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Sunday September 30

LINCOLN CENTER EXEC RESIGNS: Gordon Davis has resigned as president of Lincoln Center, amidst rumors of infighting between Davis and chairwoman Beverly Sills. "Arts executives, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that department heads at Lincoln Center complained to Ms. Sills that Mr. Davis had dealt harshly with staff members and driven some to tears. Ms. Sills, they said, initially defended Mr. Davis but eventually saw merit in the complaints." The resignation throws into doubt the center's $1.5 billion refurbishment plans. The New York Times 09/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED: How has September 11th affected British arts and artists? Cancellations, reduced business, and some redefinition of what is possible in art. The Guardian's critics take a survey. The Guardian (UK) 09/29/01

SOOTHING SAVAGE BEASTS? The programs are controversial. Some call them an utter waste of public money, and a perk undeserved by those who partake of it. But to the people in charge of bringing art to inmates of penitentiaries in three U.S. states, and to the inmates who see the programs as a crucial part of their efforts to rejoin society, the concept is revolutionary. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/30/01

MORONS ON THE RISE: Are those awful people who ruin your night out with their cell phones and candy wrappers really more present than ever before? Or does the new array of technology just make it seem that way? "That people are moronic boobs is not news... But has it gotten worse? Has the onslaught of cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices made the already rude the unbearably boorish?" The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 09/30/01

Friday September 28

TOUGH TIMES FOR CULTURAL JOURNALISTS: As the world's attention focused on the disaster in New York, arts journalists have had to think hard about their roles. "Interviewers and interviewees would agree they felt distracted, that today's topic seemed unimportant in comparison, and then trot through the usual questions and answers about the forthcoming book or the venerable dance troupe. Editors and producers were left scratching their heads as they tried to decide whether they would seem more insensitive by running unrelated stories ("Orchestra looking for new conductor") or by running related ones ("Whither the disaster movie?")" Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/27/01

RUMORS OF OUR DEATH... So irony is dead now, at least according to numerous U.S. pundits. So are beauty, truth, innocence, and trust. "The concept of a deadly terrorist attack fuelling an international debate on what was once just a literary term seems a bit odd. However, the temptation for commentators to sound the death knell is nothing new." National Post 09/28/01

  • FIGHTING BACK TEARS WITH BELLY LAUGHS: Ever since the attacks of September 11, comedians of all stripes have been walking on eggshells. Some offer deadly serious messages of condolence, some skirt the subject entirely, but no one has tried to make comedic hay from the tragedy. Then, this week, the latest issue of the satirical newspaper The Onion hit newsstands, with content devoted entirely to the fallout from the attacks. Daring? Yes. In poor taste? Perhaps. But very, very funny. Wired 09/27/01

HOW WE READ/WATCH: A new book suggests "that recent developments in cultural and critical theory have obscured, or more accurately ignored, the experience of working-class audiences of books, plays and paintings. Theorists have been so keen to speculate on the way in which Great Expectations, Billy Bunter or the Tarzan films reproduced the dominant class and race relations of their time that they have not bothered to wonder how individual men and women received and interpreted these built-in biases." The Economist 09/28/01

WHY ART: Robert Brustein ponders the role of art in dark times. "It is necessary to look past the waved flags, and the silent moments of prayer, and the choruses of God Bless America, and try to keep the arts in focus. By lighting up the dark corridors of human nature, literature, drama, music, and painting can help temper our righteous demand for vengeance with a humanizing restraint. The American theater presently stands, like Estragon and Vladimir, under that leafless tree in Beckett's blasted plain. The show can't go on. It must go on. There can be no time when it's no time for comedy." The New Republic 09/27/01

IN GOOD COMPANY: The American Library Association has issued its latest list of books that have been yanked from shelves or challenged for their "suitability." J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series tops the list with numerous claims that the books promote satanism, presumably in the same way the Mark Twain promoted racism and John Steinbeck promoted the beating of people from Oklahoma. BBC 09/28/01

Thursday September 27

PROTECTING INTERNATIONAL CULTURE: "Artists from 33 countries are calling for a treaty on international culture. Eighty-five members of the International Network for Cultural Diversity wound up a two-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. The artists say it's time governments took their concerns for protecting culture seriously." CBC 09/26/01

EUROPEAN DESIGN: Dallas is going to build a $250 million performing arts center that includes a 2,400-seat opera house and an 800-seat theatre. This week seven architects were chosen as finalists to design the complex. "Five are from Europe; the other two are Americans residing there." Dallas Morning News 09/27/01

