Like many of us, conductor/composer Craig Hella Johnson was shaken by the story of Shepard, the young man who was gay-bashed to death in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. For years, Johnson had an inchoate desire to create a response – an urge that ultimately led to a full-length work for Johnson’s professional choir, Conspirare.
And not only for the oversexed Instagram feed. “Jerry Saltz is the anti-critic critic, making critic-art out of the whole cloth of himself. Saltz is human Xanax; always ‘on’, he’s forever cheerful, an antidote to life’s chores and routines, maybe shying from his family history of despondency. I can’t remember ever seeing him grumpy or imagine him out of character.”
“It used to be ‘comic books,’ or ‘cartoons,’ or ‘the funnies’ – silly names for childish entertainments. Now, we say ‘graphic novels,’ with some rolling their eyes at the puffed-up earnestness of the name.” Joel Priddy looks at where the descriptor came from, why there’s a backlash against it, and why “comics” may be the least-bad option.
The RSS (for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is a Hindu nationalist group compared by some to the Tea Party and by others to the Ku Klux Klan. The Jaipur Literature Festival is a swanky, high-minded gathering that would consider the RSS both morally repugnant and vulgar. Until this year, that is.
Novelist Siddhartha Deb calls out the event and (especially) its sponsors: “One of India’s largest entertainment companies, Zee is best known for a news channel that serves as the media bludgeon of the Hindu right, its favorite term of abuse, usually flashing in extremely large font, being ‘Deshdrohi,’ or ‘Nation-hater.'”
Few poets write honestly about their economic situation. Indeed, it’s a challenge to find any poet willing to come clean about money: wanting it, enjoying it, needing it, or lacking it—even though this must necessarily be our condition.
“The Pacific Coast, and California in particular, has worked its magic on a host of American composers over the years, from figures like Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison, who started out here, to such postwar emigres as Stravinsky and Schoenberg who arrived here with centuries of European musical history packed inside their valises. But no one has fused those strains — the freedom and sunny openness of the California milieu with the expressive depth and constructive rigor of late Romanticism — with the facility and grace that Adams has shown over a long career.”
The idea of “editorial independence,” like the idea of free speech, is not faulty per se, nor is it necessarily misapplied. But Milo’s’ case reveals the contradictions of any endeavor that speaks in noble tones about the profit motive.
“Getting people through the doors into local venues is getting tougher so VR is being seen as a new form of potential income.”
“Part of the promise of America is the ability to provide for your family while doing work you love, instead of just taking on a job to pay the bills. But for many theatre practitioners and arts administrators, even finding a job just to pay the bills is not in the cards; real living wages are still a rarity in the theatre, especially for freelance theatre workers. With government and private funding for the arts anemic and showing few signs of growth, many theatres are juggling payroll with the overhead needed just to keep the doors open.”
“Computational photography takes a swarm of data from images or image sensors and combines it algorithmically to produce a photo that would be impossible to capture with film photography or digital photography in its more conventional form. Image data can be assembled across time and space, producing super-real high-dynamic range (HDR) photos—or just ones that capture both light and dark areas well.”
“The study reports museums across the country have fairly diverse revenue streams, with endowment income (22%), combined college/university and federal, state and local government support (18%) and individual and family contributions (11%) accounting for over half of all revenue. Admissions revenue accounts for just 6% of revenue, on par with Individual & Family memberships, and just behind contributions from Foundations & Trusts (7%). Corporate contributions and memberships, benefit events, facility rentals, restaurants and catering and exhibition fees all make up between 1–4%, respectively.”
“Just 25 years ago, Baldwin’s quiet growl was so uncommon that The Larry Sanders Show made a running gag of it, with Larry wrestling the upper hand from the much more attractive Baldwin by insulting his ability to project. Nowadays, Talking Like This is so ubiquitous that Will Arnett is about to launch a new children’s franchise based entirely on Batman’s harsh whisper. How did Talking Like This take over the male acting world?” Slate talks to voice (and stage and screen) actor James Urbaniak, something of a historian of acting styles. (includes video)
“We want to live in futuristic betterment but at the same time dread being shot back into premodern bare want. For every promise that some place can be great, there is a parallel claim that if some people are not excluded from it, the greatness will falter and fail. Somehow, the greatness is finite.”
“1984‘s recent spike has been notable, but the novel has perpetually hovered on the bestseller list … For other works, though,” – by Sinclair Lewis, Hannah Arendt, and John Steinbeck – “their rise in popularity seems more directly linked to the emergence of Trump as a political leader.”
The playwright, seven fellow cast members and the director of Evening at the Talk House speak with Alexis Soloski about political theater versus entertainment in 2017.
Protests have broken out since the city’s government announced earlier this month that it was turning over custody of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, a 19th-century gem that was made into a museum by the Soviets, to the Russian Orthodox Church. Secular Russians fear that the church may not be a careful steward of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Tensions went even higher after parliament deputy speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, Leo’s great-grandson, gave a speech criticizing the protests that was widely interpreted as anti-Semitic.)
“The €100m museum in Gdansk, which is scheduled to open to the public at the end of February, has become a political pawn in an ongoing battle over national memory, with the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) keen to control how the years under Nazi German occupation are portrayed.”
“The phenomenon isn’t confined to fiction: Plenty of people have reported having what researchers call ‘life review experiences,’ or LREs.” So a group of neurologists set out to find what people’s reported LREs had in common and what areas of the brain might be involved.
“The latest round of layoffs suggest the finances of the journalism museum remain shaky, as they have ever since it moved from a small space in Arlington to a gigantic building on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District.”
“[Her] production company, MTM Enterprises, created groundbreaking TV shows during the 1970s and 1980s, including Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere. But she was primarily considered one of television’s finest comic actresses because of her roles on two of the most popular sitcoms of all time.”
“For more than 20 years, the artist Christo has worked tirelessly and spent $15 million of his own money to create a vast public artwork in Colorado that would draw thousands of tourists and rival the ambition of “The Gates,” the saffron transformation of Central Park that made him and Jeanne-Claude, his collaborator and wife, two of the most talked-about artists of their generation. But Christo said this week that he had decided to walk away from the Colorado project — a silvery canopy suspended temporarily over 42 miles of the Arkansas River.”
Says one, painter and sculptor Fadi Yazigi , “Art is not only part of my survival – it’s also a way of looking for a solution.” Another, calligrapher Mouneer Al Shaarani, actually moved back to Syria from Egypt after the war started.