Lord Cultural Resources logo Cultural News Feb 10-16, 2012

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Making Way for a Dream in the Nation’s Capital

Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, 22 February 2012


WASHINGTON, DC — "About 600 people, including the country’s first black president, gathered on the National Mall on Wednesday morning for a moment nearly a century in the making: the groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. "It is real. It is real," Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, a hero of the civil rights movement, said of this latest Smithsonian museum, which is being built next to the Washington Monument and near the site of former slave pens. A national African-American museum was first proposed by black Civil War veterans nearly 100 years ago, and Mr. Lewis began sponsoring bills to make that dream a reality in 1987, soon after he was elected to Congress. President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law in 2003, after it won support from conservative Republicans like Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, then a senator, who was among those attending on Wednesday. All the speakers, including President Obama and Lonnie G. Bunch III, the museum’s director, referred to the nation’s ugly history of slavery and racism, the triumphant American spirit and the notion that the museum was not only about black history, but also American history. "Generations will remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational, but always central role African-Americans have played in the life of our country," President Obama said." [see also Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture rising on National Mall, Recent News, artdaily.org, 23 February 2012; and Phil Freelon Reflects on Influences for New Museum for African American History and Culture, by J. Michael Welton (The Washington Post), Architectural Record, 02/19/2012]


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World-renowned exhibit specialists team up on Heritage Center expansion

Kelly Hagen, Great Plains Examiner, February 23, 2012


BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA - "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That mantra probably lies at the heart of the current $51.7 million expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center, which will triple the size of the current site that had, quite plainly, run out of room to tell our state’s entire history. "We’re missing the last seven decades, 70 years, of North Dakota history in our current gallery because we’re out of space," said Claudia Berg, expansion coordinator for the State Historical Society. "We’re missing everything basically from World War I forward." That gap in history will be closed by a massive expansion of the Heritage Center that is underway. The work is now just a little over 25 percent finished, with the expected completion scheduled to take place on the 125th anniversary of North Dakota’s statehood, Nov. 2, 2014. The center already attracts approximately 100,000 visitors per year. But the expansion will make it a state-of-the-art complex with 33,093 square feet of exhibit space that will include new, interactive content that will attract many more visitors to the state’s most prominent visual access point to its long history. That exhibit space is being designed by a collection of three of the world’s pre-eminent exhibit firms, joined together under the title of the Great Plains Exhibit Development Joint Venture. Lord Cultural Resources, Taylor Studios and Xibitz, Inc. have collaborated before on projects such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of Austin, Texas, the Army Museum of Singapore and the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba. And now their attention has been turned to North Dakota, after inking a contract with the Historical Society on Nov. 24. "The exhibit company that we hired has worldwide experience," Berg said. "So we’ve hired the best to help and assist us with this."


Chicago wraps up the first set of meetings to map out the 2012 cultural plan

Alison Cuddy, WBEZ91.5, 22 February 2012


CHICAGO, IL - "If you can mandate these meetings, mandate some money!" That was one of many recommendations greeted with applause and hollers at a local meeting last night, held at the National Museum of Mexican Fine Art in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. The meeting was convened by the City's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) - it was the last of four town halls that have served to kick off the department's 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. After introductory remarks from DCASE commissioner Michelle Boone and Orit Sarfaty, a consultant at Lord Cultural Resources (the Toronto-based firm hired by the City to help with the plan), it was the public's turn to get cracking. Armed with notepads and pens, people broke into nine groups numbering about twelve to over 25 in size. They listed their experiences and expectations of culture in Chicago, and provided advice on how to get from "here to there" (there being the year 2030, a somewhat loose target date suggested by DCASE)." [the article is accompanied by several audio clips] 


African-American museum in North Brentwood hopes to build identity, overcome tragedies

Major fundraising campaign aims to have site ready for 2016 debut

Jeffrey K. Lyles, Gazette.net, 21 February 2012


NORTH BRENTWOOD, MD - "Watching too many television reports and reading numerous newspaper stories on the latest round of Prince George’s County homicides — many involving African-American youth — during the 1990s had taken its toll on town officials of North Brentwood, the first African-American municipality in the county, said former mayor Lillian K. Beverly.  "Frankly I was tired. We were tired of hearing about the murders of our young people and the police arresting our children," said Beverly, who served as mayor from 1995 to 2007. "It’s very difficult to move ahead when you have an identification problem." One of the main stumbling blocks for youth was that they had no sense of perspective of their past and the struggles of their ancestors, Beverly said, so officials began working toward sharing that history with the creation of a museum that would highlight the contributions of African-Americans in North Brentwood and the county in general. Sixteen years after the initial planning began in 1996, town officials are preparing to launch a massive fundraising campaign to help pay for the $20 million Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center at North Brentwood, which they hope to establish as a new county destination spot. The expected opening is in 2016. From 2003 to 2009, the group raised nearly $9 million in grants from the federal government, county redevelopment authority and state board of public works that was used to acquire the property, hire staff, purchase/renovate administrative buildings and rent a portion of Brentwood’s Gateway Arts Center to create Gallery 110, a mini exhibit space to showcase artists and galleries."