Wednesday September 26

ART IN A TIME OF FEAR: "Art can appear so insignificant when the world gets crazy. But the world has always been crazy, even if it hasn't been as horrifying. Art's been around a long time. It knows how to handle good times and bad. And it's never really been insignificant. Most art is superficial. However, the aesthetic experience (the term always rings tinny), the enigmatic interior place we go when we make or look at art, is still what it's always been: complex, rich, rewarding, meaningful, and moving. It is a place we will always return to. A place, presumably, we all come from. A place, moreover, that tells us things we didn't know we needed to know until we knew them." Village Voice 09/25/01

BESSIE AWARDS: The 17th annual awards for dance and performance art are awarded in New York. The New York Times 09/26/01 (one-time registration required for access)

WHO GETS TO REMEMBER: Historians debating their role in society suggest that they have been pushed into a role of merely collecting facts for the future. Telling the narrative of history has been taken over by the media. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 09/26/01

FOR THE MOST PART, ART KEEPS ON COMING TO NEW YORK: "As the days since Sept. 11 creep by, the number of cancellations by arts groups and performers traveling to New York is beginning to dwindle [although] some groups are still backing out of the fall season lineup, either because of lingering worries about safety, changes in airline schedules or a sense that now is not the best time to engage a skittish audience." The New York Times 09/26/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Tuesday September 25

BIGTIME DONATING: Friday night's Hollywood telethon broadcast on some 40 channels to raise money for disaster relief raised $150 million, organizers say. "The money will be distributed through the United Way with no administrative costs deducted, organizers said on Monday." Nando Times (AP) 09/25/01

HOW THE ARTS MAY CHANGE: "If the consensus is correct, the arts may change dramatically. No one can know what those changes will look like. In Western society, the response of art to a change in social conditions is never uniform and rarely obvious. And there is no guarantee whatsoever that art will rise to the occasion. Frivolous, decadent periods can produce brilliant art; serious times can produce pious bunk. If there is to be a profound change in art, however, its early harbinger will be impatience - even disgust - with the broad worldview that has sustained art during the past 40 years." New York Magazine 09/24/01

CONTEXT CHANGES ART: Art is changed by the context it is in. And that can change with events. "With the destruction of the World Trade Center this dynamic went into play. American culture was on instant high alert, scrambling both to accommodate what was happening and to avoid giving offense. Television shows were rescripted; films were pulled from release; Broadway plays discreetly dropped bits that might seem insensitive. By contrast, gallery shows opened pretty much as planned. Most art isn't amenable to last-minute editing. And the art world resists self-censorship, for good reason." The New York Times 09/25/01 (one-time registration required for access)

CHICAGO ARTS DOWN: Broadway isn't the only arts sector hit with sagging box office. Arts ticket sales are down in cities like Chicago too. "Although the Lyric Opera is mostly pre-sold, the symphony is having problems and the theaters are way down. So is movie attendance. And although subscriptions have been up at the Joffrey, the company depends heavily on box-office sales during the weeks and days before a season." Chicago Sun-Times 09/25/01

LONGER-TERM SLOWDOWN? Are America's regional performing arts centers feeling the economic slowdown? St. Paul's Ordway Center, which operated on a budget of $22 million last year, made due on $14.7 million this year. And it still racked up a half-million-dollar deficit. "Theater leaders blamed the deficit and the overall budget fluctuation on the vagaries of programming." Minneapolis Star-Tribune 09/25/01

  • BUILT-IN LOSS: Lack of touring productions and shifting dates account for loss. St. Paul Pioneer-Press 09/25/01

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARDS: Six performing artists, including dancer Evelyn Hart and actor Christopher Plummer, are awarded Canada's highest arts honors. "The 63 Canadian performing artists who have received this lifetime achievement award over the past 10 years represent a formidable creative force that has played a major international role in the evolution of every discipline of the performing arts." National Post (CP) 09/25/01

PROMOTING BRITISH TOURING: UK arts councils ease red tape on arts groups touring. The new policy goes into effect immediately and is "intended to give audiences across the UK more access to high quality performing arts - and give artists a greater choice of venues when touring the UK." BBC 09/25/01

Monday September 24

THE PROBLEM WITH AUSSIE ARTS: Australia's arts are in their greatest crisis in 30 years. A panel, made up of arts professionals, has been studying the problems, including "a shrinking middle-class market - traditionally a core audience base - and rising production costs." Solutions include "greater focus on Australian stories and voices, more risk taking and a culture of United States-style private patronage." Sydney Morning Herald 09/24/01

