• Americans for the Arts’s Narric Rome provides a vital update on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, also known as No Child Left Behind), and what it all means for arts education, as it makes its way through the Congressional committee process.
  • Proposed copyright legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is mobilizing a lot of opposition from the “geek” community – and within the arts.
  • A transportation bill making its way through Congress is potentially bad news for public art.
  • This isn’t good: citing “budgetary constraints,” the NEA will no longer accept consortium grant proposals in FY13. It’s one organization, one grant from here on out.


  • The European Commission is betting big on culture, with a €1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) commitment to film, visual, and performing arts over six years under the name “Creative Europe.” ARTINFO is calling it “the world’s largest-ever cultural funding program,” although that seems doubtful once you take the six-year time horizon and inclusion of film into account. For example, in 2007 alone, Germany allocated more than 1.2 billion euros to culture. (via quiet.quiet.quiet.)
  • Arts Council England is cracking down on unpaid internships among its grantees (they’re already illegal in the UK). Good for them.
  • The Toronto Arts Council is facing a 10% cut.


  • It’s giving season, and that means the advice is flying fast and furious. The Wall Street Journal is out with its annual special section on philanthropy, which features some stupid debates like “Should Charities Act Like Businesses?” (Umm, you mean like Lehman Bros.?) This year, as in the past, I plan to entrust my non-arts giving to GiveWell, which conducts the most comprehensive and intellectually honest research on giving opportunities I’m aware of anywhere, a veritable wonky wet dream. GiveWell just released its top recommendations for 2011, and they include two disease control charities, Against Malaria Foundation and Schistosomiasis Control Initiative.
  • Philanthropy futurist Lucy Bernholz is out with her annual forecast for philanthropists and social investors, Blueprint 2012. Here’s Lucy on the importance of open data as the building block for the future.


  • The National Endowment for the Arts is convening a multi-agency task force to fund and promote research on the arts and human development, and has already published a white paper on the subject. This level of engagement with other agencies of government, centering on Health & Human Services, is unprecedented for the NEA’s research department, and has the potential to turn into a big deal if they stay on it. Sunil Iyengar has more.
  • Whaddya know? Two of the ten happiest jobs in the United States, according to the highly respected General Social Survey, are authors (#4) and artists (#7). In fact, every single one of the top 8 exist largely or entirely within the nonprofit and public sectors.
  • Speaking of happiness, a new study from the co-creator of the “Mappiness” iPhone app, who happens to be a Ph.D. candidate at the London School of Economics, attempts to determine the association between various kinds of (self-reported) activities and (self-reported) happiness for the app’s UK-based users. Clay Lord did some honest-to-goodness journalism and found out that four out of the six happiest activities are arts-related. (#1 on that list, of course, is “intimacy/making love.”) Linda Essig has more.
  • WESTAF has published the proceedings of a symposium called “Engaging the Now” featuring the participation of leading arts research lights Ann Markusen, Julia Lowell, and Steven Tepper among others.
  • Theatre Communications Group has published the latest version of Theatre Facts.
  • Alex Tabarrok on the problems of regression-based studies regressing to the mean. (Translation: small sample size can be a problem even when your sample size isn’t that small.)


  • Adrian Ellis is stepping down as executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center to return to his consulting firm, AEA Consulting.
  • And the arts journalism attrition continues: the Denver Post has offered buyouts to a number of longtime staffers, including at least two arts critics.


  • Things that make you go hmm: Knoedler & Company, a 165-year-old New York art gallery that was one of the most prestigious in the country, abruptly ceased operations last Wednesday. The next day, a lawsuit was filed by a collector claiming that Knoedler & Company sold him a fake Jackson Pollack for $17 million. ARTINFO has more.
  • Well, it was just a matter of time: Occupy Wall Street Occupied Lincoln Center, with composer Philip Glass joining in a protest outside a performance of his own opera, Satyagraha.
  • Videos from the National Arts Marketing Project conference are now available on Livestream.
  • The blog series from the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council on notable trends in the field continues with Gabi Jirasek’s entry on the Grand Rapids Lip Dub project and Ebony McKinney’s analysis of arts incubators.
  • Some blog salons going on now: Grantmakers in the Arts is having a discussion of Holly Sidford’s recently published cultural equity manifesto “Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change” from December 6-16, and Americans for the Arts is hosting its first ever local arts agency salon December 5-9.
  • Rachael Wilkinson writes up some of the crowdfunding options available to artists. It’s worth noting that Fractured Atlas has partnerships with both IndieGoGo and RocketHub that allow fiscally sponsored projects to receive tax-deductible contributions through those platforms. For for-profit crowdfunded concepts, a bill making its way through Congress would loosen the investor regulations that currently apply.


  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have a unusual way of selling season tickets: fans can buy a “personal seat license” that gives them theright to buy season tickets for that particular seat. These PSLs are like real estate – they are durable goods, so therefore they increase in value over time. And boy, are they a hot property – Freakonomics reports that on average, prices have increased over 700% in ten years. And you thought dynamic pricing in the arts was bad! (Actually, could this be applied to the arts?)