Tuesday, February 1, 2011

L'Affair Landesman: Saying good-bye to all that

The NEA attempts to bring theater to the Carnival.
By Barry Johnson

Well, maybe we've gotten that Rocco Landesman theater affair out of our system. I'll try to watch for further developments, but I don't expect anything substantive.  Maybe Landesman is signaling a change of direction, but the NEA has already started giving larger and fewer grants. I don't think his rhetoric opens up a new way to think about how to fund the arts in America, and maybe it closed a few doors to him -- and to us.

For those coming to this fresh, I thought I would provide a chronological list of the Arts Dispatch posts, starting with the first one and working forward:

Dear Rocco Landesman: We don't need your Theater Death Panels -- "I want to back up a bit for some larger context, talk about Landesman's choice of terms (which were  poorly chosen), discuss who really supports theater in America and who doesn't, what makes a healthy theater ecology, and some of the more unsavory implications of his comments."

How far might the NEA Death Panels go? All the way... -- The implications for the rest of the arts in Landesman's comments about theater seem equally dire.

The chairman speaks: Rocco Landesman on the "decreasing supply" dust-up -- For balance, we re-printed Landesman's blog post on the affair.

Rocco Landesman: What does an 'over supply of theater' really mean? -- A reinterpretation taking some other commentary into account: "Now I've had a little more time for reflection and research, and I've decided that Landesman was conflating two different critiques of American theater." If you had to read just one of these, I'd read this one.