Marvel had already canceled its New York Comic Con “activation” event with bombmaker/dronemaker/etc. Northrup Grumman, and now the partnership is over entirely. “Fans immediately called out Marvel for seemingly promoting the military-industrial complex to children, and cited the fact that Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) eventually gave up manufacturing war materials, pointing out that a partnership with a military contractor was antithetical to Stark’s character development.”
There are several notable ways in which civically engaged arts organizations differ from more market-driven arts organizations, including: they maintain stronger networks with other community organizations such as schools, senior centers, etc.; they consider civic engagement a key force driving the mission; they’re consciously aware of their nonprofit status.
A Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance report “shows a nearly 25 percent percent increase in economic impact over 2011, measured in direct spending by audiences and art organizations and estimated indirect spending. It also shows a 32 percent increase in city tax revenue, attributable to the arts sector.”
“The recently completed … Lewis Center for the Arts complex is the largest single development in Princeton University history. Its 23 acres include a new train station, new restaurants, and three interconnected buildings housing state-of-the-art performance and rehearsal spaces. The centerpiece is the 139,000-square-foot building where all the disciplines rub against one another in an open plan – an orchestra rehearsal room is next to the black-box theater, which is next to a white cube exhibitions art gallery.”
The problem with Creative Canada isn’t that it devotes money to artists. It’s that it treats those artists as tech entrepreneurs. The ethos of Silicon Valley is encoded into the very dna of our new policy framework. Artists, says Creative Canada, are valued not for the art they produce but for “playing a critical role in driving innovation.” The plan answers the call “for developing the business, technology and entrepreneurial skills of Canadian artists and creators.”
“Several things dragged the Minister down, some quite unnecessarily. It was a mistake for her to pose as a champion of consumers while waving away a tax that would have cost Netflix subscribers less than a dollar a month. She seemed not to realize that tax fairness is also a potent issue – especially when the lack of it directly penalizes Canadian companies competing with Neflix for audiences. Or, more likely, she was instructed not to let anything divert her from the mission of keeping Neflix tax-free. And why?”
A problem arises if culture becomes simply a means to a non-cultural policy end. As Eleonora Belfiore argued, “if the logic of the instrumental view of culture… is taken to its extreme (but intrinsically consequential) conclusions, there would be no point in having a cultural policy at all”. Does an increasing emphasis on non-cultural policy intentions (health, wellbeing, etc) lead to a loss of meaning for cultural policy in its own terms? If so, what are the implications for the arts sector?
“What happens if, despite the sincerest of intentions and tireless efforts to integrate, most organizations rooted in European forms of artistic expression never achieve anything close to proportionate representation of the demographics of their communities? What then?”
“When he got to Bilbao a month before [the Guggenheim Bilbao] opened, says Frank Gehry, ‘I went over the hill and saw it shining there. I thought: ‘What the f*** have I done to these people?” … The museum was opened 20 years ago this month, by the king and queen of Spain, since when it has become the most influential building of modern times. It has given its name to the ‘Bilbao effect’ – a phenomenon whereby cultural investment plus showy architecture is supposed to equal economic uplift for cities down on their luck.” Rowan Moore looks at Gehry’s icon and his thoughts about it (he hates the idea of a “Bilbao Effect”) and at why the phenomenon hasn’t worked so well in other cities that have tried it.
“Opera North is great at delivering obscure fan references, classical music in-jokes and offering a creative approach to backstage insight. In recent years its online and offline communications have captured the spirit of life behind the curtain. When we work in the arts it’s easy to forget how special the view from the wings can be, and its campaigns for Kiss Me Kate, Eight Little Greats (which tours this autumn) and its season guides feature artistic photography opening up what’s usually unseen for its fans. And for those new to opera, exclusive access is a great way to welcome them into the club – it’s almost like you’re one of the team.”
“San Francisco is now bohemian in name only. Anger and the anarchist’s persona have given way, under the weight of postmodernism, to politesse and pragmatism. And now more than ever the artist’s world is less in the hands of artists than arts administrators and boards. The new conviction is in negotiation and community building, and seeing everyone, regardless of occupation, on the same continuum of creativity.”
Derick Almena, 47, the lead tenant of the Oakland warehouse and leader of its jury-rigging into an artists’ live-work complex, and Max Harris, 27, creative director of the complex and organizer of the party last December where the deadly fire broke out, face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. They were arrested in June and remain in jail, with bail at $750,000.
“Claims Adjusting Group has reserved $3.1 million to pay Chor Ng, who owns the [Oakland] Fruitvale District warehouse and adjacent properties, to cover her basic property loss and liability policy. … However, Ng’s $6 million liability insurance maximum will likely never make its way to the dozens of victims suing her and other agencies for the deadly fire, one insurance expert says.”
The plaintiffs were injured in a 1997 attack by Hamas in Jerusalem and received a federal court ruling that the government of Iran, as a funder of Hamas, was liable for their injuries. In 2003, plaintiffs won a $71 million default judgment against Iran (which refused to participate in the case), and they tried to have seized Persian antiquities on loan to several US museums, including the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. As Martha Lufkin reports, the case now turns on the terrorism exception in sovereign-immunity law and on what qualifies as “commercial activity.”
