The hounds are loose in 2011, on the trail of a quintessential David Mamet play, a photographer who shoots from sea to shining sea and some party-starter emcees who are taking the stage one last time as a duo.
Winona photographer Drake Hokanson suggests a trip to Winona's Minnesota Marine Art Museum in the next several weeks because its new show "The Watery Part of the World: Photographs of Stuart Klipper" is a must-see. Hokanson describes Klipper's photos as being able to capture oceans around the globe in all their moods and majesty. You have all the way until May 15th to see "The Watery Part of the World" at the M.M.A.M.
Before the Minneapolis rap duo MC/VL hangs it up for good, Cheapo clerk and voracious live music consumer Jon Gilbert plans to party with them one more time. Jon says the rollicking, crossover hip hop act will perform its final gig on Saturday, January 8, at the 501 Club. Incidently, the downtown Minneapolis bar will be hosting its final show that same night.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
Posted at 10:38 AM on January 6, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Here's a look at the arts stories making headlines in the news...
"Making the Break with Alec Soth"
Read a new essay by Andy Sturdevant, jointly published by mnartists.org and RAIN TAXI REVIEW OF BOOKS, for a close reading of Alec Soth's recent publication project with/as the survivalist, Lester B. Morrison, "Broken Manual."
- Andy Sturdevant, mnartists.org
AZ Gallery hopes for no snow at their third reception attempt
Todd Peterson, a member of the AZ Gallery, says that [some] art has been carried over from last month's show "Two Guys and their Art" since the last two receptions they recently hosted were in the midst of snow storms.
- Sheila Regan, Cty Pages
Chris Heidman and Gregory J. Rose at Rogue Buddha
Chris Heidman and Gregory J. Rose, the two painters featured in Rogue Buddha's latest show, "Between the Lines," have been creating together since they were enrolled at the University of Minnesota's MFA program in art.
- Sheila Regan, City Pages
Russelle wins book artist award
Regula Russelle is winner of the 2011 Book Artist Award, which recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for excellence throughout a body of work and significant contributions to Minnesota's book arts community.
-- Mary Ann Grossmann, Pioneer Press
SuperGroup interprets Yves Klein at the Walker
The Twin Cities-based dance company SuperGroup is taking interpretation to another level by creating improvisational movements inspired by the Walker Art Museum's current exhibit "Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers."
- Shelby Meyers, City Pages
Twin Cities improv: The Mustache Rangers and Jill Bernard
- Max Sparber, MinnPost.com
Art as news: The Pawlenty portrait, 'Live to Dance,' and dance at the Walker
- Max Sparber, MinnPost.com
Former Turf Club manager Dave Wiegardt offers parting wordsFrom the sounds of it the former manager, who was let go on Saturday after 15 years at the club, will be just fine.
- Andrea Swensson, City Pages
Why "full price" isn't really full price: The true cost of an operaLivingSocial recently offered tickets to the Minnesota Opera at a 50% discount. The reduced price: a single ticket to Mary Stuart for $50.
- Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet
Christmas studio heist brings out goodwill
Twin Cities musicians are putting on yet another benefit, this time for Alarmists frontman Eric Lovold.
- Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
Mr. Chan Presents dissolves
After five years of promoting shows around the Twin Cities, the one-man show booking agency Mr. Chan Presents, an offshoot of Live Nation (and formerly Clear Channel), has folded for financial reasons and agency head James DeCoursey has quietly moved his efforts to booking shows at the Cabooze.
- Andrea Swensson, City Pages
Mr. Chan is no longer presenting
After booking hundreds of shows over the past five years at venues ranging from the Varsity Theater and Fine Line to Station 4 and Myth nightclub, the company quietly shut down its website and closed up shop around the end of the year.
- Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
Album sales decline in 2010 by nearly 13 percent
Album sales fell in 2010. Again. Sales were down 12.7 percent from 2009, according to figures released by Nielsen SoundScan.
- Jon Bream, Star Tribune
Joseph Scrimshaw: 100 Creatives
It would be difficult to talk about the Minnesota theater scene without mentioning Joseph Scrimshaw.
