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UMS’s Arts Round-Up: July 16, 2010

arts roundupMany members of the UMS staff keep a watchful eye on local and national media for news about artists on our season, pressing arts issues, and more. We thought we’d pull together a list of interesting stories each week and share them with you. Welcome to UMS’s Arts Roudup, a weekly collection of arts news, including national issues, artist updates, local shout-outs, and a link or two just for fun. If you come across something interesting in your own reading, please feel free to share!

National Issues

  • Feeling a little less creative? You’re not alone, as a new study shows a dramatic decline in creativity among US citizens.
  • The Big Read just got a lot smaller, as the NEA slashed funds to the nation’s largest book club program.
  • Can you carry a tune? Here are two new reasons to sing. First, putting words to music appears to dramatically help stroke patients who have lost speech skills recover. Second, singing together encourages cooperation. Looks like Maria Von Trapp got it right with those kids!
  • Remember Gustavo Dudamel’s rise to fame through Venezuela’s El Sistema? A group of hand-picked music educators on fellowship at the New England Conservatory is now attempting to bring its principles to the US with El Sistema USA. Here’s the first in a series of articles and videos about the incredible phenomenon.

Artist Updates & New Companies to Watch

  • Rumors abound that Pierre Boulez may be writing an opera based on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
  • Simon McBurney’s A Disappearing Number disappeared from Ann Arbor nearly two years ago, but it’s been found again — at the Lincoln Center Festival this weekend, and coming to a theater near you as part of the National Theater of London’s live broadcast series this fall.  Stay tuned for an announcement about a local screening…
  • What’s that up in the sky? It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…it’s Ameba Acrobatic and Ariel Dance.

Local Shout-Outs

  • Congratulations, Ann Arbor! Our college town was noted as a “mecca of arts and culture” as it was named one of CNNMoney’s top 100 best small cities in which to live.
  • The annual Ann Arbor Art Fairs run next Wednesday-Saturday, and the line-up of live music has been announced. Check out the performers on the lawn outside our offices at Burton Tower and the Sesi Mazda Ann Arbor’s 107one stage on South University.
  • Detroit’s 17th annual Concert of Colors, an free festival of international music, takes place this weekend at the DIA and the Max. A complete line-up was announced by the Detroit Free Press earlier this week.