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Week of May 13-19, 2002

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


THE DOCTOR EXPLAINS IT ALL TO YOU: Ever wonder why singers lose their voices with age? "When our vocal cords get saggy, we lose the range of our voice, the ability to hit high notes in particular, and we lose the power of our voice, the ability to project or amplify, which is key for a Pavarotti-type opera singer. As the body changes, ages, the muscles become less strong and the supporting tissues lose their elasticity, and let's face it, elasticity in the vocal cords is everything. That's what makes our vocal cords pliable and able to vibrate. When we lose that elasticity we lose the vocal quality we enjoy so much in someone like Pavarotti." Toronto Star 05/15/02

THE VIRTUAL VIOLIN: Electronic music is everywhere. But some instruments - for example, the violin - just don't translate well in MIDI. Now an inventor has developed a device "that tells a computer everything about a bow's motion, allowing it to generate a more realistic, emotional sound." The idea is to produce a sound that can compete with that made on a real instrument. New Scientist 05/16/02


GOOD YEAR FOR AUSTRALIAN BALLET: The Australian Ballet reports a healthy year - the result of "good box office in Sydney, a short but successful season of Manon in Melbourne, and a substantial increase in government funding." Sydney Morning Herald 05/13/02

HARTFORD RIGHTS A WRONG: Five years ago Hartford Ballet fired Kirk Peterson, its dynamic young artistic director. He had built a viable company that was starting to get some respect, and after he left, the company eventually went bust. "After five years, the firing is seen by many as one of Hartford's biggest boneheaded moves instigated by an ill-advised board." Now reconstituted as Connecticut Ballet, new management has invited Peterson back as a guest choreographer. "It was a leap for both parties that showed imagination, risk and a love of dance." Hartford Courant 05/12/02

TURNING AROUND RAMBERT: When Christopher Bruce took over the Rambert Dance Company in 1994 "audiences had dwindled frighteningly, and Britain's oldest dance company – 75 last year – was in danger of being killed off. 'People were saying there was no place for a repertory company, and the sword was hanging over both London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rambert. I didn't believe this at all." Now, after many years of struggle, Rambert seems to have stabilized, and Bruce is ready to move on. The Independent (UK) 05/13/02


CENSORSHIP STANDS: The Australian state of Victoria wanted to overturn a national censor board ruling that banned the French film Baise-Moi. But after looking into it, the state's attorney general says there's nothing the state can do. "We don't have any power (to overturn the ban). We don't have any power to review the review. We will adhere to the ultimate decision of the umpire, but the process has been appalling." The Age (Melbourne) 05/14/02

TAXING PROPOSAL: Canada proposes to levy a tax on the sale of digital storage devices. "The fee, based on storage capacity, would add $132 (210 Canadian dollars) to the $500 price of a 10-gigabyte Apple iPod, for example. The collective is also asking the board to introduce a $1.43 copying fee on recordable DVD's and to triple, to 39 cents, a fee imposed two years ago on recordable CD's. The fees are intended to compensate members of the music industry for the use of recordings." The New York Times 05/16/02

MOVIE AS COMMUNITY: Why are so many people lining up overnight to get into openings of big movies? "Whether motivated by the dark side of the force (competition, pride) or the light (punctuality, promptness) – or just suckered by advertising hype – the movie-going norm is shifting as Americans clamor to share in the collective experience of a movie event. 'It's a huge shared ritual. It means on Monday morning, around the watercooler, there's a notion of a shared experience'." Christian Science Monitor 05/17/02

I WANT MY DAB: "Digital radio has been available free of charge in most British homes for seven years. So why can't you hear it? It's a sad old story. Not for the first time, Britain has invented an idea and lost the race to exploit it. In radio we were first to Marconi's wire, first to a public broadcasting network and now first to DAB." London Evening Standard 05/15/02

WHY CANNES? Given the proliferation of international film festivals, "why is Cannes still considered the most important film festival in the world? It has something to do with the distinction of its past, built upon with an iron determination to let glamour support art, and vice versa, but as much with the fact that almost every film-maker in the world still wants his or her latest offering in competition." The Guardian (UK) 05/15/02