RETHINKING AFTER TERRORISM: What's a play, movie, book or recording to do after September 11's terrorism? "The self-scrutiny is unprecedented in scale, sweeping aside hundreds of millions of dollars in projects that may no longer seem appropriate. Like the calls to curb violence in popular entertainment after the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, the reaction may be helpful in the short term. But creators and producers are just beginning to grapple with more difficult, long-range questions of what the public will want once the initial shock from the terrorist attacks wears off." The New York Times 09/24/01 (one-time registration required for access)

WILLING TO HELP: American celebrities are volunteering to help. "Not since World War II has the entertainment industry responded so swiftly, so vocally and so unanimously to a crisis, volunteering to raise money for families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11 or being willing to entertain troops to lift morale." The New York Times 09/24/01 (one-time registration required for access)

ARTIST BENEFIT: Artists, auction houses, show promoters, galleries, dealers and museums throughout the country are being asked to become part of Art for America, a national day of fund-raising this fall. Art for America will culminate in a joint live auction in November. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Twin Towers Fund, the charity set up by Mayor Giuliani for the families of uniformed heroes missing in the blast. The fund already has received pledges of $72 million." New York Post 09/23/01

Sunday September 23

TELETHON BIGGER THAN SPERBOWL: "An estimated 89 million viewers tuned in at some point to Friday night's America: A Tribute to Heroes. That is 7 million more than tuned in to Bush's address the night before and nearly 5 million more than watched the 2001 Super Bowl." Preliminary estimates of the money raised indicate $110 million was raised for disaster relief. Organizers got 300,000 calls in the show's first 15 minutes. Los Angeles Times 09/23/01

AN ARTISTIC RESPONSE: The New York Times asks nine creative artists to "share their thoughts on the future of their different fields" after September 11. "Artists, especially, whom we presume to be particularly sensitive to our dilemmas and our dreams, are peering apprehensively into the abyss of the future. What do they, and we who love the arts and believe they are important, see there? What is the role of the arts in the present crisis, and how will the arts change in response to the new circumstances in which we live? To judge from the nine creative artists we have asked in this issue to share their thoughts on the future of their different fields, a common feeling is one of helplessness, in that what we love and what they do seems so marginal to the crisis." The New York Times 09/23/01 (one-time reegistration required for access)

ART IN A TIME OF TROUBLE: A critic goes out to consume art and ask how others are using art as a way of dealing with terrorism. "It has been interesting, in this and other surveys, how many artists mention the role of classical music, ranging from Bach to Mahler, in helping them absorb these events. Very few cite either pop or modern classical music." Boston Globe 09/23/01

FOR THE LONG HAUL: What are the longer-term themes and impacts on the arts and entertainment world after September 11? "It's about the long haul: taste rather than appetite, reflection not reflex, 'before' and 'later' as well as 'now.' Even popular culture - that buzzing, blooming confusion that so beguilingly piles ephemera atop ephemera - has an inevitably cumulative existence." Boston Globe 09/23/01

TELLING THE TERROR STORY: "The story that has emerged is modelled, almost scene by scene, on a disaster movie. There's the clearly witnessed long shot of the attack, the confusion below, people fleeing toward the camera. Archetypal heroes (Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the firemen) emerged, as well as a foreign villain (Osama bin Laden). The scene was set for the next act, the battle between good and evil, an apocalyptic yet redemptive process. How this cultural narrative has been chosen is worth examining." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/22/01

WHEN REALITY OVERTAKES FANTASY: "Overnight, the substance of threat and heroism is as altered as the New York skyline. Our willful confusion of fantasy with reality for purposes of our own entertainment abruptly shattered when American Airlines Flight 11 powered into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Our formula happy ending didn't come, and the ramifications in terms of our popular culture are complete." Hartford Courant 09/23/01

Friday September 21

CALIFORNIA WINEMAKERS GIVES $35 MILLION TO UC DAVIS: The gift is the biggest in the university's history and "includes $25 million for a Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and $10 million for the campus' new performing arts center. 'Davis did a lot for me, and I realize that their facilities were antiquated and needed to be brought up to a new standard. I knew we could learn a lot more in the years to come." Los Angeles Times 09/20/01

Thursday September 20

BUSH NOMINATES HAMMOND TO HEAD NEA: Michael Hammond, the dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, has been nominated as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The 69-year-old Hammond is a composer, conductor, and former Rhodes scholar "whose interests include medieval, Renaissance and Southeast Asian music." He has been Dean of the Rice school since 1986. Washington Post 09/20/01

