The founder of Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival resigned from many posts after “Quebec daily Le Devoir on Thursday published women’s accounts of the circumstances in which they allegedly suffered the actions of Mr. Rozon over the last thirty years. Some accuse him of having raped them.”
The stories are consistent, and consistently horrifying: “He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler. He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.”
A parishioner can flip off a pastor in church, and that’s protected free speech. What if you’re an employee, though? “In bars and parlors across the country, the issue of the flag and the anthem are being aired—and one massive misconception is that, because the players are private employees performing in a private venue, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to their protest.”
When a number of largely white-owned art galleries started opening here over the past few years, a familiar narrative began to emerge: new businesses and more affluent tenants moved in, followed by rent rises that forced out longtime residents. But while many young activists in Boyle Heights have loudly and aggressively protested the art galleries, Guadalupe Rosales – a successful artist and Boyle Heights native committed to preserving the history of her neighbourhood – doesn’t find the issues around gentrification to be quite so cut and dry.
Russian actress Lyubov Tolkalina said in an interview, “Isn’t it beautiful when a man of such great power sexually harasses you? … What does it matter how you got the part? It’s good for everyone: he feels good, they feel good, and most importantly the viewers feel good.”
“Most obviously, the city’s financial woes were so calamitous that, funders, most of whom already had extensive footprints in the city, had no choice but to respond en masse. Samuel Johnson’s old adage applies here: ‘When a man knows he is to be hanged, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’ That being said, there’s far more to Philadelphia’s success than the threat of (figurative) imminent hanging.”
“Just seven years ago, the school, founded in 1964, was $2 million in debt and temporarily closed. Today, the school has not only recovered, but is pivoting from a place that primarily provided arts education for children to a full-fledged performing arts center.”
I think these creative endeavors resonate with people because they are grounded in each participant’s lived experience (rather than universal plots or a reflection of someone else’s perspective) and, as such, they cannot help but be authentic. Perhaps what we call “bad” or “amateur” art isn’t because of “aesthetics,” but because it feels derivative of some form that already exists rather than growing from this place of fearless, individual experience. But how then do we nurture this creative authenticity?
“For many respondents, going to the park or eating at a food truck counts as a cultural experience, while attending a museum does not. … Below, we spotlight seven findings from the study could have major consequences for how traditional cultural hubs like museums think about audience outreach, development strategies, and cultural participation in the 21st century.”
Last month, the country’s first major show of queer art was shut down in Pôrto Alegre after conservative groups began protesting, claiming that the art endorsed blasphemy and pedophilia. A couple weeks later, the same groups loudly objected to dancer Wagner Schwartz’s La Bête – in which he lies on the floor naked and invites audience members to manipulate his body – after a woman brought her five-year-old daughter to participate and video of the incident went viral.
Private employment grew almost twice as fast in large metropolitan areas as it did in small ones from the trough of the recession, in 2009, to 2015. Income grew 50 percent faster. And the labor participation rate — the share of the working-age population in the labor force — shrank only half as much. “Economic transitions work against smaller America. This is a period demanding excruciating transitions.”
In a letter to arts organizations this week, Iain Munro, deputy chief executive of Creative Scotland, outlined the decline in National Lottery income, which he said had a 15% year-on-year reduction in 2016/17 and is continuing on this downward trend. “This means we are having to budget very carefully for 2018/19 and subsequent years,” he said.
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from UNESCO undermines the historic role of the United States as a leader in this effort and weakens our position as a strong advocate for cultural preservation.”
The UK study “reveals the average donation to participating organisations increased by 17% when the project was match funded, and over three quarters of crowdfund backers gave more than they usually would. In addition, more than 66% of fundraisers reported improvements in pitching and fundraising skills, and 32% of project participants leveraged additional funding from other sources after completing their campaign.”
Trump’s cuts would affect all research universities, but not equally. The problem is more pronounced at public universities than private ones, and especially at public institutions in the Midwest, which have historically conducted some of the nation’s most important research. These schools are desperately needed to diversify economies that rely disproportionately on manufacturing and agriculture and lack the wealthy private institutions that fuel the knowledge industries found in Silicon Valley or along Boston’s 128/I-95 corridor. Yet many flagship Midwestern research universities are being weakened by deep state budget cuts.
