Since 2009, Legacy funding has provided more than $440 million to historical, artistic and cultural projects and events, with about $200 million going specifically to artists and arts organizations across the state. In 2009, before that funding began, Minnesota ranked ninth in the nation for per capita public funding for the arts. Today, it ranks first. The state spends about $6 per person on the arts, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, pulling well ahead of states such as Hawaii and New York.
Collectors have historically deferred to institutional givers to do the heavy lifting when it comes to traditional grantmaking and the red-hot area of activist art in particular. This is why Gund’s Art for Justice Fund is so important. It’s predicated on the idea that by selling their work, collectors can advance social justice. As Ford President Darren Walker noted, “art has meaning on a wall, but it also has meaning when it is monetized.”
Robert Lepage has returned to filmmaker Norman McLaren for his latest project Frame by Frame, teaming up with the National Ballet of Canada and the National Film Board to create a multimedia dance production that marries ballet and abstract film animation in hopes of pushing the boundaries of ballet for our technological era. The ballet took four years to make and cost $1.4 million.
“Darin Webb, 47, faces 20 years in jail on wire-fraud charges for embezzling $3.4 million from storied Manhattan agency Donadio & Olson, according to a recently unsealed federal criminal complaint.” The agency represents among others, Chuck Palahniuk and the estates of Mario Puzo and Studs Terkel.
“The world now changes at warp speed. Colleges move glacially. By the time they’ve assembled a new cluster of practical concentrations, an even newer cluster may be called for, and a set of job-specific skills picked up today may be obsolete less than a decade down the road. The idea of college as instantaneously responsive to employers’ evolving needs is a bit of a fantasy.
“In Morocco, where state funding and institutions for the arts is scarce, break dancing has empowered young people to make their own entertainment since its arrival in the 1980s. … While protesters and outspoken artists were targets, dancers flew under the radar because they were seen as apolitical. When a second generation of Moroccan B-boy crews emerged in the early 2000s, their art really began to flourish.” (photo journal)
“A fixture in England and on the Western world’s literary landscape, the TLS is a weekly book review journal with a reputation for being a bit dowdy — less progressive than The London Review of Books, a biweekly, and less agile than the books section of The Guardian, to name two of its competitors.” So where did they go to find an editor to shake things up? To The Sun, the British tabloid best known for its topless “Page 3 girls.” And in his two years there, Stig Abell really has changed the TLS, mostly for the better.
Philippe Vergne, whose contract is not being renewed, is “the third MOCA director in a row who hasn’t been able to make the switch from smart, talented curator to top administrator at a major art museum, and I fear the museum cannot survive another one,” writes Christopher Knight, who argues that the problem is most likely with the museum’s board of directors.
In the wake of the scandals and chaos at the Swedish Academy that led to the postponement of this year’s prize, “Lars Heikensten, director of the Nobel Foundation, … told the national broadcaster Sveriges Radio that the prize ‘will be awarded when the Swedish Academy has won back the public’s trust — and that means there is no deadline for 2019.’ Without naming names, he also urged the 10 remaining active members in the academy to consider leaving their seats.”
These women were part of”a succession of great women designers and illustrators who still shape the world we look at and who are finally being given their due recognition as cultural figures. They survived in an era when female printmakers were rarely trusted with the bank loans or investments that might have allowed them to set up their own design houses. Instead they worked anonymously as freelancers.”
The Golden Booker is an award for one of the Booker winners from the past 50 years, and the shortlist has now been revealed. It includes both popular books – The English Patient and Wolf Hall – and a few surprises as well. Critic and writer Robert McCrum says, “It’s a vindication of 50 years’ debate about the nature of so-called literary fiction. Prizes offer an odd kind of lit crit, but I’d say that almost all the novels the judges had to read, reread and consider have stood the test of time.”
As Philippe Vergne heads out the door, art critic Christopher Knight wonders if there’s some way to DNA-test curators to see if they can make the leap to becoming museum directors – a very different role. “Like his MOCA predecessors Jeremy Strick (1999-2009) and Jeffrey Deitch (2010-2013), Vergne was unable to make the transition from curator to director. That means MOCA, a major art museum of international significance, has been without an effective director going on 20 years — half its lifetime. That desperately needs to change — and fast.”
Adding reviews of Radiohead albums, essays, and political commentary to book reviews has actually worked, it looks like: “The paper is the fastest-growing weekly publication in the United Kingdom, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Paid sales from subscriptions and newsstand have been up 30 percent each of the past two years, from some 26,000 in 2016 to nearly 45,000 today.”
Trailers have their own ratings and metrics now – the number downloaded in the first 24 hours after release, for one thing. “Television plots have become more interesting and complex, with story arcs playing out over seasons instead of a couple hours. To keep up, the trailer business is becoming more creative, with tightly wound teasers targeted to different global markets and attention spans. Some are as short as three seconds on mobile devices.”
This is not your child’s Elmo doll: “It is not the movie’s raunchy depiction of puppets prostituting themselves, cursing or blowing their heads off that caused Sesame Workshop, the educational nonprofit that produces Sesame Street, to file a lawsuit against the film’s creators, STX Entertainment.”