This Week: A relation between common experiences and ticket prices?… Some clues about why arts audiences in Canada have declined over 20 years… Netflix taxes reflect changing culture… Does culture have to have social or political relevance?
- Our Most Popular Culture Is Getting Too Expensive For Most People: So if people are willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for tickets to cultural experiences, why should we care? Because common cultural experiences across all income levels are becoming rarer. “Without public access, a culture becomes dead, an inert shell that serves as a shill for profit, while too rarefied and remote to thrive. The quaestores of modern times use health, religion, and access to sports and art just like those of the Middle Ages used salvation: to exploit people by pricing what they value too high.”
- Twenty Years Of Data Show That Arts Audiences Have Declined In Canada: So what are the reasons? “Of the eight areas the index tracks, culture and leisure was the one that showed the most steady decline over the past 20 years: Participation was hit hard by the recession in 2008 and while it has recovered somewhat, it remains well below what it was in the 1990s. So, the report certainly reinforces the perception that arts audiences are shrinking – but it also provides a social and economic context for these losses that could be useful for those who want to turn the situation around.”
- California Cities Want To Tax Your Netflix Streaming: Why? Of course they want money. But why tax streaming? First, everyone is streaming now, and other services such as cable TV and phone service are already taxed. “Public officials have argued that taxation rules need to be revised to account for changing technologies. It is unfair, some say, that people who get video through cable television are taxed while those who have shifted over to internet streaming services are not. One question officials would need to resolve is where to stop, analysts say. If streaming video is taxable, then what about music, podcasts or video games?”
- Should Our Art Have To Have Social Or Political Relevance? Can’t art just be art? Can’t we fund/see/enjoy art just for its own sake? “What often seems to go unasked is: ‘Who is it for?’ … It’s unlikely that victims of gun violence will draw solace from [a percussion concert], or that grass-roots members of the National Rifle Association will come out of it reconciled with the idea of tighter controls. … [And] how many police commissioners send their law enforcement officials to the opera house for sensitivity training?”