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Espresso Goes to Washington

ESPRESSOIt being election season and all, we're feeling a little wonky.

The Hollywood Reporter reports todayon how the media and entertainment landscape would change depending on whether Sen. John McCain or Sen. Barack Obama is elected.

Important issues to note: It seems Obama favors legislation protecting net neutrality, while McCain seems to view the issue as one of regulation vs. deregulation. (He would support the latter.) Similarly, Obama wants curbs on media consolidation, while McCain is opposed. The candidates have divergent views on legislation that would make unionizing easier. Obama supports, McCain does not.

Also today: Bloomberg Newshas a story about the authors of Obama's culture plank: Hal Prince and Michael Chabon. (Thanks to BroadwayStars.com for pointing us to that.)

Keeping on the wonk theme, there are two good reads today about how to build a sustainable arts organization. The first comes through Thomas Cott, whose "You've Cott Mail" ccontinues to be an invaluable resource. He pointed us to a blog about strategic thinking and planning. The takeaway seems to be: Try to create something unique, and not merely parrot what someone else is doing. The second comes from TheField.org, who is offering grants and help with planning through a program, Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA). The deadline for grant applications is Thursday, Nov. 6.

This past Monday, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the inaugural recipientsof grants in its development program for new plays. The Center Theatre Group in L.A. and the McCarter Theatre at Princeton received the top grants of $90,000. Five other institutions--including California Shakespeare Theater in Berkeley and the Lark Play Development Center in New York--received $20,000.

Last, the FCC will vote this Tuesday, Nov. 4 (why is that date ringing a bell with me?), to decide whether to open up the white-space portion of the broadcast spectrum unlicensed wireless devices. Tech companies such as Microsoft and Google support the opening, because it will foster innovation and business development. A bevy of interest groups oppose it, including Broadway. Producers and unions contend overtaxed airwaves will interfere with the theatre district's wireless microphone system, the central nervous system for the Main Stem.

 -- Andrew Salomon

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