Indie Booksellers Push States To Collect Online Sales Taxes

Independent booksellers are lobbying states to collect taxes from online book stores that have a physical presence in those states. That would mean that books ordered through Barnes and Noble’s online store would have to collect sales tax. “The issue remains whether or not online stores and their real world namesakes have a business relationship that would trigger a tax liability.”

Now What?

In Montreal, where the media had Kent Nagano all but appointed as the new music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, shock and dismay have greeted news of Nagano’s appointment to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. The MSO itself never even acknowledged that Nagano was its top choice, but this may be a case where perception is more important than reality. “While other conductors, such as Eliahu Inbal, Yakov Kreizberg and Emmanuel Villaume, have been mentioned as possible successors to Charles Dutoit, none has created interest to compare with the public frenzy that greeted Nagano.”

Calgary Phil To Get City Money, After All

The Calgary city council has overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to force the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to repay a $250,000 bailout once the orchestra emerges from bankruptcy. The proposal was brought to the floor by two aldermen who have consistently sought ways to scuttle the bailout, and who conceived of the plan to attach conditions to the money after it was learned that the Alberta provincial government’s matching contribution to the CPO was more of a loan than a gift.

Another Executive Departure

The president of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has announced that he is stepping down from his position and leaving the organization, effective the end of this month. The quick timetable makes the unknown reason behind Steven Ovitsky’s departure of interest, but the board insists he was not forced out. However, it may be significant that Ovitsky was a very popular executive with the MSO’s musicians: “He brought musicians into the governing and planning structures of the orchestra, and his palpable love of music impressed them.”

UN Covers Up “Guernica” Reproduction

The United Nations has covered up a reproduction of Picasso’s “Guernica” that has hung outside the UN Security Council since 1985. “U.N. officials said last week that it is more appropriate for dignitaries to be photographed in front of the blue backdrop and some flags than the impressionist image of shattered villagers and livestock. ‘It’s only temporary. We’re only doing this until the cameras leave’.”

Vatican Gives Blessing On Potter

The Vatican has given its blessing to Harry Potter. Why should the Vatican even care? Some evangelical groups have protested the books for “glamorizing magic and the occult.” But a spokeman for the Vatican says: “If I have understood well the intentions of Harry Potter’s author, they help children to see the difference between good and evil. And she is very clear on this.”

San Jose Silicon Valley Dance Company May Close After City Rejects Bailout

The fledgling Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley has told the city of San Jose that the company could close as soon as Friday without an emergency grant of $100,000. “But a key city panel voted Monday night to deny the money, after arts groups complained that the money, from funds that had been slated for the now-defunct symphony, should be made available to all arts groups. The ballet is trying to raise $1.2 million to keep it afloat through the end of the season, in May, and perhaps give it enough time to further develop its own symphonic organization, Symphony San Jose Silicon Valley.”

Denver Center Theatre’s Muted Celebration

Next season is the Denver Center Theatre’s 25th anniversary. But the theatre’s celebrations will be somewhat muted. The 25th season contains only one premiere, and tight budgets make restraint mandatory. “That premiere is a new musical, but its loneliness in a collection of regional premieres and American revivals points toward the shrinking endowment of the Bonfils Foundation, which largely underwrites the theater company. Donovan Marley, the theater’s artistic director, said next season will also see more staff reductions, and while he hoped they would be through attrition, he could not guarantee it.”

Time To Move On – Is London Stuck On Its Past Glories?

“Emerging from London art schools, the BritArtists brought glamour, hype and excitement to the capital and revitalised its arts scene in the 1990s. But now London has become a victim of its own success. In cities that have witnessed less global attention for their artists, such as Los Angeles or Berlin, there are thriving scenes, and new movements emerge every couple of years. London, however, has remained stagnant, while commercial galleries trawl through the dregs of Goldsmiths’ Class of 1990 for the one-that-got-away and focus is diverted from what’s really new.”