“The video streamer, which is owned by Barry Diller’s IAC, announced last November that it planned to spend “tens of millions” to build out a competitor of Netflix, Hulu and the newly launched YouTube Red. … The company already has a subscription business in which it sells professional tools to its more than 750,000 creators” – and it will refocus on that business instead, according to the announcement.
“There was skepticism when Dallas Museum of Art director Agustín Arteaga proposed bringing a major exhibit of Mexican masterpieces here from Paris and allowing families who were not regular museum visitors to see it for free.” But the show has been a big hit, and more than half of its visitors, many of them Latino, are newcomers to the DMA. Says docent José Villanueva, “I haven’t seen this many brown people in the museum before.”
The 1919 novel about a young German man rebelling and trying to find himself – and then going to war – resonates strongly. “In Korea it has attained such cultural importance that critic Lee Dong-jin, host of the Red Book Room podcast, can make this pronouncement: ‘There are two kinds of people: those who read Demian, and those who don’t.’ Given the enduring presence of the book on their country’s school curricula, most Koreans fall into the former category.”
So that’s going well, then? “‘I’m not surprised, since this experience is unique, bold and immersive,’ [said star] Olivia Wilde, who broke her tailbone and dislocated her rib during previews.”
Some observers question whether free or low-cost opera tickets really are reaching new audiences, as opposed to being giveaways to fans who’d come anyway. Here, the general director of Opera Holland Park in London describes the several different programs of the sort his company offers, explains the philosophy behind the schemes, and describes the experience OHP has had with them.
“Only 8% of people regularly engage with publicly funded art, but every day people are creating their own versions of culture. Nick Wilson and Jonathan Gross report on research that makes the case for a new approach to cultural policy.”
It is a well-established, incontestable fact that playwrights may exert veto power over both casting and creative teams, too, for unlike film and TV, playwrights hold all the cards in the theater. I use the word “incontestable” very much on purpose, for the playwright, indeed, has a legal basis for that level of control, even if — as with those now accusing the estate of Edward Albee of being raging racists — we dislike the result. The question is to what degree the “scope” of a dramatic work legally extends beyond the experience and performance of the play.
“While women, people of color, LGBTQ folk and other historically marginalized communities in Hollywood continue to insist ‘diversity pays,’ the box office success of films with diverse casts such as Hidden Figures ($230.1 million worldwide) and Get Out ($251.2 million worldwide) is inevitably deemed a ‘surprise.’ A new study and database crafted by Creative Artists Agency, however, is aiming to take some of the surprise out of box office performance, noting that across every budget level a film with a diverse cast outperforms a release not so diversified.”
“The average culture vulture in the US spends an additional $31.47 whenever she attends an arts event: almost $17 on food, about $4.50 on souvenirs and gifts, over $3 on local transportation – it all adds up. This is the micro level of the $166.3 billion in economic activity that the nonprofit arts sector contributed to the US economy in 2015, according to a study released on Saturday by Americans for the Arts.”
“Under the two-year deal with Snap Inc., Time Warner – which owns Warner Bros. as well as cable networks CNN, HBO, TBS and TNT – will develop and produce up to 10 made-for-Snapchat shows per year. The projects will span genres, including scripted dramas and comedies, and will reach across Time Warner’s networks and entertainment properties, meaning that Wonder Woman or Batman could one day end up on Snapchat.”
Ten major organizations, among them the Calgary Opera, Alberta Ballet, and the National Music Centre, are arguing to the city council that they’re the best bet for increasing tourism. Says Alberta Ballet artistic director Jean Grand-Maître, “If we develop a thriving cultural sector, they may stop by in the city for a while before they get out to the mountains and before you know it, it won’t just be Banff that’s thriving right now.”
“As home entertainment systems become ever more elaborate, allowing fans to watch the action from every conceivable angle in ultra-high-definition, the conventional football stadium is having to up its game to lure people from the comfort of their homes. The promise of a pie, a pint and a good singsong in the stands just is not enough.”
“In this environment, with museum directors under pressure to boost attendance, Holbein loses out to Damien Hirst, Manet to Christian Marclay, Braque to Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Klee to Jeff Koons. Even museums whose collections extend back to the ancients are stressing contemporary art. In the past few years, some museum directors and fundraisers have told me that it has become difficult to find money for exhibitions displaying what some are now calling ‘pre-contemporary art’. Sponsors, be they corporations, foundations or individuals, are simply uninterested. This is, as one art dealer remarked to me, like losing Mozart.”
“Paying for TV content from on-demand digital video services will grow by more than 30% to £1.42bn at the turn of the decade, claims consultancy firm PwC. This rise in popularity will see revenue from video services edge ahead of an estimated £1.41bn from cinemagoers.”
“‘Nobody knows how a theatre season is made,’ Paul Miller says cheerily. There is no rule book, no key to artistic or box-office success. Still, nothing made Miller, the artistic director of the resurgent Orange Tree theatre in Richmond, more chuffed than a recent compliment from a fellow director, Ellen McDougall. She said she would recognise an Orange Tree season at a glance, even if the theatre’s name was omitted. So, what gives a programme coherence?”
