ARTS BEAT NEWSLETTER - Last Week's Top Stories

Arts Journal Home Page
PublishingTheatreVisual ArtsArts IssuesPeople

SearchContact Us


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 4-10

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

2001 archives
2000 archives

News Service Home`Services
Digest Samples
Headline Samples








Week of June 10-16, 2002

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


MAJOR INDUSTRY: A new study reports that nonprofit American arts groups generate $134 billion in economic activity each year. "The new survey covered 3,000 local arts organizations in 91 cities, as well as 40,000 of their patrons, and drew a statistical picture of a booming business. These groups account for 4.85 million full-time-equivalent jobs, a larger percentage of the workforce than lawyers or computer programmers." Washington Post 06/11/02

BURSTING THE BUBBLE: Why is the recording industry in danger of collapse? "It is hard to think of a more profound business crisis. You've lost control of the means of distribution, promotion, and manufacturing. You've lost quality control - in some sense, there's been a quality-control coup. You've lost your basic business model - what you sell has become as free as oxygen. It's a philosophical as well as a business crisis - which compounds the problem, because the people who run the music business are not exactly philosophers." New York Magazine 06/10/02

FREE ME: When the LA County Museum of Art began charging admission in 1978, attendance slid by 44 percent. Now, nearly 25 years later, despite 3 million more people in LA, the number of people visiting LACMA is roughly the same as it was in pre-admission 1978. As the museum goes out to raise $300 million to makeover its campus, Christopher Knight writes that one of LACMA's top priorities ought to be eliminating the admission fee. "No one should underestimate the barrier erected by general admission fees. Yet the issue isn't just a matter of affordability. It also concerns a more fundamental relationship with art." Los Angeles Times 06/09/02


DONALD BYRD COMPANY CLOSING: After 24 years, Donald Byrd/The Group is closing because of money problems. "A lot of it has to do with debt issues that have been ongoing since Harlem Nutcracker. The $1.2 million production, which had its premiere in 1996, was artistically successful and toured extensively throughout the United States. But Mr. Byrd said he had struggled for six years to pay off the debt arising from it, now about $400,000. His 10-member company, which has an annual budget of just under $1 million, also has an accumulated deficit of another $400,000. Byrd, 52, has been among the most innovative and busy of choreographers in recent years, tackling unusual themes in an unusually eclectic style." The New York Times 06/15/02

TOO LONG AND ELECTRONIC: Generalizations are sometimes dangerous, but it is possible to hold a few obvious truths about this year's Canada Dance Festival. Choreographers from Toronto and Montreal dominated, the pieces were too long (most were hour-long full-lengths designed to satisfy presenters), and original electronic music seems to be the accompaniment of choice "which seems to be developing a universal template that is best described as cinematic-cum-atmospheric soundscape." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 06/13/02

DANCE OLYMPICS: One hundred and eighteen dancers from 25 countries are converging on Jackson Mississippi this week for the USA International Ballet Competition. It's held every four years, and "the competition is an expensive, stressful, and time-consuming proposition. But for dancers ages 15 to 26, it offers a chance to network and showcase their skills for representatives of some of the world's most noted dance companies. Outstanding performers are often rewarded not only with prizes, but with job offers and guest opportunities- a real boon for emerging talents." Boston Globe 06/12/02

IRELAND LEARNS TO DANCE: Contemporary dance has struggled in Ireland for decades. But last month an international festival of dance played to full houses. Is dance finally finding a place in Ireland? "The question is, can a country of fewer than four million with a capital city of about one million support a thriving contemporary dance scene? Fewer than 30 people in Ireland, mostly choreographers and administrators, rely on dance for full-time employment. If the calculation included all members of Irish dance companies, who mostly work part-time as actors or teachers, the total might reach 60." The New York Times 06/12/02


PROTESTING CONSOLIDATION: A TV group representing creative workers in the industry are warning that consolidation of American media is dangerous for the country. They're asking the FCC to investigate. "The harm comes about as a direct result of the growing concentration of ownership. The consequences of this new factor in our industry are - and this is no exaggeration - potentially catastrophic." Nando Times (AP) 06/11/02

BRIT TV GOES TO THE US: Sales of British TV shows to the US increased 20 percent last year, helped by the success of a couple of hit exports, including The Weakest Link. "Sales to the US account for nearly a third of all exports from the UK and the market is worth £136 million, according to the British Television Distributors Association (BTDA)." BBC 06/13/02

