Kathleen van Bergen
Kathleen van Bergen has been named CEO of the The Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida.
Since January 2008, van Bergen has served as the Executive Director of the Schubert Club, replacing it's founder, Bruce Carlson.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the philharmonic is a rising regional star:
The Naples Philharmonic is the youngest of Florida's four major regional orchestras, yet in less than 30 years its annual budget has become roughly comparable to those of the 62-year-old Sarasota Orchestra, the 61-year-old Jacksonville Symphony and the 42-year-old Florida Orchestra in Tampa Bay...."The Phil" opened its doors in 1989, added the 30,000-square-foot Naples Museum of Art to its complex in 2000, and now presents about 450 events annually in music, theater, dance and education. It also established a youth orchestra and two chorales.
34-year-old Van Bergen starts her new job on September 1. Among her first duties will be the selection of a music director for the Naples Philharmonic to succeed current director Jorge Mester, who steps down at the end of the 2011-12 season, and the hiring of a museum director.
There is a lot more involved in hanging art objects in a museum than simply banging a nail in the wall. And in the case of some objects, ceremony and respect is called for.
Shields were used in battle by Plains men for protection. This protection was primarily supplied by the power of the images appearing on its surface, which came to the owner through a visionary experience. Before creating this shield, Humped-Wolf received a vision of a bull buffalo preparing himself for battle. The green band on its upper left section symbolizes Spring, the time for warfare. The black zig-zag lines drawn over the green band represent the paths of bullets deflected by the shield.
Image and text courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
According to curator Joe Horse Capture, many traditional Native Americans feel that, while shields are not considered communally sacred, they do have a spiritual power that protected the owner. Shields could compete for power if they "see" each other.
I learned about this sensitivity about 20 years ago when I was interning with my mentor and good friend, Evan Maurer (former director of the MIA). We were working on the exhibition, Visions of the People: A Pictorial History of Plains Indian Life, at the time. We were talking with traditional folks out West and the topic of the shields came up. They confirmed the associated spiritual power of these objects, and how they can become jealous and competitive of each other. We later talked to my father (who was a curator for the Plains Indian Museum and later National Museum of the American Indian), who also confirmed it.
MIA Joe Horse Capture stands next to Bull Lodge's shield, from when it was featured in the exhibition From Our Ancestors: Art of the White Clay People
As it happens, there is already another shield located in the same gallery, made by Bull Lodge. So to prevent the two shields from competing with one another, MIA's Bill Skodje covers Bull Lodge's shield while the new addition is installed.
Photo by Joe Horse Capture
Once Bull Lodge's shield is temporarily covered, Humped-Wolf's shield is brought into the gallery. With this method, they can't "see" each other.
Photo by Joe Horse Capture
Humped-Wolf's shield is brought into its case, with Bull Lodge's shield on the right side of the gallery.
Photo by Joe Horse Capture
Humped-Wolf's shield is installed in the case in a place where the two shields cannot "see" each other when the cover is removed from Bull Lodge's shield.
Photo by Joe Horse Capture
Horse Capture says these easy steps insure that the objects remain "happy", and Native American cultural traditions are honored.
Earlier this week I reported on the tragic news that Minnesota playwright Tom Poole was hit by a car and was in the ICU at Regions Hospital.
Today I spoke with George Roberts, Poole's brother-in-law, about the latest. While Poole's basic vital signs are stable, he has not regained consciousness. Here's an excerpt of an update he posted to Tom's Caring Bridge website:
The most challenging question which remains, Dr. McIver told us, is when will Tom wake up? All the tests they are doing - the command/response queries, the ear pinching, etc. - are designed to lead to an answer of that question. Encouraging Tom to become more active in his own recovery by changing the levels of support in his medicines and sedatives requires a delicate balance. Too much agitation might lead to elevated blood pressure which might invite new bleeding in Tom's brain. Not enough reduction in medicines might not provoke the hoped for response. Dr. McIver reminded us the indications of progress they are looking for are small. They are the necessary first steps to further, larger recovery steps.
The goal in the ICU is to get Tom breathing on his own, able to protect his airway (cough, swallow), and to respond to commands. Tests will continue all weekend toward reaching these goals. We will look at the results with Dr. McIver again on Monday with an eye toward considering replacing the breathing tube in Tom's mouth and throat with a tracheotomy and the feeding tube in his nose with one in his abdomen. These procedures would be done to make Tom more comfortable.
Roberts says good wishes and prayers have been flowing in; the most useful gestures have been those to help Poole's family (wife Geanette, daughters Nora and Molly) get through daily life - cooking, laundry, dog-walking, the loan of freezer space for food that's come in, etc.
