Week in short: Tony Awards go digital, Little Free Libraries provide comfort and more art news

Week in short: Tony Awards go digital, Little Free Libraries provide comfort and more art news

This week’s art stories, in short

Aug. 21

  • This year’s Tony Awards will be conducted on the digital stage this fall. The move comes as good news for theater fans after the annual June affair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement to host the 74th iteration of the ceremony was made by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

“We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time,” Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin and American Theatre Wing President Heather Hitchens said in a joint statement. “The show must go on, no matter what — and it will.” [Playbill]

Aug. 20

  • Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei released his film “CoroNation,” the first feature-length documentary to be made about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Filmed inside of temporary hospitals, ICU wards and homes by citizens living in Wuhan, the documentary “examines the political specter of Chinese state control from the first to the last day of the Wuhan lockdown.” [Ai Weiwei Films]

  • Do you have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? You might recognize the take-a-book-leave-a-book structures placed throughout communities. Los Angeles residents weigh in on how the nonprofit organization is helping to keep book lovers immersed in pages as the health crisis continues. [Los Angeles Times]

Aug. 19

  • The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) released an open letter signed by 30 members calling for changes to the organization in order to create a more equitable and anti-racist environment. Within the letter, the group lays out recommendations for the NBCC board to address. In June, former president Laurie Hertzel and 14 other members of the board resigned after a disagreement with member Carlin Romano about the organization’s anti-racism pledge. [LitHub]
  • Museums across the city are revealing plans to reopen after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week that the cultural organizations will be permitted to begin reopening at 25% capacity starting Aug. 24. Brooklyn Museum and El Museo del Barrio are both set to open to the public Sept. 12. [The New York Times]
  • Changes in leadership in the theater industry have started to trickle through institutions as organizations contend with racial injustice. [The New York Times

Aug. 18

  • Brown Girls Doc Mafia launched a searchable directory of its members with the aim of becoming a “central place for the film community to find candidates to hire, creatives to collaborate with, and potential projects and grantees to track.” The collective includes more than 4,000 BIPOC women and nonbinary documentary film workers. [Hyperallrgic]
  • With the release of “Lovecraft Country” on HBO,  a new reckoning of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s racist legacy arrives. [Vox]

Aug. 17

  • The Guggenheim Museum announced a two-year plan to address diversity within the institution. The initiative comes after a June letter from former and current employees condemning the “culture of institutional racism” at the museum. [The New York Times]

New on ALL ARTS: A new film from Adaku UtahDanny Pudi in “Running”N. K. Jemisin on “The City We Became”A panel on “Symphony of Survival”


Note: This piece was updated Aug. 21 to reflect breaking news about the Tony Awards.

Top Image: Little Free Library in Easthampton, Mass. Photo: GPA Photo Archive.