“The company is looking for a 2-per-cent rollback [in compensation] across the organization. … The atmosphere among staff has been described by someone with knowledge of the situation as ‘a bit of a revolt.'”
“Most studies assume that the relationship between diversity and creativity is linear, but recent evidence suggests that a moderate degree of diversity is more beneficial than a higher dose. This finding is consistent with the too-much-of-a-good-thing paradigm in management science, which provides compelling evidence for the idea that even the most desirable qualities have a dark side if taken to the extreme. In other words, all things are good in moderation (except moderation).”
Brian Feldman looks at Twitter, Reddit, and especially Tumblr – all of which have enormous user bases but still have trouble turning a profit – and why they’re so friendly to creative expression and sharing but likely doomed never to earn Facebook-level revenues.
The rich have, Daniel Drezner writes, empowered a new kind of thinker—the “thought leader”—at the expense of the much-fretted-over “public intellectual.” Whereas public intellectuals like Noam Chomsky or Martha Nussbaum are skeptical and analytical, thought leaders like Thomas Friedman and Sheryl Sandberg “develop their own singular lens to explain the world, and then proselytize that worldview to anyone within earshot.”
Gov. Jerry Brown and the state legislature have increased the annual budget of the California Arts Council by $6.8 million to a total, for 2017-18, of $19.48 million. And the extra funding is not one-time; it’s permanent.
“Dr. Fontein, a renowned Asian art curator and historian who restored the MFA to solid financial footing when he took over after a period of internal strife at the museum, … ushered the institution into the modern era of museums as cultural marketplaces, overseeing the fund-raising and creation of the I.M. Pei-designed west wing that included expansive shops, restaurants, auditoriums, and galleries.”
Kristen Arnett: “Florida is no place for those who want to view it from a safe distance. This state is invasive, creeping, needy. Hardy and scrabbling, our peninsula’s sour with poison and rot and choking vines. You fight for the right to live in its greenery, and once you’ve finally carved out a space, you stay tangled in the wreck. Once you’ve left, there’s no coming back. The best you can do is hack out a different life somewhere else. This place isn’t yours to write about. It’s barely mine.”
Mike Hale writes about the Roman Porno Reboot Project, in which the Nikkatsu studio asked five directors to put a contemporary spin on roman porno (short for “romantic pornography”), the rigidly formulaic genre that saved the studio when it hit hard times 46 years ago. (Among the results: Aroused by Gymnopédies – yes, the Satie piano pieces.)
Marina Harss talks to Betsy McBride, who left her longtime berth at Texas Ballet Theater for a contract with ABT, about why she made the change and what it’s been like.
What happens when the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit asks artists to make work from items found where most of America shops, with a total budget of $99? “Just like stock in a dollar shop, there’s an astonishing range of quality: Some offerings appear perfunctory and flimsy, while other works — the true bargains — thoughtfully engage the assignment.”
Maybe it’s easier to say what it isn’t than what it is. “There has been a strong tradition among the genre’s commentators to reject imposters and poor substitutes: genuine essays must not be confused with stories, and formulaic school writing … and worst of all, scholarly articles.”
The Academy added The Rock, Jordan Peele (director of “Get Out”), Barry Jenkins (director of “Moonlight”), Gal Godot (um, Wonder Woman), and even Betty White (of “The Golden Girls,” which rather brings up a question of why she wasn’t in it before now). Good work, good work, but “even with the big names and numbers, the overall change in the demographics of the academy has been incremental.” Whoops.
“Mr. Abumrad, 44, is a lifelong pianist, and studied composition at Oberlin – where there were some ‘leftover lefties from the ’60s who were teaching 12-tone still, for some reason,’ he said in a recent interview … As [he] has become one of the most innovative radio producers of his generation, he continues to moonlight as a composer.”
In a spirit of solidarity (or so they thought) with Communist rebels in Nationalist China, the Bolshoi developed The Red Poppy in 1927, and it became a huge hit all over the Soviet Union. When Mao and his delegation visited Moscow shortly after the Chinese Revolution, the Bolshoi enthusiastically revived The Red Poppy as a tribute. As writer Eveline Chao explains, the visitors from Beijing were not flattered.
“The act of showing up is a civic ritual with great power. The ancient Greeks knew this. In their theaters, which seated over 10,000 people, audiences wrestled collectively with stories of utmost importance to the state. … However, I think that audiences’ most important political power stems from a slightly different concept. …”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced “that it would increase the Oscar voting pool to 8,427 people – a record high – by extending membership invitations to 774 entertainment industry professionals … If all the invitations are accepted, female membership would rise to 28 percent, from 27 percent. The percentage of minority members would climb to 13 percent, from 11 percent.”
Cheltenham Music Festival artistic director Meurig Bowen writes about Classical Mixtape, an event he’s designed “to face head-on all those perceived barriers” – six of them, in particular – “that people come up against with classical concerts.”
The trailer containing the St. Paul Ballet’s portable stage floor, used for more than two dozen community outreach performances annually, was stolen from outside its headquarters over the weekend.
Four functions/dysfunctions of managers
A former professor of mine used to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into kinds of people, and those who don’t. Now, as a professor myself, I would add a third kind: … read more
AJBlog: The Artful Manager Published 2017-06-28
What A Way To Go! Fantasy Coffins from Africa
It may be summer, but it’s school days at Jack Shainman Gallery in Kinderhook, and the revelation this year is – fantasy coffins. These fascinating works, three made by a Ghanaian artist named Paa Joe, are unlike … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-06-28
Music Theater Where Truth Can Appear
The last time we looked it was a work in progress. That was a year ago. William Osborne and Abbie Conant had been working on it for so long, Osborne said at the time, that … read more
AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2017-06-28
The director said “he plans to concentrate on his other job, leading the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C.” What will happen to the Lincoln Center Festival? That’s unclear; “keeping the festival world-class and fresh, year after year, is a challenge, and some critics have warned that Lincoln Center’s was growing stale.”
How the books, which have sold millions worldwide and been translated into dozens of languages, got their start: “The story began on Christmas Eve 1956, when he was working as a BBC TV camera operator. On his way home, he stopped by Selfridges department store and spotted a toy bear alone on a shelf. ‘It looked rather forlorn,’ he told the London newspaper The Sunday Telegraph in 2007. He took the bear home as a stocking stuffer for his wife and soon began writing a story about it. After 10 days he had a completed novel, which William Collins & Sons bought for £75.”
The actor, who also had roles in action movies like ‘John Wick’ and ‘Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol,’ had lung cancer. “Nyqvist got his start training at the Malmö Theatre Academy, one of Sweden’s leading theaters and where Ingmar Bergman would frequently stage productions in the 1950s” – and one of his big screen breaks came in a BET series about Nelson Mandela.
Just what those issues are hasn’t been stated, but that’s the phrase used in the announcement that the 76-year-old pianist won’t be making a scheduled appearance in Athens next month. Last week she cancelled what was to have been her Australian debut, saying in a statement, “I am unable to travel and play in this moment, feel very weak, exhausted and having physical pains that worry me.”