ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Illinois’s Reopening Rules Make No Sense For Chicago’s Arts Venues

Under the current Phase 4 of Gov. Pritzker's five-phase plan, indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum capacity of 50% or 50 people per room, whichever is lower. That makes sense for restaurants, bars, multiplex cinemas and possibly even Chicago's storefront theaters — but, Chris Jones points out, the Auditorium Theater, Orchestra Hall, the Civic Opera House, and other such venues can safely hold many more than 50 people. And there's no intermediate stage between Phase 4 and reopening everything at full capacity. - Yahoo! (Chicago Tribune)

BAM Gave Its President Nearly $1 Million To Buy New Apartment (And Then She Quit)

When the Brooklyn Academy of Music hired Katy Clark as its new CEO, the board wanted her to live in Brooklyn, where real estate prices were higher than in the upper Manhattan neighborhood she was moving from. So they gave her $968,000 toward the price of her new home — a figure well over 2½ times her $355,000 annual salary. Clark's contract said she'd have to pay part of that money back if she left her position before five years had passed — and not long after the five-year mark, she resigned to take a very different job. - The New York Times

Australia’s Big Festivals Try To Play During COVID – With Mixed Success

Adelaide’s festivals were luckier than most. On the final Friday of last year’s season it was announced gatherings of more than 500 would be banned the following Monday. The air that weekend was eerie. The crowds were small and uncertain. Being out was a risk – but no one knew how big or small. - The Guardian

What Happens To LA’s Black Culture When The Black Population Shrinks?

For many decades, Los Angeles had been known as a Black migrant "magnet." Folks came for the promise and the sunshine. The Black population in L.A. has dropped 30% since 1990, according to census data. What happens when your population falls below a certain percentage? What's the magic number? 10%? Nine? Seven? Slip below this and you fade away into a ghost. When do you — I — any of us become transparent? Lost to vision — of planners and the future. - LAist

Small-Scale Indoor Performances To Return To New York In April

" said that arts, entertainment and events venues can reopen April 2 at 33 percent capacity, with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, and a requirement that all attendees wear masks and be socially distanced. Those limits would be increased — to 150 people indoors or 500 people outdoors — if all attendees test negative before entering." - The New York Times

Requiring Audiences To Present Vaccine Passports — Would It Be Feasible?

On the surface, it certainly seems as if asking ticket buyers to show proof of COVID vaccination would be a good, quick way to performances running again and performers back to work — and in Chicago, at least, venues and presenters are considering the option seriously. Yet, writes Chris Jones, the idea poses potentially serious problems, both practical and ethical. - Yahoo! (Chicago Tribune)

UK Artists Have Been Hit With A Double Whammy

"There have been two great catastrophes.The first has been the abandonment of freelancers, many of whom work in the arts. A whole swathe of them – about a third – have fallen through the cracks of the income support scheme and are ineligible for loans that have helped many others. The final debacle has not had anything to do with Covid at all but will be just as devastating. The new rules that follow Brexit mean that touring in Europe will now be vastly bureaucratic and significantly more expensive." - Apollo

UK To Spend Another Half Biillion For Arts Sector’s COVID Recovery

The government is topping up the £1.57 billion ($1.9 billion) Culture Recovery Fund announced last July with an extra £300 million ($416 million), with an additional £90 million ($125 million) for English national museums and heritage sites and £18.8 million ($26 million) for local community-based projects. Alongside that funding designated for England, arts groups in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will get £77 million ($107 million), an amount roughly proportionate to their share of the total UK population. - Variety

How The Internet Has (So Far) Transformed Celebrity

We live in a fragmented celebrity world, due mostly - but not entirely - to social media. It's a global culture "where somebody can have nearly 17 million subscribers on YouTube and plenty of people can have no clue who they are." - The Guardian (UK)

German Study: Concerts, Museums, Performances In Theatres Are Safer Than Other Indoor Activities

The researchers found that if kept at 30% capacity with everyone wearing a mask and following proper precautions, museums, theaters, and operas are safer than any other activity studied. In museums, the R-value stands at 0.5 compared to 0.6 in hair salons and 0.8 in public transportation. - Hyperallergic

Race, Privilege, And Values Collide At Smith College

"This is a tale of how race, class and power collided at the elite 145-year-old liberal arts college, where tuition, room and board top $78,000 a year and where the employees who keep the school running often come from working-class enclaves beyond the school’s elegant wrought iron gates. The story highlights the tensions between a student’s deeply felt sense of personal truth and facts that are at odds with it." - The New York Times

California Lost 175,000 Creative Sector Jobs In 2020

The latest edition of an annual study from the Otis College of Arts & Design found that "the creative economy lost more than 13 percent of its job in California, and more than 25 percent in Los Angeles County." Two studies on the economic impact of the pandemic from Californians for the Arts are similarly dispiriting. - Artnet

Lincoln Center To Open 10 Outdoor Spaces This Spring

"The broad initiative, known as 'Restart Stages,' … plans for a cabaret-style stage, a dedicated area for families that will feature arts activities for children, rehearsal venues that will be open to the public, an outdoor reading room created in partnership with the New York Library for the Performing Arts and an outdoor space for another kind of Lincoln Center ritual: public school graduations held each spring and summer." - The New York Times

Australia’s Big Festivals Have Thrived With International Stars. Can They Work With Local Artists?

Tasmania’s MONA FOMA festival last month saw a 'hyperlocal' approach to programming. Unable to draw headliners from around the world, local artists were front and centre – of the 352 artists involved, 90% were Tasmanian. By most accounts, it was a success with reviewers and audiences. - ArtsHub (Australia)

NYC Culture Jobs Down By Astonishing Two-Thirds In 2020

Jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation fell by 66% last year from 2019, the largest decline among the city’s economic sectors, erasing a decade of gains in what was one of New York’s most vibrant industries, the report said. - Crain's New York

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