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  • Radio France Network In Turmoil As Strike Enters Third Week

    “Radio France, an umbrella group for several stations, including France Inter, France Info and France Culture, is 90% state funded through licence fees. After announcing a projected budget deficit of €21.3m (£15.6m) for this year, there are fears of widespread redundancies amid threats of outsourcing production and cleaning contracts.”

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    Head Of Philadelphia Cultural Fund Has Not Had An Easy 12 Years

    “When June O’Neill took over as executive director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund 12 years ago, she barely had time to find her desk before Mayor John F. Street announced he was slashing the fund and eliminating the city’s Office of Arts and Culture. That was followed by the 2008 fiscal crisis, which saw the fund, an independent nonprofit that receives its budget entirely from the city, cut [by] 42.5 percent … [She’s] been through it all.”

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    “A Standing Rebuke To Classical Music’s Hierarchies”: Ian Bostridge Writes On Schubert And The Lied

    “By the beginning of the twentieth century, because of Schubert, song had become a musical form to rival the symphony, the string quartet, and the piano sonata. … Its aesthetic claims are complex and multifaceted: the response to text, the compression of drama (the thrill of the opera in a matter of minutes), a melodic sweep and harmonic language as worthy of attention and analysis as anything in Western classical music. In this sense the lied is a standing rebuke to classical music’s hierarchies, in which the biggest – or most expensive – is best.”

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    Mary Clarke, Doyenne Of London Dance Critics, Dead At 91

    “An article in Dancing Times in December 1943 eventually led to her editing that journal for 45 years, and to serving as the Guardian‘s dance critic for 17 years. There were books, too, and she became one of the most influential writers on dance during the second half of the 20th century.”

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    How “Sleep No More” Went From Avant-Garde Theatre Experiment To Thriving Commercial Enterprise

    When the British company brought its immersive adaptation of Macbeth to New York in 2011 and parked it at an old hotel on the far West Side, the project was still experimental and risky, good reviews or no. Four years later, Sleep No More has a merch table, souvenir programs, and an associated bar and restaurant. It is, writes Alexis Soloski, “a case study of the relationship – sometimes cozy, sometimes uneasy – between art and commerce.”

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    There Should Be Time Limit On Claims For Nazi-Looted Art, Says Vienna Museum Director

    Klaus Albrecht Schröder of the Albertina Museum: “If we don’t set a time limit of around 100 years after the end of the Second World War, then we should ask ourselves why claims regarding crimes committed during the First World War should not still be valid; why we don’t argue anymore about the consequences of the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war?”

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    Walker Art Center Begins $75M Capital Project With Overhaul Of Outdoor Space

    “Positioning itself as a neighborhood green space and cultural gateway, Walker Art Center will add a new glass-walled entrance pavilion, groves of trees and acres of new grass … The Walker’s plans are designed to unify a 19-acre cultural’“campus,’ including the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, that stands as an anchor and gateway to the theater and arts district that Minneapolis intends to develop along Hennepin Avenue.”

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    Ballet Dancers Leap Into Instagram

    “The photo-sharing app has become the go-to social-media platform for dancers of all ages, who post photos of bloody toes, mistakes in class, physical therapy and, of course, deliriously beautiful performances shot from the wings. As a virtual portal to the dance world, Instagram has also attracted an enthusiastic audience – and around that, a newly dance-centric marketing landscape has emerged.”

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    How I Re-Choreographed A Classic Of British Modern Dance

    James Cousins: “It’s not every day that you get approached to reimagine a piece of choreography that will then be performed at the 90th birthday celebrations of the original choreographer. But this is the position I found myself in a few months ago. The work was Cell by Robert Cohan, which was created back in 1969 for London Contemporary Dance Theatre when Cohan was artistic director at the then newly formed dance organisation The Place.” (includes video)

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    Marlowe’s “Jew Of Malta” – Anti-Semitic? Or A Parody Of Anti-Semitism?

    “This toxic cocktail of alienation and murder is laced throughout with deadpan black comedy. Think Wolf Hall reimagined by Quentin Tarantino, and you begin to get the feel of it. … It is a provocative or [Charlie] Hebdoesque piece of religious cartooning that challenges the complacencies and credulities of his audience.”

