• David Byrne has a new journal entry talking about his experience speaking at the TED Conference last month. If you’d like to hear Byrne speak, he will be kicking off the Connecting New England’s Creative Communities Summit in Providence next week as part of a panel on “Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Getting Around.” The panel is the main event at the 2nd Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities, hosted by Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline (a strong public supporter of the arts if there ever was one).
  • Guess who else is going to be in Providence this month? That’s right, my Fractured Atlas colleague Dianne Debicella, who will be on hand at the State House for a March 15 session on fundraising and fiscal sponsorship for artists and fledgling arts organizations. It’s free, and if you’re wondering how to raise money for your project without going through the trouble of forming your own nonprofit, you need to be there.
  • Barry has been on a roll recently with his essays about professional development for arts administrators, and his latest, detailing his diagnosis of the underlying problems, is perhaps the most important yet.
  • Not much to say about these well-written and highly personal essays, other than simply that you should read them: Jodi Schoenbrun Carter’s reflections on social media and silence (she’s got a new website design too); Maryann Devine’s two-part review of Seth Godin’s Linchpin and her own struggles with Resistance; and Arlene Goldbard on the convergence of left-brained and right-brained thinking. For more fusion of numbers and creativity, don’t miss Devon’s latest on social media metrics.
  • I have to hand it to Leonard Jacobs that he’s willing to brave the belly of the beast with an article defending reconciliation for Fox News; predictably, the reader reaction has been, uh, irreconcilable. LJ also notifies us of more proposed cuts to NYSCA (down another $6.5 million), and weighs in on the thought-provoking discussion of new subscription models for theater here.
  • It’s not just New York that is feeling the heat of the recession. Add Virginia to the list of states whose arts councils are under fire from their governing bodies. Meanwhile, the Guardian compares how the arts scenes in United States, France, and Ireland are dealing with lean times. Singapore, on the other hand, seems to be going gangbusters.
  • Are unpaid internships exploitative? Scott Walters thinks so, and astutely connects the issue to the ongoing discussion of diversity in the arts. Meanwhile, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs has teamed up with the other DCA (Dept. of Consumer Affairs) to bring artists a workshop on personal finance. Aimed especially at artists who have financed their grand dreams with a personal credit card — and I know there are some of you out there — the afternoon session on March 6 is both a welcome addition to the conversation and a cool example of two seemingly unrelated city agencies cutting the red tape to offer a joint program. (I just wish they could find a way not to have “poverty” be part of the URL…sheesh.)
  • Seems these big corporate giving contests just can’t avoid controversy. Good on Pepsi, though, for adding another $250,000 to its grant payout in order to make up for the latest screw-up.
  • If this court ruling stands, media companies might need to think twice about filing spurious cease and desist orders for copyright infringement in the future:

    Stephanie Lenz got into trouble with Universal Music Group in 2007 after she posted a YouTube video of her toddler dancing to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy.” The label fired off a letter demanding removal of the clip and YouTube complied.

    Lenz then teamed with online free-speech advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation to get a judge to declare that her video was a “fair use” of the song. She then sought damages against Universal, the world’s biggest record company, for sending a meritless takedown request.

    Universal fought back by raising affirmative defenses that Lenz had bad faith and unclean hands in pursuing damages. Now a California district court judge has rejected those arguments, granting partial summary judgment to Lenz and paving the way for Lenz to collect attorneys fees.

  • New research suggests that composers trying to convince audiences to love atonal music are fighting against biology, not just culture. I found this tidbit rather astounding:

    We measured the predictability of tone sequences in music by Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern and found the successive pitches were less predictable than random tone sequences.

    Less predictable than random sequences? How is that even possible? Not that any of this stopped Robbie Robertson, who was in charge of putting the music together for Martin Scorcese’s Shutter Island, from cramming the movie chock-full of chestnuts from the avant-garde.

  • Here’s something else our brains don’t like: income inequality.
  • Speaking of music and movies, it’s nice to see Acrassicauda, the stars of the excellent 2007 rockumentary Heavy Metal In Baghdad, back in action…in Greenpoint, of all places.
  • Sometimes a headline says it all: The Unemployed Now Have Their Own Union, And It’s Catching On Quickly.
  • This is unbelievable: my friend and former coworker Molly Sheridan was editing some video from a July performance by jazz pianist Vijay Iyer at The Stone, and noticed that this little act of larceny at the end of the show was caught on tape. Enjoy that watch, jackass: