Amazon: Not A Pleasant Workplace … To Put It Mildly


“Employees say that the Bezos ideal, a meritocracy in which people and ideas compete and the best win, where co-workers challenge one another ‘even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting,’ as the leadership principles note, has turned into a world of frequent combat.”

Think Accommodating The Arts To Audiences With Disabilities Is Simply About Building Ramps? Here’s A Little Imagination


“In disability circles, we are reminded to always lead with the person first — it’s better to say “a person who uses a wheelchair” vs. “a wheelchair user.” (The only exception is in the deaf community, where many want to be referred to as a “deaf person.”) With artists, I am reminded to always lead with the person and art form, and then add an identifying contextual tag when and where appropriate.”

Research: Five Popular Education Reforms That Don’t Work


In a new paper, “What Doesn’t Work In Education: The Politics Of Distraction,” published by Pearson Education, Hattie takes on some of the most popular approaches to reform. Small classes. High standards. More money. These popular and oft-prescribed remedies from both the right and the left, he argues, haven’t been shown to work as well as alternatives.

Audience Engagement? Everyone’s Talking, But What Does It Mean?


“As ongoing technological and demographic changes have altered the relationship between arts organizations and that of artists and the audiences for their work, the value proposition offered during the latter half of the 20th century is in many cases changed and less relevant. Many arts groups therefore struggle with diminishing audiences and instability as the connection between the arts consumer and the arts offerer has frayed.”

‘Sesame Street’ Goes To HBO And Makes Clear Why We Should Fund The Arts

sesame street

The new agreement “simultaneously demonstrates, once again, that the show is a valuable commodity, and makes one of the best, most underlooked arguments for public arts funding. It’s not … about whether art exists or not. It’s about whether people who don’t live in areas with museums, or who can’t afford cable, much less premium cable subscriptions, have access to arts and culture.”

It Can Pay For Itself : Arts Council England Defends Decision Not To Fund Comedy

arts council england comedy

“An open letter written by the producers of the London Sketch Comedy Festival criticised ACE’s policy not to financially support the art form, claiming it is ‘negligent and dismissive’. A spokeswoman for ACE said the main reason it does not fund comedy directly is that it ‘tends to be a commercially self-sustaining performance form’.”

Theaster Gates Has An Idea For A New Kind Of Arts Center (And He’s Building It In Chicago)


“This is a new kind of cultural amenity, a new kind of institution—a hybrid gallery, media archive and library, and community center. It is an institution of and for the South Side—a repository for African American culture and history, a laboratory for the next generation of black artists and culture-interested people; a platform to showcase future leaders—be they painters, educators, scholars, or curators.”

The Case For Food As An Art (Like Music Or Painting)


“There is a growing global movement to establish a culinary canon and to restore the actual local ingredients that composed it. Why shouldn’t there be a canon of taste, like other canons of our civilisation, those of literature, art, music, architecture, religion and science? We have a global palate now, and with that, a new willingness to cross-pollinate and revivify regional foodways – and even ways of staging food at the table.”

Cultural Appropriation Is Wrong? Then How Does Art Evolve?


“Throughout human history, different groups coming together, for whatever reason – even in war – and catching a glimpse of the other, have ended up influencing each other. Mostly it’s for the better; sometimes it’s for the worse. If we did not eye each other up, listening in and looking at what the other is doing, there would be no substantive change in art, or in society for that matter. It’s one of the ways that culture progresses.”

The Hot Degree In Silicon Valley? Liberal Arts?


“Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger. Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing.”

What We Do When Our Icons Tumble Or Crumble: A Field Guide

icons tumble

“For as long as humans have lived with symbols we have created strategies for effacing or revaluing them. Destruction is the most dramatic. But statues can also be reinstalled in less symbolically fraught places … Forgetting is a powerful force, as well … Iconoclasm can be accidental or purposeful, an act of liberation or oppression, and there’s never any guarantee that it will work.”

Why Is The Hirshhorn Director Holding A Gala In NY Instead Of DC?


