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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Zeroing Out The Arts "It's not easy to pinpoint the day culture died at ground zero. Since four cultural organizations were selected for the site a year ago, the notion of giving the arts an integral role has been gradually - and more lately precipitously - slipping away. At this point, culture is being cast as a suspicious interloper... A lack of powerful, outspoken advocates seems to have been a significant ingredient in the erosion of culture at the site. By putting the development corporation in charge of choosing the cultural groups, the state failed to enlist an enthusiastic commitment from business leaders and philanthropists." The New York Times 09/30/05

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

LA Schools: Building Arts Education A Percent At A Time The ten-year program is designed to "help the 80 Los Angeles County school districts develop plans for putting arts into the curricula for all students and to encourage school boards to work toward committing 5% of their operating budgets to arts education. It is a modest program, at least in terms of making up for years of diminished funding for the arts. Many of the county's 1,800 public schools provide a spotty arts program at best. And, the emphasis on standardized testing coupled with district budget shortages in recent years have left arts educators wondering whether their subjects will ever be a school priority." Los Angeles Times 09/28/05

Artists Grab Control Of Their Future "Some artists—painters, for instance—have always been able to produce work themselves, relatively cheaply. Others, like musicians and filmmakers, had to pay for studio time, which proved prohibitively expensive for those without corporate backing. Now systems like ProTools enable musicians to produce top-quality recordings from a home studio for a fraction of the outlay. The new technology has given aspiring artists an unprecedented degree of control over their careers." Newsweek 09/26/05

NEA Chief Attacks Proposed International Culture Pact Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, has attacked a proposed international pact that would give governments more power to protect their own country's artistic heritage. "He called the draft text a trade document designed to give governments power to protect such interests as a country's film producers by keeping down foreign competition - not a protection for individual artists. Artists should have full freedom to share their work throughout the world, he said. 'As I read it, it gives central governments the right to protection by prohibiting imports'." Washington Post (AP) 09/28/05

Michigan Proposes major Arts Funding Cuts Michigan's state legislature proposes cutting arts funding by 17.5 percent. "Cuts to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs leave $9.1 million for grants, down 63% from a recent peak of $24.4 million in 2002." Detroit Free Press 09/28/05

An Iowa City Reinvents Itswelf With Ambitious Culture Agenda "With this month's gala for the $46.9 million Figge Art Museum and the June debut of a $7.4 million skybridge that joins downtown to the riverfront and was designed by Chicago architects Holabird & Root, Davenport has signaled that it is repenting for past urban planning sins and recovering from the 1980s, when farm-equipment manufacturers here slashed thousands of jobs. And the city is using dramatic insertions of modern architecture to make its point. Aesthetically, the results are mixed." Chicago Tribune 09/28/05

Monday, September 26, 2005

Orange County PAC Employee Pleads Innocent To Embezzlement Charge "An accounts receivable clerk at the Orange County Performing Arts Center has pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from her employer since 2000." San Diego Union-Tribune 09/26/05

Tension - What Gets In? There's certainly something to be said for diversity of ideas and abilities; it produces a richer culture. But there's also something to be said for declaring hierarchies of quality. "A whole society that adopted a policy of letting everything into the show, so to speak, would lose its ability to spot specialness and mediocrity and bankrupt the classical notion of art as a pursuit to be studied and developed by an artist over time." The News-Tribune (Tacoma) 09/02/05

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Racial Divide, Some Illumination? Today's UK is increasingly becoming racially divided. It's important to take on political issues like this in art. But how to bring some clarity? The Observer (UK) 09/25/05

The Genius That Burns Out Young So often the talent or genius that burns bright as a prodigy, ends up burning out early. "We are stalled in a state of permanent adolescence; the economy relies on the avidity of teenage consumers who have to be tantalised with a fresher face every few months. Adolescent celebrities are obsolete by their early twenties." The Guardian (UK) 09/25/05

