Category Archives: Friends & Strangers

Doing It Right: Chapter Three on Project Management

I stumbled upon this fantastic article by Chapter Three‘s Creative Director Nica Lorber, How To Run A Creative Design Process For A Big Project. The guidelines are common sense for anyone with a little experience, but the “deliverables” and the “tools of the trade” make this article worth reading. It is tailored to Drupal and web design, but could be applied to any number of creative design projects.

On Love and Lattes

I was reading nytimes.com this morning and came across an interview with Alan Cumming, who plays buttoned-up politico Eli Gold on The Good Wife. Circa 2000 he was the wild emcee in Cabaret on Broadway and later Macheath in Threepenny Opera. He was the brightest star on Broadway—wry and talented and slightly perverse, a brilliant actor and seemed born to perform the work of all my favorite playwrights. He was my first (and only) True Celebrity Crush. CONTINUE READING ]

Barack Rock & Black President

A few weeks ago, Dan turned me on to Barack Rock, a “movement of musicians and artists creating an ever-expanding catalogue of free, exclusive songs, each with its own individual art, meant to inspire participation and donations for the Obama campaign.” The site made me think of Terry Woolard Jr., who was one of my playwriting students at the Green Street Arts Center. Terry was an extremely talented writer, even at age thirteen, who focused his efforts around the concepts such as liberty, politics and what it’s like to be part of the “citadels” of the North End of Middletown.

Yesterday I read in the Middletown Press that Terry’s father, Terry Woolard Sr., just released a CD with a title track inspired by his son’s writing. Black President debuted on WPKN in Bridgeport, Connecticut and was engineered by David Davis, a Green Street teaching artist and one of my former neighbors at the North End Artist Cooperative (aka MAC650).

You can listen to tracks from Black President, including one featuring Terry Jr., at cdbaby.com.

Mon Couer, Se Casse

The Theatre de la Jeune Lune announced today, in a letter to its members, that it will be closing its doors and selling its beautiful building to pay off debts. The company (which took its name from a Bertolt Brecht poem) was one of the brightest lights to inspire me as a teenager growing up in Rochester. We traveled to see shows at the Guthrie, once or twice a year. But the Jeune Lune came to us, trained us and inspired us, and since that time I have come to them–in New London, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis–to watch their darkly beautiful, comical, and physical creations.

Today, upon hearing this news, I can see no good in it. If the Jeune Lune is not possible in Minneapolis, a city renowned for its philanthrophy and for valuing the arts, what might not be possible elsewhere? What can we do to prevent this from happening again? What will happen to the building?

I remember walking into the Jeune Lune for an audition in 1998. The world seemed full of possibilities, simply because there were a few great theater companies, with paid actors, in Minneapolis. And later, sharing it with Dan as I tried to show him the Minneapolis I loved (in the depths of February, with negative 15-degreeweather) on a two-day trip.

And, I have often read and re-read that Brecht poem, which was another gift the Jeune Lune provided, during times of difficult change:

As the people say, at the moon’s change of phases
The new moon holds for one night long
The old moon in its arms.

-Bertolt Brecht

Although I don’t know them personally, my hopes and thoughts are with the artists and administrators who stood by this institution in difficult times.

Art Agenda: Rebecca Borden

Since I am heading to Philadelphia on Thursday for the 2008 Annual Convention of Americans for the Arts, I sat down (via phone) and pre-recorded the Art Agenda. Rebecca Borden, Manager of Professional Development for Americans for the Arts, shed some light on convention highlights, work-life balance, and “Career 360.”

As an added bonus, Rebecca is a trained life and leadership coach. This means that I also got to pester her with my friends’ (ahem) career conundrums, all in the name of journalism.

Seriously though, Rebecca gives some good advice, comments on Richard Florida, shares her must-read list, AND points out the bright lights of the leadership track at Convention.

Interview excerpted from The Art Agenda. Broadcast on 88.1fm, WESU, Middletown on June 12 2008.

Friend: David Polon

The fabulous, Hartford-based dancer David Polon makes my job a little easier by bringing his Salsa heat to the Green Street Arts Center’s classes (it’s not too late to register for summer—he teaches ballroom, too). This weekend, David performed at the Green Street Arts Fest. I used my Flip to catch it, along with some of the other performances. Pretty amazing!

3191, or the Power of Partnerships

I would never get anything done, creative or otherwise, if it weren’t for inspiring people who push me along in one way or another. Although I’ve never met Stephanie and May, I admire the simplicity of their partnership: two photographers, 3191 miles apart, sharing photographs.

Art Agenda: Ravi Shankar

Interview with Ravi Shankar, Poet-in-Residence at Central Connecticut State University. Ravi recently co-edited a new book, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond, and contributed to Ellen Sussman’s Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex. He is also a faculty member of this week’s Wesleyan Writers Conference.

He will be participating in a Dirty Words literary reading at Real Art Ways in Hartford on June 23 at 7:45pm, and at the Green Street Arts Center in Middletown on June 24 at 7:30pm.

Interview excerpted from The Art Agenda. Originally broadcast on 88.1fm, WESU, Middletown on June 12 2008.