Black Lives Matter street murals appear across the city and more news

Black Lives Matter street murals appear across the city and more news

Need to catch up on art news? Here are some of the stories we’re reading.

Major Award
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead is the recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction — making the 50-year-old author the youngest person to receive the honor for his lifetime of work. Whitehead is the author of “The Nickel Boys” and “The Underground Railroad.” [Library of Congress]


On the Ground Coverage
Drone footage captured New York City’s new Black Lives Matter street murals, which began going up last week in various locations — including in front of Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans for the street murals last month (and was met with pushback by President Donald Trump). The mural in front of Trump Tower was vandalized with red paint Monday. [Gothamist]

Book News
The Strand Book Store came under fire from the union representing the seller’s workers after 12 recently rehired union members were fired. The decision came shortly after the Strand reopened in-store shopping June 22, resulting in a total of 45 union workers being rehired, Publishers Weekly reported. The store was the recipient of $1-2 million in government assistant through the Payroll Protection Plan. The Strand’s 450 Columbus Ave. location is set to open July 16. [Publishers Weekly]


Off Stage
Washington Ballet artistic director Julie Kent is recovering from COVID-19, the former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer said on Instagram. Though Kent did not share how she might have contracted the disease, The Washington Post reports that at least three other employees became ill after the company’s June 18 online gala, which comprised some taped in-person performances. [The Washington Post]


Same As It Ever Was
After months of consideration and fierce debate, French president Emmanuel Macron has scrapped plans to replace the Notre-Dame Cathedral spire with a contemporary take. Instead, officials announced the fixture will be rebuilt “identically” as it was before last year’s fire devastated the structure. [The Guardian]


Art News
The Shed confirmed 28 of its 107 full-time employees were laid off — adding to a recent wave of staff reductions at arts organizations, including the Brooklyn Museum, the New Museum and more. The move comes as a result of closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement sent to Hyperallergic. Recently revealed data from the Paycheck Protection Program showed that the institution received a loan in the range of $2-5 million. [Hyperallergic]


“Zoomed Out”
With theaters and venues closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, artists took to social media and digital platforms to stay in touch with audiences, raise money and perform. But as time wears on, some artists are beginning to feel fatigued. [The Washington Post]


Broadway Eager to Return
Last month, the Broadway League announced theaters will remain closed through at least Jan. 3, 2021. In the meantime, productions and theaters are eying long-term solutions to sustain the industry and its eventual return. Speaking to The Post, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin said she was “cautiously optimistic” based on recent work with medical professionals and “the league’s infectious-disease expert approving a 15-second coronavirus quick test for use by actors and crew members.” [New York Post]

Making Of
“Chewing Gum” creator Michaela Coel discussed her new show “I May Destroy You” with New Yorker television critic Doreen St. Félix for The New Yorker Radio Hour. Coel is the creator, writer, co-director and star of the 12-part drama, presented by BBC and HBO. [The New Yorker Radio Hour]


Art Forgery
Last week, FBI agents raided the northern Michigan home of artist Donald “DB” Henkel in connection to a suspected national forgery ring dealing in fine art and sports memorabilia. “These were very beautiful – fake or not,” Elizabeth Feld, managing director of the New York City gallery Hirschl & Adler (which bought pieces thought to be connected to the forgery), told The Detroit News. “Whoever did this is quite an accomplished artist — just not the artist he or she purported to be.”  [The Detroit News]


Thanks for the Art Memories
The Art Assignment is pausing its bi-weekly run to slow down production, with host and creator Sarah Urist Green citing “creator burnout.” [The Art Assignment]


Following the Money
Last week, the Small Business Administration made available public loan data from the Paycheck Protection Program, revealing which arts organizations received small business loans as part of the initiative. Among the recipients in New York City were the Guggenheim, Whitney, Gagosian, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Noguchi Museum and more. [ARTnews]

Top Image: Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.