The not-for-profit Brass for Africa “has delivered 800 brass instruments to both Uganda and Liberia and reaches over 1000 children weekly. … The children involved include those living in extreme poverty (living either as street children or in a slum), as well as children living in orphanages and rehabilitation centres, living with physical or mental disability, or coping with HIV/AIDS. These children each have two training sessions a week, which include music theory, and … the bands each have at least three performances a year,.”
Not every book needs to be splashy. Author Silas House: “To me, good literature examines the way the biggest moments of life happens in the quiet moments. I think the characters I create tend to be quiet observers, people who might lead quiet lives but are very sensory. I love the idea of examining what some might think of as ‘small, quiet lives.'”
While the arts may not always seem to be an obvious area for investment, the sector has uniquely comprehensive impact. Cultural activity creates social cohesion, builds neighborhood identity, supports local economies by providing direct and ancillary jobs for residents, and generates spending at a range of businesses, large and small—from equipment suppliers and caterers to parking garages, dry cleaners and babysitters.
The classic Chicago accent is heard less often these days because the white working class is less numerous, and less influential, than it was in the 20th century. It has been pushed to the margins of city life, both figuratively and geographically, by white flight, multiculturalism and globalization: The accent is most prevalent in blue-collar suburbs and predominantly white neighborhoods in the northwest and southwest corners of the city, now heavily populated by city workers whose families have lived in Chicago for generations.
Once upon a time — specifically, from the dawn of the “talkie” in the 1920s until just a few years ago — Hollywood’s calculus regarding how sequels got made was simple. A movie came out, did big business, won over fans, and the captains of industry in the studio C-suite called out for another one: the same again, only different. These days, however, the forces dictating which films get sequelized and which don’t has become a much weirder science.
“It’s ironic, then, that Wayne LaPierre and the NRA’s other spokespeople blame Hollywood’s glorification of violence whenever there is a mass shooting. What they ignore is that nearly every American film involving weaponry might as well be an NRA infomercial. On the big screen, guns rarely kill innocent bystanders, they don’t go off by accident, and they aren’t used to slaughter children in classrooms. Pick any action movie at random, and I’d wager it could be advertised using LaPierre’s catchphrase: ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.'”
“With characters like ‘Buggeranthos,’ ‘C__tigratia,’ ‘C__ticula,’ ‘Clytoris’ and of course ‘Fuckadillia,’ the late seventeenth-century play Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery would seem to be little more than pornography. And yet, in certain critical respects, this bawdy play embodied the Restoration. … This traumatized world, where all inherited beliefs and moralities were questioned, called out for a poet laureate. [John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester], a debauched dilettante, answered that call.”
“Is Museum of Contemporary Art Director Philippe Vergne on his way out? That’s the question swirling in the art-world air following his surprise firing of MOCA’s chief curator one month ago, the sudden cancellation of the museum’s annual gala fundraiser and, perhaps most important, the pending expiration of Vergne’s contract. … Vergne has placed his $4-million Hollywood Hills mansion on the market, and on Tuesday, real estate websites showed a sale pending.”
When Max Hollein joins the Met he will share responsibility for running the institution with Weiss in a new power-sharing arrangement which may prove difficult to manage. Similar arrangements have proved dysfunctional at the Getty and at the Guggenheim, leading to premature departures by high-profile directors who felt interfered with or undermined. The leadership-by-committee model is in stark contrast to the Met’s hierarchy under Campbell and especially his predecessor, Philippe de Montebello, who ran the Met like a semi-divine sovereign.
Even the term ‘immersive’ has become overused. It is being used to flog everything from fine dining to frozen roast potatoes. Some theatre companies liberally sprinkle their marketing copy with the word ‘immersive’ because they know it can add £10 to the ticket price. As Alexander Wright of the Guild of Misrule observes: “People know they can sell immersive shows. Audiences want them. But there can be a point where it stops being art and is just capitalism.”
Whereas several Eastern European countries have laws that limit free speech about the Holocaust, including Poland, Ukraine and Latvia, the bill targeting the sale of critical books “would be, if passed into law, one of the most blatant and harshest of them all,” said Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff, who co-authored Our People with Rūta Vanagaite, a best-selling novelist.
“When I think about the writers and books I have worked with, it’s the dialogue about shape that I most remember. A draft of a story in which a kind of sonic boom goes off at the beginning demands an answering boom at the end. Or: Rather than trying to launch six complicated characters at the outset, how about introducing them one by one, like a juggler putting balls into the air?”
