The Day I Broke Into James Baldwin’s House On The French Riviera


“I had been told that it was derelict and vacant; that after Baldwin’s death in 1987 there had been legal disputes about who in fact owned the eighteenth-century Provençal building (Baldwin thought he did). The rusty padlock on the austere gates and the broken buzzer confirmed that the house was unoccupied. I glanced furtively around to check that no one was watching and prepared to scale the wall.”

Research Archive Meets Warehouse Meets Database Meets Flea Market: Behold The Accumulibrary


“Unlike modern libraries, the Accumulibrary doesn’t segment or segregate media types. It fails to differentiate documents from things, books from periodicals from pamphlets, devices from objects, the new from the used from the old, the rare from the common. The sole laws that it holds sacred are the law of number and the law of stuff.”

Newport Jazz At 60 – Grandad To The Modern Festival


“For the past 60 years, no institution has done more to help establish jazz as a legitimate art form than Newport and the notion of the jazz festival that Mr. Wein created. Where jazz once rubbed shoulders with pop stars like Frank Sinatra, it now competes for government and corporate funding with opera and chamber music.”

Will Creating An “Arts District” Make A City More Dynamic?


“Dallas is trying to create more “vibrancy” downtown; trying to attract more people and keep them there for longer. One way it is doing that is through its arts district, a truly phenomenal collection of cultural institutions housed in equally impressive buildings, which is just now completing the commercial infrastructure it believes will activate the streetscape both day and night.”

Why The Vienna Philharmonic Sounds Different From Other Orchestras


“The “Vienna sound” has been the subject of reams of music criticism, academic research, acoustical experiments and more than a little debate. Not everyone agrees on precisely what it is — it is sometimes described as plush, warm and rich or sumptuous — but many listeners say that they know it when they hear it.”

Amazon: Hachette Dispute Is About Lower Prices And More Money To Authors

“Books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more,” Amazon said in the statement, which was posted on the forum for its Kindle ebook reader. “If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.”

Orlando Ballet “Needs To Take A Deep Breath,” Says New Boss

orlando ballet logo

“‘We all need to take a deep breath,’ says Jim Mitchell, the ballet’s fourth executive director in three years. During that time, the leadership was in flux and the organization was left homeless after a mold infestation shut down its headquarters in the former Orlando Utilities Commission building.”

Is Your Name Your Destiny?


“Names work hard: They can affect who gets into elite schools, what jobs we apply for, and who gets hired. Our names can even influence what cities we live in, who we befriend, and what products we buy since, we’re attracted to things and places that share similarities to our names.”

Downtown L.A.’s Arts District Is Pricing Out The Artists (It’s An Old Story)

los angeles arts district

“In the 1970s, the streets east of Little Tokyo and west of the L.A. River made up a dingy district of hollowed-out warehouses that landlords rented to artists who needed a lot of space for little money. … [Now, a] new coffee shop moves in every month or so, and it’s hard to walk two minutes in any direction in the 52-block neighborhood without finding a blue-and-white filming notice.”

Hollywood And Kodak Unite To Save Motion Picture Film

movie film kodak

“Faced with the possible extinction of the material that made Hollywood famous, a coalition of studios is close to a deal to keep Eastman Kodak Co. in the business of producing movie film. The negotiations … [should] result in an arrangement where studios promise to buy a set quantity of film for the next several years, even though most movies and television shows these days are shot on digital video.”

Rome’s Opera House Avoids Liquidation (For Now) With Labor Deal

rome opera

“A tentative agreement has been reached between management and unions representing the staff of Rome’s Opera House, following recent strikes over the theatre’s restructuring and salvage plan. The threat of liquidation which had been hanging over the Opera House has been averted, pending an upcoming referendum by unions on the terms of the restructuring programme.”

This Is The Guy To Bring To A Bloody Knife Fight (If You’re Putting It Onstage)

stage fighting

“Death is easy, but for a good eye-gouge, Broadway directors call Rick Sordelet. … A top purveyor of staged mayhem, Mr. Sordelet has created fistfights, sword duels, stabbings and gunplay for some 60 Broadway productions – as well as Hollywood films, the Metropolitan Opera, the 1995 Super Bowl halftime show, and Ben Hur Live.”

London Theatre By The Numbers – This is A Booming Industry


“In 2012/13 more than 22 million people went to a London theatre performance and £618.5m was taken at the box office. London cinema admissions totalled 43 million, meaning the average ticket price would need to be more than £14.40 – which it is not – for cinema to have a bigger box office figure than theatre.”

The Met Opera: Caught Between Competing Realities


“Whether our current opera house model will survive will depend, I believe, on how successfully opera houses attract new artists to create work that speaks as eloquently to the traditions as to present-day audiences.” It’s an open question, however, whether the Met can do so. It certainly cannot while the stage door is padlocked.”

Iraqi Anger As Militants Damage Cultural Heritage


“The angry public reaction to the attacks on Mosul’s cultural history — including the eviction of Christians by militants, which outraged many Muslim residents who celebrate Mosul’s reputation for tolerance — appears to be the first spark of rebellion against harsh Islamic rule.”

Time-Shifted Viewing Increasingly Competes With Live TV (And It’s Changing How Programing Is Done


“In the past year, the volume of DVR playback viewing that occurs during primetime hours has reached the point where the DVR now ranks as the No. 1 network. The ratings generated by viewers opting to watch time-shifted programs — from across the television dial — are equivalent to the averages of the Big Four networks combined.”