As you may know, this blog is hand-cranked by the folks at the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. On Friday, the day of the first snow storm (and the day I meant to write this post), Governor Patrick instructed non-emergency state workers not to come in. So I was home Friday, and the post got a snow day.
Anyway, we’re back in the office, so… to the art! There’s a fascinating interview with 2008 ICA Foster Finalist Rania Matar (Photography Fellow ’07) in the most recent Big RED and Shiny, where she discusses her photographs in war-torn Lebanon and why she was drawn to go back.
Via Practicing Writing: good news, web writers – you can now be the Best Americans. (In that writers who’ve been published in web-based literary journals are eligible for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories anthology. I’m not saying you can necessarily be better than the best Americans overall, such as the American Ninja or National Arts Council member Lee Greenwood. But you know, of writers.)
Check out Lloyd Schwartz’s NPR review of the CD of Scott Wheeler’s (Music Composition Fellow ’05) opera The Construction of Boston. Schwartz calls the recording of Boston Cecilia’s 2002 performance “close to an ideal realization.” The work uses the text of Kenneth Koch’s poem of the same name, an ode to the building of Boston. “I think anyone who loves cities will be charmed by this inventive and moving work,” says Schwartz.
In the ’60s, David Wheeler’s Theatre Company of Boston included Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, and Al Pacino in its acting troupe. But the standout was Paul Benedict, who recently passed away in Martha’s Vineyard. The Globe has an excellent obituary (and check out the tributes in the comments section, too). And the Playgoer, the eponymous blogger shares his personal memories of Mr. Benedict.
In The Public Humanist, filmmaker Larry Hott argues that, along with visual skills, film & video artists ought to be able to string a few words together, to get ahead in their field.
Via the NY Times: according to an NEA report, supply of non-musical plays is outstripping demand. But is this on an aggregate demand curve or a marginal utility curve? And have all exogenous variables been considered? Or could it be, as the UK’s Guardian Theatre Blog suggests, that “demand” for art can be helped along, as with the NEA’s Big Read program for literature. A Big See, anyone?
Via Publishers Weekly, Dennis Lehane, scribe of such iconic Boston tales as Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, will edit Akashic’s forthcoming Boston Noir anthology of mystery stories.
The roster of artists for President-elect Obama’s inauguration is shaping up. Elizabeth Alexander will be inaugural poet (Mass. connection: she studied with Derek Walcott at BU), and Cambridge master cellist Yo-Yo Ma is among the musical performers. (Based on the musicians and the instruments they play, Alex Ross takes a stab at guessing the musical selection.)
A handful of calls to artists…
Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre is accepting submissions of features, shorts, documentaries and student films that have some connection to Cape Cod for a juried festival called the 2009 Cape Cod Filmmaker Takeover. Chosen films are screened at WHAT’s Julie Harris Stage, the audience votes, and the grand prize winner participates in the Provincetown International Film Festival. Submission must be postmarked by January 23, 2009; guidelines and submission criteria here.
Central Productions has an open call for submissions for the 8th Annual Boston Cinema Census, showcasing innovative works by emerging New England filmmakers. The BCC is hosted by the Brattle Theatre. Deadline Feb. 10, 2009. Check here for details.
Visionary drawings conveying a dwelling/structure/architectural concept can be submitted to Kidspace @ MASS MoCA’s March 2009 Exhibition Cribs to Cribbage and the publication Visionary Architecture. Interested artists should procure a submission form (find out how here), then use the form to create your drawing and submit by January 15, 2009. Selected drawings will be compiled in Visionary Architecture.
In case you missed the excellent traditional arts performances in conjunction with the Keepers of Tradition exhibition at the National Heritage Museum, you can check some of them out at the MCC YouTube Channel. (Perhaps during the next snow storm?)
Image: Timothy Horn (Sculpture/Installation Fellow ’05), WATERSPORTS (Installation, 2002), mixed media, variable dimensions. Timothy’s works are currently on exhibit in In Pursuit of Beauty at the Montserrat Gallery at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, through January 24. Read the Boston Globe’s review.