• 30

    Arts Council England funding cuts – the great axe falls

    ENGLAND–It is a day of radically mixed fortunes for the arts in England, as organisations up and down the country receive news of their funding levels from Arts Council England (ACE).In all, 638 organisations who applied for funding were disappointed as the crucial letters flooded into email inboxes this morning. Of those, 206 were formerly [...] Read more
  • 29

    Save the Wisconsin Arts Board

    WISCONSIN–The current budget proposal includes plans to dissolve the Arts Board and cut the state’s investment in its arts and culture sector by 73 percent Funding to the Arts Board currently represents no more than .013 percent of the budget (13 hundredths of 1 percent) but that small investment pays huge dividends in the resiliency [...] Read more
  • 28

    Cuts protesters claim police tricked them into mass arrest

    LONDON–Campaigners for the tax-avoidance protest group UK Uncut have claimed senior police officers “tricked” them into a mass arrest after a peaceful protest inside Fortnum & Mason’s in London on Saturday. Activists say they were given repeated assurances by a chief inspector from the Metropolitan police that they would be shown to safety after the [...] Read more
  • 24

    Guggenheim Responds To Proposed Artist Boycott

    From: Richard Armstrong and Nancy Spector Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 3:49PM Subject: Letter from the Guggenheim Dear Emily and Walid, We wanted to share with you information that we are sending to Human Rights Watch in response to their letter dated February 24, 2011 to the Guggenheim, Louvre, and NYU regarding workers’ welfare in [...] Read more
  • 23

    New York State funding cuts for arts

    NEW YORK– Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a 10 percent cut ($3.5 million) in funding for the New York State Council on the Arts budget that is used to provide grants to arts groups in communities throughout the state. This cut is in addition to the 10 percent decrease in funding proposed for NYSCA staffing. [...] Read more
  • 22

    Squatters take over Colonel Gaddafi’s son’s London mansion

    LONDON–Residents reported the burglar alarm going off at the property in Hampstead Garden Suburb. A man arrived in a black Porsche and had to be calmed down by police before driving away. Gaddafi’s son Saif tried to sell the property after his family’s multi-billion pound fortune was frozen around the world. The house has a [...] Read more
  • 21

    Sana’a University ambushed

    Yemin–As in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, Washington has had a close relationship with Yemen’s dictatorship through the crackdown on terrorism. Barack Obama increased military assistance for Yemen from $67m in 2009 to $150m in 2010. Documents released by WikiLeaks showed that the US-backed Yemeni security forces, which were supposed to be fighting al-Qaeda, were targeting [...] Read more
  • 17

    Abu Dhabi Guggenheim faces Artist Boycott

    United Arab Emirates– A group of more than 130 artists, including many prominent figures in the Middle Eastern art world, says it will boycott the $800 million Guggenheim museum being built in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, unless conditions for the foreign laborers at the site are improved. The new Guggenheim, [...] Read more
  • 16

    Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act Reintroduced in US Congress

    USA–Two New Jersey congressmen reintroduced a bill last week that seeks to combat harassment and cyberbullying on college campuses by mandating that colleges have specific and inclusive anti-harassment policies. The bill, called the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, is named in honor of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi who took his own life in September [...] Read more
  • 15

    Cairo University students protest corruption

    EGYPT–Thousands of students have been gathering daily since Sunday in front of Cairo University’s famous dome. With banners protesting corruption, students roam around the university’s campus and in venues surrounding it. For the first time in years the university is currently free of the security that has been preventing demonstrations for decades. Still, the campus [...] Read more
  • 14

    School Plans to Fire Teacher for Talking

    PHILADELPHIA (CN) - The Philadelphia Public School District yanked a teacher from her classroom, stuck her in solitary confinement and threatened to fire her because the teacher dared to oppose a plan to turn her public high school into a charter school, at a public meeting and in blog postings, the teacher’s union says. It [...] Read more
  • 11

    HOPE bill goes to governor

    USA–A bill that would reduce the HOPE scholarship for all but the very best students is headed to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. He is scheduled to sign House Bill 326 the middle of next week, a spokeswoman said. The changes in HOPE will hit a lot of Georgia families hard. The measure, which [...] Read more
  • 10

