Thursday, July 17, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update L

This, my friends, is the 50th Arts Advocacy Update. Hooray!!

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of July 16, 2008:

Heaviest users of Web face limits on 'unlimited'
Chicago Tribune, 7/12/2008
"For as long as consumers have had high-speed Internet at home, they have surfed the Web as much as they wanted, downloading any content while paying their service provider a flat monthly fee. Those days may be ending. Internet service providers, especially cable companies, are eyeing new pricing models to address the rapidly growing popularity of such applications as streaming online video and the sharing of large files. These programs can eat up bandwidth and cause bottlenecks, slowing service across networks. Companies such as Comcast and Time Warner also fear becoming a 'dumb pipe'—providing the conduit for data-intensive Internet activity but not managing the flow or making any money from it."
Apparently they didn't get the memo from the creators of Avenue Q: "The Internet is for porn." Seriously, this sucks. Damn media conglomerates. They should all get what they have coming to them.

NYC sets formal rules for filming on city streets
Washington Post - AP, 7/14/2008
"Filmmakers and photographers who shoot on New York City's streets and sidewalks now have a clear set of rules dictating when they must obtain permits, after years of relying on loose guidelines that civil liberties advocates said were too vague. The rules, which were to appear Monday in the City Record, now state clearly that productions must have permits and at least $1 million in insurance if they plan to take over a lane of traffic or leave less than eight feet of open space on a sidewalk. Permits and insurance also are required for shoots that involve vehicles or use equipment other than hand-held devices or cameras on tripods _ items like props, sets, lights, dolly tracks, screens and microphone devices. . . . [P]hotographers, filmmakers and civil liberties advocates were stunned by the first set of rules drafted last summer by Bloomberg's film office. Under that proposal, any group of two or more people who were filming or taking pictures for more than 30 minutes on city property would have needed a permit and insurance."
This seems far more realistic. The original set of rules were onerous and demonstrates and profound lack of understanding of the filmmaking process and the importance of at least a sheen of open society.

Big theater: It's time for S.L. to bring Broadway lights downtown
Salt Lake Tribune, 7/15/2008
An editorial in the Salt Lake City Tribune supports the idea of a new 2,400-seat playhouse. "Mayor Ralph Becker and other community leaders are right that a state-of-the-art theater large enough to attract touring productions of shows like 'The Lion King' and 'Wicked' is the next logical act in the drama of downtown redevelopment. . . . The Downtown Theater Action Group, a committee appointed by the mayor and headed by his brother, Bill, himself a Broadway producer, is also right that the theater would draw tourists from the region and multiply spending in restaurants and hotels. In addition, the revenues generated from touring shows could, if wisely managed, help to subsidize the theater and, perhaps, local productions."
One of the things that has surprised me is the strength of the arts community in Salt Lake City. If only we could export them to the more diehard Republican parts of the state, to cure them of their right-wing illness.

Foundation Collaborative Provides Support to Minnesota Arts Organizations
Philanthropy News Digest, 7/15/2008
"ArtsLab, a collaborative of the McKnight and four other Minnesota foundations, has announced the selection of seventeen nonprofits for participation in a three-year training and development program. A $1.85 million venture of the Bush, F.R. Bigelow, Mardag, McKnight, and Saint Paul foundations, ArtsLab will go beyond traditional capacity-building approaches and work to improve individual leadership capacity within the state's arts sector. Among other things, the initiative will work to increase the leadership pool for the arts sector in Minnesota, strengthen the presence of visionary small arts organizations in both urban and rural communities, and use the power of the arts to enhance community vitality and engagement."
Great news this is. No snark here -- I totally support this.

'Cultural amenities' tax floated in Durham
News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), 7/14/2008
"It's uncertain whether there's enough support in the state Senate for a bill that would allow Durham County voters to decide whether to implement a 1 percent tax on all prepared food and beverages. . . . Local leaders want to use most of the several million the new tax would generate on "cultural amenities," including a proposed Minor League Baseball museum."
There you go. It's not about the arts. It's about baseball. I love baseball, but is the memo about sports never generating as much economic impact as the arts not getting to the major, um, players in this discussion?

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1 comment:

Jen Ryan's Brain said...

I just did a video shoot, totally hassle free, at the top of Rockefeller center, last week, as well as all over town in various very, very public places. And the dialogue was pretty damn strange....then again, I had no crew...just myself and an actor screaming about how he was fungus-free. Anyway. Glad they've loosened the rules ... and thanks to the Rock center security guards for not kicking us out!