Thursday, July 29, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Cautionary Tale: How A Music Festival Went Horribly Wrong

The new HBO film Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage offers a chilling demonstration of how greed, cultural rot, and the vagaries of crowd behavior can make a concert into a generation-defining thing for all the wrong reasons. - The Atlantic

Navigating The Line Between Reality And Imagination

To perceive the outside world, our brain combines signals entering our brains through our eyes with what we expect the world to look like based on our past experiences. This means that our perception of the outside world is strongly influenced by what we believe. - Nautilus

How Conspiracy Theorists Learn To Believe Their Own Fake News

When online surveyor YouGov conducted a survey asking over 8,000 US adults, “Do you believe that the Earth is round or flat?,” only 84 percent of respondents felt certain that the Earth is round. - LitHub

Asian Musicians On What They Really Face In The Classical Industry

"From world-famous musicians to anonymous internet commentators, discrimination toward Asian musicians contains an ugly, common tenor: In this music, they will not replace us." - Van

Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over “Black Widow”

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the simultaneous digital rollout of “Black Widow,” saying it breaches her contract with the company to release the film in theaters first. - Washington Post

About that French Culture Pass…

The French government had the idea to give teenagers a 300 Euro credit (through a phone app) to spend on “culture”. A few limits...

Ten Years

This week marks the tenth anniversary of Engaging Matters. That’s hard for me to believe. In that time this blog has had a little...

Meddling with Medici (Part II): “Unattainable Perfection,” Viewer Disaffection

For many museum visitors, the “Medici” cited in the title of the Metropolitan Museum’s current show (subtitled: “Portraits & Politics, 1512-1570”) will evoke the names of artists from the golden age of Renaissance painting in Florence,

Taneshia Nash Laird shares the power of humanity in the arts

Taneshia Nash Laird, President and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall shares the power of humanity in leading arts organizations.

Dvorak’s Prophecy — “Essential Cultural History”

Kirkus Reviews, which previews books for booksellers, critics, and others in the know, has just previewed my forthcoming Dvorak’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music.

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Navigating The Line Between Reality And Imagination

To perceive the outside world, our brain combines signals entering our brains through our eyes with what we expect the world to look like based on our past experiences. This means that our perception of the outside world is strongly influenced by what we believe. - Nautilus

How Conspiracy Theorists Learn To Believe Their Own Fake News

When online surveyor YouGov conducted a survey asking over 8,000 US adults, “Do you believe that the Earth is round or flat?,” only 84 percent of respondents felt certain that the Earth is round. - LitHub

Lessons From Shared Crises: Community Connection Matters

As the Blitz and other collective crises have taught us, resilience is not a given and has to be managed with an understanding of peoples’ fears and wishes, including their need for connectedness. - Psyche

Our Habits Aren’t Just Mindless — They Actually Help Make Us Smarter

Even our most mundane habitual routines actually display a great deal of intelligence. Indeed, they are often intelligently context-sensitive and flexible in such a way as can support and structure our goals and projects. - Psyche

Why Do We Go To War? It’s Quite Simple, Really

There are only three such impulses: greed, self-defense, and ideas or emotions. - The Nation

Why Framing The Question Is The Most Important Part Of The Debate

Any question, any debate must be formulated. How and whether the question can be resolved is contingent on the way it is formulated. - 3 Quarks Daily

Survey Of LA Artists Documents Instability

The results of the survey are a snapshot of the art community’s struggle for financial stability even before COVID-19 shut down galleries and museums across the city. - Los Angeles Magazine

Which Countries In Europe Are Using “Vaccine Passports” For Arts Venues, And How

"Countries across Europe are extending the use of so called vaccine passports or health passes to allow for entry into bars, cultural sites or sporting events, but some countries are employing them more than others. Here's what you need to know." - The Local

Report: Worldwide Building Of Arts Facilities Was $5.9 Billion Last Year

Despite last year’s dip, there’s reason to think that the cultural sector is coming back strong. Even amid global uncertainty about travel, cities doubled down on investment in cultural attractions. - Artnet

Young People Are Using France’s Culture Pass To Buy … Manga

Granted, the program was only just gearing up when the pandemic closed arts venues, but officials' hopes that 18-year-olds would use their few-strings-attached €300 to sample high culture are being punctured by reality. - The New York Times

‘Total Public-Led Reboot’ Necessary For Arts Sector In Australia To Survive COVID: Study

