We like to talk about an "arts community" as if it's really a thing, but in fact, art is a very personal experience, and people tend to be fans of who they like rather than the art form generally. They go to specific artists or plays or museums. New music fans aren't necessarily interested in baroque music or opera or Mozart. The audience that shows up for the ballet is completely different from the one that goes to fringe theatre.
A study by TRG Arts of Washington DC theatre puts some numbers to the silo-ization of the city's theatre audience. Though the number of people going to theatre generally in DC is up significantly over a decade...
The results pointed to a 13 percent increase in theatergoing households and a 25 percent increase in households buying single tickets. It even showed that D.C. theater outpaces the national rate of getting audiences to buy subscriptions — the companies realized a 20 percent increase during the decade in question.
... about 85 percent of the theatre audience goes only to a single theatre. In other words, they're loyal to the place or company they like rather than the art form writ general. Each of the seven theatres TRG tracked has a specific profile:
Even beyond the core seven troupes that TRG studied, Washington theaters make it their business to be different — in style, in size and in price. Finding the portals to smoothly propel audiences from one stage to another is the ongoing challenge.
So when we talk about "the arts community" what is it we actually mean?
"TV is now enjoying a vogue of being cool, but the great era of TV cool was the 1950s. You could catch Miles and John Coltrane on TV, and jazz was all over its soundtracks. That and the movies were the mediums with the broadest and deepest reach in popular culture, and they brought jazz to millions in America and around the world. It wasn’t that they had to convert audiences into thinking jazz was cool, it was that jazz was inherently cool and hip, and movies and television used that to signify their own place on a spectrum of style, and even rebellion."
"Faced with the pending inauguration, Greg Allen said in his statement, 'I could no longer stand by and let my most effective artistic vehicle be anything but a machine to fight Fascism.' His new company 'will be comprised entirely of people of color, LBTQ+, artist/activist women, and other disenfranchised voices in order to combat the tyranny of censorship and oppression.' That explanation was received with ire and disbelief by Neo-Futurist company members, current and past, who say the troupe is now more diverse than it's ever been, and the breakup is not political but personal—rooted in a long-suppressed history of problems between Allen and the theoretically democratic ensemble that he formed."
In an interview with The Stage, Wilson was asked if the West End needed a greater variety of theatre sizes. He responded: “Yes we do. And the reason is that the big theatres, progressively the smaller big theatres, are being used for musicals more. Gypsy going in to the Savoy, and Funny Girl… the 800 and 900-seat theatres are being used for musicals, and drama will be squeezed out.”
"Is music meant to be ephemeral or enduring? And indeed, are those two goals consonant with one another, or at odds? For those who take as their mentors, our sources of inspiration, and our measures of quality long-dead Germans like Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven, perhaps the ultimate goal would be to write, like they did, something of value that transcends our era. But can one write a piece with the goal that it become 'an important part of the repertoire'?"
Well, that depends. If you consider religion strictly a matter of belief, we can't know. But if, like anthropologist Barbara J. King, you see religion as practice, there's evidence.
Kyle Buchanan talks to Leslye Headland (Sleeping With Other People), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), and half a dozen others (including Paul Verhoeven of Showgirls, of course).
"In the two years of Jeff Melanson’s tenure, total expenses at the orchestra increased by almost a third, administration costs by 80 per cent. In previous years, the TSO’s expenses had either stayed flat or declined. The TSO did not see an accompanying increase in revenues in the last fiscal year. Ticket sales declined slightly in fiscal 2015-16, as did government support. Thus the organization’s surplus was created, in the first instance, by having the Toronto Symphony Foundation, the organization’s long-term funding support, make a contribution to the orchestra of almost $5-million in fiscal 2015-16, more than double its usual contribution."
"Under the new business model, Luminato would start planning events three years in advance so that it could work with other festivals as partners in commissioning shows and work out the best possible deals with venues and artists. Meanwhile the festival would rely less on government funding."
It’s not unusual for corporate entities to give money to arts organizations. It’s far less common for them to actually break out the hammers and nails. “We could just donate to the arts,” Joseph A. McMillan Jr., who founded DDG, said by phone. “But as a real estate company, we have opportunities and capabilities others might not possess.”
Adam Kirsch: "One illusion that will be particularly painful to part with is the idea that high culture and the arts have any effective power in American life. ... The central role that writers and artists have played in public debate and popular culture is a thing of the past, but that role was always secondary to their real purpose."
"Perhaps contradictions are a necessary ingredient for triggering intellectual creativity. While most humans struggle to maintain a sense of psychological unity, contradictions produce destabilising breaches in the self. Whether conscious or unconscious, these fissures nourish creative inspiration, which can be interpreted as a way to resolve or sublimate internal oppositions. I believe this can be said of all domains of creation. Perhaps art, literature, science or philosophy wouldn’t be possible without intrapersonal contradictions and the desire to resolve them."
Oh, *This* Will Be Juicy: Martin Amis Is Writing A Novel About Christopher Hitchens, Saul Bellow, And Philip Larkin
"It's hard going but the one benefit is that I have the freedom to invent things," he says. "I don't have them looking over my shoulder any more." Because, of course, they're all dead now.
The good news from a decade-long study of the area's seven major pro companies is that audiences there aren't tapped out, they're growing (even subscriptions increased!). But there was one startling finding: "A whopping 85 percent of audiences patronize a single troupe."
"The musicians voted on Wednesday to approve a new labor agreement with orchestra management that includes a pay freeze for the first two years and modest pay raises in the last two years of the four-year contract."
Penélope Cruz, Rossy de Palma. Marisa Paredes, Emma Suárez, and others on how the flamboyant director creates his female-centered worlds.
The current Polish government had asked the court to allow the extradition of the director (who is a dual citizen of Poland and France) to the U.S. over his notorious statutory rape charge from the 1970s.
Genuine quotas were explicitly tried in Britain in the 1980s, and they failed. Well, they were sort of tried - Christy Romer argues that the attempt wasn't serious, and that now's the time to try to do it properly.