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Thursday, March 9


That's Ridiculous "Ridicule is a distinct kind of expression; its substance cannot be repackaged in a less offensive rhetorical form without expressing something very different from what was intended. That is why cartoons and other forms of ridicule have for centuries, even when illegal, been among the most important weapons of both noble and wicked political movements." New York Review of Books 03/11/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 10:39 pm

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Visual Arts

Getty To Help Conserve Egypt's Valley Of The Queens Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Getty Conservation Institute have entered into a six-year partnership for the conservation and management of the Valley of the Queens, one of the world's most important archeological sites. Los Angeles Times 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 10:57 pm

Savannah Gets A New Museum "The $24.5 million Jepson Center for the Arts, which opens Friday, is a shockingly modern addition to both the historic downtown of Georgia's oldest city as well as the annex's 138-year-old sister museum." Seattle Post-Intelligencer (AP) 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 10:32 pm

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New Toronto Opera House Gets $5m Gift - Finally A former president of the board of the Canadian Opera Company has stepped forward with a $5 million gift toward the construction of a new opera house in Toronto. "In the tradition of the melodramatic, [Hal] Jackman waited until the final act to make his move. Toronto's long-awaited opera house at Queen and University is now within months of completion, with opening gala concerts set for June." The project still needs to raise another $30 million before all is said and done. Toronto Star 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 7:05 am

MN Orch To Offer Free Online Concert Recordings Following in the footsteps of other American orchestras which have begun to embrace online media, the Minnesota Orchestra has announced a partnership with Minnesota Public Radio, under which some of the orchestra's live weekly broadcasts will be archived on MPR's web site, where listeners will be able to listen to them, free of charge, for up to a year. MPR has already been offering live streaming audio of the popular Friday night broadcasts for several years, but the orchestra hopes that the free archived streams will increase its profile outside its home region. Playbill Arts 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 6:14 am

McManus: Latest Louisville Proposal Doesn't Add Up The board of the Louisville Orchestra has made a new contract offer to its musicians which it says is less severe than its original plan to move 21 of the orchestra's musicians from full-time to part-time status. But the plan involves paying $5,000 bonuses to 19 musicians who would subsequently have their salaries cut to part-time levels, and AJ blogger Drew McManus wonders where the board is planning to get $95,000 for bonuses when they claim not to have enough money to continue operating past March 31 of this year. Adaptistration (AJ Blogs) 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 5:43 am

  • Famous Last Words The just-resigned executive director of the Louisville Orchestra acknowledges that he may have been in over his head in the job, but says that "I gave it my absolutely best shot." Scott Provancher had only run a small, part-time orchestra in Illinois before taking the Louisville job, but it appears that he may already have another job lined up - the orchestra's board president says that he was contacted by a headhunter recently about Provancher. Louisville Courier-Journal 03/09/06
    Posted: 03/09/2006 5:42 am

A New Music Download Policy? Recording companies are reconsidering their policy of selling singles online for download. "If the industry determines that restricting digital sales pays off with bigger album sales, fans may soon find the instant gratification of snapping up new songs online becoming a little less instant. No one is talking about a wholesale shift away from the now-common practice of selling singles online ahead of new albums." The New York Times 03/09/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 10:07 pm

SF Opera Taps Wallace/Tan For New Work "In addition to the previously announced Philip Glass commission, San Francisco Opera director David Gockley has tapped composer Stewart Wallace to work with Bay Area author Amy Tan on an operatic adaptation of her novel "The Bonesetter's Daughter." San Francisco Chronicle 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 7:23 pm

Louisville Orchestra Exec Director Resigns Louisville Orchestra executive director Scott Provancher has resigned from the beleaguered organization. He "said that felt really good after the initial sessions but he became disappointed that the players decided to conduct a full vote on one of their initial offers before he felt that the offer was fully vetted." Adaptistration (AJBlogs) 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 5:17 pm

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Arts Issues

Peruvian Prez May Press Bush On Yale's Machu Picchu Collection The dispute between Yale University and the nation of Peru over antiquities from Machu Picchu is getting hot, and Peruvian authorities are quite serious about forcing Yale to return objects they claim were illegally looted. "This showdown over national patrimony, private property and academic inquiry comes as Alejandro Toledo, the first indigenous president of Peru, is scheduled Friday to meet with the Yale graduate who inhabits the White House." Washington Post 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 7:11 am

"Smoking Gun" Unveiled At True Trial Prosecutors at the trial of former Getty curator Marion True and art dealer Robert Hecht have entered into evidence photos that they say prove their claim that the Getty was knowingly trafficking in stolen antiquities. "Prosecutors also called on Italy's art theft police to explain the web that they say links the defendants to tomb robbers and unscrupulous dealers." The New York Times 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 5:33 am

Why Is New York Cutting Arts Funding? "The Bloomberg administration is once again proposing a decrease in funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs next year -– a reduction of more than $37 million from the current year, to $102.2 million, according to the Independent Budget Office. This represents the largest proposed cut in two decades." Gotham Gazette 03/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 10:13 pm

