Two Minutes – Joe Nathan Barrett

Enjoy the latest episode of Two Minutes—unedited audio snapshots of our most intriguing conversations with artists.

Meet Joe Nathan Barrett, a music missionary we met in 2012, making his living busking on the streets on New Orleans. We’ll let him take it from here…

When we left him two years ago, Joe was content living off the grid (no phone and his email was shared with a friend) so we haven’t as of yet been able to catch up with his current whereabouts. But we’ll keep trying!

Special thanks to Juliet Rotenberg, who transcribed this interview.

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Week in Review – October 27, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

VISUAL
In their efforts to combat graffiti’s role in the city’s urban blight, Detroit’s police officers are being forced to confront the question – what is art?

Christie’s and Sotheby’s disagree over whether to treat the sale of two paintings by Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele as looted Nazi art (Christie’s does, Sotherby’s doesn’t)…

MUSIC (Law & Order Edition)
Musician Andrew Kalleen of the duo Lawrence & Leigh is assaulted and arrested for performing on a NYC subway platform, even after the arresting officer admits he hasn’t broken any laws according to the MTA’s own rules of conduct:

Continuing on this theme, New Orleans is considering restricting “non-amplified live music” to certain areas of the city, putting some venues and restaurants at a potential disadvantage…

OPERA
Acclaimed mezzo-soprano (and Kansas City native) Joyce DiDonato has discovered the limits of social media. The singer has received the most votes in a social media poll asking who should sing the national anthem at each game of the World Series. To date, she has still not been chosen. In the meantime, fans have been content to voice their opinion of those who were chosen to sing:

POP MUSIC
Two things we didn’t know: (1) Kenny G is huge in China, (2) Kenny G stopped by the Hong Kong protests and ticked off the rulers of the country in which he is huge…

THEATRE
A DC-area actress tackles what it’s like to shed it all for the stage…

FUNDING
The turmoil at Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and recent closure of Georgia Shakespeare spark an outcry from local advocates for renewed investment in a state that ranks last in per capita arts funding…

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A husband and wife team want to give Burlington, VT‘s burgeoning stand-up scene its first actual comedy club:

From Indiegogo: A group of Orlando artists want help turning a moving truck into a mobile art gallery

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Two Minutes – Andrew Ward

Enjoy the premiere of our new project—Two Minutes—unedited audio snapshots of our most intriguing conversations with artists.

To start us off, we bring you Andrew Ward: scholar, gentleman, musician, and former New Orleans ghost tour guide. After taking his tour in 2011 we met him at a pub in the French Quarter where he delved into his passion project—“Wahida”—an album bridging the divide between America and the Muslim world through gospel music.

Take a listen…

Andrew now lives in Denver and continues his barrier-breaking work with the Entusi Music Festival, beginning performances in Uganda later this month.

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Week in Review – October 10, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Things certainly have been hopping over at locked-out Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as they cancel the first 8 concerts of the season (including shows with Lang Lang and Jason Alexander), the music director calls the lockout a “deafening silence,” the board chair of the orchestra’s parent company intimates its musicians may be “a bunch of crazy people,” 14 of America’s preeminent contemporary composers call it a “slow, remorseless downgrading,” the city’s mayor offers to mediate as an actual mediator steps in, the president/CEO quits, and a resolution seems nowhere in sight…

Protests over the killing of Michael Brown made their way into the concert hall as a flash mob interrupted a St. Louis Symphony performance of Brahms’ “Requiem” with “Requiem for Mike Brown”:

OPERA
Metropolitan Opera may face a downgrade of its credit rating

VISUAL
Delaware Art Museum succumbs, Detroit Museum of Art resists, and Corcoran Gallery finesses. How three museums navigate the “third rail” of selling art to pay bills…

Speaking of the Corcoran, former staffers hold a funeral at the now-shuttered museum followed by a procession (complete with bagpipes) to a nearby cemetery where mourners gather at the Corcoran family mausoleum. Meanwhile, GW‘s student-run gallery hopes to be a welcoming space for former Corcoran students and the university adds the DC Textile Museum to its arts war chest…

CITY AND STATE
North Carolina shows us why it’s a great place to own a car

THEATRE
Apparently Fantasy Football is alive, well, and living amongst dramaturgs:

POP MUSIC
A tweep puts Prince‘s resurgence into perspective:

CROWD
From Kickstarter: An aerial dance studio wants to take over, and fly through, their own warehouse:

From Indiegogo: A Portland, Oregon theatre wants to help high schools attend its annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare:

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Week in Review – September 19, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

INTERNATIONAL
While Scotland decided its fate this week, two related and unusual arts stories popped up. Apparently ukeleles are trumping the traditional recorder as the instrument of choice for Scottish school children… And a small city in Pakistan supplies much of the world’s bagpipies…