THUMB-SUCKING: What's happened to Canadian movie critics? "While most Canadian critics are giving decent performances, true criticism is taking a supporting role to quick-hit reviews and simple 'I liked it' plot summaries. And it's not necessarily the critics' fault. The thinking at dailies seems to be that readers are looking for advice only on whether or not to spend their $12." Ryerson Journalism Review Summer 02

ART TAKEN OFFLINE: An internet art project that scans the net probing for ways into other computers has been taken offline by the museum that is hosting it. The New Museum of Contemporary Art took the work offline on Friday "because the work was conducting surveillance of outside computers. It is not clear yet who is responsible for the blacking out — the artists, the museum or its Internet service provider — but the action illuminates the work's central theme: the tension between public and private control of the Internet." The New York Times 05/13/02


SAN JOSE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY? The San Jose Symphony, which shut down earlier this season with a $3.4 million deficit, and which has been trying to reorganize, is considering shutting down and filing for bankruptcy. An orchestra violinist says the board is considering the idea after a meeting last week: "The bottom line of that meeting was a recommendation that we completely go dark, for a period of no less than six months, and probably more realistically of 12 to 18 months." The board's interim chairman denies the plan. San Jose Mercury News 05/13/02

LA SCALA RESTORATION SPARKS CONTROVERSY: "The long-awaited final architectural plan for the restoration of La Scala, which was offically presented to the public and the press at Milan's city hall on 10 May, has aroused a heated debate... In [the] plan, the depth of the stage and backstage in combination will increase from 48 to 70 meters, thus eliminating the Piccola Scala, an auxiliary venue for chamber opera seating 250. A new new stage tower in the shape of a parallelepiped (a kind of modified cube) will rise 40 meters (the current tower is 35 meters) at the building's rear facing." Andante 05/16/02

JAZZ BY ANY OTHER NAME: Has labeling your music "jazz" become a liability? Some of the most successful jazz artists today have stopped calling their music jazz, trying to sell more recordings. "To some people, jazz is a turn-off," Part of the problem is that acoustic jazz is mired in the past. Ironically, decades ago, that wasn't the case." St. Louis Post-Dispatch 05/12/02

PAVAROTTI MAY HANG IT ALL UP: Following his cancellation at the Met last weekend, Luciano Pavarotti has told an Italian newspaper that he may retire completely from the stage. The tenor, who has eschewed most operatic roles in recent years for arena concerts and gala events, told Corriere della Sera, "It's the most difficult decision because I don't know yet if the moment has come or if the crisis of the past few days is down to health problems." BBC 05/13/02

  • THE MAN WHO REPLACED THE BIG MAN: The audience had paid as much as $1,800 for their seats. They were all expecting the final performance of one of the great voices of the 20th Century in one of the world's great opera houses. So when Pavarotti failed to perform Saturday night at the Metropolitan Opera, you had to feel sorry for the tenor brought in to take his place. "Salvatore Licitra, 33, was flown in at the last minute on the Concorde, courtesy of the Met, which was determined to salvage the evening. If this was not to be the farewell of a faded superstar, then at least it would be the starry anointing of a potential successor." The New York Times 05/13/02

FOR THAT KIND OF MONEY, IT OUGHT TO PLAY ITSELF: There is no arguing that Beethoven's 9th Symphony is one of the great musical and artistic achievements of the Western world, so when the earliest known draft went up for auction at Sotheby's in London, experts expected it to fetch up to £200,000. Guess again: an anonymous telephone bidder snapped up the score for an astounding £1.3 million (US$1.8 million,) stunning other bidders, Beethoven experts, and, presumably, the winner's accountant. BBC 05/17/02

MAKING MUSIC IN THE SHADOW OF THE CITY: Over the last decade, the New Jersey Symphony has become what many believed it could never be: an excellent and well-respected ensemble completely separate from its competitors in nearby New York City, and possessed of a striking combination of marketing savvy and infectious enthusiasm. In an era when many orchestras are struggling for survival, the NJSO has thrived. Now, music director Zdenek Macal, credited with driving much of the orchestra's artistic growth, is stepping down after a decade at the helm. Andante (AP) 05/19/02

