Can Miami Afford Its New $265 million Performing Arts Complex?

Miami is building a new $265-million Performing Arts Center with a 2,200-seat symphony hall, a 2,480-seat ballet opera house and a 200-seat studio theater. Plans to fill the hall are grandly ambitious, envisioning a flowering of arts and culture that will benefit the region for years to come. “But can we afford it? With the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the PAC’s crucial five resident companies, already threatening bankruptcy, a disturbing question is raised: Even after the center’s construction is paid for, can South Florida come up with the money to run it?”

Does Globalism Equal American Dominance?

“Fears that globalization is imposing a deadening cultural uniformity are as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Mickey Mouse. Europeans and Latin Americans, left-wingers and right, rich and poor — all of them dread that local cultures and national identities are dissolving into a crass all-American consumerism. That cultural imperialism is said to impose American values as well as products, promote the commercial at the expense of the authentic, and substitute shallow gratification for deeper satisfaction. If critics of globalization were less obsessed with ‘Coca-colonization,’ they might notice a rich feast of cultural mixing that belies fears about Americanized uniformity.”

Is LA The New Oz?

“Where once emigre artists coming to America headed for New York, now they seem to be landing in Los Angeles. “You can’t prove it through government stats (the bureaucracies don’t track artist émigrés), but the city’s curators, gallery owners and the artists themselves are convinced that a new wave of foreign-born ‘beginner’ types is showing up in L.A. for art’s sake. New York has remained the marketing center for visual arts, but L.A. has taken over as the production center.”

Violent Lyrics Linked To Violent Behavior

A new study conducted by researchers in Iowa and Texas, finds “a link between listening to violent song lyrics and feelings of aggression and hostility, bolstering arguments that such content can lead to violent behavior – a finding that belies the notion that violent music provides a cathartic release for anger and negative feelings.”

San Francisco Music Scene Dies Off

“After more than a quarter-century of being one of the centers of the pop music world, the famous San Francisco scene has crumbled. While underground rock still percolates in warehouses and lofts around the Bay Area, this insular constituency breeds few mainstream breakouts. For years, the Bay Area music industry nurtured a steady procession of new and exciting rock talents – from Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to Metallica and Green Day. Today, what’s left of the local industry has disappeared into a crater left behind by the dot-com crash and struggles of the recording business. The dissolution of the area’s music scene has occurred for two reasons: the economic hard times besetting the record industry as a whole, and the creation of new technology that has made recording studios all but obsolete.”

See The Concert, Buy The Music

Clear Channel, which dominates the American radio business and is also a major concert promoter, is offering a new deal – go to the concert, then five minutes after it’s finished, buy a recording of the concert you just heard. “Although initially modest, involving only small-audience clubs and theaters in the Boston area, the venture could eventually extend beyond radio and concerts into music distribution. And that could prove troubling to critics, who already complain that the company’s rigidly formatted radio stations prevent diverse artists from reaching the airwaves and that its dominance of the concert business too often forces touring acts to accept unfavorable deals.”