Basically: A Washington State library system decided to close some of its small libraries without telling the patrons because it didn’t want them to give feedback. An email from the library district manager telling a library she could not tell patrons the library was closingi included this: “Although we will make sure that they get to air their feelings, it would be a disservice to them to lead them to believe they can change the decision.” (Spoiler alert: They did.)
The Essex council claim they can close a third of the libraries and turn the others into volunteer-run services and still make sure their patrons have “24/7” service. Uh.
Apparently, after my story came out, crowds of people started coming in the restaurant, people in from out of town, or from the suburbs, basically just non-regulars. And as the lines started to build up, his employees — who were mainly family members — got stressed out, and the stress would cause them to not be as friendly as they should be, or to shout out crazy long wait times for burgers in an attempt to maybe convince people to leave, and as this started happening, things fell by the wayside.
There have been many studies that take advantage of this process, and they bulk out much of the academic literature on the impact and value of the arts. The build-up to this new centre has revealed a critical mass of scholars and artists who have an appetite (and now the opportunity) to do things a bit smarter, with nuance and sensitivity to the richness of cultural experience, that doesn’t simply reduce cultural experiences to mathematical equations.
Amanda Hess: “The age of the sequel is over. Now it’s the age of the sequel to the sequel. Also the prequel, the reboot, the reunion, the revival, the remake, the spinoff and the stand-alone franchise-adjacent film. Canceled television shows are reinstated. Killed-off characters are resuscitated. Movies do not begin and end so much as they loiter onscreen. And social media is built for infinite scrolling. Nothing ends anymore, and it’s driving me insane.”
The economic-development arguments for the arts are as well-worn as they are indisputably accurate, but it is high time arts advocates in Chicago admit that they have not made an effective statewide case. It also is high time for arts advocates in Chicago to admit that so much state arts funding should not be swallowed up by relatively rich institutions in downtown Chicago. It should be for everyone.
“Throughout her rise to fame, Rosalía has been mired in a debate over her supposed appropriation of an art form with gitano origins. The 25-year-old star is not gitana, nor is she from Andalusia, the birthplace of flamenco. She’s from Catalonia, the northern Spanish region now famous for its independence bid last year. She’s been accused of capitalizing on southern, gitano culture — for adopting an Andalusian accent, sprinkling Caló (the Spanish Romani language) into her songs, dressing like a gitana and using Roma imagery in her music videos.”
“Allyson Esposito, the director of arts and culture for The Boston Foundation, … says the grant is meant to fund genres and artists who have been chronically ignored by funding institutions in the past. ‘There’s been just this great divide along racial lines and genre specific lines around what has and has not been getting support.'”
Duty and honor? Patriotism? Rebecca Onion reminds us of the truth about “the war to end all wars”: it was bloody, cruel, and basically pointless. “How, then, to commemorate a useless war that shouldn’t have happened — a black hole in history?” Slate‘s resident history maven suggests that we have a look at some of the antiwar literature and advertising campaigns of the time.
Keep talent busy was just one of the lessons I took from Lee’s example. A second, but equally important lesson, was don’t censor talent. Lee preferred to let his talent sort out the creative details. He remembered working on a comic strip that used the word pogo stick in the punch line. The editor felt that pogo stickwouldn’t resonate with rural audiences, and he instructed Lee to change the gag so that the punch line had the word roller skates instead. It deflated the joke, but Lee changed it anyway. The strip was eventually dropped, and Lee said, “this type of censorship, to me, is almost indecent.” When you hire an artist to do a job, you let them do the job. Lee elaborated, “It seems to me that if a person is doing something creatively, and he feels that’s the way it ought to be done, you’ve gotta let him do it.”
“The budget committee of the German parliament’s lower house has approved €330m — a sum to be matched by the city of Berlin — to finance a ten-year renovation and extension of Berlin’s Natural History Museum and create an online database of its collections. … The €660m exceeds the budget for rebuilding the city’s royal palace and creating the Humboldt Forum cultural district around it.”
“A spate of books, graphic novels, documentaries and exhibitions has emerged, as artists and their audiences try to capture and understand that terrible day. … In addition to the therapeutic value they have for victims and witnesses, the artistic endeavors, many of them open to interpretation, can help others understand what they and their society are going through.”
Those who fund science research increasingly expect the public to be fully engaged with the scientific process. The Wellcome Trust in the UK and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation in the US are ploughing big money into science communication, and the results of this investment are far more exciting than a million TED Talks and podcasts.
The new student enrollment slowdown could pose economic risks. International students at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $39 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 455,622 jobs during the 2017-18 school year, according to a separate report released Tuesday by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
“Dr Tarek Tawfik, director general of the Grand Egyptian Museum, risked sparking a new row over the prized artefact … The stone fragment, which dates to 196BC, is one of the British Museum’s most popular exhibits. Before it was found by accident by Napoleon’s army in 1799 nobody knew how to read hieroglyphs. Scholars were able to use the Greek inscription on it as the key to decipher them.”
