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Exit Interview: Architecture Critic Blair Kamin

It’s really, really important to have critics who, at their best, can deliver lighting bolts that say, “This is a horrible idea. Don’t do it.” “Don’t put a Holiday Inn glass box on top of Chicago’s Union Station.” (It didn’t happen.) Or, ‘The lakefront in Chicago is divided by the chasm of race, address it.” Over the last 22...

Mark Swed: My Picks For Culture Secretary

"A Secretary of Culture would serve not as advisor to the president but as a conscience to government itself. Mr. or Madame Secretary would set a national tone of cultural ambition. If you are worried about politicizing culture, don’t be. Artists are rebels. Any benighted culture czar who happens to come along will have to contend with socially nourishing...

The Different Flavors Of Change

The paradox of change is that while it impacts us on a very subjective, personal level and each of us perceives it very differently, on another level it also unites us because of its universal aspects, aspects that can help us define our common humanity. - 3 Quarks Daily

Norway’s New Whale Museum Looks Like… A Whale

From far away, The Whale museum on the southern coast of Norway looks like, well, a whale — the tail of a whale emerging from water, to be more precise. But upon closer inspection, visitors will find that this architectural marvel is actually a scenic viewpoint and an educational center where they can learn about the local marine life....

Dropped By Simon And Schuster, Josh Hawley Finds A New Publisher For His Book

Regnery will publish Hawley's book, titled "The Tyranny of Big Tech," in the spring, according to a news release from the publisher. - CNN

‘Für Elise” — Igor Levit Says That Piece You Hate From Piano Lessons Is One Of Beethoven’s Finest Works

"It's just emptiness. How great must a composer be to allow himself to write about nothing?" The pianist has a go at persuading Joshua Barone. - The New York Times

Is American History As We’ve Been Taught It Wrong? Trump Commission Says So

The commission’s report charges, in terms quickly derided by many mainstream historians, that Americans are being indoctrinated with a false critique of the nation’s founding and identity, including the role of slavery in its history. - The New York Times

How Did American Theater Deal With The Trump Era? Urgently

"For the most part, it didn't aim straight at the president. … Rather, producers elevated formally adventurous, politically incendiary plays — like Heidi Schreck's What the Constitution Means to Me and Jeremy O. Harris's Slave Play — that spoke meaningfully to our nation’s troubled soul. Audiences, hungering for that holiest of dramatic experiences, catharsis, used the ritual of theatergoing...

Longtime NPR Arts Editor Tom Cole Retires

"That is a typical Tom Cole piece, which is to say it's not typical at all. For three decades, Tom has positioned himself as an enabler for reporters interested in exploring fascinating corners of the arts - a lost era of Shanghai jazz, say, that NPR's Hansi Lo Wang discovered meant different things to different audiences." - NPR

Black Ballet Dancers Talk About How To Move Toward Equity And Inclusion

Black artists From Boston Ballet, ABT, New York City Ballet, BalletMet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Tanzcompany Innsbruck, the Trocks, and the pool of freelance dancers describe the challenges they face and what would be genuinely helpful. - Dance Magazine

Perhaps We’d Be Happier If We Stopped Pursuing Being Happy?

As well as reducing everyday contentment, the constant desire to feel happier can make people feel more lonely. We become so absorbed in our own wellbeing, we forget the people around us – and may even resent them for inadvertently bringing down our mood or distracting us from more “important” goals. - The Guardian

First New Blue Pigment In Two Centuries Now Available To Public

"YInMn Blue, the brilliant pigment discovered in 2009 at an Oregon State University lab, … was finally approved by the EPA for use in artists' materials last May. Chemist Mas Subramanian and his team serendipitously came upon it while conducting experiments with rare earth elements as part of their work with semiconductors." - Artnet

Stage Union Volunteers To Help Theatres Be Vaccination Sites

Jonas Loeb, communications director of IATSE, says this time around turning music venues into a vaccination center would require a new configuration. “It doesn’t use any unusual technique.” He adds, “The workers know those venues better than anyone else and can help hook up all necessary utilities quickly and efficiently. To them, it’s a relatively normal job, but with...

Streaming Giants From U.S. May End Up Saving Canadian TV Industry

"Canada forcing Netflix and other foreign streamers to pour $800 million annually into local Canadian content will be a lifeline for world-beating creators, say Bill C-10 supporters." - The Hollywood Reporter

Philip J. Smith, Chairman Of Shubert Organization, Dead Of COVID At 89

"A low-key businessman who started as a movie usher, presided for more than a decade over the nation's oldest and largest theatrical company, an archipelago of 17 Broadway theaters, many of them historic landmarks; six Off Broadway stages; and other properties, including a theater in Philadelphia." - The New York Times

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