“Creative Capital has a solidly 21st-century philosophy based on balance, sustainability, validation, and customization. It’s a school of funding-thinking, like a movement: Creative Capitalism.”
“History tells us that it is the Cinderella – or, as the French would say, the Cendrillon – of the world’s great squares. It was born to encourage manufacturing, quickly turned into a region for real estate speculation, then given its permanent, completely irrelevant title in one of the most cynical ‘naming opportunities’ ever conceived before the modern football stadium.”
“Arts Council England chair Peter Bazalgette has made a plea for local authorities to ‘keep the faith’ and continue funding the arts to avoid losing ‘irreplaceable’ organisations.”
“When I’m forced to justify the arts in a narrow outcomes-based context I feel like I’ve already lost, because the reason art is so interesting is how hard it is to pin down to just one dimension. I like to argue like this: we need to make a commitment as a society to paying health care workers, educators, and artists enough to support them as well as any typical worker in our society.”
“A little more than two years after taking the position, Jed Bernstein is stepping down as the president of Lincoln Center, a major job in the nonprofit world that he had come to after a career in the commercial theater. His departure … leaves Lincoln Center in the position of looking for a new leader just as it is trying to begin an ambitious project: the long-delayed renovation of David Geffen [formerly Avery Fisher] Hall.”
“Homintern” – a riff on Lenin’s Comintern – “was the name various people jokingly coined to describe a sprawling, informal network of contacts that occupied a prominent site near the centre of modern life. It may have started as a joke, but it was taken all too seriously by those whom it infuriated.”
Philip Hensher’s list runs from the expected (Proust) to the … well, not (Ellen’s talk show changed the culture?).
“The three-week summer festival offered around 50 ticketed events and a further 100 free outdoor events in the financial centre, spanning classical and contemporary music, visual arts, film and talks. … The organisers laid the blame on the deteriorating climate for arts funding.”
“I’ve come to believe that most marketers target young people because they see everyone else doing it. And they assume that somewhere someone must know why we are doing this. The marketing industry has been spending too much time on another planet. We need to get back down to earth.”
Rick Moody suggested as much in a recent New York Times Book Review essay. George Packer – citing Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin – begs to differ. And what if we suggested the same about European art or music?
“For one long rapturous night, artists will wrest Westminster from the clutches of politicians, creating art from dusk till dawn in public spaces and very private ones … Plenty is programmed, even for the sad suburbanites who have to catch the last tube home, including installation art, theatre, film and dance, and a giant exercise class.”
“These powers can be used to set standards, to lead by example, to show what a stupendously beautiful place, as Johnson might put it, the new ‘densified’ London could be. Instead he has approved all of the projects he has chosen to determine, often overruling boroughs’ opposition.”
“Between 2008 and 2013 states reduced financial support to top public research universities by close to 30 percent. At the same time, these states increased support of prisons by more than 130 percent.”
“In formal economic terms, ‘innovation’ involves the diffusion of new things and practices. The term is completely agnostic about whether these things and practices are good. Crack cocaine, for example, was a highly innovative product in the 1980s, which involved a great deal of entrepreneurship (called ‘dealing’) and generated lots of revenue.”
“The AIF’s research in 2014 found that 58% of people cite overall experience and atmosphere as the main reasons for their purchase of a festival ticket, and that just 7% said it was the headlining acts. This adds credence to the theory that participation is going to be the prevalent theme in modern festival-going.”
Funding artists is great but when the support happens only through the whim of a single funder, the ground might not be stable…
“One thing is certain: the percentage of those who live alone has increased dramatically. In the US, 27% of people live alone, up from 5% in 1920, and in New York City it’s roughly one third. The same trend is evident in Canada, and even more pronounced in Europe – 58% of people in Stockholm live alone, a figure that is considered the highest in Europe.”
These days, “when amateur enthusiasts are as likely to review your work as Fleet Street experts (albeit self-proclaimed) and when most readers, if we’re honest, skim newspaper reviews and skip to the pithier comments, are you entitled to tell the blogger to fuck off as publicly as they rubbish your work when you think they’ve been unfair?” Maybe, suggests Phil Wilmott.
Egypt’s leading contemporary arts space, “Townhouse gallery in central Cairo has been shut to staff after a section of the recently renovated five-storey building collapsed on Wednesday. The neighbouring Cairo Hackerspace, a community workspace for engineers, designers and artists, was completely destroyed.” The attached Rawabet Theatre has reportedly come through without damage.
“When asked about a female Hamlet, 48% did not like the idea. This contrasts with only 15% who were in favour, and 28% who were ‘neutral’. … Of the same sample, nearly a third had positive feelings about a black or minority ethnic Hamlet, compared with 20% who felt negatively about it.”
Creative New Zealand, the island nation’s arts funding body, has warned arts organizations to prepare for 10% reductions in grants. “Creative New Zealand receives two-thirds of its annual revenue from Lotto NZ profits, and is set to receive NZ$11 million less this financial year than in 2013-14.”
“The Belgian artist Jan Fabre has resigned as artistic director after local artists rebelled against his plan to turn Greece’s major arts festival into ‘a tribute to Belgium’ and devote eight of the festival’s 10productions to those from his homeland.”
“The Whitney Plantation is unlocking the grim story of America’s greatest shame, a tale too often masked by a genteel preservationist approach to plantation history that has pasted romantic Gone With The Wind wallpaper over slavery’s appalling reality.”
“The 501(c)(3) model is increasingly challenged and is increasingly limited. Frankly a lot of the most exciting work now—especially among young artists—is not happening in a nonprofit context. We prided ourselves on our “sector purity” when I was growing up, that we were “nonprofit artists.” Young artists want to get the work done, whether it is commercial or nonprofit.”
“What might not have been clear if you followed the news stories and photographs is that there is also a modern town of Palmyra (Arabic Tadmur) adjacent to the ancient site, with tens of thousands of inhabitants. And here in microcosm is an unsettling problem/trend of the entire war.”
“Although the story of Apple’s design success is often presented in purely aesthetic or technological terms, the company’s innovations in that area had political and cultural dimensions, too: they were, among other things, an attempt to pry computer technology out of the hands of a particular group of men.”
Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist for Wicked, Pippin, Godspell and more, has pulled his works from North Carolina because of its new discrimination law. He says, “In the 1970’s, I, along with many other writers and artists, participated in a similar action against apartheid in South Africa, and as you know, this eventually proved to be very effective.”
“When the third version of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, or PIFA, breaks out around town beginning April 8, it will represent a more modest version of the arts extravaganza that ended with 200,000 people thronging a Broad Street fair in April 2011.”
“In a world where sex education is often basic, and porn is everywhere, author Christa Desir wants young adult fiction to be a place where kids can find answers and also questions about consensual sex. ‘What do you want? What’s pleasurable for you?’ she asks. ‘And what’s pleasurable for your partner? And how can you be intimate and it not be awkward?'”
“The country which has the highest per capita income in the world is treating its migrant labourers in conditions described by the Guardian newspaper as “modern-day slavery”. It is persecuting political dissenters and it put its greatest poet in prison and then only released him to avoid embarrassment when the attention of the international art world was briefly focused on the country. Qatar is importing so much from the West: architects, artists, scientists, universities, and much more besides. Why then, as some in the Gulf are brave enough to point out, does it not import freedom and the rule of law?”