Outsiders have long been curious how admissions decisions are made. Most of the time this desire for transparency stems from a desire for fairness: Given how few acceptances elite institutions can offer, admitting any group of students almost always means excluding a much larger group that is just as qualified. So the unfortunate truth that investigators and the public may discover after peering into the black box of college admissions is that there are few, if any, procedures for deciding who gets in that would be perceived as fair.
“VARK, which stands for ‘Visual, Auditory, Reading, and Kinesthetic,’ sorts students into those who learn best visually, through aural or heard information, through reading, or through ‘kinesthetic’ experiences. … Experts aren’t sure how the concept spread, but it might have had something to do with the self-esteem movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Everyone was special – so everyone must have a special learning style, too. … [But] a lot of evidence suggests that people aren’t really one certain kind of learner or another.”
“In February, when the embattled Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, announced it had reached an agreement with the state’s attorney general to sell as many as 40 works from its collection, the juiciest detail was that an undisclosed institution had agreed to purchase and exhibit the lot’s most valuable work: a Norman Rockwell masterpiece titled Shuffleton’s Barbership (1950).” That institution has now been disclosed: it’s the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, founded by Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas and now under construction in Los Angeles.
“The author of eight volumes of poetry, Mr. McClatchy was considered one of the country’s foremost men of letters. He was also a prolific editor, anthologist, translator and critic, as well as the author of a string of acclaimed opera librettos, among them Our Town, for Ned Rorem’s setting of Thornton Wilder’s enduring drama of village life, and the Metropolitan Opera’s condensed English-language production of Mozart’s Magic Flute, designed by Julie Taymor.”
“Reality set in when news broke that the damage to the Wortham Center turned out to be much worse than first anticipated. The artistic and administrative team found out that the floodwaters had gone all the way up to the basement ceiling. Costumes from some 50 ballets, which accounts for 60 percent of the repertoire, were destroyed. The theater would remain closed until September 2018, and the company would need to find other venues for the remaining season. But as artistic director Stanton Welch made clear … hurricanes shouldn’t mess with ballet dancers. The company would get through this, and be stronger for it.”
“The history and archaeology of Mongolia, most famously the sites associated with the largest land empire in the history of the world under Genghis Khan, are of global importance. But they’re facing unprecedented threats as climate change and looting impact ancient sites and collections. Climate change and looting may seem to be unrelated issues. But deteriorating climate and environmental conditions result in decreased grazing potential and loss of profits for the region’s many nomadic herders.”
“The iconic actress, comedian, writer and director” – now 85 – “will star in the first Broadway production of Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery, a poignant and timely drama about an elderly gallery owner in Greenwich Village determined to cling to her independence and fight off the effects of aging.”
“She matured as an artist in the 1950s, in the heyday of ‘experimental art’. Her disobedient aesthetic sense helped her to become one of the first British admirers of Jackson Pollock. With Pollock in mind, but also instinctively, she formed pools of colour and spread-out lines, dashes and bravado meanderings. House paint was used on hardboard and her long formats resembled panels or friezes.”
Berkshire Blurbs: Lucas Museum Buys “Shuffleton’s”; Sotheby’s Lowers Some Estimates
No surprise here: The planned Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, which broke ground last month, today announced its acquisition of Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop from the Berkshire Museum (price undisclosed). This means that … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-04-11
Casa Verdi is “a sumptuous neo-Gothic mansion built in central Milan by Verdi. Completed in 1899, the building was created as a sanctuary for musicians who found themselves poverty-stricken in old age, “Old singers not favored by fortune, or who, when they were young, did not possess the virtue of saving,” as Verdi wrote in a letter at the time.”
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito is the most viewed YouTube video of all time, with more than 5bn views, but temporarily disappeared from the site and had its hold image replaced by a photograph of a masked gang holding guns. Hackers calling themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh replaced the description beneath the video with: “Free Palestine.”
UK record labels enjoyed a 10.6% surge in earnings in 2017 to £839m, thanks to the digital popularity of a new generation of artists including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Stormzy. It was the fastest growth since 1995, when Oasis, Blur and Pulp created a high-street CD sales frenzy. Music companies enjoyed a 45% year-on-year increase in subscription streaming revenue – from £239m in 2016 to £347m – as an industry hammered for a decade by illegal piracy now enjoys the success of music lovers turning to legitimate services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.