2006 national arts news archive
Gulf Coast arts groups struggle to regain footing
At this, the four-month mark since Hurricane Katrina hit, the need for aid and for understanding persists. The media have dipped in and out of the subject. There have been inspiring humanitarian efforts. (Witness the millions of dollars raised by former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.) Meanwhile, quietly, there have been good works on behalf of the Gulf Coast's artists.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 01/02/2006
Mass eviction to Mexico in 1930s spurs CA apology
Carlos Guerra was only 3 years old when Los Angeles County authorities came to his family's house in Azusa and ordered his mother, a legal United States resident, and her six American-born children to leave the country. It was 1931. The administration of President Herbert Hoover backed a policy that would repatriate hundreds of thousands of Mexican Americans, more than half of them United States citizens. Now California, for its part, wants to say it is sorry.
The Sacramento Bee 01/02/2006
Rethinking Cleveland's Arts District
"University Circle, Cleveland's cultural and educational district, is a classic underachiever. It's like a brilliant but nerdy student who never lives up to his potential, socially or academically... The district holds a magnificent collection of great institutions, from Case Western Reserve University to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra and University Hospitals... Nevertheless, the place looks and feels dead most of the time. It is marred by wide, heavily trafficked streets; by inwardly oriented buildings that fail to animate their surroundings; and by a paucity of housing, retail shops and restaurants." Still, the corporation that made University Circle what it is has recognized that a change is necessary, and is taking steps to make the entertainment district more... well, entertaining.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 12/27/2005
Missouri Cancels Arts Funding
"The Missouri Arts Council has canceled a program worth millions of dollars once promised to local arts groups. In the fiscal year beginning July 1, the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet, the Lyric Opera, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and 21 other arts organizations across Missouri will no longer receive annual payments from the council that would have reached tens of millions of dollars over time. The arts council gave no notice to any of the affected arts groups in October when it voted to end contracts with organizations participating in the Capital Incentive Program. The program allowed them to collect interest from the council’s endowment. Now, because of budget cuts and erratic state funding of the arts council, there is too little money to pay them."
Kansas City Star 01/08/2006
Is There A Silver Lining In Detroit's Abysmal Arts Year?
2005 was a tough year for the arts in Detroit, with funding cuts and red ink dominating the cultural landscape. But if there's a bright side to be found in the latest round of government funding pullbacks, it may be that arts advocates have been prodded to begin looking seriously at a diverse array of funding mechanisms that may provide more long-term stability than the whims of finicky politicians would ever allow.
Detroit Free Press 01/05/2006
Center For Arts And Culture Closes
The center had an 11-year run. "The continuously declining availability of general operating support in the current funding climate is a common plight and growing threat to the long-term sustainability of the arts and the nonprofit sector at large. Unfortunately, the Center has proven not to be immune to it this year."
Can Elgin IL Afford a Concert Hall?
The city of Elgin, Illinois has hired consultants to take a hard look at whether the city actually needs and can support a new concert hall. "What it boils down to is this: What does a concert hall really mean to the city and at what cost, and can the money be raised? A task force of Elgin officials has explored the possibility of building a performing-arts center with a potential price tag of $60 million."
Chicago Tribune 01/10/2006
CA Proposes $2M from New Arts License Plate
California, which perenially ranks last in the nation in per capita arts funding, is proposing to add $2 million per year to the state arts budget by promoting the sale of a new arts-themed license plate. Several other states offer such plates, which can be purchased for an additional fee by any driver, with all profits going to the state arts board. The influx of funds would raise California's arts budget by more than 50%, but in a sign of just how meager that budget is, it would remain firmly in last place in per capita funding among the fifty states.
Los Angeles Times 01/13/2006
Culture Raises Its Head and Heart
A report to be released today by the cultural committee of Mayor C. Ray Nagin's Bring New Orleans Back Commission, proposes that the city regenerate its pool of creative talent by finding jobs and shelter for artists and cultural institutions. It must repair damaged cultural facilities and build new ones, like a National Jazz Center and an expanded and enhanced arts district, the report says; market New Orleans as a world-class cultural capital; teach the arts and cultural traditions to the city's young people; and seek investment from national and international sources.
New York Times 01/16/2006
Salary Disclosure Law Irks MPR
It isn't often that a public broadcaster will intentionally turn down free money, but that's just what's happening in the Twin Cities, where Minnesota Public Radio is balking at a new state law requiring it to release a list of all employees earning more than $100,000 in order to qualify for $190,000 in funding from the state. The law is the brainchild of a state representative who made news two years ago when he proposed another measure which would have proibited anyone working for an arts organization from making a higher salary than the governor of the state.
