Jeffrey E. Salzberg's Blog (55)

Arts Jobs Are Jobs, Too

Recently, I had dinner with some lovely people and the conversation turned, as it so often does these days, to politics and economics. I mentioned the importance of arts funding, and one of my companions -- an artist herself -- said something like, "I care about arts funding, too, but jobs are more important."


It's time we stopped thinking of ourselves as charity cases. Arts jobs are no less…


Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on September 16, 2010 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

Feed Your Kids the Arts

From To restart the animation, click or "Refresh" or "Reload" on your browser's toolbar.…


Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on January 3, 2010 at 7:30am — No Comments

Giving Thanks

A prisoner in a WWII concentration camp was praying. A fellow inmate asked him, "What are you doing?", to which he replied, "Giving thanks to G-d."

"Giving thanks?! What on earth is there to be thankful for in this place of unspeakable horror?"

"I'm thanking Him for not making me one of THEM."

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on November 26, 2009 at 6:35am — No Comments

Happy Turkey Day

On May 29 in 1912, fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA for dancing the "Turkey Trot" while on the job. There has been debate as to whether they were fired for dancing that particular dance or for the quality of their performance. Having been a wee mite at the time, I wasn't there, but I'd bet it was the quality of performance.

After all, the Curtis Publishing Company was the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post, which… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on November 25, 2009 at 4:18pm — No Comments

You've been Delled -- and you didn't even get kissed

Last July, I got hired at the very last minute -- 13 days before opening -- to light a show. My laptop computer was dying (rather dramatically so); there was no way it would make it through another show. At the time, I was in rural Vermont; there was obviously no time for mail-order and the closest thing to a computer store was Staples...and the only laptop they had that I could afford was a Dell.

I was hesitant to buy Dell. I'd had one 5 years before and the experience was not good… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on November 19, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Open Letter

Dear California:

Constitutions are for protecting rights, not limiting them.

Love and kisses,


Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on May 30, 2009 at 5:41pm — No Comments

The Art of Acting

At the Tribeca Film Festival this week*, I saw City Island and at the post-screening talkback (talkbacks with film directors, by the way, are much more interesting than talkbacks after plays and ballets. Who knew?), one of the audience members asked why Andy Garcia was cast as the lead instead of an "Italo-American". His argument was that an actor of Italian descent would have brought more insight into the role of an Italian-American.

Well, fella, it's called "acting". Any… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on May 1, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

My Experience

There's an Edward Jones commercial currently airing, in which the investment advisor (read: "salesman") is telling the customer, "In my experience, in this kind of a market...."

Well, to have had experience in this kind of a market, he'd have to be at least 100 years old...and if if he's 100 years old and still working, who wants his investment advice?

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on March 15, 2009 at 4:18pm — No Comments

Arts Funding, Redux

While blogging on the future of classical music, Greg Sandow has said:

The economic argument for giving stimulus money to the arts is shallow, and easy for non-arts organizations to trump. It's hard to argue for money for the arts when money for crucial social programs -- public health, for instance -- is lacking. It's hard, politically, to give stimulus money for arts organizations like the Metropolitan… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on February 23, 2009 at 11:00am — No Comments

Economic Impact of the Arts

Recently, Ron Nehring, the Chairman of the California Republican Party, was on C-SPAN, and he said that Michael Steele, the new RNC chairman, will help people see "the benefits of Republican ideas".

Well, we've seen the benefits of Republican ideas, thankyouverymuch. We see them every time we turn to the financial news.

Mr Nehring also made some remarks about the inclusion of arts funding in the stimulus package. I sent him this, through the… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on February 3, 2009 at 8:15am — No Comments

Mondays With Merce

Starting Monday, January 12, 2009, join the Merce Cunningham Studio for Mondays With Merce, a series of webcasts available for free viewing. Go behind the scenes at the Merce Cunningham Studio to see Merce teach advanced technique class and conduct rehearsals. The episodes will also include interviews with Merce Cunningham and his associates, including current and former dancers, artists and musicians, and choreographers… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on January 11, 2009 at 1:09pm — No Comments

The trouble with Broadway....

The trouble with Broadway....

I have no problem with musicals being derivative. They always have been; Oklahoma, regarded as the first modern musical, was based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs, My Fair Lady was based on Pygmalion, West Side Story was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet (which itself used the same plot as earlier works), etc.

But here's the problem: the train of thought used to be, "Let's base a musical on Don… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on January 8, 2009 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Cheney's number one!

One percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey said that Dick Cheney is the best vice president in American history.

So let's look at some of the former veeps whom these Intellectual Giants think were inferior to Cheney:

  • John Adams
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Harry Truman

Three former Vice Presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but I guess that's somewhat less of a… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on December 22, 2008 at 5:30pm — No Comments


Presented without comment:

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on December 21, 2008 at 5:35pm — No Comments

The hidden message in "It's a Wonderful Life"



I've been watching (as I suspect many of us have) It's a Wonderful Life, that great Christmas classic starring (sigh) Donna Reed other people....and I was struck by something I'd never considered before despite having seen the film scores of times.

At the end, Donna Reed's husband's friends all chip in to help replace the $8,000 that Donna Reed's uncle-in-law had mistakenly given… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on December 21, 2008 at 7:00am — No Comments

A Daughter's Dance Brings Dad Joy

From Scott Simon's essay on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday:

Our 5-year-old daughter is a ballet jock. Elise keeps her pink leotard and ballet slippers on after class, when she has an ice cream cone — two scoops and extra sprinkles when she's with me, some diet for a ballerina — and often wears her dance clothes to bed.

This passage particularly resonated with me:

But Ms. Kramer, who loves… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on December 21, 2008 at 6:30am — No Comments

Congress shall make no law....

The University of North Carolina, a state university, has recently banned official displays of Christmas trees. I recently read a blog post decrying that decision and asking, "What could be more American than a Christmas tree in December?"

The answer to that question would seem to be obvious: "The First Amendment".

Too many people seem to think that the Bill of Rights -- especially the First Amendment -- contains the phrase, "Unless you really want to."

It… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on December 6, 2008 at 6:00am — No Comments

Life Imitates Art

In the final season of The West Wing, a young minority Democrat named Matt Santos ran for president against a much-older Republican senator. The senator was so moderate that he was criticized by the right-wing of his own party for not being"conservative"...enough. In an attempt to placate these critics, he chose as his running mate a fundamentalist Christian governor.

About a month before the election, a dramatic event occurred that tipped the election toward the… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on December 2, 2008 at 5:30am — No Comments

The Price of Hogs

I wasn't there, but I'm told that on November 22, 1963, the evening newscaster on the radio station in the town in which I later went to college announced:

"President Kennedy was assassinated today in Dallas," and then, without pausing for breath, continued:

"The price of hogs. . . ."

No indication that this was an event of cataclysmic dimension. No acknowledgment that the world would be forever changed. No sign that something very horrible had occurred.… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on November 30, 2008 at 11:46am — 1 Comment

Fanfare for the Common Man

I had an epiphany some time ago. I listened to Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.

I’d heard it before, of course – it’s long been one of my favorite pieces of American music, actually – but this time I really listened to it. And, for the first time, I understood it.

It helps to know the background. In 1942, the Cincinnati Orchestra invited 18 composers to submit new pieces expressing their feelings about America. At the time, Nazi Germany had conquered most… Continue

Added by Jeffrey E. Salzberg on November 14, 2008 at 6:05am — 1 Comment

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