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Tuesday July 31

WE REAP WHAT WE SOW: Artists in China can have a hard time pushing the envelope, what with the political repression, the torture, and all. So many have turned to a completely apolitical form of "shock art" based on visually disturbing images. "They reflect the bizarre direction in which Chinese art has moved under a government that tolerates what some would argue are meaningless 'shock' creations but not social criticism." Washington Post 07/31/01

PAYING TO PLAY: A mysterious amateur philosopher hires prominent philosophers to review a paper. The pay's good, the paper's not bad, but the exercise says something about the state of academic inquiry... Lingua Franca 07/01

$300 FOR "THE LION KING" SUDDENLY SEEMS A BIT HIGH: As the U.S. economy continues to tank, the effects are being felt in all corners of the entertainment industry. For most folks, the arts are considered a luxury, and when money gets tight, no one much feels like ponying up for overpriced concert tickets, inexplicably skyrocketing movie passes, or even expensive hardcover books. The New York Times 07/31/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Monday July 30

ARTS FUNDING IS ELECTION ISSUE: Australia's Labour Party has promised to make increased arts funding part of its electionj pitch. The party promises to "repair the damage" done to the arts community by the current Howard Government's funding priorities. The Age (Melbourne) 07/30/01

WORLD LEADERS: Are the world leaders of the 21st century creative artists, not politicians? Toronto's Harbourfront Centre has created a festival on that premise and invited 14 artists from around the world to come together. The "project is designed to explore the nature of the creative process, the nature of the creative spirit, the idea of innovation and the idea of risk-taking, and also the fact that one creative mind can actually change aspects of the world." McLean's 07/30/01

POSTAL BUTTS: The Brooklyn Academy of Music wanted to promote a low-budget film it is showing, with a postcard that shows a photo of a line of men from the movie with their naked butts showing (an admittedly not pretty sight). But the US postal service has refused to let the cards go through the mail. "With bulk mail we try to think about the few people who will have objections." BBC 07/30/01

HELP FOR IRISH ARTISTS: With Ireland's recent prosperity have come rising rents. "An exodus of artistic types in recent years has led to concern that the country's main cities will become the preserve of go-getting Celtic Tiger sorts." Now a request to city officials for cheap housing for artists." Sunday Times (UK) 07/29/01

BENEFACTOR OVERBOARD: London's Royal Opera House is ditching its greatest benefactor. Vivien Duffield "has raised more than £100 million for it and personally donated millions more - perhaps as much as £25 million." Sunday Times (UK) 07/29/01

Sunday July 29

MULTICULT FALLOUT: In many ways, multiculturalism defined American arts of the 1990s. "Most important, it reversed old patterns of exclusion and brought voices into the mainstream that had rarely, if ever, been there before. But limitations became apparent. The ideal of diversity — of mixing things up, spreading the wealth, creating a new Us — never quite happened." And, it came with some unexpected problems. The New York Times 07/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)

CENTER OF SUMMER CULTURE: It may be rural, but Massachusetts' Berkshires is home to America's biggest cultural resort: Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home; the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket; the Williamstown Theatre Festival; the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown; Mass. MoCA, the Berkshire Opera Company, and Shakespeare & Company. "The arts generate more than half of Berkshire County's annual $250 million tourist trade. Tanglewood alone brings between $60 and $70 million to the area." Boston Globe 07/29/01

CRACKING DOWN ON COPYRIGHT: The US government is taking copyright infringement more seriously. "The Senate has earmarked $10 million for copyright prosecutions, enough money for 155 agents and attorneys in the fiscal year starting in October. That's up from a current $4 million allocated for 75 positions." Wired 07/29/01

Friday July 27

SMITHSONIAN NEEDS MAJOR OVERHAUL: "An independent review of the Smithsonian Institution said yesterday that the museum complex is even shabbier and more dilapidated than previously reported. Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small has been telling Congress for a year and a half that the situation was grim and last month estimated the cost of vital repairs at $1 billion. The independent team of experts put the figure higher: $1.5 billion." Washington Post 07/27/01

  • BAD DAY IN D.C., PART 2: "City health officials have ordered the Kennedy Center to remove asbestos from ceilings near exclusive seating areas in the Opera House, including the presidential box. D.C. Health Department officials said yesterday that there was no risk to any theatergoers who have been in that area. The Eisenhower Theater, next to the Opera House, will be closed for the rest of the summer while workers remove asbestos from ceilings." Washington Post 07/27/01

