ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Garo Saraydarian disrupts traditional music theory

Garo Saraydarian, faculty in the Composition and Theory Departments at the Longy School of Music, shares how they are disrupting the Eurocentric framing of music and changing the way that theory is taught!

Replay: Illinois Jacquet plays “Flying Home”

Illinois Jacquet plays “Flying Home” on The Ed Sullivan Show. The drummer is Jo Jones. This episode was originally telecast live by CBS on July 10, 1949: (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)

In memory of…

Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig and the United States Marine Band perform “When Jesus Wept,” a movement from William Schuman’s New England Triptych, based on the music of William Billings:

Pucker Up: Skittish About the British at Metropolitan Museum’s Prints Stint

I paid a belated visit to the Metropolitan Museum’s Modern Times: British Prints, 1913–1939 on Monday, having already published

Snapshot: Tony Bennett sings “If I Ruled the World”

Tony Bennett and the Woody Herman Herd perform “If I Ruled the World,” by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel, on The Ed Sullivan Show. This episode was originally telecast live by CBS on March 21, 1965: (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)

Marketing and Engagement

It has been some time since I have had the courage to discuss marketing here. When I first did so many years ago I quickly learned that my view was hopelessly colored by the unfortunate marketing habits of many arts organizations–self focus, ignorance (sometimes willful) of the interests of the people they were trying to reach, and an elitist use of “inside baseball” language in promotional materials. I think I’ve learned a lot since then about the difference between effective marketing and the “marketing” practices employed by some in our field. What brings me to writing about this again is an opportunity I recently had. This fall I was contacted by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to participate in training they were providing to a cohort of Middle Eastern arts organizations. (The training took place in Amman, Jordan. They allowed me to participate by Zoom.) The program is...

Once Again Remembering the President of Soul

Someone on my staff of thousands took a look at this blogpost and demanded that I repost it. Obedient

Reading Hannah Arendt Puts Me in Awe

In an essay about Isak Dinesen, whose fiction was closely drawn from her life, Arendt writes: Life may contain

Five Post-COVID Arts Observations: #3. The Future is Hybrid? (or Not)

There are plenty of strategic reasons to use hybrid content to further artistic goals that don't have to be around making money. But ultimately the model, whatever it is, has to make sense.

Demarre McGill talks about DE&I in conservatories

Demarre McGill, Associate Professor of Flute at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Principal Flute of the Seattle Symphony, shares about DE&I in conservatories and how to inspire young artists!

“Die Meistersinger” in Covid Times

Lise Davidsen, Michael Volle, and Klaus Florian Vogt in the Met Meistersinger Like every lifelong Wagnerite, I regard any

The Metropolitan Museum’s Fugitive Works on Paper: Easy Come, Easy Go

A mystifying missive hit my inbox last week, announcing that the Metropolitan Museum had recently acquired “more than 700

Say the Name: Nunzio

My grandfather had a baby brother named Nunzio. I could post a photo of him in his 90s, dazed expression, full head of cropped white hair, but I don’t have permission to use it. “Nunzio” sounds sexy, no? nOON-zee-oh, not mechanical, like TAHJH-e-oh, although Rufus — his Canadian name has a “woof” — made his “Grey Gardens” sung Tadzio warm and confectionary, a wistful vanilla-cream. I can see my mouth opening to say “Nunzio” for the first time. Did I do it right? Nunzio Ciraldo was born in the same Sicilian village, Bronte, as his older brother, Vincenzo, my mother’s father, whose name and person I discovered just this year. The Bronte Brothers. As it happens, I’m a few years older than my brother, Leslie, too. “Bronte, a village on Mount Etna, is known for its green gold and also for a history of mythology, love, betrayal, and cowardice.” Goodness gracious,...

Museums, Libraries, and Community Impact – It’s Not (Just) the Economy

In an era when questions of economic impact threaten to monopolize public discourse about the value of arts and culture, it is refreshing to see a new report from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in which the authors state, without apology: “The vast majority of libraries and museums are not large employers and will never provide the muscle to significantly drive local economies….” Happily, there’s more. The sentence resumes: “…but they are indispensable connective tissue that keep healthy communities together.” This clause is no afterthought. As the reader of Understanding the Social Wellbeing Impacts of the Nation’s Libraries and Museums will discover, the IMLS report provides ample testimony, in the form of statistics and case studies, to support the authors’ claim. The researchers’ statistical modeling shows that the presence and usage of libraries was positively linked to community health and local school effectiveness, even after the researchers...

Doing Art

As part of Engaging Matters’ 10th Anniversary, we are highlighting important and/or popular posts from the past. In reviewing such posts it became clear that many were grouped thematically. As a result, this Anniversary series will, for the most part, present the theme with links to relevant posts rather than simply re-posting individual items. Over the last few years I have developed an increasing awareness of the critical importance of broad-based participation in the arts to the future of our industry. Decades of disaster in arts education have left us with a population that has little or no experience in doing the arts. And, as I said in Doin’ It: “People with participatory experience in something are more likely to support those activities even when they are not doing them themselves.” The result is that we have a far smaller percentage of the population that is predisposed to consider the...

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