BMG Says It May Have Given Black Recording Artists Unfair Contracts

And BMG doesn’t mean “in historical times,” but since 2008. “Although it did not identify the labels in question, BMG said black musicians’ royalties were up to 3.4% lower than those of non-black artists.” The inquiry at BMG will continue. – BBC
Tags: Art, Music, Bmg, 12.18.20

Stanley Cowell, Versatile And Innovative Jazz Pianist, 79

Cowell “had one foot firmly in the jazz tradition and another in the avant-garde. He often performed standards and jazz classics, but in new and unexpected ways.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, People, Cowell, Stanley Cowell, 12.20.20

The Head Of Americans For The Arts Steps Aside After Many, Many Workplace Complaints

The powerful arts advocacy nonprofit had many successes – but workplace culture wasn’t one of them. “The move comes after a growing chorus of criticism, from current and former AFTA employees and advisory council members, who said that the organization was failing its mission with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion. There were also complaints of sexual harassment, and of a management culture that was built on intimidation instead of transparency.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Issues, Afta, 12.18.20

There’s A What In This Year’s Vatican Nativity Scene?

That’s right, an astronaut. Italian and other Catholic media have not been kind. But, says a ceramics teacher from Castelli, Abruzzo, where the original crèche figures were made: “It is rich in symbols and signifiers that offer a non-traditional reading of the Nativity scene.” – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, Visual, 12.17.20, Castelli Abruzzo

The Creative Team Of ‘Ma Rainey’ Used Horsehair To Reflect Actual Hairstyles Of The 1920s

Honestly, the head of the hair department deserves several medals. “In my mind, it was close to human hair, and when I got that box, it was nothing like human hair at all. They tie thread from the top to the bottom of the tail, and they chop it off and mail it to you. And you know where that tail lies, there was manure and lice eggs. Nothing was alive and active, but it was crusty, wiry and coarse. … I ended up building that wig, strand by strand. And every time I pulled those little hairs thro...
Tags: Art, Media, 12.19.20, Creative Team Of ` Ma Rainey

Yes, It Absolutely Is A Big Deal To Have Queer Christmas Movies

Why would anyone want to join that schlocky tradition? Well, ask screenwriter Michael Varrati. “‘Movie Christmas is a lot different than real Christmas,’ Varrati said. ‘Not everybody has a great relationship with their family or has pristine memories of yesteryear.’ In holiday movies, he added, queer people ‘get to live in the Christmas they always wanted or didn’t get to have.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, Michael Varrati, 12.18.20, Varrati

The Art Of This Summer’s Protest Movements

How to preserve the murals, protest slogans, and art painted mostly on plywood this summer? At Minneapolis’ George Floyd Square, a caretaker says, “Each piece holds within itself the energy of the uprising, of the person who wrote that letter or who drew that painting or who crafts that sculpture or picked out that rock or laid that t-shirt or their helmet or that plant or that flower. … So every piece is sacred!” – NPR
Tags: Art, Visual, 12.20.20, Minneapolis George Floyd Square

Is Making Movies Worth It Right Now?

That’s really what Tom Cruise’s rant was about, and it’s also about the concentration of power during the pandemic, while studios are paying millions to try to keep their productions afloat: “In the short term, this means more projects in the pipeline to keep Tinseltown busy. In the long term, though, the shift only widens Hollywood’s power imbalance, creating an industry dependent on the wealthiest studios and celebrities.” – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Tom Cruise, Issues, Tinseltown, 12.18.20

Another Delay For The Film Academy’s Museum

Announced in 2012, supposed to open in 2017, and … what now? “Setbacks have included sparring architects, the discovery of mastodon fossils by excavation crews, a budget that ballooned by roughly 90 percent, the ouster of its founding director and now, for the second time, the coronavirus pandemic.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, Film Academy, 12.18.20

Wood’s A Great Building Material, Except For That Little Thing Called A Legacy

Take Stonehenge, for example. “Stonehenge too might once have been largely a wooden structure. The central bluestones and the rings of sarsen stones that surround them are surrounded in turn by several rings of postholes, just as at Woodhenge. The stones could therefore originally have been covered or surrounded by a huge ring-shaped wooden building. The archaeological blogger Geoff Carter has even suggested that the sarsen stones themselves and their lintels could have acted as load-bearing st...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Geoff Carter, 12.18.20

