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Updated: 10 min 46 sec ago

Philadelphia’s Largest Professional Chorus To Disband

December 16, 2014 - 2:30am

“The Philadelphia Singers’ board voted to shut down after learning in November that the William Penn Foundation had turned down a request for a three-year grant for general support; after its executive director resigned; and in view of $125,000 in debt, said Michael Martin Mills, board vice president.”

Indianapolis Museum Of Art To Drop Free Admission

December 16, 2014 - 2:25am

“The Indianapolis Museum of Art, which hasn’t charged an admission fee since 2007, will begin charging adults $18 for entry to the museum and gardens starting in April … The museum briefly imposed a $7 adult admission fee in 2006, but dropped the policy a year later” after attendance fell.

Detroit Symphony Continues March Toward Stability

December 16, 2014 - 2:15am

Officials confirmed that, following some very difficult years and the aftermath of the bitter 2010-11 strike, the DSO has posted the second balanced budget in a row and renewed contracts with music director Leonard Slatkin and president Anne Parsons through 2016-17.

Richard Linklater On The Hardest Scene To Write In His 12-Year Epic “Boyhood”

December 16, 2014 - 2:05am

“If there was one scene that felt like it was looming over all those years, it was the good-bye scene. I knew that the last shot of the movie would be Mason at college meeting someone – I had that in my mind for ten years, and I was looking forward to that – but I knew that the scene before it had to be the emotional break of the movie, when son parted from mom. It’s where Boyhood kind of ends emotionally, although spiritually, it continues.”

Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center Receives Largest-Ever Gift, $38 Million

December 16, 2014 - 1:55am

The grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation includes $25 million for the endowment (pledged as matching funds) and $13 million for capital improvements, in particular at the Alliance Theatre. (The Woodruff also includes the Atlanta Symphony, which locked out its musicians for the first nine weeks of this season, and the High Museum of Art .)

Irene Dalis, 89, Star Mezzo-Soprano And Opera Company Founder

December 16, 2014 - 1:45am

After a two-decade-plus career as one of her generation’s leading dramatic mezzos, Dalis returned to her hometown of San Jose, where she founded Opera San José in 1984 and led it to become a widely-admired regional company with its own theater.

Curtis Institute Of Music Gets $11.5M Gift From Board Chair

December 16, 2014 - 1:35am

“Baroness Nina von Maltzahn is making a $10 million gift to the endowment to establish the Nina von Maltzahn President’s Chair, a post currently held by Roberto Díaz, plus $1.5 million to underwrite the Curtis on Tour program during the next three years.”

Social Science Shows Us How To Give Less-Bad Gifts

December 16, 2014 - 1:25am

“Unfortunately, much of the research shows that all the best gift-giving intentions in the world do not necessarily lead to good gifts. Here’s a brief look at some recently published studies that give us some hints on how to give less-terrible presents this holiday season, or any other time of the year, really.”

Pow! Right In The Canvas! This Video Game Lets You Punch A Monet

December 16, 2014 - 1:15am

“Last week, IRL Monet-puncher Andrew Shannon was sentenced to six years in prison for his actions in 2012 (don’t worry, it has since been restored). As you take your anger out on the Impressionist masterpiece in the digital version, you can see the dollars’ worth of damage add up at the top of the screen – without the repercussions.”

The New Louvre Will Still Be Monumental, But It Won’t Be As Scary

December 15, 2014 - 12:45pm

Among the changes: “Revamping the museum’s basic storytelling tools: almost 40,000 banners, wall text, signs and symbols that now explain its treasures in French. The plan is to make them more readable and concise, in English and Spanish for the vast majority of visitors searching for cloakrooms or the Mona Lisa in the sprawl of a museum that dates to 1190, when it was a fortress for King Philippe II.”

The Pressure Mounts For Museums To Return ‘Stolen’ Objects

December 15, 2014 - 12:30pm

“Dubious purchases had been made for years by Western museums, but the practice is now widely considered to be immoral. The prevailing wisdom today is that illegal excavations and trade in archeological objects is destroying our world cultural heritage.”

Don’t Blame The Labels – The Internet Killed The Music Biz (And Perhaps Music Itself)

December 15, 2014 - 12:00pm

“I miss those suits at the major labels calling the shots and deciding what was worthy of release. The suits made hits and created stars because they knew something. The suits had been around the block and back, having experienced, firsthand, everyone.”

How The Humanities Can Save The World

December 15, 2014 - 11:30am

“There is tremendous suspicion — at least, in American society — that what makes a text a work of art is nothing more than some ideological prejudice: Eurocentrism, say, or political correctness. A related worry is that any provisional canon — the very notion that certain works call for heightened attention and a special place in the practice of education — is fundamentally anti-democratic or somehow elitist.”

The Mystery Around This Art Deco Theatre In Sydney Deepens As Possible Owners Float A Plan To Save It

December 15, 2014 - 11:15am

“Escalating hostilities between the pair have brought legal challenges, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearings and even a restraining order that prevents the landlord from entering his own building. … Now, though, peace may have broken out.”

If Today’s Languages Want To Survive, They’d Better Look To Egypt

December 15, 2014 - 11:00am

“Whatever precautions we take against cultural annihilation, one intractable problem remains. There is a gorgeously convoluted name for those words that, in a given corpus, appear only once: hapax legomena.”

Jewish Songwriters Penned Many Beloved Christmas Songs – Why Weren’t They Concentrating On Jewish Holidays?

December 15, 2014 - 10:45am

“Jewish songwriters’ own successful assimilation and gratitude to America pervades their midcentury Christmas and other songs, and appealed to a country that wanted to feel brave and united as it fought World War II.”

The Prime Minister Of Canada Is Still Atoning For A Remark About The Arts From 2008

December 15, 2014 - 10:30am

“His attempt to brand the arts as an elite concern played particularly badly in Quebec; some analysts believe the quote cost him a majority in that election. Many outside Quebec were equally unimpressed: Surely ordinary Canadians, with their garage bands and their dance lessons, are as appreciative of the arts as any elite.”

Grant Saves Dance/UP – For A Time

December 15, 2014 - 10:00am

“The William Penn Foundation has decided to provide short-term funding for Dance USA/Philadelphia, the service organization whose grant application was unexpectedly denied by the foundation last month after many years of support.”

How A Chicago-Based Film Producer Snagged A Possible Oscar-Winner This Year

December 15, 2014 - 9:45am

“The early Variety review, Arentz says, ‘actually scared off all of our competitors. There was no bidding to speak of. We found out later there was one competing offer, and it was ridiculously low.'”