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Diane Ragsdale comments on Devon Smith: “Devon Smith has written a smart, provocative post on a debate she engaged in at the recent Americans for the Arts Conference in Nashville. It’s called We Should Allow Failing Arts Organizations to Die and it has lit up the arts blogosphere, Twitter, and Facebook the past few days.
"People are joined to the land by work. Land, work, people, and community are all comprehended in the idea of culture. These connections cannot be understood or described by information — so many resources to be transformed by so many workers into so many products for so many consumers — because they are not quantitative. We can understand them only after we acknowledge that they should be harmonious — that a culture must be either shapely and saving or shapeless and destructive."
Articles from the Summer 2014 edition of GIA Reader, Volume 25, No. 2, are available on the GIA website. Contributors include photographer Lisa Hamilton, Charles Finn, and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus, who put a focus on artists and grantmakers working in rural places. Finn, editor of High Desert Journal, interviews four rural poets. And we include a poem from each interviewee. John R. Killacky talks to Meredith Monk about her fifty years of art making. Justin Laing and his brother Alex Laing have a conversation on race, identity, and transformative arts practice. See the complete online Reader at www.giarts.org/reader-25-2.
The Future of Arts Journalism panel included Michael Norris, interim executive director of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Merilyn Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer dance critic, and Lois Welk, DanceUSA Philadelphia executive director. During the panel, Michael Norris noted that newspapers and classical arts organizations are similarly suffering from aging and shrinking audiences. Merilyn Jackson articulated that making a living as an arts writer can’t be a goal of professionals today.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council received a budget increase from $11.1 million to $12 million. The bump-up appears to indicate a growing awareness of the importance of arts and culture to the economic health of the state. As originally recommended by the House Ways and Means Committee, the budget would have actually cut arts spending — by 13 percent, from $11.1 million to $9.6 million.
Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble music professionals, today announced the appointment of Richard Kessler as the new chair of its board of directors, effective July 1, 2014. Before joining the Board in 2013, Mr. Kessler facilitated CMA’s “National Conversations,” a research project involving musicians and presenters across the country to better understand how their lives had changed since the Great Recession began in 2008.
Poetry is no longer something we curl up to with a cup of tea. Instead, we take it in through earbuds. And America has never loved it more. One hears a certain baleful cry regularly in writerly circles that Americans don’t care about poetry anymore. A widely read Atlantic piece by Dana Gioia in 1992 was a signature statement.
The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, a £7 million fund created to support collaboration between organizations supported by the Arts Council England along with the organizations Nesta and Arts & Humanities Research Council have begun a new publication, Native: Magazine of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. Though digital is the word here, there is a limited print edition that you can request (presumably on a per-issue basis). Both describe the projects being funded currently by the publisher as well as features profiling people and organizations, including a piece about Diane Ragsdale.
From Keith Schneider, for The New York Times:
NASAA is pleased to announce the release of the State Arts Agency Fiscal Year 2015 Legislative Appropriations Preview report. This document summarizes how state arts agencies fared during this year's budget deliberations and includes information on the appropriations each state arts agency expects to receive for FY2015.