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Week of April 29- May 5, 2002

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


THE RISE OF CREATIVITY: "A new social and economic geography is emerging in America, one that does not correspond to old categories like East Coast versus West Coast or Sunbelt versus Frostbelt. Rather, it is more like the class divisions that have increasingly separated Americans by income and neighborhood, extended into the realm of city and region. The distinguishing characteristic of the creative class is that its members engage in work whose function is to 'create meaningful new forms'. The key to economic growth lies not just in the ability to attract the creative class, but to translate that underlying advantage into creative economic outcomes in the form of new ideas, new high-tech businesses and regional growth. " Washington Monthly 05/02

THE BATTLE FOR A DIGITAL FUTURE: Some content producers are trying to require copy protection technology on computers and entertainment devices. "At some date in the near future, perhaps as early as 2010, people may no longer be able to do the kinds of things they routinely do with their digital tools today. They may no longer be able, for example, to move music or video files easily from one of their computers to another, even if the other is a few feet away in the same house. Their music collections, reduced to MP3s, may be movable to a limited extent, unless their hardware doesn’t allow it. The digital videos they shot in 1999 may be unplayable on their desktop and laptop computers." Reason 05/02

STORYTELLING: "If you don't understand a culture's stories, then you'll never understand - or be able to defend yourself against - the actions that spring from those stories." It's the power of myth to grab hold of the consciousness of a culture. Chicago Tribune 05/05/02


GRAHAM TO DANCE AGAIN EVEN WITH LAWSUIT: Ownership of Martha Graham's dances is still in legal dispute. But dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company, who haven't performed together since May 2000 when the company closed because of financial problems, is putting on a performance of Graham's work this week in New York. The New York Times 05/05/02

DIAMOND OUT OF THE ROUGH: New York City Ballet's Diamond Project is ten years old. At least one critic's expectations for its success at the beginning were quite low. But it has proven a major addition to American dance. "Essentially, the project proclaims that the classical idiom in dance is still worth exploring and exploiting. Part festival, part workshop, it has, at its best, challenged choreographers to stretch their creativity. At its weakest, it has presented the insignificant. Many of the 40 works created so far for the project by 23 choreographers have been discarded. Yet at least 14 Diamond ballets have been picked up by American and foreign dance companies, and more important, many have entered City Ballet's repertory." The New York Times 05/05/02

LOOKING FOR PRINCESS DI: Peter Schaufuss, the ex-New York City Ballet star, and ex-director of the Berlin Ballet, English National Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet is putting together a ballet on the life of Princess Diana. "The Princess Diana ballet will follow musicals and operas based on her life in Germany and New York." BBC 05/01/02

BOLSHOI ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: "After almost a decade of turmoil, uncertainty and artistic decline, Moscow's Bolshoi Theater seems on the road to recovery. The theater, which houses both a ballet and opera company under its venerable roof, has a newly reorganized leadership team and has released plans for an ambitious new season. But soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, a legendary figure at the theater until she left for the West in 1974, says that far more drastic changes are required." Andante 05/02/02

THE ROYAL'S NEW YOUNG STARS: London's Royal Ballet has two young stars. "Both are new to the Royal Ballet, with Alina Cojocaru joining in 1999 and Tamara Rojo a year later. Neither is English, but that's not unusual for the Royal Ballet, a troupe once dominated by dancers from Britain and the Commonwealth. Only two of its 10 principals were born in England. Cojocaru is from Romania, and Rojo, born in Montreal, was raised in Spain. They are coy about their personal life. Both live alone, in rented apartments and if there are boyfriends, they are well hidden." Sydney Morning Herald 04/29/02


CANADIANS STILL VALUE CBC: CBC competitor Global TV wants the Canadian government to do away with the public broadcaster's subsidy. As part of its campaign, CanWest, Global's parent (and owner of most of Canada's newspapers) commissioned a poll to ask Canadians if funding should disappear. The poll came back with a strong no, and to CanWest's credit, its newspapers reported the results. Toronto Star 05/03/02