More arts organisations are using the internet and digital technology for revenue generation – such as by selling tickets online or accepting donations – and they are increasingly using technology to enhance audience engagement. But overall they are engaging in fewer ‘digital activities’.
“More than 200 residents at the [involved] care homes benefited from the study, which integrated creative workshops into its dementia care for a six-month trial period. All participating homes have since introduced the workshops to the list of activities full time. The benefits included a positive impact on mental health, improved self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as improved cognitive ability and memory recall from the musical activities.”
Deputy Mayor Jean‑Louis Missika: “The role of the city is changing. Thus far, Paris has been pursuing its architectural interests through public buildings, such as libraries, museums, and schools. As for other buildings and property suitable for revitalization, it was mostly about maximizing profit. In this competition, it is the most inventive and truly innovative project that wins.”
“Nearly a third of the states had virtually no functioning general arts advocacy organization. An additional 15% had a barely functioning organization. That’s nearly half of all states with only minimal assets and resources to carry on the important work of arts advocacy – at the federal, state and local levels. This is a major issue for the field, and has been percolating for quite some time.”
The gap in attendance between adults living in the 20% most deprived areas and the 20% least deprived has fallen to its lowest in five years, to 15 percentage points – down from 18 percentage points in 2012, and 21 percentage points in 2014.
For instance, after the nightclub shooting in Orlando, a curator and her staff “drove a van through the streets in the weeks after the shooting, collecting drawings, cards and other objects from impromptu memorials, and putting up signs explaining that the tributes were being taken to a museum. Later, when the crime scene investigators were finished, she returned and persuaded the owner of the nightclub to let her have for the collection a bullet-riddled door from the bathroom and a cabinet where people had hidden.”
Matilda lavishly depicts the true story of Czar Nicholas II’s affair with a ballerina – but the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the Czar in 2000, and now there have been Molotov cocktails, arson, and threats to burn down (or blow up) movie theaters that show the film.
That, from the creator of Hamilton, comes after the man supposed to be running the country claimed that hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico “wanted everything done for them.” Miranda added, repeated his claim and added quite a bit more, and you can see it all (of course) on Twitter.
“The images spread as they do because, taken together, they can seem to reveal hidden truths about a president who remains, for all his spotlighting and swaggering, a cipher. This is an era, after all, in which the American public, primed with Making a Murderer and American Crime Story and NCIS, embraces forensic analysis as a form of entertainment. In that context, each new image of the president, and each image of the people and things surrounding him, takes on not only the quality of art—provocative, illustrative, asking to be analyzed—but also the quality of a mystery.”
Chris Jones writes that the deal “is, at its core, an acknowledgment that it is no longer viable for even a world-class institution like the Lyric to sustain, maintain, operate and program a huge opera house entirely with productions of the repertory for which it was built.” But there’s more to it than that, Jones finds, and the benefits aren’t only about saving money.
Although many people don’t realize it yet, grocery shopping and cooking are in a long-term decline. They are shifting from a mass category, based on a daily activity, to a niche activity that a few people do only some of the time. Only 10% of consumers now love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it. That means that the percentage of Americans who really love to cook has dropped by about one-third in a fairly short period of time.
Policy governing Canadian culture – the government considers everything from movies and television to virtual reality under this umbrella – is wide-ranging and the broadcasting, media and cultural industries are worth nearly $50-billion. Changes this broad haven’t been seen in more than a quarter-century.
UC Berkeley economist Jesse Rothstein “found that differences in local labor markets – for example, how similar industries can vary across different communities – and marriage patterns, such as higher concentrations of single-parent households, seemed to make much more of a difference than school quality. For Rothstein, there’s no reason to assume that improving schools will be necessary or sufficient for improving someone’s economic prospects. ‘We can’t educate people out of this problem,’ he says.”
Yes, for years the right-wing media complex has been accusing Snopes of liberal bias whenever it fact-checks a lie or myth the right likes, and in today’s climate that situation has only gotten worse. Add to that the very bitter divorce of the site’s founders, David and Barbara Mikkelson, and a financial dispute between David and the site’s new co-owners that includes accusations of embezzlement, and Snopes is having a rough time of it.
“When the Kimmel programs the plaza and streetscape, as it does with festivals and summer solstice parties, the vibe is superb. … But when there’s nothing going on there, as is the case many daylight hours during the week, it’s just you, a security guard or two, and the psychic tumbleweeds. To have Center City charged with workers, shoppers, and students as the Kimmel sleeps is an oddly squandered opportunity at a time when the arts are looking for all the friends they can get.”
“Images that were categorized as computer-generated were rated as visually less pleasing,” the researchers report in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. This held true whether participants appraised their quality before or after classifying its likely genesis. (They were pretty bad at guessing: The mean accuracy rate was only 52.5 percent.)