- Jessica Armbruster, City Pages
Yesterday the MPR website was host to a dynamic debate over whether or not it's acceptable for Mark Twain's classic "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" to be reprinted with the word "nigger" (as well as the word "injun") removed. While many oppose any changes to the classic, others argue the change would make it more easily accepted in school curricula, and therefor, more widely taught.
Today at noon, the conversation is going global. The BBC's "World Have Your Say" is hosting a conversation about the proposed changes, and MPR is offering it online. Starting at noon click here to go to the audiolink and stream the conversation. I'll be blogging live, updating this post as I go.
11:58 - The BBC story leading up to this conversation? How Romanian witches are threatening to curse the government after being threatened with taxation of their services...
12:00 - Facebook friend Linda Sue, upon hearing of the broadcast, comments:
I love the quandary we are in when we can't say the "n" word aloud or type it when we are talking about how outraged we are that the "n" word has been censored. We live with dissonace - that's just part of being a human being.
12:06 - and they're beginning by getting feedback to yesterday's piece on Pakistan... bear with us.
12:15 Looks like the Twain conversation will start at approximately 12:30. Sorry! But hey, I'm learning a lot about Pakistan...
12:30 - Alright, here we go...
Initial comments are similar to those who wrote in to MPR yesterday - saying we must respect the book.
FYI - "N word" is used approximately 219 times in Twain's book.
12:34 - Kentucky publisher says she's getting a lot of calls in response to the news - she was expecting a "slap" but was surprised at the extent of the response.
12:37 - According to publisher and Twain expert - At K-12 level, teachers are incredibly uncomfortable teaching the text... pre-emptive self-censorship because the literature had become "too difficult to teach"
Guest: Peter Messent joins the conversation, who has already written his thoughts on this debate in the Guardian.
12:40 - It seems that this argument falls into the ideal vs. the pragmatic - i.e. idealists say you should not make any changes, ever, while the pragmatists argue the changes would make the book more accessible and teachable.
Messent argues maybe you should just leave the book to University levels?
Kentucky publisher Suzanne LaRossa (sp?) says this move was in part to draw attention to the "dumbing down of our education system."
Here's the number to call - and BBC will call you back! 011-44-2070-83-72-72
'I'm not big on censorship, but this word is so weighted that it gets in the way of a true discussion of the merits, but any teacher who assigns the new version should be required to explain the self-censorship. That way, at least, the tough prose won't be completely white-washed.'
12:47 Messent says the British audience mustn't forget just how incendiary the "n" word is in the United States. And Twain used the word deliberately to shock his readers into understanding its inhumanity.
Messent falters at stating the title the mystery "Ten Little Injuns" which has since been changed to "And then there were None" - Host agrees that it's appropriate for them to not actually say the word in question!
12:52 - Interesting - host says if you want to learn more about the debate around the "n" word, you can find much more on the BBC news site, but I'm not seeing it...
12:53 - HOWEVER: here's a great commentary on the topic by MPR's own Brandt Williams from back in 2004.
12:54 - Great comment from Matt! He says this topic raises the issue that American teachers are being asked to sanitize issues to the point that they're not even teachable.
12:55 - are there books in South Africa that have become controversial since Apartheid? South African guest says books shouldn't be changed to they can understand the past, no matter what the present.
12:58 - Is it just me, or was that not nearly enough time to have this conversation?
In any case, you can continue the conversation with your thoughts, either here in the comment section, or over at "Today's Question."
When I was a kid and teachers asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, I always said "I want to be a writer!" I couldn't manage any greater accomplishment than telling a story that caught people's imaginations as the books I was reading had caught mine. I spent summers devouring every work of fiction I could get my hands on at the public library, and delighted in books like "A Wrinkle in Time" as well as "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."
Fast forward 25+ years, and well, I have yet to write a fiction piece, despite it making my new year's resolutions several years in a row. However, thanks to the Loft Literary Center's director Jocelyn Hale, this just might be the year to make it happen.
On the Loft blog "Writers' Block," Hale offers "12 Literary Resolutions for 2011," and as I scrolled down the list I was delighted to hear myself saying "I could do that!"
What's makes Hale's tips so managable is that they are broken down by month. So you don't have to do anything for more than 31 days. Now that's a commitment I'm much more likely to make.
Then, she makes many of the resolutions downright FUN. For instance: "read a classic that's always been on your list" and "attend two local author readings." One month she tells you to read some really great comic writing, and another month, to check out a great mystery.
