What makes a critical judgment true is still a quandary. Eliot and F.R. Leavis exempted themselves from “interpretation,” which Eliot declared to be “only legitimate when it is not interpretation at all, but merely putting the reader in possession of facts which he would otherwise have missed.” This sentence marks a typical rhythm in Eliot’s critical mind: he tends to say that an exalted something is nothing but something mean to which it may decently be reduced.
“In the infancy of computers, educators quickly figured out that computer games could be a great vessel for both education and entertainment. Problem was, the educators were always better at the teaching part than the game part. Today’s Tedium, in the midst of practicing its home-row keys, ponders why that was. (Includes the story of “the tutor who became a multi-millionaire edutainment innovator because she went to the wrong restaurant”)
“Sure, dynamic pricing maximises the income potential for a hit show (with the corollary of high prices driving away regulars), and potentially allows extra seats to be filled at lower prices on quieter nights. But it also leads to the situation where prices seem to start particularly high to allow for later movement, but in the meantime blows the opportunity to sell to the less convinced at a reasonable price.”
“At the Birmingham Stage Company we recently went public about our decision to pull out of future presentations at Leeds Grand because of the £3 booking fee and £1 restoration fee that is levied on all tickets. This means that schoolchildren seeing our production of Gangsta Granny by David Walliams for £10 are then being asked to pay another £4 on top. This effectively amounts to a 40% surcharge on every ticket.”
“A new campaign out of Chattanooga, Tennessee dubs the city ‘Literally Perfect’ with a series of delightfully demented mini-musicals.” Laura Bliss explains why it’s “better than it ought to be.”
“Teachers Pay Teachers contends that it hit a milestone last year, when its 80,000 contributors earned more than $100 million, and that at least a dozen have become millionaires since the site launched a decade ago. Other major sites including Teachwise and Teacher’s Notebook, and recently such corporate players as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Amazon, have launched sites of their own. But some educators worry the increasing monetizing of lessons will stifle the longstanding practice of teachers freely sharing their ideas. And legal experts question whether teachers actually have ownership of the lessons they are selling.”
Over the course of six months, she has secretly gathered a 330-page internal police log detailing more than 2,000 cases of state-sanctioned violence against Turkish citizens over the last 11 months; she will be exposing every detail in a performance piece at this year’s Venice Biennale. Details are deliberately being kept on a need-to-know basis to avoid the very real threat of shutdown before the launch, but Onat’s headline-grabbing stunt will form part of Objection – the Pavilion of Humanity created by her and the artist Michal Cole that will transform a Venetian villa “to give an artistic home to women’s rights and freedom of speech”.
Give enough money, and the Goodman Theater will invite you to cast parties (occasionally in London as well as Chicago), the Lincoln Park Zoo might take you to Tanzania, the Adler Planetarium might take you to view a solar eclipse in China, and the Chicago Symphony might take you along on tour.
“There’s little doubt that e-commerce companies have dramatically changed the retail industry, and delivered enormous gains in efficiency and productivity. Yes, there would be more traditional retail jobs in this country if Amazon didn’t exist. Companies like Amazon are able to produce the same amount of economic activity as traditional retailers, with many fewer man hours of work. But, in general, those kinds of productivity increases are considered a good thing; it’s virtually impossible for the economy to grow in a meaningful way without such leaps in productivity.”
The Polish historian Pawel Machcewicz has been dismissed from his role as director of the newly-opened Second World War Museum in Gdansk, one of the world’s largest historical museums. The move comes shortly after a court ruling paved the way for a controversial merger with the still-unbuilt Westerplatte Museum, allowing Poland’s right-wing PiS government to create a new state-sanctioned institution.
The study found that cultural organizations’ strongest impact on social wellbeing is not in areas with the largest number of resources, but rather in lower-income districts where the social connections they facilitate operate as a form of capital, substituting for the financial capital available in other places. As SIAP writes: “culture makes a difference in these communities by enhancing social connection, amplifying community voice, and animating the public environment.”
In 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a major address on the worldwide importance of an “internet freedom agenda”; in 2017, one could forgive her for being a bit ambivalent about that. “The internet freedom agenda presumed the benefits of the free flow of information only cut one way: in favor of open societies, values, and ideals. But we’re now seeing that its destabilizing effects cut both ways. And that doesn’t bode well for the borderless internet we enjoy today.” Ben Moskowitz considers the pros and cons.
