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The Digest of Arts, Culture and Ideas
Updated: 7 min 55 sec ago

A Whole New Steppenwolf (Leadership Changes On All Fronts)

October 14, 2014 - 7:44pm

“Generational changes aren’t new to cultural institutions, but the changes at Steppenwolf are notable because they are happening on all fronts at the same time — on the business and artistic sides as well as in the boardroom.”

Why Does “Klinghoffer” Opera Still Roil Protests?

October 14, 2014 - 3:17pm

A look at the Met’s website suggested that ticket sales for “Klinghoffer” have been sluggish, but it is unclear what role the protests have played. The company’s latest marketing campaign seeks to turn the controversy to its advantage. Its tagline runs: “See it. Then decide.”

Battle Of The Unlikely Ukelele Bands

October 14, 2014 - 3:11pm

“To the anger of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a group established in 1985 which moved from strumming in folk clubs to packing out the Royal Albert Hall with unlikely cover versions of songs such as Wuthering Heights and Smells Like Teen Spirit, the similarly named UK Ukulele Orchestra will perform its first UK show at Lincoln’s Theatre Royal on Wednesday.”

NY City Ballet Star Retiring

October 14, 2014 - 2:51pm

“After 30 years with City Ballet, almost to the day, Wendy Whelan dances her final performance Saturday, one that’s sure to be marked by tears, hugs, and countless bouquets. Whelan is such a popular figure with NYCB audiences that the show sold out within minutes.”

Ontario’s Shaw Festival To Build Two New Theatres

October 14, 2014 - 2:48pm

“The board of governors of Shaw have decided to purchase the Anchorage Motel property overlooking the Niagara River and plan to build two new venues to replace the existing Court House and Royal George theatres, the Star has learned.”

Are You A Multi-Tasker? Oh, Oh…

October 14, 2014 - 2:39pm

Study: “They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.”

Why “I Don’t Care About Today’s Art” Is Such A Stupid Thing To Say

October 14, 2014 - 2:37pm

“I am over hearing from people within jogging distance of the Chelsea galleries that the whole of contemporary art is over; that art is no longer emotionally or intellectually fulfilling; that art is too expensive even for millionaires. I’m done reading articles titled ‘Why Does So Much New Abstraction Look the Same?,’ written by people who haven’t figured out that Manhattan has bridges and tunnels and a subway.”

How Many Friends Can You Really Have? (And What Do They Mean To You?)

October 14, 2014 - 1:58pm

“With social media, we can easily keep up with the lives and interests of far more than a hundred and fifty people. But without investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones.”

When You’re A Giant Book Retailer, Censorship Can Take Many Forms

October 14, 2014 - 12:50pm

“Plunging sales by Hachette writers on Amazon indicate that the retailer’s tactics have discouraged potential customers. A delay in shipping may not be censorship. But what if the book is hard or even impossible to find on Amazon, which sells nearly half the books in America?”

Why Marvel Is Getting Into Young Adult Fiction (It’s Where The Readers Are)

October 14, 2014 - 11:14am

“The bottom line is this: women and girls are reading more books than men and boys, and if statistics hold true, women are reading more YA novels than men. Marvel, of course, has a problem with growing its female readership. The company’s new YA novel might be the best possible solution.”

Free Versus Anti-Free – Artists Should Get Paid. (And Yet…)

October 14, 2014 - 11:02am

“If the conversation is reduced to money alone, then all writing is reduced to content, all artists to content producers, and part of our utopia is lost. One did not become a writer in order to starve, but nor did one become a writer in order to get rich. So why did one become a writer?”

Ulster Orchestra Could “Cease To Exist” By Next Month, Warns Lawmaker

October 14, 2014 - 4:08am

A member of Northern Ireland’s Legislative Assembly has said that, in just a few more weeks, the orchestra “will not have enough income to meet their outgoings. It’s a very bleak picture for them.” The province’s arts minister acknowledged that the ensemble’s finances have gone “from scary to scarier”.

A First For ArtPrize: Audience And Jury Choose The Same Winner

October 14, 2014 - 4:07am

Anila Quayyum Agha’s light installation Intersections won the vote for the $200,000 Public Grand Prize outright and split the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize with Sonya Clark’s Hair Craft Project.

It’s Totally Unfair That Americans Are Included In The Booker Prize, Says Australian Author Who’s Already Won It Twice (And Lives In New York)

October 14, 2014 - 4:06am

Peter Carey: “I find it unimaginable that the Pulitzer or the National Book award people in the United States would ever open their prizes to Brits and Australians. They wouldn’t. … The old Booker had a particular cultural flavour. … There was and there is a real Commonwealth culture. It’s different. America doesn’t really feel to be a part of that.”

Is Google Making Us All Dumber? The Neuroscience Of Search Engines

October 14, 2014 - 4:05am

“Google is known as a search engine, yet there is barely any searching involved anymore. The gap between a question crystallizing in your mind and an answer appearing at the top of your screen is shrinking all the time. As a consequence, our ability to ask questions is atrophying.” Says Google’s head of search, “The more accurate the machine gets, the lazier the questions become.”

Content And Its Discontents: The Future Of Netflix

October 14, 2014 - 4:04am

“If you really look at Netflix, it’s a pay-TV company. People still think of Netflix as a video store, because that’s their history. But the way a pay-TV service works is that people subscribe and pay a monthly fee for a service that aggregates content and offers original content of its own. That’s exactly what Netflix does.”

How A Milkman From A Russian Shtetl Became An American Icon

October 14, 2014 - 4:03am

Studio 360 considers the unlikely success of Fiddler on the Roof. (audio)

John Cleese Quits Movies, Says He’s “Looking Forward” to Death

October 14, 2014 - 4:01am

“I have only got five or six years left and I will be gone – I won’t have to worry about ISIS or Ebola. I am looking forward to it. … Most of the best people are dead – I will be in excellent company having a wonderful time.”

Ángel Corella Brings A New Atmosphere To Pennsylvania Ballet

October 14, 2014 - 4:00am

“‘Keep your elbows lifted, even when your arms are crossed over your chest – as though you’re in a bar, having a drink.’ So said the Pennsylvania Ballet’s new artistic director as he taught a recent company class in preparation for the dancers’ debut under his leadership this week. His unexpected suggestion, whimsical but clear, is typical of his style. It achieved the intended result.”