New job for Michael Kaiser

Yale grad Stephen A. Schwarzman has given his alma mater $150 million ‘to create a world-class, state-of-the-art campus center by renovating the historic Commons and Memorial Hall’.

Nice.

Schwarzman, a former chair of the Kennedy Center in Washington, has retained Michael Kaiser, ex-prez of the Kennedy Center, to advise Yale on the renovation, programming, and staffing for the center.

Kind.

kaiser

 

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  • He actually gave $150 million. And of course, it will be named Schwarzman Center.

    http://news.yale.edu/2015/05/11/landmark-gift-alumnus-stephen-schwarzman-establish-first-its-kind-campus-center-yale

    There will not be one word about naming the cultural center after someone like Yale grad Charles Ives. Shouldn’t America join the rest of the world and name cultural centers to celebrate community and cultural heritage rather than wealth? When we name campus cultural centers to celebrate wealth rather than cultural identity we send a troubling message to students. Sadly, this is also a reflection of our funding system of the arts by and for the wealthy.

    Ninety-four of the top 100 feeder schools for Harvard are private and have very high tuitions average people cannot afford. Same story for Yale. Even with scholarships and efforts to be diverse, the class system that orients children toward these schools remains intact. Students from the bottom 50 percent of the income distribution comprise just 14 percent of the undergraduate population at the United States’ most competitive universities, and the ratio has barely changed for the last 30 years. These schools thus help perpetuate a class oriented, educational system. And worse, a class system that is racially informed. These problems are exacerbated when we name cultural centers after wealthy people who have no other distinction than the ability to amass wealth. It sends the message that money matter more than who we are as a cultural community.

  • It doesn’t appear that Woolsey Hall, the boomy old concert call housed in the same building, will be renovated with the funds. A shame – it is dreadful for anything but the organ, and the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Symphony are stuck performing in that awful acoustic.

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