Short and sweet, this time:
- Philanthropy News Digest highlights a few examples of non-profit newspaper models around the country.
- Cool story about Lower Manhattan arts organizations banding together to improve their joint situation, to the point of actually sharing audience and financial figures with each other. Well done, and hope it yields results.
- Leonard Jacobs (proprietor of the Clyde Fitch Report) responds to my rant from the other week. I must have made an impression on him, because he says he’s a loyal reader now. (Thanks!)
- Liz Lerman proposes a “job swap to save American capitalism” — have the artists run Wall Street.
- Great story about a new minority-led orchestra in DC aiming for a much more diverse audience than the usual classical music crowd, and from all appearances so far, succeeding.
- A propos of my Disney post from the other day, did you know that the economically optimal term of copyright is 14 years?
- Former New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner and general arts bigwig Schyler Chapin passed away over the weekend.
- Andy Horwitz of Culturebot posts a manifesto of sorts on arts policy. It’s mainly very good stuff, though I have to disagree with this:
No more M.F.A.s! There is nothing more useless than a Master’s degree in arts administration or an arts administrator who possesses one. Not only does the “book learning” rarely have anything to do with the real world, it creates a peculiar breed of person who feels entitled to respect (and a senior position) without possessing any prior actual experience. Cultural institutions don’t need more MBA-style administrators who are constantly looking for the next best opportunity. Cultural institutions need administrators who are hands-on and capable. More importantly, because of the extraordinarily ephemeral nature of arts + culture, the institutions need the knowledge management which comes from long-term employee retention.
Ignoring for a moment that he seems to conflate MFAs and MBAs (for a second I thought he was advocating getting rid of conservatory drama and painting programs, which is another matter entirely), I will say in defense of my education that I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the world in my two years here at the Yale School of Management, a perspective that would have been, if not impossible, at least very difficult to acquire if I had stayed inside the industry this whole time. I do agree that prior arts experience is something of a prerequisite for senior management jobs in the arts; on that he’ll get no argument from me.