THE CRITICS TURN ON KISSIN: Pianist Evgeny Kissin was the wunderkind, a critical favorite. Apparently not anymore. The critics have turned on him: "One short, furious blast in The Guardian managed to squeeze in the phrases 'totally repellent', 'profoundly unpleasant', 'heartlessly dazzling' and 'entirely monochrome', concluding that Kissin was some mechanical doll and that the whole event (a recital in Birmingham, part of a tour which reaches London at the end of this month) was 'the biggest pianistic circus act since David Helfgott'." What happened? London Evening Standard 05/16/02

ATTACKING THE CONSUMER WHO BUYS YOU: Music companies are embedding ever stronger copy protection into CD's. One problem - the measures prevent some computers (particularly Macs) from playing the music at all. "CDs manufactured by Sony seem to be the biggest headache. Not only do many discs not play on the Mac, but they cause the machine to lock up and refuse to eject the offending disc." Wired 05/14/02

THE FUTURE (OR LACK THEREOF) OF WEBCASTING: Depending on who you talk to, recent U.S. Copyright Office action requiring webcasters to pay royalties to the copyright holders of the songs they play was either a much-needed updating of media regulations, or the death knell of the web radio industry. But does either side really have any idea about what the future will hold for online audio? And isn't it about time that the U.S. got past this silly notion that copyright holders (read: record companies,) rather than performers, receive the royalties for the airplay? Boston Globe 05/19/02

HOW ABOUT CORDUROY AND CARDIGANS? The Hallé Orchestra, of Manchester, England, is considering a plan to change the style of dress worn by its musicians on stage. Orchestras the world over have been nearly single-handedly keeping the white-tie-and-tails business afloat for decades, and there have always been mutterings that symphonies will never reach a young audience wearing 19th-century outfits. The plan is far from final, but you can bet that other ensembles will be watching Hallé closely. BBC 05/17/02


ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: "The least-known great architect who ever worked in the [U.S.] capital -- or, for that matter, in the nation -- may be Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Representatives from nine preservation and cultural groups -- including five from Washington -- yesterday announced a five-year, $50 million attempt to make the name more famous... Latrobe was the architect of the most memorable rooms in the U.S. Capitol, including Statuary Hall and the old Senate and Supreme Court chambers. He designed both the north and south porticoes of the White House." And that's just the beginning... Washington Post 05/16/02

ARTS ADVOCATE: Karen Kain was Canada's most famous dancer ever. Five years after she retired from the stage, she's now one of the country's savviest cultural promoters, transforming herself into "one of the most passionate, articulate and effective cultural advocates Canada has ever had." Toronto Star 05/15/02

DODGING BULLETS FOR A LIVING: Tessa Jowell may have the most thankless job in Tony Blair's New Labour government in the U.K. As Culture Secretary, it is her job to deal with every arts controversy that could make the government look bad (no shortage of those,) and do it quickly and quietly. "Tessa Jowell is adept at having things more than one way at once, a crucial New Labour quality. So she emphasises her reputation for efficiency, but says more than once that she thinks the Government's emphasis on targets is overdone and that her job is in large part about 'investing in risk'." The Observer (UK) 05/19/02


LOOKING AT THE TOP 100: The poll that ranked the top 100 books of all time and put Don Quixote atop the list surprised many. Not Shakespeare? Not Homer or Tolstoy? "Of the 100 titles, more than two thirds were written by European authors, almost half were written in the 20th century and only 11 were written by women." The Scotsman 05/13/02

TAKING REVIEWS ONLINE: American newspapers may be cutting their book sections, but online book reviews are flourishing. "Harriet Klausner has written over 3,000 online reviews and ranks as Amazon's No. 1 reviewer. A publicist at one of New York's prestigious houses who requested anonymity said Klausner's reviews matter to her more than some city newspapers. 'A single review of hers shows up on hundreds of sites. She's as important as some syndicated newspapers in terms of reaching readers'." Wired 05/14/02