Minneapolis Star Tribune 02/15/2006
The Rising Cost Of Donations
"While it used to be enough to just list a contributor's name in a program book or on a wall plaque, donors expect a little more gratitude. Local arts groups are now offering donors and members gourmet dinners, complimentary tickets, cocktail parties, discounts on merchandise, subscriptions to magazines, valet parking, priority seating, and even all the cookies and coffee you can consume during an intermission."
San Diego Union-Tribune 02/13/2006
Future of New Orleans' historic Orpheum Theater uncertain
Hurricane Katrina dealt a devastating blow to New Orleans' four major theatres, and while the rebuilding effort has made progress in some areas, the 85-year-old Orpheum Theatre may be a total loss. "Floodwater filled the theater's 20-foot basement, wiping out all the electrical and mechanical equipment stored there, and rose to more than a foot in the performance hall. The Orpheum's original oak floors swelled and buckled and likely cannot be salvaged. The stage, which sat under water for weeks, will also have to be replaced." Making matters worse, the Orpheum had no flood insurance.
Picayune Item 02/12/2006
Minneapolis Mayor to Push Public Design
Launching big public initiatives has never been easy in Minneapolis, where a weak mayor-strong council system forces every new idea to be subjected to the will of dozens of elected officials and bureaucrats before becoming reality. The gridlock has particularly affected the arts, since nearly every bold proposal eventually falls victim to the endless bickering of the committee process. The city's current mayor is hoping to galvanize support for any number of public design projects to complement an ongoing downtown boom, but wary of the failures of past administrations, even his pitches are vague and seemingly designed to accomodate the nitpicking that is certain to follow.
Minneapolis Star Tribune 02/25/2006
Looking For Diversity In The Great White North
The lack of racial diversity in major arts organizations is one of those nagging issues that no one ever seems to know how to address, and the lily-white quality of many on-stage productions registers immediately, even in a lily-white city like Duluth, Minnesota. "Arts administrators and artists of color gave myriad reasons why diversity in arts is lagging behind diversity in the local population: Socio-economics. Image. Lack of arts education in schools. Most discouraging, the lack of diversity appears to feed itself."
Duluth News-Tribune 02/23/2006
Urban Art Renewal in Tijuana
Can there be a weirder, more alienated place than [Tijuana's] Avenida Revolución on a Saturday night? The dark side of the moon, perhaps? Yet Avenida Revolución also is the pulsing subconscious of an exciting and restless city — one of the world's busiest, most notorious border towns." There is plenty of illicit "fun" to be had in the new Tijuana, as you might expect, but surprisingly, the backbone of the city's dramatic reinvention has been its embrace of contemporary art, and of the arts in general.
Los Angeles Times 02/23/2006
March 16, 2006
Arts Center Has a Plan to Help Newark Revive
For nearly 40 years, Newark has been trying to fight its way back from the riots of the 1960's and a generation in which people and businesses spilled out of the city to the suburbs on the highways that crisscross it.
March 20, 2006
Two Artists, a River and a Debate over Public Space
The artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude were last seen swathing New York's Central Park in waves of saffron fabric for "The Gates" in February of last year. Next up: a plan to horizontally suspend panels of fabric in a rural setting over sections of the Arkansas River in central Colorado. A group called Rags Over the Arkansas River, or ROAR, is petitioning state and federal agencies to deny the project. They have gathered at least 750 signatures so far. The project's opponents fear it will bring increased traffic and general mayhem, along with a potentially negative impact on wildlife. Katy Siegel, a public art scholar and associate professor of art history at New York's Hunter College, says Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work is important because it engages millions of people who don't visit galleries or museums. "It's good to be talking about these things," she says. "What is public? What's in the public interest? How do we use public space?"
March 20, 2006
Funds Slashed For Theatre Of The Deaf
The 38-year-old National Theatre of the Deaf has lost a major grant and the theatre's leaders fear the company might not be able to continue. "Without the $680,000 annual grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Theatre of the Deaf slashed its annual budget from $1.2 million to $300,000."
March 27, 2006
Condo developers try new palette
A Toronto condo developer is "in the process of buying $700,000 worth of art from local galleries. Condo buyers will be invited to select their piece from the collection when the as-yet-undeveloped units hit the market in April. The idea was to offer an incentive that reflected the spirit of the art-rich neighbourhood. The question is, will this investment help ease the pang of gentrification for long-time residents?"
March 27, 2006
From Harlem to NY University, Hip Hop Lures NY Hopefuls
Though hip hop started a black genre, it's no longer just young black men who see it as their calling. New York University offers a hip hop class and now tourists and students (for extra credit)can embark on the Hip Hop Pioneers Tour that passes by the landmarks of a genre now so mainstream it's getting a place in the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.
March 27, 2006
Piecing together the perfect airport
What makes a great airport? Beyond the obvious, the little extras often make all the difference. At a time when several airports, including Miami, New York's JFK and Dallas/Fort Worth, are adding splashy new terminals, USA TODAY's Gene Sloan identifies 10 features not widely available that all should have. And the arts are listed twice.
