Createquity has had some milestones recently: in addition to reaching 3000 subscribers (woohoo!), for the first time, both authors of the research studies given the Arts Policy Library treatment recently have responded to the Createquity Writing Fellows in the comments. You can read Holly Sidford’s many-months-later perspective on “Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change” here, and the SNAAP comments section features both an official response from advisory board member Sarah B. Cunningham and additional information from research director Steven Tepper. It’s great to see researchers participating in substantive dialogue and debate about methods and meaning on Createquity – that really gets to the core of what this space is all about. I can imagine that waking up to a skeptical 4000-word post about your work doesn’t make for the greatest week, so I appreciate all the more their willingness to engage forthrightly, respectfully, and constructively with us on how to elevate our collective game on all fronts.
So hooray for all that! And now to our regularly scheduled programming…
ART AND THE GOVERNMENT
- Remember the item a while back about patent trolls? Rachael Wilkinson at the Technology in the Arts blog alerts us to a very disturbing case of a troll targeting an arts organization, in this case a theater in Connecticut for using the “Tweet Seats” concept. Looks like it’s time for arts organizations to speak up for patent reform.
- Federal arts education standards do make a difference in practice.
- Danielle Brazell of Arts for LA writes about bringing the arts into the upcoming Los Angeles mayoral election.
- Don’t miss this fantastic interview between Barry Hessenius and NEA Chief of Staff Jamie Bennett, one of my favorite people in the arts (and you’ll soon see why in the interview). Side note: I had no idea that Jamie served on the board of a group called the “No-Pants Theatre Company,” but that is just awesome.
- The Cultural Data Project finally has a new CEO to lead its transition to an independent nonprofit: Beth Tuttle, a consultant with METStrategies.
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS
- One of the big trends I’ve been seeing over the last decade, and that I think we’ll see accelerate in the next, is the slow migration of low-profit enterprises with social value – think jazz venues, record labels, newspapers/journalism providers – to a nonprofit context. That trend includes independent bookstores, and this article from the Toronto Globe and Mail explains why.
- More food for thought on the economics of music streaming.
IN THE FIELD
- Catherine Michna has only been a blogger for two weeks, but this post on “how NOT to be a gentrifier with your theater” in New Orleans is certainly a way to make an impression.
- This is some truth right here: “[International Art English] often ‘insists on art’s subversive potential.’ Popular terms include: radically, interrogates, subverts, void, tension. Much contemporary art does have a disquieting quality, but there can be something faintly absurd about artists in Mayfair galleries playing up their iconoclasm for super-rich collectors.”
- The Sacramento Philharmonic and Sacramento Opera will merge into the Sacramento Region Performing Arts Alliance, following a model pioneered by the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. The article has a helpful rundown of recent mergers in the performing arts and what people are saying about them.
- Dallas Shelby at the National Arts Strategies blog: “As in politics, the key to increasing the power of your mandate is to increase the amount of stakeholders’ engagement more than they increase their expectations.“
- My Fractured Atlas colleague Tim Cynova is up at Hyperallergic discussing 7 ways to build a sustainable art career this year. (I can take credit for the “Well-Informed Arts Professional” bit.)
- A fascinating and lengthy essay by Trevor Butterworth on Big Data and its associated necessity, Big Criticism (or as he terms it, Big Crit). Worth a read in full.
- Last month, Jacquelyn Strycker explored the artistic side of food, including the new creations coming out of the field of molecular gastronomy. Elizabeth Merritt from the Center for the Future of Museums considers another angle: the potential intersection between food and 3D printing.
- Doug Borwick offers a very helpful definitional boundary distinguishing community engagement (by arts institutions) from the more commonly-used term audience engagement.
- Bill Ivey is out with a new book (Handmaking America), and Russell Willis Taylor has the scoop.
- In which all of our stereotypes about kids and music preferences are shown to be true.
- New research from the Netherlands suggests a link between practicing a musical instrument and lower blood pressure.
- We talk a lot about arts organizations needing to diversify their audiences, but that conversation is all too often painted in frustratingly broad strokes. Clay Lord is experimenting with some ways to lend a bit more definition.
- Interesting visualization and analysis of age demographics in US cities, courtesy of the Urban Institute and Atlantic Cities.
- How the Hewlett Foundation is thinking about evaluation these days (and, as Lucy Bernholz notes, a victory for transparency).
- Wow! The Foundation Center, GuideStar, and Urban Institute collectively spend close to $2 million annually to extract and upload nonprofit form 990 data into databases. A new report from the Aspen Institute argues that the government should have nonprofits fill out those forms online so that they’ll be in a database already, and then make the contents of that database publicly available.
- A new survey and report basically find that a significant portion of nonprofit development directors hate their jobs.
- John E. Craig, Jr. explains the whys, hows, and what nexts of foundation archiving (part 1; part 2).
- What is there to say about this amazing article covering the Portland karaoke scene, other than read the whole thing? So many gems in this one, but just to whet your appetite:
Portland does have dozens of karaoke bars, and over the course of six nights we did our best to visit them all. I sang Lee Ann Womack in a honky-tonk in far southeast Portland, Kanye West in a comedy club and INXS in a Chinese restaurant. I watched Emilie, my seven-months-pregnant sister-in-law, sing Melanie’s “Brand New Key” onstage at Stripparaoke night at the Devils Point, a teensy, low-ceilinged club on a triangular lot well outside Portland’s downtown, while a topless dancer worked the pole next to her. Afterward, the dancer — whose bare stomach featured a tattoo of a vividly horrible shark and the word REDRUM — gave Emilie a sweet hug.
Chopsticks III: How Can Be Lounge is located between a heavy-equipment rental shop and a Hanson pipe factory. It’s the kind of awful nightspot where if your watch was broken, you could keep time by the diminishing height of the melting heap of ice dumped in the urinal in the men’s room. When the heap of ice read 10:00, Chopsticks III was jammed with 50 people or more: groups of women out for a night away; a dwarf with an Afro who submitted his power ballads under the stage name Micro; a group of four buddies whose Monday-night karaoke club requires them to sing any song a friend challenges them to, blind. Also, a troupe of puppeteers from a local children’s theater, their snakes, ducks and cowgirls laid carefully across a table in the back of the bar.
This was puppet karaoke.
And my favorite…
Correction: January 23, 2013
An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to a puppet that appeared in a show at a local karaoke club. It is known as Señor Serpiente, not Señora Serpiente.