Calgary's Indefinite Arts Society feels snubbed by feds who doled out $110 million in arts funding - Calgary Herald - Canadanewsmedia
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Calgary's Indefinite Arts Society feels snubbed by feds who doled out $110 million in arts funding – Calgary Herald

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Jung-Suk Ryu from the in-definite Arts Society is not pleaded with the lack of funding in Calgary on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia


Darren Makowichuk / DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

The Indefinite Arts Centre, which survived the collapse of the roof at Fairview Arena and is hoping to build a new facility to serve disabled artists, feels snubbed by the federal government, which allocated $110 million in arts funding in Calgary.

Ottawa pledged $80 million for an ambitious expansion of the Arts Commons and another $30 million, contingent upon contributions from the province and the city, for Contemporary Calgary to construct the city’s first major contemporary art gallery. Meanwhile, Indefinite Arts Centre did not see a penny despite requesting $7.5 million from the province and the federal government.

Jung-Suk Ryu, CEO of the centre, said Friday’s funding announcement is bittersweet.

“We, as an organization, can only thrive under the thriving arts ecosystem in Calgary, and Contemporary Calgary and Arts Commons are vital components of that, but at the same time I feel like we’ve been lied to,” he said.

“It begs the question of due process and fairness when it comes to these types of funding decisions.”

He said their organization has engaged with the federal government over the past year to discuss its plans to build a better facility following the roof failure at the nearly 50-year-old Fairview Arena in February 2018, and its subsequent demolition. From these conversations, Ryu understood the province had to determine it was a priority project before the federal government steps in to assist.

Being partially connected to the former arena, Ryu said the damage has greatly impacted their current space, which has a slanted roof, water pooling in different areas, cracks in the walls and structural erosion.


Jung-Suk Ryu from the in-definite Arts Society is not pleased with the lack of funding in Calgary on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Darren Makowichuk /

DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

“These are imminent issues that have to be addressed,” he said. “Is it ideal to serve the needs of our community? No. Is it ideal from a safety perspective? No. From a longevity perspective? Absolutely not. So we’re quite keen to move this project forward.” 

The Friday announcement, he said, was a disappointment because it appeared the commitment was made prior to provincial prioritization. Ryu believes the capital decision was made through a “purely political lens” with the federal election mere months away.

He asked, “are we not going to go ahead because we don’t happen to be in the riding of a cabinet minister?”

Both Arts Commons and the contemporary gallery are in MP Kent Hehr’s riding in Calgary’s core.

“These organizations have been at it for over a decade, working hard each and every day to try and get a new arts core in both the west end and a revitalization in downtown. This is not something that came up overnight,” Hehr told Postmedia Saturday.

“This has been worked on long and hard for the last four years and we finally came to a point where we said we can support these organizations and get these projects started.” 

He said the Liberal party has a positive record in supporting Canada’s disabled community and he will continue to be a champion for organizations, like Indefinite Arts.

Ryu isn’t the only critic of the major arts investment.

On Friday, the province dismissed the federal support as “pre-election posturing” with Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda drawing attention to oversubscription in regards to the joint federal-provincial funding source identified for Contemporary Calgary called the Investing in Canadian Infrastructure Program. This program will not fund the Arts Common expansion.

He said the program has exceeded the province’s funding allocations with over 700 applications received. They will be revised and eligible for Budget 2020 funding, but Panda said the United Conservative government needs time to assess the submissions in relation to the upcoming Alberta budget.

Ryu is still optimistic about the Indefinite Art Centre’s future and said they are having positive conversations with the new provincial government. He hopes they will be partially funded by the province in the upcoming budget, and if not the following year’s capital plans.

Indefinite Arts serves more than 300 artists living with developmental, physical and acquired disabilities through a range of programs. It has a current wait list of two years to access its services, which Ryu said is because of funding and space restrictions.

alsmith@postmedia.com

Twitter: @alanna_smithh

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A Natural Fit of Music and Art – The New York Times

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Collaborations between United States museums and orchestras date to at least 1923, when the Cleveland Orchestra premiered a suite by Douglas Moore inspired by four works in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection.

