|What would an NEA Theater Death Panel look like, anyway?|
The NEA doesn't have to convene Arts Death Panels: The culture itself is doing a fine job of that without Rocco Landesman's lethal ministrations. We'll count a few of the ways.
- The Syracuse Symphony is on the brink of going dark (in "the last three years, ticket sales declined 23 percent, government support by 32 percent and corporate by 24 percent").
- The travails continue at the Louisville Symphony, where a judge forced the board to honor its union contract by tapping into its endowment, part of a vicious labor dispute. The local paper decided to write a story showing that Louisville isn't the only place with a struggling symphony, listing orchestras in Honolulu, St. Louis, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Albuquerque and Milwaukee, with Colorado Springs representing a hopeful "back from the dead" scenario. See? America's mid-sized cities are losing their orchestras without any help at all from the NEA. That's independence!
- That story also listed Detroit, speaking of vicious labor disputes, where the board and administration have managed to destroy all sense of community with the musicians, and recently rejected a musician proposal to end the strike, which began in the fall. We've written about this one a lot.
Finally, as I sifted the web for reactions to Rocco Landesman's suggestions, I ran into Theatre Ideas: On Rocco Landesman and Muhammad Yunus, which offered a more democratic, micro-financing approach to arts funding by the NEA, and really, arts in general. It's worth rummaging around the site for ideas and inspiration.