I haven’t been using my ATM card lately to withdraw money from my checking account. With this financial crisis, I’m afraid that one of these days the receipt coming out of the machine is going to read, “Sorry, you’re a day late. We had to spend your money yesterday to pay our utility bill.”
For some reason, February and March seem to be a time when many theaters go into creativity overdrive and produce new works. I recently attended the fourth annual Colorado New Play Summit, presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company, where I heard readings of four new scripts plus a revised version of Meredith Willson's 1960 musical 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' that's working its way toward an eventual Broadway production.
Citing diminishing returns, the Cincinnati Art Museum has ended its relationship with Cincinnati World Cinema, a presenter of art films, classics, shorts collections and documentaries that had been using its auditorium since 2007. That has left the future unclear for those who feel Cincinnati needs a non-commercial outlet for such specialized films that otherwise wouldn't play here.
One reason it’s become so hard for new musicians to make an impact is because so many old ones — including deceased ones — are still being discovered (or rediscovered), thanks to the proselytizing efforts of those who somehow got turned on to their obscure work the first time around.
I wanted to dislike The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge. Well, “wanted” is the wrong word. I expected to dislike the Ascent. Perhaps this could be due to my preference for old historic buildings, or maybe I presumed that such high aspirations would have to result in a stunning but alienating encounter.
As we enter a new year, my biggest wish for Cincinnati’s visual-arts scene in 2009 is a simple one — that we can hold onto what already is here. Lots of people in the local arts are struggling, along with the greater economy, and that puts what they’re doing at risk.
Need more proof of film culture’s fractured state? Twenty-three different titles grace the 30 slots on the three Top 10 lists that follow, and only two — Man on Wire and The Wrestler — appear on all three.
We all have them, even if they’re left unstated. Even if we’ve refused to come up with any this year, they lurk in our subconscious, coming out in mysterious ways like guilt for blowing $50 at your favorite restaurant or for eating a bar of Chocolove for breakfast (welcome to my world).
In what was a tough year all around, the visual arts scene in Greater Cincinnati managed to stay its ground in 2008. The primary presences are our museums, and they all had good years art-wise, although the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) was forced to make some staff layoffs late in the year as the national economy tanked.
Starting out in this print business 10 years ago, I worked Christmas Day at The Cincinnati Enquirer. Besides the overtime pay, I enjoyed working major holidays because usually there was nothing to do. On this one day, I remember, I decided to pull the newsroom TVs out their cubbyholes to dust behind them.