“If the always-streaming, everything-on-demand state of TV right now has taught viewers anything, it’s that very little about television is urgent. Sure, there are still a few watercooler shows, and events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl require real-time viewing, but everything else can be watched on an I’ll Get to It When I Get to It basis. Short of one’s peer group pressuring them into watching something right now no one feels they have to be caught up on everything. Killing Eve, however, was different.”
While visits fell across the five London museums by 4.4% there was an 11% surge at Asian museums. The report suggests this was fuelled by “an emerging middle class with rising levels of education, cultural awareness and disposable income,” and “exposure to global cultural trends through online and social media”.
Sure, this is a story of the wildness of YouTube videos and the daring role that Mawaan Rizwan’s mother, Shahnaz Rizwan, took on – but more than that, it’s a tale of Shahnaz’s life coming full circle. “At age 3 she made her film debut. Over the next decade, she told me, she went on to star in more than 30 black-and-white Pakistani films. By 12, she was supporting her family with her earnings. She was basically the Macaulay Culkin of Karachi. But when she was a teenager, she had to stop acting. People told her it was no profession for a young woman and that only prostitutes worked as actresses.”
“As Lincoln Center’s education director, Peg Schuler-Armstrong, put it, everyone has the right to experience the benefits of storytelling and the catharsis of the live performing arts. The result has been innovative, highly personalized performance pieces that can be enjoyed equally by children with disabilities and their neurotypical families, so that the joy can be shared.”
“When people say that opera is not for them, I think – more often than not – they mean that going to the opera is not for them,” writes the former music director of English National Opera. “Or at least what they perceive the experience of going to the opera to be. I don’t believe the art form is the problem. But many find it hard to imagine opera away from the expensive, exclusive and entitled associations attached to it. That’s understandable. For at some point the reputation of opera became separated from its actual performance. The evening parted company with the event.”
“As well as pushing the envelope in regard to architectural skill and style, Finnish libraries have an impressive record of being at the forefront of cultural progress and new thinking. Some of the first maker libraries (spaces where the public can borrow equipment and tools), for example, were founded in Finland, and today, some facilities offer the use of high-tech equipment such as 3-D printers and musical equipment free of charge.”
“Virtuosos is a talent contest which already has a track record of attracting a mass viewership – in its native Hungary. It was started in 2014 by entrepreneur Mariann Peller, … with impressive results: the show’s fourth series has been reaching audiences of over 700,000 per episode, with the 2017 final not far short of the million viewer mark – nearly one in ten of the country’s population, which is comparable to the reach in the UK of mass market talent shows like The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent.” Now Peller is going to try bringing the show to Great Britain and the U.S. – with no less than Plácido Domingo signing on to be a guest judge.
“A rapping Hamilton and a (quietly) rocking Boss propelled Broadway’s box office to new heights over the past year, as rising demand and even faster-rising ticket prices shattered industry records. Over all, the 67 shows that ran over the last season brought in $1.7 billion from 13.8 million patrons, according to figures released Tuesday by the Broadway League.”
Whatever ‘blind’ casting may mean to Terry and the cohort of each play, the audience sees gender, and that makes a difference. “Many audience members in fact cannot and will not easily look past what seems to them to be a fundamental disconnect between who the gender of the actor as understood outside of the production, and the gender they are playing.”
Friday’s the day the new EU rules go into effect; that’s why you’ve been getting so many emails about GDPR (the new regime) and updated privacy policies. While most websites appear to have tweaked their data-collection policies and are updating their users about the changes in order to continue operating in Europe, some appear to be throwing in the towel completely — among them one of the biggest newspapers in the United States, the Los Angeles Times.”
This year’s edition of the festival generated an estimated $76.1 million (Aus) fot the economy of South Australia, up 9% over 2017. What’s more, “a staggering 19,825 visitors of the annual arts festival last year were interstate or overseas travellers, representing a 44 percent increase on the previous year. Visitor bed nights also rose to 138,021, a 50 percent increase on 2017.”
“While the field was largely dominated by white men in decades past, today diverse writers are bringing new voices to the conversation, imagining futures based on more inclusive readings of the past, and creating multiethnic worlds that can help people understand their own. Certainly, speculative fiction writers since at least Octavia Butler – the first science-fiction writer to win a MacArthur grant – have looked beyond Europe for inspiration. But no longer can they be dismissed as niche. From the $1 billion-plus box office of Black Panther … to this spring’s breakout debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, by Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi, audiences and readers are flocking to well-drawn worlds inspired by African and Asian countries.”