“To go shopping and see artists at work, perhaps talk to them, watch rehearsals, maybe see performances, interact with arts education programs, poetry slams, dance companies, film makers and on and on might be a very attractive lure to the public. And that might help retailers. And this might be a golden opportunity for us to target Millennials, even younger people, and to build public will in support of the arts.”
“If you’re not getting education in school about drama and theatre studies, or if you’re not being taken on school trips, you certainly might not realise that performing is an option, and if you don’t go to those things, you will never realise that there are all these other jobs.”
Former Calgary Opera CEO Bob McPhee: “It’s an enormously sensitive topic, especially in the theatre world, and it is bleeding into the opera world. … So it’s not from a lack of wanting to be sensitive to the issue. I understand. But is there repertoire we stop doing if we can’t accomplish that goal?”
Can the Anglican Church save them? Staff have been laid off, assets sold and some cathedrals have fallen into disrepair. The chairman of a group designed to fix this: “The buildings themselves are a huge problem. It is possible to see a cathedral as an albatross, but they are also our best assets.”
The new podcast “S-Town” and the new Netflix series – named after a popular YA book – “13 Reasons Why” raise a lot of questions. One deals with them well, and ethically, and the other? Not even close.
The rumor got started, and it was a convenient story for people living in a U.S. where Trump is president. “It didn’t much matter that only two of the retailers who attended the summit expressed misgivings about books featuring women and people of color, while the rest maintained that those books were selling well in their shops. The damage was done.”
“Eleven House Republicans are now among more than 150 members of Congress who have signed a letter calling for a slight increase in federal funds to the endowment — a far cry from its elimination, which Mr. Trump is the first president to propose.”
“Rather than disengage from art-making and arts attendance upon graduation, students of school-based music and arts education were significantly more likely (than their peers) to create art in their own lives, and to patronize arts events,”
“When Copenhagen restaurant Noma first won in 2010, 100,000 people tried to book online the following day. And after El Celler de Can Roca’s 2013 victory, its website received 12 million hits. Three extra employees were hired to turn turn down requests for tables, and the waiting list grew to one year, according to chef Joan Roca.”
“The picture is cited on the Russian justice ministry’s list of banned ‘extremist’ materials – a list that is 4,074 entries long. No 4,071 states that the poster, depicting Putin with painted eyes and lips, implies ‘the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation’.” Consequently, folks are having a field day on social media …
It’s Elaine Bedell, who was director of entertainment and comedy at ITV. “As well as becoming the organisation’s first woman chief executive in its 66-year history, her appointment alongside Susan Gilchrist as chair and Jude Kelly as artistic director will mean that the arts centre – Europe’s largest – has an all-female leadership team.”
“Net domestic migration to New York City metro area (which includes the five boroughs plus slivers of New Jersey and Pennsylvania) is down by a whopping 900,000 people since 2010. That means that, since 2010, almost a million more people have left New York for somewhere else in America than have moved to New York from another U.S. metro—more than any other metro in the country. This is the “fleeing” that the Post finds so “alarming.” But the New York metro has also netted about 850,000 international migrants since 2010. That number is also tops among all metros—more than Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, combined. So, that’s the story of New York City, today.”
“Should an artist be prohibited from painting certain subjects because of her background, and what happens to the fluidity of culture if artists are fenced-in by their identities and ethnicities? Does perceived injustice resulting from the appropriation of black suffering justify censorship? Or is the destruction of art fundamentally illiberal?”
“There is currently a rise in interest in the work of artists in areas of conflict. This work runs the risk of ascribing too much power to art, whereby it is seen as a potential panacea to the ills of the world.”
University of Chicago sociologist Eve L. Ewing: “Art creates pathways for subversion, for political understanding and solidarity among coalition builders. Art teaches us that lives other than our own have value. … Authoritarian leaders throughout history have intuited this fact and have acted accordingly.”
Thomas Beller writes about “Internet Noise,” a piece of software that will load your history with countless randomly generated search requests – the idea being that your real history will be drowned within all the “noise.” Brilliant? Or quixotic? (Quixotic, we’re afraid.)
“In order to achieve a truly relational exchange between maker and recipient, the group’s founders conceived of a radically new approach: creating elaborately crafted performances for an audience of one. Since its inception in 2001, the group has selected one audience member per year through a call for applications and spent months composing a piece exclusively for her. It’s a provocative idea, and one that challenges some of our most cherished assumptions about art and its purpose.”
“Funders and donors, if you are restricting funding and focusing on “overhead,” you are actively preventing nonprofits from doing their work. You are helping to spread the fires of injustice. And at the same time, you are also disenfranchising the organizations led by communities of color and other communities most affected by inequity.”