AUSSIE ARTS BILL: How much do Australian governments spend on culture? "Funding for radio and television broadcasting, film, music, visual arts, museums, art galleries, multi-media, venues, zoos, civic centres, publishing, archives and other activities" added up to almost $4 billion in 1999-2000. This was equivalent to $209 per person. Sydney Morning Herald 07/27/01

CORPORATE SPONSORS: FEEL ME, TOUCH ME: One side says, "The company is taking an active role with children. I don't see any harm in that." The other side says, "The corporation has an obligation to give back to the community. Do it, shut up, and don't expect anything in return." At immediate issue is McDonald's 20-year, $5 million sponsorship of Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum for children. Philadelphia Inquirer 07/26/01

REALNETWORKS CUTS BACK: RealNetworks, whose Real Player is probably the most widely-used streaming audio software on the Internet, is laying off 15 percent of its work force. For the second quarter of this year, the company reported a loss of just over $19 million. During the Internet boom of a couple years ago, a loss that small would have looked like a profit. Nando Times 07/26/01

Thursday July 26

INVESTMENT UP/ATTENDANCE DOWN: A new study of arts support in the UK says "the percentage of adults attending arts events was either static or falling across plays, opera, ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, classical music and art galleries." This despite massive public funding of cultural activities. "The report estimated public funding of the cultural sector in 1998-99 at £5.2 billion, a 10% rise on the last study in 1993-94. The Guardian (UK) 07/26/01

PUT A METER ON THAT JUKEBOX: "The US is set to compensate European songwriters and composers for millions of pounds worth of lost revenue. The musicians have won their fight against a US law which let bars and grills avoid paying royalties for playing their music on TV or radio. Music groups have estimated royalty losses at $27m a year. " BBC 07/26/01

ARTS-PLATED: Several American states are raising money for the arts by selling arts-themed car license plates. California has sold 79,000 arts licenses since 1994, raising $4.2 million. Indiana, Texas and Florida have also been successful. "The Texas arts plate is the best-selling specialty plate in Texas in a field of more than 100." St. Louis Post-Dispatch 07/25/01

CRASHING THE SENATE: The U.S. Senate was all set for another of their famous hearings on the way that popular music and, specifically, hip-hop are destroying the moral fabric of the nation, staining the minds of our children, and just generally leading the entire country down the road to ruin. (And it's not even an election year!) But the sanctimony took a distinct dive once an actual, uninvited purveyor of rap music showed up to speak. Nando Times (AP) 07/25/01

Wednesday July 25

ART IN FASHION: "Can fashion — by nature both ephemeral and functional — be on a par with fine art? Can an ad campaign be counted as culture?" London dealer Jay Jopling has recycled photographs seen in ads in magazines and made a show of them in his gallery. The Times (UK) 07/25/01

TAKING THE TEMPERATURE OF AMERICA'S PERFORMING ARTS: What is the state of the performing arts in America at the turn of the century? A new Rand study takes a look. "After decades of expansion, how are performing arts organizations faring? Has demand for live performances been increasing or decreasing? Are more Americans choosing the performing arts as a profession? And what is the likely effect of the Internet on the arts?" [The complete report is online] Rand 07/01

LOW AUDIENCE & LOW ACCOUNTABILITY: "New research suggests that arts audiences are declining, despite record levels of public funding. A report, compiled by a team of 25 experts over two years, looked at film, libraries, heritage buildings, literature, the arts and public broadcasting. . . The 600-page report, by the think-tank The Policy Studies Institute (PSI), also said that publicly funded bodies in the arts are failing to account for how their grants are spent." BBC 07/25/01

RISK AVERSE: After unexpectedly losing $1.2 million on last year's Adelaide Festival, organizers seriously considered abandoning director Peter Sellars' controversial plans for next years festival. But "it was judged to be too damaging to the festival's image to walk away at this late stage." Sydney Morning Herald 07/25/01

DO VIRTUAL ACTORS HAVE TO PAY UNION DUES? The furor that has erupted over the computer-generated "Final Fantasy" film has been almost comical in its hysteria. No less venerable a personage than Tom Hanks has voiced his concern that virtual actors might someday replace flesh-and-bone thespians, and the Screen Actors Guild has been shrilling its objections ever since the mediocre film's release. But the man behind the computer magic laughs at the notion that his creations could ever do what human actors can. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 07/25/01

