Many of the 28 buildings on MASS MoCA's 16-acre museum campus in North Adams, Massachusetts are covered with solar panels, which meet 25% of the museum's annual energy needs Douglas Mason, courtesy of MASS MoCA
It is perhaps fitting that the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April came at a moment of acute awareness of our own fragility as a species. It has been a solemn yet precious time for introspection, as spring unfolds dramatically around us. The coronavirus has brought some silver linings: among them, cities around the world have seen improvements in air quality and for some, the first blue skies in years.
As we start to phase back into a working economy, museums will play an important role in helping us restart: through the healing power of the arts, in reminding us of the lessons we can learn from history, and in conveying the excitement–and critical importance–of science. While managing the short-term response to Covid-19, it is important for museums to not lose sight of another great challenge with long-lasting impacts, requiring unprecedented worldwide collaboration: climate change.
Even with carbon emissions down for the year, we are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal to get global warming under control. 2020 is set to be the second-hottest year on record. Some museums have already been proactive in addressing climate change, raising awareness for the issue directly through exhibitions and by reducing their own carbon footprint through the embrace of green buildings and the conservation of water and energy. However, one of the most powerful actions a museum can take is often overlooked: considering its endowment and the role it plays in our planets fight for life.
In previous posts for the American Alliance of Museums, I outlined why museums should look to sustainable investments–those incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in their investment process–both to mitigate risk within portfolios and as a way to deepen an institutions engagement with its mission and values. The recent performance of sustainable investments has been notable throughout the volatility tied to Covid-19.
Much of this performance is attributed to sustainable funds investments in sectors like health care and technology and avoidance of heavily pollutant sectors like oil and gas, cruises and airlines. Perhaps more importantly, the companies that score high on ESG tend to embrace a “long-term stakeholder centric behaviour model”: they are mindful of their environmental challenges, focus on their broader stakeholders (including employees, supply chains, and local communities, not just shareholders), and govern themselves ethically. Investors are clearly betting that this mindset will allow ESG-focused companies to lead us out of this recession, and throughout the next economic cycle.
It is not a coincidence that Harvard University announced in April its intention to realign its $40bn endowment to reflect “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Agreement, the first major US college endowment to make this commitment. The strategy will require that by 2050, all man-made greenhouse-gas emissions linked to their underlying investments be offset by efforts to remove them from the atmosphere. This effort is part of a multifaceted “sustainability vision” for the university, along with plans to reduce the carbon footprint of Harvard's campus and the allocation of funds to research on energy and emissions reduction.
Harvard is not the only university considering the environmental impacts of its endowment–peer institutions including Georgetown, Brown and the University of California system have announced comprehensive plans to divest from fossil fuels. Over the long term, these market pressures may incentivise behaviour change among these firms, driving improvements in sustainability and transparency–or push them out of business entirely with the advent of cheaper, clean alternatives.
What is interesting about Harvards approach is that it has chosen to work proactively with high-carbon companies today in an effort to help them transition to more sustainable practices–known in the industry as shareholder engagement. The big implication of Harvards announcement is in its potential to shift the entire asset-management industry towards carbon-awareness–a shift that has been brewing in the meteoric rise of interest in sustainable investing, and on the heels of a major investment firm acknowledging that climate change has become a defining factor in companies long-term prospects.
With $30bn in collective capital, US museums can also be a formidable force in this movement. As institutions rooted in communities with diverse stakeholders, museums should consider how to best respond to the environmental challenges those communities will (or already do) face, and the underlying impact of their endowments on these issues. The tide is starting to turn.
Michael Apted: TV documentary pioneer and film-maker dies aged 79
Film director Michael Apted, best known for the Up series of TV documentaries following the lives of 14 people every seven years, has died aged 79.
He also directed Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist and the 1999 Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.
The original 7 Up in 1964 set out to document the life prospects of a range of children from all walks of life.
The show was inspired by the Aristotle quote “give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man”.
The first 7 Up show was followed by 14 Up at the start of the next decade, which interviewed the same children as teenagers – and the pattern was set right up until 63 Up in 2019.
Throughout all those intervening years ITV viewers became engrossed with the stories of private school trio Andrew, Charles and John, of Jackie who went through two divorces, of Nick who went from jobless and homeless to Liberal Democrat councillor, and of working class chatterbox Tony, whose life ambition was to become a jockey.
Apted’s shows – which won three Bafta awards – have often been described as the forerunner of modern-day reality TV series, giving its participants the time to tell their own stories on screen.
But unlike their modern counterparts, the original Up children tended to fade away from the limelight in the seven years between each chapter.
In 2008, Apted was made a companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the British film and television industries.
Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America, said Apted was a “fearless visionary” whose legacy would live on.
He said Apted, who was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, “saw the trajectory of things when others didn’t and we were all beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication”.
ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo said the director’s six-decade career was “in itself truly remarkable”.
He said the Up series “demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition”.
“The influence of Michael’s contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed,” Lygo added.
Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond film franchise, said Apted “was a director of enormous talent” and “beloved by all those who worked with him”.
“We loved working with him on The World Is Not Enough and send our love and support to his family, friends and colleagues,” they said.
A post on the Twitter account of the band Garbage, who performed the theme for The World Is Not Enough, labelled Apted a “delightful, charming soul”.