DOES UK HAVE WORLD'S BEST TV? Britain has won the most awards at the Banff International Television Festival, winning nine awards. The US came second with 7 awards. "The U.K. has traditionally dominated the awards, held for the past 23 years in this Rocky Mountain resort town." National Post (Canada) 06/11/02

FEST ME: There are now 1,600 film festivals around the world and 650 in the United States. And oddly, Los Angeles, the home of movies, doesn't have a top-tier film fest. Why? Shouldn't it? Los Angeles Times 06/16/02

PBS' RECORD LOW RATINGS: America's PBS racked up record low ratings this past season. The network is trying to reinvent itself, working to attract viewers who aren't kids and old people. But can PBS reinvent before its audience completely goes away? "The PBS audience has wandered off to niche cable channels that have cherry-picked one coverage area after another that PBS once had exclusively: The Food Network and Animal Planet in specific areas, for instance, and even Discovery and A&E more directly competing with PBS' broader vision." Chicago Tribune 06/13/02

PUBLIC BROADCASTER MAKES MASSIVE CUTS: "Dallas public broadcaster KERA cut nearly a quarter of its staff Thursday, citing lower-than-expected corporate and individual donations since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks... Public TV stations in Chicago, Philadelphia and Oregon also laid off workers in the last month." Dallas Morning News 06/14/02


THEFT ON A GRAND SCALE: Sales of pirated music cds doubled in 2001 to 950 million, says a new report. But overall the number of "pirated recordings, including CDs and cassettes, totaled nearly 2 billion in 2001, up just slightly from a year earlier. The figure means that two out of every five recordings sold worldwide in 2001 was an illegal copy. Illegal music sales outnumber legal sales in 25 countries, compared with 21 countries a year earlier." Boston Globe (AP) 06/11/02

  • THE DOWNLOAD EFFECT? A prominent economics professor studying the effect of music downloading wonders why there isn't more of an impact on CD sales. Sure, sales were down a bit last year, and it could be explained by the recession. Estimates of downloads are five times greater than CD sales. Yet CD sales are only down 5 percent. Perhaps digital trading isn't hurting legit sales? Salon 06/13/02
  • BURN BABY BURN: Music fans are being offered an easy new way to burn CDs in Sydney - vending machines. "There are about 20 Copy Cat machines installed in convenience stores and photocopying shops around Sydney where burning a CD costs $5, plus $2 for a blank. The machines are ostensibly legitimate because they come with a notice warning users about copyright infringements." Sydney Morning Herald 06/14/02
  • THE DIGITAL CATCH-22: The debate over CD-copying technology and music piracy is more complex than either side usually cares to admit. On the one hand, the industry is quite aware of studies that show that copying technology has led to a wider and more voracious market for purchased CDs. On the other, the professional music pirates who are glutting the world market with discs are a major threat to profit margins. What's a giant corporate media industry to do? Wired 06/14/02

STICKING WITH CONVENTIONAL: The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs is about music rather than careers. But music critic Scott Cantrell is disappointed that judges chose conventional performances to win rather than the performer with a more idiosyncratic approach. Dallas Morning News 06/16/02

  • FOR THE LOVE OF IT: The Amateur competition reminds listeners that making music is a personal experience. "There was the sometime librarian who co-owned a café and a shoe repair shop and designed circus tents, the financial manager with a Harvard MBA and a black belt in karate, the television news anchor who took master classes with Sir Georg Solti and became third runner-up in the 1985 Miss America Pageant." Toronto Star 06/16/02

E-JUDGING: A new international piano features an e-judge - pianist Yefim Bronfman, who will tune in to performances sitting in Japan, while the competition plays out in Minnesota. "Mr. Bronfman, whom the contest's Web site ( calls an "e-judge," is to sit in a 200-seat recital hall in the international headquarters of the Yamaha Corporation listening to the performances of the young pianists in St. Paul as reproduced onstage through a Yamaha Disklavier Pro piano, essentially a 21st-century player piano. The contest does raise questions about the uniqueness of live performance and the appropriate uses of ever-advancing technology in music." The New York Times 06/13/02

MORE INTRIGUE IN EDMONTON: Last winter's bitter battle between the management and musicians of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra centered around the orchestra's deposed music director, Grzegorz Nowak, and developed into a heated discussion over whether musicians have a right to some control of their orchestra's direction. In the thick of the fight, Nowak threatened to take the ESO musicians (who by and large supported him) and start his own orchestra. Plans have been scaled back a bit, but Nowak is making good on his threat. Edmonton Journal 06/13/02

