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A roundup of news and opinion in the industry. If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.



Americans for the Arts released its fifth national study on nonprofit arts & culture last weekend and the info is very compelling. With 341 diverse communities and regions from all 50 states (and DC,) here are a few take-aways from the 2015 study.

  • 4.6 million: jobs generated
  • $166.3 billion: generated by the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the US
  • $102.5 billion: additional expenditures related to events by audience members
  • $27.5 billion: revenue to local, state, and federal government (compared to $5 billion in arts allocations from the same governmental sources.  Now, that’s a 500%+ investment!)

- Read the findings here
- Watch a short video on the findings


Evolution, Revolution, Smevolution: The Future of Classical Music
LA Times: Mark Swed
Music Academy of the West held a two-day conference this week called “Classical Evolution/Revolution.” Eighteen movers and shakers, young and seasoned, working in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, New York and London, took part in six panels surveying the state of the field.

Why Not Put Music at the Heart of Education?

The Guardian: Stephen Moss
Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, where teaching music and learning to play an instrument are the foundation of children’s schooling. It should be the model for us to follow.

Why the State Department Should Fund Cultural Diplomacy

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy: Curtis Chin
Everyday Americans as well as American businesspeople, athletes, entertainers, and performers are often best positioned to convey the vibrancy, the innovativeness, and warmth that is also the United States.

The Trouble with Building a Rock-Writing Canon

The New Yorker: Jack Hamilton
Like any still-evolving genre of criticism, pop writing is perpetually mired in an identity crisis, a sign of health and vibrancy for the form that can also make assembling a book like “Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z” a slippery and treacherous proposition.

NEA Supports Jazz and US Arts Nationwide

Jazz Beyond Jazz/ArtsJournal blog: Howard Mandel
The National Endowment of the Arts, arguably the most misunderstood and beleaguered doing-good office of the federal government, has issued its 2017 funding report, highlighting that its monies flow to communities in all 50 states and five territories. Included is support for 36 jazz-related projects, most generated in the usual cities but also to entities based in Baton Rouge LA; Hartford CT; Pinecrest and Tallahassee FLA; Geneva, Rochester, Saratoga Springs and West Park NY; Bethlehem, Easton and Hershey PA, and Burlington VT.

Why My Guitar Gently Weeps

The Washington Post: Geoff Edgers
The slow, secret death of the six-string electric guitar, and why you should care.


NEA Announces 11 grants to Indiana Arts Organizations and Cultural Program Providers
Indiana Arts Commission
The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced to that it and 10 other Indiana-based arts organizations and cultural program providers are among the latest round of grants announced by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Renée Fleming and Alan Gilbert take their bows
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
Transitions at the Met and the Philharmonic.

Alan Gilbert to Lead NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg

NY Times: Michael Cooper
The departing music director of the NY Phil will be the next chief conductor of an orchestra with a striking new $843 million concert hall overlooking Hamburg’s harbor.

Who We Missed: The "Most Influential People in Dance"

Dance Magazine Readers
Readers of the national magazine responded to a request for ideas, following a first article about the subject.  It’s a great read on the most important artists in dance today.

Operatico Politico’s Impeacherá! Goes viral
San Francisco Classical Voice: Janos Gereben
The current social media sensation, Operatico Politico’s IMPEACHERÀ!, is greeted by many as a new twist on operatic politics or political art. It is not. Before tracing the centuries-old connection between art and politics, here’s some information about the video itself.

Music Festivals: Is Bigger Always Better?

LA Times: Gerrick Kennedy and August Brown
After years of expansive growth, some promoters are starting to think smaller, tailoring their offerings to specific audiences.

The Shrinking Oregon Bach Festival

Oregon Artswatch: Tom Manoff
This year’s scaled-back schedule offers fewer choices for patrons and also raises questions about the festival’s future.

Richard Taruskin Wins Prestigious Kyoto Prize

SFGate: Joshua Kosman
The Bay Area musicologist Richard Taruskin, a prolific and wide-ranging scholar whose work has challenged conventional notions of music history and performance, has won the prestigious Kyoto Prize — the first music scholar to win the award, worth around $450,000!


Venezuela Musicians Rise Up After Violist, 18, is Killed at Protest

The New York Times: Ana Vanessa Herrero and Nicholas Casey
Musicians of El Sistema, the state-sponsored classical music program in Venezuela, paid tribute in Caracas last month to Armando Cañizales, a viola player who was killed during a protest.

UK Arts and Culture ‘Downgraded’ in Ministerial Restructure
Arts Professional: Christy Romer
Former Culture and Digital Minister Matt Hancock’s remit is slimmed to Digital, as arts and culture joins heritage and tourism under the remit of first-time Minister John Glen.

With Acrobats and Cake, a Paris Opera Celebrates Its Rebirth
NY Times: Alissa J. Rubin
The Opéra Comique has stood, in one form or another, on the discreet Place Boieldieu in central Paris since 1783, making it one of the oldest performance sites in the city.


Spotify Surpasses 140M Active Users – Up by 100M in Just Three Years
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Spotify has officially confirmed that its platform’s audience is now made up of more than 140m monthly active users. The figure is up by a very impressive 100m people compared to May 2014.

High Tech May Yield Even More Space Opportunities for The Arts

Barry’s Blog
There may be more urban space needing desperately to re-purpose itself, which may be an opportunity for the arts and artists.

Could NPAFE Be a New Funding Model for Dancers?

Dance Magazine: Lisa Traiger
National Performing Arts Funding Exchange, formed in in 2016, has an innovative approaching to attracting money for dance from nontraditional sources.

The World’s a Stage: L.A. Dance Project Live-Streams from Marfa

Art in America: Siobhan Burke
Now back in the US (following time at the Paris Opera Ballet,) Benjamin Millepied has turned his attention again to the LA Dance Project. On three evenings over Memorial Day weekend, the ensemble of eleven dancers performed eight short pieces at eight locations across the grounds of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Tex. The series was broadcast live and recorded via the video streaming platform Periscope.


Musician Composes Music to Soothe Cats
BBC: Jane O’Brien
David Teie, a cellist for the National Symphony Orchestra, has studied what sounds cats prefer and composed music just for them. The BBC's Jane O'Brien spoke to Teie at a Washington DC cat cafe.

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