    Student protest leader Clare Solomon seeks re-election within University of London Union

    UK–Clare Solomon, one of the student movement’s leading activists, is seeking re-election as president of University of London Union (ULU).Elected last March, the former SOAS student has used the role to spearhead resistance to the coalition government’s attack on higher education and students. ULU has not traditionally been known for protests and political campaigns. Yet [...] Read more
  • 09

    YUSU affiliation with NUS questioned

    UK- A vote is to be put to the student body by the end of this academic year as to whether or not to continue affiliation with the National Union of Students (NUS). YUSU’s affiliation with NUS expires this year, and they are required by law to hold a debate and to place the vote [...] Read more
  • 07

    International Outcry over probe into Hungarian Philosophers

    Hungary--Members of the international academic community have sprung to the defence of several Hungarian philosophers who are under police investigation in Budapest in relation to alleged misuse of research grants. The academics under investigation include Ágnes Heller, regarded as a founder of the Budapest school of philosophy. She is among half a dozen or so philosophers who have been subjected to attacks in the media, said by the philosophers' supporters to be politically motivated.The philosophers say they are being harassed by the government because of their outspoken criticism of Viktor Orban's administration. The allegations involve the use of public grants for humanistic research.It is alleged that money has been used wrongly for research infrastructure and, according to a newspaper, "to translate Plato from Hungarian into Hungarian", referring to a new translation into Hungarian of Plato. The grants are a small portion of the hundred or so grants allocated for research projects, post-doctorates and young researchers' salaries, reportedly totalling up to HUF500 million (US$2.5 million). Heller told University World News: "There were more than 100 grants. Why had they picked six of them for investigation? They gave the answer. The attacked philosophers were all liberal-leftist." She added: "Why was the attack concentrated on me, when I have not received one single penny? And why immediately criminal charges? On what ground, if not as ideological harassment?" International reaction includes an e-mail petition, "Hands off the Hungarian philosophers!", which has collected more than 3,000 signatures.
  • 04

    Budget cuts to arts adds new urgency to annual ‘Arts Day’ lobbying event

    > Wisconsin- Participants in Art Wisconsin's "Arts March" walked up the State Street steps to the Capitol Thursday. Most were taking part in a traditional day of lobbying for the arts, made more unusual this year by tight security at the Capitol and Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal to cut state funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board by more than $1.6 million. For years, arts advocates from across the state have gathered in Madison in early March for an annual "Arts Day" of lobbying and networking. This year, however, tight security at the Capitol gave the effort a new sense of drama. So did proposed cuts to arts funding in Gov. Scott Walker's budget announced Tuesday, including annual state support for the Wisconsin Arts Board from $2.4 million to $759,100, an amount to match the federal dollars the board receives from the National Endowment for the Arts. The governor's proposal also would slash the board's staff from 10 people to four and make it a program within the Department of Tourism. At the Madison Children's Museum, whose new building on Capitol Square has attracted visitors from 32 states, "We get between $15,000 and $21,000 from the Wisconsin Arts Board," the museum's executive director, Ruth Shelly, told state Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) in the second of nine lobbying appointments she and development director Cheri Buckner had set up with legislators Thursday. "That would be a huge hit for us." Walker's budget also would eliminate the Percent for Art program, established in 1980, which requires that 0.2 percent of the total cost of construction or remodeling of selected state buildings be spent for public art. Restrictions on entry to the Capitol on Thursday also forced cancellation of the first of a series of student concerts planned for the building for "Music in Our Schools Month" in March. Local artists launched a Facebook campaign asking others to bring work they would normally do in their studios to the Capitol Friday.
  • 03

    Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art

    Doha, Qatar-- Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art, opened in December with a "commitment to modern and contemporary art from the Arab world." The first exhibition—in a converted school on the dusty outskirts of the state capital, Doha—is called "Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art," and it displays works by more than 100 artists from the 1840s to the present. The show's name comes from the Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish's poem "Sajjil, ana arabiy" ("sajjil" means "the Act of Recording"). Mathaf may symbolize the state's determination to focus some of its wealth on culture, arts and education. The driving force behind the new museum is the Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, the emir's daughter. She encouraged the creation of what its guest exhibition curator, Nada Shabout, describes as a space "to unravel, confront and interrogate the various problematics about what it means to be an Arab artist." Such efforts were rejected by the Iranian artist Kamrooz Aram two years ago when he argued that attempts to categorize art from the Middle East—with little regard as to whether it is Arab or Iranian, Moroccan or Lebanese—all "exhibit signs of what we might call Neo-Orientalism . . . the need/desire to control a mythology of the East as other." However maybe the biggest contribution Mathaf will make to answering that question will be seen in 10 or 20 years' time. The museum's acting director, Wassan al-Khudhairi, considers Mathaf to be a catalyst. It is working with community centers, photography societies, schools and youth clubs, and is particularly proud that it has trained six students to work as museum guides.

    Cal State Students respond to Budget Cuts

    NORTHRIDGE (KTLA) -- Demonstrations took place, Wednesday, at California State University, Northridge students protested tuition and fee hikes. Frustrated Cal State students say they are already struggling, can't afford to pay more and they can't see an end in sight. At around 10 a.m. hundreds of students, at they're breaking point, gathered in front of the Oviatt library.
  • 02

    Letters to Protect federal arts funding

    The U.S. House of Representatives is on track to cut $43 million from the National Endowment for the Arts’ budget of $167.5 million. That’s a 26 percent cut — the deepest in 16 years. According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts industry generates $166.2 billion annually in economic activity, supports 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and returns $12.6 billion in federal income taxes. Measured against direct federal cultural spending of about $1.4 billion, that’s a return of nearly nine to one. Federal funding for the arts leverages private funding. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients — a match far exceeded by most grantees. On average, each NEA grant leverages at least $7 from other state, local and private sources. Private support cannot match the leveraging role of government cultural funding.
  • 01

    LSE investigates Gaddafi’s son plagiarism claims

    London-The London School of Economics has confirmed it is investigating allegations that Colonel Gaddafi's son plagiarised his PhD thesis. Saif al-Islam studied at the LSE from 2003 to 2008, gaining both a Master of Science degree and a doctorate. But allegations have emerged that he used a ghost-writer, and copied sections of his thesis. In 2009, he pledged a £1.5m donation to the LSE from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. The LSE's involvement with the Libya prompted student protests last week. In a statement, the university said: "LSE is aware that there are allegations of plagiarism concerning the PhD thesis of Saif Gaddafi. On Monday, LSE director Sir Howard Davies, admitted he felt "embarrassed" by the university's ties with the family of Colonel Gaddafi. Sir Howard, who is a former head of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and deputy governor of the Bank of England, said the decision to accept £300,000 from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation had been debated "extensively" within the LSE. He said the decision to accept research funding from a foundation controlled by Saif Gaddafi had "backfired". He also expressed regret that he had visited Libya to advise the regime about how it could modernise its financial institutions.

    German Defence Minister Guttenberg resigns over thesis

    Germany-- Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has stepped down after he was found to have copied large parts of his 2006 university doctorate thesis.Mr Guttenberg, considered until recently a possible candidate for chancellor, has already been stripped of his PhD. He told a news conference that it was "the most painful step of my life". Tens of thousands of German academics have written to Chancellor Angela Merkel complaining about his conduct. Mr Guttenberg told reporters in Berlin that he was relinquishing all his political offices and he thanked the chancellor for her support, trust and understanding. The defence minister had been under intense pressure after it was revealed that half the pages in his doctoral dissertation mirrored word for word the work of others.. A 39-year-old aristocrat popular with the electorate, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of the chancellor's Christian Democrats. He came under pressure after a Bremen University law professor began reviewing his 2006 thesis with the aid of the internet. Analysts then estimated that more than half the 475-page thesis had long sections lifted from other people's work. Eventually the University of Bayreuth, which had awarded him a doctorate, decided that Mr Guttenberg had "violated scientific duties to a considerable extent". By Tuesday the newspaper Die Welt reported that the number of academics who had signed the letter objecting to his continued role in the government had climbed to 51,500.