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  • Some Progress In Atlanta Symphony Talks (Small)

    “Although the two sides appear to be at an impasse on the size of the orchestra, the musicians claim to have made “significant progress” on health care. The players have suggested a health-care plan that will save the WAC about 25 percent — more than $250,000 a year — over the plan that management canceled on Oct. 1.”

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    What It’s Like To Be Naked Onstage

    “Theater is about effective illusion. There are hundreds of ways of staging the application of a condom without being pornographic — heck, the whole scene could take place in pitch dark — but a lot of those solutions will vaguely disappoint the audience, who will conclude we couldn’t figure out how to fake it cleverly, or we didn’t have the courage to go further with it.”

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    NBCUniversal Settles Intern Lawsuit For $64 Million

    NBCUniversal and a group of former interns have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit contending the interns should have been paid for their work.

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    Master Forger’s Work Sells For £50,000 In Auction

    “We had over 255 online bidders, not for each painting but during the course of the collection of his. There were between 50 and 80 people in the auction room at any one time.”

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    Frank Gehry Gives Journalist The Finder At A Press Conference

    “A press conference in Oviedo on Thursday got off to a bad start when a journalist asked whether Gehry’s own architecture was just about spectacle.”

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    Is Transrealism The First Major Lit Genre Of The 21st Century?

    “This proliferation of the fantastic in contemporary fiction has at times been described as the “mainstreaming of science fiction”. But sci-fi continues on much as it ever has, producing various escapist fantasies for readers who want time out from reality. And of course there’s no shortage of purely realist novels populating Booker prize lists and elsewhere.”

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    Huge Increase In Video-On-Demand Production

    Streaming video on demand spending “already exceeded syndication dollars spent by broadcast stations last year; it will more than double the $3.3 billion projected for 2015. SVOD, broadcast stations and cable combined will bless the studios with $29.5 billion next year.”

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    Did MTT Throw A Mother And Child Out Of A Concert?

    Reports this week said that conductor Michael Tilson Thomas stopped a New World Symphony performance in Miami last Friday and asked a mother and her fidgeting child in the front row to leave. But MTT has come forward to say that that’s not quite the way things went down. (Social media posts from other audience members have backed him up.) (includes audio)

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    15th-Century Sculpture That Was Smashed To Pieces Back On Display At Met Museum

    “On the evening of 8 October 2002, the Metropolitan Museum of Art suffered what its former director Philippe de Montebello described as the ‘single worst thing that has ever happened at the museum’. One of its greatest treasure, Tullio Lombardo’s life-sized marble sculpture of the nude Adam crashed to the stone floor as its medium-density plywood stand buckled and collapsed.”

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    Tom Stoppard’s Surprisingly Relaxed Method

    “Known for creating clever wordplay and intricate plots that often span decades, Tom Stoppard is surprisingly carefree about his playwriting process. ‘You just start somewhere and it turns out to be what it is.'”

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    Walk Like A Happier Person, Feel Like A Happier Person

    Yes, it sounds like the sort of bromide your Sunday school teacher might have dished out. But some experimental psychologists are finding that this particular “act-as-if” trick can actually work.

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    Shameless Plug: An Analysis Of The (Now-Deflated) “Tree” In Paris

    “What, I ask you, should one expect if one asks artist Paul McCarthy to create a Christmas tree for the place of honor at a renowned, must-attend art fair?” Cat Weaver gives us the bottom line.

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    Plug Artist Strikes Back At Parisians Who Were So Mean To Him

    It’s not enough that Paul McCarthy had to endure protests and mockery for his Tree in the Place Vendôme. It’s not enough that vandals cut the piece down. He was actually slapped in the face by a passerby. So McCarthy is preparing an “aggressive” response to be added to his soon-to-open installation Chocolate Factory.

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    The Strange Life And Dramatic Death Of An Avant-Garde Hero

    “Even today, no one is sure if Fred Herko intended to kill himself when he jumped out of the window” – naked, with Mozart blasting away – “of his friend Johnny Dodd’s Greenwich Village apartment in 1964. The 28-year-old dancer and performer – one of the central figures of New York’s 60s avant-garde and a star of Andy Warhol’s first movies – was high on speed, and possibly LSD.”

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    First-Ever Kirkus Prizes, $50K, Go To Chast, King, Samworth

    “Roz Chast took the nonfiction prize with her graphic memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?. The fiction prize went to Lily King for her novel Euphoria. The prize for young readers’ literature goes to Kate Samworth, author of Aviary Wonders Inc.”

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    Piracy May Not Be Entirely Bad For Television

    “Illegal downloading and sharing of film and TV content is a major crime. Media piracy has even become fertile new territory for organised crime rings … But the reasons why ordinary people watch pirated programmes are complex – and the effect on a media brand’s content creators may not be so simple.” (video)

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    Newly-Found Videotapes Feature Cleese and Chapman, Pre-Python

    “Two episodes of 1960s TV comedy At Last The 1948 Show, which starred pre-Monty Python John Cleese and Graham Chapman, have been found after almost 50 years.”

