ART AND THE GOVERNMENT – DOMESTIC

ART AND THE GOVERNMENT – INTERNATIONAL

  • Is this the first example of a political party devoted to intellectual property issues? Germany’s Pirate Party is “built around issues like reforming copyright and patent law, digital privacy and radical government transparency,” and is loosely linked to the Pirate Bay torrent-sharing platform. It also just won 15 seats in Berlin’s regional government, qualifying it for federal funding.

AH, ORCHESTRAS

  • Although the Detroit Symphony is back to playing concerts after a six-month strike last year, it is still far from out of the woods financially.
  • Trouble in symphony-land: the Colorado Orchestra has seen 20 of its board members resign after a dispute with the musicians’ union. I have to say, up until quite recently I have felt a limited degree of sympathy for the union and its members who are employed by the larger-market orchestras – a feeling informed to a large degree, I suppose, by my experiences as a (nonunion) composer in the previous decade. But this story is pretty ridiculous. The Denver musicians just accepted a 9% pay cut – after accepting a 24% pay cut just two years ago. If I understand the article correctly, their base salaries are now down to $37,310 a year – barely half of what their colleagues in Indianapolis are paid. And two-thirds of the board resigned because the musicians union took a few extra days to think about the cuts instead of swallowing them immediately. There is actually a board member quoted in the article saying that those who resigned were “sick and tired of the musicians’ complaining.” Are you kidding me?

GIVING TO THE ARTS (PRIZES EDITION)

  • This year’s MacArthur “Genius” Fellows have been announced.
  • The Grand Rapids ArtPrize, which was deemed a great success in its debut last year, has expanded to include music.

RESEARCH CORNER

  • The Irvine Foundation has released a new report on California’s arts and culture ecology.
  • I sometimes think of the Arts Policy Library and some of the other work I do on this blog as “research journalism.” If you want to see investigative research journalism at its finest, check out this amazing takedown of a Gates Foundation-funded report that, due to five separate spreadsheet errors, overestimated the cost-effectiveness of a deworming treatment by a factor of almost 100. Note that these aren’t methodological issues, but typos and calculation errors. After some initial hiccups, GiveWell (who published the second look) has really grown into its own as an organization at this point, and the ethic of transparency and intellectual honesty that they’ve embraced is really paying off for them. Congrats.

IN THE FIELD

ETC.