REINVENTING CBC (BUT NO ONE'S READY): Managers of Canada's CBC Radio are attempting to reinvent the network's schedule. "Network management figures the makeover is necessary if the CBC is to better reflect Canada, attract younger listeners and widen its appeal among minority groups." But sources inside the corporation say the network is totally unprepared to make the kinds of changes that are being proposed. "They have nobody in place to produce the entire morning show. No execs and no production team. No one will touch it. It's very difficult to have somebody in place for radio programs when no one knows what they are." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 04/29/02

LONDON'S NEW ARTS RADIO: A new all-arts radio station hits the London airwaves. Its founders promise "no play lists, no smarmy DJs or pompous pundits, but a wide range of programmes made by artists representing the diversity of London's arts scene." The Guardian (UK) 05/01/02

NO SCIENCE ABOUT IT: This is the time of year American TV network execs determine what gets on the fall schedule. "Once a boisterous affair, with producers and studio executives passionately lobbying networks on behalf of programs, entertainment industry mergers have made those studios and networks siblings within the same corporate families. And while these step-kids might wrestle a bit with each other, ultimately a very few media barons serve as the arbiters of what gets on and stays on. So instead of a robust debate, the main gatekeepers engage in what has become little more than a high-stakes internal monologue." Los Angeles Times 05/01/02

ANIMATED ENTHUSIASMS: Last year's biggest-grossing movie was an animated feature. More recent top ten movie grosses show three animated films on the list. Animation is hot. Sydney Morning Herald 04/30/02

RADIO TO GO SILENT: Hundreds of internet radio stations intend to shut off the music Wednesday to protest new royalty fees thbey will soon have to pay for playing music. "The fee sounds tiny - 14/100ths of a cent - but it's per song and per listener, and Net radio operators, most of whom serve niche audiences, say the fees quickly multiply." USAToday 04/29/02

CLEAN SWEEP: A new US video store chain is proving successful by offering "sanitized" versions of movies. "The parent company's in-house editors remove much of the sex, violence, and nudity from films, which is proving popular with a lot of families disenchanted with Hollywood. Some 65 'Cleanflicks' stores have opened across the country in just the past 18 months." Nando Times (AP) 04/28/02


LATIN UPBEAT: The Latin music recording industry gathers in Miami this week. While CD sales for all kinds of music slipped six percent last year in the US "sales of Latin CDs rose 9 percent and the Latin music market overall grew 6 percent, to $642 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America." The industry is meeting to figure out how to keep up the momentum. Miami Herald 05/05/02

ALL ABOUT PEOPLE: The Tokyo String Quartet once was considered one of the top two or three quartets in the world. But personnel changes changed the group's character and then its fortunes. Now a young Canadian violinist joins after a turbulent few years. "Martin Beaver will replace Mikhail Kopelman as first violinist after a period of artistic differences if not conflict." Can the Tokyo regain its lustre? The New York Times 05/05/02

BRITPOP HAS LOST ITS WAY: British pop music, which once dominated American Top Ten charts, has dropped off the American map altogether. Things are so bad, the Brits are even opening an office in New York to promote their music. Won't help, says American critic John Pareles. "British rock has lost its willingness to face the present or interact with the outside world." The Guardian (UK) 05/03/02

BOLSHOI ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: "After almost a decade of turmoil, uncertainty and artistic decline, Moscow's Bolshoi Theater seems on the road to recovery. The theater, which houses both a ballet and opera company under its venerable roof, has a newly reorganized leadership team and has released plans for an ambitious new season. But soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, a legendary figure at the theater until she left for the West in 1974, says that far more drastic changes are required." Andante 05/02/02