HOW TO PERFORM? "On stages across New York and in concert halls around the world over the last week it came down again and again to the same delicate question: under what circumstance was it appropriate for actors to act, dancers to dance and singers to sing? 'We tried to get through a rehearsal, which was next to impossible. You'd finish an entrance and run back to the television to watch what was happening'." The New York Times 09/20/01 (one-time registration required for access)

COMFORT IN POP CULTURE: "It used to be the Bible that got quoted in moments of enormity—and to some extent it still is, as all the prayer vigils held last week attest. But these days even the Almighty bows before pop culture's clout. In an unfathomable event, we turn to entertainment, and from the inventory of its words and images, we assemble meaning. So it's understandable that the first response to what happened last week was to seek the shelter of a show. Many people who went through this trauma felt like they were in a movie, and those who saw it from a safe distance could imagine they were having the ultimate IMAX experience." Village Voice 09/19/01

TURNING ASIA-WARD: "Since the time of European settlement, Australia's cultural focus has been firmly on Europe and the United States, with a number of our most brilliant artists having arrived as refugees from Germany and Eastern Europe following World War II. But a host of new Asian-inspired drama and dance productions and exhibitions highlight the increasing influence the nearby region is having on the local arts scene." The Age (Melbourne) 09/20/01

Wednesday September 19

RESPONDING TO TERRORISM: Why haven't artists responded with more eloquence after last week's terrorism? "What we sorely needed was to hear from a composer, a poet, an artist who could, in an instant, release pent-up sentiments and illuminate the stricken landscape. Art, however, has lost the facility for rapid reaction or even considered response. What Picasso achieved in Guernica and Brecht in Mother Courage is no longer acceptable, or perhaps available, to painters and playwrights of the postmodern age." The Telegraph (UK) 09/19/01

Tuesday September 18

HOW ART SHOULD RESPOND: America's arts directors spent last week figuring out how to respond to the World Trade Center tragedy. "Many said in interviews that they had resumed normal schedules after closing their doors for just one night. They said theater, dance and music performances have suddenly taken on new importance, not just because of their content but also because they draw people to common experiences at a time when the nation's sense of community seems to have been savagely attacked." The New York Times 09/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)

  • CANCEL OR NOT? "Indeed, while many cancellations were made out of respect for victims and the rescue effort, more mundane concerns were also snagging plans, including the difficulty some performers faced obtaining visas because of closed consulates in foreign countries. Discussions of safety and sensitivity to depictions of violence have been going on in administrative offices of arts groups all over the city." The New York Times 09/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)
  • DEATH OF THE SKYSCRAPER? "George W. Bush told the world last week that terrorism will not stand. Neither will the kind of architectural arrogance applauded in the 1970s when the World Trade Center was constructed." Architects will likely spend the next several years fleshing out the next generation of urban American office space. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 09/18/01
  • CUES FROM AMERICAN CULTURE: "Those who carried out the attacks on New York and the Pentagon were right up to date, not only in technical terms. Inspired by the pictorial logic of Western symbolism, they staged the massacre as a media spectacle, adhering in minute detail to scenarios from disaster movies. Such an intimate understanding of American civilization hardly testifies to an anachronistic mentality." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 09/18/01

IVEY'S OUTGOING ASSESSMENT: The NEA is certainly stronger than it was when Bill Ivey arrived as chairman of the agency, but the prospect of war always raises fears that the arts will be seen as an unnecessary luxury in the face of military reality. Nonetheless, Ivey is upbeat about the endownment's future, and claims wide bipartisan support in Congress. San Francisco Chronicle 09/18/01

Monday September 17

ART LOSSES AT THE WTC: "From the displacement of experimental theater and film companies to the likely obliteration of more than $10 million worth of art in and around the World Trade Center — including works by Alexander Calder, Nevelson, Miró and Lichtenstein — arts groups are surveying the wreckage, trying to measure the extent of their losses and to determine how to begin to recoup." The New York Times 09/17/01 (one-time registration required for access)

  • RETURNING TO ART: New York's museums were crowded late last week while the US was caught up in the WTC aftermath. "People are drifting back to museums, first because other people are there. We might still feel guilty about distracting ourselves, but we need to catch our breath sometimes and do what feels good, at least briefly, for the sake of sanity. Being in a museum together can feel safe and normal." The New York Times 09/17/01 (one-time registration required for access)