AN ORCHESTRA TRAVELS ON ITS STOMACHS: What makes a great orchestra? “Someone should write a doctorate some day on why certain middle-sized cities (Birmingham, Dresden and Cleveland) manage to generate and sustain world-class orchestras, while others (Glasgow, Frankfurt or Seattle) fail to do so.” Outgoing Cleveland Orchestra music director says success comes down to parking spaces. And lockers. And food. "My gimmick is I pay them a lot of money. Think about it. Our musicians don't have problems with traffic. They can get to work in 10 minutes. They all have parking spaces. They all have lockers. There's a good canteen. Compared with a London musician's living, it's heaven." The Guardian (UK) 06/13/02


PAUL GOTTLIEB, 67: "In his 20 years as publisher and editor in chief of the country's most notable publisher of art books he exercised vast influence, not merely on how such books are published but also on how art is presented and promoted at museums around the world. Gottlieb knew just about everybody connected in one way or another to publishing and art." Washington Post 06/10/02

DEALER SENTENCED FOR ART SALES: New York art dealer Frederick Schultz has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for trying to sell stolen Egyptian artifacts. "The stiff sentence, coming after Mr. Schultz's conviction on Feb. 12, is seen as a sign of the federal government's determination to crack down on the trade in ancient objects that have been illegally taken out of their countries of origin." The New York Times 06/12/02

HARVARD MUSEUM CHIEF TO COURTAULD: James Cuno, the director of the Harvard University Art Museums since 1991, has been named director of the University of London's Courtauld Institute of Art. The appointment is seen as a sideways move for the highly-regarded Cuno, who is also president of the Association of Art Museum Directors in the US. His departure from Harvard is "the latest in a number of high-profile departures from the university since the arrival last year of president Lawrence H. Summers." Boston Globe 06/11/02


FICTIONABLE: The Australian fiction market is a respectable size, but “sales figures for fiction are down and fewer first novelists are being published. In 1999-2000 Australians bought 1.1 million new hardback novels worth $17.8 million, 1.2 million trade paperback novels for $13.9 million, and also spent $42.6 million on 8.5 million mass-market novels. In that period, 36 new hardback, 155 new trade paperback, and 1089 new mass-market novels were published. The Age (Melbourne) 06/13/02

WHO BUYS BOOKS: In Australia "the $126-million book industry relies on women for the bulk of its sales. Women not only buy for themselves but for men and children. And it is 35 to 50-year-olds who buy the most. "The closer they get to 50, the more books they buy," Drum says. A national survey of reading, book buying and borrowing, completed last year for the Australia Council, found that women browsed more in bookshops, read more widely, and were happier relaxing with a book than men were." The Age (Melbourne) 06/12/02

IS THE BOOK REAL? Rachel Simmons' Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls has had much play, climbing the bestseller lists and "helping ignite a national debate about 'mean girls'." But to one columnist, the quotes seemed not quite right, a little too sophisticated to be real. Contacting the author, she arranged to sample some of the interview tapes to check them. But when the time came, Simmons changed her mind and declined to reveal the tapes. "It must be said that Simmons and her publisher are well within their legal rights to refuse my request." But "when readers raise legitimate questions about a work's accuracy, the authors owe it to themselves, their subjects, their works and the world of letters to verify their claims." The News & Observer (Raleigh) 06/10/02

HEY HAY HEH: "Stratford has Shakespeare, Glyndebourne has opera, Hay-on-Wye has books - and its very own literary festival. Perched at the foot of the Black Mountains, the tiny market town of Hay boasts 39 bookshops, two million books and a population of just 1,200. And for ten days each year, the town hosts its very own 'Woodstock of the mind', as Bill Clinton dubbed it last year. It regularly attracts some 50,000 book-lovers from across the UK, Europe and the US. Well, that at least is the official blurb." But has Hay, with its squabbles and feuds and outsized operations, become too big for itself? New Statesman 06/10/02

BEMUSEMENT AT BOOKER BRUHAHA: American critics continue to be amused at British angst over opening up the Booker Prize to American writers. Would the Americans dominate the competition? "Given the last two decades of ambitious experimentation by British writers, why do intimations of literary inferiority persist? In part, it's a reflection of the European view of the United States as a bullying superpower, acting unilaterally, be it in the political and military sphere or in the world of cultural commerce. In part, it has to do with what the British critic and novelist Malcolm Bradbury once called 'trans-Atlantic mythologies' — deep-seated attitudes that writers on either side of the ocean have long held about one another." The New York Times 06/10/02

