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Showing posts from July 10, 2011

Wendell Berry: 10 Hopes (Commencement Address)

In 1989, Wendell Berry delivered a Commencement Address at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine that included not Ten Commandments but ten hopes. They are as follows (I highlight the ones that I feel are particularly applicable to the arts):


Beware the justice of Nature.Understand that there can be no successful human economy apart from Nature or in defiance of Nature.Understand that no amount of education can overcome the innate limits of human intelligence and responsibility. We are not smart enough or conscious enough or alert enough to work responsibly on a gigantic scale.In making things always bigger and more centralized, we make them both more vulnerable in themselves and more dangerous to everything else. Learn, therefore, to prefer small-scale elegance and generosity to large-scale greed, crudity, and glamour.Make a home. Help to make a community. Be loyal to what you have made.Put the interest of the community first.Love your neighbors–not the neighbors you pick o…

Vindicated -- Proof Positive

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[For those of you coming from the Parbasis site and who are humor impaired, this is a joke. The map was forwarded to me by Mac Rogers, who obviously knows that I have a sense of humor about the issues I address. Sheesh.]

Analyzing the NEA "Our Town" Grants

So yesterday, the NEA announced the recipients of the "Our Town" grants. As you may or may not know, the "Our Town" grants were created to support "creative placemaking projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core....A key to the success of creative placemaking involves the arts in partnership with a committed governmental leadership and the philanthropic sector. All Our Town applications must reflect a partnership that will provide leadership for the project. These partnerships must involve at least two organizations: one a nonprofit design or cultural organization, and one a government entity."

Given the name chosen by Rocco Landesman and the NEA staff, which references Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning play about fictional small town Grovers Corner, let's analyze the grants that were distributed in terms of geography and po…

Headwaters at the Sautee Nacoochee Center

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[cross-posted at the CRADLE blog]

Over the weekend, I had my very first Moonpie thanks to Lisa Mount, the producer and director of Headwaters: A Goodly Portion of Our Songs & Stories, and the wonderful people at the Sautee Nacoochee Center in Sautee Nacoochee, GA. I hear that I really needed an RC Cola to make the experience complete, but I think the excellent performance more than made up for the missing drink.

I had been invited down to Georgia (music cue: Charlie Daniels Band The Devil Went Down to Georgia) by Lisa Mount, and it just so happened that my wife needed to attend a meeting just down the road in Cleveland that same weekend, so I was thrilled to make the 2-1/2 hr trip from Asheville.

Sautee Nacoochee is an unincorporated community in northern Georgia. The performance space is a 1930s'era gym that has been converted into a large, open stage surrounded on three sides by 100 seats. On the Center's campus is also the Center Gallery, devoted to the work of artists …