Posts Tagged ‘David Byrne’
Investment in the arts doesn’t cost us money – it MAKES us money!
I just got back from a rally at City Hall. It was organized by city council member Jimmy Van Bramer to protest the proposed budget cuts to both publicly funded arts organizations (NEA, NEH and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) and the library system. Lots of other council members, museum directors, actors, union representatives and many more were on hand. It was a beautiful spring day. I spoke very briefly, making the economic and social argument—that arts funding benefits the economy and creates jobs way in excess of the amount invested. It has the effect of lowering crime, raising property values and lowering child abuse! Really!
The Trump administration and their Republican allies hope to eliminate funding for a number of federal arts organizations. This is a political move—it really doesn’t amount to much money—it’s a tiny part of the federal budget. The amount of federal funding is $741 million, which sounds like a lot, but is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the United States’ annual federal spending, an amount supporters say is too small to make a difference in the budget if it was cut. On a budget pie chart it doesn’t even show up, it’s too small.
Q: What does that “investment” get us as a nation?—A: It gets multiplied more than 100 times= $135.2 BILLION…
* Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
As we treasure society’s hope chest, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that celebrated contralto Marian Anderson sang an Easter Sunday concert for more than 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. A radio audience of millions listened in.
Anderson had been denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall by the DAR because of her color. Instead, and at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes permitted her to perform at the Lincoln Memorial.
Further to a relatively recent post on Hieronymous Bosch:
I recently traveled to the small Dutch town of Den Bosch to The Noordbrabants Museum to see the largest assembly of work by Hieronymus Bosch ever assembled,Jheronimus Bosch: Visions of Genius. This town was where Bosch spent his entire life—he lived on one side of the square and worked in his studio on the other. I took a guided tour of the Museum (big thanks to Heidi Vandamme and Tamsin Aarts-Pickard at the museum and to Sander Knol at Xander Uitgevers, my book publisher in Holland!), and afterward I wrote down what I remembered. Needless to say the show is hugely popular—The Guardian called it “one of the most important exhibitions of our time”—and I think it’s fantastic…it’s a window into another world and another time…
As we tend our gardens, we might send edgy birthday greetings to Christopher Lee “Chris” Burden; he was born on this date in 1946. An artist working in performance, sculpture and installation art, his work is collected in the LACMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Middelheimmuseum, Antwerp, Belgium; the Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporanea, Brazil; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, among others. And he has been celebrated in the lyrics of songs by David Bowie (“Joe the Lion”) and Laurie Anderson (“It’s Not the Bullet that Kills You – It’s the Hole [for Chris Burden]”).
Metropolis II (2011) kinetic art project by Chris Burden. At LACMA, filmed March 16, 2013.
(Parts 2, 3, and 4 linked to the right on the YouTube page)
As we remark that the young Frank actually looks a little like today’s most famous singing cyclist, David Byrne, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You” reached the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100. Arguing that “there’s only two kinds of music as far as I’m concerned: good and bad,” Charles had overcome his label’s reservations (“you’ll alienate your fans”) and recorded Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music; “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was the first single from the album. It held the #1 spot on the singles chart for five weeks (the biggest pop hit of Charles’s monumental career); Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music went on to become the best-selling album of the year. Speaking just before Charles’ death in 2004, his friend and collaborator Willie Nelson said that “The Genius” “did more for country music than any other living human being.”