In this edition of Industry News, an interview with the president of the Mellon Foundation, a Nobel Laureate’s novel becomes a puppet play, a surprising philanthropic fundraiser, improving your museum’s presence on YouTube, a new open access monograph collaboration is up and running, the inaugural Art Mumbai will have a unique locale, and a stunning exhibition of African photography at the Tate Modern.


Artistic Exchange is a Living Experience

Elizabeth Alexander, poet and president of the Mellon Foundation, discusses creativity as an agent for change, artistic collaboration, and holding more than one story at a time:

Source: Fast Company 


The Life and Times of Michael K

South African puppeteer Adrian Kohler has adapted the novel The Life and Times of Michael K by Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee into a puppet play. In the book, set in apartheid-era South Africa, the title character is born into poverty and sent to an institution. “’Michael K is very much an outsider, and that’s why having him as a puppet works so well,’ Kohler [told] the BBC.” The Life and Times of Michael K runs until August 27 at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Source: BBC News 


Pennies From Heaven

The late Tony Bennett, who founded an arts school in his Queens, NY, neighborhood, had a long record of philanthropic campaigns—including a surprising annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that went on for almost 30 years: 

Source: Observer 


Museums and YouTube

YouTube’s popularity and utility as a search engine means that content you post there won’t be lost in an ever-scrolling algorithm-driven newsfeed, unlike some other social channels. Three tips to improve your museum’s YouTube channel:

Source: American Alliance of Museums Blog 


Big Ten Open Books

The Big Ten Open Books project, a collaboration between the university presses and libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, has launched. The first 100-title collection centered on gender and sexuality studies is available #OA in digital form on the University of Michigan Press’s Fulcrum platform.

Source: Nebraska Today 


Art Fair Off to a Flying Start

The inaugural Art Mumbai (16-19 November) will take place on the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, a horse racing track in the city’s center.

Source: The Art Newspaper 


Africa in Pictures

The exhibition “A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography” runs at the Tate Modern in London until January 14 2024. Curator Osei Bonsu “selected works from artists exploring systems of power in Africa outside Western colonialism.” 

Source: Art Daily–in-regalia-and-complexity


In this round-up of stories you may have missed: there’s no place like home for a priceless piece of movie memorabilia stuck in legal limbo; an Ivy League student using stop-animation to tell the story of what happened after hours in the library one night; UCLA’s Pioneers of Queer Cinema series is going on tour; what insiders think about African cinema at Cannes and other festivals; a new documentary about an organization that changed Toronto queer history; very rare movies to be featured in a Library of Congress inaugural festival this June; how curator amassed a huge pan-African film archive, and some exciting hip-hop news!


Sterling Library inspires student’s animated film—a love story

Colorful Library, a five-minute film by Filip Birkne, uses stop-motion animation to tells the story of what happens in Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library after hours one night.

Source: Yale Library 


‘A cinema of resistance’: how June Givanni amassed a 10,000-piece pan-African film archive

How curator June Givanni amassed a 10,000-piece pan-African film archive.

Source: The Guardian 



Library of Congress Festival of Film And Sound Announces Full Lineup of Rare Cinema and Special Guests

The inaugural Library of Congress Festival of Film and Sound announces its roster of rare cinema, with films like James Cagney’s Ceiling Zero (1936) and special guests. 

Source: Broadway World 



FBI charges man with stealing Dorothy’s The Wizard of Oz slippers

A man has been charged with the theft of a pair of the red slippers worn by Judy Garland’s character Dorothy in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. One of four pairs in existence, they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005 and recovered by the FBI in 2018. The stolen slippers, with an estimated worth of $3.5 million, cannot be returned to the museum until all legal proceedings have been concluded.

Source: BBC 



Pioneers of Queer Cinema Tour

UCLA’s Pioneers of Queer Cinema series is going on tour. The organizers and supporters of this series hope to introduce and reacquaint audiences with landmark queer works and their makers, while inspiring new conversations and renewed action surrounding the complex obstacles LGBTQ+ communities continue to face.

Source: UCLA Cinema 



Africa (Finally) Has Its Cannes Moment

African cinema was well represented at Cannes this year, but insiders say top festivals need to do more to reflect the continent’s true filmmaking diversity.

Source: Hollywood Reporter 



This organization changed Toronto queer history — and a new film shows us how we can learn from them

A new documentary, Supporting Our Selves, directed by Lulu Wei, links the history of Toronto’s pivotal Community One Foundation to modern queer advocacy.

Source: CBC 



And finally, Regan Sommer McCoy, the Chief Curator of The Mixtape Museum and the ‘23 Visiting Hip Hop Scholar at Virginia Union University, has been voted onto the board of ARSC, The Association for Recorded Sound Collections and will join the School of Visual Arts as a Hip Hop Curator.   


In this month’s Industry News, women authors are outperforming the men at long last, a Seven Sisters College appoints its first Black women President, a profile of drag as an expanding cultural force, a major survey of what Covid-19 taught librarians, and Women’s History Month at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Women Authors in the Lead

In the 1960s women were the authors of just 18% of books published. By 2020, a new study has shown, that figure is more than 50%, for the first time in history. And it seems that the increasing number of female-authored books is good for the bottom line.

Source: Quartz 


First Black Woman President for Mount Holyoke

Danielle Ren Holley is the first Black woman in the 186-year history of Mount Holyoke College to serve as permanent president, and the fourth Black woman in history to lead one of the original Seven Sisters Colleges.

Source: The Dig 


A Profile of Drag

Drag has expanded into a cultural force for the public, appreciated by millions of individuals in mainstream audiences worldwide.