STREAMING MEANIES: The debate over how musicians and recording companies should be compensated for streaming webcasts of their music continues to grow louder, and the two sides could not be farther apart. Webcasters claim that the current law, set to take effect May 21 of this year, will effectively shut down the webcasting industry with its high royalty payments. The music industry's position is that it doesn't care what happens to the utopian webcasters, and if they want to distribute the music to a worldwide audience, they'll have to find a way to pay for the privilege. Wired 05/02/02

A CRY FOR REFORM: Sir Thomas Allen, one of England's leading opera singers, has lashed out at the malaise of the classical music business. "New composers are not being heard. Commissions are not being given out in the way they should be. How many performances of Beethoven's Fifth do you need? How many of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony? The Independent (UK) 04/29/02

GRAMMY PRESIDENT FORCED TO QUIT: Michael Greene, who, as president of the Grammys for 14 years, became one of the "most powerful and controversial figures in the music industry" has been forced out of the job. "Greene's resignation as president took place during an emergency board meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to discuss a sexual harassment probe commissioned by the Grammy organization, the sources said." Los Angeles Times 04/28/02

  • CLEARED OF CHARGES: The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences release a statement saying Greene was cleared of sexual misconduct, but does not say why Greene is leaving. "A full and fair investigation of alleged misconduct by Mike was completed and it revealed no sexual harassment, no sex discrimination and no hostile work environment at the recording academy." Nando Times (AP) 04/28/02


PIPER'S LAMENT: "Adrian Piper arrived at Wellesley College in 1990 with the buzz of a Hollywood It Girl. The New York Times called her ''the artist of the fall season in New York'' for her conceptual art on racism. Her work in Kantian ethics had inspired Wellesley to make her the first African-American woman to become a tenured full professor of philosophy in the United States... But somehow, soon after arriving on campus, the It Girl of academe lost her way." Boston Globe 05/02/02

HOW TO ACT LIKE A ROCK STAR ON YOUR BOOK TOUR: His name is Neil Pollack, and he may or may not be fictional. He may or may not be Dave Eggers. (His mother swears he's not.) He may or may not be the most exciting thing to happen to Canadian literature since Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale. And he most definitely does not care what you or Margaret Atwood or the stuffy old publishing industry thinks about any of it. National Post (Canada) 05/01/02

HIS FRIENDS JUST CALLED HIM 'DOUBLE H': "Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, who died Saturday at age 81 at his home on the northern Mediterranean coast of Spain, was the greatest art collector of the second half of the 20th century." His massive collection of European and American art has been given a permanent home in Madrid. Los Angeles Times 05/01/02

ANOTHER SOTHEBY'S SENTENCE: A week after ex-Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman was sentenced to jail and a $7 million fine, Diana Brooks, the auction house's ex-CEO was sentenced to "three years probation for her role in conducting a price-fixing scheme with the rival auction house Christie's. Mrs. Brooks, 51, was also ordered to serve six months of home detention, perform 1,000 hours of community service and pay a fine of $350,000." The New York Times 04/30/02

JARVI QUITS DETROIT: Neeme Jarvi, 64, has decided to step down as music director of the Detroit Symphony at the close of the 2004-05 season, leaving a 15-year legacy that will be remembered as one of the orchestra's most important eras. Jarvi - who says he has fully recovered from the ruptured blood vessel he suffered at the base of his brain last July - announced his plans to the orchestra at Thursday's rehearsal at Orchestra Hall." Detroit Free Press 05/03/02

ABBADO LEAVES BERLIN: Claudio Abbado conducts his final concert as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. His tenure after the storied Karajan years "led to fluctuations within the orchestra and the taciturn Milanese, who was never a big one for rehearsals, had a rather lax style that did not always meet with universal enthusiasm. By and large, however, the choice of Abbado can be viewed as fortuitous, especially as he proved himself to be by far the most open-minded of the world's top conductors." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 04/30/02

