When Plastic Art Breaks Down, What’s A Museum To Do?

“Plastics hold up well for the decade or so during which a consumer uses most products. But museums, unlike consumers, are in it for the long haul, and when plastics crash, they crash precipitously. … A whole generation of irreplaceable items that are as representative of our culture as pottery or flintheads were of ancient ones are dying–and many people charged with their care have no idea how to stop further damage.”

Michael Jackson First Artist To Sell One Million Downloads In A Week

“Fans flocked to the late popstar’s greatest hits, purchasing a record-breaking 2.6 million Jackson solo recordings and Jackson Five songs, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending June 28. Jackson also dominated Billboard’s “Comprehensive Album Chart,” which tracks both new albums and older catalog albums — the first time a catalog album has ever scanned more sales than any new album.”

A Bit Of Heresy For The Fourth-Of-July Weekend

“[T]he professional fireworks display is an exercise in pomposity, aggression, triumphalism, and hubris. The pyrotechnician – and, more importantly, his patron – intends to ornament the night sky beyond the powers of God himself. … Fireworks are imperialist and, as we used to say in school, hegemonic. That they are popularly believed to be populist entertainment does not say much for the populace.”

Staged Shawshank Redemption To Play West End

“Stephen King’s The Shawshank Redemption is to receive its UK stage premiere at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre this September. Written by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns, the play is based on King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption and follows the seven-time Academy Award nominated film of 1994, which starred Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.”

Big US Challenge Grant For Belfast’s Lyric Theatre

“The project to rebuild Belfast’s Lyric Theatre has received a boost with the offer of a £500,000 grant from a US-based charitable foundation. The Kresge Foundation will hand over the money if the Lyric can raise £800,000 by June next year. … The new theatre will consist of a 394-seat main auditorium, a 150-seat studio theatre, a rehearsal room, extensive riverfront foyers and bar, backstage facilities and office accommodation.”

Venice To Redesign (But Not Pay For) Accademia Bridge

“The city council has announced plans to redesign the Accademia Bridge, next to the eponymous art gallery, to provide access for the disabled. But architects and construction firms bidding to undertake the project will also have to prove they can raise the sponsorship to finance the work; the council will not make any contribution to the estimated €5m costs.”

NYC’s Film & TV Tax-Credit Fund Runs Out Of Money

“New York City has exhausted its budget for tax incentives for film and TV productions as of Tuesday, city officials announced…. ‘New York City’s “Made in NY” tax credit for qualified film and television production — the only one of its kind administered by a city in the U.S. — has reached its full allocation of $192.5 million and funds are no longer available for new applications,’ the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting said.”

Bad Economy Means Good Times For Public Service Ads

“[S]upport for public service campaigns is usually stronger during economic downturns because media companies often prefer to run classy-looking, altruistic ads to fill space and time rather than sell that inventory to dodgy marketers whose ads may be cheesy, misleading or deceptive.” In 2008, particularly in the fourth quarter, the number of public service ads rose significantly over 2007 — and the trend is continuing.

At Last, Some Good News: St. Louis Symphony Sees Increases In Audience And Revenue

“Though the SLSO performed the same number of concerts at Powell Hall as it did in 2007-’08 – 109 – this season it reported a 15 percent increase in revenue: $5.57 million, up from $4.84 million. In addition, total attendance rose … [by] 7.8 percent. Between January and May, the orchestra played to seven near-capacity or sold-out houses.”