More creative placemaking
At the Rural Arts and Culture Summit last week, we discovered a wellspring of enthusiasm with the concept of creative placemaking, or using the arts and creative projects to improve communities and promote a robust economy. To keep that discussion going, we recommend reading up on this recent assessment at the Daily Yonder of the concept of rural creative placemaking and its value as a low-risk, high-return investment for small towns. Also, Createquity recently ran a series of posts on arts policy, and it’s a perfect primer on the criteria and funding guidelines that are directing our national discourse around the arts, a discourse that includes an impressive amount of scalability and can serve small towns or large city centers alike through economic development.
North Dakota’s oil boom in pictures
Last week, Chicago’s Field Museum opened Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom, an exhibition of photography and documentary video from western North Dakota’s booming oil fields. As far as we know, this is one of the first museum exhibitions outside of the state that has put the North Dakota oil boom under the microscope. Developed by photographer Terry Evans and documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Farnsworth, the exhibition puts forward the issue as we’ve come to know it all too well: vast oil interests bring huge economic gains and work to make the United States more energy independent, but at stake are many small communities in the western part of the state and the possibility of irreparable harm to local habitats. If you’re not going to be in Chicago any time soon, you can view much of Evans and Farnsworth’s reaction to their project on their blog.
‘Happy Birthday’ might just be in the public domain after all
When you go out to a restaurant for someone’s birthday, do you find the alternate versions of Happy Birthday a little weird? I do (you can view my favorite alternate Happy Birthday here, at 2:28). Why do restaurants do this? For years, Warner/Chappell Music has been claiming a copyright to Happy Birthday, the one we sing in our homes around cake and candles, and collecting licensing fees for it, so restaurants work around it with their own versions of the song. But, all of that may soon change. A documentary film company has been compiling a evidence to suggest that Happy Birthday actually belongs in the public domain. They’re filing suit against Warner and it may result in Warner paying back hundreds of millions of dollars to people who were unfairly charged licensing fees. Boing Boing has the scoop.
Image: Chinese dissident and artist Ai Wei Wei with one of his 40 cats. See more artists with their cats in this great post over at Flavorwire.