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Arlene Goldbard's Blog

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Mar.27.2014
This has been a strange time in my little world: I’ve been traveling for work while my computer stayed home and lost its mind. I’m glad to say that sanity (i.e., memory, software, and general order) has been restored, and while I still have the sort of compulsive desire to tell the tale that...
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Mar.03.2014
For a year and a half or so, I’ve been an advisor to a new and exciting project, the US Department of Arts and Culture, which is demonstrating the public cultural presence we need in this country by performing it. Watch Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett explain it in a video clip. My...
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Feb.20.2014
In her concluding keynote for Staging Sustainability 2014, Adrienne Goehler exhorted conference attendees to support a “basic income grant” as a universal right. She put it succinctly: the current system forces overproduction in all realms, even art. The current system of grants for...
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Feb.17.2014
In my keynote for Staging Sustainability 2014, I was asked to define “sustainability.” “The implicit meaning of the term refers to its opposite,” I told the group. “We fear having damaged ecosystems so much that life on Earth will soon be unsustainable, so sustainability names our search...
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Feb.12.2014
I spent a chunk of last week in a very cold and snowy Toronto at Staging Sustainability 2014, a conference with the subtitle “People. Planet. Profit. Performance.” It was masterminded by Ian Garrett of the Center for Sustainable Practice in The Arts, who teaches at York...
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Jan.22.2014
I used to love the original “Star Trek,” each episode a short course in cultural anthropology. The Enterprise traipsed through outer space, often stumbling across civilizations running on a distorted operating system that oppressed some inhabitants to benefit others. The distortions being...
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Jan.03.2014
"I feel my artworks, to a great degree, they are desires that will never be fulfilled. But that doesn’t impact on what we do manage to do. Just as I feel that the great part of the demand for freedom lies in fighting for it, and not just in it being a goal. I feel that the process of striving is...
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Jan.03.2014
"I feel my artworks, to a great degree, they are desires that will never be fulfilled. But that doesn’t impact on what we do manage to do. Just as I feel that the great part of the demand for freedom lies in fighting for it, and not just in it being a goal. I feel that the process of striving is...
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Dec.31.2013
"Many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment. Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later."...
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Dec.23.2013
Joseph Epstein is a conservative writer, mid-70s, who has spent much of his literary life pissing off readers with liberal or left values. His newest piece in the Wall Street Journal—“The Late, Great American WASP”—is a case in point, worshipping a bygone American WASP-ocracy that...
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Dec.13.2013
There’s been an art-blogworld swirl lately about need versus want. You can find a summary with links to relevant posts by half a dozen bloggers in this entry in Barry Hessenius’s blog. In this context, I find the distinction nearly meaningless. Need how? To sustain...
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Nov.29.2013
Nato Thompson: "I said to you, ‘Rick, what are you going to do? Because now there are all these social practice programs where a lot of white kids are graduating and they’re going to go into communities of color and try to help everybody.’ And then you said, ‘Well, it sounds like they’re finally...
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Nov.17.2013
I’m not a sports fan. in fact, I’m so not a sports fan that I can seldom match the team names with the sports they play. But friends have been sharing so many stories and clips about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin affair—racism and bullying in the Miami Dolphins—that I felt...
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Oct.24.2013
I’ve been traveling lately, talking with people about creating a culture of possiiblity in their own arenas—organizations, communities, companies, movements, and beyond. The idea that animates this work is very simple: we are suffering greatly from the conventional understanding that has...
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Oct.22.2013
I’m always talking up the power of art and culture to change worlds. Today, I’m going to let the poster child for the paranoid style in American politics make the case for me as he swoons with fear in the face of an art and social change project I’m involved in, one that is barely...
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