AOL COULD BUY AMAZON: "AOL Time Warner would be allowed to propose a takeover bid for -- as long as it did so quietly -- under the terms of a $100 million investment AOL made in Amazon Monday. According to records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and reported by Dow Jones Newswires, AOL could propose a buyout, but not publicly and not without the approval of" The New York Times (AP) 07/25/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Tuesday July 24

OF ARTS FUNDING AND MEDICAL RESEARCH: "Dear friends, you made a deal with the devil. You knew they were narrow-minded and stupid when you took their money. You made a deal with the devil. You probably wrote a play about how evil the devil was in Vietnam or Nicaragua or Waco. Now the devil acts like the devil. There is a solution: Don't take the money. Alas, the government has made cash junkies of too many people and institutions, and there's nothing more hypocritical than the whining of a junkie." San Francisco Chronicle 07/24/01

FUNDING VISUAL ARTISTS: Last year Australia's performing arts got a $43 million boost in funding by the government after a study documented need. Now the country's visual artists are hoping a newly announced study will give the same bump in funding for the visual arts. Sydney Morning Herald 07/24/01

  • WHY DISPARITY? Federal inquiry will try to find out "why visual artists and craftspeople are among the lowest income earners in the country and among the lowest paid of all artists." The Age (Melbourne) 07/24/01
THE VICTORIAN COPYRIGHT SOLUTION: So you think our battles over copyright are something new? Some 160 years ago Charles Dickens was crusading over the value of copyright. In the days before copyright was universal, publishers in America were ripping off Dickens and other authors with impunity. Industry Standard 07/23/01

Monday July 23

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: A major new study of 30-year trends among American arts organizations says that while small and large arts organizations are doing well, mid-size groups are in peril. The New York Times 07/23/01 (one-time registration required for access)

HANDICAPPING THE NEA: Speculation in the press about who George Bush might appoint as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts has intensified. Does this mean a decision is near? The Idler handicaps the field. The Idler 07/23/01

THE RATINGS GAME: Music producers haven't done enough to keep violent material out of the hands of children, a US House subcommittee reported Friday. But movie and video game makers have made some progress. "A final FTC report on the effectiveness of the entertainment industry's restrictions on explicit material is due this fall." Dallas Morning News 07/22/01

THE MAGIC OF SCIENCE: "Have we entered an era in which mind-sizzling technological leaps - virtual reality, genetically altered rabbits that glow in the dark, digital actors, laboratory animals bred to grow human organs, stock-trading in your back yard, clones - are now so common that even respected members of the scientific world are finding it increasingly difficult to separate miracles, magic, myths and madness?" Washington Post 07/23/01

HOW WE SPEAK: "Language is not living, not growing, and not a thing; it is a vast system of social habits and conventions, inherited from our forebears, and showing every sign of being an artifact rather than an organic growth." 07/01

Friday July 20

SECOND SALES: European governments have agreed to give artists a share of subsequent sales of their work. "Authors of works of art will receive a royalty of up to 4% every time their original paintings, sculptures, or other artistic treasures are sold on by agents or at auction in Britain or anywhere else in the EU." But the provision won't kick in until 2012. BBC 07/20/01

Thursday July 19

LEGALLY BINDING: "Artists' rights in the U.S. are still pretty shoddy today. Artists have many more legal recourses and protections now, but mostly America's laws regarding artists continue to reflect our national attitude toward artists: These are weird, potentially dangerous people who often care less about money than is acceptable. That's true whether you're a painter, writer, cartoonist, songwriter, director, dancer, or anyone else who's trying to create something you want other people to see or hear. Business is our national art form, and business is deeply suspicious of art. So is our court system." LAWeekly 07/18/01

A REASON TO GIVE: "Many corporations confuse philanthropy with advertising. Until the federal government put a stop to their contributions, the most generous corporate arts patrons in Canada were the tobacco companies - because they could not advertise and regarded sponsorships as the next-best thing. It is because of that corporate confusion that we need government funding of the arts, funding that is awarded to artists on the merits of their past achievements and future proposals by knowledgeable juries set up by arms-length arts councils. No system is perfect, but that formula tends to build the arts - rather than corporate profits or political egos." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 07/19/01

