Week in Review – April 25, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Minnesota Orchestra has rehired acclaimed Finnish music director Osmo Vanska who resigned amid the ensemble’s tortuous 16-month labor lockout. The rehire comes with vast community support – a “Finnish It!” campaign caught fire in the Twin Cities, with supporters wearing the blue and white colors of the Finnish flag…

Under new regulations that began in February, instruments that have any amount of ivory are banned from entering the U.S. unless it can be proved that they were purchased before 1976, including any violin bows with a small piece of ivory at the tip, and also some bassoon bells and piano keys…

OPERA
San Diego Opera apparently can’t actually close with just a board vote. Approval from the San Diego Opera Association, a group of over 800 members who donate at least $100 each, is also required and is by no means certain. The Association and board will both meet Monday.

Amid the Metropolitan Opera‘s ongoing labor negotiations, one chorus member shares what her time is actually worth

JAZZ
Signs of a turnaround for Impulse Records bodes well for a renaissance in major-label jazz divisions…

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awards $1.7 million in unrestricted grants to 13 jazz artists

THEATRE
South Carolina’s House of Representatives voted to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston‘s budget after it assigned Alison Bechdel‘s gay-themed memoir Fun Home to incoming freshman. Not to be silenced, Bechdel and the entire cast, director, and composer of the Public Theater’s recently closed musical production of the book reunited for two sold-out performances at an off-campus theatre near the college.

LITERATURE
On James Baldwin‘s 90th birthday, the African-American writer’s presence in classrooms is fading, some say due to his unflinching take on racism, some say to make room for more modern black authors…

VISUAL
Conservators at the Art Institute of Chicago are using a new laser technique to unearth the original paint pigment of an 1883 Renoir. The pigment, made of crushed insects, creates a striking red color that fades over time…

CROWD
From Kickstarter: The Light Factory wants to build two new galleries, a darkroom, and digital classroom in its Charlotte, NC digs…

From Indiegogo: Dancer Clement Mensah wants to lead creative movement workshops with 200 children in Cambodia…

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Week in Review – April 18, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
A reorganization plan appears to be in the works for San Diego Opera following a contentious board meeting, where several board members resigned including the chair, and community town meeting last night. The company’s final performance this past Sunday was an emotional event featuring a sold-out house, a candlelight vigil, and a lead singer kissing the stage following his curtain call. Meanwhile, the company’s singers will try to force arbitration over their contracts and speculation has begun about what might be done with the company’s scene shop

CLASSICAL
The Minnesota Orchestra‘s annual Symphony Ball has been canceled after its co-chairs resigned saying the current climate at the embattled institution doesn’t lend itself to celebration. The event raises over $1 million annually for the orchestra…

DANCE
City University of New York has responded to a lack of affordable dance rehearsal space in the city with the CUNY Dance Initiative, backed by almost $300K in foundation grants. The Initiative will provide rehearsal and performance space at its campuses in all five boroughs…

THEATRE
The Tony Award race for Best Musical has a wide open field for the first time in ages…

Unlike many businesses, Seattle-area theatres are not afraid of a $15 minimum wage

LITERATURE
Legendary Columbian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at his Mexico City home at the age of 87…

FUNDING
Los Angeles makes slow but real progress in freeing up $7.5 million in public arts funding from a sea of red tape

VISUAL
Tired of your San Francisco apartment? Looking for a change? Live in this museum

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Week in Review – April 11, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
Drama over the potential closure of San Diego Opera continues. The company’s staff and chorus sang for their future to the San Diego City Council, though the final decision rests with the opera’s board  whose chair now says she wants to save the company. Meanwhile, the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the singers, has asked the National Labor Relations Board to freeze the company’s assets and Opera America has weighed in with transition suggestions…

The latest labor talks at the Metropolitan Opera have gotten off to their most contentious start in decades complete with emails about bedbugs in the men’s dressing rooms…

THEATRE
After much community protest and an overwhelming display of support at a local forum, Timberlane High School‘s administrators reversed their decision to cancel the 2015 production of Sweeney Todd. The Plaistow, NH school will perform the PG-rated “school edition” as well as produce an “alternative production” for those not comfortable with the Sondheim musical…

Not so fortunate are the students of the University of South Carolina Upstate who won’t be seeing Leigh Hendrix‘s comedy piece How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less which the university canceled when state legislators accused it of “recruiting…aberrant behavior.” The show was to have been featured as part of the university’s Bodies of Knowledge conference. Hendrix has posted a video response

FUNDING
A committee in the Massachusetts state house of representatives has proposed a 54% cut ($11 million to $5 million) to funding for arts, humanities & sciences. Representative Cory Atkins has introduced an amendment to restore the funding with 102 representatives co-signing to date…

VISUAL
The battle over Detroit Institute of Art‘s collection continues with a group of creditors proposing several billion-dollar bids to sell off all or some of the museum’s collection as part of the city’s attempts to emerge from bankruptcy. A Detroit Free Press columnist ain’t having it

The takeover and restructuring of the Corcoran Gallery in DC is more complex and drawn out than expected…

From the international crime & punishment desk, a fugitive manages to become finance chief of a Czech museum, stealing 1/3 of its annual budget…

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