A Museum Of Death (Two Of Them, Actually)

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“Imagine cases of letters from Jeffrey Dahmer, funerary garments that clothe a corpse for casket viewing, ornate Tibetan kapala skulls, crime scene photographs, an autopsy video, and oddball items like underwear Aileen Wuornos wore on death row.” (Not to mention Dr. Kevorkian’s Thanatron.)

Combat Gender And Racial Bias In Publishing By Reorganizing The Bookstop

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“Since reading McDougall’s article, I have changed the way I approach my job, as have several of my colleagues at Foyles. I am reading more books in translation, more books by writers from different racial or cultural backgrounds to my own and vastly more books by women. As a result I have included more books in these categories as my staff picks, not to achieve quotas, but because they are bloody good books.”

Kinda Sorta REALLY Creepy – Festival Using Facial Recognition Software To Scan Audience Faces

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“Strategically placed cameras will scan faces at the Download Festival site in Donnington before comparing [them] with a database of custody images from across Europe. It is one of the first times it has been trialled outside, normally it is done in a controlled environment. There has been a lot of interest from other festivals and they are saying: ‘If it works, can we borrow it?’”

Has Britain’s National Trust Lost Its Way In The “Visitor Experience”?

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National Trust Property Ickworth House.
The library where the central furniture, much of it was commissioned by the 1st Marquess of Bristol in the 1820s, has been placed in storage to provide space for bean bags for visitors to use.

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This idol now reigns supreme in the NT’s culture: the “visitor experience” of shop, café, loos, car parks and fun for all the family, banishing the dark spectre of “elitism” and making everything ever more “accessible”, has become its religion, superseding a basic respect for the integrity and dignity of what it is charged with conserving and cherishing.

How Artists Are Trying To Fix Baltimore

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The spirit of rebirth reveals itself in many ways. But nobody is talking about returning the area to the tailored elegance of a century ago. Baltimore is to Washington what Bologna once was to Rome. Affordable. And uninhibited by pretensions that stifle innovation.

Ford Foundation Re-prioritizes – Will Make All Its Grants To Fight Inequality

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“Ford joins a growing number of foundations pouring more money into programs that fight inequality. But its plans to look at every grant to ask how it reduces inequality is a more stringent approach than other foundations have taken. That said, the foundation is taking a broad interpretation of inequality — looking not just at wealth, race, ethnicity, and gender but also access to technology and the arts.”

Cooper Union President And Five Trustees Quit In Bitter Dispute

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“Recent controversial decisions — including the board’s announcement last year that Cooper Union would abandon its tuition-free model — and the dismissal of Jamshred Bharucha, who is deeply unpopular with many student and alumni groups and the New York State attorney general, have led to contention and unrest at the New York City college, especially among the leadership ranks.”

USC’s MFA Class Quit Their School. The Reasons They Quit Are Present At Arts Schools Across America

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“In fine art, innovation means pushing oneself beyond aesthetic tropes and posing what are often extremely uncomfortable questions. It has nothing to do with innovating the way corporations can use metrics and data to monetize the social behaviors of everyday people. Sure, there are plenty of artists who are cash-hungry, capitalist pigs. But…”

Why Do Elite Arts Organization Pay Their CEO’s So Much?

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“The art museum director pool of qualified leaders is very small and the demand very high. This fact causes museum directors to be among the highest compensated among nonprofit professionals (higher than college presidents, theater managing directors, social service executives, etc.). And boards are eager to hold onto their director, by offering deferred compensation and bonuses to retain CEOs and to keep them happy.”

Is Costa Rica’s Most Beloved Children’s Book A Racist Caricature?

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“The book has long been compulsory reading in the Central American nation’s schools and has even given its name to various businesses, including the tourism website cocori.com. But now it is coming under scrutiny as never before. Members of Costa Rica’s black community – about 8 percent of the 4.9 million population – increasingly view it as a skewed interpretation of their identity by its white author.”

London Mayor Guarantees Public Monies For Garden Bridge

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“The London mayor had promised that no more public money would be used on the project, following a £30m injection of cash by Transport for London. But Johnson has decided that the capital’s taxpayers will guarantee the future maintenance of the bridge – a decision that could mean considerable extra funding in future years.”

Britain Won’t Grant Visa To Actors From The Republic Of Georgia

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“They are young, single, without dependents and have very little in their bank accounts, so cannot prove satisfactorily that they are ‘genuine’ visitors to the UK and would leave following their performances. Clearly, those who issue these visas have not peeked at the bank accounts of young British artists and seen how very little they earn too.”

Government-Sponsored Special Departments For Trolling

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“The Columbian Chemicals hoax was not some simple prank by a bored sadist. It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention. The perpetrators didn’t just doctor screenshots from CNN; they also created fully functional clones of the websites of Louisiana TV stations and newspapers. The YouTube video of the man watching TV had been tailor-made for the project. A Wikipedia page was even created for the Columbian Chemicals disaster.”

Michael Kaiser: Our Endangered Arts

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“His argument goes like this: In economic terms, the arts are playing a losing hand; in almost every other industry, the costs of production are reduced over time, allowing for more goods to be sold at a lower price point. Innovation and commodification contribute to this process, enabling goods to be produced ever-more cheaply and distributed on a vast scale, which in turn allows for the increasing segmentation of consumer markets and real-time adaptation to changing tastes and expectations. Alas, almost none of this is true for the arts.”

The Confusingly Simple New Canada Council

“There used to be 147 arts grant programs to apply for, divided by discipline – one for poetry, one for choreography, one for operating a gallery, etc. Now there are six general ones, and the Council has boasted of streamlining and simplifying the system. But what do the six categories represent?”

Politically Correct? What’s Wrong With That?

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“What has come to be called “political correctness” used to be known as “good manners” and was considered part of being a decent human being. The term is now employed to write off any speech that is uncomfortably socially conscious, culturally sensitive or just plain left-wing. The term is employed, too often, to shut down free speech in the name of protecting speech.”

Paris Begins Removing Bridge’s Love Locks

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“Tying a “love lock” on to the Pont des Arts before throwing the key into the River Seine beneath has become a tourist tradition in recent years. But part of the bridge’s railings collapsed under the weight last year.”

Producing Queer Theatre In A High School In A Red State

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“This is a state that recently voted against adding LGBTQ people to a list of protected classes. You can be fired for being gay here. Or evicted. It happens all the time. People get married on the bridge between Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota. Queer kids here, many of whom grow up without ever knowingly knowing a queer person, feel incredibly isolated and, because of the legality of discriminatory practices here, have a brave few people to look up to.”