Given the renewed interest in the ideas and practices of cultural democracy and their potential to address longstanding issues of cultural policy, it seems clear that, as Owen Kelly, a key figure from the community arts movement, has recently argued, arguments about cultural democracy still resonate. But for Arts Council England, they are not unproblematic.
Profound demographic shifts have happened quickly. A place with a 78.6 percent white majority in 1990 has become more than half Hispanic and Asian, according to the 2010 census. But in one highly visible area Orange County still seems mired in the past: arts leadership.
“Local arts groups facing dramatic cuts in their funding levels from the city could get some relief this budget year, and possibly an earlier heads-up in future budget years if their funding allocations appear headed for a decrease. … The cuts were brought about by a combination of more than 100 new applicants for funding, increased administrative costs and lack of reserves that are typically rolled over from the previous budget year.”
“I was very apprehensive and came with a stereotypical image of the police,” says Tatiana Altberg. But, as she has done workshops with the staffers in her precinct, “I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes. As I listen to their side of the problems and issues facing them, I’ve realised that it is very hard to be a police officer in Rio de Janeiro.”
Democrats dominate most fields. In religion, Mitchell Langbert’s survey found that the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 70 to 1. In music, it is 33 to 1. In biology, it is 21 to 1. In philosophy, history and psychology, it is 17 to 1. In political science, it is 8 to 1. The gap is narrower in science and engineering. In physics, economics and mathematics, the ratio is about 6 to 1. In chemistry, it is 5 to 1, and in engineering, it is just 1.6 to 1. Still, Lambert found no field in which Republicans are more numerous than Democrats.
“I guess the question that I have is we have so many fundamental organizations that provide incredible quality of life for Calgary and we’re talking about cutting them and at the same time we’re talking about the Olympics. And I’m really struggling to rationalize this austerity budget or the Olympics.”
“[Salt Lake County’s] Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) program will fund more groups than ever this year with $2.2 million split among 183 organizations … [Program director Kristen] Darrington said the growing applicant pool for Tier II, up from 156 in 2016 and 171 last year, is a ‘really good problem to have.’ It reflects the increased sophistication of small arts programs and demand for cultural programming across the county.”
“The Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet Association will merge the two organizations to create the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts or TAPA … The new partnership will create an umbrella organization under which the two will serve as equal partners in a three-prong relationship that will also include an education component for the community.”
A CBC News and Toronto Star investigation reveals how box-office behemoth Ticketmaster uses its own bag of tricks — which includes partnering with scalpers — to boost its profits at the expense of music fans. Data journalists monitored Ticketmaster’s website for seven months leading up to this weekend’s show at Scotiabank Arena, closely tracking seats and prices to find out exactly how the box-office system works.
“In the pursuit of cultural hegemony, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz government has carried out a full-scale assault on the Hungarian cultural establishment, taking over funding bodies, defaming critics and putting loyalists in positions of influence. The result today is almost total conformity to the Hungarian nationalism of Fidesz and the sidelining of independent culture.”
“A large minority of people in the UK believe multiculturalism has undermined British culture and that migrants do not properly integrate, according to some of the broadest research into the population’s attitudes to immigration. The study, conducted over the last two years, also reflects widespread frustration at the government’s handling of immigration.”
Some employees may be leaking data, and there are definitely entities trying their damnedest to bribe employees as well, say brokers. (One solution: Raise Amazon employees’ salaries in China.)
Yes, he’s the first Black man – and only the second Black person ever, after Whoopi Goldberg in 2002 – to earn the entertainment superfecta. But “Legend’s well-earned moment runs the risk of becoming a kind of racial-progress overreach that is seen as a final piece of the puzzle, when in reality it’s just part of its framing.”
Even beyond the bombshell article from July accusing prominent men in the field of harassment, the “male-dominated field creates a ‘toxic culture’ that silences women in the profession and has kept a full reckoning from taking place. … 85 to 90 percent of the news imagery we consume is created by men. Last year, 90 percent of the images that The New York Times ran on their front page was made by men.”
The statue was near City Hall, part of the Pioneer Monument that was put up in 1894 – and which Native peoples in and near the city have been protesting for decades. There’s a lawsuit, of course, but the city didn’t destroy the statue; workers moved it into storage. “After the truck carrying the statue rolled away, the onlookers gathered in a large circle, where Dee Dee Ybarra, an Ohlone tribal leader who advocated for the statue’s removal, led the crowd in a traditional chant and a prayer for empathy and understanding.”