But the partnerships are growing today among institutions of all sizes, as museums and orchestras seek new audiences.

In June, for example, Jazz at Lincoln Center performed a series of concerts called “Portraits of America: A Jazz Story.” A dozen members of the orchestra composed new pieces of music inspired by the works of such artists as Romare Bearden and Stuart Davis in the collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

Accompanying the musical performances in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall was a digital presentation highlighting each work that inspired a composition. The museum also held a watch party of a live-streamed performance at its home in Arkansas.

Sandy Edwards, deputy director of the museum, called the watch party an “intimate” event and said the compositions “took our collection to a new place, creating an unexpected and provocative way for audiences to engage their senses beyond the visual.”

Some collaborations in the upcoming museum and orchestral seasons will mark important anniversaries, local in one case, national in the other. As Rebecca Salminen Witt, chief development and communications officer of the Detroit Historical Society, pointed out, “significant anniversaries are good markers for what history bears as important, what the public can connect to.”

The Detroit Historical Society and Detroit Symphony Orchestra are jointly celebrating the centennial of the city’s Orchestra Hall, which was designed by the theater architect C. Howard Crane and opened in 1919. Although it served as the home of the orchestra until 1939, from 1941 to 1951 it was renamed the Paradise Theatre and was a jazz concert hall; it then fell into disrepair before being saved in 1970 and restored, becoming the symphony’s home again in 1989.

To celebrate the hall’s 100th anniversary, the society lent a 1920 Dodge Model 30 car, owned by the former symphony vice president Horace Dodge, to the orchestra, which is displaying it for a month in the atrium of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, a recent addition to the hall. The society also is creating special exhibitions of music-related memorabilia, including jazz-related items, that will be on display in the center through March, as well as at the Detroit Historical Museum early next year.

The New York Philharmonic is staging an elaborate multiyear initiative starting in February called “Project 19” to mark the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. A key offering will be a newly staged version of Virgil Thomson’s 1947 opera, with libretto by Gertrude Stein, “The Mother of Us All,” which tells the story of Susan B. Anthony, an early suffragist who died before the amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified. Other historical figures involved with the movement — ranging from Daniel Webster to Lillian Russell — are also portrayed. The production will be jointly presented by the orchestra, Juilliard School and Metropolitan Museum of Art in the museum’s Charles Engelhard Court, in its American wing.

Limor Tomer, general manager of the museum’s live arts program, said the museum and orchestra “are on the same page programmatically. We share a commitment to diversifying audiences for contemporary works by living artists.”

Another goal of this collaboration, added Deborah Borda, president and chief executive of the New York Philharmonic, is to attract younger audiences, who she hopes will find the opera “absolutely riveting in terms applicable to today.”

A similar collaboration will take place next spring in Cleveland, when the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Orchestra, along with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, Cleveland School of the Arts, Cleveland Public Library and Facing History and Ourselves, an educational nonprofit, will participate in a citywide festival called “Censored: Art & Power.”

The centerpiece of the festival will be three performances in May by the orchestra of the 1935 opera “Lulu,” written by the Austrian composer Alban Berg during the Nazis’ rise to power. Also featuring a program in the museum’s German Expressionist gallery about works made by artists considered “degenerate” by the Nazis, a display of books on this art in the museum’s library, and related concerts and lectures, the festival will “look at the relationship of art and politics in Berg’s lifetime,” said Franz Welser-Möst, the orchestra’s music director.

“Just as the character of Lulu is abused and abusive in her own way, we will look into how music and art can be abused by a system and how a system can turn people on one another. These are important topics, not only from the past but in today’s world,” Mr. Welser-Möst said.

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, whose musicians have been performing contemporary chamber music in the Tadao Ando-designed Pulitzer Arts Foundation since 2004, will continue this tradition in the current season. In January, as part of the museum’s Susan Philipsz’ “Seven Tears” exhibition, the orchestra will perform the world premiere of the live version of her “Study for Strings.” It is inspired by a 1943 composition of the same name written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp by Czech composer Pavel Haas and performed in a 1944 Nazi propaganda film about the camp; Haas was killed in Auschwitz in 1944.

