2008 national arts news archive
Arts programs dedicated to serving communities of color bring fight to City Hall
Artists and leaders of community arts organizations say they are the faces that make up the neighborhoods of the city. But, they say their artistic voices are being silenced by a lack of city funding. Members of a coalition called the Cultural Equity Group want to provide the youth with a cultural education. Their aim is to fight for a larger share of the city arts budget, even as the city faces rough economic times ahead. The issue of funding these organizations was brought before the City Council's black, Hispanic and Asian caucus on Wednesday. City laws mandate the majority of the cultural budget has to go to programs on city property, which are mostly the larger, more established cultural institutions.
Ny1 News 01/09/2008
NJ cuts knock patrons of arts onto the canvas
Gov. Jon Corzine's proposed budget will slash aid to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to $16 million, a $5.9 million cut that reduces state arts funding to 2004 levels and represents 27 percent of last year's arts grants. If paassed, the proposed cuts will also decrease state aid to colleges and universities by $76 million, grants to townsby $190 and funding to hospitals by nearly $144 million.
The Star-Ledger 02/27/2008
Museums Refine the Art of Listening
While museum market research has been around for two decades, gathering data about visitors has never been as important, or as sophisticated, as it is now. As museums expand, they need more paying customers to cover ever-increasing costs. And they’re competing for those customers with local shopping malls, movie theaters, even grocery stores. Besides the reliable techniques, museums are exploring new ways to learn what visitors want. At the Detroit Institute of Arts, officials recently discovered that the average visitor spends only four or five minutes in any gallery, rather than the 20 minutes the officials had expected. Only 7 percent bothered to read the wall plaques.
The New York Times 03/12/2008
Studies Suggest There's An Art to Getting Older
The idea that "making art, or even listening to music or viewing paintings, supports physical, mental and emotional well-being and eases some symptoms of illness, including dementia" is gaining traction. Early this year attendance at two 'webinars' on creativity and aging, hosted by the National Council on Aging, topped 100, exceeding the organizers' expectations. New York announced a $1 million initiative to connect 57 of the city's arts and cultural organizations to 150 senior centers. And December's move to the District of the National Center for Creative Aging, founded in New York in 2001, promises closer ties with such institutions as George Washington University and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Washington Post 03/11/2008
South Dakotans asked for input on state of arts
South Dakotans are asked to participate in a survey asking for input on the quality and availability of arts and arts education in the state. The South Dakota Arts Council and South Dakotans for the Arts are conducting the survey, which can be found at www.sdarts.org.
The Argus Leader 03/12/2008
March 14, 2008
Tuscon business-arts cooperation called boon to city
Tuscon regional participants agreed on Wednesday that if Tucson wants to become a cultural center, there must be a coalition of businesses, governments, arts groups and the public willing to pitch in. The meeting, dubbed a community conversation on arts and culture, was a follow-up to May's larger, multiday conference on Tucson's future direction. But the participants acknowledged that funding for the arts is hard to find. Private donors and corporations are few, and those who give are overburdened with requests. Last month the Arts Council asked the Tucson City Council to double its contribution to $1.4 million next year and add $1.5 million more the following year. The city has supported the Arts Council with $691,000 in each of the past six years.
March 24, 2008
Giving Arts a Bigger Stage in NJ
New Brunswick’s revenue-producing theater district will get a $275 million overhaul. The city is gearing up to overhaul its famed theater district with the construction of a $275 million, 600,000-square-foot mixed-use project that will be anchored by a new $50 million performing arts center. The structure is slated to open in 2012. The project is being called the “new” New Brunswick Cultural Center (NBCC), in reference to the umbrella organization that oversees the city’s theater companies and owns the properties out of which those companies operate.
March 24, 2008
New York exhibits showcase MIT's arts clout
MIT artists, designers and architects are filling some of New York's most prominent and competitive exhibition spaces this year with works that disrupt traditional distinctions among art, technology and performance. Right now, four groups of MIT designers have works on exhibit at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art. A fifth will exhibit there this summer. The Whitney Biennial, renowned for distilling the best of the global cutting-edge best in art, includes works by two MIT affiliates. At MIT, numerous scientists, engineers, students, architects, and artists are working in the complex interface between art and technology. "This is one of the prime growth areas of research, both in physical and conceptual terms, for the coming decade," says Professor Mark Jarzombek, associate dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.
April 3, 2008
Local group to launch Arts Census
Washtenaw County will conduct an artist consenses as part of Washtenaw County's Community Cultural Assessment, will be included in the Arts Alliance's cultural plan for the county. The goal is to repeat the census every 3-5 years to report the health of the arts community. The Artists' Census will be available online at www.artscount.org. Hard-copy versions of the census will be located at public libraries and creative venues throughout the county. A full report is expected to be complete in early fall.
April 3, 2008
Falls Church Urged to Establish 'Arts District' With Tax Incentives
A scarcely-known resource provided to the City of Falls Church by the Virginia State Legislature in 2005 drew keen interest Tuesday as leaders of five area arts organizations addressed the monthly luncheon of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. Falls Church became one of only a handful in the state authorized to form an “arts and cultural district,” replete with tax and other incentives. On Tuesday, this obscure fact came to light, along with the fact that the City has never taken advantage of the opportunity. When asked for a show of hands on whether the City should establish an “arts and cultural district,” over three-dozen local business leaders raised their hands. The informal and spontaneous show of hands did not constitute any kind of an official vote, but the sentiment was clear following the speakers who, among other things, showed studies documenting the positive economic impact of arts institutions in any community.
April 21, 2007
Cigarette tax is lighting the fire of arts groups
Even as the mortgage crisis, population loss and the departure of corporate headquarters have put the squeeze on Northeast Ohio, some local arts groups report they're faring reasonably well. That's thanks in large part to Cuyahoga County's cigarette tax for arts and culture, which supporters credit as a crucial stabilizer for tough times. The tax costs 1.5 cents a cigarette. Administered by the newly created Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, it was marketed to voters in part as a financial stabilizer for nonprofit groups that contribute to the area's rich cultural scene and boost its economic viability. It is doing just that, say arts leaders, and the current economic downturn makes a compelling testing ground.