The Arts Need Introductory Offers As New York's Fall for Dance sampler demonstrates, there's a big audience for dance if it's priced and packaged right. But what are arts organizations doing to lure those people who might be interested but aren't yet ready to commit major money to attending? "It's understandable that theaters want to reward their devotees, especially as they typically constitute half the audience. But what's keeping the venues from encouraging more people, besides students, to become devoted? Why, for example, are there no introductory offers?" Newsday 09/25/05

Baryshnikov Center - Building To An Opening Mikhail Baryshnikov is getting close to opening his new arts center on Manhattan's West Side. "I did not want something designed purely for dance. While we were planning, we went to almost every theater and studio space built in New York over the last 60 years and saw what worked and what didn't. The specifics of the spaces, the adaptable walls, the height of the ceilings, the technical possibilities all had to make opera, cabaret or plays feasible, too." The New York Times 09/25/05

Friday, September 23, 2005

Scottish Parliament Rejects Culture Commission Recommendations The Scottish Parliament has killed a report's recommendations to dramatically increase funding for the arts. "The report won initial support in the arts community for its call for a massive increase in spending of up to £100 million, to cover a 'deficit' in Scottish arts and take it to a 1 per cent share of the Scottish Executive's budget. Scotland's culture minister said a new arts bureaucracy was a non-starter. She did not rule out a "radical overhaul" in the arts, but spoke out against "unnecessary bureaucracies, which are a drain on resources". She continued: "I'm not convinced that the solution preferred by the commission is the right one." The Scotsman 09/23/05

Scalia: Government Has Right To Deny Arts Funding US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the government has the right to deny funding for art of which it disapproves. "The First Amendment has not repealed the basic rule of life, that he who pays the piper calls the tune. When you place the government in charge of funding art, just as when you place the government in charge of providing education, somebody has to pick the content of what art is going to be funded, what subjects are going to be taught. The only way to eliminate any government choice on what art is worthwhile, what art isn't worthwhile, is to get the government totally out of the business of funding." The New York Times 09/23/05

Thursday, September 22, 2005

In Minneapolis: A New Ten-Year Plan For Arts "Mayor R.T. Rybak says under the guidance of the new plan, the city will develop cultural leaders, double funding for public art, and promote Minneapolis arts and culture both locally and nationally. He says a key aspect of the plan is to support those small and mid-sized arts organizations that don't have a large staff or wealthy boards. But this is the same mayor who drastically cut back his Office of Cultural Affairs four years ago in an effort to dig the city out of some major debt." Minnesota Public Radio 09/22/05

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Americans For The Arts' New Relief Fund Americans for the Arts has set up a new emergency relief fund. The organization "describes its new creation as a permanent fund developed to provide timely financial assistance to victims of a major disaster for the purpose of helping them rebuild the arts in their community. Americans for the Arts kicked off the fund with $100,000 and is overseeing donations. Robert L. Lynch, the organization's president and CEO, said on Monday that outside donors had so far contributed close to $50,000 more." Backstage 09/21/05

Prioritizing History You can hardly turn around in America these days without bumping into a "house museum" or some such similar bit of preserved history, and some have begun to speculate that we are cheapening history by drawing attention to so much of it. This week, a gathering of public historians takes place in Pittsburgh, with participants set to tackle some of the more difficult questions of access, overexposure, and creative control. "How and why should history museums interpret the recent past? How can corporate historians balance thorough analysis with the pressures of maintaining a positive corporate image? And who should determine what history is: curators or the community?" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/21/05

Will New Orleans Still Look Like New Orleans? There will be many painful decisions ahead for those who must find a way to rebuild New Orleans, and none may be more taxing than deciding what aspects of the city's famed architecture can be preserved, and which must get the wrecking ball. "New Orleans is a city where the grand and the debauched are often separated by feet rather than miles, and much of its treasured visual narrative remains intact. But the wind has torn away chunks of facades and the insides of many homes have been corrupted beyond description... a discussion about the virtues of the city's vernacular architecture - shotgun shacks, Creole cottages - would seem to be a luxury now. Still, local preservationists believe that unless the bulldozers roaming New Orleans are used with care, the city that officials are trying to save will be lost." The New York Times 09/21/05