IS ART A GENETIC IMPULSE? "Since all human societies, past and present, so far as we know, make and respond to art, it must contribute something essential to human life. But what?" Lingua Franca 10/07/01

IMMIGRATION SERVICE AS CULTURAL ARBITER: When artists visit the US to work they have to apply for a work visa. Yet who at the INS is deciding which artists are culturally significant and which aren't? Such decisions aren't always made thoughtfully. Studio 360 [audio file] 09/11/01

Sunday September 16

IN TIMES OF CRISIS: First we look to political leaders. Then to spiritual leaders. Eventually though, we turn to artists to "tell the stories of our collective experience". "We don't know how to save lives like a doctor would, or rescue people like a fireman would, but we do know how to reinvigorate the human spirit. That's our job." Hartford Courant 09/16/01

  • ARTISTS TALK ABOUT ART AND TERRORISM: Robert Brustein: "This is a time when art is most important because it complicates our thinking and prevents us from falling into melodramatic actions such as those we're about to take. But this is the time when art is made tongue-tied by authority and when it's a very small voice among hawkish screams. ... The greatest thing that art can do in a time of crisis is to make us aware, not to turn us into our enemies." Boston Globe 09/15/01

IVEY LEAVES NEA: National Endowment for the Arts chairman Bill Ivey is talking about his term running America's federal arts agency. Though he wanted to stay on in the Bush administration "Ivey resigned, he said, to publicly fight for the extra $10 million budget above the level funding (currently $105 million) that Bush's budget called for. So far - barring a radical restructuring of federal spending priorities in the wake of the horrific events of last week - it looks like Ivey, who is moving on to a position at Vanderbilt University, will get it." Boston Herald 09/16/01

AH YES, THE VISION THING: London's South bank arts center is squalid and unworkable and needs to be rethought. Everyone agrees on that. But numerous failed attempts to figure out what to do have resulted in nothing. "What is at issue is not just which architect the centre wants, but what it wants them to design, and exactly where it wants them to build it." The Observer (UK) 09/16/01

Friday September 14

POWER OF ART: The arts aren't just events to be gone ahead with or cancelled after a tragedy. One of the powers of great art is to try to make sense of difficult things. Globe & Mail critics look at the power of artforms - Dance, Music, Visual art, Literature, Theatre - to help people cope with tragedy. Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/14/01

SHOWS GO ON: "At the urging of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Schuyler G. Chapin, the commissioner of cultural affairs, many of the city's premier museums opened their doors yesterday, after closing in the wake of the attacks. Meanwhile, producers vowed that all 23 Broadway productions would be performed last night after a moment of silence and a dimming of the marquee lights in recognition of the victims." The New York Times 09/14/01 (one-time registration required for access)

  • POLITICS OF POST-TERRORISM: Deciding whether or not to cancel performances after terrorism involves a number of factors - is the performance appropriate? Are performers stranded in other cities with the airport shutdowns? "Along with performance cancellations, some have found themselves axing glittery opening galas, directing ticket proceeds to relief efforts or adding special onstage tributes for victims." Los Angeles Times 09/13/01

AND YOU THINK YOU KNOW CULTURE? A Toronto design firm is looking for employees. But first you have to pass the Bruce Mau Culture Challenge. From the Beatles to Joseph Beuys, theosophy and the origins of the "end of history," here's a test that will put hair on your chest. National Post (Canada) 09/14/01

Thursday September 13

THE POWER OF ART TO COPE WITH GRIEF: "From Homer's tales of Troy to Picasso's Guernica, from Tchaikovksy's Pathétique to Bill T. Jones's Still/Here, from the bloody dramas of Sophocles and Shakespeare to Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial, artists have always combated grave tragedy with grave beauty. Critics of The New York Times reflect on how art in all its forms has girded us to go on grieving and living." The New York Times 09/13/01 (one-time registration required for access)

INTERPRETING INTELLECTUAL: In our new information-on-steroids world, what is the role of the writer, the public intellectual? Edward Said ponders roles and responsibilities. The Nation 09/17/01

KENNEDY GRANT FOR DISABLED ARTISTS: The Kennedy family announced a $1 million donation to the Kennedy Center to support performance and internship programs for persons with disabilities. The Kennedy Center was to host a private gala with several family members to mark the occasion, but plans were canceled after terrorist attacks. Washington Times 09/12/01

Tuesday September 11

THE ARTS IN SCHOOL: After years of back-to-basics programs that decimated arts education in California schools, the arts are making a comeback in the classroom. But even appreciating the value of arts education, schools are having difficulty reintroducing arts; finding qualified teachers is just one of the problems. Los Angeles Times 09/10/01

