News In Brief 4/5/04

NEA Chair Testifies on Hill

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia delivered a prepared statement to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies on April 1. Gioia reported on the status of the agency and spoke in support of the President’s 2005 NEA budget request for $139.4 million.

After a year in office, Gioia spoke positively on the progress made in four objective area he considers key—to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency, to create model programs of indisputable artistic merit and broad national reach, to ensure truly national coverage of our programs, and to develop and promote effective models for arts education.

He also made special mention of the American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, a three-year program designed to acquaint Americans, especially school children, with the best of their artistic heritage through touring programs, local presentations, and arts education. $15 million of the requested $139.4 million is earmarked for this program.

Gioia concluded his remarks by reaffirming the agency’s commitment “to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education…We are proud to take a positive leadership role in shaping American culture for the better.”

Gioia’s complete testimony is available at: http://www.arts.gov/news/news04/Testimony4-1.html.

David Lang Work Included on IAMIC Conference Concert

The International Association of Music Information Centers has announced details on its2004 Annual Conference to be held in Warsaw. Among the conference activities, a festival concert will be held on September 26 featuring the work of six composers, including American David Lang’s Sweet Air for chamber ensemble. His piece will share a program with works by Marco Marinoni (The Netherlands), Bernard Cavanna (France), Toivo Tulev (Estonia), Martin Marek (The Czech Republic), and Klaus Ib Jrrgensen (Denmark).

EMI Announces Shifts in Organization; Cuts 1,500 Jobs

EMI Group announced restructuring plans to “maximize efficiency and effectiveness in the changing global music marketplace.”

In order to meet this goal financially, the company has reduced its staff by approximately 20% (1,500 positions), of which approximately 900 are related to the outsourcing of manufacturing. At EMI Jazz & Classics, Andria Tay, VP of Marketing, and Nell Mulderry, director of marketing, are reportedly leaving.

EMI is reducing its global roster by approximately 20 percent, which according to a press release from EMI, affects “largely niche and under-performing artists. The roster is being rebalanced to focus resources and efforts more effectively on the artists who have the greatest potential on both a global and local level.”

A major point in the announcement is the shift in product manufacture, much of which will be moved to Uden in The Netherlands. EMI will be closing its manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Illinois, though it intends to maintain its supply group, physical warehouse and distribution facilities and functions there. Cinram International Inc. will manufacture for EMI companies who currently receive product from the Jacksonville facility.

Alain Levy, Chairman & CEO of EMI Music, commented: “The time is right to further reposition EMI Music. Exiting manufacturing in our two primary regions of Europe and the US will allow us to lower our costs while flexibly meeting our supply needs in the future. These additional steps will more closely align us with the evolution we are seeing in our markets. We believe that by concentrating our efforts on a tightened roster of artists we will increase our revenue-generating potential while reducing our costs, even as we continue to invest in artists worldwide and in developing our digital capabilities.”