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Royal Opera House Removes Vilar's Name London's Royal Opera House has removed Alberto Vilar's name from the house. "Vilar pledged £10 million to the ROH development appeal in 1999, but paid only a fraction of that. As a result, the iron and glass atrium centrepiece - which was named the Vilar Floral Hall - will be renamed the Floral Hall with immediate effect. Mr Vilar is currently facing charges of fraud and money laundering in the US." BBC 09/20/05

Asking The Hard Questions About Arts Funding "The channelling of public money into the arts is now so widely accepted as a worthwhile thing to do, it would seem churlish to question it. Who could ever wish to return to the dark ages - pre-Australia Council, pre-state and regional arts councils - when creative artists struggled for recognition and support? But there are a couple of questions that should be raised from time to time, if only to assure ourselves that our money is being spent wisely. Who is supposed to benefit from arts funding? And what is the nature of the benefit?" Sydney Morning Herald 09/21/05

A Spanish City's Cultural Buildings Splurge "In a city full of venerable architectural gems, Valencia's City of the Sciences and Arts is the 21st-century ultimate. It is an enormous complex, more like a world's fair than a museum plaza. Its science museum is the biggest in Spain, its aquarium the largest in Europe. Its reflecting pools could submerge several football fields. Opening in October, the final piece — the Performing Arts Center — will put the crowning touch on this remarkable complex." Seattle Times (KR) 09/20/05

In The US: Science Museums Struggle With Creationist Challenges Science museums and other institutions around America are struggling with how to deal with increasingly aggressive challenges to the theory of evolution. One company, called B.C. Tours "because we are biblically correct," even offers escorted visits to the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Participants hear creationists' explanations for the exhibitions. The New York Times 09/20/05

Monday, September 19, 2005

Montreal's Cultural Malaise Is Montreal starving its cultural life? "Montrealers love to mock Toronto's obsession with becoming a 'world-class' city, but they also hate to acknowledge signs that their city is being left behind. Montreal had access to the same kind of funding, and what did it use the money for? New pipes and sewers. The big capital projects in Montreal these days are a pair of hospitals and several academic buildings. Like the sewers, they're needed, but they're also draining money away from the city's cultural base." The Globe & mail (Canada) 09/19/05

IBM Says It Will Finance New Teachers IBM has started a program to financially back any of its employees who want to go into teaching. "The goal is to help fill shortfalls in the nation's teaching ranks, a problem expected to grow with the retirement of today's educators. Math and science are of particular concern to companies in many U.S. industries that expect to need technical workers but see low test scores in those subjects and waning interest in science careers." USAToday (AP) 09/18/05

Going It Alone - Artists And The Technology Revolution The blessing of technology for artists? The ability to make your art and distribute it without the middleman. "New technology means creative types across the board—from filmmakers to visual artists to authors—are finding it easier to bypass traditional middlemen, like record labels or galleries, and reach out to appreciative audiences themselves. The market has become so fragmented and audience tastes so specialized, it's no longer possible for big companies to cater to every niche. But individual artists can." Newsweek 09/26/05

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Big Dreams In South Florida Miami's glittering new performing arts center will open a year from now, albeit without a primary tenant, and backers are hoping that its arrival will herald a new and better era for South Florida's often scattered arts scene. Some proponents are even draw comparisons to Washington, D.C.'s Kenedy Center, which opened in 1971 and sparked a cultural renaissance in the city. Miami Herald 09/18/05

KC PAC Goes Back To Original Plan The contentious negotiations to build a new performing arts center in Kansas City have taken another turn, this time sparking a return to the original plan to build the PAC on a downtown hilltop. "The decision ends months of uncertainty that began in April when the center board voted to examine an alternative — renovating the historic Lyric Theatre at 11th and Central streets and adding a new concert hall. Backers said the concept did not save enough money to justify abandoning the earlier plan." Funding for the project, which is estimated to cost $304 million, is still somewhat uncertain, but backers are hoping to start construction by fall 2006. Kansas City Star 09/18/05

