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Week of  October 22-28, 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


THE END OF PRIME TIME? American TV networks are getting out of the big-budget big-show must-watch prime time TV production. "This week, Fox, the fourth-largest network, shut down its entire in-house production division. And the other three networks all announced major cuts and layoffs. ABC, for one, says it will cut the number of shows it develops by 25 to 40 per cent. Prime-time TV no longer interests them. This is, in part, because the big shows are no longer very profitable - the huge star salaries and development costs have outstripped the advertising revenues." Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/27/01

HOW EUROPE RULED THE WORLD: Why did Europe come to dominate world civilization? "Why did a relatively small and backward periphery on the western fringes of the Eurasian continent burst onto the world scene in the sixteenth century and by the nineteenth century become a dominant force in almost all corners of the earth? Until recently, two responses have dominated..." Lingua Franca 11/01

MUSIC SINCE 2001? For several decades, contemporary music has been defined as 'music since 1945.' The end of World War II marked the beginning of an era of experimentation and innovation that simultaneously expanded the way we think of tonality and drove large portions of the audience away from the concert hall. With September 11 an obvious new benchmark in the arts, what will be next? "New music is not going to be less ironic; classical was never very good at irony to begin with. It may be even more sincere. But it will surely seek out meaning more than it has in years." Philadelphia Inquirer 10/23/01


MODERN TAKE ON BALLET: William Forsyth established his reputation as a modern choreographer. But now he's taking on ballet: "A lot of institutions are conservative and frightened. They think they have to protect ballet because it is so delicate. It's actually very robust. It needs to be tested, not coddled. The mistake of balletic modernity was to avoid bravura. I think you should aim for bravura. If you can dance the shit out of something, that is what you should do." Financial Times 10/27/01

THE NATIONAL AT 50: The National Ballet of Canada is 50 years old. The company is coming out of a severe mid-life crisis after the Kimberly Glasco affair, but its books are balanced and director James Kudelka seems to have a strong direction. Toronto Star 10/27/01

  • REPUTATION REBUILD: Is the National a good regional company or one that deserves an international reputation? It's always had first-rank dancers, but money constraints have kept the company from touring and establishing its reputation. Toronto Star 10/27/01

THE ROYAL'S NEW ERA: Ross Stretton's tenure as director of London's Royal Ballet officially begins. Already there has been some controversy as a star dancer quits the company. Stretton says he wants to make a more welcoming place for choreographers, but warns there will be some turnover in the company's ranks next year. The Telegraph (UK) 10/23/01

  • DANCERS ON STRETTON: Of course there are differences. Ross is a very young man, very active. He teaches class, he coaches, he is in rehearsals. Hes there all the time and you feel his presence constantly. He spends more hours here than we do. And hes very easy to talk to, hes very approachable. The Times (UK) 10/23/01

SO MUCH FOR PRIVILEGED ARTISTS: The Bolshoi's Maya Plisetskaya was one of the great ballerinas of the 20th Century. "The humiliations she and other artists endured at the hands of government handlers and arts bureaucrats challenge popular notions of the privileged lives of Soviet artists. Always forced to beg to travel, to prepare new works, to be paid fairly Plisetskaya and her colleagues more closely resembled Russian serf artists of the 18th century than cultural workers in a modern socialist state." The New York Times 10/23/01 (one-time registration required for access)


DIVERSITY IN MONOPOLY? The consolidation of media outlets into a few giant companies the past decade has been breathtaking. But while the chairman of the FCC concedes "there is 'rightful anxiety' about concentration of media ownership, he stressed that rules curtailing entertainment giants are outdated and the government must be shown strong justification to maintain them. Given the proliferation of channels, he added, television and media are 'more diverse in 2001 than at any time in their history'." Los Angeles Times 10/24/01