DREAMING WHAT YOU READ: A new study says what you read is linked to what you dream. Researchers found that "adults choosing fiction had stranger dreams - but were more likely to remember them. While fantasy novel fans had more nightmares and 'lucid' dreams, in which they are aware they are dreaming. The dreams of those who preferred romantic novels were more emotionally intense." BBC 06/10/02

HOW TO WRITE A BESTSELLER: More than a few people get it into their heads that they can make a fortune writing a bestseller. How hard can it be? "Of course it can't be done. You might as well stand in a field during a thunderstorm and hope to be struck by lightning. Bestsellers defy analysis. But if you did want to prospect for this fool's gold, here are four guidelines." The Observer (UK) 06/09/02


DENVER KILLS NEW PLAY FEST: Since 1984-85, the Denver Center Theatre Company has staged the annual TheatreFest to showcase new plays and playwrights. In 18 years the festival considered 27,000 scripts and chose more than 200 for full or partial staged readings. "Of those, 45 eventually became fully produced, making up a large chunk of the 96 world premieres the DCTC has presented in the past 23 years. But the company's budget, which comes from interest generated by Bonfils Foundation assets, was ordered cut after last year's downward market turn." So the company is suspending the $160,000 event. Denver Post 06/11/02

PROVING GROUNDS: Gone are the days when big expensive shows had their world premieres on Broadway. More often now, they debut in other cities before moving on. "Mounting a new musical in New York has become so expensive that producers are loath to take the risk of failure. They prefer to wait until shows are proven at places like Theater Under the Stars in Houston, which has just moved into a dazzling $100-million home designed especially to stage lavish musicals." The New York Times 06/11/02

THE CASE FOR A NATIONAL THEATRE: "If the American play is ever to survive on Broadway, something must replace the function of the independent producer. To flourish, plays must have sustenance, a place to grow and a means to do so. What better environment than a national theater, right in the middle of Broadway?" The New York Times 06/16/02

ANCIENT OUTDOOR THEATRE: London’s ancient amphitheatre is open again, after being buried for 1600 years. “Modern visitors will be able to follow the route taken for almost 300 years by excited Roman citizens, by gladiators who might survive to become wealthy sporting superstars, and by condemned criminals, who would certainly be torn apart by wild animals or weapons.” The Guardian (UK) 06/13/02

LOOKING FOR SHAKESPEAREVILLE: A replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Odessa Texas isn't exactly authentic (plush seats and a climate-controlled theatre with a roof are two of the improvements), but after falling into decline after its 1960s opening, the theatre is rebuilding its fortunes. It aims to be a Texasified Shakespeare village in the tradition of Ashland Oregon, America's largest Shakespeare festival. The Independent (UK) 06/10/02

YOUNG PEOPLE - SHAKESPEARE'S HIP: A new poll of young people in Britain reports that a third of young people say Shakespeare's works are "relevant to their lives and have made an important contribution to the English language. Only 3 per cent of those polled said they would feel intimidated by going to see a Shakespeare production. The survey of 15 to 35-year-olds, conducted for the Royal Shakespeare Company, also found that more of them have visited a theatre in the past year than have been to a pop concert." The Scotsman 06/11/02

PLAYBILL BUYS STAGEBILL: Stagebill, one of America's leading program publishers is being acquired by Playbill, its chief competitor. "New York-based Playbill confirmed it has acquired the rights to publish under the Stagebill name, effective Sept. 1, but offered no other details on the deal, in a prepared statement Friday." Chicago Tribune 06/10/02

SHAKESPEARE IN CHINA: The Royal Shakespeare Company travels to China, where the audiences are small (it’s far too expensive for ordinary Chinese) but enthusiastic. "Chinese drama is in a critical state. The audience for theatre is very small compared to film and television. But it has a few supporters, mainly among students and better-paid clerks, and it still attracts the leading thinkers and opinion formers. Very few foreign performances are seen in Beijing, so the visit of the Royal Shakespeare Company gives us a chance to communicate with different cultures and different thoughts." The Guardian (UK) 06/13/02


