“Eleven years ago, when Baltimore’s two largest art museums” – the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art – “joined a nationwide trend by announcing that they would drop admission fees, the news was applauded in newspapers from New York to Detroit to Jackson, Miss. … [But] after initial surges in attendance, museums in Baltimore and nationwide that went free soon resumed losing visitors at alarming rates. A decade later, museum officials are still scrambling to devise ways to reverse the slide.”
Legal questions about ownership of virtual public spaces were thrown into sharp relief in October when Snapchat partnered with Koons to allow users to project his balloon sculptures in specific sites around the world using augmented reality (AR). In protest against an “augmented reality corporate invasion”, the artist Sebastian Errazuriz “graffiti-bombed” one of the works and placed it in the same geotagged location in Central Park as the Snapchat version.
Nathan Lucky Wood, on watching a play about homelessness performed for homeless youth: “A young man raises his hand. He wants to ask a question. Why have they come here to perform a play which is so depressing? Being homeless is already hard. He was excited to see a play because he thought he could forget about that. But now he had been reminded of it, and he felt awful. He wanted to know, what had been the point? The facilitator didn’t have an answer. Nor, having worked across theatre and homeless services for years now, do I.”
“In a nation always on the go, it does seem as if the most serious intellectual production and consumption has been confined to the cloisters of higher education, where an elite professoriate soaks in high ideas in paneled seminar rooms safe from the hurly-burly of daily life. But what if a technology was able to bridge the gap, accommodating our culture’s hyperkinetic habits while also bringing to it gems of intellectual wealth from the ivory tower? To a large extent this is exactly what the best educational podcasts—which stress learning for the sake of learning—are doing.”
“Admission cost is a secondary factor when considering a museum visit.” More specifically, “a lack of time… or a simple lack of interest… were far more important factors in one’s decision not to visit museums than were admission fees.” So this suggests the Met has a bigger problem than admission fees.
After he got sober, poet Kaveh Akbar wanted to fill his world with something that wasn’t about narcotics – and that something was creating a poetry site where he posts deep, wide-ranging interviews with poets every other week. “Akbar jokes that if you’ve read a dozen DiveDapper interviews, you’ve spent an hour with a dozen different poets — and you’ve actually spent 12 hours with him too.”
Here’s a snapshot of prices at more than 200 United States institutions, beginning with the pricing and going down from their, to free and suggested admission. (All of these are members of the Association of Art Museum Directors. About 34 percent of the 240 members of the AAMD are free.)
Sales are slowing. Browse the official Ticketmaster website and you will see availability, pretty good availability, for midweek shows in January, and these are not resale inventory. They’re as yet unsold. They will be sold, by show time. But they won’t command the same prices and those weekly grosses will not be $3 million. It behooves “Hamilton” to leave with audiences still wanting more, leaving some room for a return by popular demand.
Despite the surge in peer-to-peer recommendation via social media, research by the National Theatre demonstrates that reviews by paid critics are still a key driver of ticket sales. If each network review persuaded its readers to buy as few as five £20 tickets for that show between them, an additional £75,000 would flow into theatre’s economy and the scheme would pay for itself.
In reality, much of Broadway’s success comes from a handful of breakout hits, while the majority of shows never turn a profit. Long-running favorites like The Lion King or Wicked may consistently attract tourists, but that doesn’t help the houses that either struggle to fill seats or aren’t reaching their full potential. Of the 32 or 33 shows listed the boards during a typical week, some may not even bring in half of their earning capacity. Streaming could fill in those gaps, the argument goes, by either helping to promote shows while they’re still running or offering producers a new revenue stream that exists long after the show is closed. Easier access to shows could also help democratize Broadway’s stubbornly homogenous audience–last season, 77% of ticket buyers were white, and most had an income of over $75,000 a year.
Tours depart from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, stopping at the Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura in Tijuana before continuing on to the border wall prototypes. Büchel’s reasoning behind the project? “[The prototypes] need to be preserved because they can signify and change meaning through time.
Time and time again, the author argues that background knowledge is not only unnecessary, but even hurtful, to truly appreciating a work of art — hence the advice to ignore wall labels and audio guides. Michael Findlay accurately points out that many people are intimidated by art, because they feel they don’t know enough to understand it, so if they could just look at it for what it is, they’d appreciate it more than if they’d known the whole artist’s biography.