April 3, 2006
Teaming With the Artists to Buoy the Bottom Line
The art market is booming right now, and it is not only auction houses and dealers who are taking advantage of the moment. Increasingly, museums are doing more than just exhibiting artists' work; they are also commissioning and selling it.
April 3, 2006
What are arts people making in Los Angeles? "Among the city's most visible arts outfits, the drift of leadership salaries is up, up and up. If you lump together salaries for the top executives of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles Opera, the L.A. Philharmonic and the Center Theatre Group from 2002 to 2004, the average increase was 28%, while inflation was rising 5%."
April 3, 2006
Arts pack financial punch
The arts (or, at least, large concentrations of artists) are usually considered an urban phenomenon, centered in and around cities and often reflecting in their local vibrance the overall quality of life in the region. But a new study by a Minnesota group shows that one of the state's highest concentrations of arts and culture is in the mainly rural northeast "arrowhead" region. "Arts organizations bring a lot of outside money into the Arrowhead, according to the study. Nonresidents make up about one-third of the audience for nonprofit arts events in the region, and out-of-towners tend to spend more."
April 10, 2006
Yo-Yo Ma Testifies on Capitol Hill About Artists' Visa Problems
Scrounging for younger audiences. Squeezing donors. Seeking relevance alongside the pop culture behemoth. In some ways, times are tough in the performing arts. But a quiet new headache has arisen: just getting foreign artists into the country.
April 10, 2006
New York City Is Establishing an Office to Support Arts Groups
The City of New York is opening an office to "aggressively pitch New York City around the world as the nation's art and cultural capital by helping nonprofit organizations, especially those in the arts, cope with the high costs that threaten their survival." The new office represents a recognition that skyrocketing rents have made it much harder for smaller arts groups to flourish and help groups navigate the real-estate market, obtain technical advice and attract financing.
April 17, 2006
Arts appointment gets mixed reaction
Boston's longtime Mayor Tom Menino appoints a political ally with no arts experience to head Boston's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events.
April 17, 2006
Young Audience Turns Out for Opera's 'L'Elisir'
Want Young Faces At Your Concerts? Try Making Them Fun (And Good)
April 25, 2006
City arts groups face leadership changes
The Central Ohio arts community is entering a period of transition, with several leadership posts in flux even as Columbus City Council studies how the arts are perceived and funded.
April 25, 2006
N.J. arts funding: Mergers reduce ranks of corporate donors
Changes in a corporate struc ture can mean a shift in its philanthropic focus or a shift in its geographic area. Generally, mergers don't bode well for the arts groups seeking corporate grants to underwrite their work. "In the past, you were getting money from two, three, or four companies and now you're getting one. That's especially true in the banking community," said John McEwen, executive director of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the Morristown-based organization serving the state's professional theaters. "Just given that fact, you don't have as many sources to turn to as you once did," he said. Arts leaders point to the merger activity as a prime reason why corporate donations are on the decline.
April 25, 2006
Artists, Go Home
Federal regulations threaten to limit Seattle's exposure to foreign performers.
May 2, 2006
Los Angeles With a Downtown? Gehry's Vision
Should sprawling Los Angeles have a real downtown? Despite a new design there is doubt that the city's resources couldn't be better spent in neighborhoods where residents actually live and work.
May 2, 2006
An Anthem's Discordant Notes
Spanish Version of 'Star-Spangled Banner' Draws Strong Reactions.
May 2, 2006
Development blossoms around Performing Arts Center—with no plan in place
Even before it opens, the Miami Performing Arts Center, conceived as both cultural lodestar and urban growth enzyme, has filled the latter role in spectacular fashion. Better than even its fondest proponents dreamed.
May 10, 2006
Opera returns to Nawlens
Abstract New Orleans Opera is back on the stage, and amazingly, much of the audience seems to be back, too. But the challenges aren't over for the company, as it deals with its too-small new home, the loss of many members of its pit orchestra to other ensembles around the country, and countless other logistical and musical issues that serve as a constant reminder of the devastation wrought by Katrina. "Many opera-goers and corporate sponsors who left the city haven't returned yet either. With the city's more pressing needs, the opera has had to make a strong case to get philanthropic dollars."
May 10, 2006
Music's Merger Mania
"Taking a page from the current flurry of big deals from telecom to banking, arts groups are merging and forming alliances at an unprecedented pace. In recent months, at least a dozen groups around the country have teamed up... One factor behind the deals: The growing role of corporate executives on cultural organizations' boards. Groups have been recruiting veterans from the private sector to bring business acumen to their back offices. Another driver: a small cadre of consultants carving out a niche advising arts mergers. And increasingly, big foundations, with less money to spend, are giving money to groups only when a partnership is involved, to make sure their dollars are spent efficiently."