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    They Dug Up Richard III’s Bones – Why Not Shakespeare’s, Too? Here’s Why Not

    “Inspired by the revelations about Richard III, recently liberated from a car park in Leicester, professor Francis Thackeray of Wits University, in Johannesburg, claims he is ‘very interested by the possibility’ of subjecting Shakespeare to the same treatment.” Andrew Dickson explains why he thinks that wouldn’t be worthwhile. (And no, it’s not the curse.)

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    Where Complex Black Characters First Integrated Into Mainstream TV – Soap Operas

    “Daytime, before primetime, provided valuable space for black characters to be layered – and for viewers, black and otherwise, to appreciate their complexity. Every time I see these new-school characters, I remind myself of where I’ve seen them before.”

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    Brecht’s Epic Theatre And “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

    Nadine Friedman: “On RuPaul’s Drag Race, every capitalist wink to iTunes and each meta-musical number conjures Brecht’s Epic Theatre, teaching that pop culture zeitgeists can be fronts for transformative ideas about society. Drag Race, and its role in creating more intersectional media, stimulates what Brecht called for nearly a century ago through his V-effekt: “a desire for understanding, a delight in changing reality’.”

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    Pope Francis Hosts Private Viewing Of Sistine Chapel For Homeless

    The group of 150 received a tour of the Vatican city-state and several of the Vatican museum galleries as well as the Michelangelo masterpiece – followed by a special dinner. It’s the latest of several initiatives – practical as well as symbolic – for Rome’s homeless by the pontiff’s top charitable officer.

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.31.15

    Could an L.A. Dance Hub Grow from a Mapping Tool?
    AJBlog: Fresh Pencil Published 2015-03-31

    Opening the Door, Inviting Visitors In
    AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2015-03-30

    Lookback: on being sensitive to voices
    AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2015-03-31

    Jazz Appreciation Month 2015
    AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2015-03-31

    So It’s Come To This: An Offer To Buy The New York Daily News For $1

    “The offer would come one month after New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the newspaper and had hired Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) to assist with the process. It underscores the declining readership and plunging advertising revenue that have plagued the tabloid for years.”

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    Competition To Design New Helsinki Guggenheim Shows How Architecture Has Been Transformed By Technology

    “Witness the competition for the next proposed Guggenheim museum, in Helsinki. It attracted 1,715 entries online, arguably the largest number ever in an architectural competition. The winners flooded social media and were picked over on design blogs within hours. If one is built, it will likely employ complex geometries rendered with the help of robots.”

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    Canada’s Largest Non-Profit Theatre Balances Its Books As Audiences Shrink

    “The Stratford Festival ended its 2014 season in the black – but the latest news on the Ontario theatre festival’s attendance is less black and white.”

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    Have Humans Been Evolving Themselves?

    “People want to know if humans are getting taller, smarter, better looking or more athletic. My answer is truthful but disappointing: We’re almost certainly evolving, but we don’t know in what direction or how fast.”

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    Why We’re Still Fascinated By Jane Austen

    “What explains the continued popularity of Jane Austen and the handful of novels she wrote? It is, after all, rather remarkable that a woman who spent her life in quiet provincial circumstances in early 19th-century England should become, posthumously, a literary celebrity outshining every author since then, bar none.”

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    Don’t Underestimate The Classics: “Cinderella” Tops The Weekend’s Global Movie Box Office

    “The rags-to-riches story of a woman who captures a prince’s heart while losing her shoe is also the studio’s second highest-grossing live-action release in China, having made $65.1 million in the People’s Republic. Globally, its total stands at a regal $336.2 million.”

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    America’s Most Prolific (And Generous) Art Forger

    “It obviously isn’t a crime to give a picture to a museum, and they treated me like royalty. One thing led to another, and I kept doing it for 30 years,” says Mark Landis, one of the most prolific art forgers in US history.

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    The Psychology Of Tall Buildings

    “The current architectural zeitgeist, whereby form invariably follows finance, finds its purest expression in the skyscrapers de nos jours, with their parametrically designed waveforms that positively billow with opportunism.”

