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  • Performing Artists Need Emotional, Not Just Financial, Investment In Their Arts

    “Artists are constantly being asked to be financially resilient. But what about emotional resilience? When artists face rejection from a funder or a programmer, who is there to provide that sense of community and solidarity and empathy? So often the work that artists subsidise with time, money, love and belief is treated as a commodity, or just a product by venues.”

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    The Essay About Teaching In MFA Programs That Has Writers Freaking Out Across The Internet

    “Anyone who claims to have useful information about the publishing industry is lying to you, because nobody knows what the hell is happening. My advice is for writers to reject the old models and take over the production of their own and each other’s work as much as possible.” (Now, search Twitter for “MFA” or “MFA essay” and see what writers are saying about this piece.)

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    Children’s Brains Are More Elastic – But Could Neuroscience Help Adults’ Brains Stay Flexible Too?

    “The day might be coming when I could actually learn to play as I would had I learned during childhood. I might be able to swallow a pill that restores my brain to a more flexible, receptive state.”

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    The Golden Age Of Indie Game Art Is Upon Us

    “Even without the argument for higher beauty in a new medium, there’s plenty of other incentive for game developers to bring high-design into their games. The best incentive of all, really: sales.”

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    Andrew Jackson – The President – Was Far, Far Bloodier Than You Think (And The Musical Should Acknowledge That)

    “The lessons of Bloody Bloody are seen in American society today. Today, Native women are murdered at a rate higher than any other race in America. The majority of the perpetrators of violent crimes against Native women are non-Native men. The ‘jokes’ in Bloody Bloody about killing Indians are not ‘jokes.’ They are a reality.”

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    Diversity Sells Better, But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White And Male

    “Although Hollywood is a business, constantly in search of new ways to make a profit, Hunt says the high-risk nature of the entertainment industry, combined with existing demographics, presents a barrier to diversity.”

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    A Run Of 1009 Weeks Wasn’t Enough For This Movie, Say Mumbai Film Fans

    “No sooner had it been revealed that DDLJ, as it is known, was being taken off the silver screen than the protests began. According to Yash Raj Films, the production house behind the film, the sudden announcement ‘resulted in a spontaneous and an overwhelming outcry from the cinema-going audience, as well as dedicated fans of the movie, expressing their shock and disappointment.’ And so the record-breaking film was reinstated.”

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    How Alice Munro Learned About Stories – And Books

    “If I wanted a story, the thing to do was to get my grandmother to read it to me. Then listening to her voice, her story-reading voice which always sounded a little incredulous, marvelling, yet full of faith, bravely insistent, and watching her face, its meaningful and utterly familiar expressions — lifted eyebrows, ominously sinking chin, brisk little nods of agreement when, as sometimes happened, a character said something sensible — then I would feel the story grow into life and exist by itself.”

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    In The Age Of Digital Photography, Why Are Printed Art Books Of Photos Booming?

    “The audience has grown, she says, and ‘it’s definitely more obsessive. They come straight to the section and know what they’re purchasing. It’s a herd thing as well: you see certain bloggers who are followed, you go on to YouTube and project by word of mouth.'”

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    Children Are Reading ‘Diary Of A Wimpy Kid’ Instead Of Tolkien – Is That Supposed To Be A Bad Thing?

    “Every generation thinks that standards are slipping – in my childhood it was Enid Blyton in the line of fire, for my sister it was the Sweet Valley High series, and today it’s The Hunger Games. All have been roundly condemned for stopping children reading good books. And yet children keep reading. “

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    The ’80s Mexican Sci-Fi TV Show That Brought Incredible Talent To Hollywood

    “The origins of these goddamn gifted Mexican filmmakers can be traced back to 1988, with the premiere of La Hora Marcada (The Marked Hour), a Mexican television anthology series devoted to tackling experimental horror, science fiction, and urban legends from Latin America. Think of it as the Mexican answer to The Twilight Zone.”