WHY CANADIAN TV DOESN'T WORK: This week's awards show for Canadian television isn't likely to be watched by many Canadians. Canadian TV has difficulty competing with American. "Most Canadian TV, with the exception of news and sports, is a money-losing proposition. That's because a domestic drama series costs a network about $200,000 an episode while earning maybe $125,000 in ads. That's an automatic loss of $75,000. Meanwhile, a typical U.S. series costs some $80,000 an episode while generating $200,000 in ads - for a cool $120,000 profit per hour." Toronto Star 10/28/01

  • SUBSIDIZING AMERICAN CONSUMPTION? Are "Canada's private TV networks are using tax-funded subsidies to help finance a program buying spree in Hollywood?" A new report says the networks are lessening their commitments to Canadian programming in favor of American shows. National Post (Canada) 10/24/01

THE MATTER WITH HARRY? A documentary film maker charges that the Harry Potter movie (and books) are anti-Christian and that "under the guise of harmless children's fantasy literature, a massive effort to draw children around the world to the occult threatens to undermine Christianity." New Times Los Angeles 10/18/01


BSO GETS LEVINE: The Boston Symphony has hired Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine as the BSO's new music director, replacing Seiji Ozawa. "The long-rumored development will give Mr. Levine control of his own symphony orchestra and an exalted musical pulpit that he has long sought, associates said." The appointment begins in 2004. New York Times 10/27/01 (one-time registration required for access)

  • MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY: "Levine, 58, has been the clear first choice of the orchestra, the board, and the search committee from the beginning. Securing him would represent a major coup for the BSO because he is on the short list of the world's most important conductors." Boston Globe 10/27/01
  • WHO WINS? The Met might see a lessening of Levine's attentions, but "most music professionals expect only benefit for the Boston Symphony, the more so because the orchestra will be coming off a two-year interregnum after Mr. Ozawa leaves for the Vienna State Opera next summer. The Boston Symphony's playing has been uneven over the last decade, and Mr. Levine is considered a superb orchestra builder, largely on the strength of his accomplishments at the Met." New York Times 10/28/01 (one-time registration required for access)

SHOWDOWN IN TORONTO: Toronto Symphony musicians are to vote Friday on whether they'll accept a 23 percent cut in salary. "If they refuse, they're being told, the TSO could be history by this time next week." But why does the orchestra seem so quiet? Observers are left with plenty of questions about what the orchestra could or couldn't do to rescue itself... Toronto Star 10/24/01

  • NOTHING NEW ABOUT TSO CRISIS: Canadian orchestras have been in trouble for a long time, ever since politics trumped support for the arts in the mid-80s. "Since then, watching orchestras go through near-death experiences has become a national spectator sport: Symphony Nova Scotia, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony and the orchestras in the Ontario cities of London, Thunder Bay and Hamilton have all approached or actually declared bankruptcy over the last decade." Andante 10/25/01
  • LAST MINUTE DEAL TO SAVE TSO: Facing almost immediate bankruptcy, the Toronto Symphony made an agreement with its players Friday on a rescue plan. "The agreement which includes a 15 per cent pay cut for musicians and a shortened season asks Toronto Symphony Foundation trustees 'to immediately release $10 million to eliminate the deficit of the TSO and provide operating funding while other fundraising efforts are organized'." Toronto Star (CP) 10/27/01

HAS THE ORCHESTRA RUN ITS COURSE? There has never been a shortage of pundits ready to declare at a moment's notice that the masses are heathens, musicians are greedy, and classical music is dying. Such rants are frequently disproved by the facts, and usually have little actual effect. But the financial crises being experienced by several North American orchestras begs a more specific question: is the symphony orchestra, a 19th-century creation, out of place in the 21st? In other words, has the world of art music begun to move away from the symphonic form, and what will become of the large ensemble if the trend continues? National Post (Canada) 10/23/01

SAVING THE ORCHESTRA: With several major symphony orchestras in precarious condition, the industry ponders its survival. "Belatedly realizing that American culture has changed faster than they have, the country's major orchestras are contemplating in what form they might endure. The more pressing question: Are they changing quickly enough and intelligently enough to attract the new audiences and fresh sources of funding they need? The answer, according to those who work on the front lines of classical music, will depend on whether these profoundly conservative institutions can reinvent themselves for a radically changing world." Chicago Tribune 10/28/01