“Yegor Mostovshikov is under no illusions about the names he and his co-founder chose for their media company, Mamikhlapinatana, and their main online news platform, Batenka, da vy transformer. Neither make any sense to the uninitiated, whether they speak Russian or English. … [Nevertheless,] over the last year, Mamikhlapinatana‘s monthly turnover more than doubled and it has grown from a side project, which Mostovshikov and co-founder Anton Yarosh ran in their spare time, to employing over 40 permanent staff.”
Today’s understanding of feedback has reversed those terms. Positive ratings are a kind of holy grail on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and negative reviews can sink a burgeoning small business or mom-and-pop restaurant. That shift has created a misunderstanding about how feedback works. The original structure of the loop’s information regulation has been lost.
Library activists started a petition to get library funding “ringfenced” or safeguarded – but the government responded that local control is everything.
You only need to look at Pittsburgh’s art, and the murders of Jewish worshippers at a synagogue there, to see the contradictions. “It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. A time in which the ‘whitelash’ to multiculturalism is becoming increasingly violent. But also a period in which art and culture present a more inclusive alternative to the executive orders emerging from the White House.”
“[The larger issue is] what happens when a large number of people are concentrated together in a public space and have different ideas of how we should all behave. … We see these moral panics in other crowded spaces, too.” And sometimes the policing of behavior scares away the very communities that arts organizarions are trying to reach out to. Lyn Gardner meets Kirsty Sedgman, author of The Reasonable Audience: Theatre Etiquette, Behaviour Policing and the Live Performance Experience.
“On Monday, the city’s arts agency added sweeping language to already approved grants requiring that artists and arts organizations avoid producing work that could be considered lewd, vulgar or political or be at risk of losing their funds. The arts community protested, saying the amended contract infringed on their First Amendment rights. The [D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities] capitulated.”
Almost 90 percent of the class’s members, or 24 million workers, live in urban counties, with more than 60 percent of them in urban counties in large metropolitan areas with over 1 million people. Just a bit more than one in 10 members of the creative class live in rural communities. But these broad trends mask more nuanced patterns in the distribution of the creative class across urban and rural communities.
Regarding warning messages, researchers evaluated them to be sure they could be understood with a literacy level of 5th grade or lower. They initially hypothesized that the threat of fines alone was most likely to scare off illegal downloaders. But they were surprised to find that people are equally leery of being monitored by unknown entities — and pairing the repercussions proved most effective.
In a rare step made after millions of dollars in public funding was approved last month, the local arts commision said it would terminate any grant supporting work that the commission deemed “lewd, lascivious, vulgar, overtly political, or excessively violent, constitutes sexual harassment, or is, in any other way, illegal.” Arts leaders who were asked to sign the contract amendment expressed shock at the request, which several described as an attack on their artistic freedom.
“The 25-year-old Joan Mitchell Foundation has worked tirelessly to promote her legacy while providing critical support for working artists, particularly women and artists of color. [Mike Scutari] recently had an opportunity to connect with the foundation’s CEO, Christa Blatchford, about the foundation’s evolution, the growth of artist-endowed foundations, and some of the larger trends permeating the arts philanthropy landscape.”
It’s not just the election of Jair Bolsonaro (though that’s the tipping point); it’s the growing stridency of his conservative, and especially Evangelical, base, who (egged on by rumors and distortions on social media) have begun denouncing the work of some experimental artists and cultural figures as blasphemy or pedophilia. Some of those artists, facing death threats and not trusting the new government to protect them, are leaving the country.
The Iraqi city was the largest one that the violent extremist group conquered, and while it was liberated last year, there is still wreckage (physical and psychic) everywhere. Late last month, a group from the Iraqi National Symphony organized an orchestral concert in Mosul, and the city is hosting more cultural events as well — not least to get attention from international donors who could fund reconstruction.
“There’s a tendency to see the art world as separate from broader cultural, social, or political worlds, which I think is not helpful or accurate. Particularly with protests against institutions we’ve seen that issues of class, race, gender, and access are vital. Protesters come to us because they see us as part of the world, and hold us to task accordingly. We have greater legitimacy and more importance than we sometimes think we do. We have a responsibility towards the public.”
The statement can mean one of two things: “access to art is a moral right” or “access to art ought to be a legal right; that free access to museums and other institutions housing cultural artifacts should be legally guaranteed to citizens.” NYU art professor Nickolas Calabrese argues that, while the first would seem to be true on its face, the second is far more problematic than most people who favor it seem to realize.
Some nonprofits insist that donors expect these “premiums”; some donors insist they want as much money and staff time as possible to be spent on the nonprofit’s actual mission. Jonathan Meer, an economist who studies altruism and philanthropy, looked at existing research and did an experiment of his own to find out of giving swag to donors is worth it. The answer? Well, …