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My “Youth vs. Experience” Musings on WNYC’s Radio “Smackdown”

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John Schaefer, referee for WNYC’s “Soundcheck Smackdown”

The undefeated CultureGrrl and my debate opponent, arts consultant Barry Hessenius, floated like a butterfly but didn’t sting like a bee as we danced around the unanswerable question posed at yesterday’s half-hour New York Public Radio Soundcheck Smackdown (for which I borrowed the empowering Wonder Woman costume from the Metropolitan Museum’s display case).

Host John Schaefer (above) asked us who should lead arts organizations—veterans or rookies? The answer, of course, is, “It depends”—on the merits of the candidates and the particular needs of the arts organization. Duh.

Speaking of which, what were all those chauffered limos doing yesterday blocking the entrance driveway of the Metropolitan Museum’s uptown outpost, the Cloisters? A security staffer told CultureSpouse, who was taking CultureMom there for a visit, that the Met’s trustees were cloistered inside—something that he said very rarely happened in Washington Heights (instead of Fifth Avenue). A Philippe-succession conclave, perhaps? Or just a pleasant change of scenery?

But back to WNYC‘s unglamorous studios in Lower Manhattan: In the course of playing rope-a-dope, I did make some comments about the Met succession, as well as general remarks praising the Clark Art Institute’s director, Michael Conforti; maestros Riccardo Muti and Pierre Boulez; the Morgan Library & Museum’s new director, William Griswold; and J. Paul Getty Trust president James Wood (who, unbeknownst to me, while my ears were stuffed between headphones, had just instituted some stringent cost-cutting measures).

What punches did I pull in this title bout? You’ll just have to click below and listen:

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