DOCUMENTING CONTEMPORARY ART: The 11th Documenta opens in Kassel. "Despite contemporary techniques - video, installation, photography - this Documenta 11 fails to match the work of much of the 1990s in loudness, velocity or the frequency of its shock effects. There are fewer illustrations of political theses than feared, and instead more truly classical art than many might have anticipated. In order to avoid making a loss, Documenta 11 must attract 630,000 visitors to Kassel and earn over euro 6.9 million ($6.5 million) by Sept. 15." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 06/09/02

A PLAN TO SAVE VENICE: Venice has decided to build a controversial "Thames barrier-type structure with 79 gates, each weighing 300 tonnes" to help control flooding of the city's lagoon. "But there are fears about how this might affect the Venice lagoon, particularly the possibility that it could further restrict the flushing of the city's waterways by the tide, making the famous stinking canals more stagnant." So British scientists have been brought in to "suggest ways to prevent the city becoming the first high-profile victim of global warming and a rise in sea levels." The Guardian (UK) 06/10/02

DESIGN-CHALLENGED: Wonder why people don't grow up with an appreciation for good architecture? Start with school buildings. The province of Ontario is building new schools, but the amount spent on design is pitiful. "On their own and strapped for money, some of the region's school boards are replicating school designs over two or three different sites. Sadly, the new schools in Toronto can't achieve the robust detailing of the public schools that emerged in the city in the early 20th century." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 06/12/02

A CONSERVATION SCANDAL: How was the ancient Villa of the Papyri - one of the richest and largest of the ancient Roman villas ever discovered, "allowed to degenerate into a massive dumping site for rubbish while weeds ravaged the ancient mosaic floor, holes in the plastic roof left it exposed to rain, and rising water levels blocked access to the site?" It's a sad case of bungled bureaucracy... The Art Newspaper 06/07/02

FOOD FIGHT: A show of Italian Masters sponsored by the Italian government and sent to Australia has provoked a fierce review that has insulted the Italians. "Attacks on the show feed fears that Australia is regarded by the rest of the world as the back of beyond, a place where nobody would care to send too many masterpieces, and also that Australians are taken for bumpkins, too unsophisticated to realise when they are being fobbed off." The Times (UK) 06/12/02

BRITISH MUSEUM STRIKE: The British Museum won't open next Monday because of a 24-hour strike by its workers. They are protesting cuts and management of the museum. "It is believed to be the first time the museum will have closed because of industrial action in its 250-year history." The Guardian (UK) 06/12/02

TEARING DOWN HISTORY: The 20th Century was a bad one for English manors. "More than 1,000 country houses, perhaps one in six, were demolished in the 20th century. The result was an architectural and cultural tragedy that has no parallel in this country since the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. Superb collections of art were broken up, some of the most delightful gardens and landscapes ever created abandoned, and many of this country's finest buildings razed to the ground. The causes of that destruction have never been spelt out before, perhaps because the event was too painful." The Telegraph (UK) 06/15/02

IS IT CHEATING? When photography was invented many predicted the end of painting. Didn't happen, of course. But lately there have been fresh debates about the "fairness" of painters using mechanical devices to help in their work. Does it somehow lessen a work if the artist used visual aids? "I'm guessing that psychoanalysts would diagnose this as displaced anxiety." The New York Times 06/16/02

THOROUGHLY MODERN BIDDING: With Impressionist works too expensive for most collectors, contemporary art has caught the interest of investors. Prices for 20th Century work has been setting records of late. "The stock market is not currently offering many opportunities for people to get involved so when they find something that gives them pleasure, like art, they say 'let's do it.' ". Financial Times 06/14/02

SCOTTISH GALLERY WORKERS THINK STRIKE: While staff at the National Galleries of Scotland ponder a strike, the museum director is on a paid six-month sabbatical in Italy. And the museum is proposing to increase his salary by almost a quarter. That doesn't sit well with junior staff. "Here we have a director on a six-month sabbatical, travelling the world, while the lowest-paid members of staff can barely afford to get themselves to work." The Scotsman 06/13/02

FOR THE SOUL OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY: London's Royal Academy has had a very successful few years. But now director David Gordon is leaving, and the RA is at a crossroads. "At issue is whether artists or administrators should run the public side of the organisation, now that it has been transformed into a £20 million-a-year business, putting on world-class exhibitions. With the RA about to embark on a £50 million project to take over 6 Burlington Gardens, the former Museum of Mankind building, the debate has added urgency." The Art Newspaper 06/10/02