“The Nov. 9 gala will include 400 invited guests and honor 40 living artists whom the museum considers essential to its identity. But despite Chiu’s statement in the Times story announcing the event — that she intends no snub to the Washington arts crowd — it is a snub, and a distressing indication that she doesn’t understand the purpose, the history or the identity of the museum she now leads.”

Ready To Declare War On Hollywood (Or At Least Its Sexism)

rose Mcgowan

Rose McGowan: “I feel really bad for that kid that I was who was discovered on a street corner at age 17 and a half. I got battered around, and it was a very treacherous place with no protection. I feel really bad for her, but what I’m trying to do is make it better for the next girl. We need the men to help too. We can do this.”

We Asked 100,000 People Why They Attended Arts Events. Here’s What They Told Us


“Results suggest that being entertained is not necessarily a universal driver, with significant variances in responses. In the visual arts sector, for example, audiences cited intellectual stimulation (45%) and inspiration (44%) as important drivers for attendance. More than a third (37%) of these visitors also stated that they attend art galleries because the visual arts are an important part of who they are, highlighting their personal identification with the artform as a significant factor in their decision to attend (more than for all other artforms).”

India Lifts Ban On Internet Pornography After Nationwide Debate

india web porn

“In the first large-scale crackdown on the internet in India, the world’s largest democracy, websites were blocked over the weekend as telecommunications companies began to implement government instructions. The Department of Communications said the aim was to prevent pornography becoming a social nuisance, but the move immediately prompted a nationwide debate about censorship and freedom.”

Blurred Lines: The Battles Over Free Speech, Hate Speech, And Online Shaming


Kelefa Sanneh: “We live in a world, evidently, where a college-town d.j. who plays a popular song can inspire a Facebook protest that will eventually cost him his gig. But we also live in a world where an undergraduate who protests at her local bar can find herself vilified around the world … And it’s not obvious that the first development should trouble us more than the second.”

The Nonprofit Hunger Games, And How We Might Stop Them

nonprofit hunger games

“We all got to talking, and it turned out the two seniors [at our table] were major donors to Jane’s organization who also happened to like Vietnamese food. I said, ‘Hey, I know a great Vietnamese restaurant! I’d love to take you sometime. Maybe the four of us could get lunch together.’ There was a 20-second stare-down between Jane and me. … [Later,] I ran into her at another event, and she introduced me to others as ‘The guy who tried to poach my donors.'”

The Tourism Problem (It’s Killing Travel, Killing Experience, And Killing Places)


“In an age of unprecedented foreign travel, tourists get quite a bad rap, not least from tourists themselves. Of course, many high-minded people would scoff at the notion that they are tourists, beholden to the same vulgar taste as the travelling masses, even though, as we shall see, that hierarchy is not a very convincing one.”

Comcast Is Spending Billions On Theme Parks


“That’s just a huge, huge number for a business this size. We see this as a major growth driver for the company for five, 10, 15, 20 years.” But now Comcast faces a new question: Is it moving too fast and disregarding the perennial problems that have long challenged this corner of entertainment?

Happy Days: Northern Ireland Town Loves Its Beckett Festival

beckett fest

“The barber offers Beckett haircuts; a local coffee shop sells Krapp (banana and nutella) and Endgame (I didn’t investigate) sandwiches named after his plays. Events take place in theaters, churches, halls, at the Portora School, on the small islands that surround the town and in other improbable places, often kept a secret until a bus deposits audiences at the spot. All of this creates a festive and buoyant atmosphere that works strangely well with Beckett’s famously dark, difficult and often mordantly humorous oeuvre.”

Stage Fright – What Exactly Is It, And What’s Behind It?

stage fright

“Stage fright has been aptly described as ‘self-poisoning by adrenaline'” – the fight-or-flight response. “But what Cro-Magnon man needed upon finding a bear in his cave is not what a modern person needs in order to play King Lear. Without the release of abrupt action, the hyperactivation becomes, basically, a panic attack.”