IRONY IN CONTEXT: So some in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia want to ban To Kill a Mockingbird because it contains the "n" word. Stupid right? But maybe there's a little problem with cultural context going on here. "When you use an anachronistic text to teach a moral lesson, it can become a double agent working for the opposite side; its overearnestness and its lack of contemporary code become ripe for irony. In practice, a well-meaning text of yesteryear can become a form of hate lit - inarguable, because it is shrouded in irony." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/14/02

THE UNREADABLE BEST-SELLER: Jean M Auel has sold some "34 million books worldwide and she has been translated into 26 languages." Yet you likely have never heard of her - her books are rarely reviewed. Maybe there's a reason - The Shelters of Stone is not an easy book to review. "Actually, it is not an easy book to read at all for anybody of any literary sensitivity whatsoever. It is absurd from beginning to end and stupefyingly boring, too." So what's the appeal? London Evening Standard 05/13/02

DOWNWARD SPIRAL? One book industry inside is pessimistic about the long-range future of the business. "With record numbers of new books published every year, a more liquid market for used books online, fewer books going out of print thanks to print-on-demand technology, and overall unit sales stagnant or even declining, the mathematical collision is disastrous - lower sales for all but a few titles. And a potential decline in young readers will make the situation worse when those kids grow up. It raises urgent questions about everything from book pricing to how we treat reading in our society and use technology to grow audiences." Washington Post 05/14/02

WHO READS THE BOOK REVIEWS? "What is the role of print reviews and features in catalyzing book sales? A quick check of the sales rankings on following major reviews in national newspapers such as the New York Times, USA Today or the Wall St. Journal confirms that those publications can have a significant commercial impact. But publicists across the industry say it's next to impossible for a single review or feature to make a bestseller." Publishers Weekly 05/13/02

NEXT IT'LL BE METAL DETECTORS AND A BOARDING PASS: One of the more comfortable places to hang out in Tacoma Washington in you're homeless is the Tacoma Public Library, where it's warm and dry. This week the library's directors approved a "behavior rule that would restrict patrons from bringing bedrolls, big boxes or bulky bags into the library. Under the rule, a visitor's belongings must fit comfortably under his or her chair and measure no larger than 18 inches long by 16 inches wide by 10 inches high." We're not discriminating against homeless people, say's the library's director. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 05/16/02

OXFORD AMERICAN MAY FOLD: The decade-old literary magazine Oxford American, which tags itself "the Southern Magazine of Good Writing," is in serious danger of closing up shop, after publisher and chief bill-payer John Grisham decided that it was time for the magazine to either break even or shut down. There is still time for the magazine to be saved, probably through new ownership, but Grisham isn't willing to wait forever. Nando Times (AP) 05/15/02


THE MONSTER THAT ATE BROADWAY: When the giant, traditionally West Coast-based media companies began making a move on the New York theater scene several years back, independent producers shrieked that the invasion would mean the end of meaningful theater in the city. "Their concerns may have been overstated, at least as to how rapidly they might be displaced, but the reality is that major companies have settled in and altered the landscape. The resurgent interest in family-oriented fare... the new look of Times Square; the sustained appeal of Broadway to tourists: these can all be traced in some measure to the commitment large companies have made to the theater district. New York Times 05/19/02

I LOVE/HATE L.A.: "The playwrights who call Los Angeles home share a passionate love/hate relationship with the place. Catch them in the middle of workshop rehearsal for a new play, and they are likely to sing the joys of working in a place that offers artistic freedom, cultural diversity, an affordable lifestyle, a high concentration of great actors, the option of dabbling in industry work, and an abundance of strange and fascinating subject matter. Catch them on a bad day and you'll hear your fair share of ranting: L.A. writers are stigmatized, ghettoized the second they attempt to step outside the city limits." Backstage 05/15/02