The Cultural Devastation of Katrina Katrina struck at the very heart of the Deep South's cultural community, and while some individual organizations may have escaped relatively unscathed, the rebuilding effort for the arts will take many, many years. The head of the National Endowment for the Arts points out that "culture is the second largest industry in Louisiana," and across the Gulf Coast, venues have been damaged or destroyed and artists themselves are scattered to the winds. And while overall relief efforts are well underway, priorities of safety and livability are necessitating a "hurry up and wait" approach for many arts organizations. Birmingham News 09/18/05

  • Katrina Relief, In Black And White The cultural divisions that separate Americans - factions of race, region, and economic status - have never been more evident than in the various benefit events being mounted around the U.S. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Musicians from classical, country, pop, and hip-hop scenes are all doing their part for the relief effort - but all on separate stages. Some experts say that "the competition that has emerged among fund-raising efforts reflects cultural lines that were already drawn," but others insist that the factionalized effort is merely a by-product of an already compartmentalized entertainment industry. The New York Times 09/17/05

  • The List: Cultural Sites In Katrina's Path Keeping track of the current state of New Orleans's cultural institutions has been a chaotic enterprise at best, but a picture is beginning to emerge of just how widespread the damage is. The New Orleans Museum of Art lost one of its more valuable works to the storm, and a new, unfinished museum in Biloxi was crushed by a casino barge that was pushed a full quarter-mile inland. Some institutions escaped damage altogether, but not many... Minneapolis Star Tribune (AP) 09/17/05

  • Far From Home And Missing It Badly David Anderson, the principal bass player of the now-homeless Louisiana Philharmonic has a temporary gig with the Minnesota Orchestra, but all the temp hirings in the world can't answer all the questions the LPO has about its future, nor can they replace a wholly unique orchestra in a city with a musical life unlike any other in the world. "Anderson loves the way whole families permeate the music scene [in New Orleans] -- the Marsalis and Neville clans are only the most familiar. He loves that he's in a classical orchestra but also plays a mean electric bass in New Orleans' more raucous venues, grinding out original jazz, funk and bop with friends in his Symphony Boy Funk Ensemble." Minneapolis Star Tribune 09/17/05

  • Relief From The Northwest The Seattle Symphony raised $45,000 for hurricane relief with a benefit concert Friday night... Seattle Times 09/18/05

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Scottish Arts Overhaul May Be DOA "The Scottish Executive is likely to turn its back on 'Culture Scotland', the arts super-quango proposed in its £600,000 policy review, according to those who recommended its creation... A leading member of the Cultural Commission, believes there is little appetite for the sweeping changes it recommended earlier this year. It proposed abolishing the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen in favour of two new agencies, Culture Scotland to handle policy and the Culture Fund to manage the cash." The Scotsman (UK) 09/15/05

Richmond PAC Promises To Get Realistic Richmond, Virginia's proposed new performing arts center has been controversial from the beginning, with critics complaining that the project is far too ambitious and expensive for a small city. The mayor has demanded that organizers scale back by 2/3 their plans for "a $112 million cluster of theatres, music venues and a jazz club on an entire city block," and while there are currently no plans to comply with that request, the PAC proponents this week agreed to tackle the project in stages, and not to begin construction on any individual part of the project until that component is fully funded. Richmond Times-Dispatch 09/14/05

  • Richmond PAC Leader Takes A Pay Cut "Virginia Performing Arts Foundation President Brad Armstrong has taken a $100,000-a-year pay cut in hopes of eliminating a 'distraction' for the planned downtown arts center." The city's mayor and other critics of the project have frequently made reference to the salaries being earned by the project's top executives. "Armstrong's decision to reduce his pay from $275,000 to $175,000 was" completely voluntary, according to sources on the PAC's board, and the same sources say that the president's job was never in danger. Richmond Times-Dispatch 09/15/05