Consultant David Reece: “There are two key aspects to repertoire scoring. First, identifying the different components that have an impact on overall appeal. Second, scoring these elements from the perspective of your audience.” And it’s a tool that can be used for programming, marketing, pricing, and budget forecasting.
When Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced that it would create versions of its films scrubbed of profanity and adult scenes (roughly like airline versions) for home viewers, it took only four hours for the Directors Guild to remind the studio that it needed the director’s permission for each title. (Judd Apatow tweeted a profanity-filled response of his own.) Sony didn’t spend much time arguing back.
“If the movie Bean has taught us anything (and what hasn’t it taught us really?), it’s that American museums and the museum-going public will line up, go out of its way, to view something spectacular, whether there’s much in the way of educational value.” Noah Charney (who cops to similar behavior himself) talks with some curators about “what you as a curator do when the material in your collection is more interesting than spectacular.”
Streaming is now the dominant platform for music consumption, and it’s growing rapidly–up 76% year-over-year, according to Nielsen. YouTube has birthed a whole new breed of celebrity: the YouTube star. And Netflix plans to spend hundreds of millions annually on original content. “It’s not just about music–it’s about every form of entertainment,” Nielsen’s David Bakula says. “You don’t really have to own anything anymore, because for $10 a month you can do this: You can have everything.”
“The challenge is to show the world that everyone is welcome at the Concertgebouw and to bring more people through the doors that haven’t visited before – but that would love to come irrespective of their backgrounds. I think at all times we should avoid thinking that we should change our artistic core to attract more audiences – eschewing, for instance, those fusion concerts and crossover concerts that seldom seem to work out well.”
“In the field of self-improvement, there have always been snake oil salesman ready to promote gimmicks disguised as legitimate answers. But the internet age has ushered in a whole new era: The maddening proliferation of hope — clouded in broscience. The 7 ways to transform your sex life. Use polyphasic sleep to hack your energy levels. Dump a stick of butter in your coffee to energize your breakfast and keep you feeling full all day (no shit — you just dumped a stick of butter in your coffee). All of these hacks carry a similar message: If only we did XYZ, then our bodies, minds, and entire lives will transform for the better.”
“Do traditional marketing methods do justice to and serve the product? As the commercial Broadway musical further diversifies and pushes boundaries in terms of form and content, so should our attitude and behaviour in marketing them.”
“The democratisation of consumer goods has made them far less useful as a means of displaying status. In the face of rising social inequality, both the rich and the middle classes own fancy TVs and nice handbags. They both lease SUVs, take airplanes, and go on cruises. On the surface, the ostensible consumer objects favoured by these two groups no longer reside in two completely different universes. Given that everyone can now buy designer handbags and new cars, the rich have taken to using much more tacit signifiers of their social position.”
“The Clean Version allows viewing for a wider audience, giving people the chance to watch their favorite films together,” Sony said. “Clean Version movies can be accessed with purchase of the theatrical versions.”
Jason Zinoman: “It’s particularly amazing that this gifted dissembler has received such goodwill at a time when there is such anxiety about fake news and Internet disinformation. … That Evan Hansen is not just a kind of hero but one whose story will stay with a generation of young theatergoers forever is testament to the power of skillfully crafted art to reframe, manipulate, and even obscure moral concerns.”
“The Florida Orchestra got an unwelcome surprise late Friday when Gov. Rick Scott ruled out $500,000 in funds to help pay for a new outreach program. Beyond the Bay launched in January with a vision of taking the orchestra to schools and community orchestras across Florida. The veto was part of $34 million the governor nixed from the state’s budget, leaving that money available for other priorities.”
“For the generation who grew up watching the show, it proved that dance has a place on television. … It’s undeniable that dance today is part of pop culture in a way that it wasn’t a decade and a half ago. This increased exposure hasn’t necessarily translated into more ticket sales for live performances, but it has presented an alternative way of experiencing the art form. … [Yet the show’s] biggest impact was setting the standard for dance on the internet with its ‘snackable, and eminently shareable’ dance clips.”
The Alamo Drafthouse chain’s plan to offer no-boys-allowed screenings of the new superheroine hit made news when certain men on the Internet flipped right out about them. Cara Buckley, the Times‘s “Carpetbagger” during awards season, paid a visit to the screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Brooklyn to check out the (excited) vibe.
The paper states that using indicators and benchmarks to assess cultural activities, “which exhibit no obvious capacity for scalar measurement”, is a “political act”. The “ostensible neutrality” of this approach is, they say, “a trick of the light trying to launder responsibility for judgment in the competition for scarce resources”.
“Schenkkan’s purpose seems to have been understood and appreciated as Building the Wall was produced around the country over the past few months, first as a National New Play Network rolling world premiere by Fountain Theatre in California; Curious Theatre Company in Colorado’ Forum Theatre in DC; Borderlands Theater in Arizona; and City Theatre in Florida. But some prominent voices reacted differently when the play opened recently at New York’s New World Stages, in a production directed by Ari Edelson and starring Tamara Tunie and James Badge Dale. And the mixed reviews surely helped end the run of the New York production prematurely. It is closing Sunday, June 4, about a month earlier than the play’s intended run.”