Friday, May 29, 2009

The People

It is Friday, again.

Also: Al Green - People Get Ready


VSA Arts is now accepting entries for Accelerate, a juried exhibition of visual art by emerging artists with disabilities.

Free Thinking

Unless it's free, Professional development is usually too expensive.

Gateway to the Arts has been offering professional development opportunities to teaching artists in western Pennsylvania for more than 15 years.



Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 

Time: 4:00-6:00 pm

Location: East Liberty Presbyterian Cathedral at the intersection of Penn Ave & South Highland Ave. 15206. Rm 234 

Presenters: Jodi Dunlap, MEd, Tina Tolkacevic, MEd; Wendy Meadows, MEd

For more information, or to register, contact Jamie VanderMolen by e-mail or at 412-362-6982



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Death and Taxes

Get a

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an Occupational Outlook Handbook, and , surprisingly, you are mentioned.

The report provides data on 
training, employmentearnings and more. The website notes a few significant points about the working life of artists. 

For instance:

• About 62 percent of artists and related workers are self-employed.

• Artists usually develop their skills through a bachelor’s degree program or other postsecondary training in art or design.

• Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely.

Also: The Carpenters - Top of the World

Map of the World

At the Library of Congress, my new favorite website, I mostly live in the past; exploring an expansive archive of audio, video, photos and other resources.


There is so much to learn and, usually, a random click will bring up something really fascinating--like this article about the impact and influence of Japanese art. The image attached to this post shows villages in the province of Musashi during the Edo period in the 1400s.

The Library also has a website specifically for teachers, which is where I found this fun interactive multimedia lesson on cartography.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trade Secrets

For many professional Teaching Artists, summer brings underemployment disguised as a vacation. It can get you down.

Luckily, you have friends to give you a heads-up when potential jobs come along. Like, for instance, just yesterday, your colleague posted a note that Stickball Arts is looking to hire for the summer.

Where was this message left?

On the ATA Yahoo listserv, of course.

The Americans

Today, I am at the Library of Congress meeting some Amazing Americans.

Also, our text for the day:

The House of Mirth

By Edith Wharton

Book One

Chapter One Episode 6

"Don't you see," she continued, "that there are men enough to say pleasant things to me, and that what I want is a friend who won't be afraid to say disagreeable ones when I need them? Sometimes I have fancied you might be that friend—I don't know why, except that you are neither a prig nor a bounder, and that I shouldn't have to pretend with you or be on my guard against you." Her voice had dropped to a note of seriousness, and she sat gazing up at him with the troubled gravity of a child.

"You don't know how much I need such a friend," she said. "My aunt is full of copy-book axioms, but they were all meant to apply to conduct in the early fifties. I always feel that to live up to them would include wearing book-muslin with gigot sleeves. And the other women—my best friends—well, they use me or abuse me; but they don't care a straw what happens to me. I've been about too long—people are getting tired of me; they are beginning to say I ought to marry."

There was a moment's pause, during which Selden meditated one or two replies calculated to add a momentary zest to the situation; but he rejected them in favour of the simple question: "Well, why don't you?"

She coloured and laughed. "Ah, I see you ARE a friend after all, and that is one of the disagreeable things I was asking for."

"It wasn't meant to be disagreeable," he returned amicably. "Isn't marriage your vocation? Isn't it what you're all brought up for?"

She sighed. "I suppose so. What else is there?"

"Exactly. And so why not take the plunge and have it over?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "You speak as if I ought to marry the first man who came along."

"I didn't mean to imply that you are as hard put to it as that. But there must be some one with the requisite qualifications."

She shook her head wearily. "I threw away one or two good chances when I first came out—I suppose every girl does; and you know I am horribly poor—and very expensive. I must have a great deal of money."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tough Love

As usual, Arlene Goldbard posts with soul-searching honesty about advocacy and critical issues facing our communities. Along the way she parses the difference between a public issue and private trouble.