Composer David G Arnold, who composed the Bond theme and worked with Apted on three other non-Bond movies, said he felt “lucky” to work with him.
“A more trusting, funny, friendly and, most importantly, kind, person you’d never meet. So pleased to have known him and so sad that he’s gone,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55597263
Liverpool FC anthem singer Gerry Marsden dies aged 78
Gerry and the Pacemakers singer Gerry Marsden, whose version of You’ll Never Walk Alone became a football terrace anthem for his hometown club of Liverpool, has died at the age of 78.
His family said on Sunday he died after a short illness not linked to Covid-19.
Marsden’s band was one of the biggest success stories of the Merseybeat era, and in 1963 became the first to have their first three songs top the chart.
But the band’s other best known hit was Ferry Cross The Mersey came in 1964.
It was written by Marsden himself as a tribute to his city, and reached number eight.
Marsden was made an MBE in 2003 for services to charity after supporting victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
At the time, he said he was “over the moon” to have received the honour, following his support for numerous charities across Merseyside and beyond.
Liverpool FC posted on social media that Marsden’s words would “live on forever with us”.
While Marsden was a songwriter as well as a singer, his most enduring hit was actually a cover of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical number from 1945, that he had to convince his bandmates to record as their third single.
In many interviews over the years, he explained how fate played a part in his band ever recording the song. He was watching a Laurel and Hardy movie at Liverpool’s Odeon cinema in the early 1960s and, only because it was raining, he decided to stay for the second part of a double feature.
That turned out to be the film Carousel – which featured that song on its soundtrack – and Marsden was so moved by the lyrics that he became determined that it should become part of his band’s repertoire.
In a 2013 interview, Marsden told the Liverpool FC website how You’ll Never Walk Alone was adopted by the club’s fans as soon as it topped the chart in 1963: “I remember being at Anfield and before every kick off they used to play the top 10 from number 10 to number one, and so You’ll Never Walk Alone was played before the match. I was at the game and the fans started singing it.
“When it went out of the top 10 they took the song off the playlist and then for the next match the Kop were shouting ‘Where’s our song?’ So they had to put it back on.
“Now, every time I go to the game I still get goose pimples when the song comes on and I sing my head off.”
Sir Kenny Dalglish, who managed Liverpool at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy, tweeted that he was “saddened” by the news of Marsden’s death, and that You’ll Never Walk Alone was an “integral part of Liverpool Football Club, and never more so than now”.
By BBC Radio Merseyside’s Spencer Leigh
Gerry was an entertainer. He loved being an entertainer; he loved people seeing him in the street and asking him for his autograph and the like.
He had a very distinctive voice, and that is terribly important. You knew instantly it was him on those records. He was best on those ballads.
I think he really did them very well indeed. You’ll Never Walk Alone was a big show song that had been around for years and years, and lots of people had done it.
Just before Gerry brought his version out, Johnny Mathis brought his out. If that version had been played on the Kop, I don’t think the Kop would have taken to it because you couldn’t sing along with Johnny Mathis – he had too big a range and too perfect a voice.
But Gerry sounded like everyman and it was absolutely perfect for the Kop. I think it’s the greatest football anthem of the lot.
As well as being a Liverpool anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone has also been adopted by fans at both Celtic in Scotland and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram posted a tribute on Twitter, saying he was “devastated” by the news.
Marsden’s career began at legendary live music venue, The Cavern Club, where The Pacemakers played nearly 200 times.
The club said on Twitter that Marsden was “not only a legend, but also a very good friend of The Cavern”.
Gerry and The Pacemakers were spotted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who gave them the song How Do You Do It, which had been turned down by the Fab Four and Adam Faith, for their debut single.
The band achieved nine hit singles and two hit albums between 1963 and 1965, before splitting up.
Marsden pursued a solo career before the band reformed in 1974 for a world tour.
In 1985, Marsden was back in the pop spotlight when he was invited to be one of the vocalists of a charity version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which was released to raise funds for victims of a fire at a Bradford City match.
In doing so, Marsden set another chart record by becoming the first person to sing on two different chart-topping versions of the same song.
So when, after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, the other Pacemakers classic of Ferry Cross The Mersey was chosen to raise funds for its victims and a group of famous Liverpudlian singers was gathered, Marsden was again included and was back at number one once more for a cause he held dear for the rest of his life.
Marsden was awarded the Freedom of Liverpool in April 2009, an occasion he marked by boarding a ferry across the Mersey and getting out his guitar to sing his famous hit which described the scene.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55524795
Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of Covid-19 complications at 82 Lisa France byline
Dawn Wells, who played the lovable castaway Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island,” died in Los Angeles on Wednesday from Covid-19 complications, her publicist Harlan Boll confirmed to CNN.
Tech7 months ago
Search engine startup asks users to be the customer, not the product
Europe1 month ago
Covid: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat
Health1 month ago
Spain ‘to register’ those who refuse to have Covid-19 vaccine
Sports4 years ago
Boxing continues to knock itself out with bewildering, incorrect decisions
Sports4 years ago
Phillies’ Aaron Altherr makes mind-boggling barehanded play
Europe2 months ago
45 arrested across Europe and Brazil as authorities seize ‘record haul’ of cocaine
latest news7 months ago
Creepy technologies invade European post-pandemic workplaces
Sports4 years ago
Steph Curry finally got the contract he deserves from the Warriors