Exported (temporarily): If you spent last Wednesday searching up and down Massachusetts for master balafon player Balla Kouyate, here’s why you couldn’t find him. Balla, a recent Artist Fellow in Traditional Arts, was in D.C. performing at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and later at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Our sibling blog, Keepers of Tradition, has the scoop on this unique honor.
Exported (less temporarily): Jason Schupbach, the state’s very first creative economy industry director, is also D.C.-bound, but for more than a visit. He’s been named Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts. Jason, who’s also the former director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s ArtistLink project, introduces himself in a Q&A on the NEA Art Works blog. Full of surprises: who knew Jason has a cheese-themed video blog?
Exported (virtually): Evan Garza, who recently served on our Painting panel in the Artist Fellowships Program and is an editor at large at New American Paintings and curator/gallery manager at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, is guest blogging at the Art21 blog.
And: the New Yorker’s Book Bench blog talks with Cambridge author Allegra Goodman (on the occasion of the publishing of her Cambridge-set short story “La Vita Nuova”).
Imported: we recently covered Hannah Barrett (Painting ’04) and her artistic partnership with the historic Gibson House in Boston. Another historic Massachusetts site, Hancock Shaker Village in the Berkshires, has caught the contemporary artist-in-residence bug, and is hosting a master woodworker from Syracuse.
Locally made (and played): at the Huntington Theatre blog announces an intriguing series of site-specific audio plays by its Huntington Playwriting Fellows. A sampling: Kirsten Greenidge “eavesdrops” on two sisters outside the Co-op in Harvard Square, Martha Jane Kaufman slips between different types of “tea parties” at the Boston Harbor, and Ken Urban orchestrates a meet-up (set up online) at an MBTA station.
Looking for perfect synchronicity between a documentary subject and its screening venue? Just follow the green arrows behind Fresh Pond Cinema. A free rough-cut screening of Foreign Parts, a documentary by Verena Parvel and J.P. Sniadecki, will take place at Aladdin Auto Service, 162 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge, on Saturday, May 8th at 6 PM (reception at 7 PM). Verena Parvel will be on hand to discuss the film, about a New York junkyard under the threat of demolition.
Arts blogger Greg Cook continues to do yeoman’s work (not that I understand precisely what a “yeoman” does – but I mean it as a compliment), covering the region’s highs, such as art inspired by Boston’s recent aquapolypse, and lows, such as the sad news of the impending closure of the Judi Rotenberg Gallery on Newbury Street.
New to the whole artist/gallery partnership process? The GYST blog has your starter kit: everything you ever wanted to know about galleries.
Finally, we thought you might enjoy this quote from writer James Arthur, from the Ploughshares blog, on the notion of “experience” as a writer:
At 19, I interpreted experience as mild psychedelic adventures and having a girlfriend. At 22, after a lackluster undergraduate career, I felt that I needed more job experience: more experience of what I then called “the real world.” At 27, I was in an MFA program, and I knew that a writer is someone who sits at a desk and writes.
Yep. To paraphrase what the wise sage – or was it the massive transnational corporation? – once said: “Just do it, artists.”
Image: Balla Kouyate on balafon and Markane Kouyate on talking drum. Photo by Maggie Holtzberg.