American Museums Admit Art Looting

“Some of America’s most celebrated institutions — including Harvard’s Peabody, The Field Museum in Chicago and the American Museum of Natural History in New York — are indicating for the first time in reports to the U.S. government that they were more involved in the looting of Native American burial grounds than they have previously admitted. Those institutions now are in the process of returning hundreds of thousands of artifacts and human remains to tribal groups around the country.”

Bible As Magazine

A new edition of the Bible in the form of a magazine? It’s a hit with kids. “Although 82 percent of America’s teenagers say that they are Christians, only 32 percent say that they read the Bible. And we decided we needed to give it to them in a format they know how to use, which is magazines.”

Does Gay-Friendly TV = Gay-Friendly Viewers?

2003 is officially the Year of the Gay TV Show. Game shows, sitcoms, reality shows, and makeover shows centered around gay characters have sprung up across the television landscape, and many of them are drawing surprisingly wide audiences. But do a few campy TV shows really make the average American any more tolerant of real-life homosexuals? According to a new study of 200 rural Midwesterns teens, the answer is yes.

Deadly Year For ‘Burning Man’

The ‘Burning Man’ Festival, held each year in the desert north of Reno, Nevada, is a celebration of free spirits as much as it is an art festival, but this year, spirit was trumped by tragedy as a woman attempting to ride a giant “art car” was crushed beneath it. Burning Man’s founder insists that the accident will not cast a pall over future editions of the fest: “Some see photos of people attired in giant rat costumes doing wildly unconventional expressive things and assume this means we’re in some way irresponsible. Nothing could be further from the truth. This isn’t an irresponsible party; it’s a model city. If there are lessons to be learned from this that will improve public safety, we will implement them.”

Telling The Story Of Dance

A thick new book illuminates the history of dance. “No Fixed Points takes its title from Albert Einstein and, in its trove of new and recycled information and sophisticated analysis, brings together generations of thinking and commentary by critics, historians, artists, and impresarios. Decades in the making, it’s the work of two scholars who have both performed.”

The Allure Of Reality Theatre

“What are we actually getting when performers stand up and talk about themselves? Where does offstage end and onstage begin in first-person theater? The answers are complex – bedeviling to performers and directors and endlessly alluring to audiences. We’re instinctively drawn to stories that arrive in the envelope of truth.”

TiVo Trials

Customers love Tivo. But it’s not catching on with consumers – they’re not buying it. “I can’t think of any product that has had the satisfaction levels it has had but has been as sluggish in terms of the growth of the market. It’s certainly unusual for a product to have this kind of enthusiasm from the community that’s using it without being able to tip over and really become a mass-market phenomenon.”

English Theatre – New Leadership, New Artistry?

English regional theatres have a roster of new leadership. “In the past year, fresh teams have taken over at Chichester, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool, while new money – £25m – is being pumped into the system. Now comes news of a rising in the Midlands. Lichfield has acquired a new theatre while Coventry, under Hamish Glen, is set to restore an old one. The big question is whether this signals an exciting era of artistic innovation or whether regional theatre is still dogged by the culture of backs- to-the-wall survival.”

The Art Of Writing About Writing

It’s “such an interesting time to be writing about writing—or writing about writing for publication, anyway. Thus several recent entries in the books-on-books genre approach, with varying degrees of insight, similar prickly questions about the present state of lit, such as: Is there anything important left to write, or anyone perceptive enough to write it? And does anyone really care anymore, least of all the gluttonous media cartels increasingly footing the bills?”

Jazz Star Disorder

A researcher reports that jazz greats are “eight times more likely to have suffered from drug dependency. Dr Geoffrey Wills also found that mood disorders appeared to be four times more likely among this group of jazz greats. The psychologist said that he was not trying to imply that all jazz musicians had such problems, but that they shared the same vulnerability to mental health problems as other creative types such as writers and artists.”