In the face of concerns like North Korea and neo-Nazis, Mr Trump’s rift with the art world seems insignificant. But it is another indicator of the tenor of his presidency and how drastically it breaks with previous administrations of both parties. Indeed, artists have usually attended White House receptions even when they disagreed with the sitting president. Bill Clinton honoured Charlton Heston, a staunch conservative. George W. Bush hosted Barbra Streisand, an ardent Democrat.
“Back in 2008, when Hurricane Ike pummeled Texas, the Galveston Arts Center sustained steep losses. … Art valued at more than $100,000 was ruined, and the storm caused upward of $1 million in damage to the historic, 19th-century bank building that houses the Arts Center. … So this time around, the team was prepared.”
One day in the winter of 1910, Woolf, her brother, and a few others put on fake beards, makeup (blackface, unfortunately), and elaborate robes and turbans (which didn’t look particularly Ethiopian), taught themselves some pidgin Swahili (which they don’t speak in Ethiopia), and talked their way onto the Royal Navy’s newest, highest-tech warship, where they got the proverbial royal treatment.
Researchers have found that, all over the globe, some shade or other of blue is the most widely beloved hue. But that preference does not appear to be based in genetics or otherwise hard-wired – the reasons lie elsewhere.
“The industry excuse for whitewashing is often that bankable star names are needed to make a project commercially viable. Yet few of these examples [that have come in for criticism in the past few years] have been hits.”
Software engineer Zack Thoutt has trained a recurrent neural network (RNN) to predict the events of The Winds of Winter. This machine-learning algorithm is modeled after the human brain—it can quickly analyze text and remember thousands of plot points.
Alyssa Rosenberg: “Both types of period pieces are valuable historical artifacts, not of the events and people they portray, but of previous generations of Americans’ efforts to figure out how they feel about the Civil War. … [What’s more, the film] casts a more gimlet eye on the Confederacy than it often gets credit for.”
“Brash and witty, Mr. Kaminsky developed his reputation at Warner with best sellers like Never-Say-Diet (1980), by Richard Simmons; Megatrends (1982), by John Naisbitt; sequels to The Happy Hooker, by the former madam Xaviera Hollander; potboiler fiction by Andrew Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest; the paperback edition of Judith Krantz’s Scruples; and novels by Nelson DeMille. But his best-known deal was certainly the one that Warner made with a recently disgraced former president: Barely six weeks after [Richard] Nixon resigned in 1974, Mr. Kaminsky signed him to an estimated $2.5 million deal to write his memoirs.”
“Many, many questions remain. Considering how personality-driven the festival was during Helmut Rilling’s long tenure, will a significantly sized audience be willing to show up for a festival that changes direction year to year? Will the festival hold to its Bach roots, or consider them disposable? What is the “true story” behind what appears to be a divorce?”
The report will examine which conditions could be attached as a requirement of council funding at the festival to further these aims. This could result in minimum-hour contracts (as opposed to zero-hour contracts) and the living wage introduced at all council-supported venues, which include the Assembly Rooms.
“Even in a flop-prone industry, the sudden crash of the musical stands out, reflecting competing challenges for commercial theater: the benefits of star power, the hunger for diversity and the high costs of producing on Broadway. Add in Twitter, and things can get messy.”
“Each year up to 14 million people visit the 12th-century Paris landmark on an island in the Seine river. Building began about 850 years ago, but pollution and the passing of time have chipped off large chunks of stone.” Says the chief fundraiser for the repair project, “If we don’t do these restoration works, we’ll risk seeing parts of the exterior structure begin to fall. This is a very serious risk.”
“Company officials said they will try to reschedule ‘Poetry in Motion’ for a later date, but for now they just hope to begin the season with the planned premiere of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s story ballet Mayerling on Sept. 21. As with so many other things across the devastated city this week, that will have to be a wait-and-see matter. The plan depends on the availability of the storm-damaged Wortham [Theater Center], whose basement floors and main stage flooded.”
“Pomerance wrote The Elephant Man for his theater company, Foco Novo, and it became one of the most successful plays to ever come out of London. Set in the Victorian era, it opened in April 1979 on Broadway at the Booth Theatre and went on to play 916 performances and capture the Tony Award for best play.”
New York Festival of Song on a day of wine and roses
The New York Festival of Song is one of those distinctively urban pleasures: Its season is a series of hand-crafted programs often mixing European art song with great American popular music, pairing the right singer with the right music in exactly the right sequence. But I had to re-acquaint myself with NYFOS in the village of Orient on the far North Fork of Long Island after missing it for many years. … read more
AJBlog: Condemned to Music Published 2017-08-29
What’s In A Name: Cuneiform
Curious about the name of a small, imaginative jazz record company named Cuneiform, I asked Joyce Feigenbaum, the company’s publicist, who is married to the owner, how the label’s name came about. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-08-29
“This is an increase of 8.96% on last year’s figures, while the number of productions staged during the event rose by a more modest 3.95% to 3,398. The figures do not include footfall at the 686 free events in the official fringe programme or figures for the two free-fringe programmes not aligned with the official fringe.”
Google, Goldman Sachs, and Medtronic are among the many leading firms that have introduced meditation and other mindfulness practices to their employees. Executives at these and other companies say meditation is not only useful as a stress-reduction tool but can also enhance creativity, opening doors where once there seemed to be only a wall.
A study by the Erasmus University School of Management in Rotterdam surveyed tourists and residents to determine which museums were most popular. Interestingly, the biggest museums were not ranked at the top.
“Within five years, television has changed from the prescribed, September-to-May schedule that has existed since the birth of the medium to a never-ending blitz of new shows that networks struggle to keep up with. And even though Netflix hasn’t toppled the similarly staid film calendar as quickly, it could mark the beginning of the end for movie theaters, if the company’s success so far with TV is anything to go by.”
Thomas Mallon: “Today’s literary reviews too often turn into participation trophies, quiet tour-guide appreciations. Few things, of course, are duller than self-indulgent put-downs; but informed and spirited dismissals are another matter, and they remain in too-short supply.”
Liesl Schillinger: “There’s a distinct line between eulogy and fairness, but every critic knows you make more of a splash when you wield a bludgeon than when you bestow a bouquet. Yet Trollope also recognized that brickbats too readily brandished lose their power to stun.”