May 10, 2006
Read between the lines: Acting keeps brain sharp
Could acting lessons help the elderly to keep their minds sharp and stave off cognitive decline? A husband-wife teaching team at Elmhurst College in Chicago thinks so, and they've begun offering such lessons. "The National Institutes of Health has awarded the Noices two grants to fund research on improving brain function in older adults. With the first grant, they trained seniors who lived independently. With their most recent grant, they are teaching acting techniques to seniors who live in government-funded retirement homes."
May 17, 2006
On the NEA's 40th, the Art of Politics
The National Endowment for the Arts celebrates the milestone. An exhibition gives some idea how far. "We've come a long way. Parallel to the art of engagement has been a politics of disengagement, at least when it comes to arts funding. The only reason the NEA could meet in the midst of this exhibition without a firestorm is that, politically, the NEA has disengaged not just from funding this kind of art, but from the people, artists, curators and audiences who are interested in it."
May 17, 2006
The Breaking of Michael Arad
When the then-34-year-old architect won the ground-zero-memorial competition, he looked like the Maya Lin of 9/11—a bright, shining star out of nowhere who would build a breathtaking new landmark. Two years later, all we’ve got is a pile of dirt, a price estimate nearing $1 billion, and a nasty, behind-the-scenes war of wills.
May 22, 2006
Mixed media: The melding of art and business skills
For arts groups in search of leadership, times are changing, and increasingly, a thorough knowledge of the art involved is not always a prerequisite for the job. "More typically, organizations seem to be looking for a do-it-all type -- a fundraiser, a visionary, a seasoned manager and a respected scholar in the field. Increasingly, though, fiscal responsibility is a major part of the job."
May 22, 2006
Commission eyeing arts tax for fall ballot
Two years after a ballot initiative which would have raised millions for the arts through a property-tax increase went down to defeat, Cleveland-area cultural leaders are preparing to try again. "[Cuyahoga] County's three commissioners have expressed varying degrees of support for a proposed 30-cent-per-pack hike in the cigarette tax. The additional tax would create a pool of about $20 million annually. The money would be used to provide matching funds to Cuyahoga County-based, not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations for operating expenses." The plan would still need to gain voter approval in November.
May 22, 2006
Cultural importers: Musicians cross borders—luckily
Whatever the economic and regulatory reasons to revise immigration laws, you know there has to be a fair amount of xenophobia lurking about. At the very least, parts of the establishment are threatened by ethnic minorities' being not so minor these days, their numbers now mighty enough to propose a Spanish-language "Star Spangled Banner." The irony is that immigrants - whether Latino or, for example, Chinese - are hardly limited to service-industry jobs (as suggested by public demonstrations earlier this month). They are vital artistic influences in the belly of the beast, at cultural palaces like New York City's Lincoln Center and Washington's Kennedy Center.
May 30, 2006
Arts groups mostly happy with legislative session
Minnesota arts groups were hoping to get a measure on the fall ballot that would propose allocating a piece of the state sales tax to arts funding. The state legislature didn't quite get there, but it did approve money for some arts construction projects.
May 30, 2006
Governor's proposed budget may offer slight relief
California still ranks last in per capita arts funding. But the proposed new state budget includes some good news for arts education. "A spokeswoman for the California Arts Council said the overall state budget revision proposes an increase of $66 million in the Proposition 98 general fund to expand the arts and music block grants to a total of $166 million."
May 30, 2006
How Millennium Park created a unique nexus of culture
"With approximately 3 million visitors streaming into the place last summer, with gospel and jazz and highbrow music set to sing again from its main stage starting next weekend, Millennium Park has become our town square, our meeting place, our focal point for the arts -- at least when the winter winds aren't howling."
June 7, 2006
Public housing complex opens musical arts center
The Creative Arts Corner, a first-of-its-kind project of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority in which residents can learn to make commercials, record CDs, mix sound, create videos and dance.
June 7, 2006
Glass artists face off in court
As an ever-moving maestro in the world where fine art and commerce converge, Dale Chihuly is perhaps the world's most successful glass artist. His clients include Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, and his elaborate installations of sea gardens and flower clusters show that mere sand transformed by fire can elevate a casino ceiling to the level of gallery spectacle. But now Mr. Chihuly is in the midst of a hard-edged legal fight in federal court here over the distinctiveness of his creations and, more fundamentally, who owns artistic expression in the glass art world. Mr. Chihuly has sued two glass blowers, including a longtime collaborator, for copyright infringement, accusing them of imitating his signature lopsided creations, and other designs inspired by the sea.
