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Week of September 3-8, 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


POISONED HERITAGE: "As late as the 1960s, it was common practice for museums and collectors to preserve artifacts - and to ward off bugs and rodents - by applying a variety of toxic pesticides, including mercury, arsenic, and the now-banned DDT. In the wake of a federal repatriation law passed in the early 1990s, Native Americans have realized what was previously known only to museum workers: Virtually every organic artifact collected before the second half of the 20th century has been contaminated. Because the problem is so new, no data exist on the correlation between contaminated artifacts and health defects, especially among the little-studied Native American population." SF Weekly 09/05/02

IRRATIONAL RATINGS: The rating of films in America is a murky business. There's no absolute standard, and independent filmmakers complain that the ratings board deals with their films more restrictively - especially movies with sex in them. "The rating system was started to fend off church-related organizations from rating films themselves, which often led to community bans. But the ratings board has become the worst kind of censor itself, exercising its own subjective, often maddeningly capricious opinions. This is especially true of the board's decisions involving sexual content." Los Angeles Times 09/03/02


GRAHAM COMPANY IS BACK: The Martha Graham Company is preparing to dance again. "The prospect of performing again came with a victory on Aug. 23 in the long and bitter legal struggle over the rights to the name and work of Martha Graham. As soon as the federal district court decision was announced, calls and e-mails went out to the Graham dancers, who had been laid off when the center suspended operations for financial reasons in May 2000. Understandably, they were overjoyed." The New York Times 09/02/02

THE KIROV'S BACK: "Perhaps no ballet company in the world is more daunting to write about than the Kirov. The company has a deep and detailed past which is the stuff of scholars, and a performance history that is hard to know given restrictions during the Cold War." Yet the book on the company in recent years is that it lost a step or two. The cliche goes something like: "if the Kirov watches us enough they’ll learn how to dance. Actually, maybe it’s time for us to watch them." New Criterion 09/02

SAVING DANCE: Dance is an ephemeral artform. After it is performed, it is often lost, usually recreated from the memories of those who were taught it. A video archive project attempts to record the teaching of important roles. "During a taping session, which lasts from one to three days, the teacher coaches young dancers through the principal roles - not the entire ballet - in an informal studio setting; the teacher also takes time for interviews and commentary with a selected dance scholar or critic. The tapes are edited into a final version that is usually about an hour in length. Copies are kept at selected libraries around the world, where they are available for on-site viewing." Fort Worth Star-Telegram 09/01/02

WHY MERCE DOESN'T WATCH DANCE: Merce Cunningham, "rarely watches other dance performances. He says it is because he has too little time, but he also admits, as politely as he knows how, that too much of what he sees is dull. Cunningham, whose company celebrates its 50th anniversary this season, has dominated modern dance for so long that he has acquired the status of guru, wise man, even saint. Changing fashions, artistic burnout and underfunding limit most choreographers' careers to a decade or so; yet Merce has survived to become a still point." The Guardian (UK) 09/05/02

DANCE MEETS THE TECHNOGEEKS: "With the formal opening on Oct. 2 of the new Dance Theater Workshop in Chelsea, New York dance officially enters the cyber universe. The new D.T.W. is the most technologically sophisticated dance theater space in the nation and perhaps the world, judging by anecdotal evidence from touring dance companies... Every room in the complex is wired for video and computers. Even more impressive is the in-house Artist Resource and Media Laboratory, which will provide arts technicians and dance artists with extensive access to video-editing, digital video creation, graphics layout and digital performance playback." The New York Times 09/08/02


FEST EXPERIENCE: There are now more than 1000 film festivals a year - every day of every week somewhere a festival is playing. And they have changed how movies are marketed and what we see. "Different constituencies like film festivals for different reasons. Cities like them because they are useful for tourism and promotion. Audiences like them because they are exposed to films they might not otherwise see. Filmmakers like them because they can debut their films before enthusiastic audiences and at the bigger festivals they can get a lot of publicity at one event, getting the most bang for their promotional buck." National Post (Canada) 09/06/02

BLOCKBUST AT YOUR PERIL: This was a blockbuster summer for Hollywood, with numerous films making hundreds of millions of dollars each. But the costs of making these blockbusters has soared too, with big-name stars making tens of millions for their parts. And then there are those costly flops...Little wonder studio execs are looking hard at surprise boutique hits like My Greek Wedding, which cost $5 million to make, but has brought in $100 million so far. The New York Times 09/01/02