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    How To Develop An Instinct For Understanding Data

    “One thing I try to argue is that it’s not just about bigger machines to crunch more data, and it’s not even about pattern recognition. It’s about frameworks of recognition; how you choose to look, rather than what you’re trying to see.”

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    Think You Can Make A Living Writing A Book? Not With These Advances

    “The median advance for traditionally published authors is “well under £6,600”, according to early findings of a survey into authors’ attitudes towards their publisher. The survey also found that bigger publishers pay more.”

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    Why American Education Needs To Focus On More Than The Basics

    “America’s last bipartisan cause is this: A liberal education is irrelevant, and technical training is the new path forward. It is the only way, we are told, to ensure that Americans survive in an age defined by technology and shaped by global competition. The stakes could not be higher. This dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts.”

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    WQXR Boss: Here’s How To Pick The New Music Director Of The New York Philharmonic

    Graham Parker: “What has frustrated me more in all the articles I have read since Alan Gilbert announced his conclusion as music director, was the complete lack of considering the audience in the short listing of candidates. The audience, in this case, are: current patrons of the New York Philharmonic; future audiences who like classical music but don’t buy tickets; folks who don’t yet like classical music but have a latent reason to like it at some point; and then the wider audience of New York and all that it stands for as a leading cultural capital of the world.”

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    Renoir, Picassos, Warhols Seized In Romanian Corruption Probe

    “Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings,” including three Picasso sketches, several works by Andy Warhol, and an apparent Renoir that was found in a safe along with gold bricks.

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    Anti-Curator Hysterics And Falsehoods Won’t Fix MOMA

    Greg Allen: “Christian Viveros-Fauné’s artnet News column earlier this week, which purported to pull back the curtain on Klaus Biesenbach’s reign of curatorial terror at MoMA, is not going to help; it is not only poisonous and pointlessly personal, it’s inaccurate.”

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    Jeffrey Deitch Says He Was Persecuted At L.A. MOCA, Just Like Klaus Biesenbach Is Now At MOMA

    “‘Some of you may have read the diatribes against one of my favorite colleagues Klaus Biesenbach raging today,” he said … “[It] reminds me of the diatribes that went on against me when I was at MOCA. … So with Klaus, it’s Bjork; with me, it was James Franco, unfortunately.’ This generated much laughter from the audience.” (Deitch also says he wish he’d presented the Björk show.)

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    Reading Shakespeare In Tehran

    Professor Stephen Greenblatt on his lecture at the first Iranian Shakespeare Congress: “Most of the questions were from students, the majority of them women, whose boldness, critical intelligence, and articulateness startled me. Very few of the faculty and students had traveled outside of Iran, but the questions were, for the most part, in flawless English and extremely well informed.”

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    Beyond Ai Weiwei: How China’s Artists Handle Politics (Or Avoid Them)

    Thirty-something artist Cao Fei: “Criticizing society, that’s the aesthetics of the last generation. When I started making art, I didn’t want to do political things. I was more interested in subcultures, in pop culture.”

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    Tony Award-Winning Director Gene Saks Dead At 93

    While his career in both theater and movies included such hits as Mame, Same Time Next Year and I Love My Wife, Saks was best known for a long series of collaborations (stage and screen) with Neil Simon, from Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple through to the “Brighton Beach Trilogy.”

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    Michael Rush, Director Who Led Rose Art Museum Through Deaccessioning Fight, Dead At 66

    Following the successful struggle to keep Brandeis University from closing the Rose and selling off its collection, Rush went on to become founding director of the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

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    Here’s What Angel Corella’s First Season Running Pennsylvania Ballet Will Look Like

    “Justin Peck, Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon: They’re among the hottest young choreographers in ballet today. And Pennsylvania Ballet will dance their works and more next year in a blockbuster-packed season, artistic director Angel Corella announced Monday. This is the sort of world-class programming that dance fans anticipated when Corella was hired in the fall.”

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    “The Wiz” To Be Performed Live On NBC, Then Eases On Down To Broadway

    “On Dec. 3, a live version of The Wiz will make its debut on the network, produced in partnership with Cirque du Soleil’s theatrical division, which will then take it to Broadway for the 2016-17 season.”

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    Venice’s Opera House Is Staying In The Black By *Adding* Performances

    How do they do it? Don’t opera houses lose money on every performance? Not necessarily. And La Fenice is taking advantage of something Venice has more of than almost any other Italian city. (No, not water.)

