Irish Arts Council Gets Funding Boost

The Irish Arts Council is getting a 16 percent increase in funding. “Some €61 million in funding has been allocated to the body for 2005. The council said the 16 per cent increase will be passed on directly to artists and arts organisations. The largest increases were for the film and traditional arts sectors, which received increases of 22 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.”

Land Before Time – The Prequel

Sequels have a bad rep in Hollywood, where they’re often little more than cheap rip-offs of a hit franchise. And then there are prequels – sequels that purport to tell the story before the original movie. “I think Hollywood is always looking for a new device to avoid original thought, and for a long time that was the sequel. But then I think the sequel got kind of strip-mined and depleted, so now we’re into the prequel. So it’s just another way of avoiding ever thinking of anything new, which is the ultimate goal of the Hollywood hit machine.”

Hollywood’s Blockbuster Year (But Smaller Audiences)

Hollywood is making more money than ever, but fewer people are going to the movies. “With nearly two weeks to go before the end of 2004, domestic box-office receipts appeared likely to top last year’s total of $9.27 billion, nearing $9.4 billion. But an increase can be attributed to a rise in ticket prices, up 3.85 percent to an average of $6.25, while attendance fell by 2.25 percent this year after dropping 3.8 percent in 2003.”

Bush Portrait Brings Notoriety To Artist

Artist Chris Savido is pondering his new fame. Since his portrait of George W. Bush composed of monkeys offended a Bush supporter who shut down the New York show, the artist has become famous. “Bush Monkeys,” a portrait of the president made up of dozens of primates swimming in a marsh, enraged the manager of a upscale market with gallery space in lower Manhattan, pushing him to shut down the entire 60-piece show last weekend.

Heritage Minister: Canadian Museums Need Help

Canada’s Heritiage Minister says Canadian museums are in need of major help. “Hundreds of buildings have not been renovated in 30 years. Their roofs are starting to leak and there are cracks in the foundations. Federal funding levels have been stalled since 1972. Ottawa offers about $200 million a year in direct funding for a handful of major sites in the capital region, compared to $9 million for 2,500 sites in the rest of the country.”

Getty Land Sale Raises Questions

“In 2002, the J. Paul Getty Trust sold Eli Broad a Brentwood property for $2 million. Two years earlier, an appraisal had said it was worth $2.7 million. Getty Chief Executive Barry Munitz, a close friend and professional associate of Broad, personally directed the early stages of the deal, Getty documents show. Experts say the deal raises legal and ethical questions.”

Shankar: Indian Classical Music In Peril

Sitar master Ravi Shankar says he’s concerned for the future of Indian classical music. India’s musicians should not expect support from the government, he says, but corporate and indivisual support is essential. “After some great performers in the field of Indian classical music we have had promising talents, however, the programmes which new talents get to perform are not good.”