This Week: Earthquake Devastates Historic Italian Towns… Has the audience deserted blockbuster movies?… The best new beautiful library of 2016… Is it a good idea to pay young people to try culture?… When superstar dancers were arrested in a 1960s police raid.
- Earthquake Devastates Historic Italian Towns: Historians fear that valuable Italian art and heritage have been destroyed by the 6.2-magnitude quake. The Dutch classicist David Rijser, an expert on the culture of Abruzzo, said there had been damage to the central region’s many churches, funeral monuments and museums. “It has been a true drama, there is a lot that has been lost,” he told Dutch radio.
- In A Summer Of Failed Movie Blockbusters, Have Movies Stopped Mattering? “Nowadays there’s likely something way more exciting than the latest alleged blockbuster waiting for you on your phone, whether it’s a Frank Ocean record, a cornered Charmeleon, or some dank memes. And with social media providing us real-time updates of our passions and consumption, it’s become clear that, in 2016, people are less passionate about films than ever before.” Meanwhile, a BBC poll of movie critics worldwide show a widening gulf between what the critics like and what the audience pays to see.
- Is This The Best New Public Library In 2016? It’s in Denmark’s second-biggest city. It’s beautiful and airy and is a gathering place for the community – all parts of it. “On one hand, our cultural ambitions to open up all branches of knowledge to every generation and social class and, on the other hand, our sense of functional and beautiful design.”
- How Do You Get Young People To Consume Culture? Pay Them! Italy announced a plan to give every 18-year-old €500 to spend on culture. “In a scheme that gets underway on September 15th, every Italian resident [born in] 1998 will be given a ‘culture bonus’, which they can use to buy books, concerts tickets, theatre tickets, cinema tickets, museum visits and even trips to the country’s national parks.” Yes it’s a subsidy to the country’s arts sector. But the hope is also that it will motivate young people to try culture they otherwise might not.
- For Fun: That Time Rudolf Nureyev And Margot Fonteyn Got Arrested In A “Hippie” Raid: It was the 1967. Haight Ashbury. The dance superstars had gone in search of where the action was in the drugged out “Summer of Love”. “Marijuana cigarettes were found at the scene,” noted the paper, although the two ballet dancers had to be released as there was no evidence that they had been smoking them. A high-spirited Nureyev had, however, performed a jeté into the back of a police van.
I certainly hope that paying youngsters to attend “cultural” events will help, but I’m not sure. I beg to suggest that the older folks take such possible future-art-lovers to performances and museums as a nice day out, and talk about how much fun it is to enjoy things like classical music, dance, plays, art exhibitions, and the like for the rest of their life. Remind them how fast they tire of their new favorite song…