“Gov. Charlie Baker last week vetoed the addition of the $2 million in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the umbrella organization that distributes arts funding. This week … the Massachusetts Legislature overrode the governor’s veto, increasing the budget for the umbrella organization from $14.1 million to $16.1 million. It’s the first increase in four years.”
“Savoir Beds, known for their hefty price tag and their extraordinary contents (think cashmere made from the necks of Mongolian goats), have partnered with … London’s National Gallery to create custom beds, each upholstered with artwork on the headboard and the base.” And customers can choose any image the museum owns.
Earlier this summer, Alabama Shakespeare Festival artistic director Rick Dildine packed four Southern playwrights into a minivan and took them on a 12-town, seven-state swing around the region, holding town hall-style meetings where they gathered local folks to talk about what being a Southerner means in 2018.
The Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Appropriations Bill was approved by the the Senate with a 92-6 vote, after previously being passed by the House of Representatives. The new budget increases funding to the two agencies by $2.2 million compared to the 2018 budget. (That budget was only passed in March, despite the fact that the fiscal year begins in October.) The 2017 budget also included a $2 million increase for the agencies.
There are only five public statues of real women in New York City (excluding fictional characters like Alice in Wonderland and Mother Goose), while there are 145 sculptures of men, including statues of William Shakespeare and Ludwig van Beethoven, who are both in Central Park. “We are happy to have broken the bronze ceiling to create the first statue of real women in the 164-year history of Central Park.”
“In the aftermath of its July 27 sale to Disney, film historian and author Leonard Maltin recalls Fox’s wild early days, a predator mogul, firings and backstabbings, and along the way, movies from Cleopatra to Titanic (and movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple) that impacted the world.”
“The Fox film studio essentially died July 27 when shareholders voted to merge with Disney. As the House of Zanuck and Murdoch faces a fraught future, The Hollywood Reporter looks back at the hits (The Sound of Music, Star Wars), the flops (Cleopatra), the stars (Marilyn Monroe) and the legacy of a Hollywood institution.”
Some were willing to give Biesenbach leeway … until an interview with The New York Times made him look like he didn’t know much (at all) about Los Angeles.
The study’s authors found that the average arts and culture organization in the U.S. engaged with 13.4 percent of its local population, either in person or online, in 2013. At the same time, the authors noted that their metric of “total touch points” does not reveal the duration, depth or quality of engagement each person has with the organization.
The word that came to mind as I watched each of these shows was dislocation – each seems to change the viewer’s place in the hierarchy of society and of theatre. Each work uses entirely different techniques and achieves different effects, but they serve as harbingers of how audiences entrenched in 20th century theatremaking may feel in 25 years.
We’re suckers for these galleries – it’s pure library picture porn. The amazing images of these libraries around the world speak to the place books have in our consciousness.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced her country’s goal to become a world leader in “ethical A.I.” Three months later, the U.K. unveiled its A.I. Sector Deal, a comprehensive policy that establishes a partnership between government, academia, and industry to address residents’ and businesses’ goals and concerns with respect to A.I.
“By providing students an inadequate history education, [sociologist and historian James W.] Loewen argues, America’s schools breed adults who tend to conflate empirical fact and opinion, and who lack the media literacy necessary to navigate conflicting information.” A Q&A between Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, and Atlantic writer Alia Wong.
Many adults appreciate the power of computers and the internet, and think that children should have access to them as soon as possible. Yet screen learning displaces other, more tactile ways to discover the world. Human beings learn with their eyes, yes, but also their ears, nose, mouth, skin, heart, hands, feet. The more time kids spend on computers, the less time they have to go on field trips, build model airplanes, have recess, hold a book in their hands, or talk with teachers and friends.
The problem for newsrooms is threefold: how to identify sophisticated manipulations, how to educate audiences without inducing apathy and deepening mistrust, and how to keep the growth of this technology from casting doubt on legitimate and truthful stories.
Last month, for instance, it started going around the web that “tag” (as in the game) was an acronym for “touch and go.” (Merriam-Webster was not amused.) “Etymythology [was] coined by the Yale linguist Laurence Horn for the general phenomenon of using fabricated etymologies (acronymic or otherwise) in the service of telling attractive origin stories, doing for words what Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories did for animals.”