Jorn Weisbrodt talks Luminato

Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star, 21 February 2012


TORONTO, ON - "Jorn Weisbrodt, the newly appointed artistic director of Luminato, will appear with me on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Toronto Public Reference Library as part of the “Star Talks” series. To prime the pump, I asked him a few questions about his opinion of Toronto, his recent years of work as producer for avant-garde director Robert Wilson, and his hopes and dreams for Luminato.

Q. What was your first impression of Toronto, both as a city and as an artistic capital?

A. There are two ways of ideally approaching Toronto. One is to land at the (Billy Bishop Toronto) City Airport on a Porter Airlines plane and to see the incredible vastness of Lake Ontario beneath and the impressive skyline shooting up from the ground. My most wonderful experience I had leaving Toronto at that terminal after the opening weekend of Luminato 2011 where a tall ship was passing by slowly and majestically by the terminal and a sky blue Lamborghini parked by the lake. It sort of encompassed the total dimension of possibilities that this city bears. It is like a plant that is about to break into the most beautiful flower." [see Star Talks: Jorn Weisbrodt for more information about the Toronto Reference Library event]


Inauguration reportée pour les Arts de l’Islam au Louvre

Connaissance des Arts, 20 Février 2012


PARIS, FRANCE – "Le département des Arts de l’Islam voit son inauguration, initialement prévue au début de cet été, reportée au mois de septembre. Bien que, dans la cour Visconti, le voile de verre devrait être achevé dans quelques semaines, l'ouverture au public du département des arts de l'Islam a été décalée. D'après Le Figaro, l'élection présidentielle serait à l'origine de ce report. Henri Loyrette souhaiterait, en effet, permettre au président de la République d'assister à l'inauguration du nouveau bâtiment."


Smithsonian launches new website for teaching African American Civil Rights through American art

Recent News, artdaily.org, 19 February 2012


WASHINGTON, DC - "Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art at the Smithsonian is a new Web-based project developed jointly by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. It offers teachers an introduction to the civil rights movement through the unique lens of the Smithsonian’s collections. Drawing connections between art and history, Oh Freedom! gives educators tools to help students interpret the long struggle for civil rights. Oh Freedom! broadens the definition of the civil rights movement beyond the 1950s and 1960s, presenting it as a longer and more complex quest for freedom, justice and equality throughout the course of the 20th century and into the present. "


New Museums to Shine a Spotlight on Civil Rights Era

Kim Severson, The New York Times, 19 February 2012


ATLANTA, GA — "Drive through any state in the Deep South and you will find a monument or a museum dedicated to civil rights. A visitor can peer into the motel room in Memphis where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was staying when he was shot or stand near the lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where four young men began a sit-in that helped end segregation. Other institutions are less dramatic, like the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Ga., where Jim Crow-era toilet fixtures are on display alongside folk art. But now, a second generation of bigger, bolder museums is about to emerge. Atlanta; Jackson, Miss.; and Charleston, S.C., all have projects in the works. Coupled with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which breaks ground in Washington this week, they represent nearly $750 million worth of plans. Collectively, they also signal an emerging era of scholarship and interest in the history of both civil rights and African-Americans that is to a younger generation what other major historical events were to their grandparents. “We’re at that stage where the civil rights movement is the new World War II,” said Doug Shipman, the chief executive officer for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a $100 million project that is to break ground in Atlanta this summer and open in 2014."


Fast track for slavery museum planned

Katherine Calos, Richmond Times Dispatch, 17 February 2012


RICHMOND, VA - "A slavery museum could be operational in two or three years in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom if supporters get behind the project, organizers said Saturday. Several dozen people, ranging from residents with a personal interest to big names in Richmond history and preservation circles, gathered at Franklin Military Academy for a meeting to invite public participation in the slavery museum project proposed by the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission. After a project overview, they broke into four groups to consider three questions: Is this a place you would bring your family? Is anything missing? Would you support it? Joy Bailey, a project consultant from Lord Cultural Resources, said the proposed United States National Slavery Museum project would be a living heritage complex" [see also Slavery Museum project underway in Richmond, Karen Graham, Richmond History Examiner, 19 February 2012]


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Städel Museum inaugurates underground building to house Contemporary art collection