"Australia's arts and cultural sector needs a reconstruction program of substantial, coordinated and sustained public investment if it is to survive, let alone 'snap back', after the COVID shutdown that has shredded the plans and budgets of arts organisations and artists." - The Guardian

Abusive Philanthropy…

When donors require stewardship – due to insistent input on the inner workings of the organization, threats of withholding financial support, or continual adamant requirements to be thanked or recognized at every possible opportunity – the organization is drained of its energy. - LinkedIn

Cautionary Tale: How A Music Festival Went Horribly Wrong

The new HBO film Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage offers a chilling demonstration of how greed, cultural rot, and the vagaries of crowd behavior can make a concert into a generation-defining thing for all the wrong reasons. - The Atlantic

Asian Musicians On What They Really Face In The Classical Industry

"From world-famous musicians to anonymous internet commentators, discrimination toward Asian musicians contains an ugly, common tenor: In this music, they will not replace us." - Van

Spotify Now Has 165 Million Subscribers – More Than Apple And Amazon Combined

As for the rest of Spotify’s Q2 2021, the company reported 365 million monthly active users—a growth of 22% YOY. Total revenue was €2.33 billion, or about $2.75 billion. That’s an increase of 23% YOY. - Fast Company

West African Talking Drums Really Can Imitate Speech, Say Researchers

Yorùbá speech, that is. The West African language is tonal, using three different pitches, and dùndún drummers can adjust the tension on their drum heads to change pitch, stroke by stroke, to match Yorùbá syllables and words. - Smithsonian Magazine

12th-Century Organ, By Far The World’s Oldest, To Be Reconstructed

The pipes and carillon bells of the instrument were discovered a century ago at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Scholar-performer David Catalunya says the pipes are near-perfectly intact and that, over the next five years, he'll make them playable again. - Aleteia

Simon Rattle: We’ve Lost Many Musicians in the Pandemic

“Many of the first-choice people said, ‘Look I’m sorry, I’m not doing this any more. I have a family. I had to take another profession. Six months ago, I’d have welcomed it’,” he said. - The Guardian

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Artistic Director – Cincinnati Ballet

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Director of Development

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Michigan Opera Theatre seeks Director of Marketing and Communication

With the appointment of Artistic Director Yuval Sharon and Associate Artistic Director Christine Goerke, MOT’s Director of Marketing and Communications is crucial in expressing the company's commitment to re-define the experience of opera in Detroit.

Manager of Operations at the Jacksonville Symphony

The Manager of Operations is a flexible, adaptive, and enthusiastic member of the Jacksonville Symphony’s operations team...

InstantEncore To Launch New Digital Program Service

InstantEncore will launch a new service this summer to provide arts organizations with a digital alternative to printed programs.

Apply Now for Fall 2021: CGU MA in Art Business or Arts Management

Be a part of L.A.’s arts community by earning an MA in Art Business or Arts Management at CGU.

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An equal co-leader with Artistic Director John Langs, the Managing Director will create the artistic, financial, and institutional course that will best promote and serve ACT’s mission and values as set forth by the board.

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New Music USA is seeking an experienced, motivated, and highly organized financial professional to join our growing team. This...

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis – Managing Director

Providing strategic leadership and financial oversight, the Managing Director will be responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations, with a particular focus on fundraising

Technical Director, Joyce Theatre

The Joyce Theater is seeking a qualified Technical Director to be part of a three-person production management team.

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It is an exciting growth period for South Arts, and we are looking for someone who wants to be a valuable part of that growth.

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Virtual Docents — The Best Museum Idea To Come Out Of The Pandemic?

The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum developed a way to provide guides when COVID kept them from coming in: visitors can stop at strategically placed monitors and talk with offsite docents in real time. Folks on both sides of the screen seem to love it. - Slate

2,500-Year-Old Etching Of Last King Of Babylon Discovered In Saudi Arabia

Archaeologists found the 6th century BC rock carving of King Nabonidus, along with 26 lines of cuneiform, in the north of the country. - Smithsonian Magazine

Enough With The Era Of Visionary Museum Directors

That era should be over. The director’s job is to set clear priorities for staff, to mentor, coach, and be clear-sighted about what is next; to leverage the expertise of the board; to make hard choices when needed. - Hyperallergic