June 7, 2006
Wisconsin wooing filmmakers with bold tax scheme
The state is offering generous tax incentives. The state will have one of the more aggressive tax schemes in the country, with a refundable credit of 25% of direct production expenditures for feature films, television movies, episodic and miniseries television, video games and broadcast advertising production. Also being offered is an investment tax credit of 25% that can be claimed for investing in Wisconsin-based productions and a 15% state income tax credit for film, television and electronic game production businesses that make a capital investment by starting a business in Wisconsin."
June 14, 2006
Patrons of the arts continue Minnesota's legacy of giving
Minnesota's Twin Cities have seemingly always enjoyed a thriving cultural scene far larger than a medium-sized metropolitan area could reasonably be expected to support. The quiet secret to the region's artistic success has been a long history of private stewardship, spearheaded by a succession of ultra-rich benefactors who have poured a sizable chunk of their net worth into orchestras, museums, and theaters. There have always been doomsayers who warn that once the existing generation of philanthropists dies off, the Twin Cities arts scene will wither on the vine. But recent evidence suggests that a new generation of supporters is ready and able to take the reins.
June 14, 2006
Far from lonely at the top
There was a time when top jobs at museums were more or less off-limits to women, but a survey of today's art world shows that the glass ceiling has long since shattered, and to good effect. "Women are especially prominent at the nation's top tier of modern and contemporary art museums... Directors point to women's long history of involvement in museum-dom, the culmination of decades of institutional advancement and greater diversity on the boards of trustees that hire directors."
June 14, 2006
Putting dollar sign on culture
Every year, thousands of arts enthusiasts from across the Los Angeles region and beyond visit Pasadena to sample the city's cultural offerings.
Along the way, most end up dropping dollars everywhere, from the city's restaurants and bars to its gas stations and pay parking lots.
Pasadena officials already know their arts community makes an impact on the city's economy.
But quantifying how big that impact really is can get tricky.
So this year, Pasadena will be among 130 cities nationwide to participate in a study designed to detail just how much money "cultural tourism" adds to its economy. The study also will reveal how Pasadena's nonprofit arts industry stacks up to those in comparable cities.
June 20, 2006
Classical music goes new-school on Web
Savvy classical music marketers are discovering that if you want to attract young people, you’ve got to go where they are. Thus MySpace is becoming a valuable marketing tool for some of today’s biggest classical stars - and is poised to be even more important as young musicians promote their own careers.
June 20, 2006
Skilled American Labor Heads Overseas, in Toe Shoes
An increasing number of young American dancers are heading to Europe to seek work. Some hope to build a career that will someday lead to professional prospects back home; others don't expect ever to return. "While many American dance companies scramble to stay afloat, Europe is stocked with stable and respected companies buoyed by state funds. And a generation of Americans has successfully come of age there... There is a sense, at Juilliard and elsewhere, that the era of great American dance has passed. Europe, in contrast, seems a fertile ground for new work, especially in contemporary ballet."
June 20, 2006
A New Musical Arrangement
In Miami there are mixed feelings about a deal that will make the Cleveland Orchestra the resident orchestra of the region's major new performing arts center. Cleveland is one of the world's great orchestras. And yet, some worry that having the orchestra in residence will mean the area won't be able to build its own orchestra. "It's a shame that the hall was built for the local musicians and they're not getting a chance to use it. Obviously, the musicians who were in the Florida Philharmonic would like to be playing in the hall that was built for them."
June 29, 2006
A city's creative quotient
To realize prosperity in the creative economy, Philadelphia must retain its creative workers. A recent conference highlighted successful government strategies employed of other regions. Among the lessons: "Government must be part of a multidisciplinary group from the sciences, business, the arts and technology who listen to regular people and work to position a city's coolness."?
June 29, 2006
Sale will finance future art efforts
The Arts Council of Greater Lansing is selling its Center for the Arts building -- which was operated since 1975 in order to provide rental space for the community -- and "the proceeds will be invested in an endowment. "These funds will best be used as an incubator to encourage and develop initiatives that build on our artistic, cultural and entertainment capacity while increasing the economic base of the region. Just as Indianapolis, Cleveland, and other cities have developed an economic rebound around arts and culture, so, too, can Lansing."?
June 29, 2006
A Belgian Orchestra Puts Itself Up for Sale on eBay
Well, what else is a poor band to do when its funding disappears?
On June 23, just before a rehearsal, the Belgian chamber orchestra Beethoven Academie was informed that its government grant was to be eliminated entirely as of 2007 — in effect, that it has six more months to live.
In desperation, and figuring that you can buy and sell anything on eBay, it put itself up for auction on the web site.