HEPPNER RE-EMERGES: Tenor Ben Heppner has been a major star in the past decade. But when he walked out of a recital in Toronto a few months ago, then canceled the rest of his North American tour, he left critics whispering that he was having some major problems with his voice. Perhaps the kind of problems that could end a career. His concert in Seattle this week leaves some of those questions unanswered. "His formal program was only about an hour. He sang few fortissimos and a handful of fortes. High notes were at a strict minimum, and there were few technical challenges. The musical ones were substantial. Good sense dictated those terms. And even at that, there were some tiny, tiny breaks in the voice, an indication he is still not wholly recovered." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 05/02/02


WHERE BOOKS DO BUSINESS: Publishers and bookstore owners gather in New York for BookExpo America, the industry's annual confab. The gathering is "the place where the publishing industry most clearly demonstrates the obsession with merchandise and marketing. Publishers often upstage each other with spectacles that are a far cry from the solitary pursuits of reading and writing. This year particularly the event will resemble a circus." The New York Times 04/29/02

BIG PLANS FOR THE BOOKER: Last week the Booker Prize and its new sponsor announced that the prize money for the winning book would jump from £20,000 to £50,000. But it looks like even bigger changes might be afoot, including expanding the award to include North America. The Independent (UK) 04/26/02

THE BIG BIG THING: Big money is ruining publishing, some say, forcing publishers to chase after elusive blockbusters at the expense of everything else. "Publishers are, in the main, putting out fewer titles and then really going after the big ones as hard as they can. You can't go into a bookshop with 300 titles and say `Here is my list'. You have to tell them, `This is the book that will get a massive marketing and advertising campaign'. And you can only do it for the big books.'' The Age (Melbourne) 04/30/02

BOOK SALES UP IN UK: Sales of books were up 5 percent in the UK in 2001, with British consumers spending £2.15 billion on books. "Strongest growth in the retail sector came from book and stationery shops, large chain bookshops, bargain bookshops and supermarkets. Independent and specialist bookshops fared worse, with purchases falling for two consecutive years. Book clubs did not perform well and purchasing on the Internet was flat—4% by units and 5% by pounds." Publishers Weekly 04/26/02

TOME RAIDER: A man dubbed by police the "Tome Raider" who stole 412 extremely rare antique books and pamphlets worth an estimated £1.1 million from libraries and then sold them at auctions is today facing a lengthy jail term. His haul was "one of the biggest of its kind in British legal history. Some of the books have been returned to the libraries but hundreds of them have never been traced." The Guardian (UK) 04/30/02

POETIC TREASURE: Chicago-based Poetry Magazine is ninety years old. It has introduced the work of "virtually every major American poet of the 20th century, including Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore." Each year the magazine gets 90,000-100,000 submissions and the staff says it reads every one. Chicago Sun-Times 05/05/02

CANADIAN CRISIS: "The Canadian book publishing industry was reeling last night after Jack Stoddart, one of the largest publishers in Canada and owner of the largest distributor of Canadian books, won bankruptcy court protection from his creditors yesterday. The move leaves many book publishers across Canada struggling to stay afloat, cut off -- for now -- from their main source of revenue, which is the money funneled to them through Mr. Stoddart from the stores that sell their books." National Post (Canada) 05/01/02

PAPA'S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG: With two major U.S. publishers folding their e-book imprints, and horror writer Stephen King abandoning an online writing venture a few chapters in, this might not seem like the best time for anyone to launch a massive new e-books project. Nonetheless, "Ernest Hemingway is to become one of the first major authors to have his whole literary catalogue put on the internet. The 23 novels will be available for people to read on their computers for less than the price of most paperbacks." BBC 05/01/02

WORKING AMERICAN: Likewise, Webster's isn't just another dictionary. "What Noah Webster proposed was simply to teach all Americans to spell and speak alike, yet differently in detail from the people of England. The result would be an 'American language, to become over the years as different from the future language of England, as the modern Dutch, Danish and Swedish are from the German, or from one another'." Okay, so it didn't quite work out that way, but it does explain some things... Times Literary Supplement 04/27/02