“You can’t pay the mortgage, you’re worried about losing your house? So what if the reasons have much to do with bad economic policy, with an economic crisis that affects people whether they have been personally prudent or not? It’s your private trouble, not a public issue. Good luck!”


The New York Times reports that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has refurbished the American galleries

If you go there--and you should--expect to find “twenty generously appointed period rooms and a full-fledged sculpture garden.”


Suggested admission to the Met for an adult is $20.

I give whatever I can afford, and I suggest you do the same.

It's expensive to run big museums.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Without a Doubt

Over at Education Week, Ms. Meir and Ms. Ravitch take turns questioning what David Brooks calls the "Harlem Miracle."


It is Friday. 

I am on Twitter.

We are on Facebook.

Also: Is the Rose Art Museum really closing?

Also: Joni - Big Yellow Taxi

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What A Feeling

Hundreds of artists responded to a request from the New York Times for stories about how the economy is affecting our lives and our work.

"I love it. The only thing that makes me sad is that I can’t make a living right now."

--Karl Allen, former technical director of Performance Space 122 in Manhattan

What They Said

Luckily, the Foundation Center maintains an archive of panel discussions about issues related to fundraising.

If you have any interest in that sort of thing, you might want to give it a whirl. 

This mp3, recorded in October 2008, features five program directors from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) talking about everything you need to know about NYSCA grant opportunities, eligibility, and the application process.

The Spark

The Empire State Partnership’s Summer Seminar will be held July 19 – 23, 2009 at C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University in Brookville, New York.


This year, you should expect to join more than 350 arts-in-education professionals exploring the theme, "Creativity as Catalyst."


Designed to support arts integration partnerships between cultural organizations and schools, the seminar will feature a variety of workshops, creativity labs, discussion groups, keynote address and plenary meetings for teachers, teaching artists and administrators.


The deadline for registration is July 3, 2009.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Program

Eric Booth will helm the advisory board of a new professional certification program for Teaching Artists at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Designed in collaboration with the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts , the program will start in the fall. Mr. Booth, who started teaching for Lincoln Center in 1980, says “Establishing this certificate program is a major milestone for an emerging field."

The Application deadline is June 30, 2009. 

For the Teaching Artist Certificate brochure, click here.

Also: A brief dialogue with Donald Schön conducted during a seminar titled Professional Capability:  Requirements and Accreditation (PDF).

Plus: A brief history of Midwifery in America (PDF).

And: David Bowie - Space Oddity

Life Lessons

I have noticed that "What makes us happy?" seems to be a very popular and enduring question.

Via David Brooks, we find this fascinating profile of a research project that promises to reveal the secrets of happiness.

Starting in the 1930’s, researchers followed 268 men from the time they entered college to old age and beyond. It is one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies every completed and, as far as I can tell, it proves once and for all that being born with access to money is always a wise first step.

Also, taking a class at MoMA might prove to be fun.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At the Ballet

On Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama came to New York City to promote the arts.

Here she is being introduced by Caroline Kennedy at the American Ballet Theater Spring Gala.

Mrs. Obama said  that the arts “define who we are as a people.”

Also: Billy Elliot - Possibly NSFW profanity.


This interesting architecture lesson plan helps students learn to “observe and identify environmental 
features of a place; basic and specific elements of buildings; analyze and conclude their significance.”

The plan is built around a useful collection of visual survey form templates designed by Maurie Van Buren.


The House of Mirth

By Edith Wharton

Book One

Chapter One Episode 5


She seemed to read his thought. "It was horrid of me to say that of Gerty," she said with charming compunction. "I forgot she was your cousin. But we're so different, you know: she likes being good, and I like being happy. And besides, she is free and I am not. If I were, I daresay I could manage to be happy even in her flat. It must be pure bliss to arrange the furniture just as one likes, and give all the horrors to the ash-man. If I could only do over my aunt's drawing-room I know I should be a better woman."

"Is it so very bad?" he asked sympathetically.

She smiled at him across the tea-pot which she was holding up to be filled.

