So, thanks to Guy Yedwab for pointing out my foolishness around Google Docs: apparently I had made my Createquity Tipster spreadsheet viewable to everyone, but not editable to anyone except me. To edit it, you’ll have to use this form instead, which is probably a better call anyway (otherwise someone in a bad mood could erase others’ contributions). My apologies if you tried to submit something the last couple of weeks and were foiled in your efforts.

  • If you missed the webcast of the National Council on the Arts meeting the other week, the Art Works blog has a helpful round-up.
  • Kumar, we hardly knew ye: Kal Penn, the actor-turned-liaison to arts organizations in the White House Office of Public Engagement, has left government to return to Hollywood. No word on with whom, or whether, he will be replaced.
  • Wait, what? Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop are merging? And the Harlem School of the Arts, whose former CEO, Kekuna Kerina, was a keynote speaker at last year’s Grantmakers in the Arts Conference, has shut its doors (possibly forever) due to financial problems.
  • Head’s up: Fivethirtyeight.com’s Nate Silver, baseball and political number-cruncher extraordinaire, is writing an article for New York magazine on what makes urban neighborhoods attractive places to live. He is requesting responses to a survey to help guide his analysis. One of the questions asks about the concentration of arts amenities and creative capital in a neighborhood. Umm, I’m just saying, it would be nice to have our community well represented among the respondents to this survey. Just. Saying.
  • Looks like Patricia Harris is going to be a very important woman in New York for a very long time to come.
  • Moving on to Philly, these Creative Industry Workforce grants are interesting, particularly in that they are an example of leveraging non-arts-specific federal stimulus funds through the Community Development Block Grant program. Meanwhile, the Ford Foundation is investing big in space for artists in diverse neighborhoods around the country, announcing a plan to devote $100 million to the cause over the next 10 years.
  • Things are different in Europe: there’s a great article on Pitchfork.com this week comparing cultural policy in Sweden (and other Scandinavian countries), Canada, the UK, and the United States. The article, written from a music industry perspective, considers not just public outlays of funds, but also the impact of healthcare system on musicians. Mat Dryhurst has additional thoughts. While the musicians quoted in the Pitchfork piece seem deeply appreciative of the high-tax, “social democratic” economic model that helps provide for their well-being, at least some overseas would like to see less public funding for the arts. This op-ed in the Times of London makes the case. I must say, it’s a bit of a head-spinner for this American to see an article arguing against public arts funding meet with a barrage of derision in the comments.
  • Since the health care bill passed, the main policy objection to it that has popped up from the intelligent right (that is, not the tea partiers) is that the penalties for failing to purchase health insurance are too weak. This allows young, healthy, affluent people to game the system by not purchasing health insurance and simply paying the (low) penalties, which raises the costs for everyone else. Moreover, there seems to be no enforcement mechanism to stop them from entering the system later (and reaping the benefits of other people’s payments) if they do get sick down the road. The criticism seems valid to me; what I don’t understand, however, is conservatives using this as an excuse to oppose the bill as a whole. After all, the problem seems to suggest an easy fix, and if people do cheat as described above, the political will will be there to make that fix possible.
  • Guidestar, the organization primarily known for listing digitized 990s of nonprofit organizations on its website, has been forming partnerships with a number of the “philanthropy 2.0” start-ups over the past year or so. For example, reviews of charities from GreatNonprofits are now listed alongside their Guidestar profiles. Now, Guidestar has launched a new TakeAction @ Guidestar portal for donors that provides cause-centric information from partners RootCause, GreatNonprofits, Philanthropedia, and Createquity faves GiveWell. Also, a new podcast series features Elie from GiveWell and Saundra from Good Intentions Are Not Enough. Check out the first entry here.
  • The New York Times picks up on the “unpaid internships may be illegal” meme. One new twist: the article claims that “the rules for unpaid interns are less strict for non-profit groups like charities,” but offers no details on how exactly the rules may differ across sectors.
  • Seth Godin is a wise dude:

    The ardent or insane pursuit of a particular goal is a good idea if the steps you take along the way also prep you for other outcomes, each almost as good (or better). […] On the other hand, if you live a life of privation and spend serious time and money on a dead end path with only one outcome, you’ve described a path likely to leave you broken and bitter. Does spending your teenage years (and your twenties) in a room practicing the violin teach you anything about being a violin teacher or a concert promoter or some other job associated with music? If your happiness depends on your draft pick or a single audition, that’s giving way too much power to someone else.

  • Also a wise dude: Clay Shirky. (Read the whole thing, as they say.)
  • Confessions of an art juror. (h/t Daniel Reid)
  • If you’ve been fascinated, like me, by Marina Abramovic’s performance installation at MoMA (“The Artist is Present”), check out a great interview with another performing artist who matched her endurance test for a day.
  • Katy Rubin

    Just a heads-up: I was interested in filling out the survey on urban neighborhoods, but it seems to be closed. IS that true? If so, too bad! Was the first I’d heard about it!

  • Boo! Yes, it does seem to be closed now. That was pretty fast. I wonder if it’s because Nate thought leaving it open too long would bias it or if he discovered some flaw and decided it wasn’t a worthwhile exercise after all. (He’s not a big fan of online surveys in general.)

  • Thanks for the link back Ian. It was largely due to the great contributions by blogs such as your own that I decided to start posting thoughts online.