May 7, 2008
New national project to examine impact of arts training
The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) was launched on May 1 to examine the impact of arts training. It will provide a first-ever in-depth look at the factors that help or hinder the careers of graduates of arts high schools, arts colleges and conservatories, and arts schools and departments within universities, whether the alumni work as artists or pursue other paths. The Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research will administer the annual survey in cooperation with the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University.
Over time, SNAAP findings will allow institutions to learn more about the impact of their educational programs to better understand, for example, how students in different majors use their arts training in their careers and other aspects of their lives. Policy makers and community leaders will be able to use SNAAP findings to understand local, regional and national arts workforce issues and market patterns. The results also will indicate how students who have trained intensively in the arts contribute to their communities and different areas of the economy.
June 5, 2008
LA arts agency funding saved at 11th hour
L.A.'s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had proposed cutting the Cultural Affairs Department's spending by 6.1%, but the final $9.98-million department budget for 2008-09 passed by the City Council is down just $89,000, or less than 1% of this year's figure. Council members came up with an additional $526,000. The council also added $150,000 so that the department could qualify for a Durfee Foundation grant that requires matching funds, as well as $68,000 for operations at the Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center in Watts, and $8,000 to keep open the Bridge Gallery.
June 5, 2008
Art Gets Entrepreneurial
A new crop of artist-turned-entrepreneurs forgo the gallery system by starting their own businesses. These artists create products--prints, T-shirts, stationery--to sell online, at craft and art fairs, and wholesale to boutiques. They might hook up with a manufacturer and put out a line of limited art toys, or license their designs to other companies. They may even sell some work via galleries--but it's not like they're waiting around to be discovered. They're branding themselves and creating a DIY revolution. One arena that seems far from the high-end galleries of New York City is the vinyl toy scene. Usually sold in limited editions, these artist-designed works are relatively inexpensive and addictively collectible. The trend of artists-turned-entrepreneurs is likely to continue, especially as newer artists witness the commercial success of DIY veterans.
June 13, 2008
How can arts thrive in increasingly digital world?
Performing arts groups constantly struggle to draw new audiences and bolster old ones in the face of dwindling ticket sales. It's a problem that looms larger than the communities that individual dance troupes and chamber ensembles serve. Yet rarely do the arts get together to form a national front to combat shared concerns. Most arts organizations agree that a strong participatory culture is necessary to keep them relevant, but the "attendance-only" definition of "participatory" may be in need of an update. And, no, adding a robot conductor to your symphony won't do the trick. The new cultural landscape, with all its mysteries and glimmering opportunities, repeatedly presents itself as a land to be conquered.
June 24, 2008
UK support grows for developing "an American-style culture of philanthropy"
A cultural official from the Conservative party in the UK pledged his party's intentions to "support, nurture, and encourage" the arts, and "will not set the direction of travel, except with the lightest of touches". The party's priority will be to "help foster an American-style culture of philanthropy" for the arts in Britain. To help create a culture of philanthropy, gift aid would be strengthened, and regulations regarding the way benefactors are thanked by arts organisations would be loosened and simplified. The honours system would recognise cultural philanthropists - both those who give money, and those who work as volunteers. There should also be more tax incentives for those who wish to give to the arts during their lifetimes.
July 10, 2008
Lilly Endowment gives $50M to help local artists
The Lilly Endowment has pledged $50 million to the Indiana Association of United Ways in order to provide local artists with financial restitution for material losses incurred due to recent floods. Due to the importance of the art industry, United Way is assembling a program to help artists get ‘back on track,’in close coalition with the Bloomington Area Arts Council. In order to estimate the amount of money that will be needed for relief aid, artists are encouraged to report all damages to Vande Sande at email@example.com.
July 29, 2008
An attendant's arts and aircraft movement
Passengers flying in the difficult days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were anxious and irritable because of tightened security and fewer flight amenities. Delta Airlines flight attendant Jewel Van Valin wanted to do something about it. So she reached back to her kindergarten years and pulled out the crayons.For six years, travelers on Van Valin's planes have sketched their way over the continent and the Pacific, creating thousands of fanciful, vividly colored crayon drawings on the backs of beverage cart covers. Toward the end of each flight, Van Valin and other crew members tape passengers' drawings to the aircraft's bulkhead so everyone on board can see them. As the sketches were completed, Van Valin posted them on the aircraft's interior walls. When she ran out of tape, she used Band-Aids. Soon, as the plane sped along at 35,000 feet, passengers were moving about the cabin, checking out the pictures and commenting on subject matter and artistic style. She maintains a revolving display of the pictures in Delta's employee lounge at Los Angeles International Airport. But she's still trying to find a permanent home for the artwork there.
July 29, 2008
Congress may restore bigger deductions on fractional art donations
Nearly two years ago, Congress capped the tax deductions donors could take on artwork donated to museums. Before the change, donors could claim increasingly larger deductions over time as their collectibles appreciated. Museum directors say the restrictions limiting tax breaks for givers have crimped donations of valuable collections. Now lawmakers, under pressure from museums, are mulling easing some of the restrictions. Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, are working on a plan to once again allow partial-gift donors to take ever-larger deductions as their artwork appreciates, according to people briefed on the negotiations. The senators could attach the changes to other tax legislation by year’s end. In the meantime, wealth advisers are steering donors away from fractional giving and toward an array of other complex art-giving vehicles, such as charitable-remainder trusts and donor-advised funds.
August 14, 2008
Canada Cuts Cultural Diplomacy Funds
The Canadian Federal Government announced a budget cut to their Arts sector eliminating two of the country’s major art and culture programs whose purpose so far has been to increase Canada’s presence and cultural image abroad. The decision has attracted criticism and caused concern among those in the Canadian arts community who fear the move will have a negative impact on Canada’s cultural diplomacy with the rest of the world. The two programs which have been purged are PromArt which is a $4.7-million cultural program administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Trade Routes, a $9-million program run by Heritage Canada. Both programs focused on funding Canadian artists to travel and introduce Canadian cultural values abroad and will no longer receive funding as of March 31, 2009.
August 14, 2008
Study Shows Arts Ed Declines in WI
A new report released by Arts Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education shows arts that while music and art are nearly universally available in most Wisconsin school districts serving grades 6-12, there has been a 5% decline in overall student participation during the past 4 years. In what the authors refer to as a “surprising finding,” the report also notes the more rural a community, the higher the levels of student involvement in the arts and the more favorable the ratio of students to arts teachers. In addition, the affluence of a community appears to have little or no influence on the percentage of student enrollment in arts education.
