“The Alabama Shakespeare Festival will commission 22 plays in the next five years, with more than half of the commissions set to go to female playwrights and playwrights of color. Rick Dildine, the artistic director of the [festival], … emphasized that the plays will focus on ‘transformative moments in the South that caused important and lasting changes to its people, culture and land.'”
An admired historian — his 1966 book The Icon and the Axe is perhaps the most admired book on Russian culture ever published in English — he was appointed Librarian of Congress by Ronald Reagan and remained in the post for 28 years, expanding the institution and prodigiously raising funds, though he retired amid heavy criticism in 2015.
When The New York Times used the word, the Facebook comments were … interesting, and some were thoughtful. One linguist: “In its attempt to be gender-inclusive… one can argue that it’s gender-erasing of women who have fought for a long time to not just have Latino, but to have Latino/Latina, to make sure women are represented.”
Is it oil? Banking? Nope: It’s academic publishing, and its time must come to an end. “Most of the costs of its content is picked up by taxpayers. Publicly funded researchers do the work, write it up and judge its merits. And yet the resulting intellectual property ends up in the hands of the publishers. To rub salt into the wound they then sell it via exorbitant subscriptions and paywalls, often paid for by taxpayers too.”
And pop culture. And young adult books. And … English class? “Teenagers across the country honed their argumentative skills by fighting for either Team Edward or Team Jacob. Who needs to write about school uniforms when you can just write a five-paragraph persuasive essay about Bella’s love life?”
Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Ten plays in Off-Broadway theatres by playwrights who are women of color? And yet: “If a play by a white playwright fails, no problem; there’s another white play lined up after. If a play by an Asian artist fails, that means ‘Asian plays’ don’t sell. It’s not one person’s failure, it’s a collective failure.”
When it comes to silent film, accompanists have infinite choices. Even in the early days of cinema, accompanists could improvise, select pieces from their own libraries, follow suggestions from cue sheets, or use the scores that came with some big-budget pictures, or any combination of these. Today, some accompanists try to recreate the sound of early cinema in their own performances, while others revel in using music that has been created since then.
China’s rise as a tech powerhouse has dovetailed with Silicon Valley’s growing, and often vividly expressed, distrust toward democracy itself. Always steeped in libertarian pique—not long ago, technologists expressed hope for floating ad-hoc nation-states or, as Larry Page put it, referencing Burning Man, “some safe places where we can try out some new things”— Silicon Valley now toys with Californian secessionism and Singapore-style authoritarian technocracy. That new horizon, that place of raucous experimentation with a frontier-like possibility at striking it rich, they believe, is in China.
Among the 30 largest metro areas in the U.S., Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco host the largest contingents of artists in their workforces, followed by five metros hosting 20 to 40 percent more artists than the national average: Washington, D.C.; Seattle; Boston; Minneapolis-St. Paul; and San Diego. In follow-up work done by Texas researchers on the great recession, they found that Minneapolis-St. Paul posted the highest rate of increase in our artist workforce during the years of the great recession, 2006-09, years when the top three barely held even.
“Americans Speak Out about the Arts in 2018” was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for Americans for the Arts in May 2018. It is based on a nationally representative sample of 3,023 American adults, making it one of the largest public opinion studies about the arts ever conducted. As one might expect when hearing from the public, we find a mix of assumptions challenged and observations confirmed.
It is not the first smart city—municipalities around the world have adopted smart infrastructure like artificial-intelligence-enabled traffic lights—but it might be the most ambitious. The project’s 200-page wish list of features is astounding. The “vision document” imagines not only the revitalization of a 12-acre plot that has sat largely vacant since its heyday as an industrial port, but its transformation into a micro-city outfitted with smart technologies that will use data to disrupt everything from traffic congestion to health care, housing, zoning regulations, and greenhouse-gas emissions. Long before flying cars, smart sensors won’t just be in our mattresses or our bidets, they’ll be embedded in the walls of our homes and the concrete beneath our feet.
“Beyond its eerily accurate forecasting about the corporatization of news media and the degradation of truth, this Network has a timely and more fundamental message about the power of anger and what happens when society unleashes it en masse. It just might not be the message that audiences expect, or one that its principal constituents see eye-to-eye on. They have been trying to discern its meaning since they staged it in London, and are still negotiating with the play and with each other.”
The composer’s heirs raked in up to €100 million from his greatest hit before Ravel’s music went into the public domain in 2016. Now those (rather distant) heirs have filed a lawsuit against SACEM (France’s ASCAP) arguing that Alexandre Nikolaievitch Benois, the set designer for the ballet for which Bolero was composed, should legally be considered a co-creator of the score. (Why? Because Benois didn’t die until 1960.)
The Atlanta-based organization currently holds more than 1,000 works, by artist ranging from the self-taught Nellie Mae Rowe (whose materials include old egg cartons and chewing gum) to the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Along with collecting work themselves, the staffers of Souls Grown Deep are working to place pieces by their artists in museum collections.