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Here’s The Problem With Local Public Discussion Of The Arts
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In truth I could substitute “transportation” or “education” or “economic development” for “the arts” in that sentence and it would still be true, but maybe my standard for “fruitful conversation” is impossibly high.

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Breaking: Minnesota Orchestra Rehires Osmo Vanska
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“Sources reported that Vänskä was hired on a two-year contract to rebuild the orchestra. Vänskä held the post for 10 years before resigning last October during the longest labor dispute in the history of U.S. orchestras. His previous contract extended through 2015.”

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What Scientists Learned From A 115-Year-Old Woman: The Possible Limits To Human Life?
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“In the twilight of her life, about two-thirds of the white blood cells remaining in her body at death originated from just two stem cells, implying that most or all of the blood stem cells she started life with had already burned out and died.”

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— 2 hours ago
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Warhol’s Lost Home Computer Art (Yes, On A Commodore Amiga) Found
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“The artworks, made by Warhol as part of a collaboration with Commodore Amiga, had been stranded on Amiga floppy disks for almost twenty years after the artist saved them in the mid-1980s. They were only discovered and rescued from their obsolete format thanks to the chance viewing of a YouTube clip.”

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Jeffrey Kahane Resigns As Music Director Of LA Chamber Orchestra
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“Kahane, 57, is the ensemble’s fifth music director since the group was founded in 1968. He assumed his post in 1997. The conductor, who is an L.A. native and currently lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., is also an accomplished pianist and continues to perform and conduct with ensembles around the world.”

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Ben Heppner Retires From Singing
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“At his peak during the 1990s, Heppner was in demand around the world as one of the few tenors able to succeed in the demanding heroic tenor roles of German opera, as well as in Italian works such as Verdi’s Otello and Puccini’s Turandot.”

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— 2 hours ago
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Series-Production Standoff: “House of Cards” Versus The State Of Maryland
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“The California-based production company has postured long enough since the end of the legislative session, with threats to tear down the sets, pack up the soundstages in Joppa and move to Georgia or Pennsylvania.”

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— 3 hours ago
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Should Theatre Have Ratings Like The Movies Do?
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For the most part, live theater — even that mass audience magnet, the Broadway musical — has managed to escape such labeling, with presenters convinced theater audiences tend to be sophisticated enough to do whatever “pre-screening” they might think necessary on their own, especially if they’re planning to “take the kids.”

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— 3 hours ago
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Opera And Dance Would Seem To Be Natural Allies. Why Aren’t They?
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“Partly, this is due to the specialization of the two forms over the course of the nineteenth century, and the resulting theatrical requirements of each.”

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— 6 hours ago
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This Will Be Britain’s Most Viewed Piece Of Public Art
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“Artist Richard Wilson jammed a cardboard plane into a plastic hamster ball and bowled it along the floor, saying to engineers: ‘This is what I want! The result? An enormous 77-tonne aluminium artwork” called Slipstream that will be a centrepiece of Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2.

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— 13 hours ago
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Well, Here’s One Good Thing Coming Out Of Russia’s Annexation Of Crimea: Antiquities Looting Is Being Addressed
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“Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a region rich in archaeological sites that are routinely targeted by looters, has thrust illegal excavations around the shore of the Black Sea onto the political agenda. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, which has run archaeological digs in Crimea for decades, addressed the topic in a presentation to the Russian parliament in March, shortly after the peninsula voted to join Russia.”

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— 13 hours ago
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The ‘Fun Home’ Trip To South Carolina: A Report

“McNerney said the performances were not meant to be an insult or a challenge to lawmakers. They were meant to expose students to accomplished artists. ‘I hope they won’t punish us for presenting a piece of artistic work.’ And, he added, ‘not a cent of state money was used to support this’.”

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— 13 hours ago
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How Disney Movies Serve The Gay Agenda (The Real One)

“Through both its corporate practices and the content of its films, Disney for decades has implemented the so-called ‘gay agenda’ – which is to say, helping make the world a more accepting place.”

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— 13 hours ago
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Why Do Some People Hate Céline Dion So Much?

“‘The most wholly repellent woman ever to sing songs of love,’ spewed Cintra Wilson, ‘I think most people would rather be processed through the digestive tract of an anaconda than be Céline Dion for a day.’ Bitch, excuse me? We’re not talking about Bernie Madoff or the Abu Ghraib torture team.” Novelist Mary Gaitskill has a go at figuring it out.

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The Blue-Eyed Blond Who Convinced All London He Was Taiwanese (For A While)

“George Psalmanazar claimed to be a kidnapping victim who was snatched from Formosa (now known as Taiwan) by a Jesuit named Father de Rode of Avignon.” And that’s just the start of it …

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— 13 hours ago
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