August 18, 2008
Canada picks businessman/banker to lead arts
Canadian business mogul Joseph L. Rotman is set to take on the Canadian arts world after being named the new chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. The Toronto-born Rotman's background includes a career as an oil trader and experience establishing a host of companies, including merchant bank Clairvest Group. The 73-year-old businessman's name is also often tied to the University of Toronto, one of his alma maters, which re-christened its management school in his honour.
August 18, 2008
American Art Market Booms Despite Economy
All the worries of a lagging economy are put to rest when looking at the art market, especially the American art market. Since the spring, the market for Western art has shown no signs of slowing down. But now, ordinary investors are looking toward investing in fine art as returns from traditional asset classes founder. In light of current market conditions, art seems to have become a safe option for investment. Art experts feel that, besides gold, it is the only commodity that gives steady returns. Like a blue-chip stock held for years, art can make its own money over a period of time.
August 20, 2008
Sky to Launch Second Arts Channel
The UK television station Sky is set to double its output of arts content with the launch of a channel featuring classical music and opera. Sky Arts 2, which will also include shows on fine arts and dance performances, will sit alongside the current Sky Arts channel, which will be refocused on more contemporary and cult programming such as live rock concerts and documentaries. Sky described the channel, which is due to launch on October 20, as a "significant increase" in its commitment to the arts, saying the three outlets will broadcast a total of 36 hours of arts content a day.
August 20, 2008
3 schools models for other AZ charters
Out of 259 Arizona charter schools, the Mesa Arts Academy, along with BASIS Tucson and Phoenix's Khalsa Montessori School, stand out as top performers in a first-of-its-kind study examining year-to-year progress of charter-school students' AIMS scores. The three schools rapidly improved their scores on both the AIMS math and reading exams from year to year, according to the study to be released Wednesday by the Arizona Charter Schools Association. Also, the schools maintained overall scores above the state average. What set the three schools apart was the frequently collected, detailed data on the academic strengths and weaknesses of each child. They used the data to create lesson plans or tutoring for each child. None of the schools emphasized AIMS test scores. Instead, the schools honored individual students' success and encouraged students to aim for college and careers.
August 20, 2008
Tories to Slash $44.8-Million From Arts
Some Canadian government officials are committed to cutting $44.8-million in spending on arts and culture by April of 2010, The Globe and Mail has learned. The Conservatives have earmarked 10 programs and parts of another to be eliminated and will reduce spending on two others, after a "strategic review" process that audited all Canadian Heritage programs for efficiency and effectiveness. All but one cut falls under the Heritage purview, the lone exception being the previously reported $4.7-million PromArt, a grant program for foreign travel administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
August 21, 2008
Met Opera Expands HD Broadcasts
The Metropolitan Opera and National CineMedia are expanding their successful partnership to bring more operas into more movie theaters in the upcoming season. The number of theaters and performing arts venues nationwide will hit 440, up 30% from last year, and the number of operas is rising from eight to 11. The 2008-09 season will be the third featuring the "Live in HD" simulcasts.
August 21, 2008
Upheaval Over Arts Ed Funding in Philly
With a major funding source threatening to pull support for Philadelphia's music program and with turmoil over who will teach and direct the arts, some in the arts community are questioning the state of art and music education in the Philadelphia School District. District officials say that the current upheaval is temporary and that the expansion of arts education ordered by the School Reform Commission is on course.
August 21, 2008
Iraq's Public Art Returns to Streets
Statues damaged during the US-led invasion are being restored to their former glory across Baghdad. Craftsmen and artists commissioned by Baghdad municipality are busy restoring items that have vanished since US-led troops entered Baghdad more than five years ago. According to officials and specialists, thieves pillaged many statues made of bronze and other materials that adorned the streets of the Iraqi capital and sold the metal. The Iraqi authorities have no plans to rehabilitate statues that glorified the former regime but the municipality is restoring monuments that pay tribute to such figures as Abu Jaafar al-Mansur, the Abbasid caliph and founder of Baghdad.
August 21, 2008
Denver’s Art Ready for Convention
Denver is hoping to declare its emerging artistic identity to the world next week when the gaze of the global news media and political power turns on the city. Audio tours of public artworks like “The Yearling,” gallery show invitations packed into delegates’ welcome bags, and convention business meetings at the Denver Art Museum are cornerstones of the effort. The bigger goal is patterned after New York City’s efforts when it hosted party conventions in 1992 (the Democrats) and 2004 (the Republicans), and planners tried to link convention-week buzz to long-term promotional programs for Broadway and the fashion district. Denver hopes to insinuate art into city life further and deeper over time with the energizing jolt of convention just another step in the process.
August 25, 2008
Arts give sport a run for its money
Some believe there is still an assumption that the arts are only for the elite, but several arts and sports organizations in Australia are demonstrating how sport and culture both tap into the wider community spirit.
August 25, 2008
Graffiti art takes pres race to the street
This year, some of the most arresting images in the race for the White House are not the work of ad agencies, political consultants or photojournalists but of a subculture of artists who use the streets as their canvas. Their pro-Obama work -- there is no similar phenomenon for John McCain -- has been spotted everywhere, even Paris and Beijing.
It's an odd twist in the world of street art, an arena where creative renegades question power and convention with their homemade posters and hand-painted murals -- and don't usually endorse major party politicians.
August 26, 2008
Traditional India and contemporary art
India is bursting with commercial art galleries, but the Devi Art Foundation is poised to create India's first noncommercial, nonprofit exhibition space for contemporary art from India and the subcontinent. A modern art museum is also under way in the eastern city of Calcutta. Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architecture firm that built the Tate Modern in London, is designing it. Construction is to start next year, and the museum is to open in late 2013. To be sure, there have always been art collectors in India, but the last decade of economic growth has thrust many new buyers into the art market. The birth of the Devi Art Foundation signals a sort of turning point in the Indian art scene, in that it opens up a private family trove to the public and is devoted entirely to contemporary art.
August 26, 2008
Study-Listening Begets Musical Competence
A study conducted at the University of Amsterdam could overturn one of the basic tenets of the science of music: that musical training is the only way to develop musical ability. According to these researchers, the simple act of listening to music develops some amount of musical ability within the brain. All it needs is exposure to that type of music. Basically, what this study is telling us is that music-related circuitry within the brain can be developed by listening to music. If you decide to learn an instrument, the music you've been listening to your whole life will have a profound influence on the music you make.