A Chicago Full Of Wonders What are the "Seven Wonders" of Chicago? The Chicago Tribune asks readers and got "some 4,000-plus nominations for the 14 finalists, and more than 38,000 ballots cast for the final seven. Knock that total down by a few hundred for some ballot stuffing (obvious when the wording is exactly the same time after time). Stuffers included many voting for Steppenwolf Theatre, the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple in Bartlett and Fame, the city's oldest sailboat, but that's so Chicago." Chicago Tribune 09/15/05

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Oops - Software Company Approriates Scottish Arts Council Logo makes of a leading desktop publishing program - "Quark" - proudly unveiled their new logo, a stylized "Q" last weekend. But almost immediately critics pointed out that "the desktop publishing company's new-look green 'Q' logo is visually almost identical with the Scottish Arts Council's (SAC) long-used blue 'A' logo. Such similarities were quickly noted by users in multiple design-focused message boards, but it's an honest mistake, claimed Quark." MacWorld 09/14/05

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Priorities: Rebuilding A Modern City Rebuild New Orleans, sure. But how? "Among the questions facing architects are whether the city's footprint should be irrelevant, given that so many residents may not return; whether surviving industries should be pivotal to what is built; whether preservation should trump other priorities; and whether bold new architecture can or should rise from the muck and devastation. Many experts also warned against moving too quickly, arguing that being away from the city could help residents clarify what was most valued and should be reclaimed." The New York Times 09/14/05

Gioia: Arts Essential To Rebuilding Gulf Coast NEA chief Dana Gioia says that rebuilding the arts of the Gulf Coast is essential to rebuilding the region. "People have to recognize that the arts are a major industry and need to be at the table for the recovery plan. There is no way for these local economies to recover unless we invest in the cultural life. Culture was Louisiana's second-biggest economy, right after oil. These organizations have suffered enormous losses." Washington Post 09/13/05

Monday, September 12, 2005

After Katrina - Where The Artists Went "Since Katrina slammed into this region of soggy landscapes and resolute people, Baton Rouge has become a temporary command center for businesses and planners drawing up blueprints for the area's comeback. Many artists, on the other hand, have passed over the buttoned-down state capital and headed for laid-back Lafayette. It's likely that hundreds, if not thousands, of musicians, artists, photographers, writers, designers and other creative talents have fled New Orleans in Katrina's wake, both the world-famous and the not-so-famous. Some have strayed as far away as Memphis, Nashville, Houston, New York and Los Angeles." Los Angeles Times 09/12/05

Culture After The Storm Hurricane Katrina disrupted the culture of the Gulf Coast. But it's also had a subtle effect on the arts across the US... Los Angeles Times 09/12/05

Attacking The Premise (Artist Response To Tregedy) A conference in New York about artists' responses to 9/11 was attacked in advance. "The conference was built on the solid premise that mourning and remembrance evolve over time, and that art of all kinds - challenging, comforting, even rude - is a valuable element in the process. That doesn't deny that the grief is still raw for many people, and may always be. But the media attacks on the show were hardly about grief. At best they display a yahooism that says art doesn't matter, at worst a political agenda that says anti-government opinions have no place in any event linked to 9/11." The New York Times 09/12/05

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Cultureshock - New Orleans Culture On The Run "Last year, the city hosted more than 10 million visitors, many to sample that cuisine and music scene, and was on track this year to eclipse those figures. The city also was having success with tax incentives to film companies, making it possible for the filming of "All the King's Men," "The Skeleton Key" and parts of "The Dukes of Hazzard" and other films. Now, the bedrock and lifeblood of the city and the culture that it spawned have been threatened by flood waters and disease and a forced exodus." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/11/05