MILLIE BY A HEAD? It's campaign season on Broadway, and productions are trying to get noticed by the Tony judges. Thoroughly Modern Millie has pulled into the lead with an advertising blitz and reinvigorated box office. Urinetown is fading (it just wouldn't play out on the prairies), and Mama Mia! seems content to sit back and count its money. New York Post 05/17/02

TONYS GET HOSTS: The Tony Awards finally have hosts - Gregory Hines and Bernadette Peters. Several stars had been asked to host, but declined. "Industry reaction to the Peters-Hines combo is pretty much what it's been for this whole lackluster season: yawn. Says one producer: 'I think everybody's looking ahead to 2003. Maybe things will be more exciting next year'." New York Post 05/15/02

MAD FOR THE MATERIAL GIRL: The hottest ticket in London's West End? Madonna's stage debut, which opened this week. "Fans arrived at 11am and waited in drizzle for eight hours for a chance to see the 43-year-old singer's West End debut in David Williamson's Up For Grabs - an arts-world satire in which she plays Loren, a ruthless dealer going to any length to shift a Jackson Pollock. Queueing was a tiresome process, but cheaper than paying between £150 and £400 on the black market." The Guardian (UK) 05/14/02

ACTORS - ONE-IN-FOUR WORKS: New statistics compiled by the Screen Actors Guild show that "23% of union members did not work during 1996-2000 and that 36% have worked less than five days in those five years." It's important to observe that many actors qaulified for membership in the union don't actively work anymore. But... Yahoo! (Variety) 05/13/02


SAVE AN ANCIENT LIBRARY: Classicists are calling for renewed excavation of the Villa of the Papyri, one of the great ancient libraries, found in southern Italy. They say that "flooding now poses a grave danger to the site and its precious library of ancient manuscripts. Among the authors whose works could lie buried beneath the volcanic debris are Sophocles, Euripides, Aristotle, Virgil, Horace and Livy. A full excavation might cost several million pounds, but this, the classicists argue, would be a small price to recover unknown writings by these intellectual giants." The Art Newspaper 05/11/02

MOM DESTROYS STOLEN ART: The French art thief spent years traveling Europe stealing art. After his mother heard he had been arrested she destroyed the art he had stolen - about $1.4 billion worth of it. "The case has stunned art experts because the 60 paintings and 112 objects that the police say Mr. Breitwieser has admitted stealing were estimated to be worth at least $1.4 billion. Among the paintings destroyed were works by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Corneille de Lyon and Watteau." The New York Times 05/17/02

SYDNEY'S PEOPLE'S BIENNIAL: The Sydney Biennial isn't a critic-pleaser. But it's sure hooked the tourists. "It is so full of holes, many of them wondrously elaborate and large, that the critic can't get a bead on anything. If the truth is out there (X-Files soundtrack, please) it's impossible to pin down with certainty in all the curatorial Swiss cheese. While critics might have trouble locking onto a target, however, it's clear that Grayson has a palpable hit on his hands. He's got Sydney, if not the show, sewn up." Sydney Morning Herald 05/17/02

HONORING CONTEXT AS WELL AS EXTRAVAGANCE: One of the most frequent criticisms levelled at architects of high-profile projects is that they tend to ignore the larger context of the area in which their building is being placed. Too often, a dramatic new skyscraper overshadows everything around it, or clashes with other prominent towers nearby. So it was perhaps understandable that this year's Governor-General awards in Canada seem to be making a special effort to honor architects who respect the landscape around their projects. The awards, which went to a dozen wildly disparate buildings across the country, are not concerned with scope and scale, but with the idea "that architecture should reveal the surrounding landscape." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 05/18/02

HOW TO BE A GALLERY OWNER: You're schlepping in a gallery, working as a faceless lowly assistant in the thrall of a gallery owner. How to make the leap to running you're own gallery? There are essentially three ways. Our favorite? The Miss Brazil route: "The art world will embrace you because you have won a beauty contest, or worked as model, or recently got engaged to someone with the name Rockefeller. You already know how to pose for photographs, and you probably own a collection of pointy-toed shoes, which men love because, most of them, deep down, are attracted to girls who can grind egos to salt with the step of a stiletto heel." Slate 05/16/02