ArtsVote2008 Promotes Arts Funding
The arts took center stage at the National Democratic Convention in Denver this week. ArtsVote2008 gathered a distinguished panel that included Rhythm and Blues star John Legend, Sheila C. Johnson, who co-founded Black Entertainment Television, and New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.
Legend said he is living proof of the importance of music education and music school programs. A self-described shy kid, the multi-Grammy Award winner said participating in school musicals and choir helped him connect with the larger community. “I can’t imagine life without music,” he said.
For more information visit the news sources below or the ArtsVote2008 website:
September 3, 2008
Orchestra takes lead in cultural diplomacy
Described as both a realisation of the impossible and a metaphor for the possible, the West-Eastern Divan was originally conceived by the Israeli Daniel Barenboim and the Palestinian academic Edward Said as a one-off workshop in 1999. It is comprised of 120 young Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians and Iranians. So much has been written about the political significance of the ensemble since then that it is easy to forget what a musical force it has become.
September 3, 2008
Contemporary Art Institute drops admission
Visitors to The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London can now enjoy art for free due to a change in licensing rules. The first major event that visitors can enjoy is the ICA Auction Exhibition, starting on 11 September. It includes works donated by Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst, which will be sold to raise funds for the ICA. Artistic director Ekow Eshun says the scrapping of admission charges, which comes at the end of the ICA's 60th anniversary celebrations, is "a significant symbol of our future direction".
ArtsVote2008 Hosts Event During RNC
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee along with Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts moderated a panel of elected officials, advocates and arts leaders discussing the future of the arts and arts education in America on September 2. Hosted during the Republican National Convention by Americans for the Arts Action Fund and NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants the forum was part of ArtsVote2008, a national initiative designed to promote the arts during the presidential election.
The panel included Former Presidential candidate Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee; Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS); Tom Cochran, Executive Director and CEO US Conference of Mayors; Debbie Allen Emmy award winning actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, director, and author; Tom Horne Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction; John Rich, acclaimed country music singer, songwriter, and producer; and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.
ArtsVote2008 has had great success in raising the arts as a vital campaign topic. During the presidential primary season, ArtsVote2008 issued a Pro-Arts Policy Brief addressing how the arts can be a catalyst in arts education, economic development, health care, transportation and other areas, and procured public arts policy statements in support of the arts from an unprecedented six primary candidates. For more information on ArtsVote2008, visit www.ArtsVote.org.
IRS Completes New Form 990-EZ Form
The IRS has completed a redesign of the Form 990-EZ which will impact all organizations with annual receipts of less than $1,000,000 and assets of less than $2.5 million. The EZ form has not changed as dramatically as the Form 990, but there are several additional schedules to file, depending on an organization’s activities. The thresholds for the Form 990-EZ have been adjusted temporarily to allow more organizations to file the simpler form, providing a gradual transition to the significantly revised Form 990. 501(c)(3) organizations that file the EZ will still be required to complete Schedule C if they engage in political or lobbying activities. Among the provisions explained in the instructions to the Form 990-EZ, the IRS will allow EZ filers to choose between two methods for reporting compensation to officers, directors, trustees and key employees. They may either use the method from the prior Form 990-EZ, or the new method for the Form 990 which requires calendar-year reporting. See the IRS website for more information on the instructions.
Internal Revenue Service 09/12/2008
September 15, 2008
S.F. Opera gets record $40 million gift
The San Francisco Opera has received a commitment from board Chairman John A. Gunn and his wife, Cynthia Fry Gunn, for a gift of $40 million. It is the largest single gift by individual donors in the company's history, and is believed to be the largest ever made to any American opera company. The gift will fund a broad range of activities by the company, including several new operas and productions, multimedia projects and outreach efforts, as well as $5 million to fund the general director's chair. Their gift comes just two years after a $35 million unrestricted gift from longtime patron and supporter Jeannik Méquet Littlefield. At the time, that was the largest individual gift in the company's history.
September 21, 2008
Arts Groups Fret the Woes Of Big Donors
Theaters and museums have begun to strategize with some worst-case scenarios in mind. Pitches to potential donors are now likely to include a note of urgency that hasn't been heard in a while -- lots of talk about programming and shows that will disappear if they're not underwritten pronto. There might be cheaper tickets, too. But historical analysis shows that philanthropy perseveres through recessions. Some even believe recessions can benefit ticket sales.
October 1, 2008
The arts get creative in perilous economy
There has been an ongoing urgency to face the new music and dance -- not the old-fashioned waltz but steps unimagined before Necessity called. Dramatic and exciting changes are showing signs of success as companies find new ways to get through to people. Organizations no longer market the arts as something you sit and look at. They're offering a complete experience that begins before the performance even starts and may continue afterward. In other words: an evening, not a show. Organizations are also using 21st century concepts and media to engage audiences in new ways through a rough economic ride.
Musicians strike in Madison
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra musicians have gone on strike just two days before the orchestra is set to open its 45th season. The orchestra's opening Masterworks concert scheduled for Friday at the Capitol Theatre -- featuring international violin virtuoso Kyoko Takezawa -- might have to be canceled. The orchestra contract expired Aug. 31, but the two sides began negotiating in early March of this year. The musicians said they would strike if the two sides couldn't reach an accord by 4 p.m. today. Both WCO management and its employees were hopeful earlier in the afternoon that a new contract was close at hand. The sides will meet again Thursday morning to attempt a resolution.
The Capital Times 10/02/2008
The ageless audience
It would be nice to be able to say that the aging of the performing arts audience is a false assumption. The numbers, however, say it's not. But most performing arts professionals say there's a lot of gray area -- no pun intended -- in this conversation. Some arts professionals believe journalists who pontificate about the graying audience see more gray hair because they've been comped into the most expensive seats, the ones young adults can't afford. Others believe it's a life-cycle issue. Still, whether there is truth to such speculations, the future audience won't magically appear and many organizations are implementing specific marketing strategies to develop the audience of the future.