Reflecting On 9/11 Art What's the art coming after 9/11 look like? "Artists are apt to weigh in early and often on great national traumas, of course, but at times the most memorable works -- the ones that last past the generation that actually experienced the catastrophe -- come along some years after the event. It's as if painters and poets and filmmakers need time to let it all sink in, to let the meaning of a great national tragedy slowly push its way past the sentimental cliches and the creaking platitudes, like a patient commuter at a rusty turnstile." Chicago Tribune 09/11/05

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Tilting At The Advertising Windmill Everyone knows by now that today's children are subjected to more advertising than any previous generation in human history, and furthermore, that a disturbing percentage of that advertising is aimed squarely at them. But despite frequent warnings by experts about the effect such a barrage of commercialism can have on kids, there has been little public effort to stop, or even scale back, the volume of ads dumped on the average child. Enter the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a "Boston-based coalition of parents, educators, health-care specialists, and advocacy groups" dedicated to wiping out youth-targeted advertising. A bit Quixotic? Maybe. But as the CCFC's leader puts it: "Who won David vs. Goliath?" Boston Globe 09/08/05

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Even Better The Second Time Around We've all heard stories of those strange, obsessive types who attend the same play hundreds of times. This may not be normal behavior, but Rupert Christiansen says that there is great pleasure and intellectual growth to be derived from viewing the same work of theatre, art, or music more than once. "The point about the return visit is not the infantile pleasure of repetition, but the possibility of surprise. A good work of art never stays quite the same: it ambushes you, outwits you. A first exposure can provide the primitive excitement of wanting to know what happens next, a second provides the opportunity to register details, a third brings a sense of the underpinning joints and girders that make up the structure. And so it goes on." The Telegraph (UK) 09/07/05

Fiddling As Rome Burns? Exactly. Critic Mark Morford spent the days during and after Hurricane Katrina at the infamous Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, filing reports that struck some of his readers as lacking in gravitas, given the events unfolding on the Gulf Coast. But as Morford points out, the world does not stop when a tragedy occurs, and leaving aside the fact that the Burning Man participants passed the hat and raised thousands for the relief effort, "in the wake of any national disaster or mounting death toll, it is exactly those things that celebrate life that we turn to offer salve and balm and resurrection of spirit. In other words, in the aftermath of hurricanes and national tragedies and in the face of the most ham-fisted and heartless and freedom-stabbing administration in recent American history, we need this sort of 'trifling' Burning Man fluff more than ever, to act as spark, as beacon, as counterbalance." San Francisco Chronicle 09/07/05

Facing The Music In Pittsburgh It's trial by fire time for 25 arts and culture organizations in Pittsburgh, as the city's Allegheny Regional Asset District prepares to distribute some $78 million in funds. Rather than simply considering grant applications, the RAD board grills representatives of applying groups at a series of public meetings, then renders its decisions based on the board's impressions of the stability of the applicants. This year, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, which recently dropped its live orchestra and is struggling to stay afloat, is on the hot seat, with the RAD board worrying that PBT is "draining its endowment to balance its budget." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 09/07/05

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Is Sydney Driving Away Its Artists? Sydney, Australia, is a world-class city in every sense of the word, but now comes evidence that one of those senses may be hurting another. "With the cost of living soaring like some interminable aria, Sydney risks losing its artistic core. Is Sydney becoming a town that discards culture in favour of superficiality and materialism?" The answer is, of course, far more complicated than the question, but there does seem to be a measurable danger to the city's cultural life. Sydney Morning Herald 09/07/05

Which Works Of Art Would You Want To Survive A War? The UK is signing on to a half-century old provision from the Hague convention's rules of war which allows for the protection of cultural treasures from marauding armies. British politicians had always dismissed the guidelines, which call for labeling specific works of great cultural or artistic significance with a blue shield, but reconsidered after the 2003 looting of Baghdad's museum in the wake of the American invasion. Now the government is launching a consultation process to determine the works of art that should be selected for the special treatment. The Guardian (UK) 09/07/05