That’s bad for state coffers, and thus possibly for arts budgets. How can states get Millennials addicted to what is, after all, legalized gambling? The obvious: “Georgia, which runs the fifth largest US lottery program in terms of sales, introduced smartphone lottery game apps in an attempt to appeal to millennials.”
“A team of officers has been established to look into the alleged crimes, which are said to have taken place in London between 2010 and 2015, as well as an allegation of sexual assault previously passed on to the Metropolitan police by detectives from Merseyside police, which relates to the late 1980s.”
Oh: “Isa Hackett, producer on the Amazon series ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ described her evening encounter with the chief of Amazon Studios in 2015, when he allegedly made unwanted sexual remarks that were ‘shocking and surreal,’ according to an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Thursday. While riding a taxi to a company party together with Price and Michael Paul, then a top Amazon executive and now chief executive of BamTech, Price repeatedly propositioned her, Hackett said.”
“By the second half of the 20th century, it had assumed a dominant position in the world market in higher education. Compared with peer institutions in other countries, it came to accumulate greater wealth, produce more scholarship, win more Nobel prizes, and attract a larger proportion of talented students and faculty. US universities dominate global rankings. How did this remarkable transformation come about?”
“The current campus disruptions over what is and isn’t acceptable speech cannot be judged a blessing in disguise—they are far too illiberal and misguided for that. But by interfering with business as usual, perhaps they will also make it harder for the purported leaders of U.S. higher education to speak in lofty clichés while selling their birthright to deep-pocketed authoritarian sponsors.”
“Long air ducts – large plastic tubes or funnels – run everywhere, even to the upstairs foyers. An indoor lake consumed the carpet at the front of the main theater’s auditorium (now covered in plastic sheets); fortunately the orchestra pit was sealed off. … The waters covered the focal point of any theater – the stage, not yet completely dry. An entirely new stage may be required. The full havoc that descended on the Wortham, however, becomes evident only on a visit to the corridors beneath the orchestra pit.”
“A reduction in National Lottery money, as well as an expected standstill or reduced grant from the Scottish Government, has led to Iain Munro, deputy chief executive of Creative Scotland, to warn arts, theatre, dance, literature and music companies that some will lose out in looming spending round.”
“UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization known for its designation of world heritage sites, is a global development agency with missions that include promoting sex education, literacy, clean water and equality for women. In a lengthy written statement, Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s director-general, expressed regret at the American withdrawal and said that the American people shared the organization’s goals.”
“For all its fame, there are many who ask if so-called the “Bilbao effect” is real, and if so, if it is easily repeatable. Was the Guggenheim Bilbao a unique combination of a project at the right time and in the right place—a great architect and daring museum combined with an unusually forward-looking regional government willing to invest? Have the reasons for its transformative effect been misunderstood, explaining why its model has been frequently imitated but its extraordinary success rarely replicated?”
“Humor in the time of Trump is a triumph for our democracy. There’s nothing he can do to stop it and the message has plenty of messengers. Information is there for anyone who wants to know, as comedy takes on a pioneering new role in the dissemination of that information. Resistance takes many forms, and humor may turn out to be the most potent of all.”
“The nature of nonprofit exploitation is revealed in the language we use uncritically. I’ve ranked eight common nonprofit phrases from least to most exploitative.”
“The ‘Old World’ model of Geffenesque patrons seems to be receding, making way for donors striving to solve real-world problems. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to shoehorn a $500-$800 million capital project for a legacy institution into a paradigm that frames the arts as a vehicle for social change. This trend is permeating public policy, as well. Consider the political landscape that is Bill de Blasio’s New York City. While legacy institutions have expected some sort of public support from the mayor’s office since time immemorial, de Blasio has instead shifted the city’s focus to smaller institutions across the five boroughs.”
eal social networks are not like either of these. Instead, people are strongly connected to a relatively small group of neighbors and loosely connected to much more distant people. These loose connections turn out to be extremely important. “Those weak ties serve as bridges between our group of close friends and other clustered groups, allowing us to connect to the global community.”
LA Times theater critic Charles McNulty: “We feed our minds and spirits as well our bodies. My way is theater. Yours might be movies, sports or church. It makes no difference. With gun regulation as irresponsibly lax as it is, we are all just a maniac away from being on the next casualty list.”
The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County), which hosts hundreds of performances and workshops a year reports that its main building has suffered “minimal damage,” but its eastern end and several classrooms are “destroyed.”