Recent News, artdaily.org, 23 February 2012


FRANKFURT, GERMANY - "With the opening of the extension for the presentation of contemporary art, the Städel Museum has carried the largest expansion of its nearly two-hundred-year history– with regard to its architecture and its collection alike – to completion. In the autumn of 2009, in conjunction with important additions to the museum’s holdings, work commenced on the construction of an annex designed by the architectural firm schneider+schumacher of Frankfurt. Situated beneath the Städel garden, the new light-flooded halls provide some 3,000 square metres of additional exhibition space, thus doubling the area available for the presentation of the Städel’s holdings. Thanks to the completion of the annex, from now on visitors will be able to experience 700 years of Occidental art under one roof in presentations of equally high quality: the Old Masters, Modern Art and Contemporary Art. The grand opening will be celebrated with an Open House and major public festivities on 25 and 26 February from 10 am to 8 pm each day."


Crazy for culture

Zhang Zixuan, China Daily, Updated: 2012-02-23 07:58


GUANZHONG, CHINA - "A former billionaire has blown his entire fortune on saving old relics and houses, which he's turning into the country's largest private folk art museum. Zhang Zixuan reports. Residents of Shaanxi province's Guanzhong thought Wang Yongchao was crazy. The former billionaire has sold all his seven companies and spent all his money on old daily-use items and shabby houses. Some believe the things the 55-year-old has spent money on are not junk but rather are cultural relics. Hence, he stands to actually make more money. Indeed, the items are cultural relics, but the part about them turning Wang a profit hasn't turned out to be true. Wang has instead transformed the 33,600 items and more than 1,000 rooms of 40 courtyard homes into the country's largest private folk art museum."


Pour ses 25 ans, l'Institut du monde arabe fait sa révolution

Le Monde, 22 Février 2012


PARIS, FRANCE – "Avec l'inauguration de son musée repensé, dont la scénographie et le contenu ont été entièrement revus, l'Institut du monde arabe (IMA), à Paris, qui fête ses 25 ans, fait sa révolution. Jusque-là consacré à la présentation de l'art islamique, le musée considère désormais l'aire géographique des vingt-deux pays arabes cofondateurs de l'IMA et son histoire dans le temps."


Who can protect Bosnia-Hercegovina's cultural heritage?

Rebecca Kesby, BBC World Service, Sarajevo, 22 February 2012


BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA - "Some of the most important museums and cultural institutions in Bosnia-Hercegovina face imminent closure due to political wrangling over which government department should finance them. There are fears that ancient collections and artefacts - which survived the siege of Sarajevo - could be in jeopardy. The National Museum is one of the key institutions affected. [text omitted] The crisis in funding cultural institutions highlights the complex nature of modern Bosnian politics. The fact that there are 13 separate ministries of education shows how fragmented, and vast, the political structure is. Ethnic identity has become ever more important in politics since the end of the war, and many blame the Dayton peace accords for making that inevitable. Setting up a national ministry of culture has proved more controversial than establishing a defence ministry - and the central government still doesn't have one."


New home for Children’s Museum one step closer

David Giles, Global Saskatoon, Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:08 PM


SASKATOON, SK - "A new home for the Children’s Discovery Museum is one step closer to reality after the City of Saskatoon proposed a formal memorandum of understanding to move the museum to the Mendel building. The MOU will now allow the children’s museum to complete a detailed business plan which would need to be submitted to council by the end of June." [see also Children's museum may move to Mendel, CBC News, Posted: Feb 22, 2012 7:14 PM CST, Last Updated: Feb 22, 2012 9:57 PM CST]


Don’t believe the hype: more adults and children are visiting Britain’s museums

But it’s hard to predict how budget cuts will impact on attendance, especially in regional centres

Maurice Davies, The Art Newspaper, Web only, Published online: 22 February 2012


UNITED KINGDOM - "Recently published research found that 40% of British children aged five to 12 have never visited an art gallery. Claiming to have identified a “culture starved’ generation, the study also found, somewhat less dramatically, that 17% of children have never visited a museum with their parents. On closer reading, the research seems to be part of a public relations ploy to get parents to take their children to cultural venues in Britain’s second largest city [Birmingham]."


Les musées évoluent, sauf en France

Connaissance des Arts, 22 Février 2012


FRANCE – "Cet hiver, par le plus grand des hasards, j’ai visité le Neues Museum de Berlin et l’Ashmolean Museum d’Oxford. Par deux fois, l’approche muséale m’a semblé très originale, ouvrant les collections vers le monde, recentrant les oeuvres autour de l’humain et incitant le public à réfléchir à des préoccupations plus existentielles qu’artistiques. Un concept que l'on ne retrouve quasiment jamais dans les collections permanentes des musées français, même au musée du Quai Branly à Paris."


