Arts Roundup: Had Our Fillmore Edition
Fillmore Yeesh: The Gazette reports that a Maryland judge will dismiss concert promoter I.M.P.'s lawsuit against state and Montgomery county officials over the cost to taxpayers of converting an old department store in Silver Spring into a 2,000-capacity Fillmore venue, to be operated by Live Nation. The cost of the plan rose to $11.2 million from $8 million—an increase that I.M.P., which books the 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavillion, argues did not meet lawmakers' criteria. But in his opinion, the judge rejected the suit because I.M.P. sued as a competitor, not as taxpayers. No comment on the law here, but D.C. is the rare city in which a concertgoer can mostly avoid having to use Ticketmaster (which merged with Live Nation in 2010) and pay its high service fees. It looks like a Fillmore in Silver Spring is fait accompli at this point, so hopefully, I.M.P. wins this battle via consumer goodwill (read: by keeping its prices low). For a lot of fans, Live Nation will always be the bad guys.
Don't Blame the Bloggers: The Corcoran's symposium on art, censorship, and the culture wars—co-hosted by Transformer and The National Coalition Against Censorship—takes place all day tomorrow. It's free, but you should register, as it'll undoubtedly fill up. The event, as you know, follows the Smithsonian's censorship last year of the National Portrait Gallery's "Hide/Seek" exhibit following an outrage campaign manufactured by conservative Christian activists. The whole event will be broadcast on the Web, and I hope Secretary of the Smithsonian G. Wayne Clough is watching. At a recent event, he told a crowd of art-world lawyers that bloggers "can heighten and inflame an issue and can get out of control before you ever have a chance to think seriously about what you're going to do." I don't know if that refers to Penny Starr, who's kind of a blogger and whose coverage of "Hide/Seek" is what originally set off Christian activists; or to everyone else covering the fiasco, who've rightly been criticizing Clough since he made the cowardly decision to remove a work from the exhibit.
G (Street) Man?: Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio are in town to shoot the former's J. Edgar Hoover biopic. Catch themfilming this weekend in..."downtown D.C." Fine, that isn't exactly helpful. But considering that J. Edgar focuses closely the FBI director's private life (DeCaprio in a skirt? Sure), I'm thinking the exterior shots aren't going to be the film's most interesting ones.
Today on Arts Desk: Getting to know The Caribbean, the final weekend of the Environmental Film Festival, Far Out vs. Hot Dang.