Last week, a group called the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, which describes itself as a platform for higher education leaders to “underscore the cultural, scientific and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities,” published a statement that strongly objected to the WHO classification. The alliance described the proposal as “premature” and said it was based on research into gaming addiction that showed “a clear lack of consensus” from scientists and doctors.
When the nature of work changes, companies reward new ways of feeling about it. The rise of white-collar work in the 1950s birthed the risk-averse organization man, whose highest values were loyalty and orderly conduct. The deregulation of the 1980s made virtues of aggression and ruthless competition. The new economy is characterized by instability and disruption; its ideal worker is calm in the midst of it all, productive and focused. The mindfulness training his company offers isn’t so much a perk as it is the means of turning him into a new type of person.
The Bachtrack stats report that “the composer with the most performances in 2017 has returned to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, while Hallelujah choruses will be sung around the world to celebrate that Handel’s Messiah reclaimed its position as the top performed work. The Bachtrack database listed a similar number of events to the previous year, around 32,000.”
Christopher Knight: Pacific Standard Time should underwrite full retrospective exhibitions of artists with significant histories of working in Los Angeles, beginning in the late 19th century and continuing to the present. Not project shows. Not young or emerging or new artist surveys. Not a phalanx of partial looks at a segment of an established artist’s output. Instead, I mean full, rigorous accountings of historical figures, as well as artists beyond mid-career who have been in it for the long haul — a generation or more.
The debate over what or if to charge admissions is part of a larger debate over what museums should do and be. The model of the past century for museums, Feldman said, is “build, grow and acquire,” which is expensive and demands that no source of revenue be overlooked. The newer conception of museums involves ideas about what should be done with the existing collections in order to improve access and increase understanding, which is why a growing number of institutions are putting their collections online and trying to make the museum experience more interactive. The largest museums in the country are attempting to pursue both models, but the result has been that their actions on the one hand work against the increased access they hope to achieve.
The technique (if that’s the word) that art dealer Michael Findlay recommends in his book Seeing Slowly: Looking at Modern Art is to stand in the middle of the gallery room, pick a work that catches your eye, and simply look at it for at least three (and up to 15) minutes. No reading the wall text or listening to the audio guide. Elena Goukassian gives the method a try to find out if it helps her appreciate better an artist whose work she’s never related to or liked.
“When museums are free we can see one painting every day on our lunch breaks. We can come back again and again to see all of the things we’d miss in just one visit. We can go on cheap dates. We can take our children and not worry about wasting our vacation budget if they throw a tantrum after 10 minutes. Students can come on school trips and learn not just about art or history or science, but also about experiences and institutions – museums themselves – that might otherwise feel closed off to them.”
Many think the new $25 entrance fee – which is the same for several other city museums – is too expensive. Met President Daniel Weiss disagrees. “In every society and throughout history, excellence costs money,” he said. “If you’re willing to spend $25 to go to the MoMA or Guggenheim, or spend $15 to go to the movies, we don’t think asking $25 to come to the Met is an unreasonable request.”
A bookstore on Long Island will choose books for your dinner party guests based on what the hosts tell them. “It’s a conversation starter if you are sitting next to someone you don’t know. You can talk about books, talk about why you think that book was chosen for you or books you love instead of having an awkward moment.”
To a biologist or physician, the physiological differences between, say, 39-year-old Fred and 44-old Fred aren’t vast—probably not much different than those between Fred at 38 and Fred at 39. Nor do our circumstances diverge wildly in years that end in nine compared with those that end in zero. Our life narratives often progress from segment to segment, akin to the chapters of a book. But the actual story doesn’t abide by round numbers any more than novels do. After all, you wouldn’t assess a book by its page numbers: “The 160s were super exciting, but the 170s were a little dull.” Yet, when people near the end of the arbitrary marker of a decade, something awakens in their minds that alters their behavior.
“As classical music searches for a wider audience, classical crossover poses an increasing conundrum — not least because it’s attracting exactly the audience that “straight” classical claims to be seeking. The mass audience is generally put off by classical music, which seems, to many outsiders, to present a facade of unwelcoming elitism. The crossover genre, however, offers the same kinds of mellow tonal sounds and rich buttery voices — music to relax to, if you will — without classical music’s perceived strictures or judgments.”
“L.A. Dance Project recently launched the subscription-based ladanceworkout.com, offering streaming workout videos led by company members. Groups of all sizes and even some individual dancers have launched merchandise lines bearing their logos. And, of course, there’s the perpetually innovative Pilobolus, which has been in the creative-revenue game for years, with books, advertisements, corporate appearances and more.”