TECH COMPANIES RACE FOR PROTECTION: "Studios and record labels want their products protected from the widespread thievery popularized by services such as Napster. Spurred by the threat of federal legislation, technology companies such as Microsoft Corp. and RealNetworks Inc. are scrambling to prove that their systems do more than the other fellow's to keep content under lock and key. Microsoft has been particularly aggressive, launching a number of efforts to satisfy entertainment moguls' hunger for security in a digital age when content can be perfectly reproduced millions of times." Los Angeles Times 09/03/02

DESOLATION AND RENEWAL IN VENICE: In an age when film festivals increasingly reflect nothing more than the desire of filmmakers to become famous and make money, the Venice Film Festival is a refreshing slice of reality, says one critic. Well, maybe refreshing isn't the word - after all, reality is not terribly upbeat these days, and much of this year's festival is reflective of an uncertain and sometimes frightening world outlook. But the art is genuine, and the entries as eclectic as any film fan could wish for. And you know the festival can't be taking itself too seriously, since the president of the judging panel speaks only Mandarin, a language in which not one of the entered films is subtitled. Chicago Tribune 09/07/02

  • EH, IT'S NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE: If Venice really wants to be taken seriously as a premiere film festival, it needs to stick to what it does best, and quit trying to be Cannes or Berlin, says Frank Bruni. This year's red-carpet fixation reflects "the overarching, unofficial themes of the festival's 59th incarnation: relentless self-examination, aggressive overhaul and an emphatic quest for renewed glory at a time when competitors have stolen much of its luster. Over the last few decades, Venice has gone from the grande dame of film festivals to the somewhat neglected spinster, and the first person to say so is...its new director." The New York Times 09/07/02

BUZZ SAW: Film festivals exist for the purpose of finding undiscovered gems, which can be "catapulted onto a higher plane of existence by a combination of word-of-mouth, lavish press and the embossed chequebooks of major-league film distributors. That's what makes buzz. But here's a word of advice that may not be appreciated by some of the more excitable elements of the entertainment press: Don't believe the hype. As a breed, film festivals don't have a great track record of predicting movies that will catch on with the public." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/03/02

HOLLYWOOD'S RECORD SUMMER: The numbers are in for the summer movie season. "By Labor Day, domestic ticket sales will have totaled about $3.15 billion since Memorial Day weekend, surpassing the record of $3.06 billion set last summer. Factoring in higher ticket prices, movie admissions this summer likely will come in slightly lower than last year's 542 million and well below the modern record of 589 million set in 1999." Hartford Courant (AP) 09/02/02

IMPERFECT MEASURE: Traditional survey measurements of what people listen to on the radio are generally inaccurate. But with so much money riding on the ratings, several companies are developing better ways of recording what we're listening to. Sydney Morning Herald 09/03/02


WE'RE NUMBER ONE! OR TWO! WE THINK!: "Ranking orchestras by quality is hard -- and subjective. Doesn't every city think its orchestra is great? Orchestras wouldn't have been formed without a strong element of civic pride. And yet orchestras are ranked all the time -- by managers, by critics, by musicians, by conductors, by soloists... If there's a vague consensus about what orchestras are on the list, what are the criteria? Recordings? Repertoire? Tours? Reviews? Budgets? Technical accomplishment? The glamour and talent of the music director? Orchestra managers and officials suggest that it's a complicated question and that ranking basketball teams is much easier." The Star Tribune (Minneapolis) 09/08/02

A BUYER'S MARKET, IF YOU CAN FIND IT: Despite the troubles sweeping the recording industry, there are more recordings of great classical music available today than at any time in history. Still, where does the serious collector go to find that obscure recording or digital reissue? "The future, everyone says, lies on the Internet, but there are still a lot of problems there. One of the basic issues is the difficulty of building a database for classical music that is consistent enough for the search engines to deal with. (How do you spell 'Petrouchka'?). And of course, the Internet is not the easiest place for you to find something you just have to have if you don't already know that it exists. There isn't a catalog that can keep up with what is theoretically or actually available. No publication like the Schwann Catalog of the LP era can claim to be 'the collectors' Bible' anymore." Boston Globe 09/08/02