Inbetween, she gives good basic writing advice with the voice of a reassuring friend. Here's her suggested resolution for February:
Write for at least 15 minutes every day. Take away the pressure and swear you'll never show anyone this new work. You've heard it before, I'll tell you again. Just get it flowing. Conquer the blank page. This is a short month. You can do it. If fifteen minutes turns into an hour, send yourself a valentine.
By September Hale has you submitting a work to a literary journal or a local newspaper, and by November she has you participating in National Novel Writing Month! Who knew you had it in you?
Alright - now off I go to find that copy of Anna Karenina...
How would you react if your child said to you "I want to go to arts school"?
For Robin Gerchman, an artist herself, the statement was a bit of a wake up call. Even she was plagued by doubts and financial concerns, which she expresses eloquently in an essay for Inside Higher Ed.
I advocate for the importance of arts in education and against the severe budget cuts the arts are currently faced with from the perspective as both art educator and parent. Why then, do these seven words throw me into such a tailspin? Where will he work? How will he survive? The funding isn't there now; what will it be like in four years when he graduates? Is he prepared for this ever-changing artistic world?
Gerchman, an assistant professor and director of dance at Cedar Crest College, has reassured many parents that their dance major daughters will be just fine. But when her own son utters his intentions to pursue a career in the arts, she momentarily balks, worrying that his artistic passion will not be enough to sustain him financially.
My son is now entering an artistic world that has been enduring a tug of war with politics for the past nine years. He personally experienced this after working diligently on his portfolio submission to the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. After waiting patiently for a response to his submission, he had the rug pulled out from under him. During the week the admission letters were supposed to be sent out, he was told by his school guidance counselor that funding for the school had been cut with the budget changes.
Ultimately, to Gerchman's relief, her son chooses a liberal arts college over a conservatory, and to double major in the arts and something more pragmatic.
How interesting that through this my son is the one that taught me the lesson. Yes, being an art major will open his eyes to the world in a way that he has not viewed it before. Yes, double-majoring with something "else" will give him an opportunity to merge his thoughts from discipline to discipline and communicate his new findings to the world. It is not hypocrisy. I am not leading my son or my students astray. I will watch my students grow, along with my son, as educated artists. He will be fine and will flourish as the interdisciplinary artist he is already becoming. It's time to let go and let him experience.
To read the full essay, click here.
Would you encourage or condone your child going to arts school? Why or why not?(1 Comments)
A friend brought to my attention this commentary by Boyce Watkins for CNN International. It adds another important voice to our ongoing debate on taking the "N" word out of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." I won't print the whole commentary here, but I found the second half particularly compelling:
Long before I became a scholar, I was a black teenage boy. At that time, I would never have enjoyed hearing my English teacher repeat the n-word 219 times out loud in front of a class full of white students. I also would have wondered why African-Americans are the only ethnic group forced to read "classic" literature that uses such derogatory language toward us in a disturbingly repetitive way.
I would have found such a presentation to be only a hurtful and highly inefficient way for me to understand slavery, and I probably would have been teased.
Yes, our nation needs an honest conversation on race. That conversation shouldn't start and end with "Huckleberry Finn." In fact, the urgency with which some defend the use of this book as a tool for teaching racial history reflects our desperate and unfulfilled need to address the atrocities of slavery.
Although the brilliance of the Mark Twain novel must be acknowledged, students can and should be engaged in constructive ways to learn what happened to their ancestors without being subjected to racial slurs in the process. Similar to the way it was inappropriate last year for a teacher in North Carolina to force students to re-enact slavery in a cotton field, I don't need to hear the n-word 219 times to know that it is hurtful.
After being a black teen, I became a parent, so I must make this final point:
While we may be seeking to support fundamental American freedoms by ensuring that the Mark Twain book is available in its rawest form, it is ultimately incorrect for us to simultaneously steal the freedom of parents to decide that the language of the book is not appropriate for their children.
One freedom deserves another, so the freedom of the artist to express himself/herself in an offensive way should be supplemented by our right to reject that form of expression within the confines of a public school. By creating an alternative version of this brilliant text, Gribben has opened the door for millions of children to experience the beauty of this book without the much-celebrated racial degradation. Freedom ultimately means having options.