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Here’s How A Few Other Countries Have Been Aiding Arts Workers Through The Pandemic

"In December, owners and operators of theaters and music halls across the United States breathed a sigh of relief when Congress passed the latest coronavirus aid package, which finally set aside $15 billion to help desperate cultural venues. But that came more than six months after a host of other countries had taken steps to buffer the strain of the pandemic on the arts and artists. Here are the highlights, and missteps, from eight countries' efforts." - The New York Times

While He Was Being Impeached, Trump Gave Two People The National Medal Of Arts. So What Exactly Is That?

The awards to country music stars Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs weren't even officially announced; word went out in a tweet from Bloomberg News. So the question arose on social media: what is this medal and how big a deal is it? Reporter Jessica Gelt provides an explainer. - Los Angeles Times

France Guarantees Unemployment Funds For Artists

In the U.S., some artists have turned to philanthropic or community support to get by. But in France, dancers, musicians, even the set-builders, costumers and lighting designers who work on the production enjoy regular unemployment support. - NPR

How One Arts Funder Is Trying To Diversify Its Selection Process

“The ‘X-factor’ that drew me to an organization was their organic feel. Anyone with money or political ambition can rent a space, start a 501(c)(3) and write a fancy application. The part you can’t fake is the organic passion and joy that comes from serving your community. I kept my eyes and ears open for that, and that’s how I came to my conclusion.” - Inside Philanthropy

Why Government Needs To Invest In The Arts — Particularly Now

Political developments have revealed a nation split more fiercely than most people ever imagined. Many of the civic institutions that have sustained American life — both for good and for ill — are beginning to teeter. - San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Cuomo Announces Plan To Revive New York’s COVID-Devastated Arts Scene

" announced on Tuesday a statewide program of indoor and outdoor shows over the coming months that will feature upwards of 150 performers — among them Hugh Jackman, Wynton Marsalis, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer and Chris Rock. The public-private partnership, which Cuomo called the 'New York Arts Revival,' commences next month and is the most ambitious attempt yet by any state to promote and advance a return to live performances." - The Washington Post

More Shenanigans And Secrecy Around COVID Arts Relief Money In Australia’s Largest State

New South Wales was the last of the country's states to establish a rescue package for artists and organizations devastated by the pandemic-related lockdowns — and when the $50 million fund was finally set up, there was unusual secrecy around the application process and the breakdown of money awarded. Seven months later, $30 million hasn't even been allocated yet, half of what has been given out went to one organization, and $7 million isn't accounted for at all. - The Guardian

NEA Releases A Blueprint For Arts Organizations Reopening

"The NEA conducted in-depth interviews with nine arts organizations to identify common practices among those who have successfully reopened their doors to audiences or visitors during the pandemic. In addition to these case studies, the NEA also drew from national service organizations in the arts, document scans, and interviews with arts management consultants." - American Theatre

Frank Gehry’s Dream Of Turing The LA River Into A Vast Cultural Space

Architect Frank Gehry has unveiled a bold plan to transform the river into more than just a concrete flood channel and establish it as an unprecedented system of open space. - Los Angeles Times

Paris Mayor Approves €250 Million Plan To Green The Champs-Elysées

That doesn't just mean to make the boulevard more environmentally friendly. "Anne Hidalgo said the planned work, unveiled in 2019 by local community leaders and businesses, would turn the 1.9 km (1.2 mile) stretch of central Paris into 'an extraordinary garden'. … The eight-lane highway is used by an average of 3,000 vehicles an hour, most passing through, and is more polluted than the busy périphérique ring road around the French capital." - The Guardian

Derelict East German Amusement Park Will Become (Another) Berlin Arts District

"Some €45 million has been raised for the project, which was first proposed in 2014 after the city, through the government-owned company Grün Berlin, took over the park's management. The former Spreepark, as the theme park is known, spans 56 riverside acres that are currently fenced off as old rides and amusement sites sit in various states of disrepair." - Artnet

How Governments Around The World Are Supporting The Arts To Survive COVID

Governments across Europe, as well as in Canada, Australia and some Asian countries, have held back the wave so far by moving fast at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis to stave off mass unemployment and prevent a financial meltdown. - The Hollywood Reporter

The Book That Predicted, And Probably Was The Blueprint For, Last Wednesday’s Coup

In a way, The Turner Diaries shows how white supremacists carried out the insurrection - and it provides a pretty clear idea of what's coming next. Historian Kathleen Belew says that even in the 1980s, supremacy groups "kept stacks of them, not just one copy but 15 copies in the book house of one white power terrorist group. They distributed them at paramilitary training camps. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh carried and read and sold the book to others on the gun show circuit. And it’s just one of those things that keeps coming up because it answers this question of how a fringe movement can exert military control on a superstate like the United States." - Los Angeles Times

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

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