MUSIC FOR AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY: With the first anniversary of 9/11 coming up on Wednesday, arts groups the world over are preparing to commemorate the attacks with concerts of all kinds. The "Rolling Requiem," a worldwide performance of Mozart's last work spanning 21 time zones and including 170 choirs, will run throughout the day. In Texas, the Houston Symphony will play a free concert celebrating American music. In Minneapolis, Renee Fleming will offer Strauss's haunting Four Last Songs with the Minnesota Orchestra. And in New York, the Philharmonic will debut John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, written for the occasion. And that's only the beginning... Andante 09/08/02

A LECTURE FOR CRITICS: Composer John Corigliano has a rigorous definition of job standards for music critics, and tells critic Justin Davidson so: "Am I saying that critics need to be trained musicians, thorough scholars, and snappy writers — all on a freelancer's meager salary? Yes. 'What professional standards should critics be held to?' You need to be able to read like a conductor, research like an historian, judge like a parent and write like a playwright. 'How should critics reconcile the demands of accuracy with the realities of the deadline and the music business?' Take this question to your editors, Justin. Critics must improve the business of criticism: composers cannot. It's tough out there, from what I hear. But it's tough for composers, too. Sorry." Andante 09/05/02

CLASSIC FM BRANCHING OUT: While much of the classical music industry struggles, Britain's ClassicFM is thriving, and expanding. The company operates an all-classical radio network with 6.7 million listeners per week, a magazine with strong circulation, and a successful record label. So what's the next logical step? Television, of course. Classic FM says it will launch an over-the-air TV channel next year, and is confident that it can make money on the project. The Times (UK) 09/04/02

88 KEYS AND NOTHING TO SAY: Critic Martin Kettle is bored. "If there were a softer and gentler way of saying this, then I would say it. But in my view, modern concert pianists have become boring. Very few of them have anything very interesting to say, at least to me. To make such statements is to invite some heartfelt attacks. Some will say that it isn't the pianists who are boring, but I who am bored with the piano. Perhaps that is the case. But then I only have to put on a CD by Schnabel to know that I'll never be bored by him, at any rate." The Guardian (UK) 09/05/02

THEY'RE SO MUCH BETTER ON THE WALL: A Stradivarius violin will be auctioned at Christie's this week. This in itself is not terribly unusual - although there are only 500 or so Strads known to exist, they pop up at auction with some frequency - but this instrument is a perfect example not only of the absurdly high cost of the world's top violins (it is expected to fetch $1.3 million,) but of the central conflict between collectors and performers. Incredibly, in 275 years, the fiddle has never been owned by a professional musician, and never been played in a concert. BBC 09/05/02

STATISTICS, DAMN STATISTICS AND LIES: A new batch of polls and surveys arrives to depress the classical music faithful. Classical is a dying art, the evidence says. But is it really dying? There's plenty of evidence to the contrary, and besides, don't surveys prove the theories going into them? The Telegraph (UK) 09/04/02

THE MUSIC EFFECT: "Science may not have yet figured out exactly how, or why, human beings respond to music. But research across many disciplines shows that music is a powerful stimulator, shaper and maybe even sharpener of memory." Hartford Courant 09/04/02

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: That CD you paid $18 for at a big national retailer cost the record company around thirty cents to produce, and these days, most consumers are aware of that, and are fairly unhappy about it. The industry has been accused for years of keeping CD prices artificially and indefensibly high, but now, the prices are coming down for the first time as individual labels try to dig out from under abysmal sales numbers and declining interest in their product. CDs by major artists are now selling like hotcakes at $11 to $13, and the industry may be on the verge of discovering a fascinating marketing concept called supply and demand. Chicago Tribune 09/05/02

SOVIET TREASURE: For years the heart of the Soviet Ministry of Radio and Television archives - recordings of some of the USSR's most important artists - have been stored away and inaccessible. "Now, after years of legal and technical wrangling, the performances recorded over nearly seven decades are being released. They number more than 400,000 - enough to fill 12,000 compact discs." The Plain Dealer (AP) (Cleveland) 09/02/02


GREAT VIBES: "Lionel Hampton was a defining voice for a generation of musicians who understood that it was possible to entertain without sacrificing one's quest for inventiveness. And he did so with consummate skill." Los Angeles Times 09/02/02

VLADO PERLEMUTER, 98: The French pianist studied with Moszkowski and Cortot, gave his first piano recital in 1919 and studied Ravel with the composer himself. "His classes became legendary. His teaching embodied the great qualities of his own playing - an impassioned care for detail and also an architectural vision of each piece as a whole." The Guardian (UK) 09/06/02