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    American Sniper And Fifty Shades Of Grey Are Fueling A Recordbreaking Year For Movies (So Far)

    OK, yes, now we’re all depressed about culture, but “it is welcome news for the three biggest chains — Regal Entertainment Group , AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Cinemark Holdings Inc. — which endured a string of postponed or disappointing films in 2014.”

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    Vienna Plans To Build The World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

    “The Vienna fire service has concerns about the wooden structure, however, and is working with the architects to test their plans.”

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    How We See, Or, The Science Of Why No One Agreed On That Damned Viral Dress

    “The point is, your brain tries to interpolate a kind of color context for the image, and then spits out an answer for the color of the dress.”

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    Advances For Canadian Nonfiction Books Have Tumbled So Far, Writers Say There’s No Point In Writing

    “He knows writers who are rushing to finish ‘important, research-heavy, non-fiction’ books in a matter of months – books that would normally require years of work – because ‘that’s all they can afford to do.'”

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    Claim: Singing Makes People Smarter, Helps Them Stay In Shape, And Also Makes For A Better Civilzation

    “It offers the chance to ‘use your lungs in a way that you probably don’t for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly,’ to experience ‘a sense of levity and contentedness,’ and to ‘learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness.'”

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    How Should The Owner Of A Former Plantation Build The U.S.’s First Slavery Museum?

    “If opinions on the restoration varied, visitors were in agreement that they had never seen anything quite like it. Built largely in secret and under decidedly unorthodox circumstances, the Whitney had been turned into a museum dedicated to telling the story of slavery — the first of its kind in the United States.”

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    The Design Of Google’s New Complex

    “The greenhouse-style transparent buildings are surrounded by running tracks, peaceful meadows, and a flowing creek.” (No, that sentence was not a parody.)

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    Leonard Nimoy, 83, Who Was Star Trek’s Spock And So, So Much More

    “His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: ‘Live long and prosper’ (from the Vulcan ‘Dif-tor heh smusma’).”

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    Hollywood Cheers New Net Neutrality Rules

    “This is clearly a victory for everyone — not just Hollywood, but everyone who uses the Internet,” said Chris Keyser, president of the Writers Guild of America, West. “It is a critical moment in the ongoing fight for free expression and robust competition.”

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    The Immortality Of The Written Word (Yeah, All That Is Changing…)

    “In making the transition from an age of scarcity to an age of glut, the nature of fame itself undergoes a change. One sign of the difference is that it would be hard to find a poet, in the 21st century, who openly claims to write for glory, fame, or immortality. Yet the idea that great poetry was the surest way to achieve fame and outwit death has been very long-lived.”

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    Writing On The Web, A Deeply Cynical Take

    “Remember that first question: What is web writing in 2015? Is it still based on the author model? If you enjoy watching a writer’s mind work over time (or you enjoy having that freedom as a writer), is there still a way to do that? Or is the writer’s-voice-driven Internet over, forever, everything’s atomistic now and it’s no longer possible to scrape an audience together that way even if you want to?”

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    Stedelijk Museum Makes A Startling Public Admission

    “The Stedelijk Museum in the Second World War” recounts the daring ways in which the museum’s employees fought Nazi censors after Germany conquered the Netherlands in May 1940. But the show also features 16 works in the permanent collection by artists including Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Henri Matisse that the museum says it might not rightfully own.

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    How A Radical Idea To Transform Public Spaces Failed In San Diego

    “The concept behind the Lab — a cadre of designers embedded in the mayor’s office, with the power to revive public spaces around the city and launch a broad campaign of civic engagement — was unique in North America, and almost unimaginable in conservative San Diego. It seemed to answer the long-held desire of architects, especially, for designers to play a role in the decision-making that shapes cities.”

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    How Women Playwrights Are Marginalized

    “Of course the heightened visibility of plays written by women is welcome. But all over the country, even at venues which are attempting to make female playwrights’ voices heard, there is often a gendering of theatre spaces when it comes to writers and directors.”

