Monday, September 17, 2007

Arts Advocacy Update XIII

My apologies for not posting an arts advocacy update in the last few weeks. Way too busy with Le Book, which I should be finishing as I write this! Nevertheless:

Despite Demand, Libraries Won't Add PCs
Washington Post - AP, 7/12/2007
"A new study from the American Library Association, scheduled for release Wednesday, finds the average number of public Internet terminals largely unchanged since 2002, yet only 1 in 5 libraries say they have enough computers to meet demand at all times. Besides cost, limitations in space, electrical outlets and cabling are cited as the chief factors preventing libraries from buying more computers. . . . Meanwhile, three-quarters of the libraries say they are the only source of free Internet access in their communities, increasing pressure on them to meet demand."
And we've got to prevent those terrorists from reading Gawker, too.

Art and the city
Economist, 9/6/2007
"When New York agonises over its place in the world, it is usually because it fears losing its position as the world's financial capital. That has certainly been the case in recent months. Yet Elizabeth Currid thinks that policymakers should be fretting less about credit markets and more about culture. The contribution made by art, music and fashion to the city's economy has, she argues, long been overlooked. And unless something is done about it, another crown could slip."
This should be required reading for all of us, and it should also be a call to action. Comments definitely encouraged.

Theater Classes Help Docs' Bedside Manners
Forbes - AP, 9/7/2007
"New evidence suggests that a bit of theatrics can help doctors become better caregivers. The finding is based on the experience of a small group of internal medicine residents who went through six hours of theater workshops and lectures led by university theater professors. Focus was placed on the impact that body language, eye contact, verbal cues and attentiveness have on patient-doctor communications, and the skills taught appeared to significantly improve both a physician's bedside manner and patient trust."
Oy, doc, I have a pain, I have a pain...

Non-profits face tough economic times
Somerville Journal (MA), 9/5/2007
"The [Massachusetts] state agency that distributes funds to local nonprofit arts organizations and artists received a budget increase to $12.3 million for the current fiscal year. And another $5 million was added to a fund dedicated to repairing and expanding cultural organizations. But that’s still about $7 million short of the state’s pre-9/11 level of funding. Add in the fact that private donations are down and there’s been a sharp increase in the number of Boston area nonprofit arts organizations and individuals seeking funding, and you have a perfect storm of factors that have made this a treacherous economic time for the arts."
A cautionary tale, to say the least. You could apply this conundrum to a lot of similar localities, although arguably not New York City at the moment. Not to say it couldn't happen, though.

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