New Hampshire Symphony Declares Emergency

The New Hampshire Symphony says it will have to cut back its season and let some musicians go if it fails to raise more money in the next few months. “The symphony has already scrapped two planned performances, scheduled for late February, as a cost-saving measure. Officials say smaller monetary donations from corporations and individuals, reduced government support, and the level of ticket sales have contributed to the trouble.”

FCC Outrage Is Political Theatre

There’s been an amazing amount of posturing and speechifying over Janet Jackson’s breast. “But even as the TV networks race to delete images of nudity and sex from such prime-time dramas as ER and Without a Trace in an effort to show that they can police themselves, media historians and analysts say real, lasting change is unlikely. As dramatic as the pictures and soundbites coming out of Washington today might be, it will be mostly political posturing, the experts say, merely the latest movement in a dance between Hollywood and Washington that started with the Communications Act of 1934.”

Fired Bolshoi Ballerina Sues Director

The ballerina fired by the Bolshoi last year after being told she was “too fat” by the director, is suing for $1 million. She had already won reinstatement to the company from the court, but her attorney says she wants money and a public apology. “We believe that remarks made by the Bolshoi Theater director offend the honor, dignity and business reputation of my client.”

Sacramento Helps Out Opera, Ballet With Loans

The Sacramento City Council votes to help the city’s opera and ballet companies financially. “Both the Sacramento City Council and county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to grant the Sacramento Ballet a dollar for each dollar it pays of a $362,000 consolidated loan from 1989 and 1995, without interest. Over the next decade, the ballet will donate half that amount in tickets and arts programming to underprivileged audiences. The Sacramento Opera will pay half of a $76,781 loan from the city in the same manner over five years.”

Christ And The Publicity Machine

The stir over Mel Gison’s The Passion of Christ has been prodigious. Christian journalist Lorna Dueck is skeptical: “I’m not sure who’s using whom more, the profit-makers in Hollywood or those with an interest in conversion, but there is unparalleled church energy over this movie, and as a reporter with an ear on the evangelical beat, I’m about to pray “deliver us from e-mail” because I can’t keep up with the buzz that’s hitting my inbox over this film.”

Comcast Makes Bid For Disney

Comcast is making a hostile bid to take over Disney. “The takeover attempt, if successful, would create one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, along with Viacom, Time Warner and News Corp. Disney owns its film studio, ABC television, the ESPN sports network and the Disney theme parks. Comcast has 21 million cable customers and 7 million Internet broadband customers, half of them acquired when it took over AT&T Broadband 15 months ago.”

LAX Public Art Roils Protests

A large tapestry with a theme of the 9/11 attack hung at Los Angeles International Airport in late January has sparked waves of protest. “The exhibit, titled ‘Eye-Speak,’ includes images inspired by the attacks, such as a bare-breasted woman holding a bleeding heart with the World Trade Center’s twin towers on fire behind her.”