The Los Angeles Times 10/05/2008
Artist faces jail for defacing own mural
Artist Ed Stross faces a 30-day stint in jail unless the American Civil Liberties Union manages to overturn his conviction for painting the word "love" on his mural in this Detroit suburb. Stross's long-running dispute with local officials is over his addition of the word to his mural in 1997 in memory of Princess Diana. The painting on the building housing his studio is based on Michelangelo's Creation of Man. Roseville, Mich., officials say using letters in the mural violates a sign ordinance. Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court delivered a partial victory to Roseville, saying it could ban the word "love" from the mural. ACLU lawyer Mark Kriger has filed a motion asking the supreme court to hear oral arguments in the case.
Associated Press 10/07/2008
Int'l Art Markets send mixed signals
Damien Hirst's 111.5 million-pound ($199 million) record auction in London last month marks the top of the art market in the U.K., for now at least, according to a survey by valuers. At the time that Hirst was grabbing headlines, the collapse in real-estate sales in the U.K. was taking its toll on prices of lower-value art and antiques, said the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. 34 percent more auctioneers and valuers reported prices falling for items estimated at 1,000 pounds and below in the quarterly survey completed last month. By contrast, a balance of 39 percent reported that prices rose for more expensive works of 50,000 pounds and higher as wealthy people snapped up trophy art. Contemporary art registered the strongest growth, with 41 percent more surveyors reporting increased prices.
New Rock Art Rewrites History
An extraordinary collection of rock art recording life in the area for the past 15,000 years, up until 50 years ago has been discovered in the north of Australia. Alongside ancient paintings of thylacines, a mammal long extinct on the mainland, are images documenting modern-day inventions – a car, a bicycle wheel, a biplane and a rifle – as well as portraits of a missionary and a sea captain. Scientists documenting the rock art, spread across at least 100 sites in the remote Wellington Range, say it ranks among the world's finest. It also appears to rewrite Australian history, undermining the widely held assumption that the continent was isolated and largely unvisited until the First Fleet arrived in 1788. The paintings suggest that, on the contrary, the people of northern Australia have been interacting with seafaring visitors from Asia and Europe for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years.
The Independent (UK) 10/05/2008
Arts in the classroom, leaders at work
Strengthening arts education in Milwaukee schools will produce creative, entrepreneurial graduates who can help transform Wisconsin’s economy, said local educators and artists at the last of nine public forums hosted around the state by the Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education. State schools Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton are co-chairwomen of the commission, which launched in March.
Despite a longstanding commitment to arts education in Milwaukee Public Schools, the district’s ability to provide quality arts programming has diminished as it’s faced yearly budget cuts, Superintendent William Andrekopoulos told the panel, which included MPS Board President Peter Blewett and task force members from Waukesha, Madison, Green Bay, Sheboygan and Milwaukee. “The task before us is to bring the state into the fold,” Andrekopoulos said. A change to the state’s funding formula would help, he added
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/14/2008
Bush Creates Copyright Czar
President Bush on Monday signed into law legislation creating a copyright czar, a cabinet-level position on par with the nation's drug czar. Two weeks ago, the House sent the president the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act", a measure the Senate approved days before creating a cabinet-level copyright czar charged with implementing a nationwide plan to combat piracy and "report directly to the president and Congress regarding domestic international intellectual property enforcement programs." The White House successfully lobbied the Senate to remove language tasking the Department of Justice with suing copyright and trademark infringers on behalf of Hollywood, the recording industry, manufacturers and software makers. But the Bush administration also said it didn't want a copyright czar, a position on par with the nation's drug czar Congress created in 1982 to wage the war on drugs. Lawmakers, however, sent him the package anyway and the president signed. The czar is not likely to be appointed until after the elections.
Wired Magazine 10/13/2008
Call to involve art in diplomacy
The divide between the US and the Muslim world is one of the greatest policy challenges the president will have to tackle, said an expert on Middle East affairs. Participating in a policy discussion on "Challenging stereotypes and breaking barriers: The role of arts and culture in the US-Muslim World relationship", Cynthia P Schneider, Director, Arts and Culture Initiative, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution called on to use arts as a component of diplomacy to better understanding of other cultures. Schneider wanted to recognise the lack of support for artistic and cultural interactions with the Muslim world and the lack of integration of arts and culture into policy and agendas represent lost opportunities. At the core of the US-Muslim world divide is a lack of understanding and respect. The arts have the potential to persuade and alter stereotypes trough their emotional impact. Arts and culture have played a critical role in shaping identity in the Muslim world and in providing an outlet for freedom of expression," she said.
The Peninsula 10/20/2008
Judge Rejects KC Symphony Lawsuit
The Kansas City Symphony cannot sue the state to demand funding, a judge ruled Monday in dismissing a lawsuit claiming lawmakers have shortchanged the Missouri Arts Council Trust Fund. The symphony had argued Missouri lawmakers have been shortchanging the arts. A 1994 law directs part of the Missouri income tax collected from visiting athletes and entertainers to the arts trust fund. But lawmakers used some of that money for other purposes during lean budget years. The symphony argued lawmakers essentially created a contract with those who were to get funds from the arts trust fund and then violated the agreement by not putting enough into the trust fund.
KCTV, Kansas City 10/21/2008
American Modern Dance premieres in Beijing
America's oldest and most celebrated contemporary dance troupe will perform in China for the first time in its 82 years of history. The Martha Graham Dance Company will present two set of programs, covering two themes and ten repertoires, from November 27 to 30 at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).
China Daily 10/28/2008
Classical Music Braces for Bad Days
As it has everywhere else these days, the economic crisis has hit classical music. Most managers are only in the fretting stage, but the plunge in stock prices, the credit squeeze and feelings of diminished wealth among donors and ticket buyers have begun to have concrete effects in a few places. Orchestras and opera companies are cutting costs, eliminating rehearsals and keeping a tighter rein on overtime. Many arts organizations are bracing for the worst, even though the effects are still unclear. “Everyone is examining every expenditure to see if there’s a more economical way to move forward," said Marc Scorca, the president and chief executive of Opera America. "It’s so hard to know how it’s going to play out, because it’s so early in season."