THE GM SMITHSONIAN? The Smithsonian, criticized recently for giving large donors major influence over projects they have funded, is in negotiations with General Motors for a $10 million contribution to "expedite a major exhibition called America on the Move and allow the museum to redo its sprawling transportation hall, which hasn't been refurbished since the museum opened in 1964." Washington Post 07/19/01

Wednesday July 18

GREAT HANDEL'S GHOST! Workers preparing to turn a house where Handel once lived into a museum say they have seen ghosts in the house. So they've ordered up an exorcism. "We weren't sure whether having a ghost would attract or deter customers, but with all the valuable objects we have coming into the house we felt it might be safer to get rid of it." Sydney Morning Herald 07/18/01

WHY LIBERAL ARTS MATTER: "The liberal arts have been ravaged by managers, government officials, and taxpayers looking for 'measurable' results. But all such measures in our era are inextricably linked to corporate bottom lines. And few things could be more inimical to the spirit of liberal arts than to turn education in philosophy, sociology, and history into a seamless fit for corporate career climbing." Christian Science Monitor 07/17/01

OWNING HISTORY: "As the years lengthen and survivors die off, the memory of the Holocaust is increasingly embodied in written accounts and artifacts. But who owns this physical evidence?" The New York Times 07/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Tuesday July 17

MORE CENTRALIZED ARTS: The British government is restructuring the Arts Council of England. "The new body will combine the Arts Council and the ten Regional Arts Boards, saving up to £10 million a year from the £36 million operating costs." The savings will be distributed directly to artists, but some critics worry that a centralized organization will diminish regional flavor. The Times (UK) 07/17/01

RAVING MAD: A number of cities are moving to shut down all-night rave parties, citing them as "one-night-only parties...often held in warehouses or secret locations where people pay to dance, do drugs, play loud music, and engage in random sex acts." Chicago's Mayor Richard Daly: "They are after all our children. Parents should be outraged." Reason 07/16/01

Monday July 16

PROMOTING GERMAN CULTURE: Germany's Goethe Institute is 50 years old. "With some 3,000 staff members, 2,350 of whom work abroad, the 126 affiliates scattered throughout 76 different countries not only teach German, but also endeavor to export at least some sense of what intellectual and cultural life in Germany is all about." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 07/16/01

Sunday July 15

DON'T JUST MAKE NICE: About the only public words George Bush has spoken about the arts was last month at Ford's Theatre, when he quoted Lincoln: "Some think I do wrong to go to the opera and the theater. But it rests me. A hearty laugh relieves me and I seem better after it to bear my cross." So there it is - fun, amusing, a diversion. Certainly that's the conservative vision of art, and one that attracts public funding in the US these days. But isn't it possible that "going to the theater, despite Bush's quotation of Lincoln, might be something more than a way to get some rest?" Los Angeles Times 07/15/01

HOW TO EXPLAIN? "We talk about art - and write about art - so poorly. If you eliminated all the easy, lazy superlatives - beautiful, wonderful, powerful, amazing, incredible - from use in any context relating to art, the silence would be deafening. People would stare at each other and stammer and gesticulate, and feel utterly at a loss to describe what they just experienced. This is all the more a problem when the art form, such as music or dance, has no verbal element." Washington Post 07/15/01

Friday July 13

THE NEXT NEA CHIEF? Who will President Bush appoint as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts? There is lots of speculation, but some arts advocates are urging Bush to appoint a businessperson with an interest in the arts rather than an artist or arts administrator. Washington Post 07/13/01

  • THE NEW YORK LOBBY: New York Republican state senator Roy Goodman is said to be lobbying hard for the job. He has many advocates in the New York cultural world, but conservative Republicans are fighting against his nomination. The New York Times 07/13/01 (one-time registration required for access)

STOLEN LIABILITY? A man sends a note to the Museum Security Network alleging that a California woman has a stockpile of art looted by the Nazis. The MSN, published in the Netherlands, publishes the allegations in its newsletter. The charges were false, and now the target of the allegations is suing. How much responsibility does the small internet site bear? Salon 07/13/01

Thursday July 12

THE SMITHSONIAN TRIES TO BALANCE AUTONOMY AND FUND-RAISING: "At issue is money and influence, and whether the Smithsonian, in securing the largesse of multimillionaires, has ceded intellectual control to donors. Cash-strapped museum directors around the country, striving to meet the demands of a growing public, are closely watching how the institution reconciles its needs and traditions with donors' desires." Minneapolis Star-Tribune 07/12/01