All of this comes at a time when there’s been an enormous proliferation in the number of other online outlets – whether personal or under umbrella sites – to fill the vacuum. But few do (or can) remunerate their contributors. So we’re rapidly seeing a new model for criticism emerging: one in which only hobbyists and retirees, or those who are financially independent, will be able to pursue a ‘career’ in the field. The arts world constantly talks up diversity as an aspiration; but this will inevitably lead to reduced diversity in the field of arts criticism.
“Our world is moving faster and faster, and we’re more polarized and tribal. We find fewer and fewer excuses to talk about anything. (Reviews) are an opportunity to stop and let it marinade and understand how art helps us understand ourselves.”
A show that’s mandatory viewing for school pupils and parents had an opening number by the group New F4, who star in a Taiwanese teen soap opera. Detractors called the quartet “pretty girls that cannot have babies”; the state news agency declared them “slender and weak” and fretted about the effect these “not men but not women” would have on the youth of the People’s Republic. Then defenders started speaking up, among them (believe it or not) the military newspaper People’s Liberation Daily.
“The reform is called the Copyright Directive and it was first proposed in 2016. On Wednesday, members of European Parliament voted 438-226 in favor of adopting the directive. The law is meant to be an overhaul of copyright rules, aimed at making sure publishers and artists are compensated by platforms like Google or Facebook. … The controversial directive contains two articles” — known as the “link tax” and the “upload filter” — “that open internet and free speech advocates believe could fundamentally alter the way the internet works. Here’s what they mean.”
Naomi Campbell (a Torontonian not to be confused with the supermodel) has been a staff producer at the festival since 2011 and was appointed deputy artistic director last year. She succeeds Josephine Ridge, who stepped down in July over concerns about Luminato’s business model and rapidly shrinking budget.
The report paints a generally positive picture for the arts in America. Attendance at both visual and performing arts events is up significantly over the past five years, although it has yet to climb back to 2002 levels. In the 2017 survey, 43.4 percent of American adults—nearly 107 million people—reported they attended a live arts performance during the previous 12 months. That’s up significantly from 40.2 percent in 2012.
The idea is that the Pergola on the River, as it would be called, would be in place for three years. It would then be removed and the arts centre would go ahead with a long-held ambition to use the roof for open-air performances. But the Twentieth Century Society, a conservation group, said it was shocked by the proposals and would be objecting in the strongest terms.
A new study by Bankrate.com of the most and least lucrative undergraduate fields of study found that theater, performing and visual arts, composition and speech, library science, and “miscellaneous fine arts” (rock bottom) were the ten “least valuable” majors. Worse, majors in “miscellaneous fine arts” have a substantially higher unemployment rate than high-school dropouts.
Art is naive. There’s something painfully innocent about the attempt to forge a meaningful statement out of nothing; to stand up in front of people and sing or play or speak with all your heart, knowing you may look foolish, knowing you may spectacularly fail. Our big institutions, the mighty choruses and orchestras and theaters that offer Verdi Requiems and King Lears, generally insulate us and themselves from this kind of failure
Luckily, 2018 avoided a total repeat of last year’s Fyre Festival debacle (phew), but several festivals did go up in flames. Retire your flower crowns, rompers, and drug stashes for the winter and let’s pour one out for all the festivals we lost this year — some gone for good, others on hiatus, and a few on death watch.
Massacres like this were a major part of what some historians call a forgotten genocide during the colonization and settlement of the American West. The perpetrators of these massacres were sometimes honored with mountains, valleys and towns.
Link taxes are a bad idea. In an era of fake news, anything that limits the ability of internet users to link to reliable news sources deals a terrible blow to our already weakened public discourse. Copyright filters are an even worse idea. Not only will these both overblock and underblock, they’ll also be ripe for abuse.
“We call it scratch architecture,” says architect Steve Tompkins, referring to the process of scratch theatre pioneered at BAC, where ideas are tested out live in the early stages of development, with audience feedback used to evolve the performance. “It’s not about a perfectly authored finished product, which is a difficult idea for architects to stomach,” he adds. “But we wondered if we could do a parallel process by insinuating ourselves into the productions. What would it mean for us to relinquish tyrannical control over the project?”
“When I got the job as artistic director if you’d told me that the centre I run would have bedrooms, a co-working space for 150 businesses and a family play room, I might not have believed you. But cultural venues are changing. And they need to change more.”
Last year, the conservative mayor’s office, backed by Netanyahu’s controversial national culture minister, Miri Regev, began moving against the Barbur Gallery, which has been operating in a city-owned building for 13 years. The reason? Barbur hasted several events by Breaking the Silence, an organization founded by former Israeli soldiers who oppose the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories. Last week a judge approved an eviction request, even as he acknowledged that the request was blatantly political.