Midweek News & Notes: @MayorEmanuel Tweeter Revealed; Illinois Art Council Grantees; Block Director Stepping Down

March 2, 2011 · Print This Article

 

Just a few quick newsy items for this midweek:

*First up, the most significant story of the week (to my mind): Columbia College Journalism professor Dan Sinker – the founder of Punk Planet, no less — was revealed as the @MayorEmanuel Tweeter! Sinker’s fake mayor Twitter persona was the most brilliantly literary use of Twitter I’ve yet seen -  punk rock to the core. For further background on the @MayorEmanuel saga, check out his (now defunct) Twitter feed, as well as this annotated, archivable version of those same Tweets on Snarkmarket, and listen to WBEZ Radio’s interview with Sinker on Eight Forty-Eight here.

*On to somewhat more relevant news: The Illinois Arts Council has announced its first round of FY2011 grants, awarding 725 grants totaling over $7,567,938. Click here to see the full rundown of awardees county-by-county. The big question is: how long will it take for awardees to receive their funds? See this July, 2010 article in Time Out to learn more about the IAC’s ongoing budget woes due to the state of Illinois’ economic crisis. Key ‘graph from Time Out’s piece:

“While the agency’s budget has crept back up to $8.5 million for fiscal 2011, [IAC Executive Director] Scrogum warns that Quinn probably will impose a “reserve” on grants, freezing recipients’ access to at least five percent of the money until the state’s finances improve. Fiscal 2011 applications were due in April; our sources’ pessimism about them appears justified. “We don’t know how much will be available to award,” Scrogum admits, “and even once that is known, [we still won’t be] able to predict how long it’s going to take for those grants to be paid.”

For further background, listen to Richard Holland’s interview with the IAC’s Executive Director Terry Scrogum about the funding crisis in Episode 205 of Bad at Sports’ podcast.

*Arts writers declare ‘strike’ against Huffington Post.  Make sure to read the comments (there are surprisingly few – maybe that tells ya something), as they provide interesting points of view on the debate.

*David Alan Robertson, The Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, will step down effective December 31, 2011, as stated in a press release issued by Northwestern University.

*Interested in the idea of Community Supported Art? Want to know what the hell that even means? Check out two great, affordable examples here and here.

 




‘Art of the Steal’ Plays at Block Cinema This Wednesday

March 8, 2010 · Print This Article

The Art of the Steal, the much-discussed documentary film about the controversial struggle over the Barnes Foundation’s extraordinary collection of Impressionist works of art, will have its Chicago premiere at Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art this Wednesday evening. Located in Merion, Pennsylvania at the explicit behest of Dr. Albert C. Barnes himself, the Foundation’s collection is now slated to be moved to downtown Philadelphia, a decision which has caused a national uproar.

The film screens this Wednesday, March 10th, at 7pm at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 847.491.4000.

Here’s the blurb and the trailer from the film’s official website:

“In 1922, Dr. Albert C. Barnes formed a remarkable educational institution around his priceless collection of art, located just five miles outside of Philadelphia. Now, more than 50 years after Barnes’ death, a powerful group of moneyed interests have gone to court for control of the art, and intend to bring it to a new museum in Philadelphia. Standing in their way is a group of Barnes’ former students and his will, which contains strict instructions stating the Foundation should always be an educational institution, and that the paintings may never be removed. Will they succeed, or will a man’s will be broken and one of America’s greatest cultural monuments be destroyed?”