“[She] was widely considered one of Portugal’s most significant postwar artists, and … earned international recognition starting in the 1970s for her striking black-and-white images, which often portrayed impossible acts — the artist with pen making lines midair, or erasing herself with blue brushstrokes — to challenge the limitations of media.”
“Construction crews are working prestissimo on converting the former Warner Grand Theatre into a state-of-the-art performance venue for symphonic music [to open in September 2020]. … [And] management is using the fresh start to plan future user experiences. Experiences-plural is deliberate: They plan to appeal both to concertgoers who want to leave the outside world behind and immerse themselves in music, as well as folks who wants to stay wired and connected.”
In 2003, Hull was named the UK’s number one ‘Crap Town’, according to Sam Jordison’s less-than-favourable alternative city guide. Ten years later, it was named the successful bidder for UK City of Culture 2017. There were numerous facets to the success of Hull’s City of Culture bid and year. Winning it was a reflection of the huge collective power of a city to make change happen, and what can be achieved in the arts when we come together as a sector to achieve a common objective.
“Conceived as a hip-hop magazine by two unlikely parents — the most powerful black record producer in the world, Quincy Jones, at the behest of the most powerful media executive in the world, Steve Ross … [Vibe had] a creed that championed hip-hop but thought broad and wide about the genre’s connections to the past and the future, and its implications for just about every other art and science. … What follows is a selective oral history of the magazine, from its birth and ascent, through its 21st-century transformation into a digital cultural bellwether.”
It’s a testament to just how unequal and angry and, in many ways, decadent the United States is. We have this situation where the extreme inequities of our time, on one hand, inspire elites to step up, do more, solve social problems. But at the same time, those same inequities have an equal and opposite consequence.
A generation ago, many places like mine felt as if they were in a permanent state of decline. For many other mid-sized American cities—among them, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Des Moines, Sacramento, Buffalo, Louisville, Chattanooga, and Charleston—that is no longer the case.
If decorous action is calm, staid and subdued, then people who are comfortable will inevitably find decorum a lighter burden. Meanwhile, it will weigh more heavily on those who are hurting, dispossessed and justly angry. If this basic inequity is baked into the concept, why not do away with decorum altogether?
Really, Metropolitan Opera and New York Phil, is this your updated classical music marketing?
Hirst also closed his gallery in Ilfracombe last year, and some in the town are frustrated with the artist, whose 20-meter statue of a woman with a developing fetus in her womb was one of the big tourist draws to the town and to the restaurant.
Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes: “Even positive reviews yank my art from my hands and serve up my heart like a well-dressed ham. Even rave reviews have deposited me, post-celebration, in a disorienting depression where I feel my mouth has been slapped with duct-tape. People call and congratulate me not on the work but on the Times review. Against my affirmations and meditations, I become once again the little girl seeking approval when I have worked so hard to reject that frame.”
Prior to the autumn of 1968, any reference to homosexuality, bisexuality and nude performances would have been considered too outrageous to be shown on a British stage. Even something as seemingly harmless as a reference to Walt Whitman’s poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, in John Osborne’s play Personal Enemy, was banned because it was seen as a codified reference to homosexuality.
Are we winning any converts with this annual orgy of self-righteousness? The rhetoric of Banned Books Week is pitched at such a fervent level that crucial distinctions are burned away by the fire of our moral certainty, which is an ill that wide reading should cure not exacerbate. And what books are actually, effectively “banned” in the United States nowadays? The titles on the Top 10 Most Challenged list, in fact, sell hundreds of thousands of copies every year. How many authors would kill to be “challenged” like that?
Taffy Brodesser-Akner wrestles in print with the actor’s famous reluctance to discuss his personal life (after having wrestled with Cooper himself over it during the interview) — and comes to understand (after several thousand words) that “he was just telling me that I’m asking the wrong questions.”
“Underlying the development of quality metrics seems to be the question: ‘Are the arts justified?’ In other words, we are looking for evidence. This is the opening the quantifiers of the world need. Witness the attempts to find the value of the arts in their instrumental benefits to society, to the economy and to things like cognitive development. Not that these things can’t or shouldn’t be measured. It is just that they are not the reasons for art to exist. No child ever picked up a paintbrush to benefit the economy.”
“Who gets to decide how cultural districts – areas of a city with a concentration of cultural production and consumption – are designed and run? How do you ensure the right voices are heard: artists and cultural organisations, citizens and civil society groups, property developers and corporates, and urban planners and authorities? Whose interests should districts seek to serve, for what purpose, and how is the appropriate balance of power maintained?” Global Cultural Districts Network director Beatrice Pembroke offers some ideas.
“Tackling social justice causes has typically been the territory of mature dance artists and brainy college students. Not anymore. This year, teenage dancers throughout the country have started getting involved to highlight an issue that directly affects them in the worst way possible: gun violence. And they’re doing it through dance.” Jennifer Stahl presents some examples.
“Behind the scenes, executives are reviewing departments and evaluating staffers’ expertise to determine ‘the most efficient merger’ and to ‘match people to the right roles based on our priorities,’ said Kerri Hoffman, the former PRX CEO who holds the same position in the new entity. … The merger, announced last month, will also bring a combined board, free services for stations, and new experiments with PRI’s The World, the network’s flagship newsmagazine.”
“The Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center recently received a $5 million gift from Ann S. Bowers of Palo Alto, earmarked for its CMS Two residency program, which develops the next generation of young musicians. … Bowers’ gift is the largest individual gift in the society’s 48-year history. If that wasn’t newsworthy enough, consider the source of the gift. Bowers has the distinction of being the first woman to hold a vice president title in Silicon Valley while working for Apple. In a giving space where tech donors remain less than enthusiastic about the arts, Bowers’ gift is a notable outlier — and an encouraging one.”
“Ezra Chowaiki, who was the face of Chowaiki & Co. Fine Art Ltd. on Park Avenue before its bankruptcy last year, … ripped off at least a half dozen art dealers with sham transactions in which some victims were led to believe they were buying stakes in fine art earmarked for quick resale. Other victims left works at his gallery on consignment and never got them back.”
“A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, designed by the mathematician priest Guarino Guarini, it was commissioned in 1668 by the Savoy ducal family … The origin of the fire that raged throughout the night of 11 April 1997 remains a mystery. It burned especially fiercely because the chapel, which had just been restored, was still full of wooden scaffolding.”
When Anna Bergmann became the director of the playhouse at the Badisches State Theater in the German city of Karlsruhe, “her first major decision … was downright radical: Tired of hearing that theaters would like to hire female directors but could find few, she said she wanted women to lead most of the productions during her first season at the helm. The State Theater’s general director … proposed going further: Why not exclusively use female directors, for once?”
No, not that handkerchief, the one that convinces Othello that his wife has been unfaithful.
You’d think I might love it when the Met Opera and the New York Philharmonic hyped their new seasons with these posters, done in the most up to date corporate marketing style. But I don’t love it. To me these posters don’t, simply as advertising, do much to make their case. And they promise things that aren’t going to happen.
The Auckland Philharmonia has reportedly complained to the national ministry of culture about an increase in the number of performances scheduled for Auckland next year by the New Zealand Symphony, the national orchestra, which is based in Wellington (the capital) but gives an equal number of performances in Auckland, which has three times Wellington’s population.
Writer and actor Simon Callow looks at the relationship between the playwright and publisher, two wildly different men who were each other’s benefactors — financially, professionally, personally — for forty years.
Revisiting the Sixties leads to a sobering conclusion: everything has changed, and nothing has changed.