July 17, 2006
Veto override is welcome news to arts institutions
Last week the Massachusetts legislature approved millions in funding for improving and repairing arts infrastructure. "The groups surveyed said they needed about $1.1 billion to repair, expand, or construct buildings in the next five years. Governor Romney vetoed the $13 million for the fund this summer, but this week the House and Senate decisively overrode his veto. 'This is not the Legislature saying, 'Hey, we want better ballet on stage. It's saying, 'We want these cultural resources improved as the infrastructure for tourism.' "
July 17, 2006
In tune with Salida
Little out-of-the-way Salida, Colorado doesn't have much music. But every summer, the town hosts a major league chamber muic series. "The historic Arkansas River town of 5,000, best known for kayaking and art galleries, is hardly a classical-music mecca, yet folks there have managed to keep a summer chamber series going for 30 years."
July 17, 2006
Program aims to keep musicians in Big Easy
Volunteers are building a housing village in New Orleans for musicians. "The housing program is run by Habitat for Humanity. Saxophone player Branford Marsalis and singer Harry Connick Jr., honorary chairmen of the charity's Gulf Coast rebuilding program, dreamed up the idea to encourage musicians to move into one area. The group bought a vacant lot formerly owned by the city school board and is using its army of volunteers — about 3,000 of them so far — to build 75 homes. It plans another 225 houses elsewhere in the neighborhood."
Arts groups reap benefits of council's fundraising
The N.C. Black Repertory Company and the Piedmont Craftsmen emerged as big winners in financial terms yesterday, seeing the amounts of their nonrestricted grants from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County increase dramatically over last year.
Pitt professor's goal is to help students learn other subjects through music
A University of Pittsburgh music professor is disseminating a new approach to teaching history, English, social studies and other humanities by including music to be studied like any primary text. The results have been stunning for those teachers who have implemented his program in their curriculums.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 07/26/2006
America in the Creative and Innovative Economy
"Most economists now seem to agree that the emerging so-called 'creative and innovative' economy represents America's salvation," says John Eger. "As we talk about the foreshadowing of a whole economy based upon creativity and innovation . . . we are more acutely aware of the importance of reinventing our business strategies, our corporations, our communities, our schools, our housing and land-use policies and more. . . . We need to redesign our high school and college curricula in particular, to focus on preparing students for this new competition."
Government Technology 08/03/2006
Hendricks County Arts Council to increase membership
The Hendricks County Arts Council (IN) is launching a membership drive with the goal of increasing its rolls by about 50 percent. The arts council, formed in 2004 at the urging of a leadership Hendricks County team, has 90 members and hopes to attract 50 more. About half of its members are artists, and half are enthusiasts and supporters of the arts. The council supports theater, dance, visual and music in Hendricks County.
Indianapolis Star 10/03/2006
Smart City Radio features Ann Daly
Host Carol Coletta talks with Ann Daly, an arts consultant based in Austin, Texas, who has advice on where new audiences for the arts can be found.
Smart City Radio 09/28/2006
Cultural Sector in Southeast Pennsylvania Vibrant, Report Finds
The Philadelphia area's nonprofit cultural sector earns $573 million in annual revenue and contributes significantly to the local economy, a new report from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance finds.
Philanthropy News Digest 10/02/2006
WSJ: Hunger vs the Arts
It's a rising concern for many potential donors to the arts: What is the justification for donating to the opera when the money could help stamp out malaria -- or stem global warming, reform education or solve any of a number of humanitarian crises? For arts groups, the problem is being exacerbated as some of the world's wealthiest and most influential people have stepped up in the past year to give globally. There is a mounting consensus in the philanthropy world that this type of giver is setting the agenda -- and culture, by contrast, is effectively becoming unfashionable. Last year, donations to cultural groups accounted for 5.2% of U.S. individual philanthropy, down from 8.1% a decade before, according to Giving USA, a nonprofit group that studies philanthropy.
Wall Street Journal 10/13/2006
Wallace Foundation Taps Boston Arts Groups for Awards
The New York City-based Wallace Foundation has announced Excellence Awards grants totaling $4.6 million to seven Boston arts organizations in recognition of their commitment to community- and audience-building activities. The foundation also announced that, in collaboration with the Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, it will create a Learning Network for all Boston arts organizations to inform and support the participation-building work of arts organizations throughout the city.
Philanthropy News Digest 10/26/2006
National Endowment for the Arts Releases Study on The Arts and Civic Engagement
Large population survey is first to find links between arts participation and community health Washington, D.C. - People who participate in the arts are people who help make communities thrive, according to a study released today by the National Endowment for the Arts. The study, The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, Involved in Life, reveals that people who participate in the arts also engage in positive civic and individual activities - such as volunteering, going to sporting events, and outdoor activities - at significantly higher rates than non-arts participants. The report shatters the stereotype that art is an escapist or passive activity, showing instead that it is associated with a range of positive behaviors. The study also reveals that young adults (18-34) show a declining rate of arts participation and civic activities.