The New York Times 10/27/2008
Google settles online books lawsuits
Google has reached a landmark agreement with authors and publishers to make millions of books available online, in a deal that includes a $125m payout and the end to lawsuits filed by companies including Penguin. The agreement comes after two years of negotiations between the parties and will mark the end of two lawsuits against the Google Book Search tool. Today's agreement settles a class action lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild in September 2005 challenging Google's plans to digitise, search and show snippets of in-copyright books and to share digital copies with libraries without explicit permission. A month later five major members of the Association of American Publishers – McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin, Simon & Schuster and John Wiley – filed a separate suit on similar grounds. The deal today, described in a joint statement by all parties as "groundbreaking", will see online access granted for millions of in-copyright materials "and other written materials" in the US through Google Book Search. Rights holders will be able to control the pricing of online content and access to books.
The Guardian 10/28/2008
CBC Radio Orchestra goes multimedia
The CBC Radio Orchestra's final concert is less than a month away, but the 70-year-old Vancouver orchestra will carry on after its official farewell concert on Nov. 16, with a new name and an expanded mandate. The reformed entity will will expand beyond conventional broadcasting into webcasting and other types of Internet distribution. Officials decribe the new entity as "Canada's multimedia orchestra," a term that appears on the group's rudimentary website (broadcastorchestra.ca). "It will mostly be digital broadcasting," said Labelle, a venture capitalist whose current principal venture is an online software platform named ZeFridge. "What we want to do is bring the orchestra close to Canadians, and to everyone, since there are no borders on the Internet." Trudel said a full program for the NBO's first season will be announced around the time of a fundraising concert in the spring of 2009. Regular performances will begin next September.
Globe and Mail 10/30/2008
NEA to Nurture 7 Varied New Plays
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the selection of seven plays to be funded as part of its New Play Development Program. The pilot project, which is being administered by Arena Stage, is designed not only to underwrite new works already in progress but also to spot successful collaborations among artists, theaters, communities and other entities that might be used as models. Selected as NEA Outstanding New American Plays are two works that, with the companies nurturing them, will receive $90,000 each toward further development and full productions. Five works in earlier stages of development will receive $20,000 each, as NEA Distinguished New Play Development Projects.
The Washington Post 10/29/2008
Ex-Director To Repay Smithsonian
W. Richard West Jr., who retired last year as founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian, has agreed to reimburse the Smithsonian $9,700 for payments that he should not have received. Other expenses might have to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income on his tax returns. Members of Congress requested a report after The Washington Post reported in December that West spent more than $250,000 in institution funds over the previous four years on premium transportation and plush lodging in hotels around the world, including more than a dozen trips to Paris. Top Smithsonian officials have repeatedly said that the institution's spending excesses were corrected with reforms in early 2007 following the resignation of then-Secretary Lawrence M. Small after concerns were raised about his salary, housing allowance and certain expenditures. The report found international travel mixed business with personal vacations.
The Washington Post 10/29/2008
Kenya creates 'Obama the Musical'
Obama, The Musical opens this Sunday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The hour-long play is hotly awaited in a country where Mr Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is a wildly popular figure. Mr Obama, who has never lived in Kenya and has only come to the country on visits, is a national hero. A local beer has been named after him. The 30-strong cast is made up of young actors and actresses - their average age is 21 - who are very excited to be a part of the production. The play tells the story of Mr Obama's life and stresses the virtues of hard work, selflessness, democracy and public service. The message is especially important for Kenyans. In January, Kenya was rocked by post-election violence that left more than 1,500 people dead and 300,000 homeless. The play will run until 5 November. There have already been invitations to perform in the UK and South Africa.
Arts, social networking and philanthropy
Increasingly, nonprofits like the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Ballet Theatre, and Spoleto Festival USA are tapping the philanthropic potential of social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Long term, Charleston's arts organizations say they hope young professionals will be encouraged to support their programs monetarily after learning more about them on the web. "Turning to Facebook is about solidifying our future. It's a way to reach out to people in their 20s and 30s, and entice them to sample our product," says Janet Newcomb, executive director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
The Charleston City Paper 11/05/2008
Obama's Culture Plank
Senator Barack Obama writes poetry, gets props from Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, and is the first White House contender to include a far-reaching arts plank in his platform. The proposals range from increased support for arts education and the National Endowment for the Arts, to changing the federal tax code for artists. Obama began forming his culture plank in the spring of 2007, long before winning the Democratic nomination. He brought together a committee of artists and arts professionals, headed by Hollywood writer, director and producer George Stevens Jr. and Broadway producer Margo Lion. The committee's members include novelist Michael Chabon, Broadway director Hal Prince, musicians Eugenia and Pinchas Zukerman, Museum of Modern Art president emerita Agnes Gund, as well as Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
Ballet dancers on UK's most wanted list
Ballet dancers, sheep shearers, maths teachers, geologists, chemical engineers, horse trainers, physicists and biologists have been placed on Britain's most- wanted list under an immigration points system announced this week. The scheme is designed to stem the inflow of low- skilled workers from outside the European Union and give preference to entrepreneurs, financial high-flyers and professionals. The first stage, for highly skilled workers, was introduced in February. A points system would allow the government to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of business and taking population trends into account.
Financial Times 11/12/2008
Kennedy Chief to an NYC Opera's Rescue
New York City Opera has announced that Michael M. Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, will be advising that troubled institution in its urgent search for a new director. "With guidance from Michael Kaiser, one of America's leading arts management advisors," Baker wrote in the letter, whose contents were reported yesterday by Musicalamerica.com, "our board and staff are working to identify new leadership and to craft a plan for the 2009-2010 season and beyond." Kaiser will City Opera on planning but will not being paid for his services. Kaiser is a veteran of helping arts groups avoid extinction. His recent book, "The Art of the Turnaround," summarizes the fruits of his experience saving arts institutions. A cornerstone of his philosophy is that arts organizations have to think big and program adventurously in order to flourish. "We have been scared into thinking small," he wrote in a 2002 op-ed in The Post, as performing arts organizations reeled in the economic wake of Sept. 11."And small thinking begets smaller revenue that begets even smaller institutions and reduced public excitement and involvement. No wonder so many arts organizations are announcing record deficits."
The Washington Post 11/13/2008
Matchmaker Finds Patrons for Artists
A new arts fellowship program, United States Artists, has developed a knack for bringing patrons and artists together. The group functions as 'bridge builders' and has won recognition as one of the few new sources of artists’ grants at a time when federal financing from agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts has diminished. But what sets its fellowships apart from other more established award programs is the way the group plays matchmaker between donors and artists. 100 percent of donors money goes straight to the artists — something few institutions can say. And donors are, more or less, able to direct their financing.