AFRICA'S LOST LIBRARIES: "There generally tends to be the view that Africa is a continent of oral tradition or the continent of song and dance - that this isn't a continent that has an intellectual tradition of its own." But there are hundreds of thousands of 600-year-old manuscripts in troves around the African city of Timbuktu that prove a rich and long intellectual literate tradition. "When much of Europe was in its Dark Ages, Africa was recording its literate history." Few documents have been translated into Western languages. And many of the crumbling manuscripts are being lost to the desert. Chronicle of Higher Education 09/02/02

WHERE'S HARRY? The fifth installment of the Harry Potter stories was due out by now. But there's no sign of it, and book-sellers, in need of a bestseller pick-me-up are wondering where it is. "At first we were told she [author J.K. Rowling] hadn't turned the manuscript in yet. Then they kind of dropped that story. Now they just give you more delays. The fans are anxious for it, I can tell you that. And it's funny, it's the parents who are asking more than the kids." Atlanta Journal-Constitution 09/05/02

DARING TO DIS MAYA: Wanda Coleman's scathing review of Maya Angelou's recent book is notable for the controversy it has stirred up. "The book has gotten some other poor reviews, but it seems that Coleman caused trouble by accusing Angelou of hustling the public, selling a skimpy book in large type and large hype at a high price, containing rehashed material and what may be exaggerated claims for a high-minded, race-conscious past. A book review that wouldn't begin to damage the reputation, book sales, or livelihood of the country's most popular and successful living poet became a subject of controversy as much for its rarity as for its rudeness." Village Voice 09/04/02

ARE SOME SUBJECTS TABOO? France's literary world is in turmoil over the publishing of two books whose "heroes are an obsessive paedophile and a perverted serial killer with a preference for very young girls, including his two-year-old daughter. Publishers and a number of authors are defending the works on the grounds that violence, whether sexual or not, is an intrinsic part of contemporary society and writers are only doing their job by addressing the subject." The Observer (UK) 09/01/02

TRUTH IN FICTION: After ten books about the music business, critic Norman Lebrecht was looking for fresh game - so he crossed over to fiction and finds, on the eve of the publication of his first novel, a whole new world he'd never dreamed about. "I thank my lucky stars that I have switched from digging facts to telling tales. The creative rewards are richer and the fictions I invent can, I think, reveal deeper human truths." London Evening Standard 09/02/02

THE STORY OF... The world will always need a good story. Fiction plays with reality and time to help us learn about ourselves. "Rumours that fiction is dead have been around for so long now that we have good reason to be sceptical of their accuracy. The latest to spread them are the critical theorists, but their arguments are based on ways of reading so much less responsive and psychologically complex than those of the ordinary reader (they have no capacity for the sort of naivete that fiction demands) as to need no answering." The Age (Melbourne) 08/31/02


THE SMALL-THEATRE STRUGGLE: Los Angeles is home to formidable dramatic talent in all forms. But the city's playwrights generally have a hard time of it. One champion of the playwright is Jon Lawrence Rivera. "For a decade, Rivera's Playwrights' Arena has developed and produced nothing but new plays by Los Angeles County writers - 29 such shows by 17 writers or writing teams." But the enterprise has always been a precarious enterprise, one that these days, looks close to failing... Los Angeles Times 09/03/02

CROSS-POND GROUCHINESS: London's West End has been in a bit of a snit lately over the influx of big-name American actors showing up in leading roles. Clive Barnes doesn't see what the big deal is: "Perhaps Britain has some lurking idea that its function is to play Greece to America's Rome, and that a tacit superiority in the arts is part of history's deal. Whatever the reason, such a fuss seems odd after years of New York applauding such British stars as Alan Bates, David Warner, Alan Rickman, Lindsay Duncan, Emma Fielding and Henry Goodman - just some of our visitors last season." New York Post 09/08/02

STRETCHING THE FORM: "If there is anything new on the Broadway horizon this fall, it is the prospect of two artists from outside the theater, the choreographer Twyla Tharp and the filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, bringing their creative energy to the stage and expanding the definition of what constitutes a Broadway musical." Only in New York could two such luminaries be considered outsiders, but in the traditionally closed circle of Broadway, they qualify as virtual gate-crashers, and many devotees of that increasingly antiquated art form, the Broadway musical, are holding out hope that Tharp and Luhrmann will live up to the hype, and reinvigorate an industry which has been living off its own past for the better part of a decade. The New York Times 09/08/02

