ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Yes, Things Might Look Up, But It Will Be A Long Slow Recovery For The Arts

For a broad chunk of the population, turning off that switch might not be as simple as being told it is okay to do so. Some local museum officials I’ve talked to think it might be 2023 or 24 before they return to pre-pandemic revenue levels. - Chicago Tribune

A New “Arts Worker” Movement

Built on the concept of the “arts worker” — an immense labor category representing 8.8 million Americans doing everything from designing clothing to sweeping museum floors — this movement asserts that the arts are as foundational as farming or manufacturing. And its focus is not so much public relations as it is survival, an aim reinforced daily by the financial devastation the coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the nation’s creative economy. - Washington Post

France’s Cultural Venues Will Be Closed All Month

"Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed … museums, cinemas, theaters, concert halls and gyms 'will not in the weeks to come'." Venues had opened in the late summer with safety measures but closed again on Oct. 30 as COVID's second wave swelled; planned reopenings announced for Dec. 15 and then Jan. 7 were called off as new cases of the disease kept rising. - Variety

‘Obscenities, Inanities And Treason’: A Critic On The Riot At The U.S. Capitol

Philip Kennicott: "The whole drama, the body language, the flags and the onslaught, was borrowed from other dramas — genuine displays of revolutionary fervor against autocrats, authentic acts protesting illegitimate governments. But was a charade. Not civic or selfless, but corrosive, destructive and illegal. … One moment in today's appalling mayhem was telling. As they filed through Statuary Hall, some of Trump's thugs snapped selfies of themselves, as if they were merely tourists." - The Washington Post

MD High Court Rules Rap Lyrics Can Be Used As Evidence Against Defendant

"Three weeks before trial, Montague used a jailhouse telephone to record a rap verse, which was then uploaded to Instagram. , the State of Maryland introduced the telephone recording of the lyrics as evidence of Montague's guilt, and was convicted and sentenced to a combined fifty years . Maryland's highest court … affirmed conviction, finding that the danger of unfair prejudice posed by the admission of the lyrics does not substantially outweigh the lyrics' probative value." - Variety

Ex-Employees Of The California Arts Council Speak Out

"When it comes to the arts program specialists, I and several of my former colleagues found it to be a space that causes fear of retaliation, targeting and silencing, and where leadership lacks accountability." - Hyperallergic

The Fifteen-Minute City? Sweden Considers The “One-Minute City”

A plan piloted by Swedish national innovation body Vinnova and design think tank ArkDes focuses attention on what Dan Hill, Vinnova’s director of strategic design, calls the “one-minute city.” It’s a order of magnitude smaller than other recent think-local planning conceits. While Paris works with a 15-minute radius and Barcelona’s superblocks with nine-block chunks of the city, Sweden’s project operates at the single street level, paying attention to “the space outside your front door — and that of your neighbors adjacent and opposite,” Hill says. - Bloomberg CityLab

Australian Artists: Why Did The National Government Forget Us?

"For some, state governments stepped up and provided support. But the message to artists from the federal government was: you are not important to the national agenda, and therefore we can –and will – ignore you." - ArtsHub

Arts Organizations Turn To Stars For Fundraising

The pandemic has forced arts institutions on both sides of the Atlantic to swiftly up their online game. The New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet usually hold a big benefit event and a backstage tour for donors after a Christmas Saturday matinee of The Nutcracker. This time Tiler Peck, principal dancer, gave an online tour instead, while those who had bought tickets watched from home after receiving a package of treats delivered to their doors. - The Guardian

Michael Bobbitt Is Tired Of Boards. What To Do?

Ugh. In our current structure, boards of directors for nonprofits don’t work. I’m sure there are outliers with highly functioning boards, but this is not the norm. How do we fix this? - American Theatre

The Current State Of Lockdowns Around Europe

Rules vary quite a bit between the eight countries covered here. The Netherlands, which has seen a huge surge in cases, is quite strict; Sweden, which was much laxer than most of the continent, has gotten more strict but still less so than France or Germany (which is letting some performances continue without audiences). Spain's measures vary widely by region, as will Italy's starting this week, while Hungary is largely open for business but its borders are virtually sealed. - The Guardian

Britain’s Gone Into Another Lockdown. How Are The Arts Affected?

It's not as bad as it was last spring, and, in London, not too different from the last couple of weeks. "As per guidance, 'training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)' will be exempt from the rules regarding business closures, while auditoria will be able to open 'for the purposes of film and TV filming'." - WhatsOnStage (UK)

As Australia’s Arts Festival Season Begins Amid The Pandemic, All Eyes Are On Sydney

"The Festival is poised to open on Wednesday and its administrators are on high alert. Though Covid-19 case reports remain low, the list of exposure sites is growing by the day. … With Perth Festival following in early February and Adelaide Festival" — the largest arts event in the Southern Hemisphere — "a few weeks later, what happens in Sydney will be keenly observed." - The Guardian

Sydney’s Reopening Theatres Say They’re ‘COVID-Safe.’ Are They?

The Opera House finally became the last of the city's major venues to require masks, but enforcing the policy is not easy, and most of the theatres are selling up to 75% of capacity, as opposed to the less-than-half that's been standard in where venues have been open in Europe and North America. Will these performances become super-spreader events? - The Guardian

The Institutions That Used To Support Creative Work

"Artists in the middle of the twentieth century flourished not because the economy was inherently favorable to them, but as a result of powerful economic winds and the groups that joined in an attempt to harness them. Together, creative class groups wielded the crowbar of politics in an attempt to pry some autonomy out of consumer capitalism. If these standards of living were sharply eroded over the last 50 years, it is partly because the institutions that once upheld them had also fallen away." - The New Republic

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