WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (January 10-16, 2011)

ARTS & CULTURE

SF gay history museum finds home, identity.” By Jessica Kwong. San Francisco Chronicle. January 12, 2011. Long recognized as “one of the great ground zeroes of queer liberation,” the Castro becomes the site of the nation’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history museum today. “Our letters were burned, our names blotted out, our books censored, our love declared unspeakable, our very existence denied,” spell out words from a 1979 San Francisco Gay History Project flyer inscribed along one of the museum’s walls. Now, objects from the kitchen table and pink-framed sunglasses that belonged to Harvey Milk – who became the first elected openly gay politician in California by becoming a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors – to manuscripts and sex toys, are on display at the 1,600-square-foot space at 4127 18th St. With two exhibits and hundreds of articles, the GLBT History Museum is the world’s second museum dedicated solely to gay and lesbian archives and materials, museum officials said. The only other one is in Germany.

Eli Broad, Wal-Mart Heiress, Ubiquitous Piano Lead Museum Boom – Commentary.” By James S. Russell. Bloomberg.com. Jan 12, 2011. The $100 million Broad Art Foundation will rise from sinuously curved piers to a canted exterior with a bristling, light-shading lattice. Inside, the walls and ceiling of an exhibition space almost an acre in size will glow with carefully controlled daylight. Eli Broad unveiled the design by Manhattan architecture firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro on Dec. 6.Some of the 2,000 works of modern and contemporary art collected by Broad and his wife, Edythe, will be displayed in glass vitrines rather than hung on the slanting, windowed walls. While the recession brought a lull in a two-decade museum building boom, 2011 is looking like a banner year. The highlights include: the Miami Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Arkansas); Kimbell, Gardner (Fort Worth); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston); Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia); St. Louis Art Museum; Clyfford Still Museum (Denver); Whitney Museum (New York).
Related story:
Salvador Dali museum re-opens in Florida.” BBC News. January 12, 2011.

Orchestras struggling to stay solvent.” By Tim Evans. USA Today. January 14, 2011. When patrons showed up for a concert by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra last fall, they were treated to an evening far different from the typical performance. Inside a museum adjacent to the concert hall, a portable planetarium projected images of planets — the theme of the night’s event — dancing across the sky as concertgoers munched on food and sipped drinks included in the price of admission. Instead of programs, they were handed Tarot cards with information about the planets and tips on what to listen for in the music being performed to a backdrop of celestial images captured by the Hubble telescope. After the show, a local astronomy group set up telescopes outside for viewing Jupiter. The concert — a sell-out with a rare waiting list for tickets — is an example of the approaches big city orchestras are taking as they struggle to remain financially solvent in the face of flat ticket sales, escalating operating costs, falling donations and endowment funds that have not recovered from the recession. Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, said it is critical for orchestras to find ways to engage new audiences and build additional revenue streams while keeping a lid on expenses.

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