PATRIOT GAMES: What's at the top of this week's American pop charts? Why (Canadian) Celine Dion's emotive rendition of God Bless America, of course. "The album sold 180,984 copies in its first week to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's top 200 album charts. And it's not the only patriotic hit on the charts. The re-release of Whitney Houston's Star-Spangled Banner is a best-selling single, and Lee Greenwood's American Patriot album sales have surged based on the popularity of his 17-year-old hit, God Bless the U.S.A. Nando Times 10/25/01

NIMBUS NO MORE: "Nimbus the UK independent classical label and distributor has gone into receivership, the company confirmed yesterday... The collapse of one of Britain's most stalwart classical companies comes during a period of increasing difficulty for the UK record business, a period marked by retrenchment and restructurings." Gramophone 10/24/01

ORCHESTRA CRISIS: In St. Louis, Toronto, San Jose and Chicago, symphony orchestras are on the ropes. The first three orchestras could be out of business within the season (Toronto as soon as next week) and the financial prospects are bleak. The New York Times 10/25/01 (one-time registration required for access)

OPERA BY PIANOLIGHT: Dallas Opera musicians have decided to strike. So the company decided Wednesday night to go ahead with its season anyway. "In an extraordinary move, the company decided to perform Verdi's Simon Boccanegra with only a piano accompaniment starting Nov. 3 after negotiations with striking musicians broke down." Dallas Morning News 10/25/01

UNION WOES: After a year of infighting, the old guard establishment of the British Musicians Union managed to edge out the reform-minded leader that the musicians elected last year. But does anyone care about the musicians union anymore? "Seen from the outside, all this looks like the dancing of dinosaurs to an antedeluvian tune. The MU seems unaware that unions are no longer meant to be run by intimidatory hierarchies. Musicians are mostly too busy to notice." The Telegraph (UK) 10/24/01

RESISTING MUSICAL SOCIALISM: Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra is successful at the box office (no small feat these days). But its commitment to Canadian music is shabby. Music director Pinchas Zukerman has "missed no opportunity to broadcast his indifference to Canadian music in general, and to the expectation that the director of an orchestra that receives roughly half of its $11-million budget from the federal government should support music created in this country. 'I don't care where it's from. You have to be careful with national socialism. It's not good for anybody." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/24/01

NEXT ON SPRINGER: Improbable as it might seem to some, the opera based on Jerry Springer has become a big underground hit it London. "The production has become so popular in Britain that there are discussions for the opera to move to a larger venue in London's hoity-toity West End" and a possible move to the US is possible. Chicago Tribune 10/23/01

UNDERSTANDING SHOSTAKOVICH: "When he was alive, Shostakovich was paraded, with what seemed to be varying degrees of willingness on his part, as the Soviet Union's greatest composer. As a result, although he was much admired, he was also widely seen in the west as a compromised genius." Since his death 25 years ago, he's been seen as a much more complicated figure. Now some of his few letters have been published for the first time in English...The Guardian (UK) 10/26/01

LITTON TO NORWAY: Andrew Litton is one of the few American conductors leading a major American orchestra, and his reputation as a "musicians' maestro" has stood him in good stead in appearances both in the U.S. and abroad. Now, Litton, music director of the Dallas Symphony, has been handed the reins of Norway's Bergen Symphony, one of Europe's oldest orchestras. Gramophone 10/22/01

MUSIC APPETITE: Which country's consumers buys more recordings than any other? Try Norway. And the fewest? Brazil, which buys 1/20th of what Norwegians do. Here's a chart that shows how countries stack up. The Economist 10/19/01


