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Grayson Perry says Covid will clear ‘a bit of dead wood’ in the arts

Grayson Perry
Grayson Perry: “Too often, the audience for culture is just the people making it.”

Artist Grayson Perry has said the consequences of coronavirus on culture will lead to “a bit of dead wood” being lost from the arts scene.

“I think every part of life has probably got a bit of fat that needs trimming, a bit of dead wood,” he told The Arts Society magazine.

“It’s awful that the culture sector has been decimated, but I think some things needed to go.”

His comments attracted ire from some in the arts, but others backed him up.

He continued: “Too often, the audience for culture is just the people making it – theatres with whole audiences of actors, or exhibitions only put on to impress other curators.

“With Covid, it’s been like turning a computer off and on again, and seeing which files reappear. Some of them we don’t really

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  • November 3, 2020
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Denver’s Buntport Theater to bring drive-in, live theater show to Colorado Springs | Arts & Entertainment

Buntport Theater will put a live theater twist on the drive-in movie schtick.

In the popular Denver company’s new show, “The Grasshoppers,” attendees will sit in their cars at Legacy Loop, 1800 Recreation Way, and watch four human-sized green grasshoppers interact in a nature documentary spoof.


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As with all theater companies, the pandemic shut Buntport’s doors and forced them to get creative about continuing to make art. Company member Erin Rollman hit on the idea of grasshoppers when she knew they’d have to do something outside. And the little green bugs have six feet, which fell right in line with 6 feet of distancing. 


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“Grasshoppers are considered solitary insects,” says Rollman, who went on to create the 36-minute

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  • October 16, 2020
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Fine arts to go on display in Flemington Nov. 1

Our daily lives are too much filled with distractions. The current pandemic has focused our attention on narrow pursuits. We have retreated into our caves while we await better days. Meanwhile, the sun is still shining, and our well being deserves sunlight.

The fine artisans who live among us can show everyone the worlds that exist beyond our cave. Artists paint pictures, sculpt sculptures, take photographs, make jewelry, and create visions in glass, metal, wood, paper, fiber and film. Their visions await us.

Fine artisans are people, too. Lock downs are not new to them — they are accustomed to working alone in their studios. But the current pandemic has limited the number of artisan shows normally populating the days of spring and summer. Now, shows are returning.

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The Flemington Fine Artisans Show is back. This show is a semi-annual affair that attracts artisans working in a wide range

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  • October 12, 2020
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Mainly Mozart drive-in music festival to cap pandemic-fueled year of innovation for arts organization

Salvation in a parking lot sounds like the name of a heartland rock anthem by Meat Loaf or Bruce Springsteen, not the unofficial 2020 theme song for Mainly Mozart. But after the coronavirus pandemic forced Mainly Mozart to postpone its annual June festival and all its April and May concerts, a parking lot is exactly where this plucky San Diego arts nonprofit has been reborn.

Make that the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ dirt parking lot, a site as seemingly improbable for chamber-music performances as the nearby Interstate 5 freeway is for pogo-stick races. But what seemed improbable before the pandemic struck — drive-in chamber-music concerts — has proved transformative.

“I’m not taking anything away from the value of a high-quality livestreamed concert,” said Mainly Mozart CEO and co-founder Nancy Laturno.

“But we had to reduce staff and have had much-reduced resources as a result of the pandemic. So, if we can’t

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  • October 11, 2020
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Vote ‘Yes’ on arts trust fund question | Jersey Journal editorial

Jersey City voters have the opportunity to make history this election by approving a non-binding referendum on adding a small levy to property tax bills for a dedicated Arts and Culture Trust Fund.

Similar to dedicated parks funds in Jersey City and other municipalities, the new fund would be the first in the state dedicated to underwriting local arts.

The idea was set in motion long before the pandemic. But the devastation the coronavirus has wreaked on arts programming and livelihoods has served to highlight the need to support and expand the arts.

Far too often, funding for the arts – whether in school or municipal budgets – is seen as expendable when pitted against other line items. Having a dedicated trust fund will counteract such short-sighted thinking.

The arts play so many vital roles in society: helping children learn to express themselves creatively; giving us beauty and thought-provoking works

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  • October 10, 2020
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Xbox marks the spot: New game helps put Southeast Alaska arts and culture on the map

The request was so unusual that Jeff Skaflestad was nearly certain it was a misunderstanding.

Would Skaflestad, a Hoonah-based, Norwegian-Tlingit artist, be interested in creating artwork to be used in a video game?

“When they first asked me the question, I had to make sure they knew I don’t do Western-style art,” Skaflestad said in a phone interview. “I didn’t understand how formline art could appear in video games. I thought, in the first moment, ‘I think they got the wrong guy here.’”

However, incorporating art and culture not often seen in video games into the narrative adventure game “Tell Me Why” is exactly why Skaflestad; his partner, Lisa Andersson; Hoonah-based artist Gordon Greenwald; and Huna Heritage Foundation Executive Director Amelia Wilson among others were tapped to contribute to and consult on the project.

“Tell Me Why” is an episodic video game published by Xbox Game Studios and developed by

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  • October 7, 2020
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How do you teach performing arts when there are no performances? This school is learning

PHOENIX — For Monica Sauer Anthony, adapting to the challenge of a virtual classroom started with a reenvisioning of what it even means to teach at a performing arts school.

A choir can’t really rehearse in a virtual classroom much less give a live performance.

Neither can an orchestra.

There’s too much digital delay involved in streaming to get everybody synced up.

When Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona schools to close in March because of the pandemic, Sauer Anthony was teaching Music History and Culture, and Beginning Woodwinds, Flute and Oboe Studies at Arizona School for the Arts in downtown Phoenix.

As ASA began to make the switch to online learning, Sauer Anthony, who’s since become arts director and vice principal of student services, said the faculty was trying to maintain as much of a sense of normalcy as it could.

Teachers changed their focus

They did some virtual performing

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  • September 22, 2020
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London Arts Graduates Prepare for Pioneering Online Showcase

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LONDON — University of the Arts London, which comprises a series of fashion, photography and fine arts institutions, will unveil the work of thousands of final-year students on a shared online platform on July 28.

The platform is the first shared showcase for UAL’s six colleges: Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, London College of Communication and the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art.

The UAL Graduate Showcase web site, operated by IBM, has been designed to provide members of the public with the same sort of interaction that a physical event would offer.

There will be student presentations, social media handles, photos and immersive videos by students from courses ranging from a bachelor’s program in architecture to a master’s program in photography.

The aim is to ensure that students can still present their work to the public — and to

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