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September 14th, 2015watch now
Join us, dear readers, as we journey through the crazy and not at all heartwarming or life affirming stories from another week in the arts.
Just as Arts Council England, the DCMS and anybody with an agenda was talking up last week's story about the culture sector generating billions for the country while simultaneously curing all known illnesses and giving birth to multiple baby unicorns something sinister was afoot in Wolverhampton.
The BBC reported that the local council has decided to cut all funding for anything to do with culture or the arts;
"Wolverhampton council is to cut funding it gives to arts and voluntary groups in the city, to save £1.6m. It is planning to stop subsidies to 13 organisations in April, while 17 groups will continue to receive money for the next financial year only.
Among those affected are the Wildside Activity Centre, Community Transport and the Central Youth Theatre, which has said it may be forced to close."
Wolverhampton Council blamed central government, central government blamed the Labour party, the Labour party blamed the Daily Mail, and so on.
We prodded ACE Chairman Peter Balzagette to say something about it but he didn't, because he was unable to engage his low rent media training and call somebody by their first name despite the fact he's never met them.
MoMA is a Funny Word
On the other side of the Atlantic, the ocean not the magazine, the Wall Street Journal was reporting that the Museum of Modern Art in New York has lost its way.
The reason for this lack of focus, according to writer Eric Gibson, is the fact that MoMA's building is far to big for its boots, metaphorically speaking that is, we don't think the museum has any actual boots although it is MoMA so anything is possible.
"...there is what can only be described as MoMA's rapacious campaign of deaccessioning. In a May 2004 article, cultural journalist and blogger Lee Rosenbaum reported in the Journal that MoMA had sold nine paintings from the permanent collection at that year's spring auctions for a total of $25.65 million."
First of all, kudos for being able to use the words "rapacious" and "deaccessioning" in one sentence, we had to look both of those words up.
Secondly, it appears the museum is selling off the family silver so they can build more gallery space to show less paintings and art work to people. Which makes sense if you're running an art gallery we suppose.
A more simple explanation can be found with the gallery's director Glenn D. Lowry. He's a man, and men like anything that gets bigger and costs a lot of money, why do you think Viarga spam is so effective?
On that note we shall move on...
Gold Plated Tickets
The BBC, again, is reporting that tickets for popular shows in London are being shifted on the black(ish) market for thousands of pounds.
Essentially, rapacious individuals (see what we did there?) are buying tickets for shows at face value from a theatre box office then promptly try to re-sell those tickets for massive sums online.
"The problem affects most of the UK's biggest venues, including theatres that are subsidised by the state. At the time of writing, one website was offering two tickets to see Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse for £2,015. The face value was originally £20-£35 each."
To be perfectly honest with you, if you're stupid enough to buy tickets for the theatre at more than £1,000 a throw then you probably deserve all that's coming to you. Such folk are probably the same ones who buy new iPhones from Ebay for double their retail price, just because they can.
Theatre's like the Donmar offer no solutions to the problem both they and their customers face. We, here in TheLab™, helpfully suggested something very sarcastic and very funny but we were rebuffed.
Some folk are just ungrateful...
The Week in Tweets
We mentioned it above and here it is live, from Twitter, uninterrupted coverage of ACE Chairman Peter Balzagette with absolutely nothing to say about arts funding cuts.
Have a nice weekend.