Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

PBS in PerilWhither Great Perfomances?


  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#31 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,840 posts

Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:48 AM

I wasn't thinking of a letter of support, believe me.


I didn't mean to imply that letters of support to the people working in public television and radio were unnecessary, but that the hard job lies in convincing the people in power who do not believe that the services offered are unique enough to warrant continued funding. Honestly -- I think they all deserve to hear from us.

#32 puppytreats

puppytreats

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 751 posts

Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:01 AM

I stopped watching TV and paying for cable altogether years ago.


How do you watch sports? I am trying to get Mr. PT to drop pay tv, and cannot find a valid alternative for him.

#33 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,275 posts

Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:54 PM


I stopped watching TV and paying for cable altogether years ago.


How do you watch sports?


I don't watch sports! The only sport I watch during the Olympics-(as a lifetime practitioner/devotee)-, is the swimming, and then there's nothing after...I go online to watch the different international competitions.

#34 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,952 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:55 AM

It's done.

The National Endowment for the Arts made sweeping cuts in its support of established PBS shows on Wednesday, and for the first time awarded significant grants to an array of gaming, mobile and Web-based projects.

Among the PBS programs receiving significantly less financing under the 2012 Arts in Media grants were “Live From Lincoln Center,” which was awarded $100,000 last year and nothing this year.



#35 Kathleen O'Connell

Kathleen O'Connell

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 818 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

I probably wouldn't have said this as recently as six months ago, but it's time for the performing arts to cut the PBS cord. In the age of broadband and live HD theater feeds they don't -- or at least very soon won't -- need traditional broadcast media any more than The Los Angeles Review of Books needs a printing press.

#36 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,952 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:27 PM

I would have to disagree and quite strongly. That time may come but it is not yet. Not everyone has broadband, not everyone gets to the theater at 10 am on Saturday or a weeknight (assuming the theater feeds are even making it to your area). PBS is still public television -- for everyone. You don't need cable, you don't need internet access, just a TV. The performing arts community should continue to have a presence there. People are still watching PBS, including older people, and they're not dead yet and they give money. We also don't know how people's habits may change as they age or how the technology will change.

#37 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,587 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

There are two issues here: does PBS need to continue to exist? Does PBS need continued funding from NEA/NEH?

I did a little googling, and while the data are conflicting, it appears that 10-14% of American households get their TV over-the-air. That's at least 12 million households. It seems likely that a significant portion of them are people in financial trouble from the economic woes of the last decade, making PBS their only access to quality educational and cultural programming.

I suppose some could argue that such established programs as Great Performances no longer need NEA funding and should be able to raise what they need from private funders. But one of the great benefits of NEA (and NEH) is that they conduct extensive peer review for quality that only a handful of private foundations can match. It has long been the case that many private funders hold off until they see what the NEA/NEH review concluded about worthiness for additional funding. And both Endowments have always had ambitious matching programs that further encourage private participation in the funding. Even a well-known series can decline, so the NEA review from time to time continues to serve that important function.

When David Stockman (Reagan's first budget director) tried to cut both endowment by 50% in the early 1980s, staff argued that it would be better to maintain the review process even if they could only award token dollar amounts in the grants, precisely with the reasoning that the review process would give private funding sources the confidence to support those projects. (The 50% cuts never happened, but the reasoning is just as relevant today as then.)

#38 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,952 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:00 PM

It seems likely that a significant portion of them are people in financial trouble from the economic woes of the last decade, making PBS their only access to quality educational and cultural programming.


Thank you, California. Exactly.

I also note that even for people with more money, cable isn't exactly picking up the slack, even the channels like Ovation that are ostensibly devoted to arts programming (and the frequent and long commercial breaks make the shows almost unwatchable for this viewer).

#39 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,840 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:42 PM

Even with the plethora of self-help shows that appear on my public television stations (especially during pledge periods) they do much better cultural programming than any of the cable stations I receive (except the excerpts on Classic Arts Showcase) Cable is a for-profit endeavor, and despite the notion that there's a program for every niche, that has not proved itself so far. At one point, the "A" in A&E really did stand for Arts, but that has been gone for a long time. Bravo, the other "arts" station I get with my enhanced basic cable subscription, is also devoid of anything like arts programming. In order to get the Ovation channel, I would have to jump up several levels with my cable provider -- not quite double the cost, but a significant increase. (the fact that I don't want the majority of channels that come with that subscription doesn't seem to count for much). If we were to get true cafeteria programming at some point, then I might feel differently, but right now, PBS is the best choice I have.