Legislation known as the Legacy Amendment, passed in 2008, has provided over $440 million for cultural projects in the state, and that money has had a powerful effect in rural communities like New London (pop. 1,355, about halfway between the Twin Cities and the North Dakota state line).
“Performing arts organizations have long recognized the need to attract younger audiences that will someday support them financially. In addition to retaining their current audiences, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Opera, Dallas Theater Center and WaterTower Theatre target two distinct demographics to expand their audiences: millennials and children.”
Scientists have been at this question for several years, studying people’s activity online and revealing interesting trends as to what makes content eye-catching and more likely to go viral. Emotional arousal is one key determinant. After analyzing 7,000 articles from the New York Times, Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman from UPenn found that one of the main factors driving readers to share a story via email was how much it stirred them up.
“Gimlet Media, the podcasting startup based in Brooklyn, tapped the valve of radio drama in 2016 with Homecoming, the fictional thriller podcast brought to life by Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac and David Schwimmer.” And more high-profile fiction podcasts are coming, with the likes of Kristen Wiig, Ethan Hawke, John Cameron Mitchell, Glenn Close, Cynthia Erivo, and Patti LuPone involved. But there’s one problem: “a vast majority of the audience is not listening in a concentrated way, like they would at home while watching a Netflix drama. Successful podcasts need to reach audience that is not 100% ‘with it’ the whole time, who get distracted. And that’s a real challenge when you’re dealing with fiction.”
Fred Plotkin recalls the rapturous reception he’s seen terrific performances get – not just at the final curtain calls, but at the ends of acts and even after arias – and offers an idea or two as to why he so rarely sees such excitement from the audience at the Met. (It’s not just because they have trains to catch.) And, by the way, he thinks the Met should make more use of its fabulous gold curtain.
“The newfound interest there is part of a larger cultural and economic revival. It wasn’t long ago that moving abroad or catering to outsiders’ perceptions of their country was the only way for artists here to survive. But as the economy has surged — diversifying from oil into manufacturing, telecommunications and a thriving film industry to give Nigeria the biggest gross domestic product in Africa — so has interest in fashion, music and art. That has fueled a rise in the number of galleries and auction houses. It has also allowed many artists to make a living at home.”
Kristen Arnett: “Working children’s services sometimes means dealing with a bunch of sugared-up kids who got into a box of Lucky Charms cereal (I recognize that look — I also eat Lucky Charms to get amped). But it also means thinking on your feet and getting way outside your comfort zone. By that I mean you’ll probably have to kneel on the floor, and if you’re wearing a skirt, everyone is gonna see your underwear and four different kids will point it out loud enough for everyone in the library to hear.”
Eight months after slashing its price and expanding membership past 2 million users, MoviePass is now at risk of going bust. The parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., which now owns 92 percent of MoviePass, said last week that it had just $15.5 million in cash at the end of April and $27.9 million on deposit with merchant processors. MoviePass has been burning through $21.7 million per month.
Weaponized classical music is just the next step in the commodification of the genre. Today, most young people encounter classical music not as a popular art form but as a class signifier, a set of tropes in a larger system of encoded communication that commercial enterprises have exploited to remap our societal associations with orchestral sound. Decades of cultural conditioning have trained the public to identify the symphony as sonic shorthand for social status — and, by extension, exclusion from that status. The average American does not recognize the opening chords of The Four Seasons as the sound of spring but the sound of snobbery.
There are few direct flights to Montgomery, where the memorial opened, and it’s a three-hour drive from Atlanta. Still, officials estimate it may attract 100,000 people in its first year. “One young man, Dimitri Digbeu Jr., who drove 13 hours from Baltimore to see the memorial, said he thought it had singlehandedly ‘rebranded’ Montgomery.”
The fandom, especially the fandom among women, for this podcast is reaching pop-star levels. “Calling themselves Murderinos, they came to hear expletive-laden tales of serial killings and brutal homicides told by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, the irreverent hosts of the wildly popular true-crime comedy podcast ‘My Favorite Murder.'” (One of the host’s offhand comments, “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again,” has become something of a rallying cry.)
The Cashmere Agency’s business has exploded in recent years, just as the U.S. demographics change permanently. “In the past, Hollywood’s marketing efforts were mostly aimed at white audiences. But as the industry shifts to capitalize on an increasingly diverse nation, marketing tactics have also had to change. These efforts require more nuance and cultural sensitivity to successfully engage young people of color, women and LGBTQ communities.”
It’s dispiriting to see how ‘what’s on’ listings pigeon-hole music by genre – classical, jazz, pop, folk, world – and then realise that your music doesn’t fit comfortably into any of these categories. Our large-scale shows contain elements of opera, musical, lyric theatre, but none of these accurately characterises their form.