Art & Entertainments

The Museum Lockdown Culture

What’s happening to the museum world? I was a museum director for ten years and a curator for years before that. Sometimes I shake my head in bewilderment and chagrin.

The biggest museum scandal in my time, bigger than the Gardner theft (13 works of art stolen, and to this day never recovered, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), is the museum lockout culture that developed during the COVID-19 hysteria. I’ve written about this many times, but it bears repeating and embellishment since there’s so much fallout.

There’s the strangest new dynamic in museums these days. I think it’s infecting the entire not-for-profit world, too. They’re absorbing the ethos of public-school teachers’ unions.

I like teachers. I taught for years. In my hometown, little Arlington in Vermont, our teachers are fantastic. They didn’t want to abandon their students, most poor and special-needs kids, in March. The COVID hysteria, though,

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Billionaire Property Heir Has Big Bets on Troubled Hong Kong

(Bloomberg) — From building Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall to constructing a sprawling $3.9 billion sports center, Adrian Cheng has been one of the most aggressive property investors in town. It’s a costly expansion strategy that’s now poised to test one of the city’s oldest real-estate empires.

Cheng, 40, became chief executive officer of New World Development Co. in May, cementing his position after taking over from his father Henry a few years ago. But even as he ascended to the top, Cheng championed ambitious real-estate developments in the financial and tourism hub worth about $5 billion. Conceived on the assumption mainland Chinese visitors would continue to throng Hong Kong, they now mean the family is exposed to some of the city’s largest projects at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and political unrest is crippling its economy.

Few names are more synonymous with Hong Kong than the Chengs. New

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How do you teach performing arts when there are no performances? This school is learning

PHOENIX — For Monica Sauer Anthony, adapting to the challenge of a virtual classroom started with a reenvisioning of what it even means to teach at a performing arts school.

A choir can’t really rehearse in a virtual classroom much less give a live performance.

Neither can an orchestra.

There’s too much digital delay involved in streaming to get everybody synced up.

When Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona schools to close in March because of the pandemic, Sauer Anthony was teaching Music History and Culture, and Beginning Woodwinds, Flute and Oboe Studies at Arizona School for the Arts in downtown Phoenix.

As ASA began to make the switch to online learning, Sauer Anthony, who’s since become arts director and vice principal of student services, said the faculty was trying to maintain as much of a sense of normalcy as it could.

Teachers changed their focus

They did some virtual

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Games blamed for moral decline and addiction throughout history

<span class="caption">Did ancient Egyptian parents worry their kids might get addicted to this game, called senet?</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SenetBoard-InscribedWithNameOfAmunhotepIII_BrooklynMuseum.png" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Keith Schengili-Roberts/Wikimedia Commons">Keith Schengili-Roberts/Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CC BY-SA">CC BY-SA</a></span>
Did ancient Egyptian parents worry their kids might get addicted to this game, called senet? Keith Schengili-Roberts/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Video games are often blamed for unemployment, violence in society and addiction – including by partisan politicians raising moral concerns.

Blaming video games for social or moral decline might feel like something new. But fears about the effects of recreational games on society as a whole are centuries old. History shows a cycle of apprehension and acceptance about games that is very like events of modern times.

From ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, historians know that the oldest examples of board games trace back to the game of senet around 3100 B.C.

One of the earliest known written descriptions of games dates from the fifth century B.C. The Dialogues of the Buddha, purport to record the actual words of the Buddha himself. In them, he is reported

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