Local and Industry News

The Florida Language Institute has been decertified and closed down for not keeping its international students in the classroom. Regulations for those in the United States on student visas tightened after the 9/11 attacks, and foreign students are now required to be in class for at least eighteen hours per week. In addition to decertification of the school, eighty students are in custody awaiting deportation, and the school's president and an employee are facing up to ten years in prison for allegedly making a profit by falsifying immigration documents. There are over 600 schools in Florida that are certified to receive foreign students.


AFTRA and SAG will hold joint negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. AFTRA, SAG, and Directors Guild of America agreements expire in June 2011, and the Writers Guild agreement is set to expire in May 2011. Residual payments in new media is likely to be an item of contention at the negotiations.


Florida Grand Opera's recent production of Rossini's Barber of Seville has used digital innovation to save money. Faced with cutting nearly $6 million out of its $18 million budget, FGO has replaced rented sets for the Rossini production with animations projected on a 22-by-40-foot screen. Designed by Lava Studio, the projections include accent images of storms, musical notes, portraits, and other images to accompany the performance.

The Association of British Orchestras has created a five-year vision calling for the government to support the arts and arts education. The vision calls for creation of a network of Centres for Orchestras, changes to the tax code to increase giving to the arts, and support of music education in the schools.

Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra have agreed to nearly $4.5 million in concessions. Musicians have agreed to a wage freeze, a hiring freeze, elimination of scheduled pension increases, and early negotiations for a new contract. The Orchestra has only been selling sixty percent of the seats available, and is still projecting a $3.3 million deficit this season despite the concessions. However, the Orchestra launched an emergency drive this season, and has already raised $8 million of the $15 million they hope to raise.


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