Week in Review – June 27, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE
Two stunning examples of artistic overreach this week, when a director in Houston rearranges significant portions of the musical Hands on a Hard Body and a Milwaukee company casts a female lead as male in David Mamet’s Oleanna

The closing of San Jose Repertory Theatre may lead to larger economic ripples in the city’s downtown economy…

And we all mourn the closing of our favorite shows in different ways:

ROCK
In honor of this week’s 30th anniversary of the release of Prince’s Purple Rain, we were treated to two congressmen showing their love for the seminal work

OPERA
Drama continues to follow the Metropolitan Opera, this time with graffiti sprayed in its administrative offices. Although it appears the perpetrator had access to the building, officials deny a connection to the opera’s ongoing acrimonious labor talks…

VISUAL
The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC and the Detroit Institute of Art make their way onto Buzzfeed‘s “18 Hidden Gems Around the World That You Need to Visit” list..

And the Denver Art Museum has a little lobby scuffle on its hands:

FUNDING
Milwaukee bucks the national trend and announces that it will revive school art, music, and gym programs in order to attract families fleeing the city for better options…

Los Angeles was the place to be this week: the LA Board of Education approves a large budget increase hailed by Arts for LA as a positive step towards giving students tools to enter the “creative workforce” and the city council says yes to a plan to fund the creation and preservation of street murals

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A dancer in Maui wants to buy 25 waterproof iPods for an epic Beach Dance this December…

From Indiegogo: A Long Island chorus wants to put on a concert and record an album to benefit veterans in their community…

And we’ll leave you with this morsel of truth, brought to our attention by a Twitter friend:

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Week in Review – June 20, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE
While die-hard Sondheim enthusiasts get up in arms over changes to the upcoming film version of Into the Woods, one voice suggests directing that outrage to help prevent censorship of student productions

A theatre artist tells a tale of unsafe practices and lack of responsibility at the renowned Double Edge Theatre training program…

CLASSICAL
The International Beethoven Project announces a fourth annual festival in Chicago but with some musicians still unpaid from last year’s event…

Bucking the national trend, Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera agree on a contract extension with their musicians – 14 months early…

OPERA
On the heels of San Diego Opera‘s near collapse, Palm Beach Opera‘s remarkable turnaround is being cited as an example of positive change…

We had a double shot of The Metropolitan Opera this week with a tax filing revealing the general manager’s $1.8M annual compensation amid tough contract talks and a cancellation of the simulcast of the controversial John Adams opera Klinghoffer due to concerns about rising global anti-Semitism, a move that leaves Adams less than thrilled

And a Tweep shares her stylish audition wardrobe:

VISUAL
One of the world’s leading practitioners of rozome (Japanese textile art) leaves her New Hampshire home next month to embark on a one-year solitary retreat in New Zealand…

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) takes the rare step of sanctioning the Delaware Art Museum following its sale of art to pay off debts. In addition, the AAMD asks its members to refrain from loaning art or collaborating with the museum…

And the National Gallery of Art makes us happy (and hungry) with this Tweet:

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A Long Beach, California dancer wants help finishing his children’s book where a snake learns lessons through dance…

From Indiegogo: A Lake Dallas, Texas student wants to keep his afro while raising money for the local band…

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Week in Review – June 10, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE A production of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof got more than a little heated when an actor got into a kerfuffle with an inebriated, gay-bashing audience member. In fact, the Repertory East Playhouse production closed that very night after the actor was fired and a co-star resigned in protest…

And Sunday’s telecast of the Tony Awards prompted some on Twitter to reach for the stars…

OPERA
One of our Tweeps this week introduced us to the concept of Opera fan fiction. Like Twilight fan fiction only much, much better…

And another Tweep introduces us to a new bonus word…

VISUAL The Big Three automakers pledge $26 million to prevent Detroit Institute of Art‘s collection from being sold as part of that city’s bankruptcy… Meanwhile, the lack of a bailout discussion for the Wright Museum demonstrates a far different climate for Detroit’s “black museums”…

A Queens building’s reputation as an arts haven is put in jeopardy as a landlord begins a series of evictions

Anybody remember where we put our beached whale? Oh, there it is

LEGAL
After years of music industry complaints about outdated federal regulation, the Justice Department announced it will review the agreements that govern Ascap and BMI. Nearly 3/4 of a century old, these “consent decrees” determine who can get paid what for music and have clashed with the modern business practices of streaming services like Pandora and Spotify…

DANCE How a choreographer’s successful company died – he killed it

CROWD From Kickstarter: A community in Paragould, Arkansas wants to start a teeny, tiny free library

From Indiegogo: A controversial Floridian judo Olympian wants to sell you her art so she can return to the Olympics…

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Week in Review – May 30, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE
Kindness and generosity won the Internet on Tuesday as word spread about DC-area actor Frank Britton being assaulted at a cab stand outside the Forum Theatre. A friend set up a GoFundMe site with a modest goal to raise $3,000 for the uninsured Britton’s medical bills. Within just a few hours, that goal had been blown away and has now racked up over $47,000.

