Valuable as Art, but Priceless as a Tool to Launder Money
From Patricia Cohen at The New York Times:
It is hard to imagine a business more custom-made for money laundering, with million-dollar sales conducted in secrecy and with virtually no oversight. What this means in practical terms is that “you can have a transaction where the seller is listed as ‘private collection’ and the buyer is listed as ‘private collection,’ ” said Sharon Cohen Levin, chief of the asset forfeiture unit of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. “In any other business, no one would be able to get away with this.”
25 Things About Music Teaching and Education
Brian Wis deep-dives into the practice of music education on the Teaching and Music blog:
It is unusual to be empowered to do great teaching. Good teaching is not only easier, but in many schools it is actually preferred. I think some leaders think great teaching is taking place when all the teachers are doing things in a consistent/compliant manner, and with minimal internal or external (parent) conflict. While that could be a trait of a productive teaching community, it's more often detached conformity. I think many school districts see conformity as the goal instead of empowering great teaching where the uniqueness of each teacher and content area is valued. And when I say "valued" I mean in action, not in words. All leaders will say they value the great teaching, but what we truly value is seen in what we do not what we say.
Gates and Knight Foundations Fund New Project to Improve Measuring Media Impact
From Dan Green and Mayur Patel, writing for the Impatient Optimist blog to announce the new Media Impact Project that will be established at the Norman Lear Center, part of the USC Annenberg School of Communications:
Both (the) Knight and Gates Foundation share a belief in the power of informed and engaged communities for many reasons – from strengthening democracy and civil society to helping address some of the world’s most challenging social problems. In this context, the possibilities of learning how storytelling connects people and inspires action are more exciting than ever. There is now a wealth of data generated by people’s consumption and production of digital media that can be used to improve how we understand engagement and when that leads to greater awareness, knowledge and even changes in behavior.
How an Art Market Hustle Put a $45K Price-Tag on Prison Polaroids
From the blog Prison Photography:
At Paris Photo: Los Angeles, this week, a collection of California prison polaroids were on display and up for sale. The asking price? $45,000. The price-tag is remarkable, but so too is the collection’s journey from street fair obscurity to the prestigious international art fair. It is a journey that took only two years.
How the Arts and Cultural Tourism Spur Economic Development
From Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council, writing for Western City:
It’s the question that all local officials ask themselves: How can we attract and retain profitable businesses and talented people? A key component of such efforts — and one that’s often mislabeled an “amenity” — is arts and culture.
Creative businesses play a huge part in the California economy. These businesses comprise the arts, design, digital media and other fields that utilize a creative workforce. More than 134,000 creative businesses employ 500,000 Californians, with another 100,000 freelance or part-time creative workers in the mix. In addition, the Golden State’s 4,553 arts organizations contribute $3.56 billion annually to its economy.
American orchestras: A time of crisis or rebirth?
From Anne Midgette, writing for The Washington Post:
Carnegie Hall celebrated the American orchestra last week. Except that Spring for Music, the festival that ended Saturday, wasn’t actually a Carnegie Hall festival. It was sponsored by patrons and foundation grants. And given the turmoil across the country as orchestras battle financial duress and strikes and lockouts lead to concert cancellations, some might ask what exactly there is to celebrate.
The Intersection of Creativity, Health, and Aging
By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together
On May 1st, I attended a daylong gathering in Washington DC entitled Innovative Crossroads: The Intersection of Creativity, Health and Aging. Supported by MetLife Foundation in collaboration with the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), the day was hosted by Grantmakers in Health (GIH) and included health funders as well as members of Grantmakers in the Arts and Grantmakers in Aging. This is a continuation of GIArts work begun with a Thought Leader Forum on Aging a few years ago and collaborative regional workshops planned in conjunction with GIAging and NCCA.
The Navajo Nation Announces Its First Poet Laureate
Luci Tapahonso has been named the Navajo Nation’s first-ever Poet Laureate, and will be officially introduced to the public on May 17. Tapahonso has written five books of poetry and stories, as well as a children’s book. Saánii Dahataal (1993) and Blue Horses Rush In (1997) are two of her better-known collections, both published by the University of Arizona Press.
Taking Note: Varieties of Research Networking
From Sunil Iyengar for the NEA's ArtWorks blog:
Earlier this year, the ever-prolific Barry Hessenius asked some of us in arts research to take part in a weeklong round of interviews for his blog at WESTAF. Reading that exchange, I was struck by how many piquant observations were left hanging in mid-air, not owing to inarticulateness, but because there’s only so much space to devote to a particular issue or problem. After all, each day of Barry’s blog-a-thon began with a new question.
May Member Spotlight on Alliance for California Traditional Arts
In May, the photo banner features groups and projects supported by GIA member the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA). Founded in 1997 by cultural workers, arts administrators, and traditional artists, ACTA is the only nonprofit organization in California dedicated to supporting and sustaining folk and traditional arts at the statewide level.