Hors-Série : Musée Jean Cocteau

Connaissance des Arts, 22 Février 2012


MENTON, FRANCE – "Grâce à l’exceptionnelle donation de Séverin Wunderman, le musée Jean Cocteau de Menton est la plus importante collection du monde en rapport avec l'écrivain. Le musée présente ainsi tableaux, dessins, objets d'art décoratif, photographies et quelque 450 oeuvres de grands maîtres de l'art moderne de l'entourage de Jean Cocteau : Picasso, Modigliani, De Chirico, Miro, Foujita"


Getty posts salary of its new museum director

Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2012 | 10:32 am


LOS ANGELES, CA - "When Timothy Potts joins the Getty in September as its new museum director, he also will join the narrow ranks of American museum directors who earn more than half a million dollars annually. According to a compensation disclosure dated Feb. 14 and published on the Getty website, his base salary is $690,000, and this year he also will receive a signing bonus of $150,000. [text omitted] Traditionally the biggest compensation packages in the field have gone to the heads of the biggest New York museums."


Build museum at Shaheed Minar by 1yr: HC

The Daily Times, 19 February 2012


DHAKA, BANGLADESH - "The High Court on Sunday gave the government one more year to set up a museum and a library at the western side of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. On August 25, 2010, the HC directed the authorities concerned to do it by January 31 this year to protect the dignity of the Shaheed Minar which was set up to maintain the spirit of the 1952 Language Movement and pay tributes to its heroes. While hearing a contempt of court rule, the court directed the secretaries to the cultural affairs and housing and public works ministries to set up the museum along with a library by January 31, 2013."


Rinaldi: The rare nonprofit problem of extra cash raises questions for the Clyfford Still Museum

Should the Clyfford Still Museum be free?

Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post, 19 February 2012


DENVER, CO - "When Denver's Clyfford Still Museum set up shop last year it wove together a frugal, hopeful plan to pay the bills: With a $10 admission charge, a little government money and a lot of generous support from donors, it could eke out enough to cover an annual budget of $2.5 million. Then something amazing happened. The museum figured out a way to sell four paintings from its collection of the revered abstract expressionist's work, and the art world went crazy. The auction, last November, netted the museum $99 million in profit. Stuffed in interest-bearing endowment accounts, the tiny Clyfford Still Museum is likely to earn around $3.9 million a year, even if it invests conservatively. That's a million-plus more than its base budget and comes on top of any other income the Still can muster. And while that answered one question about whether the unusual museum will make its bottom line year after year (um, yeah, it will), it raised a few about the two other parts of the original financial equation. Does it make sense to charge $10 a ticket?"


Museums targeted as Greece’s economy sours

Nicholas Paphitis (Associated Press), 19 February 2012


ATHENS, GREECE — "Two masked gunmen stormed into a small museum at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece on Friday, smashing display cases with hammers and making off with dozens of antiquities up to 3,200 years old, authorities said. It was the second major museum theft in as many months in debt-crippled Greece, and a culture ministry unionist said spending cuts have compromised security at hundreds of museums and ancient sites across the country. With unemployment at 21 percent and Greece’s economy in its fifth year of recession, crime, poverty and homeless rates also have been increasing. Friday’s robbers targeted the museum of the ancient Games at Olympia, a few hundred yards away from the world heritage site’s main museum, which contains priceless statues and bronze artifacts excavated at the holiest sanctuary of ancient Greece. Officials said 65 artifacts were stolen by the robbers, who tied up the only site guard, a 48-year-old woman." [see also Olympia theft worse than originally reported; 77 artifacts were stolen by armed robbers, Recent News, artdaily.org, 21 February 2012; In Crisis-Wracked Greece, A Crime Wave Grips the Nation's Museums and Cultural Sites, by Julia Halperin, BLOUIN ARTINFO, 19 February 2012; and, Important vol dans un musée d’Olympie, le ministre grec de la Culture offre sa démission, Le Journal des Arts, 17 Février 2012]


What the MFA owes Boston

Eric Weinberger (Perspective, The Boston Globe), boston.com, February 19, 2012


BOSTON, MA - "Today, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Malcolm Rogers, is pursuing a vigorous campaign against Boston’s push to sharply increase “voluntary” payments from nonprofits that don’t pay property taxes – a significant problem in a place so full of museums and universities that more than half of the property is untaxable. The MFA’s payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) were only $55,000 last year, but Boston has asked for $250,000 this year and about $1 million four years from now."