Wednesday July 11

WHAT HAPPENED TO "FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND?" The author who was first responsible for shining the international spotlight on the issue of looted Nazi artworks now in the hands of private collectors is suing the family of a French art dealer whom he assisted in recovering several paintings. Hector Feliciano claims he was "deprived of a finder's fee." The New York Times 07/11/01 (one-time registration required for access)

ORGANIZED LEARNING: This is the year of the T.A. (teaching assistant). At universities all over the US, TA's are forming unions and demanding better conditions. But "while the movement is gaining strength - nearly 40,000 graduate students are now union members - administrations are hardly rolling over." Chronicle of Higher Education 07/09/01

PHILLY HALL ALMOST PAID FOR: "With a $2 million conditional pledge from the Kresge Foundation, the campaign to build [Philadelphia's] Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has reached $254 million - or almost 96 percent of a $265 million goal." Philadelphia Inquirer 07/11/01

Tuesday July 10

ONE GREENBERG = A THOUSAND TASINIS: A US Court of Appeals has ruled that "the National Geographic Society violated the copyrights of freelance photographer Jerry Greenberg by republishing his photos on a CD-ROM set without his permission." The Society plans to appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing that their CD is a digital replica, not a republication; therefore, this case is unlike the recent Tasini suit, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of free-lance writers. Wired 07/09/01

FINDER'S FEE: Author Hector Feliciano, who wrote a book about art thefts by the Nazis, is suing the estate of dealer Paul Rosenberg for $6.8 million, a "17.5% fee based on 'the standards of the art industry for the recovery of works of art,' and is applied to a value of $39 million worth of paintings which Mr Feliciano says he helped recover through extensive work 'under the promise to be paid'." The Art Newspaper 07/08/01

Monday July 9

CENSORING STUDENT ART: A Texas art teacher has filed a lawsuit against the administration of the school that fired him last year after he defended the work of some of his pupils. The controversy arose from a mural painted by students which depicted, among many other images, two men kissing. Despite a unanimous vote of support for the mural from the school's faculty, the school's administrator had the wall with the mural whitewashed, and fired the art teacher after he publicly stood up for his students. Dallas Morning News 07/09/01

Sunday July 8

WATCH OUT FOR SERGEANT EBERT: It's known as boot camp for critics. But the O'Neill Critics Institute is much more than a drill session for the folks who review the nation's performers. "The mission of the OCI is to raise the level of American film and theater reviewing - and cultivate the skills of individual critics - by plunging arts-minded journalists into an intensive summer of viewing, thinking, discussing, and writing, writing, writing." Nando Times (Christian Science Monitor Service) 07/07/01

CANADIAN CHARISMA: Sotheby's, it can safely be said, has had a truly bad year. Price-fixing scandals, disappointing auctions, and general chaos have plagued the auction house in recent months. But in Canada, the local Sotheby's has new leadership in the form of a couple of aging art enthusiasts with limited auction experience, but an undeniable passion for art collection. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 07/07/01

BARENBOIM DEFIES WAGNER TABOO: Richard Wagner was a celebrated composer, a brilliant musician, and a vicious anti-Semite whose writings excoriating Jews were often invoked after his death by the leaders of Germany's Third Reich. Understandably, the nation of Israel has never been particularly interested in having Wagner's music performed there, although the unofficial ban has faced intense opposition in recent years. But this weekend, conductor Daniel Barenboim shocked concertgoers by leading the Berlin Staatskapelle in a surprise encore from "Tristan and Isolde." BBC 07/08/01

  • MAYOR THREATENS BARENBOIM BAN: "[Jerusalem] Mayor Ehud Olmert said the city will have to re-examine its relations with world-renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim after he performed the music of Richard Wagner, Adolf Hitler's favorite composer, at the Israel Festival on Saturday night. 'What Barenboim did was brazen, arrogant, uncivilized and insensitive,' Olmert told Israel's army radio." Nando Times (AP) 07/08/01

