Link Roundup! – 6/5/15
NPR’s feature of photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman’s portraits of queer people of color, inspired by fresco paintings of saints, is so awesome:
The photo series, called “Queer Icons,” evokes the colorful, religious artwork that Roman grew up with. “Because I grew up Catholic in a Mexican community in Chicago, my first introduction to art was religious art,” he says…And because Roman’s subjects are activists and artists who do good for the community, “I wanted to represent them as saints,” he says. He also wanted to capture their pride and their strength. “I wanted them to be warriors — that’s why a lot of them are looking straight at the camera, saying ‘Here I am, and I’m not going to hide.'”
This Guardian article asks an important question: how would you explain theatre to somebody who’s never been?
There’s been lots of talk recently around the idea that theatre sometimes feels too much like an exclusive club for those who are in the know. Questions are being asked about why so many people think that it’s not for them – something I touched upon in a blog earlier this year. Figures from the Warwick Commission make worrying reading: the wealthiest, best educated and least ethnically diverse 8% of society make up nearly half of live music audiences and a third of theatregoers and gallery visitors…Perhaps what we don’t talk about enough is the pleasure of theatre, how it makes us feel, and why those of us who go frequently love it so much.
After another Hollywood casting controversy, this time focusing on the Cameron Crowe film Aloha, Melissa HIllman took to her blog to take the movie to task:
When the culture sees white as “neutral,” is it any wonder that a white woman can be cast to play a woman of color and (almost) no one bats an eye? Emma Stone can be just “an actor” while Jessica Henwick is an “Asian actor.” I’m willing to wager Crowe didn’t even read any hapa actresses for the role of Allison Ng, and that the casting call went out asking for “Caucasian actresses, 18-24.”
It’s depressingly common for white people to brush this off with things like, “She’s half white! Why can’t a white person play her?!” as if mixed people in America are somehow fully represented by a white person; as if mixed people in America are not struggling with racism, bigotry, and other issues PARTICULAR TO THEM; as if mixed people are fair game to ERASE COMPLETELY. As if white actors are truly neutral, the universal donors of casting.
Joanne Bernstein, on the Arts marketing Insights Blog, wonders if a loyalty point system for theatre audiences is a replacement for the failing subscription model:
Consider this loyalty plan for arts organizations. All current patrons – subscribers and single ticket buyers alike — should be automatically included in the plan, and new ticket buyers should be signed up concurrent with their first ticket purchase. This plan is for everyone. Each organization should set its own parameters regarding the number of points earned for various purchases and the number of points required for greatly reduced price tickets. As an example, offer $10 tickets to any performance, given availability, with 50 points; $5 tickets for specific dates, times, or less popular productions with 40 points; $10 tickets to bring guests for a determined number of points, and so on.