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Opinion

  • Financial Crisis of the Berkshire Museum

    What Do the Numbers Add Up To

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 16th, 2017

    As a matter of public record we have examined the Federal tax information Form 990 disclosures of the Berkshire Museum from 2011 to 2015. They do not appear to create a profile of a cultural institution in dire straits. The museum is going forward with last ditch plans to sell 40 works of art. It is possible that there has been a dramatic downturn in the past two years? A Berkshire Eagle editorial asked “Why deny access to the museum's profit/loss statements for the past two years?" Based on reports for the prior five years we have questions for the museum, its director, Van Shields, and the board of trustees.

  • How to Watch a Movie

    Salvation in a Darkened Room

    By: Nancy Kempf - Apr 10th, 2017

    This think piece explores the difference between movies and cinema. In a compelling overview Kempf states that "I go to a lot of movies for a variety of reasons: to learn about other worlds/people/times through fictions and documentaries, to measure the zeitgeist, to ease a 100°+ summer day, but my primary desire is to experience the art of cinema, a remarkable art that, even more than stage, is collaborative and incorporates the entire constellation of the arts."

  • Trumping the Arts

    Budget Wipeout of Government Funding

    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 16th, 2017

    It is time for dissent and action. The federal budget proposes massive increases for national defense balanced by the elimination of $300 million currently supporting the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) which, if approved by a Republican dominated Congress, will be eliminated.

  • ICA To Lease Expanded Space

    Two if by Sea in East Boston

    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 07th, 2017

    When the Institute of Contemporary Art opened its waterfront home there were awards for the dramatic design by Diller Scofido and Renfro. Immediately, however, it was obvious that with 65,000 square feet, and just its top floor for exhibitions, there was no plan for expansion and growth. For the next five to ten years the ICA is leasing a 15,000 square foot industrial place in East Boston. Visitors will commute by ferry to the seasonal Watershed which opens in the summer of 2018.

  • Rockefeller Offers Hamilton Matinees

    Title 1 School Children See the Best Show in Town

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 02nd, 2017

    Alexander Hamilton may have created the financial system that made building John D. Rockefeller's fortune possible. Now Rockefeller money is being used to fund tickets for Title 1 school children to attend the hottest show in town, "Hamilton."

  • Denver's Unique Strategy to Fund the Arts

    One Cent from Every Ten Dollars Spent Goes a Long Way

    By: Susan Hall - Feb 26th, 2017

    There is a 0.1 percent sales tax for arts and culture in Denver’s seven-county metro area. At just one cent for every ten dollars it generates $1.85 billion annually in economic activity, creates 10,205 jobs, and stimulates $520 million in tourism.

  • The Science of Vaccinations

    Scratch and Sniff

    By: Jimmy Midnight - Feb 15th, 2017

    Polio is widely regarded, along with smallpox, as vaccination’s other “unmistakable success,” and in recent years the World Health Organization has pronounced it confined to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Vote for North Adams

    Contest for $500,000 Grant

    By: Charles Giuliano - Feb 09th, 2017

    North Adams has bsen selected as one of five finalists for Main Street Season Two. Please help by casting a vote once a day from now through February 16. The prize for the Small Business Revolution contest is $500,000.

  • Pittsfield's Four Freedom's Rally

    Colonial Theatre Saturday, January 28

    By: Kate Maguire - Jan 27th, 2017

    Recently The Colonial Thatre in Pittsfield was the site for a packed gathering as a part of the national Women's March in protest of the extremist threats of President Donald Trump. The Colonial Theatre will be a part of the national Four Freedom's Rally on Saturday, January 28. Kate Maguire, the artistic director of the Berkshire Theatre Group, which includes the Colonial has taken a stand in activist resistance.

  • Decline in Theatre and Arts Media Coverage

    Matt Windman Panel for American Theatre Critics Association

    By: Aaron Krause - Jan 08th, 2017

    Matt Windman, author of “The Critics Say…57 Theater Reviewers in New York and Beyond Discuss Their Craft and Its Future,” led a panel discussion during the NY ATCA conference on the state of theater criticism in today’s world of social media bloggers and a decreasing number of full-time print theater critics

  • Love at a Distance by Kaija Saariaho

    Heralded Across the Continent, So So at the Met Opera

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 22nd, 2016

    An important opera by a major composer is set well at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Met Orchestra under Susanna Mälkki was magnificent. The orchestral score is one of beauty and terror, evoking the sea and the dangers of love. It is the story that provides an arc, and this production missed it entirely, leaving the experience flat.

  • Holiday Leftovers

    The New Agit-Prop

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 26th, 2016

    A friend wrote of spending Thanksgiving in the kitchen and concern that I had passed mine contemplating the pending decline and fall of an American empire. The response set forth some concerns for the new era of social and political commentary. The end is near and starts now.

  • Winter at The Mount

    Events Through February

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 18th, 2016

    Now that it is assured of ongoing financial stability The Mount, a landmark in the Berkshires, is moving toward increased winter programming., Here is a schedule of upcoming events.

  • Gloucester Author Peter Anastas

    Responding to Olson's Place as the Geography of Our Being

    By: Karl Young and Peter Anastas - Sep 24th, 2016

    During our recent visits including a residency at the Gloucester Writers Center we encountered the author Peter Anastas. He is an activist and author of novels based on Gloucster. In particular we are interested in his relationship with Charles Olson and his influence on the rich literary culture of Cape Ann. With permission we are reposting an excerpt of a long interview between Anastas and Karl Young.