Biennial Tweaks Its Boundaries

Carol Vogel, The New York Times, 16 February 2012


NEW YORK, NY - "It has never happened before, and it will be another six years before the New York contemporary art planets align the same way again: Two sprawling contemporary surveys — the New Museum’s second-ever Triennial, which opened Wednesday, and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 76th Biennial, opening March 1 — will be on view simultaneously. Given that different curators inevitably have different views, and that these two institutions also have distinct missions, it’s not surprising that they have come up with very different takes on the art of the moment. The New Museum has cast its net internationally, while the Whitney, being dedicated to American art, will be a bit more homegrown, although the biennial will include artists born elsewhere who happen to live and work here. Only one artist — the Los Angeles-based Wu Tsang, who identifies himself as “transfeminine” and “transguy” and who mixes art and politics in performances, filmmaking and installations — will be included in both shows. The New Museum’s exhibition has been given a title, “The Ungovernables,” inspired by the 1976 student uprisings in South Africa, a term that, as its curator Eungie Joo put it, “could refer to an organized resistance,” and that suggests a show defined by political commentary from a group of artists who are mostly in their 20s and 30s. The curators behind this year’s biennial — Elisabeth Sussman, a longtime Whitney curator, and Jay Sanders, a former director of the Greene Naftali Gallery in Chelsea and an independent curator — said they purposely stayed away from any one theme, and while politics is obliquely addressed in some works, both see the contemporary art world today as too multifaceted to distill."


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OMA breaks ground in Taipei: Work begins on OMA's unusual design for Taipei Performing Arts Center in Taiwan

World Architecture News, 23 February 2012


TAIPEI, TAIWAN - "Rem Koolhaas’ extraordinary Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) has now begun onsite following a groundbreaking ceremony on 16th February, 2012, attended by President Ma Ying-jeou, Mayor Hau Lung-pin, and representatives from OMA and local design partner Artech Architects. The unusual form looks to challenge public preconceptions of generic theatre spaces, with a central cube clad in corrugated glass off which various performance volumes project. Once completed in 2015, the centre will include a 1,500-capacity theatre and two 800-seat theatres which can be combined into one immense performance space with a 60m-long stage for experimental art. "


First Look: David Schwarz Plays Vegas

With the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, David Schwarz brings an earnest take on a historical style to the capital of pastiche.

Fred A. Bernstein, Architectural Record, 22 February 2012


LAS VEGAS, NV - "These days, Las Vegas is best known for its themed casinos (Luxor, Paris, New York, New York) and their intentionally cartoonish buildings. Architects tend to be appalled. In that context, it’s easy to dismiss the Smith Center for the Performing Arts as another ersatz vision for Las Vegas. Unlike the sleekly modern concert halls of cities where everything is up to date, like Kansas City, it is an art deco confection—a throwback to the 1930s (think Rockefeller Center and Los Angeles’ Union Station). That means some critics will question its architectural bona fides. Just for the record, this is not a postmodernist building. Its architect, David Schwarz, a Yale alumnus (and sometimes teacher) is well aware of the connections between Las Vegas, the Venturis, and postmodernism. But his architecture is not about irony, via the application of mis-scaled period details; it is entirely in earnest. And if that guarantees critical disdain, Schwarz (whose firm, David M. Schwarz Architects, has designed numerous “retro” buildings) is ready."


Île Seguin : Jean Nouvel doit remanier son projet architectural

Le Journal des Arts, 20 Février 2012


BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, FRANCE – "Le projet de réhabilitation de l’île Seguin, confié à l’architecte Jean Nouvel, prévoyait de construire 310 000 m² de surface habitable dont cinq tours de 150 mètres de hauteur. À la suite de la révision du plan local d’urbanisme (PLU), le maire de Boulogne-Billancourt, Pierre-Christophe Baguet, invite Jean Nouvel à revoir cet aménagement."


:mlzd: rapperswil-jona municipal museum extension

designboom, 21 February 2012


RAPPERSWIL-JONA, SWITZERLAND - "Swiss architecture practice :mlzd has shared with us images of the 'rapperswil-jona municipal museum extension', a project that aims to provide a better flowing circulation for the pre-existing buildings of

the cultural facility in rapperswil-jona, switzerland. in addition to establishing a more intuitive layout, the design seeks to lend a new exterior identity to the museum with a bronze perforated facade that folds between two historic structures."


Museum Santiago Ydáñez Proposal / Matteo Cainer Architects

Alison Furuto, ArchDaily, 21 Feb 2012


PUENTE DE GENAVE, SPAIN - "Matteo Cainer Architects shared with us their proposal for the Museum Santiago Ydáñez in the town of Puente de Génave, Spain which expresses the relationship between the work of the artists, the site and the building program. Through an engaging, energetic and permeable design, they conceive a musical rhythm where the new museum becomes a reactive and interactive part of its landscaped setting through the intersection of the integrated and sculpted grids. More images and architects’ description after the break."


