Thursday, September 01, 2005

Class War at the MFA?

This Op-Ed in the Boston Globe blows the shameful lid off of arts organizations who hide their crushing corporate culture and slave labor behind their curtains.

"Having embraced corporate culture, the museum has also taken on some of its worst characteristics. This has become especially evident in the workplace. While museum director Malcolm Rogers and his colleagues in management make huge salaries with large raises, the rest of the museum staff has faced layoffs and cuts in salaries and/or benefits. Scholar curators have found themselves to be expendable pieces of the machine. Many staff members have gone years without a raise. The museum's low-wage security guards are now fighting for their life in contract negotiations."

I thought Josiah K. Spaulding of the Wang Center was the largest livin’ non-prof chief in Beantown. Come to find out that the MFA Chief ain’t far behind, man.

"Rogers(MFA Head) enjoyed a $55,000 raise to his $512,000 salary, while insisting that the layoffs were a 'painful last resort' and salary cuts were part of 'tough economic times.'"

This article should make artists sick. And please don’t try and tell me that I should see try and see the other side of things like this. I’ve tried already.

It is hard not to despair sometimes of a growing gap in this country. I try not to be too political on this blog, but things like this can get to you. After I read Oskar Eustis this week in the Village Voice, I didn't know whether to cheer or to retreat into depressed solitude in the face of how dire the situation for playwrights is in this country.

Then, of course, perspective is always dropped on our door by the crushing ranks of Nature's oblivious battallions. Hurricane Katrina has forced us to confront ourselves, our misplaced passions, our ignorant assumptions, our misguided trusts.

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