LIVING IN THE AFTERLIFE: "Next to a hatchet-job of a biography, there's probably nothing so damaging to a deceased popular writer's memory and reputation as a pot-boiling sequel. The publishing industry cheerfully conspires with the process by which a good popular writer's memory is piously demeaned by inferior imitations churned out by penurious hacks. Which brings me to the intriguing case of Ian Fleming's James Bond, who is about to celebrate his 50th birthday. (Casino Royale was first published in 1953)." The Observer (UK) 05/05/02

SINGING PRAISES OF THE OED: "Why should a maturing book-lover know or care what the Oxford English Dictionary is? Well, let me give you an analogy: The OED is to the average dictionary what the Louvre is to a garage sale with a few antiques. All of us book-lovers, at some point, become vividly conscious of this lexicographic masterpiece, in the same way that as adults with maturing palates and troublesome colons we come to adore olive paste, oysters, and fiber supplements." Village Voice Literary Supplement 04/29/02

END OF RUN: Seattle's Poetry Northwest is the longest-running poetry-only publication in America. But "after 43 years of publication, the poetry quarterly from the University of Washington is shutting down with its Spring 2002 issue." The publication "was given a two-year reprieve by the university amid a financial crisis in 2000, but the magazine's supporters have been unable to locate another source of funding and it will have to cease publication." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 05/021/02


YOUTH CRUSADE: London's National Theatre has been on a mission to attract younger audiences. Under director Trevor Nunn's constant drumbeat on the issue, "the proportion of NT patrons aged 25 or under has risen from a woeful 6 per cent in 1998 to about 13 per cent today." Now the launch of an ambitious (and expensive) initiative to further address the issue. A "five-month season opening this week will see 13 world premieres staged in the all-new Loft theatre and a modified Lyttelton, twinned spaces created at a cost of £1.2 million." The Times (UK) 04/30/02

SONDHEIM AS ERA: Stephen Sondheim is a god to serious music theatre fans, who will be converging on Washington for the major Sondheim retrospective about to get underway. "Together, the revivals at the Kennedy Center and on Broadway certify what has been apparent to musical theater aficionados for decades: that over the last 30 years, the once humble musical comedy form has been dominated and transformed by Mr. Sondheim and his collaborators into something intellectually challenging and morally weighty." The New York Times 05/05/02

COUNTDOWN TO TONY: Next Monday Broadway's Tony nominations will be announced in what promises to be "one of the most interesting Tony contests in years." Here's an informal survey of theatre professionals with ideas about what should win. The New York Times 05/03/02

  • DISMAL YEAR: "Surveying the generally dismal offerings, one nominator says: 'If the Tonys really are about excellence, then we should leave some of the categories blank this year.' That, of course, is not going to happen. The Tonys aren't about excellence anymore. They're about ticket sales and hype and publicity; they're about marketing Broadway as a 'destination point' and a 'brand name'." New York Post 05/03/02

THE DOCTOR IS IN: The Royal Shakespeare Company has fallen on hard times. "Threatened strikes. Demoralised actors. Uprisings in the Midlands. Rancorous criticism of Noble himself, culminating in his extraordinary resignation last week. What happens next? Not an easy one to answer. All one can do, as a critical observer with no access to the books, is offer a plan to those who even now are busy restoring the RSC's damaged reputation..." Herewith, critic Michael Billington's nine-point plan to restore the RSC's fortunes. The Guardian (UK) 05/01/02


RECONSIDERING CLASSIC ARCHITECTURE: "Three-dimensional modeling is turning some of archaeology's once-established truths on their heads. Because 3-D software can take into account the building materials and the laws of physics, it enables scholars to address construction techniques in ways sometimes overlooked when they are working with two-dimensional drawings." Take the Colosseum, for example: "researchers have discovered that in some sections the building may have had all the efficiency of a railroad-style apartment on the Bowery. The model reveals dark, narrow upper hallways that probably hemmed in spectators, slowing their movement to a crawl." The New York Times 05/02/02