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    ISIS Destroys Ancient Statues At Mosul Museum – Or So They Think

    Just days after the extremists burned the rare books in Mosul’s library, they went rampaging through the city museum’s collection of Akkadian and Assyrian statues, smashing the works with sledgehammers and drills. It seems, though, that many of the destroyed pieces weren’t originals. (includes video)

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    Stolen Picasso Found In FedEx Shipment At EWR

    “A Picasso painting missing from Paris for more than a decade resurfaced in the United States, where it had been shipped under false pretenses as a $37 holiday-themed ‘art craft.'”

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    FCC Approves Strict Net Neutrality Rules, Declares Broadband A Public Utility

    “Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the Internet went mainstream.” Said the FCC chairman, “This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.”

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    The New Net-Neutrality Policy, In Three Simple Phrases

    “There are three major principles that Internet-service providers – like Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon – have to follow when sending data from their networks to your computer:”

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    Tonya Pinkins Remembers “Jelly’s Last Jam,” The Show That Won Her Her First Tony

    Jelly’s Last Jam was the first musical written and directed by an African American that was not simply a toe-tapping entertainment with happy, singing people of color. … [It] was akin to a Brancusi sculpture of 50 years in the life of an arrogant, racist, braggadocio genius.”

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    Memphis Symphony To Lose Music Director Mei-Ann Chen After Next Season

    “Roland Valliere, MSO’s president and CEO, said it was no surprise. … Her decision comes at a time when the orchestra has been struggling financially. The MSO announced in January of last year that it was deep fiscal trouble, and it cut staff and expenses to survive the 2013-14 season. It drastically reduced offerings for this season, and musicians took a 38 percent pay cut.”

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    How A Book Club Is Helping To Keep Ex-Offenders From Going Back To Jail

    “They were all teenagers then, charged as adults for their violent crimes. At the D.C. jail, they found solace in a book club, reading memoirs and reciting poems they had written. Over the past year, they finally came home. They see themselves as reformed men who did dumb things as kids but who know that others may have trouble forgiving.”

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    “The Little Prince” Goes Out Of Copyright, And Turkish Publishers Go Nuts

    “In the first two weeks of January, more than thirty Turkish publishers released translations of the 1943 novella. … In a newspaper books supplement the other week, almost half the adverts were for The Little Prince. One publisher put out a mandarine-flavoured edition. Another released three different versions, to show the differences in translation trends. There is a 3D pop-up edition.”

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    “Obscene” Poet Wins £40,000 David Cohen Prize For Literature

    “[Tony] Harrison, 77, wrote his first poems 70 years ago, and has since written a number of films and plays. V., which describes the offensive language graffitied on Harrison’s parents’ grave, contains 25 uses of the word ‘f***’ and 17 uses of the word ‘c***’.”

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    Here Are The Nominees For “Oddest Book Title Of The Year”

    The shortlist for the Diagram prize includes, among others, Divorcing a Real Witch, Nature’s Nether Regions, Strangers Have the Best Candy, The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones, and The Ugly Wife Is a Treasure at Home.

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    “The Brother From Another Planet”: J. Hoberman on Godard

    “Taken with cinema, but not taken in by it, … [Godard] is also the brother from another planet, at once straightforward and cryptic, an epistemologist of cinema, wondering why the film frame became a square and why lenses are round. … What to make of the Godardian mind? You might say that, as prolific as he is, Godard suffers from the attention-deficit disorder of genius.”

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    Can God Lie? The Scientific Revolution Changed The Answer To That Question

    “‘Can God lie?’ proved an important question for more than 1,000 years because it compelled theologians to consider in the starkest terms the nature of God’s relationship to the world. … These are important questions, but they also proved difficult to answer because the evidence seemed to contradict itself. … Far from being a mere curiosity of the past, concerns about God’s deceptions proved central to the Scientific Revolution and therefore to the modern world.”

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    Getty Museum’s Top Curator To Retire After 35 Years

    Thomas Kren, the associate director for collections (not to be confused with Thomas Krens, the controversial longtime director of the Guggenheim), will depart in October. He’ll be replaced by Richard Rand, senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.”

