“The director told the industry audience gathered at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland, ‘We need to have some serious discussion about diversity’ and he thanked Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, saying ‘she’s trying to do something that needs to be done’ for raising the issue and making it part of the Academy’s current consciousness.”
“I had to cast an Asian actor for Master of None, and it was hard. When you cast a white person, you can get anything you want: ‘You need a white guy with red hair and one arm? Here’s six of ’em!’ But for an Asian character, there were startlingly fewer options. … But I still wonder if we are trying hard enough.”
There’s Eli Broad’s new museum in Los Angeles. Paul Allen’s soon-to-open nonprofit exhibition space in Seattle. The sale by Audey Irmas – her foundation, to be precvise – of her Cy Twombly blackboard. “How can anyone from the outside tell the difference between a collector’s cultural philanthropy and his personal tax strategy?”
Jonathan Chait: “The upsurge of political correctness is not just greasy-kid stuff, and it’s not just a bunch of weird, unfortunate events that somehow keep happening over and over. It’s the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism.”
“‘The stone monument is iconic,’ said [archaeologist] Wolfgang Neubauer … ‘But it’s only a little part of the whole thing.’ Discoveries in the last decade, some via modern technologies like ground-penetrating radar, have revealed more about the people for whom the giant monuments held great meaning.”
“Free admission days do not usually engage affordable access audiences. In fact, data suggest that free days often accomplish the very opposite of their intended purpose for many cultural organizations.”
No, it’s not only poets who do it. “Tao Hongjing was the fictional creation of French artist Alexandre Ouairy, born in Nantes, who assumed the pseudonym a decade ago to sell more art as an unknown foreign name in China. … The ‘Tao Hongjing’ idea was based on a suggestion by his gallerist in Shanghai a decade ago, when the country’s contemporary art market was soaring but the Frenchman’s early exhibitions proved flops.” And it worked.
“There is no human being who, as a result of desiring to build a better life, should be named or declared illegal, and be dispossessed or considered disposable. I would rather propose to call these people Undocumented Dreamers, as were most of the people who founded this country.”
“The museum, she wrote, would examine policies for renting space to third parties and offered to hold a separate gathering there on affordable housing and workspaces. Ms. Pasternak also wrote that she had contacted Ms. Quinter to ‘invite a conversation between the museum and the protest organizers.'”
“What is it with this city, whose custodians, over centuries, seem to be ashamed of having so much natural beauty bestowed upon it and constantly seek ways to diminish it?”
“A few days before the party, a billboard went up over the intersection of Bruckner Boulevard and the Third Avenue Bridge, advertising the so-called ‘Piano District’ to drivers commuting between Manhattan and Westchester County and Connecticut, promising ‘luxury waterfront living’ and ‘world-class dining, fashion, art + architecture.’ Reaching back into the distant, depoliticized past is a great way for developers to imbue a neighborhood with ambient authenticity.”
The new Minister is 36-year-old Mélanie Joly, and – aside from the sheer money that the Trudeau campaign promised during elections – she has grand plans: “I want to make sure that the impact of innovation in arts is part of the process of decision-making in cabinet and in different ministries.”
During the past nine months, the Orlando Sentinel interviewed more than a dozen former midlevel and high-level center staff members. The ex-employees, all of whom said they left of their own accord, characterized their former work environment as “toxic.” All requested anonymity, citing potential damage to their careers; in the close-knit arts world, many will likely need to do business with the center again.
“Last week, the [Greater Philadelphia] Cultural Alliance released 2015 Portfolio: Culture Across Communities, An Eleven-City Snapshot – a data-driven assessment of the nonprofit arts sector with particular attention to post-recession recovery and persistent fiscal challenges. … The cities represented in the report include: Bay Area (San Francisco and San Jose), Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Twin Cities and Washington, D.C.”
“The Rail, which reaches about 20,000 readers a month in print and an additional 200,000 online, is among a group of niche publications that have found ways to defy a media industry increasingly preoccupied with greater scale. For these publications, serving small, often highbrow readerships, it is not possible to follow the prevailing model – gathering audiences of millions, or tens of millions, to be sold for pennies to advertisers or converted to subscribers.”
“Can we who labor for the common good find common cause? Can we activate our collective will to be part of finding solutions that would allow us to dedicate ourselves to work with meaning while also making a decent living—with health care, time off, and savings for when we can’t work?”
“For the first time, L.A. Unified in September completed a detailed accounting of arts programs at its campuses … Arts programs at a vast majority of schools are inadequate, according to district data. Classrooms lack basic supplies. Some orchestra classes don’t have enough instruments. And thousands of elementary and middle school children are not getting any arts instruction.” (complete results of study here)
Rebel Pepper (néWang Liming), who went into exile in Japan following the confiscation of his social media accounts and searches of his house, was one of an ever-rarer breed in the People’s Republic …
The arts are playing an increasingly important role in stimulating the local economies of small towns and rural communities throughout Wisconsin.
“Absorbing a long, complex argument is hard work, requiring students to synthesize, organize and react as they listen. In our time, when any reading assignment longer than a Facebook post seems ponderous, students have little experience doing this.”
“Academic minds around the world are tackling some tough new questions about South Korea: Why do Korean soap opera plotlines seem to defy the basic principles of microeconomic theory? What can we learn about the reinterpretation of locality in Korean rapper Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ music video?”
“It is ludicrous that visitors who are paying tour operators, airlines and hotels, pay nothing to Britain’s museums and art galleries. When you visit a museum as part of a tour party, you are imposing on others. The arrival of a large crowd in front of a museum treasure is disruptive for other visitors. A group can effectively take over an entire room of a museum while the guide gives a lecture. The least you can do, if you visit a museum in this way, is pay entrance fees.”
“A call for a police boycott of the Weinstein Company’s coming film ‘The Hateful Eight’ and other works by Quentin Tarantino has gained support from the National Association of Police Organizations and the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, expanding the backlash to remarks about police violence that Mr. Tarantino made at a rally in New York on Oct. 24.”
“The centrepiece of this £850m development is a massive hotel which the developers would like to be regarded as a ribbon unwrapping a gift. Some local people, however, have bestowed on it the uncharitable appellation ‘the Turd’.”
“By canceling two sessions we sent an unintended message that SXSW not only tolerates online harassment but condones it, and for that we are truly sorry,” said Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW Interactive, in a statement.
“The overall profile of respondents gives an indication of the fragmented nature of the arts workforce as a whole. Just a third (720) of the 2,183 who completed the survey earned their entire income by working in a full-time salaried position on a permanent contract for a single employer, with the rest working either part-time for one or more employers, on temporary or casual contracts, or as freelance workers.”
“Ironically, arts funding remains one area of government that is especially closed to any suggestions of change. It remains wedded to a post-war conception of elite decision making where those that know make the choices about what the rest of the population will most benefit from having subsidised.”
“The decision has been widely panned online, news organizations including Vox Media and BuzzFeed have threatened to not attend, and the situation has been cast as a win for the angry and misogynistic teratoma of trolls that identify themselves as part of the Gamergate movement. Meanwhile, SXSW’s official explanation for the cancellations is a misdirected mess.”
User-experience designer and researcher Caroline Sinders explains the planned focus of the panel (titled “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games”), the abuse she and family members had previously suffered from GamerGate types, the strange dynamic that developed around her panel proposal, and the even stranger responses of SXSW staff.
“The artist will be embedded in the city’s Department of Transportation, to focus on how to save bike riders and pedestrians from being maimed or killed by automobiles.” Says the department’s general manager, “I want somebody who can understand the issues and think of them in different ways.”