Exec pay, Chicago discounts, etc.

January 20, 2009
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Occassionally, I like to devote a blog to connecting you to conversations on other blogs. It's that time again.

Of course, feel free to comment here on anything you find out there (Hint: right click and open any link in another tab. That way, it's easier to find your way back here).

--According to Playbill.com , Broadway in Chicago is celebrating hometowner Barack Obama with $44 tickets to its lineup of shows, including "Jersey Boys," "Mary Poppins," and "Xanadu." The catch? You've got to buy them today, January 20th. 

--Stuck for something to read? There are lots of critics' end-of-the-year lists over at NPR Books. Thanks to what I found at the site, I now have James Howard Kunstler's novel "World Made by Hand," P.F. Kluge's "Gone Tomorrow," Josh Whedon's graphic novel "Runaways: Dead End Kids," and Joseph O'Neill's "Netherland" on my already daunting reading pile. Anyone out there read any of these yet?

--I can be a sucker for acquisition stories. I'm fascinated with how artworks comes to be part of a museum collection. The IMA Blog offers an insightful look at the acquistition of John Wesley Hardrick's painting "Little Brown Girl," which served as the poster and catalogue cover image for the "Shared Heritage" exhibition back in the Bret Waller days. Apparently, the work was missing for years until it was offered to the IMA from a dealer. Only then did the IMA folks discover that it was actually owned by the museum. How do you buy a painting you already own? An interesting problem.

--Half the country, it seems, is in D.C. today. And, of course, they are hungry to see visual art. Okay, maybe not. But surely some will take advantage of what's offered in Washington galleries. You can see Tyler Green's thoughts on the the choices--including new galleries at the Hirshhorn and Gilbert Stuart portraits at the National Gallery--in his Modern Art Notes.

--Speaking of D.C., at the Arts Marketing blog, Chad Bauman, Director of Communications at Washington's Arena Stage, discusses executive compensation in the arts. He notes that the Director of Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre earns over $682,000 a year. And that the conductor of the financially challenged Cleveland Orchestra makes $1.2 million--and he's only seventh on the list of top orchestra salaries in the country. The question, I don't think, is whether top talent should earn top dollars, but whether or not a not-for-profit can comfortably ask for public funds when higher ups are making such big bucks. Is a visionary leader like a top box-office actor--expensive but ultimately worth it to a company's bottom line? And do we need proposals like the piece of proposed legislation in San Francisco that would put a cap on compensation for a top exec at six times that of the lowest-level employee?

Your thoughts?
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