“Across the nation, arts and culture industries employed roughly 1 million Americans in 2014. That’s less than 1 percent of all workers. … [Yet] arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), or $729.6 billion [that year], … growing by roughly 2 percent annually.” With colored maps and charts, Florida shows the impact this activity has in various states and cities. And there are some surprises.
“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.”
More than 18,000 people voted at 60 polling booths set up by activists and 17,874 chose to eject the ships, which are accused of shaking the delicate foundations of Venice’s venerable palazzi.
“We recognize that art is an industry with a structural reality that must be acknowledged in order for artists to challenge their complicity in the displacement of long term residents in low-income and working class neighborhoods and fight against this. It’s important that people see the devastating impacts of securing housing in working class and poor neighborhoods, and setting up investment properties posing as art spaces.”
“The takes are scorchingly hot, the opinions often on point. And yet the pronounced progressiveness of opinionated pop culture writing stands in direct contrast to the increasingly regressive nature of America’s actual politics. What accounts for the discrepancy?” Shaun Scott explains what.
“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.”
According to the “Arts & Economic Prosperity Report V,” a data-intense survey released during the weekend by the nonprofit Americans for the Arts, Sarasota County’s arts and cultural organizations and audiences pumped $295 million into the economy in 2015, up 64 percent from $180 million in 2010, when the previous survey was taken.
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.”
“[National] Lottery operator Camelot has warned it expects the decline in sales to continue this year, which means arts funding is also likely to fall further. It is launching an internal review of its operations.”
The government must become a “global-facing” nation after it leaves the European Union, according to the Creative Industries Federation, which has set out its demands to government as Brexit negotiations commence.
Under Los Angeles-based AEG‘s plans, the music venue would anchor a mixed-use entertainment district on a four-acre portion of the overall 15-acre former LifeWay Christian Resources campus. AEG’s plans for the land under contract with Nashville Yards’ master-developer Southwest Value Partners also calls for an 850-seat Regal Cinemas theater complex, a 600-700-capacity live entertainment club and a 240-room boutique hotel with other entertainment and up to a dozen food and beverage offerings.
Historian Sarah E. Bond wrote an essay reminding us, as others have before, that a great deal of Greek and Roman sculpture was not intended to be seen as milky-white marble – it was painted. As Bond puts it, the alt-right “viewed the piece as ‘liberal professor says that all white statues are racist.'”
The upcoming expansion of the D.C. arts center is making an extra point of paying tribute to the president it’s named after. And yet, Philip Kennicott writes, John F. Kennedy was no aesthete himself, and what he valued in the arts isn’t what became national policy after he died.
“So why shouldn’t a small levy – say 3 or 4 per cent to recognize the other uses – help update our support for Canadian culture? Politicians clearly see anything that can be characterized as an Internet tax as the third rail, but public reactions seemed based more on the ideological instinct that the Internet is beyond the reach of regulation than on any full examination of what the benefits might be.”
It remains unclear what the changes will mean for the arts and culture in wider government policy, such as the upcoming industrial strategy, which cabinet ministers promised to put creative industries “at the heart” of.
Yes, good, more high-profile jobs for actors of color. Except … “There could be something powerful in showcasing life in Gilead for people of color, but the show rarely, if ever, goes there.”
It means empire, basically: “The move takes it one step closer towards founder Jeff Bezos’ long-held ambition of becoming the ‘world’s store,’ and it is unquestionably the central actor in the remaking of American, and perhaps global, consumerism. What remains unclear is whether it is overall a force for good, or a destroyer of traditional retail that erodes jobs, ruins malls, and transforms a once-productive workforce into underemployed, couch-bound consumers.”
“Mr. Cosby, 79, reacted calmly to the decision, rubbing his face at one point, while Ms. Constand stared straight ahead. After Mr. Cosby and his two lawyers filed out, Ms. Constand stood in the courtroom surrounded by four other women who had accused Mr. Cosby of assault. Ms. Constand looked calm as some of the other women wept, but her lawyer, Dolores Troiani, spoke for her, saying they were looking forward to a retrial. ‘We will get to do it again,’ she said.”
Public Theatre’s Oskar Eustis believes that we have entered a frightening chapter in the cultural wars in which snippets of information are disseminated on the Web and elsewhere to discredit a piece of political art. “The thing that’s new is that somebody is using the arts as a way of manipulating people and lying about the arts. That’s the new toxic element in our culture.”
“The contempt of artists for critics is, of course, understandable. To create an artwork is to give the world a kind of gift, and no one likes having a gift rejected, or even inspected too carefully. … [Yet] once a work of art emerges from its creator’s study or studio, it becomes the possession of anyone who interacts with it, and therefore it is open to judgment: Do I actually derive pleasure and enlightenment from it? … Every reader or viewer or listener asks it, whether they want to or not. A critic is just a reader or viewer or listener who makes the question explicit and tries to answer it publicly, for the benefit of other potential readers or viewers or listeners. In doing so, she operates on the assumption that the audience for a work, the recipient of a gift, is entitled to make a judgment on its worth.”
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.
“What quicker way to make ordinary people into heroes and villains than to turn the weather against them and destroy everything they know?”
Science Speculative fiction novelist Anna North looks at how works of fiction are envisioning the all-too-real possibilities of what could happen to Earth and its people as the stuff humans have been putting into the air keep accumulating.
“The Innerbelt National Forest is the idea of Hunter Franks, a San Francisco-based artist who has been working in the Akron community since 2015. He plans to populate the freeway with potted plants, public seating, and programming meant to reconnect the two communities severed by the freeway 40 years ago. The project just received a Knight Cities Challenge grant, which is giving $15 million to projects in 26 American cities.”
Kenan Malik (a non-white writer, if you were wondering): “Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one. … [And] who does the policing?”
The new study from Giving USA reports that much of the increase comes from small donors and that donations to the arts, culture and humanities category grew by 5.1%, behind only environmental and animal-welfare organizations.
“Its history suggests that the midcentury intellectuals whose work filled the pages of these journals, brilliant though they were, should not have their status inflated to the point of distortion. Ironically, the same thing that made them important — their ability to participate in a seemingly world-historic conflict of ideas — was what compromised their integrity.”
“New York art patron Agnes Gund has sold a record-smashing $165 million Roy Lichtenstein painting to create a fund to help address mass incarceration in the United States. Some $100 million from that sale will establish the Art for Justice Fund, to be managed by the Ford Foundation, which aims to raise another $100 million over the next five years, partly from art sales. Gund has thus thrown down the gauntlet to other art collectors to unload their assets to address critical issues of social justice.”
“The institution, which opened a $150 million building on Independence Mall in 2010, laid off 12 staff members outright on Friday. Other positions, now empty, will not be filled; others will be made part-time or consolidated. All told, 18 of the museum’s 50 full-time staff positions will be eliminated.”
“Madeleine Rast became a supporter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts before it opened its doors in 1987, and she remained a loyal and generous donor throughout her life. But the California business professional, who died on Jan. 29 at 92, saved her biggest gift for last.”
“In part, this policy of promoting relationships with other fields and interest areas stems from our strategy that our alliances with other sectors is a way for us to advance our interests and our agendas, and demonstrate our value over and apart from the intrinsic value of the arts. And while those who decry that too much emphasis is placed on the value of the arts as a handmaiden to other values, and perhaps not enough emphasis on what the arts do for individuals, communities and society by just being the arts, the advance of the promotion and involvement of the arts where they intersect with other areas, and where they spur partnerships, is a genie not likely easily put back in the jar.”