Source: Nexus Radio


Women’s History at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will honor prominent Black women in the arts and entertainment industry throughout March in recognition of Women’s History Month.

Source: The Washington Informer 


What Covid-19 Taught Librarians

Three years after the shutdown of March 2020, American Libraries asked public, academic, school, and special librarians how the pandemic changed their work, what innovations and programs (curbside service, parking lot wi-fi, disinfecting collections, virtual programs, bookmobiles) are here to stay, and what they learned about their workplaces and users.

Source: American Libraries 


In this edition of Industry News, the first HBCU to add a medical school in half a century, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions to the health care system in the US, a medical student’s TikToks about racism in health care are going viral, a new report was issued on the identification of skulls of Black people held by the Penn Museum, what the world loses when the arts and humanities are in decline, and Morehouse School of Medicine is starting a program to document and archive the experiences of Black women’s experiences of serious complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

New HBCU School of Medicine

Morgan State University will be the first HBCU in nearly five decades to open a new medical school. The proposed name is The Maryland College of Osteopathic Medicine and it is scheduled to welcome its first class in Fall 2024. The new school will join Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Meharry Medical College. 

[Via NPR]


RX Revolutionary

A medical student at Washington State University is challenging racism in health care through the media platform TikTok. Joel Bervell’s video about pulse oximeters not working as equally with darker skin tones went viral, “and the comments were from physicians and nurses and PAs saying that they had never heard about it before.”

[Via Scientific American]


MLK’s Contributions to Health Care in the US

Dr. Aletha Maybank, Chief Health Equity Officer and Senior Vice President of the American Medical Association (AMA), speaking at the recent 2023 R(evolution) Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Keynote Lecture hosted by the University of Michigan, said that Dr. King’s organizing resulted in significant contributions to the American health care system as well as the overall state of health in the United States. According to Dr. Maybank, “Black physicians were often excluded from working in white hospitals during Martin Luther King Jr.’s time, in large part due to the AMA’s policies. . . . [While] the AMA did not take the necessary steps to promote desegregation, the advocacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the National Medical Association, which consists of Black physicians, pushed health equality forward.” 

[Via Michigan Daily]


New Report on the Morton Cranial Collection at the Penn Museum

In a new report, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology said that the number of skulls of Black individuals whose skulls were collected by the white supremacist doctor Samuel George Morton and are currently held by the Museum has risen from 13 to 20. The Morton Cranial Collection came into the Museum’s possession in 1966. In 2021 the Penn Museum began the process of identifying and burying or repatriating the remains. 

[Via The Philadelphia Inquirer] 


Archive of Black Women’s Stories at Morehouse

A new program at Morehouse School of Medicine highlights the stories of Black women who experience grave pregnancy or childbirth complications. Dr. Natalie Hernandez, the executive director of Morehouse School of Medicine’s new Center for Maternal Health Equity, and her colleagues are documenting survivor stories for an oral history archive known as the Maternal Near Miss project. The women’s stories will be shared with healthcare providers, policy-makers and the National Library of Medicine. “’A lot of women felt because they were Black that they weren’t listened to,’ Dr. Hernandez said. ‘I think we heard that in about 80% of the stories that were shared with us.’”

[Via Fox 5 Atlanta] 


The Value of Arts and Humanities

James Engell, Gurney Profssor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, on the value of the arts and humanities and what the world loses when they are in decline. “Civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights: all propelled by persons deeply acquainted with the humanities and arts. Maria Stewart, Rachel Carson, Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, John L. Lewis, John R. Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Rose Schneiderman: each immersed in literature, religion, poetry, history, biography, or philosophy—or several of these. . . . By minimizing the arts and humanities, higher education exacerbates the problems confronting society.” 

Via Harvard Magazine


Oh, the Humanities! is continuing the INDSUTRY NEWS section of the newsletter, but wanted to present the info outside the small margins of the email window. The list of news items is curated by OTH editors to reflect topics of the day that are of interest to the OTH audience. 

In a seasonally-favored edition of Industry News, Cambridge University Press has dusted off its famous “Christmas Book” limited editions and digitized them; the University of Louisville’s library has put together some books and movie suggestions for Kwanzaa; a new photo-essay scopes out eleven ancient sites around the world that are aligned to the winter solstice; Iceland gets very bookish in the run up to Christmas Eve, much to the relief of its publishing industry, and the Library of Congress digs into the true story of the Hanukkah dreidel.

Kwanzaa Resources

The William F. Ekstrom Library at the University of Louisville has put together a collection of suggested books and films that showcase the seven principles of Kwanzaa: 

[From University of Louisville Libraries] 

The Truth Behind the Dreidel

The Library of Congress digs into the origin of and stories told about the Hanukkah dreidel, the spinning top traditionally associated with the holiday, and explicates the true history of the toy.

[From Library of Congress Folklife Today blog] 

Cambridge “Christmas Books”

Cambridge University Press has digitized its “Christmas Books’–limited edition volumes that were produced as Christmas gifts for ‘friends in printing and publishing’ between 1930 and 1973:

[From Cambridge News] 

Winter Solstice Sites

The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, falling on December 21st or 22nd, has been a significant time of year in many prehistoric cultures.  It marks the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun since the gradual waning of daylight hours is reversed and days begin to grow longer. These eleven ancient sites are aligned with the sun on the winter solstice and were likely used by our ancestors for rituals to celebrate the midwinter festival.

[From Business Insider] 

Readin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Iceland’s traditional “Christmas book flood” is a large component of the publishing industry in that highly-literate nation. 

[From Smithsonian Magazine]