The National Endowment for the Arts 11/01/2006
Former teachers criticize Georgia's funding of arts
According to this article, arts appropriations in Georgia are only 43 cents per capita compared to national state average of $1.17 per capita. Still, the state ranks 11th in overall gifts to the arts. Teachers in Georgia are lobbying the state legislature for increased arts funding but are running into opposition from the president of arts organization who told legislators, "the arts organizations can't agree on what's the need and what it should be spent on."
Morris News Service, The Augustina Chronicle 11/16/2006
Hewlett Foundation Gives $25 Million to Arts in San Francisco
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation said it will give $10 million to the San Francisco Opera and $5 million each to the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco-based American Conservatory Theater. It has given more than $188 million to arts organizations, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, over the past four decades and distributed about $320 million in grants last year, including $15 million through its performing arts program.
$40 million Lilly Endowment grant to help support Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University will receive a $40 million endowment grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help underwrite permanently a portion of its future operating expenses. Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert announced today, "This is the largest grant the Center on Philanthropy has received since its founding in 1987. Over the past two decades, the Center has become internationally renowned as a leading source of research-based knowledge about philanthropy and the management of nonprofit organizations. The Center could not have risen to its current leadership role in the philanthropic community without the generous support of the Lilly Endowment. Today's gift positions the Center for even greater levels of achievement."
Indiana University Media Relations 11/21/2006
Utah Symphony & Opera merger produces smaller than projected deficit
The Utah Symphony & Opera said Friday that it is exceeding expectations for financial recovery and could balance its budget by the end of next season.
The budget shortfall for the 2005-06 fiscal year was $182,032: $233,121 less than the $415,000 shortfall originally projected in 2005 and much less than the projected $1.8 million loss the year after the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera merged in 2002. As at other arts organizations in America, a weak economy, plunging stock market and decreased ticket sales after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks led to financial trouble. Seeking to cut costs - and to boost the combined organizations' prominence to attract top performers and help raise funds from national donors - the orchestra and opera company joined forces. "Many people say if it had not been for the merger, one or more of the organizations would have declared bankruptcy," CEO Anne Ewers said.
Salt Lake Tribune 11/17/2006
Music Hall brings about $4.1M to region
The Music Hall, a non-profit performing arts center in New Hampshire, drew a record number of patrons downtown for live theater and cinema events. According to a report calculated using the Arts & Economic Prosperity Calculator, those patrons contributed $268,000 to the regional economy beyond the price of their tickets by dining out, renting buses, parking cars and visiting cafés, bars and shops.
The Portsmouth Herald 11/20/2006
School for the Arts among nation’s top 8 for minority students
Toledo School for the Arts has been highlighted by the U.S. Department of Education as one of just eight high school charter schools in the nation that meet the needs of minority students... “We really try to think outside the box and tie arts into our academic classes and vice versa because there is data that says students learn better in an arts-based education.”
The Toledo Blade 11/24/2006
hopeful political picture: Advocates expect Democratic majority to be arts-friendly
Arts advocates aren’t quite ready to belt out “Happy Days Are Here Again,” but some are upbeat over the results of the Nov. 7 elections. How the new Congress sets economic priorities remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: The new Democratic majority in Congress means generally arts-friendly politicians will be assuming key chairmanships of committees and subcommittees that authorize funding for the arts.
The Kansas City Star 11/26/2007
Entertainment To Swipe Your Farecard By
Under Proposal, Musicians, Mimes, Dancers Would Get Paid for Gigs Outside Metro Stations - Washington's buttoned-down subway riders might soon be able to get a little groove on during their commutes if a proposal for entertainment gets the go-ahead from Metro's board of directors.
Not to worry; American Idol it's not. Metro is not looking to foist any screechers on Washington's tender ears.
Under a proposal to be presented to the board Dec. 14, Metro would ask local arts councils in the six jurisdictions where it operates to vet performers they deem appropriate. The lucky winners, selected through auditions, would be paid by the arts councils, not Metro.
Performances would be outdoors and only at designated station entrances from April to October. Performances would take place primarily during lunchtime and at the end of the day, not during the morning rush when "people are very focused on getting to work."
The Washington Post 12/05/2006
Nonprofit arts face the music
A study concludes that L.A. groups need to look to the for-profit community for money and role models. - The nonprofit arts economy in Los Angeles drastically favors haves over have-nots and is probably incapable of supporting continued growth, says a study intended to sound an alarm and ignite brainstorming for facing an iffy future.The report notes "a disconnect between the local nonprofit arts community and the for-profit entertainment industry," and one unidentified arts executive quoted in the study describes L.A.'s signature industry as "a local economic machine that takes ideas from the arts community but doesn't give back."
Neither government funding nor the existing network of private arts donors will carry the arts scene to a healthy and balanced future, the report concludes, advising arts groups to become more businesslike in search of stability and self-sufficiency, and better connected to L.A.'s deep-pocketed entertainment industry as a source of funding and know-how.
