I’ll cut to the chase: between 2003 and 2016, the amount of time that the average American devoted to reading for personal interest on a daily basis dropped from 0.36 hours to 0.29 hours. It would seem that reading in America has declined even further in the past decade. But statistics can be tricky, so let’s kick the tires a little.
May Adrales, who has been a director and collaborator with Qui Nguyen and his play Vietgone for several years, is just finishing up a season as an associate artistic director at the Milwaukee Rep. What has she learned? “It’s hard to initiate change, and it’s hard to start to reframe things differently.”
As the former Citie Ballet – now Ballet Edmonton – takes a name change the company will also start a new partnership with the Fine Arts & Communications Faculty at MacEwan University involving a performance space and other possible collaborations. Finally, Ballet Edmonton has announced that one of Canada’s most acclaimed choreographers Wen Wei Wang will take over as its new artistic director for the 2018-2019 season.
But. Those in distribution and exhibition continue to bet against MoviePass’ survival; since CinemaCon they’ve whispered whether the monthly ticket service would make it to the end of summer. Parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (HMNY) stock has been in free fall, plunging from a high this year of $9.77 on Jan. 23 to a current $0.38.
All of the strategizing and positioning that goes on behind the scenes to create an authentic image makes many companies come off as, well, inauthentic. Working hard to find a niche or an angle that makes a specific company appear both appealing and honest simply makes the company look like it’s trying too hard — and that’s a big turnoff for consumers. In fact, a lack of authenticity has been deemed the “fastest way to kill your brand.”
Alberto Ibarguen: “Over the course of three years — from 2009 to ’11 — Knight and Gallup spoke with 43,000 people in 26 communities around the country. Our question was simple: What attaches people to the place where they live? The study was called “Soul of the Community” and we found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, social offerings and aesthetics bind people to place and to each other even more than what we had expected: education or jobs.”
Trim and mercurial, Ann Philbin, who once clashed with billionaire Eli Broad over funding and turned away potential board members who didn’t share her progressive inclinations, runs on self-assurance and charm. She looks right at you, as if perhaps you’re a painting or video installation to be politely scrutinized, and then, if all goes well, conspired with.
Oracles such as Delphi have fallen out of favour as homes for legitimate understandings. These days, we build tailor-made places where diverse judgments about different kinds of realities get settled: churches and other sacred spaces for sustaining transcendental verities; laboratories for making scientific claims about the natural world; courthouses for deciding the facts of a case. Such specialised ‘truth-spots’ lend credibility to beliefs or claims that come from there.
We both worked together on buying DVDs from the studios, negotiating revenue share and deals. On the side, we were always finding cool projects, documentaries, foreign films, little indie films that we would then put on DVD. That was one of the things we really appreciated about each other when we first met — that love of independent films and documentaries and foreign films. “Hey, did you ever see this one or that one?”
“Such high profile cases [as those of Sherman Alexie and Junot Díaz] are far from rare as the #MeToo movement spreads across the creative industries. They come at a time when writers are facing increasingly draconian attempts by publishers to police their behaviour, calling into question centuries old assumptions about the desirability – or even the possibility in today’s networked world – of separating writers’ lives from their work.”
“The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is moving into theatre producing with a touring show about cuts to domestic violence funding. Refuge Women is a collaboration between journalists and performers, and is inspired by real stories uncovered through investigations into the state of government-funded services for women fleeing domestic violence.”
The hit seven-episode audio documentary by the producers of Serial and This American Life will be adapted for the screen and directed by Tom McCarthy, who won two Oscars in 2015 for Spotlight, about the Boston Globe investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests. But will S-Town translate? Hannah Verdier considers the potential pitfalls and pluses.
In the spring of 2014, Eric Abramovitz, a music student at McGill University in Montreal, was offered a full scholarship to the Coburn School of Music in Los Angeles. But he never got the offer: Jennifer Lee, his then-girlfriend, saw the email from Coburn before he did. René Bruemmer reports on what Lee did next – things that convinced a judge to make such a huge award – and how Abramovitz ultimately found out about it.
“The work in question is called Trolley Hunters, a satirical image of Neanderthal-ish men hunting a shopping cart. It’s said to be the artist’s critique on corporate food production. Its value is estimated at $45,000. … Later Thursday, police released video appearing to show the theft, while the exhibition was still being set up.”
“American Ballet Theatre [has] announced a new initiative to foster the development of choreography by company members and freelance dancemakers. Aptly titled ABT Incubator, the program, directed by principal David Hallberg, will give selected choreographers the opportunity to spend two weeks workshopping new dances.” (This is not to be confused with ABT Women’s Movement, the program to develop work by female choreographers that was announced last month.)
“The Daniel Island Performing Arts Center … was to be a multipurpose new venue that featured a 400-seat proscenium theater, with balconies and an orchestra pit, available to various local and touring theater companies, plus dance programming, classes and more.” In early June, the board abruptly decided to end the project; said one director, “After a year of the board studying the launch of full campaign, it became evident that the building couldn’t be built on donations alone.”
“The Russian government has urged museums to offer discounts to visitors with a World Cup Fan-ID, the special document that allows ticket-holders to enter the country without a visa.” The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow will offer free admission to its 20th- and 21-century art wing for the next six weeks. But the director of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has curtly declined to make any such offer – and the way he explained his reasoning will not please Russian nationalists.
While some of the study’s findings are not particularly surprising — like that artists’ satisfaction with their work increases in direct proportion to the amount of time they spend in the studio — others are quite illuminating, especially where the economics of being an artist are involved. For instance, only 12% of respondents said that gallery sales of their work have been helpful in sustaining their practices, and grants ranked similarly low; the majority (61%) said that freelance and contract work was the most significant economic factor supporting their art.
The iconic imagery from the summit will be the shaking of hands with the interspersed American and North Korean flags in the background. That imagery, followed by the big, broad claim that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, is hard to combat politically. You’ve got to say, “In fact, it’s much more complicated.” As soon as you say that, a significant portion of the public just tunes out.
With numerous winners, past and present, showing work at this year’s Art Basel, Gareth Harris surveys recent history – and artists and gallerists – over how much difference these awards make and whether the trouble and expense artists go through for them is worthwhile. (Last year, the finalists for one major prize insisted they be paid for the exhibitions they had to put together.)
“Bowing to pressure from women who argued that the dress restrictions were not only unfair, but could also hinder their ability to play comfortably, other major orchestras have moved in recent years to let women wear pants if they choose. … The Philharmonic, alone among the nation’s 20 largest orchestras, does not allow women to wear pants for formal evening concerts. That could soon change. The orchestra — the oldest in the United States, with its 176th season wrapping up — has quietly been talking about modernizing its dress code.” (It’s also considering letting the men ditch the white tie and tails.)