STUCK ON THE NEXT BIG THING? Could it be Stuckism? "Stuckism stands as much for what it opposes—postmodern conceptual and installation art, etc.—as for what it champions: a spiritual renewal in art, particularly painting, following the lead of its prime exemplar Van Gogh. Stuckism's objective is to bring about the death of Post Modernism, to undermine the inflated price structure of Brit Art and instigate a spiritual renaissance in art and society in general." And yet, as a movement it's a bit unstuck itself... *spark-online 05/02

FREE ART PACKS 'EM IN: "Attendance at museums and galleries in the UK has risen by 75% since entrance fees were scrapped... The rises equate to an extra 1.4 million visitors pouring through the doors of the capital's museums and galleries. Another sign that the initiative is working is the 10% increase in the number of children who have taken the opportunity to visit a museum in the past year." BBC 05/01/02

BRITISH MUSEUM TO CUT 150: Because of budget problems, the British Museum is cutting 150 workers. " It is hoped that the job losses - 7% of the total staff - will come through voluntary redundancies and retirements, but the museum says some compulsory redundancies may be necessary. The London museum says it hopes its 'core values' of free access and maintaining collections will not be cut back in the run up to its 250th anniversary year in 2003." BBC 04/30/02

NAVIGATING THE ROYAL: London's Royal Academy is a unique institution. Run by its artist/members, its shows are not like those found in museums. For example, the RA's exhibitions secretary says, there is at least one fake work in every show. "We don't set out to have fakes, of course. Sometimes you only know by comparison, when it goes on the wall. If a fake is discovered, that's good, whereas reviewers tend to think it's a catastrophe. But these are tiny things. We should sing the big picture - that these fabulous paintings are in London at all. During the Caravaggio show the RA was transformed into an amazing basilica. I was here every night having Catholic orgasms." London Evening Standard 05/02/02

DOCUMENTA 11 ARTISTS NAMED: Nigeria-born Okwui Enwezor is the first non-European curator of Documenta. The list of artists for one of the world's premiere art gatherings has just been released and his impact on selections is clear: "In previous Documentas, 80 to 90 percent of the artists were natives of NATO countries; this time the percentage is about half that." Artforum 05/01/02

LINCOLN CENTER - GROUP GROPE: Lincoln Center is holding a competition to redesign Avery Fisher Hall, and it's attracted the usual big names - Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Richard Meier, Arata Isozaki and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. But the project has a troubled start. "Architecture competitions can focus energy or they can be a terrible drain on civic spirit. It helps if the clients have a clear idea of what they want and, more important, a firm sense of who they are. Judged on these terms, I'd say the competition to design a new concert hall for Lincoln Center now stands less than a 50-50 chance of producing architecture." The New York Times 05/05/02

AN ODE TO...CONCRETE: Concrete is not the kind of material that inspires warm affection. But the nearly completed Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is made of concrete and already drawing admiring looks (well, maybe not from the builders - "every joint and corner is exposed. Mistakes can't be camouflaged; they remain for all to see. This has produced a run on Valium by the contractor and structural engineer.). Architect Tadao Ando "is the Leonardo of architectural concrete, investing it with an elegance and refinement that rivals only dream about." Dallas Morning News 04/30/02

THE "MEANING" OF ART: "Most people engaged with visual art believe, like Mondrian, that it can produce experiences, even awakenings, that are real but not necessarily available to objectivity. Skeptics appear to believe that anything unavailable to objective study must be merely subjective, therefore only a step away from chicanery and private fantasy." An art critic and a physicist argue about the search for meaning. San Francisco Chronicle 04/28/02

BLEAK FUTURE FOR SOTHEBY'S: Despite last week's conviction of Sotheby's ex-chairman Alfred Taubman, "neither Sotheby's nor Christie's are out of the mire in which they landed themselves by fixing their commission charges in breach of anti-trust laws." Further legal action is coming, and as Taubman moves to sell his stake in the company, its financial condition looks suspect. The Telegraph (UK) 04/29/02