Having survived decade after decade of the America-dominated post–World War II global order, French may indeed look a bit worse for wear, cluttered with sometimes risible English loanwords and dismissed as useless by the increasingly many students who pass it up in favor of Spanish and Mandarin. Yet however many now regard the French language as little more than a fussy antiquarian hobby, as many others continue to revere it.
“[Her] books for children and young adults addressed real-life issues like sexism, racism and censorship after she had emerged from the 1950s to become a feminist.”
“Not seen by many beyond scholars and academics over the last six decades, the story” – “A Room on the Garden Side”, written in 1956 – “takes place in Paris’s Ritz hotel and is narrated by a character called Robert, who shares the author’s own nickname, Papa. Robert and his entourage of soldiers, who are all due to leave the city the next day, drink, quote Baudelaire and debate ‘the dirty trade of war’.”
“The Contemporary Austin has named artist [and MacArthur fellow] Nicole Eisenman as winner of the 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth/FLAG Art Foundation Prize. … [The award] is now valued at $800,000, including $200,000 in cash, plus twinned exhibitions here and in New York, as well as publications and travel.”
“The institutions’ collaborative engagements will be staged each spring through 2022. [American Ballet Theatre] first appeared at the Auditorium in 1969. … The ABT partnership follows the Joffrey Ballet’s announced move from the Auditorium to [Lyric Opera of Chicago], a shift slated for 2020.”
“The iconic monument [had] been closed since Wednesday afternoon as unions argued with management over the lopsided lines stemming from a decision to reserve certain elevators for visitors with pre-booked tickets while those who buy them upon arrival languish in long queues.”
“Mr. Wirtz, whose career began when he opened a flower nursery in 1946, would decades later be compared to André Le Nôtre, the French landscape architect who designed the magnificent gardens of Versailles. … [He] designed gardens for private residences, large estates, public parks, museums, college campuses and corporate headquarters.”
“The new culture minister of Italy’s populist coalition government, Alberto Bonisoli, has [announced] that a monthly free-entry initiative at the country’s museums and monuments is coming to an end. Since July 2014, more than 480 state-run cultural sites, including Pompeii, the Uffizi and the Colosseum, have been free to visit on the first Sunday of every month. Known as Domenica al museo (Sunday at the museum), the policy was one of many culture reforms introduced by Bonisoli’s centre-left predecessor, Dario Franceschini.”
One of the standard-bearers for period-instrument performance in DC, the Consort chose Marsh, currently director of Indiana University’s historical performance program, to succeed founding director J. Reilly Lewis, who died suddenly in June of 2016.
“My takeaway was that there was great excitement, and almost a sense of relief, to see women being offered these roles,” Sara Bareilles says of “Waitress.” “And the most exciting thing is looking at the next generation of composers, book writers, directors and choreographers now that there’s this wonderful network of women in the industry.”
Much as I try, I can’t muster great enthusiasm for the appointment of Klaus Biesenbach to the directorship of MOCA, Los Angeles … While ambivalent, I didn’t have any strong objections to his appointment (as I did with MOCA’s last two picks), until I read Robin Pogrebin’s report in the NY Times.
Natasha Tripney: “It’s part of a critic’s remit after all to look at what’s before them actively and analytically. But if this discussion is to take place, it needs to be with the awareness that while an actor’s body is their art, their tool, it is also not something they slip off at the end of a performance like a dress.”
“I truly didn’t know Boys in the Band from The Boys From Brazil.” Zachary Woolfe (33, classical music editor/opera critic), Matthew Schneier (34, reporter/critic for Styles), and Wesley Morris (42, critic-at-large) talk about the play and movie (which only Morris had ever seen or read before) with Stuart Emmrich (63, editor, seen it all).
“Spanning nearly 40,000 square feet, … the [National Comedy Center] took seven years and around $50m to bring to fruition. … It features over 50 interactive exhibits divvied up by style of humor as well as artifacts and ephemera that, in sum, tell the story of comedy from Charlie Chaplin to Dave Chappelle and beyond.”