"That shows how seldom you come there. Why don't you come oftener?"

"When I do come, it's not to look at Mrs. Peniston's furniture."

"Nonsense," she said. "You don't come at all—and yet we get on so well when we meet."

"Perhaps that's the reason," he answered promptly. "I'm afraid I haven't any cream, you know—shall you mind a slice of lemon instead?"

"I shall like it better." She waited while he cut the lemon and dropped a thin disk into her cup. "But that is not the reason," she insisted.

"The reason for what?"

"For your never coming." She leaned forward with a shade of perplexity in her charming eyes. "I wish I knew—I wish I could make you out. Of course I know there are men who don't like me—one can tell that at a glance. And there are others who are afraid of me: they think I want to marry them." She smiled up at him frankly. "But I don't think you dislike me—and you can't possibly think I want to marry you."

"No—I absolve you of that," he agreed.

"Well, then——?"

He had carried his cup to the fireplace, and stood leaning against the chimney-piece and looking down on her with an air of indolent amusement. The provocation in her eyes increased his amusement—he had not supposed she would waste her powder on such small game; but perhaps she was only keeping her hand in; or perhaps a girl of her type had no conversation but of the personal kind. At any rate, she was amazingly pretty, and he had asked her to tea and must live up to his obligations.

"Well, then," he said with a plunge, "perhaps THAT'S the reason."


"The fact that you don't want to marry me. Perhaps I don't regard it as such a strong inducement to go and see you." He felt a slight shiver down his spine as he ventured this, but her laugh reassured him.

"Dear Mr. Selden, that wasn't worthy of you. It's stupid of you to make love to me, and it isn't like you to be stupid." She leaned back, sipping her tea with an air so enchantingly judicial that, if they had been in her aunt's drawing-room, he might almost have tried to disprove her deduction.

The Readers

A New York Times opinion piece examines the state of the art of reading aloud, now that we have entered the age of the audio-book.

Does anyone read to you?

Are we a nation of lonely people?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Earning Power

Crain's New York Business keeps track of What New Yorkers Earn.

Unsurprisingly, there is no specific category for professional teaching artist.

Also: Find job listings @ NYFA Classified.


The House of Mirth

by Edith Wharton

Book One

Chapter One- Episode 4

On the threshold he paused a moment, feeling for his latchkey.


"There's no one here; but I have a servant who is supposed to come in the mornings, and it's just possible he may have put out the tea-things and provided some cake."


He ushered her into a slip of a hall hung with old prints. She noticed the letters and notes heaped on the table among his gloves and sticks; then she found herself in a small library, dark but cheerful, with its walls of books, a pleasantly faded Turkey rug, a littered desk and, as he had foretold, a tea-tray on a low table near the window. A breeze had sprung up, swaying inward the muslin curtains, and bringing a fresh scent of mignonette and petunias from the flower-box on the balcony.


Lily sank with a sigh into one of the shabby leather chairs.


"How delicious to have a place like this all to one's self! What a miserable thing it is to be a woman." She leaned back in a luxury of discontent.


Selden was rummaging in a cupboard for the cake.


"Even women," he said, "have been known to enjoy the privileges of a flat."


"Oh, governesses—or widows. But not girls—not poor, miserable, marriageable girls!"


"I even know a girl who lives in a flat."


She sat up in surprise. "You do?"


"I do," he assured her, emerging from the cupboard with the sought-for cake.


"Oh, I know—you mean Gerty Farish." She smiled a little unkindly. "But I said MARRIAGEABLE—and besides, she has a horrid little place, and no maid, and such queer things to eat. Her cook does the washing and the food tastes of soap. I should hate that, you know."


"You shouldn't dine with her on wash-days," said Selden, cutting the cake.


They both laughed, and he knelt by the table to light the lamp under the kettle, while she measured out the tea into a little tea-pot of green glaze. As he watched her hand, polished as a bit of old ivory, with its slender pink nails, and the sapphire bracelet slipping over her wrist, he was struck with the irony of suggesting to her such a life as his cousin Gertrude Farish had chosen. She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.