#40 SandyMcKean

SandyMcKean

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 945 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

......“Live From Lincoln Center,” which was awarded $100,000 last year and nothing this year.


Hmmmmm, let's see.......that's .00001% of the rough cost of a typical Middle East war. Way to go you fiscal conservatives in Washington!! We've got to knock down that GD deficit. Clearly, the arts are a great place to start.

#41 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,952 posts

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:40 PM

In order to get the Ovation channel, I would have to jump up several levels with my cable provider -- not quite double the cost, but a significant increase.


It certainly wouldn't be worth it if Ovation is all you want - that's IMO, others may disagree. But I rarely watch the channel, the programming is just not that great. (That said, bundling is still generally cheaper for the consumer - for the most part it would be prohibitively expensive to pick and choose channels individually.)

Adding to my previous post that it's not that I don't see your point, Kathleen. Certainly the performing arts do have to look to the new media as well.

#42 Kathleen O'Connell

Kathleen O'Connell

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 818 posts

Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:04 AM

Note that I didn't say that the performing arts shouldn't be made available for free over broadcast TV, nor that programs like "Great Performers" and "Live from Lincoln Center" shouldn't get NEA / NEH funding. However, broadcast TV is going the way of the telephone land line. If I were in charge of a large performing arts organization and wanted to get a filmed version of a performance in front of the viewing public, I'd be paying more attention to Louis C. K. than pledge week. (For a less commercial model, I might look to what the humble little podcast has done for "Radiolab," "This American Life," and "On the Media.")

And, if I were on the board of NEA and was looking to cut a check to PBS, it wouldn't be for yet another one-time broadcast that would languish in the vaults for a generation after its brief run was over. I'd help pay for them to 1) lawyer up and finally secure the rights to the treasure trove of past performances currently mouldering in said vaults; 2) hire the technical staff they need to get that stuff promptly and properly digitized and on to spinning disks; and 3) make it accessible forever and always with two clicks of a mouse or two swipes on a touchscreen. Maybe for free, maybe for $1.99; maybe for free if you stream it and $1.99 if you want to download it onto your very own spinning disk. Whatever. But free to schools and libraries for sure. And If I were on the board of the NEH I'd pay scholars and educators to produce some first-rate materials to help teachers make those performances accessible to new audiences whenever it worked in the curriculum or whenever they were moved to do so. And note that that "new audience" could well be seniors taking a course in the arts at the local community college.

#43 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,840 posts

Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:39 AM

All very good points, especially the idea that the agencies could nudge them in the direction of new media distribution!

#44 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,587 posts

Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

All very good points, especially the idea that the agencies could nudge them in the direction of new media distribution!


I like all these suggestions, too. But take a look at the most recent awards in the NEA category Arts in Media:
http://www.nea.gov/g...rants/12aim.php
NEA is doing quite a bit to promote on-line and digital forms of distribution of arts material. One grant of special interest here:

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.
Becket, MA
$65,000
To support the expansion of Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive. The online video exhibit currently gives access to more than 100 dance performances drawn from the Jacob's Pillow archive. Other project activities include developing an interactive dance company guessing game and creating a mobile version for smartphones and tablets.

We'll never know what private conversations NEA staff are having with PBS and other distributors/producers. They might well be nudging them to do more on new media distribution to be more competitive in future competitions.

#45 Kathleen O'Connell

Kathleen O'Connell

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 818 posts

Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

California -- Many thanks for the link and the heads-up re the Jacobs Pillow Dance Interactive site! I took a quick tour, and it looks to be quite nicely done. Only excerpts, alas, but still a feast.

OT: I was pleased to see that the NPR Music website got some $$$; now if only they'd notice that, ummm, not all smart phones are iPhones and use some of the money to expand the app portfolio accordingly. (I pester WNYC on this point with a regularity that the listener support folks must find tedious.)


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):