The New York Times 11/10/2008
Broad to Build His Own Museum
Less than a year after the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened a $56 million museum for contemporary art named for Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist who is its largest benefactor, Mr. Broad has decided to build his own museum and is considering a site just down the street. When the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum opened in February, Mr. Broad said he was not interested in building his own museum. Because his collection contains more than 2,000 works, Mr. Broad said he could not build a facility large enough to display them all, and he did not want most of them to sit in storage. He used the same rationale to explain his decision to retain ownership of the works rather than to give most of his holdings to one or more museums, as he had previously said he would do.
The New York Times 11/18/2008
During the market upheavals of recent weeks, spot gold prices bobbed at around eight hundred dollars per ounce. The best Stradivarius violin, on the other hand, could have gone for something like seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars per ounce. That’s twelve million dollars for an avoirdupois pound of wood, if you want to be crude about it, and why shouldn’t you, these days? In this and in other ways, the great violins are, ounce for ounce, among the most valuable commodities in the world. There is even a Web site called stradivariinvest.com. Almost alone among investments, important violins have proved immune to economic downturns. Auction prices for Stradivariuses have increased from about two hundred thousand dollars in 1980 to about three million dollars today.
The New Yorker 11/24/2008
New culture site too popular for own good
The EU yesterday launched the prototype of Europeana, its bold project to digitise millions of books, artworks, manuscripts, maps, objects and films from the most important libraries, museums and archives, and provide them free to download from one website. But demand for europeana.eu was so great that by 10.30am yesterday it had to be temporarily closed after crashing under 10m hits an hour. The project was born of a fear among European leaders and culture bosses that Google was dominating the web, with its Book Search project scanning millions of books from dozens of world libraries to boost its traffic. Europeana goes further by providing interactive content, audio and video.
The Guardian 11/21/2008
Charleston Symphony says 250K or bust
CSO board president Ted Legasey shocked some audience members Saturday during intermission of the Masterworks concert when he announced they could be attending the final CSO concert of 2008 unless the group raises $250,000 immediately to pay for the month of December. The board president said the infusion of $250,000 would get the CSO through Jan. 3. After that, the orchestra is scheduled to get some money from the city of Charleston and the town of Kiawah Island, but that is not expected to be enough to make January's payroll. Even though the CSO has two endowments administered by the Coastal Community Foundation, Newcomb said the limit on disbursement from each one could not exceed 4 percent.
The Charleston Post and Courier 11/18/2008
Emanuel brings ballet to White House
With the flurry of attention for the ballet history of congressman Rahm Emanuel (President-elect Obama's pick for White House chief of staff), it's suddenly become a lot cooler to be a guy who knows his way around toeshoes, turnouts and tights. At 48, Emanuel isn't just a major force in politics. The often foul-mouthed pit bull (nickname "Rahmbo") is living proof that ballet dancer and macho man aren't mutually exclusive. "We're very proud to know Mr. Emanuel was a dancer," says Kelly Ryan, spokeswoman for the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). "His accomplishments have been so immense, and in a small way, he's put ballet on the world stage."
NY Daily News 11/17/2008
Chattanooga cuts opera for 09
The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Board of Directors voted to suspend opera productions for the 2009-2010, citing losses of more than $1.1 million on 11 opera productions over the last six years, according to a news release. Production costs for opera performances average $225,000 per show. Those costs include sets and costumes, guest artist fees, stagehand fees and musician costs and even with sponsors and ticket costs of $86 per ticket and sold-out houses, the CSO said its revenues average $100,000 per production. The CSO finished its 2006-2007 season with a deficit of approximately $400,000. The 2007-2008 deficit was $130,000. The board plans to use the coming year to explore new ways to make opera sustainable in Chattanooga. Among the possibilities are collaborations with regional opera companies, presenting touring versions of opera, limiting productions to one every other year or every three years, or raising an endowment for opera.
Chattanooga Times Free Press 11/25/2008
London mayor unveils cultural strategy
Mayor Boris Johnson wants to encourage London’s youth to go to the opera and ballet as well as enjoy the more populist arts. Key elements, recently unveiled as part of the mayor’s cultural strategy, include increasing the cultural education of young people as well as cutting the red tape involved in producing cultural events. The mayor’s office will also work with regional screen agency Film London to organize London Film Day and to arrange screenings and events at venues across the capital that were previously underserved. Other initiatives include extra funding for the London Jazz Festival, which will allow it to expand into the outer boroughs, and added support for next year’s edition of Children’s Art Day, which aims to increase young people’s experience of the visual arts. Th effort is part of a larger cultural regeneration that will tie into London’s staging of the Olympics in 2012.
Charleston votes to aid the arts
The Charleston City Council voted to contribute $50,000 from the city's hospitality fee fund to partially match an expected $250,000 grant from a private foundation that would aid the cash-strapped Charleston Stage, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Charleston Ballet Theatre. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation is considering making the quarter-million-dollar grant, and an equal amount would have to be raised in matching funds. He said the grant would be administered by the Coastal Community Foundation. On Nov. 15, during intermission at a concert, CSO board President Ted Legasey told audience members they could be attending the final CSO concert of 2008 unless the group raises $250,000 immediately to pay for the month of December.
The Post and Courier 11/26/2008
December 4, 2008
BSO launches music download service
The Boston Symphony Orchestra launched a download service yesterday that will allow customers to buy new and historical recordings through the organization's website, www.bso.org. The service made immediately available 179 previously released tracks by the BSO, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. But listeners must wait until February for a recording created under the baton of music director James Levine. Other orchestras have moved faster to create download options. The New York Philharmonic, for example, launched its own service in 2006, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra followed suit early in 2007. The BSO said it needed more time because it wanted to create a system that could operate without signing on with an outside distributor. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for example, uses an outside company to place downloads on iTunes, Amazon.com, and Rhapsody.
December 4, 2008
NEA study shows gender pay gap in arts
The National Endowment for the Arts has released a study on gender pay gap between men and women artists. The gap is wider for artists working in the competitive big-city arts capitals such as greater Los Angeles and New York City. The gender pay gap increases with age and varies by occupation. Other findings: women artists are as likely to be married as other women, but less likely to have children; the percentage of women photographers and architects has increased since 1990; architects rank as the most highly-paid category of artists in the survey.
