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Recent news, commentary, and ideas.


The Paradox of Art As Work
New York Times: A. O. Scott
There are few modern relationships as fraught as the one between art and money. Is the bond between them a source of pride or shame, a marriage of convenience or something tawdrier?

Response: Art and Money
Michael Rushton (blog)
There is no reason to think art … has a “fraught” relationship with money, that there is a “paradox.” Understanding the economics of the arts requires getting past the notion that there is something strange about the fact that artists buy and sell things.


Neuroaesthetics: Researchers Unravel the Biology of Beauty and Art
The Scientist: Anjan Chatterjee
What in the brain triggers aesthetic experiences? And how does knowledge of basic brain mechanisms inform our understanding of these experiences? These questions are at the heart of an emerging discipline dedicated to exploring the neural processes underlying our appreciation and production of beautiful objects and artwork, experiences that include perception, interpretation, emotion, and action.

Florida Near Top of All States in Arts and Culture Funding in New Budget
Arts Sarasota: Jay Handelman
With a massive boost in state funding for arts and cultural programs, Florida would likely jump to near the top of all states in per-capita spending. The Florida Legislature approved $43.3 million for the 2014-15 budget for all arts and culture, a 384 percent increase from current levels

Jazz St. Louis To Get $10 Million Makeover
St. Louis Public Radio: Nancy Fowler
Jazz St. Louis in Grand Center has announced a new expansion that it hopes will make it one of the top five jazz hubs in the world. The $10 million plan includes the purchase its building at 3536 Washington Ave. and another next door, a renovated performance space, an education center and a jazz lounge.

Philharmonic Transformation, From Members to Mission
New York Times: Michael Cooper
New York Philharmonic Faces Big Orchestra Hiring Decisions. The New York Philharmonic is playing musical chairs in reverse these days, as retirements and a couple of unexpected departures have left it with more seats than players — and the most turnover of principal players, or section leaders, since World War II.

Met Orchestra Authorizes Strike Vote if Talks Fail
New York Times: Michael Cooper
This weekend the musicians in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra wore buttons during performances to call attention to the fact that the opera house is seeking concessions from them in contract talks. The union representing the orchestra went a step further on Monday, voting to authorize a strike should negotiations with management fail.

Campbell Era Over at San Diego Opera
Union Tribune San Diego: James Chute
After nearly two months of controversy, the San Diego Opera on Thursday night officially ended its relationship with its embattled general and artistic director and CEO, Ian Campbell. The company announced that its “formal association” with Campbell and the company’s deputy director, his ex-wife Ann Spira Campbell, was over.

Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It)
NPR Deceptive Cadence: Tom Huizenga
The group recently announced that the 2015-16 season will be its last together. But this isn't the first time Anonymous 4 has thought about calling it quits. The group bid a similar farewell in 2004.

Jamal Rossi Named the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music
Eastman School of Music
Rossi has served in leadership roles in music for more than two decades, has spearheaded significant collaborative educational and community initiatives and has wide-ranging experience in academic scholarship and leadership, teaching, performance, recording, and fundraising.

NPR Taps Jarl Mohn as Eighth CEO in Eight Years
Washington Post: Paul Farhi
NPR named a veteran media executive and investor as its new chief executive Friday, the eighth person to head the Washington-based digital and radio news organization in the past eight years.


His Music, Entwined With His Faith: At Heart of Arvo Pärt’s Works, Eastern Orthodox Christianity
New York Times: William Robin
What does it mean to speak specifically about the religion of a composer whose music’s spirituality has been interpreted so broadly for so long?

Inside Opera: Did it Convince Three Sceptics?
The Guardian
Saturday afternoon's live-streamed Inside Opera event united all seven of the UK's publicly funded opera houses in an unprecedented collaboration that aimed to introduce new audiences to the art form. Did it persuade Frances, Erica and Hannah that 'opera is an incredible amazing art form'?

Australia Slashes Arts Funding
The Sydney Morning Herald: Andrew Taylor
Cuts of more than $100 million to the arts could be "devastating."

Fast Forward: How China’s Art World is Changing
The Art Newspaper: Georgina Adam
Artists, collectors and galleries are picking and choosing from the way things are done in the West.


Should I Start a New Music Ensemble?
New Music Box: Sugar Vendil
Time for another new music ensemble? Consider that our industry is saturated, audiences are small, and funding is limited. It’s essential to think about how you’re going to fit into the world of new music. Can you answer these questions: What makes you different?


Sonic Boom: How Digital Technology is Transforming our Relationship with Sound>
The Atlantic: Megan Garber, Illustrations by Jackie Lay
As long as there have been communal sounds, there have also been attempts to regulate them.

The Invisible, Manipulative Power of Persuasive Technology
Pacific Standard: Jordan Larson
Amazon’s one-click shopping, Facebook’s News Feed, countless mobile apps: Persuasive technology is being used to influence your behavior all day long—often without you even knowing it.

What Will Kill AM/FM Radio
Digital Music News: Ari Herstand
Millennials aren’t obsessed with terrestrial radio like Gen X is. The younger Millennials aren’t turning to AM/FM radio for discovery; they’re turning to Pandora, YouTube and Spotify.

Streaming Only Accounts for 21% of Recorded Music Revenue
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
It’s growing fast, but why isn’t it higher?


Chipotle Cups Will Now Feature Stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, and Other Authors
Vanity Fair: Kia Makarechi
Jonathan Safran Foer was sitting at a Chipotle one day, when he realized that he had nothing to do while noshing on his burrito. He had neglected to bring a book or magazine, and he didn’t yet own a smartphone. Read about what happened next…

Is This The Most Remote Museum On Earth?
Slate: Bert Archer
Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, is a full five days’ sail northwest of here at 14 knots. South Georgia is an unforgiving place, and its museum—which preserves the memory of whalers who once lived here, the 175,250 whales who died here, and the final chapters in the life of one of history’s most celebrated explorers—is at the literal end of the Earth.


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