Issues

Has Toronto’s Luminato Failed To Make An Impact As An International Festival?

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“When Toronto was at a particular low point in the 2000s, Luminato was conceived by business leaders as the kind of high-level, multiarts smorgasbord that would attract international cultural tourists while also providing enough free, fun and family events to entertain the city. It was planned without sufficient consultation with Canadian arts groups and has often felt like a top-down exercise, a perception that repeatedly hiring Europeans will only reinforce.”

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Our Audience As Community? Not Necessarily

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“Community requires connection. Without interpersonal relationships, a community is just a group. Community requires generosity. Without an element of giving, it is hard to imagine members being invested in the collective and future well-being of the group. Community requires space. Without a place (virtual, physical) in which people can connect and contribute, it will be much more difficult for these things to take place.”

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Fraternities Once Were Paragons Of Accomplishment and Excellence. But Then…

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These organizations, which were literary and social societies, were founded very much in the same spirit as Phi Beta Kappa. They fashioned themselves with the model of ancient Greece in mind. They were named after Greek letters during a period in American history when “Greece eclipsed Rome as the model for virtuous citizenship in the American imagination and at colleges particularly.”

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Why Do Cities Still Build Over-Sized Performing Arts Theatres?

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“For large-capacity halls that are only in the business of presenting touring commercial entertainment (including Broadway shows), the more seats the better. But in reality, many large-capacity halls were originally conceived and funded to present touring cultural programs — classical music, dance, opera — and to support local arts organizations by being available for rent. And here’s where we get into trouble.”

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Toronto’s Luminato Festival Gets Anthony Sargent As New CEO

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Sargent, 65, recently stepped down after his latest triumph: leading the team of Sage Gateshead in creating an internationally acclaimed new venue for music in northeast England. Previously Sargent worked for the BBC as concerts planning manager, including the work of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and helped create the BBC Millennium Music Live project.

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Could The Arts Be Funded With User Taxes?

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“When I was Director of the California Arts Council, I floated the idea of adding 25 cents to the price of a movie ticket (in California), the money to come to the Arts Council and support Arts Education (a bit of an easier sell than general arts organization funding). Again, I didn’t think an extra quarter would discourage movie goers.”

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Where Artists Live Versus Where Scientists Live

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“Basically, the science-based firms and industries are out in the suburbs, along highway interchanges, and in newer, low density suburban campuses. The creative industry locations are much more urban, dense, closer to the core of the city, walkable, mixed-use and often served by public transit.”

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Poll: Americans Think Art Is “Important” But Unsure About…

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Beyond the study’s muddled findings about the ways US citizens value visual art (or don’t), YouGov’s more tangential poll questions turned up some amusing results. For instance, when asked “Do you own any paintings, sculptures, or other art works?” a full 4% of respondents — or about 40 people among the 1,000 polled — said they were “not sure.”

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Report: Cartoonists Worldwide Under Threat

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“I don’t think very many Americans understand that a cartoonist in our midst has had to enter what is effectively a version of the F.B.I.’s witness protection program,” Robert Russell, the executive director of Cartoonists Rights Network International, said in the report.

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Analyzing Culture, A Cautionary Tale

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“Raymond Williams is one of those thinkers who helped change his field so profoundly that today it can be difficult to appreciate how original he was. Members of Williams’s generation believed that analyzing culture would bring about revolution. Much of their prose now sounds turgid, and many of their political hopes were either beaten into submission or inflated into a hyperbole that remains purely hypothetical.”

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Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center Is Now A Financial Success (But Has It Lost The Point For Why It Exists?)

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“In short, by becoming more commercial, the Kimmel has adopted a business model that underwrites the rents of its resident companies by presenting less art and more popular entertainment. Thus, it leans more lightly on philanthropy, which pleases the overtaxed donor community. The benefits are real.” But…

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Serving The Country On A Jury Is Patriotic And Great And All, Except For The PTSD Part

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“The greatest difficulty often lies in homicide and death penalty trials, in which jurors not only share the burden of imposing guilt (or even death), but are necessarily confronted with the loss of life that led to the case. Some jurors even report physical ailments, including headaches, nightmares, and symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

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Silicon Valley Remakes Its Dream Of Life Without Politics

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“Building a government, it turns out, is a more complex challenge than much of Silicon Valley would have you believe. Now, Thiel and other high-profile Silicon Valley investors are carefully taking stock of the anti-government view they helped popularize.”

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Should Air Strikes Defend World Heritage Sites From ISIS?

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“Palmyra is an ancient Roman site whose significance and value is exceeded by very few others: those in Rome itself, Pompeii, possibly Petra in Jordan. Its temples, colonnades and tombs, its theatre and streets are extensive, exquisite, distinctive, rich. The loss of Palmyra would be a cultural atrocity greater than the destruction of the Buddhas in Bamiyan. It is hard to think of deliberate vandalism to equal it, despite the grim examples offered by the last hundred years.”

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Bait And Switch? Entire First-Year MFA Class Quits University Of Southern California

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“[F]aculty voices are silenced and adjunct faculty expands, affecting their overall ability to advocate for students. We seven students lost time, money, and trust in a classic bait-­and-­switch, and the larger community lost an exemplary funding model that attempted to rectify at least some of these economic disparities. What we experienced is the true ‘disruption’ of this accelerating trend.”

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‘I Was Born Homosexual; I Chose To Be Gay': On Sensibility And (Or Versus) Same-Sex Attraction

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“Implicit in the notion that an apartment like mine can ‘be gay’ – and that you, despite any politically correct training against saying so, could easily recognize it as such – is an understanding of gayness as something more than a basic sexual orientation. … Gayness may be found not just in whom you sleep with, but also in the sort of sheets you insist on sleeping between.” A longread by J. Bryan Lowder.

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Will Philadelphia’s Next Mayor Pay Attention To The Arts, Which Have Led The City’s Renaissance?

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“Like a prospector who discovers a gold mine then watches others pull riches from it, the Philadelphia arts and culture community has been looking around and wondering when its turn will come. Center City is a boomtown, its vibrant street life and desirable real estate in large part a consequence of arts pioneers taking a chance on new facilities and expanded missions more than two decades ago.”

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Professor: American Higher Ed Is Failing

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“Academia is the Titanic. I have suggested that schools stop spending so much money and labor on useless research in the humanities, and instead shift that labor and money to teaching.”

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Yale To Build A Major New Cultural Commons

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“With the transformation, Yale would be among the best equipped universities in the Northeast for arts programming while the expansion would help New Haven, a struggling city where the university is a major employer as well as tourist draw, with its two art galleries and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.”

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When Will U.S. Museum Directors Reflect America’s Demographics?

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“The impending influx of new blood at the top offers museums an opportunity to rethink the job and question many of the assumptions that underlie traditional museum operations: the emphasis on splendid buildings, the primacy of curatorial authority and the balance between rich donors, for whom museums are often personal vanity projects, and the public, who see museums as shared common goods.”

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