SUBJECTS FROM WHICH TO STAY AWAY: "Our playwrights, from time to time, may shock us, but where are the plays that will challenge us? When playwrights deal with serious themes, they do so in a manner that allows us to distance ourselves from the social evils they portray, committed by characters who are mentally ill or not our class, dear. When those who govern us make a rare appearance on stage, it is as implicitly harmless figures of fun. One would think, from British plays, that their authors read only those pages in the newspaper that cover celebrities and crime, and only as many books as would fit in a suitcase." The Independent (UK) 09/05/02

WHEN BIG ISN'T NECESSARILY BETTER: Perhaps it's inevitable - the Edinburgh Fringe has grown so big and become so successful, more rules and regimentation are required. Also more corporate sponsorships and higher ticket prices. But perhaps all this success kills off some of the celebrated Fringe spirit - the rough, spontaneous acts of performance which invigorate those who encounter it. The Scotsman 09/05/02

THEATRE AS TONIC (OR PALLIATIVE): "The theater's role as a social mirror in London can seem surreal to an American visitor, as daily headlines and onstage plot lines converge. At the moment the London theater, which has an intimate relationship with its public that New Yorkers haven't known in years," is providing a myriad of ways to deal with the stress of an uncertain world. The New York Times 09/04/02


MUSEUM ACCESS DENIED: Many museums are restricting access to parts of their collections deemed "inappropriate" for public scrutiny. "What’s significant and alarming about this story is not just that researchers and the rest of us may be denied a chance to study objects and their cultural importance. A situation where museum curators are no longer obliged to defer to the idea of research being integral to their employment by the museum is deeply disturbing. Instead they seem to be playing the role of high priests, hiding the ancient saint’s finger as a relic in the basement, only to be seen by the privileged few chosen by birth or background." The Spectator 09/07/02

LET'S GET SOME ROYALTY ACTION: The real money in art is made in the resale market after the artist is established. Collectors get rich if they pick the right artist to collect. But visual artists in the United States do not earn royalties on their work after it is first sold, meaning their capacity to earn goes to the grave with them. Australian artists - painters, sculptors, photographers and the like - are in exactly the same boat and right now are locked in a tussle with gallery owners and the Federal Government to grab a piece of that rock-star-earning action." Sydney Morning Herald 09/06/02

ROLE REVERSAL: Being a critic is significantly easier than being a creator, and most critics would tell you as much. But being a critic-turned-creator may be harder still, as the world lines up to see if you can take the heat you're used to dishing out. Such is the lot of Deyan Sudjic, the architecture critic tapped to head up this year's Venice Biennale. The government is against him, his plans are thwarted at every turn, and he speaks very little Italian. Somehow, it all comes together. Or so he hopes. The Observer (UK) 09/08/02

FREE SPEECH ONLY IF I AGREE: In the Texas town of Marfa, an Icelandic artist puts up a show that names Israel, the UK and the US as the real "axis of evil." Marfans object: " 'I guess `upset' would be a mild way of putting it,' said Mayor Oscar Martinez, describing callers who complained. Of the exhibit, Mayor Martinez said, 'We see better graffiti on the railroad freight trains as they go by'." So the artist changed the exhibit to name North Korea, Iraq and Iran. The locals are indifferent. The artist said he had hoped to stimulate discussion. "I think quite many Americans don't have interest in free speech. The majority, I don't know. My experience was, quite many people would be happy to give that one away." The New York Times 09/04/02

THE BATTERED BARNES: The Barnes Collection outside Philadelphia is one of the world's great collections of Impressionist art. "The Musee d'Orsay in Paris owns 94 works by Renoir. The Barnes has 181. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has 39 by Cezanne. The Barnes owns 69." But the Barnes is surely one of the most troubled of art institutions - trapped by the will of an eccentric founder and the wrath of angry neighbors. Can anything be done? Los Angeles Times 09/03/02

THE DEPRESSING HOMEFRONT: So what if we create civic buildings of aesthetic quality? People can come and visit them. But then they go home to wretched mass-produced, unsustainable, depressing houses in suburbs. Could this be what people want? "But are these people offered, or have they experienced, anything different? How are they so sure when there are so many alternative ways of living? And just who gains from turning lark-sung meadows into acres of breeze-blocks tricked out in doll's house detailing?" The Guardian (UK) 09/02/02

HIGH-END HEIST: "Works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo have been stolen from a doctor's home in Texas. The haul, worth more than $700,000, was taken from the San Antonio house of Dr Richard Garcia while he was asleep upstairs... The most expensive item taken was a painting by Frida Kahlo, valued at $500,000. Dr Garcia, who has not publicly identified the paintings on the advice of his lawyer, said he had not insured the works because the premiums would be too high." BBC 09/04/02

