Things We Liked in Our Sunday Reading

On the last day before back-to-work in twenty-ten (yep, that's what I've settled on)...it
was nice to stay inside and warm and read the Sunday papers.

In the New York Times, we liked seeing this report from Damien Cave on people connecting at museums and sharing art a lot these days:

 

...compared with 2005, Americans spent less time in 2008 buying goods and services and more time cooking or taking part in “organizational, civic and religious activities.”

Just as tellingly, evidence can also be found in culture. While one new study shows that attendance at museums and cultural events dropped from 2002 to 2008, it has climbed in 2009 at many major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. Movie attendance was also up 5 percent in 2009, and in the world of the Walt Disney Company, product sales have declined as the company’s theme parks enjoyed a 3 percent increase in visitors last quarter.

Even here in Miami, a city famous for its materialism, retailers are hurting while audiences continue to grow at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, at parks and for cheap activities like yoga by the beach.

“It’s a different kind of recession,” said Richard Florida, the author of several best-selling books about the economics of cities. “It’s not like in the ’30s when people stopped going to concerts. Now people seem to be keeping up with experience consumption and cutting back on other necessities.”

In the same paper, we noticed a call for a creative jobs initiative - the kind of thing that means more paintings and storytelling for all of us. We still enjoy art created with a similar effort in the thirties -- like this mural in Cincinnati-- today.

And in our local paper, we read an optimistic commentary written by Tom Callinan, on the role of local media and plans for more connections between the Enquirer and our local arts. Great way to start our year!