Grinding Axes In Minneapolis

This summer, the Minnesota Orchestra appointed a new president following a nationwide search, and expressed confidence that Tony Woodcock was just the man to lead the 100-year-old ensemble into its second century. But it seems that not everyone on the orchestra’s board was happy with the way things turned out. “In August, Eugene Sit, a 12-year member who was head of the executive-search committee, resigned,” claiming that “decisions were made by one or two people that should have been made by the board.” The chairman of the orchestra’s board has dismissed Sit’s allegation, pointing out that “out of nearly 60 votes, he could ‘count on one hand’ the number against Woodcock.”

MTV And The Culture Of Total Worldwide Domination

“The world is the way it is because of MTV. The world is pop. It all happened at some point in the 1960s, or the 1970s, or the 1980s. Plenty of magazines argue about when exactly this point was (these magazines are published because of MTV). But it was not until the revolution began to be televised in the early 1980s, as something called MTV, that everyone began to appreciate how much the world had gone pop.”

TV Nation (Even The Toddlers)

Are children spending too much time in front of their TVs? A new study says: “Children from 6 months to 6 years old spend, on average, two hours a day with TV, video games and computers – about the same as they spend playing outdoors and three times what they spend reading or being read to, according to the survey of 1,065 parents released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The phenomenon, said the Kaiser researchers, can be linked to the relatively recent avalanche of videos and TV shows aimed at viewers too young to know the difference between Einstein and Elmo.”

Why Are Newspapers Getting Rid Of Arts Critics?

The ranks of working arts critics are shrinking. “In their increasingly desperate efforts to attract younger readers, newspapers are jettisoning huge swaths of fine- and performing-arts coverage in favor of stuff that they think will pull in those coveted eyes. How to better cover movies, celebrities, reality TV, pop music and the dating scene? Those were the subjects that dominated workshops and conversations at a September meeting of the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, which I attended. They’re making a mistake – and I’d like to believe it’s not wishful thinking on my part.”

Chicago’s New Home For Mid-size Arts

After “more than a decade of dreaming and planning, having the dreams fall through, regrouping and planning again,” a new $52.7 million, 1,500-seat downtown theater for Chicago’s mid-size performing arts groups is almost ready to open. There are some worries, though: “With costs of approximately $4,000 a day, it is far more expensive than the theaters previously used by many of its dozen founding members. With 1,500 seats, it is also larger, and groups may find themselves lost on the larger stage or have trouble filling the extra seats.”

Rings Power NZ Economy

The Lord of the Rings movies have meant an economic boom for New Zealand. “The Tolkien fanatics have kept coming with pockets full of cash, desperate to see the place where the trilogy’s hero, Frodo Baggins, began his daring journey to vanquish the forces of evil by destroying the One Ring. Much of the payoff was tied directly to the estimated $500 million spent to make the three movies, the third of which will hit theaters in December. For a time, the production employed 23,000 workers, making it the largest private employer in New Zealand. Then came the tourists, and scores of new restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts to cater to them.”

An Off-The-Rack Success Story

“Chicago’s new theater for midsize music and dance companies easily could have been a wallflower of a building, drooping in the background alongside the grand metallic bouquet of Frank Gehry’s Millennium Park bandshell. But the theater turns out to be something else: a solid, sometimes soaring example of “stealth architecture,” a mostly underground building that packs far more aesthetic wallop than its modest, above ground profile lets on.”

Are Traveling Rockettes A Threat To American Dance?

“To producers of ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet across the country, the Rockettes have come to represent a more sinister phenomenon. One market at a time, from Tampa Bay to Seattle, the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” the touring version of the glitzy New York tradition, has moved in, threatening to take over the all-important holiday market.”