The Deal

The New York Times reports that president Barack Obama has nominated Rocco Landesman, the Broadway producer of shows like “Big River,” and “Angels in America,"  as the next chairman  of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“It’s potentially the best news the arts community in the United States has had since the birth of Walt Whitman,” said playwright Tony Kushner. 

When he produced Mel Brook’s show “The Producers," Rocco Landesman introduced the theater-loving public to the $480 “premium” ticket.


Also:  The Beatles - A Day in the Life

Amazing Stories

Do you know about The Moth?

NY Moth StorySLAM

Thursday, May 21, 2009


at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

126 Crosby Street

7.00pm Doors open

7.30pm Stories start on stage

$7 tickets at the door

Friday, May 15, 2009

Find It


Also: Tori Amos - A Sort of Fairytale

Take A Ride

Today, May 15th, is National Bike to Work Day!

It is also National Bike Month, so it makes perfect sense.

What doesn't make sense is the way the security guard acts when a TA tries to bring a folding bike into a public school.

Sing A Song

Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series is a program of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, of course. 

They have programmed some fantastic community events this year, including this one to be held next weekend at the Schomburg:


Carnegie Community Sing: an interactive event for all ages

Saturday, May 23, 2009, 3:00 PM

Experience this special opportunity to learn songs and exchange stories with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. (No singing experience necessary!) The original Jubilee Singers introduced “slave songs” to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this American musical tradition known today as Negro Spirituals. They broke racial barriers in the US and abroad in the late 19th century, and entertained kings and queens in Europe. Today the Fisk Jubilee Singers—young students of Fisk University—continue their legacy by singing and traveling extensively, sharing this distinctAmerican art form and experience with audiences worldwide. This event is hosted by Vy Higginsen, co-writer, producer, and director of “Mama, I Want to Sing!”

Free Admission. RSVP required at 212.491.2040

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tonight, Tonight


I forgot to tell you something:


THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM 

Scholastic Building
557 Broadway, 2nd Floor 
Education Resource Center (ERC)

 This event is an introductory panel discussion about opportunities for artists and teaching artists in the AIE field in NYC. 

For more information or to register for the event, please e-mail 
Keith Kaminski, Program Director 
or call 212~962~3820 ext. 2


Soul Deep: A New Artist for a Renewed Society is the title of Urban Bush Women's 2009 Summer Leadership Institute. The gathering will take place from July 31-August 9, in New Orleans.

As the title suggests, the theme of the event is renewal and participants should expect to find a supportive community of other artists, daily dance classes, dialogues and trainings on a variety of topics.

Find more information about the institute on the organization's website.

Performance Art

Merryl Goldberg is a Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at California State University, San Marcos.

Guesting at ArtsBlog, Goldberg writes that “a good chunk of a performers’ work is in the public arena” and notes that “Education is another arena where the teacher’s work is on display.”

What are the implications of thinking of teaching as a performance?

How does planning change?

Who am I anyway?

Also: Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner

American Stories

C-Span has produced two series about American writers. All of the educational resources generated by the series are archived for your convenience at

Fun and useful.


The House of Mirth
by Edith Wharton
Book One
Chapter One - Episode 3

They turned into Madison Avenue and began to stroll northward. As she moved beside him, with her long light step, Selden was conscious of taking a luxurious pleasure in her nearness: in the modelling of her little ear, the crisp upward wave of her hair--was it ever so slightly brightened by art?--and the thick planting of her straight black lashes. Everything about her was at once vigorous and exquisite, at once strong and fine. He had a confused sense that she must have cost a great deal to make, that a great many dull and ugly people must, in some mysterious way, have been sacrificed to produce her. He was aware that the qualities distinguishing her from the herd of her sex were chiefly external: as though a fine glaze of beauty and fastidiousness had been applied to vulgar clay. Yet the analogy left him unsatisfied, for a coarse texture will not take a high finish; and was it not possible that the material was fine, but that circumstance had fashioned it into a futile shape? 

