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The Digest of Arts, Culture and Ideas
Updated: 10 min ago

Rich People Want Us To Work For Free: “Internship” Has Gone Too Far

October 23, 2014 - 3:59am

“I recently got asked by an administrator at the Library of Congress to do unpaid labor for its website. … I was dumbfounded to get hit up by a federal agency with an annual budget of $750 million. Yet clearly my experience was not a random event.” Gioia proposes “five simple rules of etiquette for this ugly new beggar-thy-neighbor economy:”

People Are Faking Disabilities To Get Free Theatre Tickets

October 23, 2014 - 3:58am

“Belfast’s Grand Opera House is to review an access scheme for disabled customers, following evidence that it is being abused by people pretending to have disabilities.”

The Wrong Opera At The Wrong Time? The “Klinghoffer” Controversy Isn’t Really About Klinghoffer

October 23, 2014 - 3:58am

“Clearly, last summer’s war in Gaza and the rise of brutal ISIS in Iraq and Syria ambushed the Met production, in the planning for years. … The larger picture, though, shows what happens when an artistic vocabulary is scrutinized out of context by hostile parties.”

Audience Engagement: The Traps We Fall Into

October 23, 2014 - 3:49am

James McQuaid looks at four assumptions arts organizations tend to make that, all too often, simply don’t hold up.

Audience Engagement: How To Avoid The Traps

October 23, 2014 - 3:48am

James McQuaid offers some strategies for shaking off the faulty assumptions arts organizations tend to make, and suggests some organizations we could learn from.

“Saturday Night Live” Just Ain’t What It Used To Be – Never Was, Not Even In 1975

October 23, 2014 - 3:37am

“Matters of time have never been simple for fans, enemies, and frenemies of S.N.L. It is one of the few TV programs that people care about long after they’ve stopped watching it. People still talk about John Belushi as though it’d all been crap since then. Younger people do that with Dana Carvey or Will Ferrell.”

What Ellen Burstyn Survived

October 23, 2014 - 3:30am

“When [she] was 18, she got on a Greyhound bus going from Detroit to Dallas. She had 50 cents in her pocket … She’d already gotten pregnant and had an illegal abortion. By her mid-20s, determined not to just get by on her looks, she left Hollywood to study acting with Lee Strasberg. In her mid-40s, after leaving an abusive marriage, she starred as a newly single mom in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. The role was based in part on her own life, and it won her an Oscar.” (audio podcast; includes transcript)

It’s Time To Retire The Idea Of “Genius”

October 23, 2014 - 3:06am

“From the ‘genius bar’ at the local Apple Store to bestselling books that trumpet ‘the genius in all of us,’ geniuses seem to abound. But if we consider the idea of ‘genius’ as it has evolved across history, it starts to look like we don’t really need geniuses as we once did. … The increasing banality of genius in the contemporary world has begun to dissolve it as a useful category.”

Neanderthals Weren’t Actually So “Neanderthal”

October 23, 2014 - 3:00am

The idea of homo sapiens‘ predecessors having been “savage” and “primitive”, in contrast to our own intelligence and ingenuity, has been fundamental to our species’s modern idea of itself. “[Yet] Neanderthals created complex tools, buried their dead, had an organized use of space, probably cared for the infirm, and perhaps even conversed vocally.”

Can There Be Such A Thing As A Bad Children’s Book? (Hey, It’s Getting Kids To Read, Right?)

October 23, 2014 - 2:37am

Rebecca Mead: “[The] view that any book that is avidly embraced can serve as a gateway to an enduring love of reading is surely true … But the metaphor of the gateway should prompt caution, too, since one can go through a gate in two directions.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 10.22.14

October 23, 2014 - 1:43am

Associate Professor, or Associate Professor of the Practice, of Arts Administration

October 22, 2014 - 4:28pm

Boston University Metropolitan College seeks a dynamic and creative faculty member to lead its nationally recognized graduate program in Arts Administration (, starting July 1, 2015.

Responsibilities: Direct the program, teach, develop curricula for the program’s graduate courses, serve on College committees, assume departmental and college administrative responsibilities, and pursue scholarly activities. This is a full-time non-tenure track appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Associate Professor of the Practice, with a 2-5 years renewable contract.

This position offers significant opportunities for interdisciplinary, online, and collaborative scholarly work. These include research and curriculum development within the Metropolitan College, Boston University as a whole, and the greater Boston area.

The successful candidate will have expertise and an advanced degree(s) in arts.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Application: Applicants should submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae, preferably by email. The committee will review applications as they are submitted, with the intention to complete the search by February 1, 2015.

Please send applications via email to:
Ruth Ciolfi, Executive Secretary to the Dean
Boston University Metropolitan College
755 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 103
Boston, MA 02215

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Yes To The Bessies: This Year’s NY Dance Awards

October 22, 2014 - 12:06pm

The ceremony, produced with Dance/NYC, was a lot like last year’s: haphazard, fun and occasionally mystifying.

Study: Playing Lots Of Chess Will Shrink Your Brain

October 22, 2014 - 11:58am

“The idea that localised brain shrinkage isn’t necessarily bad is brought home wonderfully by a new brain scanning study of elite chess players.”

This Week In Controversial Opera: Wikileaks

October 22, 2014 - 11:54am

“Directed by Daniel Fish, “The Source” seeks to create a nuanced portrait of Pfc. Manning while engaging with troves of military documents. The work’s text comes from primary-source material: Manning’s chat logs and the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs that were eventually published by WikiLeaks.”

As Taboos And Norms Fade, What Happens To Fictional Tension?

October 22, 2014 - 11:40am

“Readers have become so canny about the way fiction works, so much has been written about it, that any intense work about sexuality, say, or race relations, will be understood willy-nilly as the writer’s reconstituting his or her personal involvement with the matter.”

Roundup Of “Klinghoffer” Reviews

October 22, 2014 - 11:31am

Links to reviews of fourteen major critics who reviewed the Metropolitan Opera production of “The Death of Klinghoffer” this week.

How Museums Have Become Diplomatic Tools

October 22, 2014 - 11:10am

“Not long ago, our top national art collections were focused primarily on the custodianship of objects in their care, on scholarship and on exhibitions. Today, our museums are also politically engaged, globally connected and incredibly skilled in the arts of international cultural diplomacy, their reach sometimes extending beyond that of governments.”

Big Jump In TV Production In LA As Movie Production Shrinks

October 22, 2014 - 11:05am

“Even as local feature film production continued to fall, shoots for television programs jumped 31% in the third quarter compared to the same time a year ago, generating 5,363 production days, according to newly-released figures from FilmL.A. Inc.”

Creator Of PBS’ Art21 Dies

October 22, 2014 - 11:03am

“Susan Sollins, the co-founder of Independent Curators International (ICI) and founder and executive director of Art21 — the non-profit organization that produces an artist documentary series with PBS — passed away on October 13 of unknown causes.”