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Recent news, commentary, and ideas.

JFK Was Arts Patron In Chief
LA Times: Mark Swed
John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, often surrounded themselves with artists of all sorts, putting culture at the center of the national conversation. The country would benefit from a return of that spirit.


How El Sistema Is Changing Music Around The World
Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall (blog)
Through a study of five projects [among more than 1,000 around the world,] read about the historically unprecedented growth of this movement, honoring the passionate commitment we find in like-spirited Sistema colleagues everywhere.

The Structure That Supported Opera, Orchestras Has Changed
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
"City Opera, a pet project of Fiorello LaGuardia, emerged from the ethos of the New Deal, when government funds were allotted to the propagation of the arts for the masses. These days, political leaders are largely absent from the discussion, and the winner-take-all economy is as prevalent in the arts as everywhere else."

A Drive To Create New Jobs For Young People In The UK’s Creative Industries
The Stage: Nicola Merrifield
A campaign has been launched to create 50,000 new jobs for young people in the creative industries by 2016. The national strategy, called Building a Creative Nation, is calling upon the UK’s 107,000 creative sector employers to each recruit a person aged 16 to 24 by 2016.

The Next Grove Dictionary Edition Gets Hip To U.S. Music
New York Times
The $1195, 8-volume, almost 6000-page set of books now includes country music and expands its focus on Hawaiian, Native American, Asian American and Latino musicians.

New Musical Partnership In China
New York Times
One of the biggest, but least-tapped markets for classical music and dance—as both an importer and exporter—is China. So this week IMG Artists, a major representative of classical musicians in the West, announced a new partnership with the China Arts and Entertainment Group, a huge arts and entertainment company in China.

Michael Kaiser To Leave Kennedy Center Early
Washington Post
Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser is leaving his contract four months early and taking his arts management institute with him, to University of Maryland.

Global Choral Project To Mark Britten's 100th Birthday
The Guardian
About 100,000 singers from 640 choirs as far afield as Melbourne and California will sing Britten's Friday Afternoons to mark the composer's 100th birthday on Friday, turning the event into one of the largest global community singing projects ever attempted.

Bloomberg News Slashes Arts Coverage, Shutters Muse
Los Angeles Times
Bloomberg, the New York-based financial news giant, is shutting down its Muse brand of cultural journalism and has laid off its theater critic, as well as its books editor.

Classical Music 101b: There's Nothing to Worry About
Huffington Post: John Mauceri
Beautiful, passionate, complex and beloved orchestral music -- thousands of hours of it -- was written during the 20th century -- and much of it for the movies.


The Technology That Helps Band Kids In Rural Nebraska Unlock Their Potential
Washington Post
For music students in rural areas it can be near impossible to get access to specialized teaching. Nebraska has moved to solve that problem with a video conferencing program that links its students with instructors at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.


Drumming to Success: Why Teaching Music Matters
Huffington Post: Jason Chuong
When music is taught in school, it offers a crucial link to the outside world -- to one of the most prominent facets of our culture. It acts as a bridge from the classroom to the community.

Ode to Joy Flash Mob Gets Kids Excited About Classical Music
Carolyn Castiglia (Blog)
This Ode to Joy flash mob has nearby kids loving classical music, which is why we need to see more of this type of thing.


What Bill Gates Doesn't Get About Arts Philanthropy
Wall Street Journal
Gates recently told an interviewer that donating money to a museum rather than to the treatment and prevention of blindness was morally equivalent to taking 1% of the visitors to a museum and blinding them. Terry Teachout takes the argument on.

Tate Britain Redesign Heralds 'New Age Of Philanthropy' in the UK
The Telegraph
The £45million redesign of Tate Britain is unveiled to the public, as its chairman hails the “triumph of private philanthropy” he claims it is a “milestone” moment for art.


Can Podcasting Ever Be A Moneymaking Proposition?
The Wall Street Journal
Podcasts today are what underground zines were in the '90s. They can be produced and packaged at home (or surreptitiously at work,) just about everyone seems to have one, they are distributed free or at low cost, and there is the promise, if not the reality, of making money with them.  

Giving Music Away For Free: Is It Worth It?
Music Week
Performers are now making more money from a combination of touring, brand partnerships, merchandise and synch deals than at any time in recent history. Which begs the question: how much do artist value their records in the first place?

Ballet Dancers As Brands
New York Times
A wave of international ballet stars are increasingly leaping from company to company, creating their own brands and becoming more like world-traveling conductors and opera stars.

Last Man Streaming: Spotify's $250 Million War Chest Makes It The Music Company To Beat
The Verge
Spotify appears poised to dominate the world of music on demand. Among the many things that Spotify has excelled at since launching in 2010 is raising money — and this week, it reportedly raised an eye-popping $250 million more.

Live Events Are King for Getting People You Recommend And Buy Brands
Turns out live events are the #1 way to get people talking up a brand and concerts generate the most positive buzz

How Audio Enhances Your Brand Content: Find Your Signature Sound
Business 2 Community: Colleen Fahey
“It wasn’t until late 2011, when a friend invited me to attend the Audio Branding Congress, that my eyes — and ears — were opened to the power audio branding. I felt as if I had discovered a deeper way of connecting with an audience through a sense that was as old as the human race.”  


Brain Study Suggests Classical Musicians Should Improvise
Imperial College London: Eliot Barford, Jenny Mitchell, Samuel Tracey
Although improvisation is not commonly associated with classical music, the new study suggests that introducing elements of improvisation into classical concerts could increase audience engagement

Art Makes You Smart
New York Times
Museum visits increase test scores, generate social responsibility and increase appreciation of the arts by students.


The Absurd Beauty of Creating Musical Turnstiles in NYC's Subway
The Atlantic
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has a plan to give New Yorkers "one little gift of kindness."

App Turns iPhone Into A Musical Instrument
With a quick hand gesture, the photographic instruments on the mobile device will measure the light reflected off of the user’s hand and turn any iPhone into a music instrument that doesn’t require touch.

Volkswagen Handling Makes Music with this New App
Fast Company
Volkswagen Golf GTI has joined forces with Underworld, the British dance act, to develop software that enables a driver to compose in real-time a unique piece of music dictated by the way they drive, as they drive.


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