INDIVIDUALITY AIN'T EVERYTHING: "It has been said that if we were to line a street with all the great houses of the past century, the result would be a very bad street with great houses. If architects do not speak for communities, we risk becoming obsolete. In order to concentrate on abstract design, we have already relinquished many services to developers, builders, and other economically driven forces. Given the rising need for responsive and humane environments, architects' tendency for self-expression could result in the disintegration of the profession altogether, unless we rethink our role." Metropolis 05/02

FASCINATED BY FRIDA: Almost half a century after she died, painter Frida Kahlo is hot. "Kahlo, who died in 1954, was a crippled, bisexual Communist who painted visceral images of miscarriage and menstruation and was overshadowed by her more famous husband, Diego Rivera. Yet in the last 20 years, she's joined the rarefied ranks of artists like Picasso, whose work is as ubiquitous as wallpaper. More than just a poster girl for artsy adolescents or a Latina role model, Kahlo is now a coffee mug, a key chain, and a postage stamp. Suddenly a fierce new wave of Fridamania is upon us that is conjuring up a new Kahlo, customized to suit 21st-century desires." Village Voice 05/14/02

RECORD AUSSIE SALE: The sale of a 1968 bronze Henry Moore sculpture for $490,000 has set a record price for work of art sold at auction in Australia. The Age (Melbourne) 05/14/02

BOTCHED ITALIAN RESTORATION: "Restoration projects in Italy are nearly always dogged by bitter controversy. The current restoration of the 14th- and 15th-century frescos in the Camposanto in Pisa has, however, raised controversy to a new level. The destruction of the frescos through a bungled attempt to clean them is not just a major scandal, it is an irreparable loss to the world of art." The Telegraph (UK) 05/14/02

THE TROUBLE WITH MODIGLIANI: The highly-anticipated catologue raisonne on Modigliani has been delayed for a year and experts are upset. Modigliani research is hampered by fakes and a lack of scholarly order. "So highly charged is the subject that some researchers claim they have received death threats, and two have abandoned work on monographs. Things are not helped by a plethora of fakes on the market and bitter quarrels between the experts. Why is Modigliani so particularly targeted?" The Art Newspaper 05/10/02

THE MUSEUM THAT REMAKES A CITY: The Manchester Art Gallery has reopened in significantly larger and grander form. "From the moment visitors to the city step out from Piccadilly station, currently being rebuilt, it is clear that Manchester is well on its way to becoming a European city with real verve and style. The great achievement here has been to bring together two of Manchester's finest Victorian buildings - the former Royal Manchester Institution and what was the Athenaeum Club - with a handsome new gallery on the site of what had long been a car park." The Guardian (UK) 05/13/02


GOLDEN STATE ARTS FUNDING GOES GRAY: California governor Gray Davis proposes to close a looming state budget gap by making cuts and raising taxes. Among the hardest hit - the state arts council which would see its budget cut by more than 50 percent. "Last year, Davis fattened its budget by $10 million, bringing the total budget to more than $29 million. Davis' cuts would take the council's budget to about $13 million, with only $6 million for its Arts in Education program." San Francisco Chronicle 05/16/02

CUTTING NY ARTS FUNDING: New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg proposes "a 20 percent cut in funding to the city’s largest institutions and a 15 percent cut to the smaller ones. In recent weeks, leaders of high-profile institutions like the Met, Carnegie Hall, the New York State Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the outer-borough botanical gardens have been privately taking stock of what looks to be an extremely grim situation. Now the real-life implications of Mr. Bloomberg’s proposed cuts are sinking in, and they are causing widespread panic among leaders in the arts community." New York Observer 05/15/02

THE ARTS AS A POPULATION DRAW: For many cities, the arts are a frill, an afterthought to be stroked when times are good and ignored when budget crunches strike. But in Minnesota's Twin Cities, the arts have long been seen as a crucial way to attract and keep residents in an area of the country widely believed to be out of the way, isolated, and very, very cold. Still, once a thriving arts scene is built, it requires maintenance, and with deficits looming all over the country, Minneapolis and Saint Paul residents find themselves wondering whether they can afford to reaffirm the commitment. ABC World News Tonight 05/15/02