In a little-noticed moment, the average price for a Broadway show creeps above $100 for the first time…

LITERATURE
As we mourn the passing of Maya Angelou, writers from the Twin Cities, South Bend, IN, Asheville, NC, and many others pay tribute and talk about her influence on their careers…

CLASSICAL
Thanks to two generous donors, the Cleveland Orchestra has big ambition – to have the youngest audience of any orchestra in the country by its 100th birthday in 2018…

They had to  jump through many hoops but the Colorado Symphony pulled off its “Classically Cannabis” pot-friendly concerts…

VISUAL
Mosaic artist Jim Bachor has decided to give Chicago a hand filling its potholes (not that they asked him to)…

An ongoing dispute between the city of North Miami and its Museum of Contemporary Art heated up this week when a candidate to lead the museum was rejected following a dispute over whether or not the city had his social security number…

DANCE
What do you get when Yale’s director of dance studies teams up with a researcher at the Large Hadron Collider? The Higgs boson explained in a whole new way…

JAZZ
Debunking the myth of the jazz police

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A children’s theatre troupe in Martinez, CA wants wireless mics so their Peter Pan cast can be heard…

From Indiegogo: A Lawrence, Kansas author wants to give his marriage memoir away for free

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Week in Review – May 23, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
The larger cultural conversation about gender parity blew up the opera world this week when five male critics blasted up-and-coming Irish soprano Tara Erraught‘s body rather than her voice in a recent performance. Needless to say, the internet reacted, including open letters by mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and bass baritone Trevor Bowes

After months of turmoil, San Diego Opera had a special announcement this week:


The company has signed on for a scaled-down 50th anniversary season, staving off closure with an impressive crowdfunding campaign. Fellow music BFFs San Diego Symphony will donate concert space while Houston Grand Opera will lend the Nixon in China sets at no charge. A day after the announcement, California’s AG announced an audit of the company…

A strike could be looming for Metropolitan Opera‘s orchestra musicians should contract talks not improve…

VISUAL
Detroit’s state house of representatives voted that  Detroit Institute of Art cannot renew a property tax millage once it expires in 2022. A key source of support, the millage allows for free museum admission, among other benefits…

Through “credible sources” the FBI has confirmed sightings of  long-missing Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art stolen during a notorious 1990 heist…

JAZZ
A Syracuse-area couple designs a home inspired by the music of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny

THEATRE
One of our Tweeps schools the Twitterverse on how little Off-Broadway actors actually get paid…

LITERATURE
To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee is reinstating a lawsuit against an Alabama museum for using the author’s trademarks without permission…

SCIENCE (yes, science!)
Surprising exactly no one in the music industry, a British Psychological Society has shown that musical training can increase blood flow to your brain

CROWD
From Kickstarter: An independent cinema in Hudson, Florida needs help converting to digital

From Indiegogo: A musician in Emporia, Kansas wants to start a free music and arts festival in town…

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Week in Review – May 16, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Green Bay Symphony Orchestra says “thanks, but no thanks” to a grassroots effort to save the group, which is scheduled to disband after the 2014-2015 season.

DANCE
Bucking the current trend, Seattle’s Whim W’Him goes from pickup troupe to professional dance company, offering its corps of 10 dancers up to 35 weeks of work annually…

FUNDING
Florida’s legislature approved a whopping 384% increase in arts funding, rocketing the state from 41st to 5th in per capita arts spending per person.

OPERA
Aaand, they’re off! Metropolitan Opera begins labor talks in earnest, with the Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. While the tone was conciliatory, the two sides already have trouble agreeing on how to do math…

San Diego Opera and its controversial leaders are officially going their separate ways. The opera plans a press conference for Monday, bumped from today due to the San Diego county wildfires…

VISUAL
The Big Three automakers may chip in to help the Detroit Institute of Art raise needed funds to avoid having its works sold to bail out the city’s bankruptcy. Meanwhile
House reps take aim at an aid bill for the museum while a bankruptcy law expert calls shenanigans on the city’s proposed art-for-pensions deal.

THEATRE
Should Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber team up to write the next James Bond torch song?

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A Baltimore artist wants to create the first of a fleet of art trucks/mobile art galleries…

From Indiegogo: A St. Louis non-profit needs support for their efforts to help Syrian refugees complete their musical training

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Week in Review – May 9, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Minnesota Orchestra‘s reinstated music director Osma Vanska now begins the long work of rebuilding a damaged ensemble…

Meanwhile, Orchestra Iowa shows us how it’s done in the Buckeye State…

Green Bay Symphony Orchestra calls it quits…

And Denver asks the Colorado Symphony to kindly extinguish its bring-your-own pot concerts

OPERA
Metropolitan Opera‘s singers union has taken the unusually public step of inviting the media to its first day of contract talks with opera management…

With the Save San Diego Opera crowdfunding campaign just over 92% of the way to its $1M goal, the singers union has dropped its suit against the opera, but the city’s arts council recommends the city cut funding by more than 50%. Even just the threat of closure can have an impact on one artist’s dreams…

Meanwhile, Opera Delaware cancels its May production due to financial concerns but sees potential on the horizon…

JAZZ
This fall, Philadelphia hosts OutBeat, the nation’s first GLBT jazz festival

THEATRE
For some more complex works, putting Broadway off for a while sets up better Broadway prospects…

From the international desk, the Globe to Globe Hamlet initiative (to bring the play to every country on earth in celebration of the Bard’s 450th birthday) is struggling on Kickstarter…

LITERATURE
New York apparently has an Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society, a book group which loves “good books and sunny days and enjoying both as nearly in the altogether as the law allows”...

VISUAL
Rather than jettisoning the entire collection to help the city emerge from bankruptcy, one commentator suggests selling just one painting from the Detroit Museum of Art

CROWD
An LA improv comedy club without a front door wants some new digs…

An art collective that began on a Pittsburgh porch wants a permanent home…

And one of our Twitter friends messes with our mind about The Wizard of Oz:

And then puts it at ease:

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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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