ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


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

Arts Groups Get Snagged In Facebook’s Australia News Ban

As the Australian government pushed the social media giant, along with Google, to pay news outlets there for use of their material for links, the search engine made deals, while Facebook decided to block all news links in the country as of Thursday. That morning, more than 250 Australian cultural organizations found their Facebook pages wiped clean: it seems they qualified as "news publishers" under the company's definition. Facebook is making them fill out an appeal form online and then simply wait. - The Guardian

Charge: UK Government Has Forgotten Culture Post-Brexit

MPs at the digital, culture, media and sport committee hearing told DCMS minister Caroline Dinenage that her department was treated as an “afterthought” by the government, and that during Brexit negotiations the creative industries were not prioritised, despite their accounting for about a quarter of the UK’s economy. - The Guardian

Why It’s Important To Make Art With Your Kids

"When young children make art together with their caregivers, they share a new experience which can reinforce bonding. Creativity is an extension of babies’ natural desire to share and communicate." - The Conversation

Marfa, Texas Is Getting An(other) Arts Center

"For the last year, Michael Phelan — a contemporary artist who has lived in Marfa full time since 2014 — has been quietly planning another destination within miles of both sites: Marfa Invitational, an interdisciplinary, year-round arts and cultural foundation, set on five acres of high desert." - The New York Times

What Better Use For An Empty IKEA Store Than As An Arts Center?

That's what could happen in the English city of Coventry: the Swedish furniture chain closed its store there last year, Coventry is the UK's City of Culture for 2021, and the big interior space could hold artwork that the current museum can't. The city council votes on a plan next week. - BBC

Keeping Up Live Performance As The World Goes Virtual

"We have a total commitment to live performance. That's what we do. We're not a film company," says the director of the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. What's more, "we really wanted to maintain work for artists as much as possible, as well as our staff, … at a time when they really didn't have a lot of options." And so, with safety measures in place, since this past fall the Annenberg has been streaming performances in real time from its stage. - The Philadelphia Inquirer

What The New Movie ‘Judas And The Black Messiah’ Reveals About The United States’ History – And Present

In short, and in no surprise to anyone who has studied the history of the U.S., or indeed lived that history: "Judas and the Black Messiah makes an urgent case for why the FBI, and, by extension, American law enforcement, must change priorities. Violence from white extremists poses a far greater threat to the country’s safety than activism from groups that seek to improve the living conditions of the most marginalized people." - The Atlantic

Zoom – It’s A Song Lyric, It’s A Facilitator Of Romance…

As a nonsense word perfect for a doo-wop song. It's a video app that connects people and (sometimes) facilitates romance. - WBUR

At Last Minute, Trump Made The Arts Commission Overseeing Capitol All-Male, All-White

"After Donald Trump made a flurry of hasty, last-minute appointments to the board that oversees the design of much of what is built in the capital, the CFA is once again all White and all male after decades of more diverse membership." - Washington Post

Southern Hemisphere’s Largest Arts Festival Watches And Waits As COVID Restrictions Come And Go

"Adelaide Fringe festival is scrambling to determine how the sudden closure of South Australia's borders to Melbourne residents may affect dozens of its shows. The festival, the second largest open-access arts festival in the world after the Edinburgh Fringe and the largest in the southern hemisphere, is scheduled to open on 19 February and run for four weeks." Last week, the Perth Festival lost its opening events when Western Australia imposed a sudden five-day lockdown. - The Guardian

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