From America to Poland: Maciej Jakub Zawadzki presents his Miami Pier Museum of Latin American Immigrants and Warsaw Hybrid Centre

World Architecture News, 20 February 2012


MIAMI, FL - "Miami Pier Museum of Latin American Immigrants: The building aspires to become a horizontal monument to all the immigrants who arrived on these shores in the past and a symbol emphasising the dynamic multicultural image of this city nowadays. It is situated directly on the coastline of the South Beach in Miami FL, USA on the axis of one of the main streets in the city."


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ACE and BBC name companies to serve up online theatre content

Alistair Smith, , The Stage, Published Wednesday 22 February 2012 at 10:57 by


UNITED KINGDOM - "Bristol Old Vic, Shakespeare’s Globe and Sadler’s Wells will be among the first companies to create theatre content for a new online arts channel being launched by Arts Council England and the BBC. The first commissions for the service, called The Space, were announced this week. The channel will launch on May 1 and will be available via PCs, smartphones, tablets and internet-connected televisions. ACE is offering a total of £3.5 million in funding to arts companies wishing to create work for The Space and will give grants of between £15,000 and £185,000 to the 53 successful applicants."


AP to digitize vast video archive with PFT’s CLEAR

Nearly 4 million new assets to be created for The Associated Press in just 18 months

News release, Prime Focus Technologies, February 2012


LONDON, UK - "The Associated Press is working with Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) to digitize its unique video archive, making it available to a whole new audience across digital platforms. AP’s film and tape archive contains around 70,000 hours’ worth of footage, including more than 1.3 million global news and entertainment stories, in 16mm film and videotape, dating back to the beginning of the 20th Century. The project is part of AP’s multimillion-dollar upgrade to its video business which will see AP switch its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD to continue to meet the technical, editorial and business needs of its customers in the digital age. AP Director of International Archives Alwyn Lindsey said: "A legacy of being on the frontline of breaking news for more than 160 years is a fantastic archive. Ours is one of the finest visual documents of the events and people that have shaped the modern era. Today’s market is driven by giving customers breadth of content, ease of access, and value for money. While we have already digitized around 10% of our archive, it has been a top priority to get all of our most saleable archive footage online and make it available to our customers, wherever in the world they may be." "


In digital age, why have an art gallery?

Liz Wylie, Kelowna Capital News, Wednesday, February 22, 2012


WORLD - "In this age of instantly available information of all kinds, there have been huge strides made in the proliferation of images of works of art on the Internet. Most recently among these is Google’s high-profile Art Project, on which we can see high-resolution images of masterpieces from some of the world’s great art museums—the Hermitage, Versailles, London’s National Gallery, the Met in New York, the Uffizi in Florence—with 360-degree tours of the rooms in which the masterworks are installed. These sorts of experiences bring a whole new level of wonder to armchair travel. In fact, some might posit, why bother going to see original works of art anymore when the reproductions are so terrific? Is the notion of manoeuvring one’s physical body into a building that is equipped with special ventilation and security to look at works of art hopelessly old-fashioned? Could we argue that those who say there is no replacing the real thing are just being precious and nostalgic about the original?"


Scrutinizing the Sexy New Art-Tech Industry: It's Not a Bubble, It's Barely a Blip

Shane Ferro, BLOUIN ARTINFO, 22 February 2012


WORLD - "The Internet is a great place: It has revolutionized the way that we communicate, shop, and consume information. But certain things have a certain je ne sais quoi to them that transitions awkwardly to the Web, and thus far, art is one of them. While there are seemingly innumerable Web sites popping up and claiming to cater to the art world — which we as the art media, at least, embrace immediately because we like things that are young, cool, and aesthetically pleasing (as most of these sites are) — few of these new ventures have actually established a real business. What, if anything, will come of art's current love affair with e-commerce remains to be seen. Montage Finance, a New York City-based art finance outfit, recently came out with a report detailing the Web-art intersection, "The Art Market's Presence Online: A Curated Survey," which looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the most prominent art commerce sites. To get a sense of the prospects of the new breed of art businesses, ARTINFO sat down with Montage's president, James Hedges, who told us that he became curious about art on the Internet after being recruited to be the CEO of two different Web-based art companies."


Ryerson prof helps architecture come alive with new app

Niamh Scallan, The Toronto Star, 19 February 2012


TORONTO, ON - "On a sunny day, light streams into the Allen Lambert Galleria at Toronto’s Brookfield Place, drenching the hustle-and-bustle of the financial district below. Take a moment inside the atrium to glance upward and you’ll see an arched, treelike canopy of criss-crossing steel and glass. Some may know the atrium, one of Toronto’s seminal architectural masterpieces, was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. For everyone else, a pocket-size interactive guide awaits. The Ryerson Architecture Mobile app, free for most smartphones, was recently released by Ryerson University to help students and the general public better understand and engage with Toronto’s architecture, past and present. It’s the brainchild of Vincent Hui, a Ryerson architectural science professor who said he was inspired to create the app in late 2010 after he moved to the city from the University of Waterloo."