THEROUX: UNDERSTANDING NAIPAUL: "About a month ago, without any noticeable provocation, VS Naipaul attacked the work and reputations of EM Forster, James Joyce, Dickens, Stendhal, JM Keynes, Wole Soyinka and the recently deceased RK Narayan. We who know Naipaul understand that gratuitous outbursts such as this nearly always precede the appearance of a Naipaul work. In spirit it is like a boxers frenzy of boasting and threats before an important match. The fact is that, even though I have suggested that Naipaul is a sourpuss, a cheapskate and a blamer, I have the highest regard for his work." Daily Mail & Guardian (South Africa) 10/24/01

HOWARD FINSTER, 84: One of the most well-known outsider artists has died. "Finster was considered a pioneer among self-taught artists, advancing the 'outsider' movement with his unique personality, unflagging salesmanship and resolute work ethic. For more than three decades, he traveled Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee preaching at tent revivals and supplementing his income with odd jobs, including plumbing and bicycle repair." MSNBC (AP) 10/23/01

ARTISTS WIN GENIUS AWARDS: The MacArthur Foundation has announced the recipients of this year's "Genius" awards. Among them, English pianist Stephen Hough; he'll get $500,000. BBC 10/24/01

PROMINENT COLLECTOR DIES: "Daniel Wildenstein, one of the world's leading art dealers and collectors whose family owns two prestigious Manhattan galleries, has died, the Wildenstein Institute said Thursday. He was 84." Washington Post (AP) 10/25/01


PISSING OFF OPRAH: Jonathan Franzen's new book The Corrections is the most-hyped publishing project of the year. Among the stars aligning right for it was Oprah's decision to make it an Oprah Book Club selection. But then Franzen dissed O and her fans not once, but twice in the media. So Oprah withdrew the choice and Franzen's scrambled to apologize. Too late. "One can only wonder why Franzen went after her, and not once but twice, and in such ugly fashion. All she offered Franzen was a significantly increased readership. What's to not like? " Mobylives 10/24/01

  • ALL ABOUT THE STICKER: "Franzen didn't go so far as to reject Oprah per se. The essence of his complaint, as he cast it, was that the label signified not simply Oprah's endorsement of the book, but the book's endorsement of Oprah. Franzen seems to want us to believe that his anti-establishment sensibilities have been trampled." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 10/25/01

BILLYBALL: When Billy Collins was named America's new poet laureate earlier this year, critics couldn't help but note that he was one of the few poets who actually makes decent money at his craft. "All of this man-bites-dog astonishment condescends to poetry, where such small sums count as fortunes. Yet the very existence of a 'popular poet' is reassuring for an art seemingly doomed to ivory-tower irrelevance." So what is so appealing about Collins' work that makes him stand out? The New Republic 10/23/01

  • ANTHRAX SCARE POSTPONES POET: New American poet laureate Billy Collins "was to have read from his poetry Thursday night at the Library of Congress, one of the main duties of the poet laureate. The reading was canceled because of tests of the library buildings for anthrax and was tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 6." Nando Times (AP) 10/25/01
HAS THE LITERARY SCENE CHANGED IN 20 YEARS? Let's see. Twenty years ago "Philip Roth was happily living with Claire Bloom. Salman Rushdie was just a mild-mannered lapsed Muslim with one novel under his belt. Allen Ginsberg was still alive and wandering the East Village. Zadie Smith turned five." Yep, things have changed. Village Voice Literary Supplement October 2001

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SHORT LIST: Canada's Governor General Award for fiction announces its shortlist. Jane Urquhart and Richard B. Wright picked up nominations after earlier this month being named to the Giller fiction short list. "The other English fiction nominees for the GG awards, announced by the Canada Council for the Arts, are Yann Martel of Montreal for Life of Pi, Tessa McWatt of Toronto for Dragons Cry and Thomas Wharton of Edmonton for Salamander." Toronto Star 10/23/01

PUBLISHING-NOT-SO-ON-DEMAND: An on-demand publisher tries to put out a book of essays about September 11 in New York, with proceeds going to the Red Cross. But it turns out that "on-demand" is at the mercy of traditional distribution systems. Getting big distributors like Amazon to carry the book shall we say...a demanding proposition? Salon 10/20/01

