A couple of items of personal interest for Createquity followers: first, Fractured Atlas has released two new research studies, both co-authored by Createquity’s Ian David Moss; and second, our superstar Createquity Fellow Alicia Akins is leaving her job at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre in Laos soon to come back to the United States and has a posting for her replacement.

ART AND THE GOVERNMENT

  • The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies concluded its sixth World Summit on Arts and Culture in Chile earlier this month. Nearly 400 arts leaders and policymakers from 67 countries gathered to address shared challenges facing the arts world.  The summit coincided with the launch of IFACCA’s report detailing arts advocacy campaigns and best practices.
  • The NEA’s Director of Design, Jason Schupbach, talks about the agency’s next steps in creative placemaking “in the spirit of openness and oversharing,” and telegraphs a gradual shift in Our Town’s focus from local case studies to national initiatives.
  • New Jersey is the first state in the country to include data on student enrollment in the visual and performing arts in its annual report on school performance. Slightly less than half of Garden State high school students are enrolled in a course in one of the four art forms.
  • The New York Times provides a glimpse into the capricious process used by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to review and approve applications from prospective residents seeking to live in lofts legally reserved for artists.
  • A proposed noise ordinance in New Orleans drew a musical protest outside of city hall when musicians gathered to ensure their political voices, and their music, are not only heard, but heard at a proper volume.

MUSICAL CHAIRS

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS

  • More good news for Gibney Dance: Director Gina Gibney’s dreams of turning their new space previously occupied by Dance New Amersterdam into a resource for emerging artists are $3 million closer to becoming a reality thanks to a  gift from the Agnes Varis Trust to make repairs to the facilities.
  • Can an accounting change by SoundExchange impact the ability of middle-class performers and indie labels to create more music? The Future of Music Coalition thinks so.  A frequently disbursed stream of income that pays performers on a monthly, rather than quarterly, basis can help free up musicians to concentrate on their work rather than wonder how they’ll pay next month’s bills.
  • Internet radio service Pandora pays nearly half its revenue to performing artists and labels, while only 4.3 percent goes to songwriters and publishers. Think that’s unfair? So does the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) which represents the latter. But it was Pandora that brought suit to lower the royalty rate paid to ASCAP members. At the heart of the issue is whether music publishers can remove their catalogs from digital transmissions, while still using professional recording organizations like ASCAP to represent their work on issues such as collecting money from terrestrial AM/FM radio stations.
  • Meanwhile, back in the world of terrestrial radio, this is what happens when you leave cultural taste-making to the whims of the commercial marketplace. More than ever before, radio stations are playing the same damn songs over and over. The article is interesting throughout, including such tidbits as the fact that the top 10 songs last year were played twice as much as the top 10 songs a decade ago, the fact that this trend is an example of data-driven decision-making on the part of radio stations, and this quote:

    In the new intensely scrutinized world of radio, said Mr. Darden, “taking risks is not rewarded, so we have to be more careful than ever before.”

IN THE FIELD

BIG IDEAS

RESEARCH CORNER

  • What does the cultural data landscape look like? Get a bird’s eye view from the report New Data for the Cultural Landscape: Towards a Better Informed Stronger Future just published by the Cultural Data Project. Barry Hessenius pulls out key highlights and probes the persistent challenge of educating leaders in our field to make strategic decisions using data.
  • AFTA’s Randy Cohen digs deep into the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s recent report on the contributions of the arts to GDP. Turns out, it omits a lot of architecture, design and creative writing at the college level, and many arts grantmakers. Fortunately, the BEA is open to suggestions for improving its strong first cut. Follow the link to contribute your thoughts.
  • The University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center is out with the second issue of The Digest, which summarizes academic research on the cultural sector from the around the world, which is often inaccessible to a broad audience. The issue examines “creative cities in theory and practice.”
  • A new Pew report finds that, although the typical American read five books last year, nearly a quarter of us read none at all. In related news, libraries continue to draw patrons in innovative ways, such as installing 3D printers, shifting collections from the academic to the popular, and offering hog-butchering seminars.
  • Big Data may be a boon for marketers, but when does segmentation cross over the line into discrimination? A research fellow at MIT argues that this is the central ethical dilemma of today’s data analysts.