As he reached this point in his speculations the sun came out, and her lifted parasol cut off his enjoyment. A moment or two later she paused with a sigh. 

"Oh, dear, I'm so hot and thirsty--and what a hideous place New York is!" She looked despairingly up and down the dreary thoroughfare. "Other cities put on their best clothes in summer, but New York seems to sit in its shirtsleeves." Her eyes wandered down one of the side-streets. "Someone has had the humanity to plant a few trees over there. Let us go into the shade." 

"I am glad my street meets with your approval," said Selden as they turned the corner. 

"Your street? Do you live here?" 

She glanced with interest along the new brick and limestone house-fronts, fantastically varied in obedience to the American craving for novelty, but fresh and inviting with their awnings and flower-boxes. 

"Ah, yes--to be sure: THE BENEDICK. What a nice-looking building! I don't think I've ever seen it before." She looked across at the flat-house with its marble porch and pseudo-Georgian facade. "Which are your windows? Those with the awnings down?" 

"On the top floor--yes." 

"And that nice little balcony is yours? How cool it looks up there!" 

He paused a moment. "Come up and see," he suggested. "I can give you a cup of tea in no time--and you won't meet any bores." 

Her colour deepened--she still had the art of blushing at the right time--but she took the suggestion as lightly as it was made. 

"Why not? It's too tempting--I'll take the risk," she declared. 

"Oh, I'm not dangerous," he said in the same key. In truth, he had never liked her as well as at that moment. He knew she had accepted without afterthought: he could never be a factor in her calculations, and there was a surprise, a refreshment almost, in the spontaneity of her consent.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


On the website of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable there is information about upcoming events, including a salon for Teaching Artists to be held on May 21st.

Continuing a conversation that started at the 2008 Face to Face Conference, Teaching Artists and Arts Education: an Ongoing Community Dialogue will open up a dialogue about topics like “getting work” and other important things you might have an interest in talking about.

To get on the waiting list, email coordinator Brad Raimondo.

The Roundtable has also posted a slew of resources from past community events. For example, I found this list of Core Expectations for Teaching Artists that was provided by Studio in a School.

Sharing is good.


Have you ever considered becoming an arts administrator


What kind of skills, education and training does it require to make a career?


Who's hiring?


ALSO: – Jobs

Associate, Professional Programs, (Carnegie Hall)
Posted on: May 11, 2009 1:40:01 PM EDT


Executive Director, Creative Arts Workshops for Kids, (Creative Arts Workshops for Kids)
Posted on: May 1, 2009 6:38:32 PM EDT


Americorp Director, (Groundwork)
Posted on: May 1, 2009 10:08:27 AM EDT

Waste Not

The New York Times reports that a short film created by a Greenpeace veteran is the sleeper hit of the year. 

The Story of Stuff purports to show how "American habits result in forests being felled, mountaintops being destroyed, water being polluted and people and animals being poisoned. "

Over 5 million people have viewed the film on the filmmaker's website. The piece, which mixes animation with live action, has been shown in classrooms across the country and, apparently, it has made some people mad.

Art engenders a response.

Watch it here and decide for yourself:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Art of the Diaspora

Johannesburg to New York, an exhibition curated by Kimberli E. Gant ends a six-month run on May 17th.

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) bills the exhibition as "the first retrospective of the collaborative work between South African artist Samson Mnisi and New York artist Cannon Hersey...these artists have created mixed media imagery that is socially conscious while also being visually stimulating. Mnisi incorporates ancient Zulu symbolism and rituals with Hersey's captivating photography to give viewers insider and outsider perspectives on contemporary South African societies."


Don't miss it.


MoCADA is located at 80 Hanson Place at South Portland in Downtown Brooklyn, near the Brooklyn Academy of Music.




The 2, 3, 4, 5, B, and Q stop at Atlantic Avenue.

The D, M, N, and R stop at Pacific Avenue.