OVERCOMING AGE: "Who has it worse: young writers or old? Ageism, it would appear, is a double-edged sword. In columns littering the opinion pages from London to New York to Toronto, the Old Guard and the Young Turks are lining up. Not, as one might have expected, to say who is best. As Robert Hughes has it, ours is a culture of complaint. The most important thing our artists have to establish is their victim credentials." GoodReports 10/24/01

THE LITTLE MAGAZINE WITH BIG FANS: At its peak, Lingua Franca magazine had a circulation of only 15,000. Newstand sales never topped 2000. But its fans in academe were many - far beyond its circulation base, even as it announced it would shut down last week. "This can't work as a conventional business. It can only work as something dynamic and risky. It can only work for an investor who wants to do something dazzling and sexy to get attention." Chicago Tribune 10/22/01

THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR: Think America's war in Afghanistan is anything new? A hundred years ago the British were embroiled in the region. And "Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim as well as his 1888 short story, The Man Who Would Be King provide lessons on the risks the country now faces, even lessons on the quagmires of nation-building." Dallas Morning News 10/21/01

THE ESSENCE OF WRITING: "Literature is amoral, like biology, like physics, like the universe itself and like the letters of the alphabet we use. Literature is an energy, an imaginative energy, which reflects all aspects of human nature. It is not part of our schoolmastering, but part of our learning in a wider and more imaginative sense. It teaches us to refute simplicities, simplicities which neatly separate good and evil. Above all, it is not just a set of cautionary or exemplary tales, but unpredictable, awkwardly shaped, not leading directly to bigger salaries and wages." The Independent (UK) 10/22/01


CONTROL OR GREED? Is Broadway only for the rich? Many are asking, after producers of The Producers jacked up prices for some seats to $480 a ticket. "The scalpers have snatched up and warehoused thousands of our seats. You cannot get good seats for at least six months because they are in the hands of scalpers. We are simply trying to regain control of some of our inventory." New York Post 10/27/01

PUBLIC'S DONORS QUIT: New York's Public Theatre is in trouble, losing lots of money. Now, two of the theatre's largest donors have resigned from the board, citing the "theater's poor financial management. The resignations present the often turbulent Public with one of its most pointed crises in years." The New York Times 10/23/01 (one-time registration required for access)

WHAT'S A THEATRE "VILLAGE"? The Royal Shakespeare Company defends its plans to tear down its Stratford theatre and build a new "theatre village." "The rebuilt RST will be the most significant new theatre building of the new century, with the ambition to be one of the world's best playhouses for Shakespeare." The Guardian (UK) 10/23/01

THE NEW BROADWAY: A new generation of young producers is making a mark on Broadway. "Experimental theatre has been around forever. What's new [as vividly embodied in 'Blue Man Group'] is the blending of an experimental aesthetic with a sound fiscal property." Backstage 10/19/01

THE MISTAKEN ROYAL: London's National Theatre is marking its 25th anniversary... er, make that the Royal National Theatre, its full name (which is almost never used). Turns out the "Royal" designation was an accident, a mistake, reveal the theatre's leaders at the 25th anniversary party. The Independent (UK) 10/26/01

NOT ON OUR LIFE: Lincoln Center Theater has removed a new musical from its schedule next year. Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years is loosely based on his failed marriage. But Brown's wife, said to be unhappy with the script, had her lawyers contact Lincoln Center to tell them that the couple's divorce settlement bars Brown from writing about certain aspects of the marriage...and when the lawyers get involved... New York Post 10/26/01


PRIVATIZING ITALY'S MUSEUMS? Italy's new right wing government has plans to privatize the country's museums, including the Ufizzi. The plan assumes that private operators would make a profit, some of which they would pay to the government. Concerned directors from around the world from 37 leading museums - including Philippe de Montebello of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, Thomas Krens of the Guggenheim, New York, Henri Loyrette of the Louvre, Paris and Neil Macgregor of the National Gallery, London have written a letter to the Italian government appealing for it 'to discuss this proposal widely both at home, and to move with due deliberation before transferring the running of the museums to private enterprise'." The Art Newspaper 10/22/01