December 4, 2008
Army turns dictator's palace into museum
The British Army is offering to help create a museum in Basra, which would be set up by the Iraqi authorities in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces. British military planners have codenamed the project Operation Bell, after Gertrude Bell, the archaeologist who helped establish the Baghdad Museum in 1926. Assistance is also being offered by the British Museum, but all parties stress that this is an Iraqi venture. The museum project was initiated by Major-General Barney White-Spunner, who commanded the IIIrd Division. On the Iraqi side, it is supported by Dr Mufid al-Jazairi, chairman of the cultural committee of the Iraqi parliament. The project has already been approved by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, and has now gone to prime minister Nouri al-Maliki for a final decision.
Obama Speaks in Support of the Arts
In his first television interview since winning the election, President-elect Barack Obama joined Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press to discuss the economy, foreign policy and the upcoming transition of power. Among the topics President-elect Barack Obama showed his support for the arts. Read an excerpt from the transcript below, read the full transcripts or view the netcast (skip to time code 40:27 through 42:25).
MR. BROKAW: . . . .Let me ask you as we conclude this program this morning about whether you and Michelle have had any discussions about the impact that you're going to have on this country in other ways besides international and domestic policies. You're going to have a huge impact, culturally, in terms of the tone of the country.
PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Right.
MR. BROKAW: Who are the kinds of artists that you would like to bring to the White House?
PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Oh, well, you know, we have thought about this because part of what we want to do is to open up the White House and, and remind people this is, this is the people's house. There is an incredible bully pulpit to be used when it comes to, for example, education. Yes, we're going to have an education policy. Yes, we're going to be putting more money into school construction. But, ultimately, we want to talk about parents reading to their kids. We want to invite kids from local schools into the White House. When it comes to science, elevating science once again, and having lectures in the White House where people are talking about traveling to the stars or breaking down atoms, inspiring our youth to get a sense of what discovery is all about. Thinking about the diversity of our culture and, and inviting jazz musicians and classical musicians and poetry readings in the White House so that, once again, we appreciate this incredible tapestry that's America. I—you know, that, I think, it is going to be incredibly important, particularly because we're going through hard times. And, historically, what has always brought us through hard times is that national character, that sense of optimism, that willingness to look forward, that, that sense that better days are ahead. I think that our art and our culture, our science, you know, that's the essence of what makes America special, and, and we want to project that as much as possible in the White House.
December 9, 2008—President and CEO Bob Lynch's letter to President Elect Obama thanking him for his support of the arts and culture during the Meet the Press interview.
December 14, 2008
Task Force Releases Report on the Arts
A concerted effort should be made to put the arts at Harvard University on par with the study of the humanities and sciences, according to a report released today by the University. The report calls for an ambitious re-thinking of Harvard’s approach to the arts. It asks that the University place an increased emphasis on the arts in the curriculum both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It asks for greater visibility and accessibility for the arts on campus through the creation and renovation of physical spaces dedicated to the arts and the addition to campus of a greater number of practicing artists as faculty members or in extended residencies. The report arrives at a time when the University is examining operations in response to a challenging economic climate.
December 14, 2008
NY May Let Museums Pay Debt With Art
The state board that oversees New York museums may consider allowing them to sell artwork, artifacts and other works to pay back debt, a change of policy some museum backers say would threaten quality collections. The state Board of Regents started working on an "emergency amendment" to the rules governing how museums can manage collections. Currently, state rules require museums to use the money from such sales only to buy other works or enhance their collections. The emergency amendment would allow museums to sell off works to pay down debt if they can show that they have no other way to raise the money and would otherwise go bankrupt. The museums also would only be allowed to sell the works to another museum or historical society in New York.
NY Reverses Course on Deaccessions
You helped focus everyone in the field on this," Dewey Blanton, head of media relations for the American Association of Museums, told me this morning about the decision of the NY State Board of Regent's Cultural Education Committee to withdraw its Emergency Amendment that would have allowed museums and historical societies to sell objects from their collections "for purposes of obtaining funds to pay outstanding debt."
Blanton credited my emergency post last week about this amendment with helping to spur AAM (which sent its comments to the Regents on Friday) and other concerned members of the museum community to send statements objecting to the state government's proposed validation of desperation deaccessions.
Arts Journal 12/23/2008
LA Museum Accepts Rescue Deal
The board of this Los Angeles’s financially troubled Museum of Contemporary Art reached a preliminary agreement on Thursday to accept a financial rescue offer from Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist who was a founding trustee of the museum and is one of this city’s largest arts patrons. The agreement, which the board voted on at a long meeting Thursday afternoon, is not final and is subject to numerous conditions, including Mr. Broad’s examinations of the museum’s financial accounts. The museum’s executive committee was continuing to meet Thursday night to hammer out details of the deal. A competing offer from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a merger of the two institutions had not been completely dismissed.
The New York Times 12/18/2008
Virginia Symphony Kept Alive by Loan
Musicians and patrons were relieved Wednesday to learn that the Virginia Symphony Orchestra received a $500,000 loan from the Norfolk Economic Development Authority. The loan will be effective once an agreement is signed by all parties, perhaps this week. Then, the symphony can draw money as needed. The terms include repayment with 6 percent interest over five years. The loan will enable the symphony to get through the remainder of this fiscal year without declaring bankruptcy. Loan funds will come from administrative fees that the authority collects from companies for which it issues industrial revenue bonds. The authority is a political subdivision of the state.
Live Nation to end Ticketmaster's Monopoly
January could be the start of a new era for concert-ticket buyers fed up with exorbitant prices, extraneous service charges and a lack of competition in the marketplace. That's when Live Nation will start taking on Ticketmaster in the United States. "We still believe the venue, the artist and the fan would love an alternative ticketing company," said Live Nation chief executive Michael Rapino during a recent conference call. "I think it's probably the only industry in the world ... that doesn't have a good No. 2 or No. 3 (competitor)." Live Nation's foray into the concert market will be limited at first, and fans won't have the choice of selecting which company to buy from. Live Nation will sell tickets for venues it owns or operates; it also has the rights to limited sales for the all-star artists it works with.
Toronto Star 12/19/2008