When The Government Spies On Its Own People Thirty-five years ago, a midnight break-in at an FBI office revealed "years of systematic wiretapping, infiltration and media manipulation designed to suppress dissent. Underground newspapers were targeted. Students (and their professors) were targeted. Celebrities were targeted. The Communist Party of the U.S.A., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Non-Violent Organizing Committee, the Black Panther Party, the Women's Strike for Peace — all were targeted." That was supposed to be the break-in to end all break-ins... Los Angeles Times 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 5:59 pm

The End Of The English Arts Council? There's about to be a big shakeup of the UK culture-funding system. "Abolition of the Arts Council is no longer a question of whether, but when – and how soon, this government or the next. The 60th anniversary of its foundation by royal charter will fall in August, by which time every colour of the political spectrum will have accepted that the system by which public money is fed into arts has outlived its usefulness to such an extent that it constricts art and contradicts its founding purpose." La Scena Musicale 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 5:12 pm

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Row over Israeli tolerance museum BBC News 2/17/2006
The Cartoon Crisis GothamGazette.com 02/06
The Washington Post Freelancer's Guide to Not Getting Fired Washington City Paper 2/16/06
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Culture Minister Jowell Cleared UK culture minister Tessa Jowell has been cleared by a parliamentary watchdog of any wrongdoing in not declaring a business deal by her estranged husband. The Telegraph (UK) 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 9:41 pm

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The "Corrie" Case - Big Disappointment New York Theatre Workshop's decision to back down from presenting "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" says something about the current state of New York's theatre scene. "We have reached the unacceptable face of the New York arts scene when the theater that produced the original Rent—and, more to the point, the conscience plays of Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill—should cave in like this to peculiar, unspecific pressure." New York Observer 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 4:58 pm

Where Are The Right-Wing Playwrights? Oscar winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes says there's a problem with today's theatre. What? There's a shortage of right-wing playwrights. "There are all sorts of interesting areas for the right wing playwright to get into - the subversion of parliament, the intrusion of government into every day life. You could write a play about any of these things and technically it would be a right wing play but the phrase 'right wing' has now been kind of cast out into the shadows." BBC 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 4:22 pm

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Potter Apology Could Fetch Thousands At Auction "A letter from Beatrix Potter to a young fan apologising for the quality of one of her books, is expected to fetch up to £2,500 at auction in Exeter. The four-page letter to Joy Shapland was written by the Peter Rabbit author in 1913. In it, Potter apologises for her book The Tale of Pigland Bland, explaining that she had been feeling poorly." BBC 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 6:34 am

The Case For Google Print "Would publishers object if Google's project led to an increase, rather than a decrease, in book purchases? I think not. There are already signs in America that Google Book Search is leading to a strong rise in demand for out-of-print books (although unless traditional publishers get their acts together the fruits of this boom may go to the new breed of print-on-demand publishers). I would be amazed if the same did not happen to books in copyright. So let American publishers sue to find out what 'fair use' means." The Guardian (UK) 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 8:36 pm

Meet The Blooker - The First Blog Book Prize "Dubbed the Blooker Prize, the contest is for those bloggers who have turned their episodic journals into something more substantial. British entries on the Blooker short-list include the intimate diary of a prostitute and a guide to the UK's best 'greasy spoon' cafes." BBC 03/08/06
Posted: 03/08/2006 4:26 pm

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NDP Takes On CBC Canada's third political party (the New Democrats, or NDP) is calling for changes to the CBC's governance structure, with the intention of ending the tradition of choosing the broadcaster's chief executive through patronage. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 6:52 am

Montreal's FilmFest Phoenix: Alive And Quite Angry The legal battles are continuing between two Montreal-based film festivals, each of which wants to be known as the city's signature fest. The longtime director of the Montreal World Film Festival alleges a widespread conspiracy to ruin him and kill off the festival, and the fact that he appears already to have won the war hasn't stopped the seemingly endless parade of lawsuits. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 6:44 am

Spitzer's Anti-Payola Crusade Marches On "The nation's fourth-largest radio company, Entercom Communications Corp., traded airtime for gifts and payments in a payola scam that included formalized programs to sell airplay to record labels, according to a suit filed Wednesday by New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer. The suit's most serious allegations focus on Entercom's 'CD Preview' and 'CD Challenge' programs, in which radio executives allegedly solicited payments to improve a song's position on national airtime charts." Los Angeles Times 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 6:31 am

Crash Suit May Have Wider Implications The lawsuit over producer credits for the Oscar-winning film, Crash, may seem like nothing more than a lot of Hollywood insider bickering. But there are a number of underlying issues at stake, and not all of them have to do with the vanity of movie people. Among other things, "[the] suit has raised a real issue for debate within Hollywood about the confidential arbitration process." The New York Times 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 5:24 am

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Joffrey Al Fresco "The Joffrey Ballet and the City of Chicago are teaming up for 'Come Dance With Us,' a week of free events in Millennium Park this summer as part of the troupe's 50th anniversary celebration. The free events, to be held June 13-18, include a Joffrey performance at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, two outdoor concerts with the Grant Park Orchestra at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a bootdance spectacle in the outdoor Crown Fountain involving more than a dozen high school students, a parade of characters from 'The Nutcracker' and a late-night dance lesson to live music." Chicago Tribune 03/09/06
Posted: 03/09/2006 6:39 am

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