Design Museum Gets Its 11th Director Since 2013

Some employees said that a carousel of different directors bringing new approaches has exhausted staff, strained relationships with some artists and damaged trust in the board. Former directors described the institution’s woes as reflective of bad board governance. - The New York Times

Why Critics’ Opinions Matter

"I’ll claim that my response to art is more complex than the average museumgoer’s because it’s my professional responsibility—and passion—to be as well informed as I can about what I’m looking at (and where, when, and why I’m looking at it)." - Vasari 21

The Hermitage Hops On The NFT Train

Following in the footsteps of the Uffizi in Florence, the St. Petersburg museum will auction off digital tokens of five works in its collection, one each by Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgione, Monet, van Gogh, and Kandinsky. - Artnet

The Revolving Reputation Of Terence Rattigan, Once Britain’s Favorite Playwright

"His fall from grace in the mid-1950s was sudden and unexpected. From the mid-1930s he'd been the darling of the West End." Then along came the British theatre's Angry Young Men, followed by critic Kenneth Tynan, whose savaging torpedoed Rattigan's plays for a generation. - The Stage

Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre — Under A Microscope

"I hope that the theatre generally, will be open to the idea that when you limit yourself to doing only primarily white theatre for primarily white audiences, there is well over half the city you are excluding.” - American Theatre

“Sunday In The Park With George” Barely Escaped Being A Disaster

First, Stephen Sondheim couldn’t come up with songs because he didn't think James Lapine's script needed any. So began a cascade of calamities, right up to the Broadway opening, until the show shocked everyone involved by getting 10 Tony nominations and a Pulitzer Prize. - The New York Times

Theatre Critic Assumes Fellow Critic Is White, Then Has To Reassess When She Discovers Otherwise

I felt ashamed of my mistake, for not seeing a colleague for who he really is. “How limited your perception is, Lily!” I thought. And: “I wonder how much else I miss?” Probably, I decided, quite a bit. - San Francisco Chronicle

Charles McNulty Panned A Play. The Playwright’s Hurt Father Wrote Him, And That Got McNulty Thinking

"Generosity for generosity's sake will only hasten (critics') redundancy. But candor and compassion aren't antithetical terms." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Study: Seeing Theatre Increases Empathy, Influences Behavior

Seeing theatre changed people’s behavior. After seeing the plays, people donated more to charity — whether or not the charity was related to the topics in the plays.” - Psypost

…As The Dance World Returns Without Me…

"These days, dance brings me a deep pain and pronounced lack of joy that I never fathomed it could. The excitement with which I cheer on my friends as they return to in-person performances is mixed with a bitter and, dare I say, resentful sadness." - Dance Magazine

TikTok Is Hardly The First Place Where Black Dancers’ Moves Have Been Ripped Off

Alas, the practice goes at least back to the days of jazz dance at the start of the 20th century, when the first legal battles over choreography were fought. - The Conversation

Choreographer Drew McOnie On What Success Looks Like

"Success isn’t how many awards you win, or how many five-star reviews you get. Success is built on how quickly you bounce back, how you take the lessons. Everything in between is just wounded ego.” - The Guardian

Amar Ramasar, Last Remaining NY City Ballet Dancer Involved In Sexting Scandal, Will Retire

The 39-year-old's decision to end his 20-year career with the company next May comes three years after the scandal roiled City Ballet and two weeks after colleague Georgina Pazcoguin revealed in a book that he would regularly tweak her nipples as a greeting. - The New York Times

ABT Executive Director Says She Will Depart To Work On Social Impact Fund

Kara Medoff Barnett will be leaving to lead social impact marketing and strategy at First Republic Bank and develop the recently established First Republic Foundation. - The New York Times

From Cretan Bull-Vaulting To Simone Biles: A Brief History Of Gymnastics

Yes, circa 1500 BC, leaps and vaults were done on or from the back of a live bull, not an inanimate, leather-covered "horse." - Smithsonian Magazine

How A Newspaper Gardening Column Became A Chronicle Of Climate Change

When Jeff Lowenfels began writing for the Anchorage Daily News in 1976, he had not expected that one day one of his readers would grow okra there. (The pod is native to Africa.) - The New York Times Magazine

US Seizes “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet”, Will Return It To Iraq

The 3,500-year-old artifact, covered with cuneiform writing from the "dream" section of The Epic of Gilgamesh, is part of the enormous collection of objects acquired by Hobby Lobby founder Steve Green that turn out to have been illegally looted. - Artnet