How The Ailey Company Is Dealing With The Pandemic

Considering that it’s not an easy time for dance companies, the Times says, the Ailey is making wonderful choices for its current and future audiences. “Since Dec. 2, the company has been releasing themed programs mixing archival and newly filmed performance excerpts with taped conversations about the dances and the moment.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Times, Ailey, 12.18.20

As Britain Goes Under A New Lockdown, Insurance Extended For Actors And Crew Members

And independent cinemas are getting support as well, or at least some support. Actors are into it. Gemma Arterton, perhaps also over the streaming discussions: ““We have to support our local cinemas to make sure those special moments can be experienced by generations of children and adults alike, for years to come. Watching a film at home just isn’t the same.” – Variety
Tags: Art, Britain, Gemma Arterton, Issues, 12.19.20

It Sure Got Easier To Binge-Watch Shows This Year

A show with 121 episodes? Sure. What’s going to interrupt you – your baking plans? In addition, of course, there’s the comfort-watch of familiar characters like the cast of Friends or Living Single. Then there’s the pleasant idea of things changing. “Character-driven shows about crime soon became my balm for the unrelenting sameness of daily life. These worlds follow a consistent storytelling logic. The plot changes as time moves along, and time—unlike in real life—always moves along.” – The At...
Tags: Art, Media, 12.17.20

Seattle Theatre Leaders Help The Arts World Understand How To Go Far Beyond Lip Service To Anti-Racist Changes

Theatre leaders met in May to hash out a response to the Black Lives Matter protests and the extrajudicial killings of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people. “They were beginning a process to overhaul the entire ecology of their field, at every level — casting, staffing, fundraising, boards, tech crews, audiences, everything — and inject anti-racism into its DNA. … If this broad coalition of theater makers effectively transforms one part of the arts world in one city, it might just set a ...
Tags: Art, Theatre, America, Seattle, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, 12.19.20

Some Writers Spend Their Time On Christmas Novels All Year Long

Not so easy this year. “‘It’s the least festive I’ve ever felt in my life,’ Ashley says, of writing A Surprise Christmas Wedding amid the gloom of 2020. ‘Every word was a struggle.'” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Ashley, 12.17.20

Why Netflix’s ‘Ma Rainey’ Ends With A Scene That’s Not In The Play

Director George C. Wolfe says of the final scene, “It’s a very slippery little slope: When does sharing become cultural appropriation become theft?” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Netflix, Ma Rainey, George C Wolfe, 12.18.20

Philadelphia Orchestra’s New Principal Guest Conductor Says It’s A Good Time For Women On The Podium

Nathalie Stultzmann: “It’s very clear that things have improved. … What is incredibly difficult still is for a woman to get a position. We see great orchestras always having women coming for a week to guest conduct. It’s very important to see in the next years more women in the crucial positions of music director and principal guest conductor at the head of important orchestras.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
Tags: Art, Music, Philadelphia Orchestra, 12.19.20, Nathalie Stultzmann

Jeremy Bulloch obituary

Stage and screen actor who played the bounty hunter Boba Fett in the Star Wars filmsJeremy Bulloch, who has died aged 75, was a busy character actor who staked a claim for cinematic immortality by playing the inscrutable Boba Fett in the Star Wars films. A masked, enigmatic bounty hunter with a jet pack and distinctive costume design, Boba Fett debuted in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), capturing and carbon-freezing Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in order to convey him to the slug-like paymaster Jabba...
Tags: Star Wars, Television, Film, Theatre, Culture, Stage, Soap opera, Boba Fett, Colton, Jason Wingreen, Bulloch, Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan, Han Solo Harrison Ford

The Path From Broadway To Your TV Screen Is, While Now Familiar, Still Bumpy

The good: “Musicals — and, in a way, plays too — are now being filmed because of their music, not in spite of it.”The less good: “They put us onstage with the story and give us no say.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Broadway, 12.18.20

The Berlin Film Festival Is Now Delayed

And there are pretty clear indications that Cannes and Venice may – and probably should – follow suit. “‘There is a great desire to meet face to face,’ Mariette Rissenbeek, the festival’s executive director, said in a statement, but ‘the current situation does not allow a physical festival in February.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, Venice, Cannes, Mariette Rissenbeek, 12.18.20

Many TV Shows Shut Down Because Of Positive Tests – Many Of Them False Positives

Several shows got what might be called early Christmas holidays this week, with a side of positive coronavirus test terror spicing up those free days. – Vulture
Tags: Art, Media, 12.18.20

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