Back in March, I published some early thoughts on what at the time was the growing number of arts and culture organizations cutting ties with artists who are supporters of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
At that time, arts organizations weren’t terribly clear about why they found actions by artists like conductor Valery Gergiev unacceptable. I hinted at posting some additional thoughts about my concerns related to virtue signaling and artists being unfairly targeted, but an extended bout of illness put that behind schedule.
During the interim, Anna Tarassova wrote an article for the 4/14/22 edition of Van Magazine that makes clear much of what I had on my mind about why some artists deserve scrutiny.
It’s an excellent resource that clearly defines why artists like Gergiev rise to the level of being ostracized for their support of Vladimir Putin. While this wasn’t the first time Van Magazine raised red flags about the Gergiev-Putin relationship, it does serve as something of an initial wakeup call to all arts organizations about the value of due diligence.
It’s worth pointing out that Tarassova is a pseudonym to protect the Russian journalist from reprisals, I applaud the editors of Van Magazine for extending that well deserved protection in order to facilitate the deeper conversation. In case you missed the article when it came out, do yourself a favor and give it a read. It should also serve as a stark reminder about why nonprofit compensation transparency laws exist in the first place.