COMBATING BLANDNESS: "While admitting it was bland and passive during the past decade, [Canada's] National Arts Centre has unveiled a new plan to restore its glory days." National Post (Canada) 09/11/01

Sunday September 9

EXITING, STAGE LEFT: As Bill Ivey leaves as director of the National Endowment for the Arts, he reflects on his term and the role of America's arts agency. "The NEA is the only agency that wakes up every day and thinks about how the arts are doing and how the nation's cultural heritage is faring." Hartford Courant 09/09/01

WHEN SCIENTISTS POKE ABOUT IN PHILOSOPHY: A poll of 1000 philosophers ranks Darwin's The Origin of Species as the third most important tract on the human condition. One critic brands "the choice 'mad' and blamed Darwin's inclusion on the plague of 'retired Nobel prize winning scientists now poking about in philosophy'." The Guardian (UK) 09/07/01

FUNDRAISING DOWNTURN: The downturn in the economy is having an impact on fundraising for the arts. In formerly-booming North Carolina "arts groups are feeling the pinch, in small halls, museums and theaters. United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County - the region's largest private support group for the arts - failed to meet its fund-raising goal and had to cut grants for 16 of the 34 organizations it funds. At the North Carolina Museum of Art, an adventurous and expensive video show had to be scrapped because sponsors couldn't be found." The News-Observer (Raleigh-Durham) 09/09/01

Friday September 7

LEARNING TO LOVE CONCRETE: London's concrete Barbican Centre has been described as "off-putting on the outside, labyrinthine on the inside and underperforming all round." It's the public building Londoners love to hate. Yet in a retro kind of way, it is becoming fashionably admired, and now the Britain's minister of arts has "slapped a preservation order on the brutalist complex once described as 'not so much a concrete jungle as a concrete bungle'." The Guardian (UK) 09/06/01

Thursday September 6

KENNEDY CENTER AWARDS: This year's Kennedy Center awards will go to Jack Nicholson, Julie Andrews, Quincy Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, and Van Cliburn. Washington Post 09/06/01

Tuesday September 4

SIZING UP (MORTIER'S) SALZBURG: Gerard Mortier's reign as head of the Salzburg Festival was hardly revolutionary. Yet as he leaves, "one thing is clear: Thanks to Mortier, art is at last being discussed and taken seriously again in Salzburg." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 09/04/01

Sunday September 2

ELITIST AND PROUD OF IT: What, exactly, is wrong with being elitist? "The 'E' word is the great bugbear of American art museums today. Elitism is a source of cold-sweat dread among administrative bureaucrats and their bean-counting boards of trustees, who now dimly equate gate receipts with success. It even intimidates much of the curatorial cohort, who should know better. Elitism is the cockroach in the art museum pantry that scurries into hiding when the lights go on. Their horror is a cause for despair among those for whom art is more than diversion ('more' meaning that the diversion is fervent, not idle)." Los Angeles Times 09/02/01

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPEAKING AND WRITING: Why are good writers sometimes terrible speakers and great speakers awful writers? "The great leading distinction between writing and speaking is, that more time is allowed for the one than the other; and hence different faculties are required for, and different objects attained by, each. He is properly the best speaker who can collect together the greatest number of apposite ideas at a moment's warning: he is properly the best writer who can give utterance to the greatest quantity of valuable knowledge in the course of his whole life. The chief requisite for the one, then, appears to be quickness and facility of perception - for the other, patience of soul, and a power increasing with the difficulties it has to master." The Guardian (UK) 09/01/01

THE EVILS OF GOVERNMENT ARTS FUNDING: Here's one critic who thinks retiring US Senator Jesse Helms was right to try to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. "Given that government funding for the arts must be subject to the political process, it's the existence, not the elimination, of the NEA that squelches free expression in the arts. You should support the NEA only if you're happy with the idea of an official art, an art that represents the interests of the state and the tastes of the average taxpayer. The tastes of the NEA will, in the long run, come to reflect the tastes and interests of philistines like Helms." Los Angeles Times 09/01/01

A FAMILIAR STORY: Higher rents and lack of space are forcing Boston artists to leave. "The lack of affordable space in this city for artists, small businesses - heck, for anyone who wants to make a life here - is forcing people out, creating a cultural diaspora as once tight-knit communities are compelled to scatter elsewhere in the state and beyond. Boston's loss will be many other cities' gain." Boston Globe 09/02/01