The history of recording: The earliest recorded sounds

R.L.G., The Economist.com, Feb 14th 2012, 22:20


NEW YORK, NY - "IT MUST have been excruciating for the National Museum of American History's archivists to have the earliest known recordings of the human voice but not to be able to listen to them. The records, made in the Volta Lab of Alexander Graham Bell in the early 1880s, were too fragile to play. But the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory figured out how to scan them optically and retrieve the sound, as described on the museum's website here. Six recordings have been released on YouTube."


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Art and Culture



Le Grand Paris sera culturel ou ne sera pas

Le Monde, 23 Février 2012


PARIS, FRANCE – "Bien sûr, il y a les transports et les infrastructures. Certes, les structures administratives, économiques et universitaires ont leur importance. Mais Daniel Janicot en est convaincu : le Grand Paris sera culturel ou ne sera pas. Chargé, en janvier 2011, par Nicolas Sarkozy d'une réflexion sur la dimension européenne du projet lancé par l'Elysée, le conseiller d'Etat vient de rendre public son rapport (à lire sur Ladocumentationfrancaise.fr). Au terme de 300 auditions et de nombreuses visites sur le terrain, il met en avant les atouts de la métropole capitale et avance des propositions. Avec une obsession : "Il ne faut pas s'endormir." "


Enquête sur deux pilleurs de sites archéologiques sous-marins au large de Saint-Raphaël

Le Journal des Arts, 23 Février 2012


SAINT-RAPHAËL, VAR, FRANCE – "À l’origine, une simple enquête de routine sur un accident de plongée. Les investigations ont conduit la gendarmerie du Var à une chasse au trésor mettant en cause des plongeurs amateurs qui ont pillé plusieurs sites archéologiques antiques en Méditerranée."


Christo’s Colorado Project Delayed at Least Till 2015

Kirk Johnson, The New York Times, 22 February 2012


DENVER, CO — "The idea of a fabric-draped Arkansas River in southern Colorado, anticipated by many as art and dreaded by others as environmental degradation, has been postponed. The artist Christo, who has been working on the project, called “Over the River,” for more than 20 years, through a federal environmental impact study and uncounted rounds of public hearings and local meetings, said the earliest date for the completed installation is now August 2015, a year later than the most recent schedule." [see also L’installation "Over the River" de Christo retardée d’un an, par Léa Lootgieter, Le Journal des Arts, 23.02.2012]


Fin de l’affaire Odyssey : le trésor retourne en Espagne

Le Journal des Arts, 22 Février 2012


TAMPA, FL – "Depuis 2007, la société américaine Odyssey et les autorités espagnoles se disputent un précieux trésor trouvé dans l’épave d’un navire au sud du Portugal. Le tribunal de Tempa, en Floride, a rendu son verdict le 17 février 2012. Odyssey a une semaine pour rendre la totalité du butin, évalué à 380 millions d’euros, à son propriétaire : l’État espagnol."


NEA chief to visit Yolo's Art & Ag Project

Edward Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee, Last modified: 2012-02-21T20:32:20Z, Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 - 12:00 am, Page 1D, Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 - 12:32 pm


YOLO COUNTY, CA - "Bringing together artists and farmers in Yolo County is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the National Endowment for the Arts. Yet the federal agency is doing just that through its ArtPlace initiative, teaming up with a consortium of companies and foundations to fund art projects in communities around the nation. This effort will bring NEA chief Rocco Landesman to Woodland today for a visit to Yolo County's "Art & Ag Project." The project, overseen by YoloArts, the county's nonprofit arts advocacy organization, has artists interacting with farmers at their farms and creating artwork. ArtPlace has given YoloArts $63,000 this year, as part of the first year of the project in which $11.5 million was doled out to 34 locally initiated projects. "This is going to be very community-oriented ...," Landesman said. "The whole notion here is that it is place-based grantmaking, and the Yolo grant is kind of a poster child for what we are doing." "


Library gets $5 million grant, will be renamed Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach

Andrew Abramson


WEST PALM BEACH, FL - "The West Palm Beach library foundation is receiving a $5 million grant from The Mandel Foundation, a Cleveland-based foundation whose primary priority funding areas include leadership, management of nonprofits, higher education, Jewish education and continuity, and urban neighborhood renewal. The library will be renamed the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach pending city commission approval, which could come at tonight’s commission meeting."


Une des quatre versions du "Cri" de Munch mise aux enchères à New York

Le Monde, 21 Février 2012


NEW YORK, NY  –  "Une version du célèbre tableau Le Cri, du peintre norvégien Edvard Munch, sera mise aux enchères à New York le 2 mai par la maison Sotheby's et pourrait dépasser les 80 millions de dollars, a indiqué mardi 21 février la maison d'enchères. Munch réalisa quatre versions de ce tableau expressionniste, montrant un homme criant, les mains sur les oreilles, sur fond de ciel ensanglanté à Oslo, vu depuis la colline d'Ekeberg."