LOTTERY THINKS SMALLER: Britain's Lottery Heritage Fund - responsible for funding a big part of the arts building boom of the past decade - is scaling back to smaller projects. "Although 25% of the money will still be reserved for big projects - there is no official ceiling on bids, but anyone seeking grants of over £1m will still have to raise at least 25% in matching funding - it is clear the fund believes the glory days are past of huge capital projects such as the British Museum's Great Court or the rebuilding of the Walker Gallery in Merseyside." The Guardian (UK) 05/16/02

COPYRIGHT POWERS THAT BE: Think there's any chance of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act being changed? Think again. Despite plenty of challenges in the courts and criticism from the online digital community, the real powers in Washington like the law. This week "some of Washington's most influential lobbyists and politicians sung the praises of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and said it had successfully limited piracy and promoted creativity." Wired 05/17/02

CLEVELAND'S CULTURAL SUMMIT: No culture wars in Cleveland, where about 350 arts advocates gathered for a cultural conference to hear praises from the city's politicians. In Cleveland "the arts represent a sizable economic sector, with 4,000 full-time workers and an economic impact one study estimated at $1.3 billion a year in Northeast Ohio." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 05/17/02

SO MANY STUDENTS, SO FEW TEACHERS: Of California's 300,000 full time public school teachers, only two percent teach music or art. But now the state has mandated each graduating student must have some arts training. Where will the teachers come from? The more determined schools have turned to the community... San Francisco Chronicle 05/15/02

CUT UNTIL IT BLEEDS: Just how bad has arts education been cut in California public schools? In San Francisco, arguably one of America's most culturally active cities, "just 16 full-time music teachers are expected to serve 30,000 children enrolled in 70 elementary schools. To compensate for the lack of money, teachers have become experts at applying for grants; parents have become pros at planning auctions, art projects and candy drives; principals have forged partnerships with nonprofit arts groups; and arts providers have created ties with philanthropists." San Francisco Chronicle 05/14/02

WHO'S TO BLAME FOR BAD ARTS COVERAGE? Has coverage of the arts gotten worse in America? If more people go to arts events in a given week than to sports, then "why is the DAILY sports section of some newspapers 24 pages on a regular basis while the WEEKLY arts sections are small, and obviously, one-seventh as frequent - if they exist at all?" San Diego Union-Tribune editor Chris Lavin delivered a speech last week to the Association of Performing Arts Service Organization and charged there's plenty of blame to go around - arts organizations who haven't learned the art of promotion in the way football teams have, and editors and critics who don't know how to tell stories and are unable to speak to a wider audience. "Reviews, almost by their definition, are narrowly focused - they speak to the theater community and to people who attended the show or are considering attending a show. I don't believe they attract the eyes of the non-theater-going community nor do I think they are generally written in a way that makes the art form more accessible to a broad newspaper or television audience." Poynter 05/14/02

RULES FOR SHARING: A new company is attempting to set up a system for sharing digital intellectual property. "The firm's first project is to design a set of licenses stating the terms under which a given work can be copied and used by others. Musicians who want to build an audience, for instance, might permit people to copy songs for noncommercial use. Graphic designers might allow unlimited copying of certain work as long as it is credited. The goal is to make such licenses machine-readable, so that anyone could go to an Internet search engine and seek images or a genre of music, for example, that could be copied without legal entanglements." The New York Times 05/13/02

NAMING BLIGHTS: "As part of Lincoln Center's $1.2 billion redevelopment plan, the performing arts center is considering whether to renovate Avery Fisher Hall substantially or to raze it and start from scratch. Executives have said they are leaning toward building anew, in part because it may cost as much to renovate as to start over and also because it is easier to raise funds for a new building than for an old one." But the family of Avery Fisher says they would take legal action if the hall is renamed  (thereby making it difficult to attract a lead donation for the project). The New York Times 05/13/02