THE OUTSIDER WAS NOT IMPRESSED: Glasstire, the online Texas visual arts magazine, recently sent a writer to Dallas to check out the local gallery scene. And he wasn’t too impressed. After letting us know that the city seems “like it just woke up from a plague that killed half its population,” Ivan Lozano drops this bomb: “The art in Dallas right now is boring as hell.”
At this point, you might be wondering who the heck is Ivan Lozano? Looks like he’s an Austin video artist according to his Web site. Should you decide that you don’t agree with his assessment, feel free to shoot him an e-mail there. If you do, copy me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’d love to know what our readers sound like hoppin’ mad.
THE ART OF THE RESCUE: “Bailout” might be the word of 2008. First, Congress agreed this fall to bailout some of the country’s biggest financial institutions to the tune of $700 billion. Now, lawmakers are considering throwing $34 billion at the struggling auto industry.
So when you read about some of this week’s bailouts in the arts world, they sound like relative bargains.
Just yesterday, the Virgina Symphony asked the city of Norfolk for a $1 million loan so that the orchestra can avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy and musicians can receive their paychecks. And that comes on the heals of two other quasi bailouts earlier this week. The Charleston Symphony received a $75,000 challenge grant from anonymous donors while the Ballet BC in Vancouver was saved when another anonymous donor purchased a thousand tickets to its Nutcracker performances.
Meanwhile, other organizations are looking for additional revenue streams to help the bottom line, including the Toronto Symphony’s early concert program and London’s Royal Ballet getting into the fashion business.
All this has got me wondering: Do you think that the government should bailout struggling arts organizations?