ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


The Detroit Symphony Gets A Letter From A Non-Fan Of Black Composers’ Music

And then DSO vice-president Erik Rönmark posted the letter to social media (with the patron's, or former patron's, name redacted). Response on social media was strong. The CEO of a tech company wrote: "You just won yourself a new patron at the $125 level. My company ... would like to sponsor 4 new patrons at this same level, preferably people under 40 and/or BIPOC. How can we do this? Keep up the good work!!" - Classical FM

Paul Schrader: The End Of The Movie Feature As We Knew It?

"The two-hour format which was so ideally suited to theatrical, we’ve now trained young people for fifteen months not to see that as a primary way to have audiovisual entertainment. Now, how they come back or if they come back . . . they’re certainly not going to come back in the way they once were." - The New Yorker

NPR And PRX To Offer Paid Subscription Option For Podcasts

NPR will give listeners the choice to pay — via its own platforms, Apple, or Spotify — a yet-undetermined monthly fee in order to receive its podcasts without advertising sponsorship messages; the network will also make this option available to member stations for their podcasts. PRX will offer a $4.99 monthly subscription to podcasts it distributes via four channels on Apple Podcasts; again, subscribers will be able to bypass underwriting announcements. - Current

As The Pandemic Eases, Netflix Forecasts Much Lower Growth

This year Netflix is forecasting 6 million new subscribers, the lowest first-quarter increase since 2017, well down on the almost 16 million sign-ups in the first quarter last year, as lockdown restrictions ease. - The Guardian

Gen Z’s Say Movies, TV Are Fifth On Their Entertainment Preferences

About 26% of Gen Z said video games are their top entertainment activity, and 87% of those in the age bracket said they play video games daily or weekly. That’s followed by listening to music (14%), browsing the internet (12%) and engaging on social media (11%). Only 10% of Gen Z respondents said watching TV or movies was their favorite entertainment pastime, the Deloitte study found. - Variety

This Year’s Oscars — Disaster In The Making?

There may be fundamental problems with the way the Academy Awards connect with contemporary Hollywood films and their audiences. “For some time the movies nominated for best picture represent only a tiny fraction of the tickets sold – there is chasm between the Oscars and the moviegoing public. The Marvel and DC films are hardly ever up for best picture, or Star Wars, while the Pixar moves are relegated to the animated category, so the pictures that constitute 90% of moviegoing just aren’t there.” - The Guardian

Many Theatres Have Survived The Pandemic So Far – But The Future Is An Open Question

Ironically, bringing audiences back may be the issue. "While this year looks fairly stable, a greater threat may still lie ahead. The emergency infusions of cash that kept so many companies afloat — as well as savings from furloughs and shifting artistic output online — will trickle away once they start staging shows again for live audiences, which could begin on a significant scale later this year." - Washington Post

What Do The Vaccines Mean For Ballet?

Let an infectious-disease doctor explain why dancers need to get vaccinated. It's not just for themselves: "A significant part of the patronage of many ballet companies are those over the age of 60 and, therefore, at highest risk of death and complications if infected with COVID. Though a dancer may not get ill from COVID, if they are carrying the virus and expose their patrons to the illness, it is a losing situation for all involved. In addition, the dancers work side by side with choreographers, ballet mistresses, company directors, costume departments and the like, most of whom are older and, therefore, at risk for complications from COVID as well. The more people that are vaccinated, the less likely it is anyone becomes ill." - Pointe Magazine

What Artists Are Missing Most About Live Arts Experiences

One artist: "I miss the openings ! The free wine! And friends who you don’t get to see often, making rare appearances. Seeing art in the flesh was something I didn’t realise I needed so much for my own inspiration. It’s just not the same on the screen, even with photography. I want to see the print and the framing and all the details." - The Guardian (UK)

TV Viewing Down? Networks Protest Nielsen Data

Through the trade group Video Advertising Bureau, the networks are perplexed by Nielsen statistics that show the percentage of Americans who watched their televisions at least some time during the week declined from 92% in 2019 to 87% so far this year. - Toronto Star (AP)

With Theatres Closed, Regular Folks Have Taken To Doing Play Readings On Zoom

"Over the past year, as many theaters worldwide have remained closed, online play reading groups have arisen to fill that dramatic gap, with more or less prowess — on Zoom, on Skype, on the audio-only app Clubhouse. Some participants merely read their lines, scripts in hand, others act them out. Many clubs stick to Shakespeare and affiliated classics, but plenty range more widely, integrating contemporary plays, Star Trek episodes and film scripts." Some stage professionals have started readings as well, and groups are even moving offline and gathering in parks. - The New York Times

What The Closing Of The Arclight Theatres Means For Movie Theatres

The truth is, the cinema experience as we know it, is likely doomed. While it isn’t going to disappear entirely, it will become a “nice to have” option for the populace, versus the “must have” it was through much of the 20th century. Look forward to much more expensive tickets and far fewer movie houses, more like what happened with live theater and Broadway. - Forbes

The Hollywood Bowl Is Back, With Celebration And Caution, For The Summer Of 2021

Though the bowl will be limited to 4,000 in a venue that seats 17,500, the excitement is real. "The organization is still ramping up to tackle the complexities of reopening, but Smith said the L.A. Phil is planning 45 to 60 concerts." - Los Angeles Times

We’re Living In A Golden Age For Documentaries, But They Have To Drop Their Cheesy Re-enactments

The rush of documentaries - they are cheaper to make, and especially if they're true crime, there's a willing and eager audience - has some aesthetic issues. "Cornball fuzzy re-creations lack credibility. ... It doesn’t have to be like this. Plenty of recent shows and movies have made compelling artistic choices that enliven the storytelling." - The New York Times

“Godzilla” Is A Hit — And It Could Change How Movies Are Distributed

It’s the kind of hybrid release that would have seemed impossible to pull off prior to the pandemic. Today, it’s the clearest indication yet that COVID-19 has forever changed how movies will be distributed. And the results have left Hollywood questioning what the film’s success means for the future of moviegoing. - Baltimore Sun

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