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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.


The U.S.’s NEA Spends 1/40th of What Germany Doles Out for Arts Per Capita

In the United States, government expenditure for the arts remains minuscule when compared to the amount of money the government spends in other areas of the public sector. Federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), created by Congress to offer support and funding for art projects, remains static at $146.2 million a year.


This week, we feature Fractured Atlas, an organization that "empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem."


Was the Love Song Invented in Africa and the Middle East?
The Daily Beast: Ted Gioia
Most histories of the love song recycle tales of Greek poetesses and European troubadours, all the while ignoring 5,000 years of innovations from non-Western cultures.

American Orchestras Grapple With Lack of Diversity
WQXR: Brian Wise and Naomi Lewin
Ethnic diversity remains a troublesome question for American orchestras. Just over four percent of their musicians are African-American and Latino, according to the League of American Orchestras, and when it comes to orchestra boards and CEOs, the numbers are even starker: only one percent. Ethnic diversity is also a rare sight among guest soloists and conductors.

The State of Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector
Community Wealth Partners: Allison Gross
The first in a series of posts that will examine data surrounding the current state of racial diversity in leadership, staff, and boards across organizations in the nonprofit sector.

You're Not Weird for Preferring the Live Version
Pacific Standard: Kate Wheeling
A new case study shows that audiences can actually enhance an artist’s live performance.


The Week: Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC
Americans for the Arts
Arts Advocacy Day (March 23-24) brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.

Music Licensing Bracing for "The Big One"
All About Jazz (from Hypebot): Bobby Owinksi
The US Copyright Office is officially throwing its weight behind some big time changes that would definitely benefit copyright holders.

Chicago Arts Critic Andrew Patner Dies at 55
Chicago Sun Times: Maureen O’Donnell and Miriam Di Nunzio
Versatile, respected and enthusiastic, Mr. Patner seemed to know everyone in the arts community, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, to the Lyric Opera, to jazz clubs, to classical music festivals across Europe. His opinions were informed with an encyclopedic knowledge of history, art, literature, city politics, architecture and mythology, spiced with Jewish humor.

Alan Gilbert’s Achievement at the New York Philharmonic
The New Yorker: Russell Platt
With his collegial brand of musicianship and even-tempered public personality, Gilbert has decisively completed the task that Boulez began—to turn the Philharmonic’s prow into the headwinds of contemporary culture.

Deborah Borda: The woman who Runs the L.A. Philharmonic
LA Times: Jeffrey Fleishman
In her 15 years as the L.A. Phil’s president and chief executive, she has presided over the opening of Disney Hall, amassed the largest budget of any U.S. symphony and instilled a corporate savviness that has increased the orchestra’s endowment nearly fivefold to $222 million.

Marie-Hélène Bernard is St. Louis Symphony Orchestra New President and CEO
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Sarah Bryan Miller
A native of Québec, Bernard has been executive director and CEO of Boston’s early-music Handel and Haydn Society since 2007. Earlier, she worked for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra.

Minnesota Orchestra to play in Cuba in May
Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Playing on May 15 and 16 as part of the CubaDisco Festival, the country’s biggest music festival, the orchestra will be the first major American classical music ensemble to perform there since President Obama announced the start of more normalized relations with the country in January.

L.A. Philharmonic's Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Strikes Chord in City
LA Times: Jeffrey Fleishman
Youth Orchestra Los Angeles is part of the Phil's $5-million budget for youth education, which also provides free concerts for school-age children at Disney Hall and a music and fine arts activities program at the Hollywood Bowl.


In the UK: ‘Outreach and Access will be Funding Conditions if Labour Wins’
The Stage News: Georgia Snow
Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman has claimed that public funding for arts organizations should be conditional on them demonstrating a commitment to accessibility and outreach work.

Data Scientists Appointed to Work at NT, Barbican and English National Opera
The Stage: Georgia Snow
The National Theatre, the Barbican and English National Opera will benefit from two newly appointed data scientists, whose work will inform new approaches of how data can be used within arts organizations.


In Lieu Of Royalties, Music Apps Are Feeding Starving Musicians with Data
Fast Company: Tyler Hayes
The wealth of analytics offered by a host of live music apps can't be spent on food, instruments, or clothes. Instead, the idea is that bands equipped with data about their audience should be able to better cater to their fans and locate them too, so they can, for instance, plan tours around where they live.

The App Economy Is Now 'Bigger Than Hollywood'
The Atlantic: Robinson Meyer
The web might be the most important medium in American culture.

YouTube Turns 10 Years Old Today and The Music Industry Is Frightened
All About Jazz (HypeBot)
300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and a sizable portion of that is music related.Ask anyone under 25 where they check out new music and the vast majority will answer YouTube. Music videos—carefully produced, shot live with an iPhone or just scrolling lyrics—have become essential to music marketing.

How Much Can You Actually Make Playing House Concerts?
All About Jazz (HypeBot)
If you don't know about house concerts yet, you're missing out on a network of potential fans and hosts who want to listen and pay you decent money for the privilege. Some acts have even taken to making house-concert-only tours, often doing better than they would playing the regular club and festival circuit.

The Next Internet Is TV
The Awl
Websites are unnecessary vestiges of a time before there were better ways to find things to look at on your computer or your phone.


Wigmore Hall to Undergo Refurbishment and will Start Live Streaming Productions
The Stage: Matthew Hemley
Music venue Wigmore Hall is to undergo a £2 million refurbishment that will see the creation of new rehearsal spaces and enable the building to stream and broadcast its work.

JCEIProject Partner: The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business offers one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculums in the world, with nationally-ranked academic programs that a wide range of real-world entrepreneurial experiences through cross-campus initiatives with university departments and involvement with the business community.

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