Those Ticket-selling Surcharges Invade Non-Profits More and more performing arts centers are adding fees to ticket purchase. In the Jersey: "As the state's arts centers prepare to launch their 2005-06 seasons this month, they are quietly upping the service fees on ticket purchases to pump up their bottom lines. Whether it's a per ticket surcharge, a facility fee or a total order 'processing fee,' the real cost for a ticket can be 10 percent more than advertised." Newark Star-Ledger 09/05/05

Monday, September 5, 2005

What New Orleans Means "For a city of only half a million people, New Orleans looms as large in our cultural imagination as L.A. or Chicago. Playwrights, novelists, poets, film directors, painters, chefs, dive-bar raconteurs and especially musicians all have drunk deeply of the city's heady brew of flamboyance and decadence, joie de vivre and fatalism, the sexy and the sinister." Los Angeles Times 09/05/05

Sunday, September 4, 2005

A List of Damaged New Orleans Landmarks Compiled as of Sunday... Boston Globe (AP) 09/04/05

What's Happened To The Study Of Arts And Culture? "The need for reliable data, trusted publications, and a familiar meeting place for the arts industries has never been greater. The arts, both high and popular, are being fundamentally reshaped by economic and technological forces that originate outside the field and are largely unknown or misunderstood. The established mechanisms for supporting, producing, distributing, validating and connecting art with a public are mutating rapidly or simply turning obsolete. Meanwhile, surprisingly little collaboration exists within the world of the arts or across disciplines, borders, and oceans to come to terms with this emerging environment." The Art Newspaper 09/03/05

Friday, September 2, 2005

Gulf Coast Cultural Institutions In Peril "The state of many cultural institutions in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are largely unknown, those preparing to help say. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force - a coalition of 36 federal agencies and national organizations - held a conference call yesterday to plan for help, said Jane Long, task force director. It is a project of Heritage Preservation, a national nonprofit, in Washington. The main problem, she said, is the lack of information, particularly about New Orleans."
Philadelphia Inquirer 09/02/05

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Culture Minister: Public Will Vote Artists Into Academy Membership in the recently propsed Academy of Scotland would include an artist voted in each year by the public. Scottish Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson: "I really want to get people involved in the process. There is an idea of making a People's Award, with one living artist a year being voted into the academy by the public. It would be a way of involving people in the arts directly – and people do like expressing their opinion." Glasgow Herald 09/01/05

A Record Edinburgh Summer Edinburgh's festivals have had a great summer with ticket sales up substantially. "The Edinburgh Fringe sold a record 1,335,000 tickets, up 82,000 or 7 per cent, on last year, the Fringe Society said. The total value of the tickets sold was about £11,640,000, also up by at least the same margin. The Edinburgh International Festival, with a week still to run, said yesterday its ticket takings were up 13 per cent on this time last year. The Edinburgh International Film Festival reported an increase of 12 per cent." The Scotsman 09/01/05

A Change In Priorities For Edinburgh Festival? Next year Brian McMaster, the longest-serving director of the Edinburgh Festival, is stepping down. "The hunt for a new boss has started a bit late. The Festival Council's search party - chaired by Edinburgh's Lord Provost and made up of eight people whose experience and credentials on the international cutting edge of artistic trends seems worryingly minimal - must be losing sleep over the timetable. An appointment made next May with the successful candidate taking up the post less than a year ahead of his or her first festival isn't going to secure those prize artists with diaries filled five years ahead. And the unthinking choice of an internal appointment or of any inadequately experienced local hopefuls isn't the solution." The Independent (UK) 09/01/05

Alberta Rehabs Its Civic Performance Halls In 1957, the cities of Calgary and Edmonton opened multi-purpose performance halls. Now they've been restored. "It would be hard to find someone in either city who hasn't had some first-hand experience with the Jubes. From the start, they were supposed to be civic meeting places, as suitable for high-school convocations as for musicals, operas and ballets." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/01/05

Status: Cultural Instititutions After The Hurricane Wondering what has happened to cultural institutions on the Gulf Coast after huricane Katrina? Here's a list compiled by the American Association of Museums... AAM 09/01/05

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