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    Opera House Boss Resigns After 53 Days On The Job

    Ye-jin (Regina) Han, a 44-year-old soprano, faced opposition from the day she was appointed general director of the Korean National Opera: local organizations argued that she lacked the experience and qualifications to lead the country’s flagship company. Han’s departure comes two months after the CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic was forced to resign following the open rebellion of her staff.

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    Alexei Ratmansky Goes Forward To The Past For ABT’s New “Sleeping Beauty”

    “This production is not an occasion for him to express his bold originality as is the case with his Nutcracker … Rather, his approach to Sleeping Beauty is to re-create as closely as possible the 1890 choreography by Marius Petipa,” notation for which has survived.

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    Carlos Acosta Says Dance Education Should Be Free

    “[Dance education] should not have a cost or price. … When you put a price on [access], then you divide into two camps those who can and those who cannot. In the camp of those who cannot I bet there is a lot of talent there, a lot of Nureyev … I think we should demand at the highest level that these things should happen. It is a fight to take to the government.”

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 02.26.15

    Metropolitan Museum Decries “Catastrophic Destruction” of Mosul Museum’s Collection
    AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2015-02-26

    Music For the Rich – Only
    AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2015-02-26

    Villain for a Day
    AJBlog: PostClassic Published 2015-02-26

    Payton At The Portland Festival
    AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2015-02-26

    Westminster Abbey To Add First New Tower In 270 Years

    The addition “will create public access to a museum of treasures and curiosities housed in the triforium, the church’s attic gallery. At present, the public can get only a distant glimpse of the spectacular and shadowy space through the stone arches 70ft up at the top of the walls above the high altar.”

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    BBC Will Have To Give Up Licence Fee, Say Lawmakers

    “The BBC should reduce its output and the television licence fee should eventually be scrapped, a parliamentary committee has said after considering the role of the publicly funded broadcaster in the wake of a string of scandals and industry changes.”

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    Stop The Licence Fee? Shut Down The BBC Trust? Drop A TV Channel? What-All Is In This Committee’s Report, Anyway?

    The Guardian read the 164-page House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee report on the future of the BBC so you don’t have to.”

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    Toronto’s Massey Hall Begins $135M Renovation

    “For all its past glories, the hall has a shopworn feel, with those odd reclining seats and scuffed brass railings. The goal of the expensive facelift, paid for largely by corporate and government cash, is to do some sprucing up without sanding away the antique beauty of the place.”

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    The Designer Who Became Apple’s Biggest Asset

    Jonathan Ive “establish[ed] the build and the finish of the iMac, the MacBook, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. He is now one of the two most powerful people in the world’s most valuable company” – on whom 100,000 employees and a not-insignificant chunk of the stock market depend. Says Steve jobs’s widow, “Jony’s an artist with an artist’s temperament, and he’d be the first to tell you artists aren’t supposed to be responsible for this kind of thing.”

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    Artifical Intelligence Conquers The Video Game Arcade (This Is Actually A Big Deal)

    “Whipping humanity’s ass at Fishing Derby may not seem like a particularly noteworthy achievement for artificial intelligence” – think of Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov at chess and Watson walloping Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! – “but according to Zachary Mason, a novelist and computer scientist, it actually is.”

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    Why British Political Satire On TV Stops Being Satirical When It’s Adapted By Americans

    “Failure is a wellspring of British comedy, but its American counterpart rewards ‘optimism [and] a refusal to see oneself in a bad light’.” Christopher Orr looks at how Game of Thrones changed from savage political parody to dramatic thriller as it crossed the Atlantic, and how The Thick of It morphed into the farce of Veep.

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    Is This The Banksy Of Iran? Or The Shepard Fairey?

    “[Mehdi] Ghadyanloo has more in common with the metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico than he does with Banksy. Yet in terms of success as a street artist, he is undoubtedly the Banksy of Tehran. Astonishingly, there are over 100 walls in Iran’s capital decorated by Ghadyanloo. … His paintings are not illegal. On the contrary, he was commissioned by the city government to paint them.” (So he’s definitely not like Banksy.)

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