The report, "Arts in the Balance," was researched and written by the UCLA Center for Civil Society, whose director, Helmut Anheier, a professor of social welfare, is the lead author. It was commissioned and published by Southern California Grantmakers, a members' organization for charitable foundations.
Los Angeles Times 12/06/2006
"Well Researched" Planning Gets Missouri Theatre project $250,000 from city
The Columbia City Council has approved $250,000 for the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. The money will come from funds generated by a voter-approved lodging tax increase, said Lora Steiner, director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The bureau’s advisory board unanimously approved the request and forwarded it to the council, which gave its approval Monday.
In a report prepared for the council, the board stated "the renovation, fundraising, operations and marketing plans are well researched."
To figure the economic boost the center might give Columbia, White worked with the Arts and Economic Prosperity Calculator from the Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit Americans for the Arts.
By using census data, average expenditures at art events and current average annual attendance rates, David White, executive director for the arts center and the Missouri Symphony Society, estimated the annual cash flow into Columbia’s economy from events held at the renovated center would be $3.1 million and that it would support 107 full-time jobs.
Columbia Daily Tribune 12/10/2006
National Endowment for the Arts Announces More Than $19 Million in Grants for 2007
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that it will award $19.4 million to fund 848 grants. The Arts Endowment will distribute $19,486,750 in this round of FY 2007 funding to nonprofit national, regional, state, and local organizations across the country, funding Access to Artistic Excellence grants as well as Literature Fellowships for individuals.
Visit the website for grant details and grantee lists by category or state.
The National Endowment for the Arts News Room //
Smithsonian Deal With Showtime Passes Muster
GAO Finds Researchers' Access Is Unaffected - The Smithsonian Institution's controversial partnership with Showtime Networks... gives Showtime semi-exclusive rights to the use of Smithsonian resources and lays the groundwork for digital cable programming, called Smithsonian on Demand.
...Some details of the contract were made public by Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small at a congressional oversight hearing in May. Small said the Smithsonian signed a rare 30-year contract with Showtime and that it would receive $500,000 a year if the deal is successful.
...The complaints from scholars and general confusion about the extent of access caught the attention of lawmakers. Members of Congress were annoyed that they hadn't been consulted about the groundbreaking venture with Showtime and asked the GAO to look into the deal. As a reprimand, a House committee voted to take $20 million out of the Smithsonian's proposed 2007 budget. The Senate has not acted. The GAO report said the Smithsonian projected the value of the agreement at $150 million after 10 years, money the Smithsonian leadership has said would be used for its exhibitions and public programs.
The Washington Post 12/16/2006
RI Commissioner orders Providence School District to restore art and music programs
The Rhode Island commissioner of education has ordered the Providence school district to restore art and music programs because the district is not in compliance with the state’s basic education plan.
Starting with the 2008 senior class, students will have to demonstrate their proficiency in a core curriculum that includes technology and the arts.
The commissioner also ordered the district to make its libraries available to all students on a daily basis. Students in some elementary schools have access to the library only on specific days because the librarian is using her room to teach.
The state Department of Education began looking into the district’s arts curriculum after the Providence Teachers Union filed a complaint with the commissioner’s office last year. The union charged that the School Department was violating the state’s basic education plan by failing to offer art and music in all public schools.
The district has 30 days to come up with a plan to restore the arts. Supt. Donnie Evans said the department will file its response by Jan. 7. Evans said he was very dissatisfied with the level of arts programs when he arrived in Providence last fall and said he has been discussing this issue with McWalters on a regular basis.
The Providence Journal 12/19/2006
Broadway demographics show 20-year high in attendance
Theatre attendances on Broadway have reached their highest level in the past two decades, according to figures released by by the League of American Theatres and Producers.The theatregoers were predominately white, rich and more often than not, female.
The number of international visitors to Broadway, which plummeted from 11.6% in 1999-2000 to only 4.8% in 2001-2002, continued to bounce back from the events of September 11, 2001, accounting for 11% of the 2005-2006 total audience - its highest point since 9/11. At the same time, New York City visitors to Broadway increased from 17.9% to 19%.
The average age of the Broadway theatergoer was 42.1 in 2005-2006 - 49 years for a playgoers and 41 for musical theatre lovers.
Caucasians continue to represent the highest number of Broadway attendees (77.3%), a jump of 6% from 2004-2005 and a 34% increase from the 2001-2002 season. Hispanics consituted 5.9% (708,156) last season, up from 657,059 the year before. This was followed by Black theatregoers at 5.1% (612,161, up from 438,039) and Asians accounted for 3.3% (396,104, down from 438,039). The biggest non-white group classified themselves as ‘other’ (8.4% - 1,008,264, down from 1,037,461).
The Stage Newspaper Limited 12/21/2006