HOW DO YOU SELL DIGITAL ART? "As interest in online art has increased, artists have been stymied in their efforts to get paid for digital creations. Museums have commissioned and, in a few cases, acquired such virtual works. Mostly, though, online pieces have been a labor of love." Now one artist has sold shares in an online artwork that is the visual equivalent of the online chatroom. The New York Times 04/29/02


BOLSHOI ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: "After almost a decade of turmoil, uncertainty and artistic decline, Moscow's Bolshoi Theater seems on the road to recovery. The theater, which houses both a ballet and opera company under its venerable roof, has a newly reorganized leadership team and has released plans for an ambitious new season. But soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, a legendary figure at the theater until she left for the West in 1974, says that far more drastic changes are required." Andante 05/02/02

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! The turnover in top jobs at British arts institutions is remarkable. But given the hoops through which such managers have to jump, "it is a matter of some amazement that anyone should want the job. In the version of musical chairs we play with the arts, the rules are reversed: there are more empty seats than players to fill them and the winner is the last one to resign. The flaw in our system is not excessive freedom of speech but the growing exercise of thought control." London Evening Standard 05/01/02

JAZZING UP THE LOTTO: The British lottery has financed an astonishing boom of construction projects in the arts in the past few years. But the lotto has seen a £500 million dropoff in sales in the past four years. So the managers are planning to rename the lottery in an attempt to make it more "exciting." BBC 04/29/02

PAY TO PLAY - IT'S COMING: Want access to a piece of music or a movie or book? Get ready - it's going to cost you. "Total cultural capitalism - we must prepare for its arrival in the digital world within the next few years. Technically, it involves Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems that make it possible to control legitimate access to digital resources. The legal framework for the installation and protection of such systems is being set up in Europe right now." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 05/02/02

JUST FADE AWAY: Pop icons have always been used for endorsements. And "great efforts are being made to pitch deceased singers, actors and historical figures to Generations X and Y, as the luminaries’ estates seek to enhance legacies and keep profits flowing. There’s a problem, however. Young people today show almost no interest in legends from previous generations, youth marketers say. For people under 30, they’re dead brands." That's a concept difficult for boomers to understand. “It’s hard to understand why people don’t love the things you love, but young people haven’t shared your experiences, and they have different needs and heroes.” MSNBC (WSJ) 05/01/02

EVANESCING ONLINE: "In the last few years, prestigious universities rushed to start profit-seeking spinoffs, independent divisions that were going to develop online courses. The idea, fueled by the belief that students need not be physically present to receive a high-quality education, went beyond the mere introduction of online tools into traditional classes. American universities have spent at least $100 million on Web-based course offerings, according to Eduventures, an education research firm in Boston. Now the groves of academe are littered with the detritus of failed e-learning start-ups as those same universities struggle with the question of how to embrace online education but not hemorrhage money in the process." The New York Times 05/03/02

10. FOR FUN 

AN ITALIAN MOUNT RUSHMORE? The mayor of a Sicilian town wants to build an Italian version of South Dakota's Mount Rushmore, replacing US presidents with Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, and the recently beatified priest Padre Pio. "Unlike their American counterparts which are carved into a mountain in South Dakota, Mayor Cristaldi is proposing that the Sicilian effigies be made in resin and glued onto the side of a mountain near Segesta in Western Sicily." The Art Newspaper 04/26/02

OPERA IN A BURNED OUT THEATRE: Lima, Peru's main Municipal Theatre burned down in 1998. "But that hasn't kept the charred opera house from becoming one of the smartest places in town for shows and celebrations. Plays, concerts and musical revues usually sell out, with patrons filling the folding chairs that line the once-carpeted concrete ground floor and balconies." Los Angeles Times (AP) 05/03/02