  • Boston Globe Shrinks Fine Arts Coverage

    Eliminating Cate McQuaid's Weekly Gallery Column

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 21st, 2016

    Bad news continues for the arts community. The Boston Globe has announced that it is elminating Cate McQuaid's weekly gallery column. Kington Gallery is circulating a petition to have the vital coverage reinstated.

  • Roger Nierenberg Teaches Listening

    Kodaly, Britten, Wagner and Ravel at DeMenna Center

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 20th, 2016

    The conundrum of declining symphony audiences is being addressed with all sorts of efforts. The Roger Nierenberg proposal, mixing the audience in and with the orchestra, is a bold and helpful approach.

  • Globe and Times Shrink Arts Coverage

    Direct Impact on the Berkshires

    By: William Marx. - Sep 11th, 2016

    In the ever eroding realm of print journalism yet again the deep cuts are to the arts. Berkshire theatre companies, Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow, and museums have long relied on reviews by the New York Times and Boston Globe. As of now the Times is eliminating "regional" coverage which includes the Berkshires. In the western part of the state the arts in the Berkshires are likely to get far less attention from the Boston Globe. With its emphasis on "national" coverage the Williamstown Theatre Festival this season moved opening night from Thursday to Saturday in a perceived snub to "local" reviews including timely blogs. Other than the Eagle they also diminished access for interviews and elminated press conferences. Those polices may come back to haunt arts organizations next summer.

  • Gonzo Aesthetics of Giuliano’s Poetry

    Ultra Cosmic Gonzology

    By: Robert Henriquez - Aug 18th, 2016

    With the third book of poetry by Charles Giuliano, Ultra Cosmic Gonzology, again the essayist is Robert Henriquez. The former CBS News producer has probed deeply into aspects of the avant-garde and places the development of gonzo poetry into a larger historical and literary context. The new book will be launched with a reading at Gloucester Writers Center on August 31.

  • Can the Metropolitan Opera Survive

    The House is One-Quarter Full

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 10th, 2017

    Sitting in the 7th row of the orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday night, in a skimpy house, most of my neighbors had paid between $20 and $37.50 for their tickets. Fortunately for the Met Opera, HD fans have a different take on Met productions than people who like their opera live.

  • Tilson Thomas and Gehry's New New World

    Miami Beach Leads the Way to Future of Classical Music

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 18th, 2017

    Frank Gehry babysat for Michael Tilson Thomas in Los Angeles where they both grew up. Now they are building a new world for classical music together.

  • Laurie Norton Moffatt on the Role of Trustees

    Rockwell Museum Director Argues for Respect

    By: Laurie Norton Moffatt - Aug 14th, 2017

    In a key op-ed piece for the Berkshire Eagle, Laurie Norton Moffatt the director of the Norman Rockwell Museum, called on the Berkshire Museum to "pause" its plans to sell 40 works including two by Rockwell. Largely based on her position the story broke in the national media. In the process the rhetoric escalated. In this opinion piece she asks for a wider understanding of the commmitment and responsibilites of serving on boards of non profits. With so many cultural institutions looking for funding from the same small pool of donors there are parfticular and extreme pressures for boards in the Berkshires. She calls for a focus on issues and not individuals.

  • David A Ross Opposes Berkshire Museum Sale

    Renowned Former Whitney Museum Director Posts Statement

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 13th, 2017

    The renowned former Whitney Museum director, David A. Ross, in an exclusive statement posted to Berkshire Fine Arts strongly opposes plans initiated by the Berkshire Museum. “This is a sad affair. Perhaps the board, if unwilling to raise funds in the way all museums have to, should resign (along with its feckless director). My feeling is it should merge administratively with another educational non-profit in the region, and then begin the process of stabilization. It would be preferable to see the museum close for a few years of re-organization, than to forever destroy the core of its irreplaceable art collection.”

  • Pickets Protest Berkshire Museum Meltdown

    Orderly Demonstration in Front of Museum

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 13th, 2017

    From 9 AM to noon there was an ordely and peaceful demonstration in front of the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. Pickets came and went with between 40 and 80 individuals linuing the sidewalk at any given time. Most passing cars honked their support. There was a media presence. While museum director, Van Shields, remained hunkered down in the bunker, board president Elizabeth "Buzz" Hayes McGraw delivered her boilplate message to a TV crew from Albany.

  • Protesting Berkshire Museum's Unethical Sale

    Pickets Planned for Saturday Morning August 12

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 10th, 2017

    The artists and their supporters in the Berkshires will take to the streets on Saturday, August 12, from 9 AM to noon. There will be picket lines in front ot the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. They will provide a visible presence of those protesting the pending sale of 40 choice works and plans to gut and "reboot" the historic museum and collections.

  • Rockwell Family Opposes Berkshire Museum Sale

    Game Changer and Time to Rethink the Reboot

    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 05th, 2017

    When Laurie Norton Moffett, director of the Norman Rockwell Museum, in a Berkshire Eagle op-ed piece asked the Berkshire Museum to "pause" in its plan to sell 40 works the story broke as national news. In daily coverage since then the pro and con has rocked back and forth. I seemed like game over when Joe Thompson, director of MASS MoCA, endorsed the sale and radical plans urging readers to "get real." Then lawyers waded in questioning that the works may or may not be "unrestricted." The controversy went into extra innings when the Rockwell family, in an Eagle letter, stated that the artist never intended for his works to be sold as a last ditch bailout for the poorly managed and curatorially aenemic museum.

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