FILM
After years of decidedly mixed financial results, many states are saying “Cut! That’s a wrap!” to once revered film tax credits. Except California, which is doubling down after seeing one of its key industries fly to other states…

JAZZ
One of our singer tweeps gets a little TMI when describing her next album:

OPERA
In an expected move to satisfy its shiny new labor contracts, the Metropolitan Opera eliminates 22 nonunion positions, largely through layoffs. The cuts are expected to save the company as much as $90M over four years. Meanwhile, the new season gets underway with as many as 1,500 workers at once making it happen: DANCE
This from the Washington School of Ballet‘s adorable “Decorate a Pointe Shoe” contest…

VISUAL
Attendance at the Corcoran Museum of Art has quadrupled since a judge approved the museum’s merger that will end its independence and shrink its collection.  Former Corcoran staffers will hold a funeral for the museum, complete with obituary and cemetery walk

One defiant creditor still wants to sell the Detroit Institute of Art‘s collection, swimming upstream against every remaining creditor that has settled with the city. If the bankruptcy plan is not approved, the museum is prepared to sue to protect its collection…

And a tweep gives us the shivers:

CLASSICAL
Further fallout from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra labor dispute—the group’s youth orchestra auditions have been indefinitely postponed by request of the American Federation of Musicians. The season would have marked the youth ensemble’s 40th anniversary…

CROWD
From Kickstarter: Boston-area singers want help archiving renowned local singer Mary Pratt‘s work, threatened due to the onset of her Alzheimer’s:

From Indiegogo: The only performing arts conservatory in the state of South Carolina wants your help to open their doors

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Week in Review – September 12, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE
Revered Chicago actors Molly Glynn and Bernie Yvon tragically die in separate accidents on the same day. This follows recent losses of two other area actors and a local TV personality/theatre-lover. We link to a memorial trust for Glynn in our CROWD section below…

A tweep from Virginia reminds us we’ve each got our own particular talents:

CLASSICAL
Another symphony labor dispute turns ugly, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra locking out its musicians, marking the second such dispute in two years. The roar of the crowd has become so negative that the symphony has shut down the comments feature of its website…

OPERA
On a more upbeat note (ugh), the San Francisco Opera Orchestra‘s musicians have ratified a new contract with little-to-no mishegas…

Apparently, strict baptists tend to sing low:

DANCE
A Boston-area woman revives the North Atlantic Ballet, a troupe founded by her late father…

JAZZ
The tsunami of negative feedback to a satire of Sonny Rollins in The New Yorker has caused one critic to declare that jazz needs a “better sense of humor.” He suggests focusing on better satire, including this priceless bit from “The Office”:

EDUCATION
Yes, Virginia, you can teach college and be a creative musician at the same time…

VISUAL
The Smithsonian is conducting a series of workshops around the country for the preservation of African-American family artifacts…

From the celebrity-love-and-marriage desk, Arnold Schwarzenegger recently had estranged wife Maria Schriver’s image removed from his governor portrait before its official unveiling…

LITERATURE
The heartbreaking landscape faced by today’s creative writing majors…

CROWD
From GiveForward: As noted above, friends of the late, great Chicago actress Molly Glynn have set up a memorial trust in her honor…

From Indiegogo: An Alabama writer wants to customize erotica just for you!

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Week in Review – September 5, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE
The State Department denies visas for a dozen Syrian women to perform their version of a Greek tragedy in Washington, DC, marking a disturbing trend of artist visas being increasingly difficult to obtain…

Calling it “endurance performance art,” A Columbia University student drags her mattress everywhere she goes on campus until her rapist is gone:

What’s the value of $3,000 to Charleston‘s theatre companies?…

OPERA
Meet “the Jay Z and Beyonce of opera”…

Memphis Opera shakes things up when they take it to the street, the museum, the garden, and the movie theater with their “30 Days of Opera” festival…

CLASSICAL
Sioux City Symphony Orchestra turns 100 next year…

From the not-bad-for-almost-imploding-a-year-ago desk, Minnesota Orchestra announces record gifts, including one for $10M.

VISUAL
An unfortunate map of which NYC schools are lacking a certified arts teacher:

EDUCATION
Northpoint Elementary School in Minnesota, one of 35 “Turnaround Arts” schools in the nation, gets ready to open its doors

TOWN & COUNTRY
Business Insider announces the 20 Best US Cities for Culture, based on the number of arts events offered per capita. Seattle tops the list, followed by Indianapolis and Miami…

LITERATURE
Fantasy author Ksenia Anske pretty much sums up the writer’s mind:

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A hula hooper from Ellensburg, Washington wants to take her LED hoop act on tour to children’s hospitals:

From Indiegogo: A Philadelphia collective wants to stop HIV/AIDS by staging a play that includes on-site testing:

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Week in Review – August 22, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
Metropolitan Opera dodges a major bullet, clearing the final hurdle in negotiations with multiple labor unions. But the show already goes on for the hundreds of artists who will produce The Marriage of Figaro, the Met’s first opera of the season:

Meanwhile, while the grand ol’ opera tradition appears to have been saved (for now), opera itself continues to undergo an astonishing revitalization and transformation

CLASSICAL
From the Reasonably Good News desk, the Pittsburgh Symphony has some success in its long, slow climb out of less-than-robust financial health…

A Minnesota Orchestra violinist fiddles during his own brain surgery to relieve a persistent tremor…

In less happy violin news, New York violinist Mary Whitaker was found shot in her Westchester home, the victim of an apparent homicide…

VISUAL
A D.C. Superior Court judge approves the Corcoran Gallery of Art‘s controversial plan to merge with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University. In a slightly more disturbing development, an adjunct instructor at the Gallery may have been fired because of her vocal opposition to the merger…

And add this to our sneaker art collection:

THEATRE
Broadway casts across the Great White Way (including the half-naked boys of Newsies) are dousing themselves to support the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

And this makes our head hurt:

DANCE
Ballet superstar David Hallberg keeps his rabid social media fanbase up to speed on every step of his recovery from ankle surgery…

St. Paul Ballet‘s financial troubles produce a rare solution – a successful, dancer-run company…

TECH
SoundCloud is slowly introducing ads in order to pay the musicians who use the site…

FUNDING
Voters in Los Angeles County this November will have the chance to allocate tens of millions of greenbacks to arts institutions as part of a larger ballot measure…

CROWD
From Kickstarter: ArtLifting wants to expand their program that helps the homeless make a living selling their art:

From Indiegogo: An Atlanta rock band’s van got robbed while on tour in Portland. They’d love your help recouping some of the stuff they lost…

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Week in Review – August 15, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

THEATRE
Tuesday was a sad day in Pittsburgh as the August Wilson Center for African American Culture officially went up for sale, the latest chapter in that city’s decades-old efforts to erect a successful African American cultural center…

The Shakespeare’s Globe‘s ambitious every-country-in-the-world tour of Hamlet hits the states but Chicago is underwhelmed… And some people, even ridiculously intelligent and revered public radio hosts, just don’t get the Bard, prompting an epic public radio/King Lear Twitter mashup…

FUNDING
The good money news continues with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarding over $15.7M in grants, $100K more than last year…

WORLD MUSIC
Minneapolis mourns the death of fearless Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame, who made her home there briefly before returning to her native country to become one of the first women in the Somali parliament…

Alaska‘s hottest new musical group (and symbol of the state’s growing diversity) is a mariachi band

JAZZ
Two Washington Post columnists duke it out over whether jazz is alive, dead, or just plain dull

OPERA
Mediated contract negotiations continue at Metropolitan Opera with a new deadline of Sunday looming large. Meanwhile, Met fans are as divided over the shenanigans as the participants…

San Diego Opera‘s 50th anniversary season brochure recently hit mailboxes. The embattled company, whose phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes story emboldened hearts and minds of opera lovers nationwide, chose as the iconic image for this historic piece…a short white man in a brown suit

And mezzo soprano Jamie Barton can get a little…intense about Iron Chef…

VISUAL
Philadelphia Museum of Art makes our head hurt with a really hard question:


CROWD

From Kickstarter: A Houston dance studio needs a new ceiling and floor

From GoFundMe: Artists from New Orleans, Nashville, and Denver want to mount a unique music festival in Uganda

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Week in Review – July 25, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

FUNDING
Philadelphia‘s city council beefs up its cultural fund budget by $1.3M in a triumph of arts advocacy…

PUBLISHING
Self-published authors can sometimes earn more than those signed by big-name publishing houses…

TOWN AND CITY
Scranton, PA is apparently the new Brooklyn…

THEATRE
Dialect coaches are in the spotlight this week as they work on their Shaw with Pygmalion in San Francisco and My Fair Lady in Minneapolis

As she adjusts to parenthood, a Seattle playwright breaks up with her theatre community

OPERA
In addition to The Metropolitan Opera‘s labor woes, which may lead to a lock-out next week, its revenue from HD broadcasts in movie theatres took a dive last year and has been stagnant for three years…

FILM
Some early buzz makes us want to see a much-anticipated new movie…

VISUAL
Although we spend much of our time talking about Detroit Institute of Art‘s role in that city’s bankruptcy, they’re doing some pretty cool things outside of that…

DANCE
ICYMI, getting your groove on can help ease hip and knee pain

ROCK
A Rhode Island band is taken off a US Airways flight for carrying…a guitar…

CROWD
From Kickstarter: An 11-year old aspiring trombonist from Raleigh, NC wants lessons and his own instrument, even though right now his playing “sounds kinda like farts”…

From Indiegogo: A Tuscon, Arizona troupe needs a full orchestra and rehearsal pianist for its Les Miserables, performed for low-income communities…

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