LATIN AMERICA'S NEW STORY: A Major new museum of Latin American art opens in Buenos Aires. "Art scholars say the privately funded museum is among the most comprehensive of a handful of institutions dedicated to the major artists who documented the divine lunacy of Latin America in the 20th century. Indeed, most museums in the region tend to stress national greats alongside a smattering of European artists; Chilean museums stick largely to Chilean art, Uruguayan museums to Uruguayan painters. But the new museum here reaches farther, seeking to capture Latin America's diverse societies in one broad stroke." Washington Post 10/28/01

LOUVRE REOPENS AFTER STRIKE: Striking workers at the Louvre agreed to suspend their strike and reopen the museum. "The museum is one of many Paris tourist sites including the Orsay Museum and the Arc de Triomphe that have been closed due to a 20-day-old strike by Culture Ministry workers. At times during strike, Louvre workers have let visitors in free as part of the protest, but it was closed for eight straight days before Saturday's opening." Dallas Morning News (AP) 10/27/01

REGIONAL MUSEUM CRISIS: While London's museum scene is flourishing, regional museums are struggling. A government commission studying the problem says 270 million over five years is required to rescue the regionals. 'The task force has spent nine months interviewing regional directors heartbroken at the state of their museums, and visiting poorly lit galleries with outdated displays or the leaking stores that hold 95% of regional collections." The Guardian (UK) 10/24/01

  • MONEY IS CRUCIAL: If we carry on like this, more museums will have to close, collections will have to move This position is now critical. The Times (UK) 10/24/01
  • PROBLEMS FOR BRISTOL MUSEUMS STAFF: "A roof that leaks into a gallery containing works by Monet and Renoir... backlog of maintenance work... fabric coming off the walls... only 10 per cent of [1.75 million items] on regular display... only one natural history curator to care for more than 600,000 items." The Times (UK) 10/24/01

BUILDING ON UNCONVENTION: The Smithsonian hopes soon to name a new director for the Hirshhorn Museum. He won't be like the old one, a former social studies teacher who had no degrees in art, a man who lunched on Snickers bars and wore rumpled clothes. And that's too bad, because James Demetrion made the Hirshhorn what it is today. Washington Post 10/24/01

SHRINKING ART MARKET: Art dealers worry that the demand for buying art is down. "As perceptions of risk and questions about the need for liquid assets increase, the demand for art might be temporarily reduced. In addition, the huge drop in the stock market this year certainly has reduced the wealth of many potential buyers." The Art Newspaper 10/22/01

THIS YEAR'S ENDANGERED LIST: The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has announced its 2002 World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites. The list is intended to draw attention to world historical sites that are in danger. "In an unprecedented move, the organisation notched the list up to 101 sites with the addition of Historic Lower Manhattan" as some of the area's historic landmarks were damaged in the September 11 attack. The Art Newspaper 10/22/01

CZECH ART BAN: The Czech government has ordered a ban on transport of any artwork out of the country. The government is being sued for $500 million by American Ronald Lauder, and officials are worried that Lauder will try to impound state-owned artwork. BBC 10/26/01

CHOOSING A CITY'S ART: Toronto businessman Lou Odette has been donating big sculptures (24 so far) to the nearby city of Windsor, which set up a prominent downtown waterfront sculpture garden for the art. "The city has taken flak for allowing Odette to decide what the citizens of Windsor will see on their waterfront promenade, but the mayor countered that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and any debate fosters art appreciation." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 10/24/01

REMEMBERING THE WTC: The owner of the lease on the World Trade Center site has already begun plans for new buildings there. Meanwhile others are concerned with coming up with a memorial that "not be a footnote to a large development project." The New York Times 10/25/01 (one-time registration required for access)

