Hi everyone. I’m headed to Atlanta tomorrow to catch the League of American Orchestras and Chorus America conferences. If you’ve enjoyed my recent posts on orchestras, please tune in to www.orchestrarevolution.org tomorrow for the live-stream of the “town hall” event and follow along on Twitter at #orch2010. (I’ll be helping to monitor the Twitter feed, or so I’ve been told at any rate.) I’ll post my thoughts as I am able here and at the Fractured Atlas blog. Should be a fun time!
  • More good news, bad news for state arts councils. In the former column, it looks like Rhode Island’s arts advocacy efforts have paid off, with full restoration of the Governor’s proposed cuts to the state budget. Big congratulations are due to Lisa Carnevale for an extraordinarily well-executed campaign. Too bad South Carolina finds itself in a deeper pickle: Governor Mark Sanford (yeah, the one caught using state funds to cheat on his wife) has vetoed the bulk of the South Carolina Arts Commission’s budget. The veto can only be stopped by override of the legislature, which meets Tuesday.
  • Carolyn Jack’s coverage of creative economy efforts in her city has taken a bit of a dark turn lately. Not sure what exactly is behind prose like this…

    Those white-paper approaches have produced certain civic benefits in a lot of places, but a boiling overflow of creativity isn’t one of them, at least not where I live.  My metro area is no showplace of imagination- it’s desperately poor and ailing, a shocking stage-three hospice case  of shabby, empty buildings, cratered streets,  unemployed adults, endangered children, political ineptitude and venality, apathy and inertia, a culture of bland cowardice, and widening rings of smug and bunkered suburbanites.

    …but it’s important given creative economy advocates’ frequent assumption that increased investment in their favored industries is key to the rehabilitation of decaying Rust Belt capitals like Cleveland. Jack’s rant was apparently inspired by a less-than-inspiring creativity summit that suffered from a little too much of the same old thinking. Both pieces are worth reading and learning from.

  • Great story on a rapprochement between real estate developer and artist amid a backdrop of gentrification in ultra-hip Williamsburg, courtesy the New York Times. If only it could be like that all the time.
  • Richard Florida, to his credit, seems to be changing the way he talks about his work these days. For example, in releasing a new ranking of top destinations for college grads, he advises, “treat these rankings as a broad guide to interesting places and try not get too bogged down by the specific ranks.” A far cry from the original Creativity Index! He’s also been including a standard disclaimer about correlation not equaling causation in recent posts. This is good news. Research is a messy business and we are all better off when we openly acknowledge the warts. (He also links to a study by Rob Pitingolo that comes up with a very intuitive-looking creative city list by employing as its unit of analysis college degrees per square mile.)
  • Wow, a cultural economics study that Michael Rushton actually likes. Is this a first? (So as not to be too glib, the study considers “artistic originals” as a kind of capital investment that depreciates over time. Makes sense if you think about it.)
  • Congratulations to Tom Kaiden, taking over the reins of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance from the deceased Peggy Amsterdam, and to Eric Whitacre, for becoming the first choral composer to land a major-label recording contract in who knows how long. Also, kudos to Gary Steuer for doing a lot with a little at the city of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy.
  • I wonder, does any American city have a “cultural strategy” document branded in the Mayor’s name? Because London now does.
  • Chase Community Giving is back for a second round. Looks like they are aiming to spread the money a little more widely this time.
  • Via Adam Thurman, don’t miss this great article from Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Clara Miller on the Four Horsemen of the Nonprofit Financial Apocalypse. She really lays into unnecessary real estate acquisitions in particular.
  • Looks like the Hewlett Foundation communications team is making a foray into the philanthropy blogosphere by…well…writing about the philanthropy blogosphere. It’s an impressively timely and thorough article.
  • One of that article’s featured bloggers, Lucy Bernholz, reports on a new project from the Pew Charitable Trusts called SubsidyScope that tracks government payments and subsidies to the nonprofit sector. If she says it’s big news, I trust that it is.
  • Andrew Taylor coins a phrase: tax-status agnostic. I like it, even though I sometimes wonder whether the beating the 501(c)(3) is taking in some circles is really warranted. Meanwhile, still in ArtsJournal land, Jim Undercofler calls out much of the entrepreneurship we see in the arts as fundamentally ego-centric.
  • Get ready for a new tax status corporate form on the horizon: Maryland’s Benefit Corporation, promoted by B Lab (a competitor of sorts to the L3C). We’ll see if this one gets more traction.
  • This, uh, time unit’s BLOGGER ON FIRE award goes to Devon Smith for her Twitter hashtags datagasm and her on-point rant against Facebook. Read them. Hire her.
  • Really cool story about the British Museum collaborating with Wikipedia to make sure the latter website’s articles about the former’s artworks are as accurate as possible. Is this the future of crowdsourcing?
  • Add libraries to the list of cultural institutions upended by recent shifts in technology.
  • I have to admit, I thought this was pretty awesome: Laurie Anderson composes music for dogs.
  • Great to know about the Maryland Benefit Corporation, but a minor, nitpicky clarification:

    This isn’t a “new tax status”, it’s a new corporate form. Tax status is regulated on a federal level by the IRS; corporate law mostly happens at the state level. As far as I can tell this will be taxed federally like any other for-profit corporation. (And, of course, contributions would not be tax-deductible.)