AR T AND THE GOVERNMENT

  • One artist’s activism on immigration and visa reform (he’s banned from entering the USA for 10 years because of a paperwork snafu).
  • The Obama administration has announced three new members of the National Council on the Arts, the body that oversees the NEA. Here are interviews with Maria Rosario JacksonEmil Kang and Paul Hodes.
  • Google’s chief executive is stumping for an unregulated internet in developing nations, but some musicians in Africa aren’t buying what he’s selling. (I wonder, though, if an internet free from censorship must also be an internet without copyright controls.)

MUSICAL CHAIRS

  • Wow: after only two years in the driver’s seat at ArtPlace, Carol Coletta is jumping to the Knight Foundation, as Vice President/Community and National Initiatives. She writes a farewell letter via the ArtPlace blog.
  • Margaret Hunt is the new director of Colorado Creative Industries.

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS

  • The Pew Charitable Trusts has restructured its culture program to emphasize project grants made through the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. The Pew Cultural Leadership Program, which provides general operating support to Philadelphia-area organizations, will disappear over the next two years.
  • Philadelphia arts philanthropist Gerry Lenfest is stepping down from his foundation, which is entering spend-down mode.

IN THE FIELD

  • The San Francisco Symphony is on strike; here is a great background on the situation from San Francisco Classical Voice.
  • A proposed merger between Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the LA County Museum of Art is off the table (for now).
  • Linda Essig reports from the Association of Arts Administrators Conference in New Orleans; Steven Tepper offers his perspective on the 3 Million Stories conference in Nashville hosted by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (for which he is research director) and Vanderbilt’s Curb Center.

BIG IDEAS

RESEARCH CORNER

  • The McKnight Foundation has some cool visualizations of its research on individual artists; Laura Zabel comments.
  • The National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University answers the question, “what is it exactly that you DO?”
  • Writing for the Daily Beast, Joel Kotkin gleefully makes hay on what he characterizes as an admission of defeat from Richard Florida on the efficacy of his creative class theory, but Florida says not so fast. A lot of it is the usual academic pissing match BS, but the original Florida essay that Kotkin cites is pretty interesting and provides some new fodder for gentrification warriors. The money quote (as it were):

    On close inspection, talent clustering provides little in the way of trickle-down benefits. Its benefits flow disproportionately to more highly-skilled knowledge, professional and creative workers whose higher wages and salaries are more than sufficient to cover more expensive housing in these locations. While less-skilled service and blue-collar workers also earn more money in knowledge-based metros, those gains disappear once their higher housing costs are taken into account.

    In other words, as this article on the region-wide effects of Silicon Valley new money points out, “in a free market, people with money drive demand, which then drives supply.” Among other things, the article tells of a just-out-of-college startup techie paying almost $3000 a month for a studio in San Francisco, “simply because he didn’t know better.”

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