WORLD'S LARGEST PAINTING? It's a lifesize painting of a tree. "The picture of an oak tree is 32ft by 22ft. It is going on display in the middle of Golden Square in Soho, central London. Artist Adam Ball used 100 litres of paint and varnish to create the vast work, entitled The Tree. He got through 35 brushes, as well as mops, brooms and builders' trowels, to cover the canvas. It will hang on a 12 metre (40ft) scaffold and be weighed down by 50 tonnes of concrete to prevent it from blowing over." The Guardian (UK) 09/02/02


THE WORLD'S NEW ART CAPITALS: "Driven out by the high rents of cities like Paris and London, and aided by technology and the growing ease of travel, more artists and thinkers are congregating in smaller, far-flung communities around the world. In recent years new kinds of creative laboratories have emerged—in small university towns like Austin, Texas, and Antwerp, Belgium, in the impoverished neighborhoods of Marseilles, France, and Gateshead, England." Newsweek 09/02/02

  • THE NEW JET SET: Here's where the really hot art is being made - in Tijuana. And Austin. And Kabul. The world's eight new arts Meccas... Newsweek 09/02/02

LANGUAGE OF ART - NOT BUSINESS: Why must the arts be such a business? Because we treat them that way? "The language of government policy towards the arts does not recognise their special nature, but treats them as if they were no different from any other economic sector. It is no accident that museums, galleries and theatres are rolled up by government ministers into the one economic/industrial category - 'the creative industries'. At a single stroke, the one word, the single idea that might have given the arts a distinctive right to exist - 'creativity' - has been taken away, democratised (or popularised), generalised to the point of meaninglessness, and awarded to anyone who can string two words or two lines together." Here's a list of Commandments to bring art back from the brink of commerce. Spiked 08/29/02

MINORITY OPINION: Should critics belonging to a minority group be expected to have a special response or affinity to art from their "home" culture? "It's an old dilemma: Minority journalists have long faced pressure to show their loyalty to their ethnic group more than to their profession." Los Angeles Times 09/01/02

THE HEAVY SCOTTISH FOG: This summer's Edinburgh Fringe was a roaring success. "But art in Edinburgh is a flimsy frock, shucked off on the first of September for sensible tweeds. There will be no more frippery for the next 11 months. When the festival started in 1947, it was hoped that its light would spread around the year and across the nation - a dream that, for half a century, edged rosily towards realisation." But in the past five years, Scottish arts institutions have fallen apart - and there appears no easy cure. London Evening Standard 09/04/02

SACRAMENTO SLASH: "California Arts Council officials say the state's new budget, sealed Thursday with Gov. Gray Davis' signature, means their agency's support for artists and arts organizations statewide will drop roughly 40%--from $28 million last year to $16.4 million in the 2002-03 fiscal year... However, the state's spending plan shelters the largest single recipient of California Arts Council money, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which for the last few years has been getting $2 million in state money to support its "tools for tolerance" education program." Los Angeles Times 09/07/02

PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION: A new performing arts center set to debut in St. Louis next year is going ahead with plans to open on schedule, despite increasing evidence that the money to operate the PAC may not be there. The project, which is on the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis, has been known to be in trouble for some time, and consultants have determined that the center will not be able to pay for its own upkeep on a year-to-year basis. The university is hoping that the state government will bail it out to the tune of $1 million a year in operating costs, but there is no indication that the legislature will cooperate. Saint Louis Post Dispatch 09/02/02

10. FOR FUN 

I WANT TO HEAR LEONARDO'S NINTH: All ye who love music, read the following at your own peril... A UK magazine survey reports that "65% of children under 14 cannot name one classical composer. Only 14% of 600 children nationwide knew Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven wrote music." Asked to name a composer, students answered variously with historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and Shakespeare." The Guardian (UK) 09/02/02

LISTENING FOR MISTAKES: Programmers are converting raw computer code to music as a way of helping check the thousands of lines of code in programs. "Your ears are extremely good at picking up temporal patterns. Sometimes better than eyes. When different sections of code are put together, they should form a harmonious tune. But if a loop, for example, does not execute properly, the music would not ascend properly and the programmer should hear the error. Similarly, a duff statement would produce a different chord that would be immediately apparent." New Scientist 09/05/02