Yale To Build A Major New Cultural Commons

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“With the transformation, Yale would be among the best equipped universities in the Northeast for arts programming while the expansion would help New Haven, a struggling city where the university is a major employer as well as tourist draw, with its two art galleries and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.”

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When Will U.S. Museum Directors Reflect America’s Demographics?

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“The impending influx of new blood at the top offers museums an opportunity to rethink the job and question many of the assumptions that underlie traditional museum operations: the emphasis on splendid buildings, the primacy of curatorial authority and the balance between rich donors, for whom museums are often personal vanity projects, and the public, who see museums as shared common goods.”

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Study: Facebook Doesn’t Create Echo Chamber, Our Behavior Does

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“In a new peer-reviewed study published today in Science, Facebook data scientists have for the first time tried to quantify how much the social network’s formula for its News Feed isolates its users from divergent opinions. According to their findings, Facebook’s own algorithms aren’t to blame. It’s us.”

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Does Tory UK Election Win Mean Disaster For The Arts?

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“Proposals for further enormous cuts that have more to do with ideology than necessity, combined with the Conservatives’ politically desperate promises not to destroy the NHS or education, mean the cultural sector will effectively be demolished by a second Cameron government.”

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At Venice Biennale, A Historic Church Becomes A Real Working Mosque

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On Friday, the old Santa Maria della Misericordia “will open its doors as a functioning mosque, its Baroque walls adorned with Arabic script, its floor covered with a prayer rug angled toward Mecca and its crucifix mosaics hidden behind a towering mihrab, or prayer niche.” The project constitutes all of Iceland’s pavilion, and it has evoked more than a little ambivalence, despite a centuries-long Muslim presence in the city.

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The Arts Patron Of Teheran

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“Almost overnight nearly all of Tehran’s billboards, which are owned by the city and are a prime source of income, stopped showcasing South Korean dishwashers and the latest bank interest rates (now 22 percent) and sported still lifes by Rembrandt and images by the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.”

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Who Isn’t Consuming The Arts? And Why Aren’t They?

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“When large numbers of people face barriers to participating in the arts in the way they might want to, we know that we’re missing opportunities to improve people’s lives in concrete and meaningful ways. What’s really behind this phenomenon of lower participation rates among economically disadvantaged people? And what can, and should, we do about it?”

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The Tug Of War Between Talent And Practice

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“Talent is a destructive myth. To call someone talented is to imply that their abilities are intrinsic. Having written and taught for decades now, I’ve satisfied myself that the improvement of a person’s art isn’t drawn from the mystical well of their soul: it’s generated by practice.”

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Charlie Hebdo Staffers Get Standing Ovation At PEN Gala, Despite Controversy Over Honoring Them

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“Two members of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, took the stage to a thundering standing ovation at PEN American Center’s literary gala on Tuesday night, capping a 10-day debate over free speech, blasphemy and Islamophobia that started in the cozy heart of the New York literary world and spread to social media and op-ed pages worldwide.”

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UK Lottery Generates Record Amount For The Arts

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“£1.8 billion was shared between the Lottery Good Causes, of which the arts receive a 20% share – £359 million – alongside other areas such as sports, heritage, health and education. It represents a 2.6% increase on the previous year, which saw Lottery Good Causes benefit from £1.7 billion.”

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A Plea: Let’s Get Arts On The Political Agenda For 2016

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“I hope we can finally appreciate that this is politics in the real world; that the most important story any interest group can tell (and frankly the one that counts the most) is that they have a large committed base that cares about their issue and votes for those who support them; that the most important numbers and data have to do not with how many jobs we create or how much we contribute to the economy, but with how many votes might be at stake for candidates considering whether or not to align with us, and how much money we might raise for those candidates.”

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The Media Needs A History Lesson When Addressing Civic Unrest, Says The Director Of The African-American History Museum

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Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: “In some ways as I watch the media coverage of Baltimore, Ferguson and other things, I’m amazed at how ahistorical the coverage is. How people do not understand that in some ways this is part of a long tradition where people who feel devalued find ways to find a voice.”

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Cuba Kept Artist Tania Bruguera From Receiving Herb Alpert Award

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“Bruguera, an artist known for her challenging works of performance art, which explore everything from the immigrant condition to the nature of police control tactics, was detained in Cuba on multiple occasions early this year after attempting to stage a performance about freedom of expression in Havana’s Revolution Square. The Cuban authorities are still determining whether to file criminal charges against her.”

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Protesters Shut Down NY’s Guggenheim Museum Over Labor Practices

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“At noon today, a group of artists and activists including members of the Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (known as G.U.L.F.) unfurled a large parachute in the atrium of the Guggenheim Museum, demanding to meet with a member of the institution’s board of trustees to discuss the labor conditions at its Abu Dhabi site.”

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New York City To Develop A Plan For Culture

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“The legislation, which the City Council passed by a vote of 49 to 0 on Tuesday, requires the city to analyze its current cultural priorities, assess how service to different neighborhoods can be improved, study the condition of arts organizations and artists, and plan how the city can remain artist-friendly in a time of high rents and other economic pressures.”

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What We Need In The Arts Is More Whistleblowers

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“Sometimes, our instinct to protect each other does more harm than good. … Why don’t we call each other out more? Identify the bad apples for the greater good? Imagine: if every money-wasting incompetence or petty dishonesty was called to account, what would the savings amount to?”

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