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    13th Grade: We Should Add An Extra Year Of High School

    Several school districts in Oregon are offering a fifth year of high school. Rebecca Schuman makes the case for doing it nationwide.

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    Meet The People Who Keep Porn Pics And Beheadings Out Of Your Social Media Feeds

    Companies like Facebook and Twitter have to deal with “the Grandma Problem” – making their services safe for wholesome regular folks who “won’t continue to log on if they find their family photos sandwiched between a gruesome Russian highway accident and a hardcore porn video.” So there’s now a small army of content moderators – many of them low-paid workers in the Philippines – zapping the nasty stuff out.

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    When High Fashion Sparked A Preservation Movement

    “At the turn of the 19th century in the U.S. and Europe, it became wildly popular – and that’s an understatement – for ladies to wear feathers and whole taxidermied birds on their hats. … Ornithologists started to sit up and take notice. One estimated that 67 types of birds – often including all of their sub-species – were at risk for extinction.”

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    Why Are Scary Clowns Stalking Around Britain and France?

    “From city to city, people dressed up like circus escapees have been roaming the streets, getting into mischief, and generally scaring the bejeesus out of passers-by. Apart from young children and acute coulrophobics, the spooky-clown epidemic has been taken more or less in a spirit of fun. Until last week, that is.”

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    “Goodfellas” Actor Sues “The Simpsons” For $250M

    “Frank Sivero says that The Simpsons ripped off the Frankie Carbone character he played in 1990’s Goodfellas and he wants to be paid for it. In a lawsuit filed today, the actor says he wants to be paid a lot – $250 million and more for the Springfield Mafia’s Louie.”

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    All About Douchebags – Where The Epithet Came From, And Who Qualifies

    “They are at least preferable to their nearest equivalent, the arsehole, who is petty and spiteful and astringent and actively gets off on other people’s misery. The douchebag just blunders around in his obnoxious pool sliders, naively wondering why nobody’s having as much fun as he is. Boris Johnson? Total douchebag.”

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 10.23.14

    Neuberger Museum Changes Directors–Fast
    AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2014-10-23

    Lonnie Johnson’s Guitar
    AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2014-10-23

    So you want to see a show?
    AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2014-10-23

    Why Don’t Men Read Romance Novels?

    “Men are put off because of what romance novels symbolize, then, rather than by anything in romance novels themselves.”

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    Study: Are Musicians Better Multi-taskers?

    “The study, published in the journal Cognitive Science, explored whether two groups of people would perform better than average at task-switching: musicians, and bilingual individuals. Since members of the latter group can, and sometimes do, switch back and forth between languages, it seemed logical that they would also do well on other tasks involving quick mental transitions.”

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    Departing Chicago Humanities Festival Director Reflects On The Enduring Appeal Of Live Events

    “We live in an age where a million things are easily accessible online, including videos of just about anyone we bring in,” Matt Bunzl says. “One could fear that no one would move their butt to our events. But the opposite seems to be the case. In a world where everything is so easily attainable, there’s a new premium on the in-person experience. The sense of community that is created when people are sitting in a room together—because of the digital universe we’re in—that has actually become more attractive.”

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    Why Is Getting Data On Artists So Difficult?

    “Because almost everything about the ways that artists work seems to defy typical practices for collecting labor and earnings statistics, which may also speak to the larger problems with the ways we collect labor statistics in this country in general, but that’s a discussion for another day.”

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    For First Time, Vatican Rents Out The Sistine Chapel

    “The concert, to be performed amid the splendour of Michelangelo’s frescoes on Saturday, will be attended by a select group of about 40 high-paying tourists who have signed up to an exclusive tour of Italy organised by Porsche.”

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    What The Success Of John Coltrane’s New Recording Says About Today’s Music Business

    “When an album released solely within a physical framework holds its own against major label competitors with digital backing (one thinks of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett again), what does it say about the state of music sales in 2014?”

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    Why Jazz Don’t Get No Respect

    “Jazz fans are hip; editors and writers at these publications are revanchist, in love with a non-existent, prelapsarian golden-age that is different for each.”

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    Tate Boss Tops Art World’s “Most Powerful” List

    “Sir Nicholas Serota, 68, who has appeared in the top 10 of every list since it launched in 2002, is the first representative of a public museum to reach the top spot.”

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    Dancing American Priests Become Internet Sensation

    “A video of a pair of dueling, dancing American priests studying in Rome has gone viral, following in the footsteps of a now-famous Italian nun whose Alicia Keyes-esque voice won her a singing contest and a record contract.”

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    Swedish Law Says Artists Get Paid For Being Shown In Museums (But It Doesn’t Work That Way)

    “According to a survey conducted by the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis, around 60% of artists who showed their work in smaller state museums either failed to get paid or received less than the law dictates.”

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    Why We Need Art That Examines Terrorism

    Protesters of “The Death of Klinghoffer” are upset by the way terrorists are portrayed. “Apparently, the Achille Lauro hijackers are only to be represented as the cackling villains of fairy tale – evil just because they are evil. Yet if we take the position that terrorism cannot ever be understood, we are unlikely ever to defeat it. Surely the rise of homegrown terrorists is proof of that.”