Friday July 6

STATE OF INDIANA V. GAY CHRIST: "A group hoping to block performances of a college play featuring a gay Christ-like character filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday. The play features a character named Joshua who is growing up gay in modern-day Texas. The story parallels parts of the Gospels, and some of the 12 other male characters bear the names of Christ's disciples." Nando Times (AP) 07/05/01

ALL ABOUT THE TOOLS: "Will new media art be limited and shaped by the commercial software usually used to created it? Or by the conventional Web site and interface formats that predominate among artworks online?" MediaChannel 07/01

Thursday July 5

ENGAGING THE INTELLECT: "When was the last time a political party produced an unashamedly intellectual document which dared to use big words and invited debate and critique before decisions on priorities and how to pay for them were made?" Australia's Barry Jones has put up such a platform. So how come the media are sniggering? Sydney Morning Herald 07/05/01

POINTING OUT THE PROBLEM: For more than two decades, Boston's Fort Point neighborhood has been home to the largest concentration of artists in New England. But rising rents and real estate costs are forcing artists and galleries out at an alarming rate. Tired of waiting for the city to do something, a handful of artists have put their message where their art is, and taken the cause public. Boston Herald 07/05/01

Wednesday July 4

AMERICA'S BEST ARTISTS: No kidding. These are the best, certified by Time magazine. The best young classical musician, Hilary Hahn; best playwright, August Wilson; best novelist, Philip Roth; best movie director, Ang Lee; best artist, Martin Puryear; best architect, Steven Holl; best actor, Sean Penn; best Broadway director, Susan Stroman. Time also lists the best rapper, best clown, best talk show host, etc. Your milege may vary. Void where prohibited by law. CNN 07/04/01

I'D RATHER BE IN PHILADELPHIA (FINALLY): Even cities with well-established arts activity can be dazzled by the potential a new performing arts center promises. Philadelphia may have prominent home-grown talent and a busy art community, but for many years hasn't had a place to bring out-of-town performers. The new Kimmel Center promises to change all that. Philadelphia Inquirer 07/03/01

Tuesday July 3

BOUGHT AND PAID FOR: "How much corporate sponsorship is too much? As the Government stages a tactical retreat on the arts funding front, the business dollar has flown in to fill the void, funding everything from the purchase of a rare $650,000 Guadagnini violin for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to the sponsorship of instruments, chairs, artists, performances, costumes and soloists. Sydney Morning Herald 07/03/01

ENGLAND'S NEW CULTURE MINISTER: "Tessa Jowell moves quickly to dispel any notion that she will be the sort of culture minister who can’t quite remember whether Jackson Pollock is a merchant bank or a heavyweight boxer. 'I believe passionately in our artistic heritage, in investment in the arts, in opening access to great art for the widest range of people,' she trills, as if reciting the Creed in St Tony’s Parish Church." The Times (UK) 07/03/01

Monday July 2

STRUGGLING FOR THE SOUL OF A TOWN: "A proposal for a huge new cement plant, in a town where cement-making roots run deep — but where art galleries and antiques shops drive the new economy — has deeply divided Hudson along lines of class, culture and, to no small degree, aesthetics. Would the plant destroy the town's charm, and so too its emerging tourist economy, or would the return of big cement be a restoration, a sign that old heavy-industry Hudson is on its way back?" The New York Times 06/30/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE DEVIL AND THE MILLIONAIRE: Who Wants to be a Millionaire is popular in Egypt, as it is everywhere. But now the Supreme Mufti's office in Cairo has issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling the game show sinful and a form of gambling. The fatwa quotes from a verse in the Holy Koran which calls on all Muslims to avoid gambling as an abomination and Satan's handiwork. BBC 07/02/01

Sunday July 1

"THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE WAR": When Patti Hartigan began covering the arts for New England's leading newspaper in 1990, she didn't expect the firestorm that was about to descend on the heads of artists and their supporters. But ten years after the Congressional dust-ups over Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, and federal arts funding in general, the echoes of what became a full-fledged culture war still resound. The American arts world has changed immeasurably in the last decade, and countless artists and organizations have long since given up trying to get public support for their work. The next ten years will tell much about what remains of America's commitment to art, but they could never be as telling as the last ten. Boston Globe 07/01/01

STRIKE HAS AN IMPACT: "Two exhibitions scheduled for this summer at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography have been postponed indefinitely because of the continuing strike by workers at that museum and its parent organization, the National Gallery of Canada." Ottawa Citizen 07/01/01