Epic Labor Battle At Sydney Bookstore

Such disputes reflect a growing recognition across the publishing industry that the prestige and attractiveness of working in and adjacent to creative and cultural sectors – and the passion of its workers – can also form the preconditions for low wages and insecure work. - The Guardian

The Man Who’s Saving Rohingya Folk Tales

Mohammed Rezuwan is himself one of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya driven out of Myanmar by that country's military and mobs. He now travels around the refugee camps at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, recording and translating his people's traditional stories. - PRX's The World

How Activists Got New York The Beautiful New Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

The much-praised new branch of the New York Public Library, across 5th Avenue from the famous flagship, wasn't supposed to happen. The NYPL board was bent on selling the branch property — until The Nation reported on the plan and advocates set furiously to work. - The Nation

Why English Is Such A Chaotic Collection Of Letters And Pronunciations

From the early Middle Ages, various European languages adopted and adapted the Latin alphabet. So why did English end up with a far more inconsistent orthography than any other? - Aeon

Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over “Black Widow”

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the simultaneous digital rollout of “Black Widow,” saying it breaches her contract with the company to release the film in theaters first. - Washington Post

Netflix CEO: The Movie Business Is In Revolution

 In four short years, Netflix has done more to reshape the way that movies are made, distributed and consumed than perhaps any other single company in the history of the film business. - Variety

The Children Of Two Pathbreaking “Blaxploitation” Filmmakers Are Rescuing Their Fathers’ Work

We can still see Melvin Van Peebles's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (which launched the genre) and Perry Henzell's The Harder They Come (a reggae gangster pic and Jamaica's first feature film), but little else they directed. Luckily, Mario Van Peebles and Justine Henzell are addressing that. - The Guardian

American TV’s Journey In The 21st Century Has Been From Irony To Sincerity

"Two decades ago, TV's most distinctive stories were defined by a tone of dark or acerbic detachment. Today, they're more likely to be earnest and direct." James Poniewozik explores the how and why. - The New York Times

NPR Revenue Only Declined Two Percent Last Year

The public radio network’s operating revenue slid just two percent in 2020 to $270.1 million. And last year’s revenue was actually up seven percent from 2018 when NPR reported $251.3 million in operating revenue. - Inside Radio

Barry Diller: Only Ten Percent Of Movie Theatres Will Survive

“Because of streaming, because of the pandemic, because of the enormous production of longform content … the word movies — what we think of as a movie — is evolving and no longer means what it did just a couple of years ago." - The Hollywood Reporter

Using Thomas Cromwell’s Papers To Reconstruct His London Mansion

The compound at Austin Friars, known to readers of Hilary Mantel's trilogy, was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. But a historian has used what's survived of Cromwell's own archives, along with later drawings and surveys, to work out a clearer idea of what it looked like. -...

Sculptor George Rhoads, Who Sent Balls Through Elaborate Rube Goldberg-Style Contraptions, Dead At 95

His 42nd Street Ballroom, which has mesmerized passersby for decades at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, is but one of the 300 "audio-kinetic ball machines" that he created for museums, children's hospitals, transportation hubs, and the like. - The New York Times

How Matt Damon Keeps Complicating Our Ideas About Matt Damon

"You only have to look a bit closer at Damon's career, at the notion of Matt Damon, Movie Star we have in our heads, to see that nice might be an ingenious sleight-of-hand, an illusion of sorts. Because that darkness is there." - The New York Times Magazine

In ‘The Autobiography Of Alice B. Toklas’, Gertrude Stein Depicted Great Artists And Writers. They Hated Her For It.

"Such was the ire that the magazine transition published a Testimony Against Gertrude Stein. Matisse raged at his wife being described as having a mouth like a horse while Braque railed against her insistence on Cubism being a wholly Spanish affair." (Worse, she called Hemingway "yellow.") - BBC

Portugal’s Four Greatest 20th-Century Writers Were Actually One Person

Fernando Pessoa published not only under his own name, but under three different personas as well. These weren't pseudonyms (he called them "heteronyms"): the four had completely different biographies, personalities and opinions and regularly argued with each other in print. - Literary Hub

Jackie Mason, Who Kept The Borscht Belt Style Alive And Brought It To Broadway, 93

Mason, "a former rabbi from a long line of rabbis, ... made comic capital as a Jew feeling his way — sometimes nervously, sometimes pugnaciously — through a perplexing gentile world." - The New York Times