Those efforts are being coordinated by a family friend at this website.
Meanwhile, playwright Alan Berks has compiled essays written by Poole for Minnesota Playlist, which give a great sense of Poole's personality. Here's an excerpt:
My secret conviction is that anything that's "a good idea for a play" has absolutely no chance of ever becoming a play I'd want to watch. If you can tell me briefly about your play, and I can immediately grasp what you are up to and how it can be promoted, then we are probably sharing our recognition of a cliche that you hope to freshen for the market. On the other hand, if the description of a new play begins, "Well, it's kind of complicated," I find that promising, especially if I'm talking to the writer, the director, or a cast member two days before opening.
For me, the real test of my own new project is always whether I want to do the work required to turn a given idea into an actual play more than I want to eat kettle chips and watch reruns of Ultimate Cage Fighting. It's a cruelly high standard, but you can't write all the time.
I wrote a five act revenge tragi-comedy in verse based on Thomas Pynchon's description of a fictional performance in his novel The Crying Of Lot 49. When the play was read at the Playwrights' Center, Lee Blessing said it was the best five act revenge tragi-comedy in verse he'd ever seen there. Such are the rewards of new work.(1 Comments)
The Minnesota Historical Society... the Perpich Center for Arts Education... the Minnesota State Arts Board... these are just a few of the cultural organizations that are closed today due to the state government shutdown.
Some venues are partially affected by the shutdown - for instance the Minnesota Zoo is closed, but its summer concert series continues.
Others narrowly missed being shut down, such as Interact, a center for visual and performing artists with disabilities. The government pays Interact to mentor and care for 125 adults with a variety of physical and mental challenges.
Initially, care providers such as Interact were not considered "essential services," and so for weeks the organization prepared for a shutdown.
It wasn't until a staff member read the court ruling on MPR.org on Wednesday that they realized that they would still be paid for their work. Interact's Sally Moore called the Department of Human Services this morning just to make sure.
The past few weeks have felt like a ride at Valley Fair. We encouraged staff to find summer jobs, and so they did. So we're now working that out. We've just lost weeks worth of productivity.
Moore says the budget negotiations have been so secretive that it was almost impossible to get any information via official channels.
Executive Director Jeanne Calvit says the staff was planning on working anyway, because they couldn't not serve their clients.
These folks are living in group homes that are not staffed - we can't just send them home, because they don't have people there to look after them.
For a while the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona was concerned it would have to move elsewhere, because its annual festival takes place on the campus of Winona State University. Fortunally MNSCU is still up and running, and GRSF's Doug Scholz-Carlson says the run should be unaffected.
Jeff Prauer of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council says his office will continue operation with cash on hand, which should last for 3 to 4 months.
We have an Arts Activities Support program deadline on July 11, with panel reviews in mid-September. We will continue to process those applications in the hope that the shutdown would be over by the end of September. Since we don't provide general operating support, I can't tell you at this point which specific organizations would be affected.
The other regional councils have varying cash reserves; some will be able to stay open for a month, others up to six months.
For more on how the shutdown is affecting the arts, click here to read reporting by Susannah Schouweiler at mnartists.org.
For more on the shutdown in general, click here.
And we're off! Today marks the first installment of what I hope will be a long-lasting series, celebrating the great architecture of Minnesota.
We begin with a charming submission from Audrey Helbling:
Vesta liquor store
Here's Audrey Helbling's nomination:
The two photos I am submitting are of the Vesta Municipal Liquor Store in my hometown. That would be Vesta, a farming community of about 350 half way between Redwood Falls and Marshall along State Highway 19 on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.
Only in recent years have I come to appreciate the exterior of Vesta's muni, built in 1961. I don't know the architectural style (maybe art deco), but the simple lines of the building and the colorful tile on the front appeal to me aesthetically. I can't recall ever seeing another structure quite like this.
Adding to the building's charm is the vintage signage. I shot these images with my son's cheap point-and-shoot camera some five years ago, before I got my Canon DSLR. I haven't checked recently to see if anything has changed on the muni's exterior. It is one of the few remaining businesses on the one-block main street of my hometown.
If you take the time to explore the small towns of Minnesota, you'll find many such architectural treasures.
Helbling keeps a blog called "Minnesota Prairie Roots" where she recently wrote about an old bank building in Mankato and how it relates to a current sculpture exhibit in that city. You can find it here.
Interested in nominating a building from your neck of the woods? Send a photograph of it, along with a few lines on why it appeals to you, to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's that simple.(2 Comments)