- The new $787 billion stimulus package does have some additional arts funding, although originally the $50 million had been included in the House version and specifically dropped from the Senate’s. The trick was trying to convince the House-Senate conference committee that the arts do mean jobs. Tens of thousands of art supporters wrote and e-mailed, but it didn’t hurt that Robert Redford called.
- Once there was a “Big 5” among American symphony orchestras, the five classical-music groups that were suppposedly the best: New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Which ones are America’s best orchestras today? Is Dallas among them? Well, Henry Fogel notes, first you have to understand how and why the Big 5 were originally picked to understand how pointless the question is these days.
- Robert Philpott in the Star-Telegram writes about Bishop College: A Bridge Between the Worlds, showing tonight at 8 p.m. on KERA/Channel 13. The documentary about the now-defunct black college was made by KERA’s director of multimedia production, Rick Thompson:
“Thompson’s film traces the history of the college from its founding in Marshall in 1881, when it became the first all-black college in Texas, to its closing in 1988. He originally intended it to air last year, as part of the 20th anniversary of the college’s closing, but he had so much information that he wasn’t able to finish the film in time, even though he spent weekends working on it on his own time. KERA is airing the film as part of its February Black History Month programming.
“One story led to another story, and then we went back into the field and shot new interviews,” Thompson says during a phone interview