LACK OF DISCIPLINE: American academic culture has changed dramatically in recent years. "The dissociation of academic work from traditional departments has become so expected in the humanities that it is a common topic of both conferences and jokes. More and more colleges are offering more and more interdisciplinary classes, and even interdisciplinary majors, but increased interdisciplinarity is not what is new, and it is not the cause of today's confusion. What the academy is now experiencing is postdisciplinarity - not a joining of disciplines, but an escape from disciplines." Wilson Quarterly 06/02

CREATIVITY = ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Richard Florida's new book suggests that "instead of underwriting big-box retailers, subsidizing downtown malls, recruiting call centers, and squandering precious taxpayer dollars on extravagant stadium complexes, the leadership should instead develop an environment attractive to the creative class by cultivating the arts, music, night life and quaint historic districts - in short, develop places that are fun and interesting rather than corporate and mall-like. It's advice that city and regional leaders can take or leave, but Florida contends that his focus groups and indices - reporting the important factors needed for economic growth in the creative age, from concentrations of bohemians to patents to a lively gay community - are more accurately predicting the success and failure of metropolitan areas." Salon 06/07/02

LOOKING FOR THE SNOB-FREE ZONE: We are a world of snobs - each of us trying to define ourselves as superior in some way to those around us. And yet, writes Joseph Epstein, "one would like to think that Is there a snob-free zone, a place where one is outside all snobbish concerns, neither wanting to get in anywhere one isn't, nor needing to keep anyone else out for fear that one's own position will somehow seem eroded or otherwise devalued? A very small island of the favored of the gods, clearly, this snob-free zone, but how does one get there?" Washington Monthly 06/02

COLORADO GOVERNOR CUTS ARTS FUNDING: Colorado Governor Bill Owens used his line-item veto to cut $766,030, or 40 percent of the Colorado Arts Council budget. Owens explained that "grants to these arts programs go to the metro Denver area that already has a dedicated sales tax for these purposes. Because there is a large alternate source of revenue, and given the discretionary, one-time nature of the funds, I am vetoing this line." Denver Post 06/05/02

MICHIGAN JOINS ARTS-CUT MOVEMENT: Like many governments across America, Michigan is facing tough budget times. And like many other governments, state legislators are proposing major cuts in its arts budget - a "50 percent cut in arts grants, from $23.5 million to $11.9 million. It's too early to predict whether the cuts will be adopted, but the fact that a joint committee of the state Senate and House will meet over the next week to discuss the cut has arts advocates on the defensive and preparing for a political fight." Detroit Free Press 06/12/02

BOUNCING BACK DOWN UNDER: Australian arts groups were affected by 9/11, just like American companies. But the effect was mostly mild - the Sydney Symphony, dependent on single-ticket sales, saw declines, but the Sydney Theatre Company actually posted increases. Sydney Morning Herald 06/14/02

MENTORING WITH SWISS PRECISION: "On the theory that any artist, regardless of age or experience, can benefit from guidance, Rolex S.A., the Swiss watchmaker, has created a novel mentoring program that will link up five up-and-coming artists with five world-class masters in their fields. The five mentors — the conductor Sir Colin Davis, the choreographer William Forsythe, the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza and the theater artist Robert Wilson — and their protégés gather tonight for a reception at the Frick Collection, where they will begin their yearlong partnership." The New York Times 06/13/02

WHERE ARE THE CRITICS? "Unfortunately, critics, and criticism, are becoming more and more irrelevant. Their authority has been undermined by chat rooms, bulletin boards and online reviews from your fellow customer." And the contrarian critics? They're almost worst of all - b-o-r-i-n-g. They've all got an agenda, and most are compromised in one way or another. LAWeekly 06/13/02

10. FOR FUN 

REJECTION AS A REVENUE STREAM: Tired of those form rejection letters for your Great American Novel? Stymied by your efforts to get your book in front of an editor? A new venture offers tips on how to get your book publishable. But the real lure is that a real live editor from Penguin Putnam will read and critique your effort. It only costs $119. "The plan makes a certain kind of sense: After all, there's a whole cottage industry of writers conferences, magazines and guides preaching the gospel to aspiring authors. But a publishing company is closest to the ultimate prize, actual acceptance. It could charge writers extra for a bona fide book editor to explain to the aspiring writer why she wasn't buying his manuscript. Rejection as a revenue stream!" Salon 06/12/02