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    Court Orders Turkish President To Pay Damages For Insulting Artist’s Work

    Four years ago, when he was still prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described a peace monument by sculptor Mehmet Aksoy near the Turkish-Armenian border as a “monstrosity.” Under libel laws that Erdoğan has been quick to use himself against critics, he was ordered to pay Aksoy 10,000 lire (about $3,800). The president is appealing.

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    When People Were Scared Of Computers

    “In the early 1980s, the age of the personal computer had arrived and ‘computerphobia’ was suddenly everywhere. … [The subject] came up in magazines, newspapers, computer training manuals, psychology studies, and advertising copy.”

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    When The Medieval World Had Robots

    “Throughout the Latin Middle Ages we find references to many apparent anachronisms, many confounding examples of mechanical art. Musical fountains. Robotic servants. Mechanical beasts and artificial songbirds. Most were designed and built beyond the boundaries of Latin Christendom, in the cosmopolitan courts of Baghdad, Damascus, Constantinople and Karakorum. Such automata came to medieval Europe as gifts from foreign rulers, or were reported in texts by travellers to these faraway places.”

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    The English Language Stinks At Describing Smells

    For instance, observes linguist Asifa Majid, there’s a Southeast Asian language that has a dozen different words that denote specific odor characteristics. Leaving aside words that refer to specific substances with particular scents (e.g., cinnamon, sulfur, burning rubber) English has – “musty”.

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.30.15

    Extolling Viñoly: Q&A with Bill Griswold on Cleveland’s New Additions & How He’ll Pay for Them
    AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2015-03-30

    Very Sad Breaking News
    AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2015-03-30

    Revisiting the Music of Elliott Smith
    AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2015-03-30

    Color Surfing, Predonimant.ly
    AJBlog: blog riley

    Deadline Apologizes, Sort Of, For That Terrible ‘Ethnic Casting’ Article

    “Considering how much uproar the piece ignited, the apology is pretty weak, with co-editor in chief Mike Fleming Jr. seeming to place a lot of blame on the headline, which ‘created a context from which no article could recover.'”

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    The Man Succeeding Jon Stewart Is A South African Comedian Who’s Been On ‘The Daily Show’ Three Times

    “The appointment of [Trever] Noah, a newcomer to American television, promises to add youthful vitality and international perspective to ‘The Daily Show.’ It puts a nonwhite performer at the head of this flagship Comedy Central franchise, and one who comes with Mr. Stewart’s endorsement.”

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    How Two Theatre Managers Became Impresarios Across The West End And Broadway

    “With backstage space in the 123-year-old building being severely limited, and no spare cash available to rent an office, Ms Squire instead parked the car outside the theatre, and worked from there. So while having to dodge Westminster City Council’s enthusiastic traffic wardens, she would sit in the driver’s seat and do all the paperwork.”

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    Cedar Lake Ballet Shows The Perils Of Relying On A Single – And Capricious – Funder

    “The big message here is that whoever that founding donor is, unless they’re willing to put enormous endowments behind their vision, their organizations won’t survive if they don’t invite other people in.”

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    What’s Realistic About Adolescence? Let Twitter Tell You

    “Even those YA novels which aren’t [fantasy] deal with teenage lives that are considerably more exciting than the reality – and people have noticed.” Check Twitter for #realisticYA and the even funnier #VeryRealisticYA.

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    How To Be An Independent Musician

    “In many ways, it’s easier to be an independent artist in 2015. We can arm ourselves with knowledge about the way things work. We can put something on YouTube and it becomes popular. We can access a huge mixture of diverse music. There is a price, of course.”

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    How Public Should The Public Art Process Be?

    “Ultimately, you build more support for the Percent for Art Program and more support for public art when you engage the community,” Mr. Van Bramer said. “People are asking, ‘Just include me in a meaningful way.'”

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    Trying To Keep Hollywood Secrets In The Age Of SnapChat, Instagram And Whisper – And Hacking

    “‘Post-Sony, getting people to cooperate with me has been a completely different experience,’ Ms. Zezza said. ‘Everyone gets that life has to change.'”

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