All posts by aroberts

Arts in the Age of Trump

The election of Donald Trump as our 45th President shocked our nation and the world.

As artists, the wind has been knocked out of us particularly hard as we are made up of those very constituencies that Mr. Trump and his followers seem to despise, or at least disrespect, and who bore the brunt of the hate-mongering rhetoric that catapulted him to power: Women, GLBT, Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Latinos, the disabled, and many other categories of proud Americans who make our collective world better through their creative voice.

The arts now have an integral role to play in resisting the tide of fear and suspicion that threatens to wash away all that we have accomplished in our 240 years as a nation. We must fight the coming darkness by shining a light on our shared experience and resilience.

To that end, we launch today a new endeavor: Arts in the Age of Trump

We aim to gather and display our nation’s collective artistic response to this unique and troubling moment. The display will be virtual to start but we have ambitions to bring to life brick-and-mortar exhibitions, concerts, and other events.

We ask of you two things:

First: If you’ve made something, share it. If you’ve written a poem, song, play, or a great first line for a novel, send it to us. If you’ve hurled paint at a wall, wrestled a sculpture into shape, choreographed a fiery routine, show us. We’ll put it out there.

Second: If you have a big, crazy idea, pitch it. Artists change the world by changing the conversation. How can artists facilitate a new American conversation? One where we talk to, not past, each other. One where white working-class former steel workers in the rust belt talk to Latino immigrants in the southwest. One where the mothers, fathers, and neighbors of African-American victims of police shootings talk to career officers who walk the beat. What are your big ideas? And what do you need to make them a reality?

Finally: If you supported Mr. Trump and are excited for his victory, we also want to hear from you. Your voice is needed, too.

Do what artists do best—tell America’s story. Your time is now. Email, tweet, or Facebook us.

Sing out. And stay strong.

Three Things Today – October 7, 2015

Again with the something new (or old, because we’ve done it once already): Three Things Today. Three things we think might interest you. We hope you’ll tell us if you agree. Or disagree.

  1. In the battle to revive New York City Opera, one faction woos (and wins) the backing of creditors.
  2. A lesser-known casualty of the South Carolina floods—Columbia Classical Ballet Company.
  3. Apparently, our personal lives are doomed. Doomed!

Got an item we missed? Email, tweet, or Facebook us…

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 of 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.

Week in Review – October 27, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

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…

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:

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…

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

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…

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

Got an item we missed? Email, tweet, or Facebook us…

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.

Week in Review – October 10, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

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”:

Metropolitan Opera may face a downgrade of its credit rating

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…

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

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

A tweep puts Prince‘s resurgence into perspective:

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:

Got an item we missed? Email, tweet, or Facebook us…