Why Does Anyone Care About Artists’ Political Views?

“There is no law of nature according to which artists must of their nature be rational, sensible and well judging; rather the reverse tends to be true, because the arts have to do with risk, danger, experiment, originality and inconsistency. They are born out of anger, resentment, joy, contrariness and wildness, with the result that few artists have ever been balanced and well-informed political or moral philosophers. In fact if artists were judged on their views, theatres and galleries and bookshops would be almost empty.”

Bravo To KC Symphony For Standing Up For Funding

Why are Missouri arts groups worried about the Kansas City Symphony suing the state for arts funding promised to the arts but never delivered on? “Other arts groups in the state should be thanking the symphony, rather than reacting in fear. Legislation enacted in 1994 called for 50 percent of the income taxes paid by out-of-state athletes and entertainers who worked in Missouri to be put in a trust fund to support the Missouri Arts Council and the arts. The symphony contends in a lawsuit filed last month that the legislature has continually shortchanged the fund.”

Why The Met’s New Opera Has A Rough Time

Justin Davidson writes that Tan Dun’s “First Emperor” is trapped in opera’s current production system. “In a sense, there is no excuse for an opera that was commissioned a decade ago getting to opening night without its final coat of varnish. The Met is not the place for tryouts. But company, composer, audience and cast are all locked into a peculiar system that makes it difficult for new operas to mature.”

Why We Like Architecture

Why have there been, “and still are, so many different styles of architecture? Why do some of us like one thing — let’s say, glass-and-steel modernism — while others despise it? Why do so many Americans in 2007 wish to live in copies of the red-brick-white-trim Georgian architecture of the 18th century?”

The Future Of Music

“The purchase and collection of CDs is getting a little harder — but while the future of music leans toward cyberspace, experts also feel the CD and the record store will remain a part of the music industry. The song will remahe same, but the shops’ roles will be different.”

The College Icon Syndrome

“With colleges and universities spending billions of dollars to upgrade facilities and attract students in a hypercompetitive academic marketplace, the pressure to produce iconic, ‘look at me’ architecture is more intense than ever. Yet there is no guarantee that a sexy, signature building will successfully fuse form and function.”

A Feisty Toscanini Orchestra

A private Italian orchestra dedicated to the ideals of Arturo Toscanini suggests a new model for orchestras. A “distinguishing aspect of the group is that unlike other Italian and European orchestras, whose members remain secure essentially for life, Symphonica Toscanini draws on a roster of 200 freelance musicians, which keeps them on their toes and dedicated to the job.”