In The News

Nuts!

This made me laugh, so I just had to share it. A man in Fargo, North Dakota recently discovered that a squirrel had been stashing away walnuts for the winter — around his truck’s engine. And not just a few, but 180 pounds! That is a lot of walnuts. I have been depressed lately, so anything that makes me laugh is good.

In The News · Music

The world’s first public orchestra

“Backed by a $700,000 Pew grant, the Philadelphia Public Orchestra ambitiously seeks to redefine just what an orchestra is — and what it plays.”

Pricey tickets. WASPy galas. The Philadelphia Public Orchestra is set to overturn all of those notions.

The Philadelphia Public Orchestra’s manifesto makes it quite clear that the musicians themselves will eventually and collectively steer the ship: “After the orchestra has been established for at least one season, the orchestra members ideally take control of all decision-making.”

“The orchestra should take over and let the musicians, the performers, think of who they might like to ask for a commission, what themes are interesting to them. We’re coming together to create a kind of work of art, and there is a radical power in that. Interesting things can happen.”

In The News

Art and September 11th

Artists, critics, and architects are discussing how culture responded and continues to respond to 9/11.

ARTnews has a story of how an immigrant from Korea uses intricate abstract works as a response. There is a write-up in the Village Voice on how the Tribute in Light memorial came to be. The architect of the transportation hub at Ground Zero tells Architectural Digest about how he conceived the design and how the city has changed. A piece in The New York Times looks at how art and artists struggle to contend with the horrors of that day. And, finally, a writer with the Art Newspaper spoke with artists about their memories of the event and how they responded.

“I wouldn’t say that the attacks had a big effect on my thinking so much as the amorphous and ambiguous war on terror and the authorization of military force giving the president unlimited power to wage war.”

In The News

Creativity may be the key to healthier aging and living longer

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST
“Ongoing research suggests that creativity may be key to healthy aging. Studies show that participating in activities such as singing, theater performance and visual artistry could support the well-being of older adults, and that creativity, which is related to the personality trait of openness, can lead to greater longevity.”

GOOD ADVICE
James C. Kaufman focuses on “everyday creativity” when teaching his introduction to creativity course at the University of Connecticut. The phrase refers to ordinary tasks such as parenting, yard landscaping, or giving advice.

“Creativity can be cultivated by following passions both old and new. Try not to compare yourself to genius creators or be so focused on the outcome that the process stops being fun.”