Not all collaborations between museums and orchestras involve huge institutions. From January through May next year, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Fla., will display over 100 set designs and original costumes from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts in a traveling exhibition developed by the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. It will also offer live performances of classical music, opera, dance, theater and poetry, working with the local Florida Orchestra and Detroit-based orchestra Sphinx Virtuosi. Many performances will take place on a custom-built stage in the exhibition’s galleries.

And the Omaha Symphony will continue its ongoing collaboration with the Joslyn Art Museum, presenting concerts whose programs are inspired by works in the museum’s collection. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will perform the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 at a concert in May; its program is inspired by a Frank Stella mixed-media painting, “Nogaro,” named after an automotive racetrack in France.

“On some level, collaborations between museums and orchestras are the most natural thing. After all, all human beings paint, sing, dance, sculpt, draw and make music. Everyone connects with light, color, sound, line, movement, rhythm, texture and so on. It’s our institutions that have compartmentalized and separated the different art forms,” said Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive of the League of American Orchestras.

Music, added Arthur Cohen, chief executive of LaPlaca Cohen, an arts consulting and research firm, can enable museums to offer “new experiences around their collections” and attract new visitors of all ages, from Gen Z to people born before 1945.

He predicted there will be more such collaborations in the future, with art museums “adding new, live performance spaces.”

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Arts workshop to be held in Igloolik in November – Nunatsiaq News

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“Drumdancer” was Aija Komangapik’s award-winning entry into the 2019 Indigenous Arts & Stories contest. The Government of Nunavut plans to host an arts workshop, including drum dancing, in Igloolik next month.

Nunavut government is seeking both teachers and participants

By Nunatsiaq News

If you’re interested in participating in Inuit traditional drum dancing, chanting and throat singing, and you’re aged between 18 and 30, you may have the opportunity to participate in an arts workshop to be held in Igloolik next month.

The elders and youth division of the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Culture and Heritage is inviting young people from all 13 Qikiqtaaluk communities who are interested in attending the workshop, which will be held on Nov. 25-29, to get in touch to express their interest, according to a news release.

The elders and youth division is also seeking Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit keepers who are interested in passing down traditional knowledge to young Nunavummiut.

The deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 25.

For more information, you can contact Leo Tulugarjuk, manager for elders programs at 867-934-2034; ltulugarjuk@gov.nu.ca or Sancia Irngaut, program officer for elders at 867- 934-2022; sirngaut@gov.nu.ca.

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Greta Thunberg will join Sustainabiliteens at #FridaysforFuture climate strike at Vancouver Art Gallery – Straight.com

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Expect throngs of young and old climate activists to converge on downtown Vancouver on Friday (October 25).

They’ll converge on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery to listen to a speech by their 16-year-old Swedish hero, Greta Thunberg, who will be making her first visit to the city.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thunberg attracted a crowd of 10,000 to 12,000 when she spoke recently in Edmonton.

When she spoke at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City in September, Thunberg emphasized the importance of keeping the global average temperature rise since the start of the Industrial Revolution to below 1.5 C.

“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius] at the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control,” Thunberg told world leaders at the summit. “Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution, or the aspects of equity and climate justice.

“They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50 percent risk is simply not acceptable to us—we who have to live with the consequences,” she continued. “To have a 67 percent chance of staying below a 1.5-degrees global temperature rise—the best odds given by the IPCC—the world had 420 gigatonnes of CO2 left to emit back on January 1, 2018.

“Today, that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatonnes. How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budgets will be entirely gone within less than eight-and-a-half years.”

Thunberg’s event in Vancouver will be hosted by the teen-climate group Sustainabiliteens Vancouver.

Last year, the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery was renamed šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square in honour of the region’s Indigenous heritage.

The name incorporates languages of all three Indigenous peoples in the region—the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish.

Video of Say it with us! šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square

This City of Vancouver video explains how to pronounce the name of  šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square.

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