ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


COVID Killed Two-Thirds Of All Arts And Recreation Jobs In NYC

"Employment in New York City's arts, entertainment and recreation sector plummeted by 66 percent from December 2019 to December 2020, according to a report released on Wednesday by the New York State Comptroller's office." The study "said that the sector had seen the largest drop of all the parts of the city's economy." - The New York Times

Brexit Is Far More Damaging Than COVID, Say British Theatre And Dance Companies

Says the executive producer at one major troupe, "Brexit will have the bigger impact because it's a long-term restriction. We're a flexible, dynamic sector and can work our way out of COVID – but if we can't produce and export our work, that's going to have a devastating effect." - The Guardian

A Time Of Reckoning For Cultural Organizations

"For institutions that have historically enjoyed a certain level of prestige, these calls for reexamination of (and accountability for) their charitable purposes may be disorienting. For some, the impulse might be to retreat further, to protect their reputations and their leadership, to ride this out." - NonProfit Quarterly

Roberto Bedoya Talks About Place-Making

I was so surprised how “place-keeping” became such a sticky word across the country. I was offering a strong artist’s point of view about place, one in which artists weren’t being instrumentalized by the architect, or even the city planner, who wants a vibrant cultural district so that they can have sales; generate tax dollars. - Open Space

UK Museum Workers’ Unions Fear Boris Johnson’s Government Wants To ‘Airbrush’ British History

"Prospect, the FDA union and PCS union wrote that their members were 'deeply worried' that the government was challenging the independence of museums and galleries to provoke an unnecessary 'culture war' over the portrayal of historical figures" following a meeting between culture secretary Oliver Dowden and the directors of a number of the country's major museums. - The Guardian

Cuban Artists Demand Removal Of Culture Minister

The Cuban activist group 27N submitted a legal request for Alonso’s removal to the National Assembly of People’s Power on February 3 on behalf of nearly 1,300 artists, intellectuals, and activists. - Artnet

Why Is The Turkish Government Trying To Sue This Cultural Organization Out Of Existence?

"While art philanthropist Osman Kavala has been jailed in Turkey for more than three years without conviction, the country has now filed an unprecedented lawsuit in an attempt to dismantle his Istanbul-based arts organization Anadolu Kültür. … Kavala's various initiatives to support cultural memory projects for Kurds, Armenians, Yazidis, and other marginalized groups in Turkey have long made Anadolu Kültür a target of government scrutiny." - Hyperallergic

Think The Arts Stand Apart From Political Issues? They Can’t Be

As we are now experiencing in new ways with COVID-19, we cannot have a just arts sector within an unjust world. And moreover, we do have the means and the agency to make change, not just for the arts sector, but for our global community. What we need is a new narrative. - HowlRound

In Canada, The Supreme Court Is Facing A Major Case About Comedy And Freedom Of Speech

At issue: Whether the comedian Mike Ward harmed a disabled teenager by mocking his disability, calling him "ugly," saying that the youth would die soon and if he didn't, the comedian would drown him. Comedians in Canada are not laughing about this case. One asked, "Will I need to have my every comedy routine reviewed by a lawyer, or think before every joke whether I am going to find myself in front of the Supreme Court?" - The New York Times

Facebook’s Ban On Australian News Has Harmed Small Aussie Arts Orgs

Small arts organizations got caught up in the massive trawler net of Facebook's rush to react to a new Australian law meant to generate funding for news organizations. "By the close of business on Thursday, over 300 arts organizations were impacted by the snap ban. While Facebook worked over the ensuing 24-hours to reinstate a number of pages, irreparable damage had already been done." - Hyperallergic

The Latest Front In A Music Copyright Battle: Superhero Cartoons

Members of De La Soul were, suddenly, characters on Teen Titans Go!, where in one episode, "the plot revolves around a fraught real-life issue: the ownership and availability of the group’s back catalog." And honestly, that's wild (and could bring change). "A major network show tailored for kids can get away with including more didactic lessons and explanations than ... countless documentaries and online entreaties read by their fans would." - Slate

That Podcast Exposing One Media Empire’s Bigotry And Workplace Bullying Came Under Fire For The Same Behavior

This is a twisty, turny saga that does not in any way make the original media empire - Bon Appetit, of course - look any better, but the public peeling of "problematic media property" layers may not be over anytime soon. To quote one former podcaster: "I’ve been telling you guys @Gimletmedia is toxic for a long time. I’m glad others are speaking out. I know it’s hard. Podcasting didn’t have to be like this." - Los Angeles Times

Consider The Ushers…

Usher is a variant of the French huisier, from the Latin ostiarius, a custodian of the doors. The role comes from early modern theater, where Randle Cotgrave’s 1611 dictionary also has them as “audiencers.” The Gentleman Usher would be among the most active figures running an aristocratic house, supervising honored guests in performances, courtly masques, or other entertainments. - Van

The Real Failures Of Our Cultural Policies

"The hidden costs of socially engaged arts practice is inextricably connected to the crisis of social care and service provision. It is also a result of the unwillingness of commissioners of publicly funded socially engaged practice to accept responsibility for the care that participants of the activities they support need, both during and after the project.  This amounts to a moral failure of cultural policy: poorly funded projects are often relied upon to provide the evidence, case studies, sector report, powerful images that feed into evaluations, and policy statements on social impact." - Arts Professional

Finally, The Obama Presidential Center Is Underway

"This month, in the wake of an appeals court decision favorable to the city and the recent completion of federal reviews, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the Obama Presidential Center, including a 235-foot tower and major taxpayer-supported infrastructure, would finally be getting underway." - Chicago Reader

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