Arts in the Afternoon: Freedom
5:06 PM, Jun 22, 2011 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
Finally some good news: Ai Weiwei has been released by Chinese authorities. The dissident artist had been detained for three months on charges the international community unanimously recognized were bogus. Weiwei told the New York Times, “In legal terms, I’m — how do you say? — on bail. So I cannot give any interviews. But I’m fine." Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had a tough-minded piece by Eric Gibson, headlined "U.S. Museum Directors to Ai Weiwei: Drop Dead." Earlier in the Journal, Terry Teachout provocatively asked, "Have Our Cultural Stewards Abandoned One of Their Own?"
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Jose Antonio Vargas has revealed he is an illegal immigrant: "You can call me whatever you want to call me. But I am an American."
Sharif, a Los Angeles Muslim, was supposed to be DC Comics' newest superhero, teaming up with Superman. But he's mysteriously disappeared.
Arts giving rebounded last year, after seeing a drop in the recession years of 2008 and 2009, says a new report from the Giving USA Foundation.