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British government does about-face after outcry, issues visa to Ai Weiwei

Admitting that someone had blundered, the British government has reversed its decision earlier this week to deny Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei a six-month work visa and issued an apology to the artist-activist who has become a symbol for freedom of thought in the face of authoritarian control.

The British Home Office, which is in charge of visas, immigration and national security, announced Friday...

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D.C. museum caught between the Bill Cosby scandal and hosting his family's art trove

A year ago, Tracey Jones, a Baltimore teacher leading a field trip to the National Museum of African Art, might have lingered at the large quilt showing images of Bill Cosby, holding him up to her mostly African American students as a role model. Growing up, she says, she "wanted the Cosby family."

Now she's horrified.

"I just thought that everybody was on board with what he'd done wrong and wanted...

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Watch Gael Garcia Bernal as he leads the L.A. Phil at Hollywood Bowl as a guest 'conductor'

"Hear the hair" met its real-life inspiration Thursday at the Hollywood Bowl, as actor Gael Garcia Bernal of the comedy "Mozart in the Jungle" led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the overture to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" for a scene for the series' upcoming second season.

The series is a fictitious take on the popularity of the Phil's dashing and popular music director Gustavo Dudamel -- here...

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Ai Weiwei heads to Europe, but experiences U.K. visa problems

Ai Weiwei has arrived in Europe and is visiting his son in Germany this week, according to a close associate of the internationally renowned Chinese artist.

But Ai's plans to visit Britain have hit a snag with a visa issue, prompting the outspoken artist to once again take to social media in protest.

Last week, Ai reclaimed his passport that Chinese officials had seized in 2011, when the artist was...

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UC Irvine to exhibit artworks created via biological engineering

UC Irvine has put out a call for artists who want to manipulate the building blocks of life as we know it to create art as we’ve never known it – works made of living organisms that owe their existence to biological engineering rather than evolution.

The project’s director, David Familian, said he doesn’t expect any modern Victor Frankensteins to apply – although he concedes it’s almost inevitable...

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Federal humanities grants aim to put scholars on best seller lists

Aiming to show that scholarly research in literature, history and the arts remains lively and relevant in an era dominated by science, engineering and technology, the National Endowment for the Humanities has embarked on a “Public Scholars” campaign to generate books that embody excellent scholarship yet have a solid chance of landing on best-seller lists.

But the head of one national group for humanities...

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