MODERN ART AMONG ANCIENT MONUMENTS: The Istanbul Biennial, which runs through the middle of November, is "one of the most exciting and accessible of the big international art shows. Since 1987 the organisers have invited curators from across the world to come to live in the waterfront city and fill its historic spaces with cutting-edge art." The Economist 10/25/01

WILL SELL ART FOR FOOD: Britain's museums have a lamentable record of selling national art treasures when they need to raise money. "Now a foundation in London has decided to defy this trend and sell works worth up to 3 million to finance a new home for its collection." The Telegraph (UK) 10/22/01

THE UTILITY OF ART: What turns a ceramic pot or plate into a work of art? What transforms a utilitarian object into something artistic? The Guardian (UK) 10/21/01


GIVING TO ARTS/CULTURE DRYING UP: Contributions to non-profits are down about 20-25 percent this year due to the bad economy. "The nonprofits in the most jeopardy are arts and cultural institutions, smaller organizations, those relying on only one or two large sources of funding and, especially, any group that hasn't worked diligently over the last several years to nurture its donor base and demonstrate its value." BusinessWeek 10/25/01

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAW EDGE: South Africa's post-apartheid arts and artists are struggling. "The institutional framework for the arts, culture and heritage has changed significantly and for the better since 1994. The list of new policies, structures and legislation generated by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is impressive, but adequate funding and efficient implementation are lacking in all areas, and some are in crisis." Daily Mail & Guardian (South Africa) 10/24/01

THE LANGUAGE THAT REFUSES TO DIE: "Dead" languages are those which no one uses any more. So, is Latin a dead language? That's the general attitude, but there's evidence to suggest it's reviving; perhaps it never died. "If Latin could survive being a required subject, it can survive anything. Epitaphs - even lapidary ones in capital letters - are premature." The Guardian (UK) 10/25/01

LINCOLN CENTER RESIGNATION: Lincoln Center loses another top exec. "Marshall Rose, who has served as the unpaid chairman of the center's redevelopment corporation, said he was stepping down because he had completed his work on a master plan. But it was widely known within Lincoln Center that he was intensely frustrated with the internecine battles that were hindering the project's advancement." The New York Times 10/23/01 (one-time registration required for access)

TESTING THE STANDARDS: Is the American SAT test endangered? "Today's critics have opened an assault on the use of what is essentially an IQ test to measure students' ability to learn. The outcome of the debate will affect how colleges with competitive admissions pick students, how racially diverse those students will be, and how high-school students prepare for college." Chronicle of Higher Education 10/22/01

WHERE'S THE DEBATE? Since September 11, many college campuses have seen "attacks on professors who have been censured by administrators, deluged with hate mail, or otherwise intimidated for claiming that the United States is to blame for the terrorist assaults. In large measure, responsibility for the tattered condition of our campus culture of free speech must be assigned to the very professoriate that now seeks the shelter of that tradition's tolerance. Students, and the public at large, no longer believe that the academy is capable of providing the country with a balanced assessment of our national dilemma." Chronicle of Higher Education 10/22/01

ALWAYS THE FIRST TO GO: The city of Phoenix is feeling a bit of a financial pinch, and members of the city council are turning against funding for local arts groups. The city's ballet and opera companies have been specifically targeted for cuts by two powerful councilmen. Arizona Republic 10/24/01


WELL, BOTTLED WATER SOLD, DIDN'T IT? "A British artist is planning to record the sound of silence in radio broadcasts and sell the recording as a collector's item. Matt Rogalsky plans to spend 24 hours monitoring the BBC's flagship current-affairs channel Radio 4 on Dec. 12, collecting the gaps between the words with his custom-designed software." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 10/25/01

MAKING OUT IN MUSEUMS: A new study says that 20 percent of Italians going to museums have had an erotic experience there. "According to the study, a Caravaggio painting or a Greek sculpture is more likely to lead to sex than works by Tiepolo or Veronese. The experts have even compiled a hit parade of Italian museums, listing the institutions in order of their ability to awaken Eros." ARTNews 10/01