Création du fonds de dotation Hélène et Édouard Leclerc pour la culture

Le Journal des Arts, 21 Février 2012


LANDERNEAU (FINISTÈRE), FRANCE – "Désireuse de s’engager pour une plus forte diffusion de la culture et des arts », la famille Leclerc vient de créer un fonds de dotation à son nom. Il a pour but d’organiser des expositions, des rencontres avec des artistes et des programmes de médiation. L’exposition inaugurale aura lieu aux Capucins de Landerneau et sera consacrée à Gérard Fromanger."


Ai Weiwei, le dissident de l’art en huit œuvres choc

Le Figaro, 17 Février 2012


PARIS, FRANCE – "Arrêté le 3 avril 2011 à l’aéroport de Pékin et mis au secret pendant plus de deux mois, l’artiste chinois Ai Weiwei est devenu l’emblème de la liberté d’expression. Alors que son studio de Pékin reste sous haute surveillance, la Toile fourmille de pétitions et de posts de soutien. À partir du 21 février et jusqu’au 29 avril, le Jeu de paume présente sa première exposition personnelle en France."


Leonora Hamill et Eric Pillot, lauréats 2012 du Prix HSBC pour la Photographie

Connaissance des Arts, 16 Février 2012


FRANCE – "La Franco-britannique Leonora Hamill et le Français Eric Pillot sont les deux lauréats du Prix HSBC pour la Photographie, qui s’est donné pour mission d’aider et de promouvoir de jeunes photographes."



National Endowment for the Arts, February 14 2012


"On February 14, 2012, the National Endowment for the Arts hosted a day-long series of panels and presentations to examine the latest trends, current practices, and future directions for arts learning standards and assessment methods. In addition to moderated panels of experts, the roundtable featurded a presentation of the NEA's latest research report, Improving the Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts: State of the Field and Recommendations. The entire event was webcast live." [Video files of each session are available on the website]


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Fundraising, Charities, and Urban Planning


Need a Little Guidance?

Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf, Charity Village, 19 February 2012


CANADA - "The Canada Revenue Agency's new guidance on fundraising is scheduled to be released in March. Preliminary details were revealed in an hour-long webinar on February 10, hosted by charity lawyer Mark Blumberg and co-sponsored by both the CRA's Charities Directorate and Capacity Builders, a division of the Ontario Community Support Association. CRA's new guidelines have been streamlined and updated to better reflect the changing environment of the charitable sector and to tighten accountability controls over nonprofit fundraising activities. This new guidance replaces the last version, which was published in June 2009. Blumberg cautioned that the new guidance was still subject to change until the final draft is released next month. Still, it's safe to assume most of the updates will remain as presented in this story. The agency's guidance is as detailed as ever, and charities should pore over it with relevant staff members. Below are some of the highlight amendments to the guidance.

What's your ratio?

According to Blumberg, one of the major changes to the guidance is that the CRA will now consider a wider range of indicators when evaluating a charity's fundraising activities. Instead of simply looking at the ratio of resources devoted to fundraising versus resources used for programming, the agency will now also consider whether the fundraising is being done without "an identifiable use or need for the proceeds."


PLU de Versailles : l’État pointé du doigt

Le Journal des Arts, 17 Février 2012


VERSAILLES, FRANCE – "Le plan local d’urbanisme du domaine national de Versailles n’a pas fini d’être chahuté. La municipalité de Versailles propose à l’État de lui racheter les terrains autrefois affectés au ministère de la Défense, au prix auquel ils lui ont été cédés en décembre dernier."


Un appel international pour sauver les fresques de Giotto menacées par un programme immobilier

Le Journal des Arts, 17 Février 2012


PADOUE, ITALIE – "Des historiens italiens s’opposent au projet immobilier prévu à proximité de l’église de l’Arena qui abrite un des cycles de fresques les plus importants de Giotto. Si les autorités locales estiment qu’il n’y a aucun risque pour l’édifice du XIVe siècle, le monde culturel proteste et tente de sensibiliser la population."


Media Release: New tool provides easy access to charitable information

Imagine Canada, February 15 2012


TORONTO, ON - "Canadians now have an easy way to get detailed information about the 85,000 registered charities in the country. CharityFocus.ca, a new bilingual web site developed by Imagine Canada, provides detailed financial information based on an organization’s filings to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). But more importantly, charities now have the opportunity to start supplementing this information with details about their programs and accomplishments. Together, the information found in CharityFocus provides a balanced picture of Canada’s charities – their work, their funding and their people."


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