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    Three Dance Companies Hire New Artistic Directors (Here’s How They Did It)

    “One of the biggest issues we struggled with as a committee was involving the company dancers in the process. It was a fine line because things tended to get personal. What some dancers failed to recognize was the search committee had a lot of information the dancers were not privy to. It is great to involve everyone in the organization in the process but know where you have to draw the line.”

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    “The Protest Failed Because It Relied On Falsehoods”: Alex Ross On “The Death Of Klinghoffer”

    “The opera is not anti-Semitic, nor does it glorify terrorism. … The most specious arguments against Klinghoffer elide the terrorists’ bigotry with the attitudes of the creators. By the same logic, one could call Steven Spielberg an anti-Semite because the commandant in Schindler’s List compares Jewish women to a virus.”

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    Detroit Institute Of Arts Collection Has Been Saved (Or Just About): Report

    “The [museum] has cleared its biggest remaining hurdle to secure its art collection. Last week, the city of Detroit reached a settlement with its largest holdout creditor, the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC). As Detroit’s 16-month-long bankruptcy trial comes to a close this week, the 11th-hour deal all but guarantees that the DIA’s collection will not be sold to pay down the city’s debt.”

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    We Have Two Rivals For 2014 Word Of The Year

    “Described as ‘beautifully British’, the ‘subtle yet devastating’ put-down overshare was today named word of the year by the Chambers Dictionary. Collins, however, has plumped for photobomb as its choice, citing the words 100% increase in usage over the past year.”

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    Rich People Want Us To Work For Free: “Internship” Has Gone Too Far

    “I recently got asked by an administrator at the Library of Congress to do unpaid labor for its website. … I was dumbfounded to get hit up by a federal agency with an annual budget of $750 million. Yet clearly my experience was not a random event.” Gioia proposes “five simple rules of etiquette for this ugly new beggar-thy-neighbor economy:”

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    People Are Faking Disabilities To Get Free Theatre Tickets

    “Belfast’s Grand Opera House is to review an access scheme for disabled customers, following evidence that it is being abused by people pretending to have disabilities.”

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    The Wrong Opera At The Wrong Time? The “Klinghoffer” Controversy Isn’t Really About Klinghoffer

    “Clearly, last summer’s war in Gaza and the rise of brutal ISIS in Iraq and Syria ambushed the Met production, in the planning for years. … The larger picture, though, shows what happens when an artistic vocabulary is scrutinized out of context by hostile parties.”

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    Audience Engagement: The Traps We Fall Into

    James McQuaid looks at four assumptions arts organizations tend to make that, all too often, simply don’t hold up.

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    Audience Engagement: How To Avoid The Traps

    James McQuaid offers some strategies for shaking off the faulty assumptions arts organizations tend to make, and suggests some organizations we could learn from.

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    “Saturday Night Live” Just Ain’t What It Used To Be – Never Was, Not Even In 1975

    “Matters of time have never been simple for fans, enemies, and frenemies of S.N.L. It is one of the few TV programs that people care about long after they’ve stopped watching it. People still talk about John Belushi as though it’d all been crap since then. Younger people do that with Dana Carvey or Will Ferrell.”

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    What Ellen Burstyn Survived

    “When [she] was 18, she got on a Greyhound bus going from Detroit to Dallas. She had 50 cents in her pocket … She’d already gotten pregnant and had an illegal abortion. By her mid-20s, determined not to just get by on her looks, she left Hollywood to study acting with Lee Strasberg. In her mid-40s, after leaving an abusive marriage, she starred as a newly single mom in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. The role was based in part on her own life, and it won her an Oscar.” (audio podcast; includes transcript)

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    It’s Time To Retire The Idea Of “Genius”

    “From the ‘genius bar’ at the local Apple Store to bestselling books that trumpet ‘the genius in all of us,’ geniuses seem to abound. But if we consider the idea of ‘genius’ as it has evolved across history, it starts to look like we don’t really need geniuses as we once did. … The increasing banality of genius in the contemporary world has begun to dissolve it as a useful category.”

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    Neanderthals Weren’t Actually So “Neanderthal”

    The idea of homo sapiens‘ predecessors having been “savage” and “primitive”, in contrast to our own intelligence and ingenuity, has been fundamental to our species’s modern idea of itself. “[Yet] Neanderthals created complex tools, buried their dead, had an organized use of space, probably cared for the infirm, and perhaps even conversed vocally.”

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    Can There Be Such A Thing As A Bad Children’s Book? (Hey, It’s Getting Kids To Read, Right?)

    Rebecca Mead: “[The] view that any book that is avidly embraced can serve as a gateway to an enduring love of reading is surely true … But the metaphor of the gateway should prompt caution, too, since one can go through a gate in two directions.”

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    Top Posts From AJBlogs 10.22.14

    Stop Working For Free
    AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2014-10-22

    Fear of Learning
    AJBlog: PostClassic Published 2014-10-22

    A Very Ambitious, Private, New Museum For Miami
    AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2014-10-22

    Rembrandt Late Style: the Greatest Show on Earth?
    AJBlog: Plain English Published 2014-10-22

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