Post 10/14/01