The C stops at Lafayette Avenue.

The G stops at Fulton Street.

Image: Running Ahead is from the exhibition.

On the Books

The New York Times reports that New York City plans to fill more minimum-wage summer jobs for applicants up to 24 years old.

Also: The Big Read is still on, so I am still reading Edith WhartonThe House of Mirth

The House of Mirth 

by Edith Wharton

Book One

Chapter 1 continued from yesterday...

She came forward smiling, eager almost, in her resolve to intercept him. One or two persons, in brushing past them, lingered to look; for Miss Bart was a figure to arrest even the suburban traveller rushing to his last train.

Selden had never seen her more radiant. Her vivid head, relieved against the dull tints of the crowd, made her more conspicuous than in a ball-room, and under her dark hat and veil she regained the girlish smoothness, the purity of tint, that she was beginning to lose after eleven years of late hours and indefatigable dancing. Was it really eleven years, Selden found himself wondering, and had she indeed reached the nine-and-twentieth birthday with which her rivals credited her?

"What luck!" she repeated. "How nice of you to come to my rescue!"

He responded joyfully that to do so was his mission in life, and asked what form the rescue was to take.

"Oh, almost any—even to sitting on a bench and talking to me. One sits out a cotillion—why not sit out a train? It isn't a bit hotter here than in Mrs. Van Osburgh's conservatory—and some of the women are not a bit uglier." She broke off, laughing, to explain that she had come up to town from Tuxedo, on her way to the Gus Trenors' at Bellomont, and had missed the three-fifteen train to Rhinebeck. "And there isn't another till half-past five." She consulted the little jewelled watch among her laces. "Just two hours to wait. And I don't know what to do with myself. My maid came up this morning to do some shopping for me, and was to go on to Bellomont at one o'clock, and my aunt's house is closed, and I don't know a soul in town." She glanced plaintively about the station. "It IS hotter than Mrs. Van Osburgh's, after all. If you can spare the time, do take me somewhere for a breath of air."

He declared himself entirely at her disposal: the adventure struck him as diverting. As a spectator, he had always enjoyed Lily Bart; and his course lay so far out of her orbit that it amused him to be drawn for a moment into the sudden intimacy which her proposal implied.

"Shall we go over to Sherry's for a cup of tea?"

She smiled assentingly, and then made a slight grimace.

"So many people come up to town on a Monday—one is sure to meet a lot of bores. I'm as old as the hills, of course, and it ought not to make any difference; but if I'M old enough, you're not," she objected gaily. "I'm dying for tea—but isn't there a quieter place?"

He answered her smile, which rested on him vividly. Her discretions interested him almost as much as her imprudences: he was so sure that both were part of the same carefully-elaborated plan. In judging Miss Bart, he had always made use of the "argument from design."

"The resources of New York are rather meagre," he said; "but I'll find a hansom first, and then we'll invent something." He led her through the throng of returning holiday-makers, past sallow-faced girls in preposterous hats, and flat-chested women struggling with paper bundles and palm-leaf fans. Was it possible that she belonged to the same race? The dinginess, the crudity of this average section of womanhood made him feel how highly specialized she was.

A rapid shower had cooled the air, and clouds still hung refreshingly over the moist street.

"How delicious! Let us walk a little," she said as they emerged from the station.

Jazz Heaven

Starting tomorrow, the Culture Project will present their play with music The Cat Who Went To Heaven at The Harlem School of the Arts.


Based on the Newbery Award-winning children’s book by Elizabeth Coatsworth, and directed by Will Pomerantz, the show introduces children to Jazz through a story that features Japanese Bunraku puppetry and a score by Nancy Harrow. 


Wed, May 13 at 7pm

Sat, May 16 at 11am

Wed, May 20 at 7pm

Wed, May 27 at 7pm

Sat, May 30 at 5pm

Wed, June 3 at 7pm


Tickets are $10. 


For reservations and information call: (212) 479-0829.


All performances are at:

The Harlem School of the Arts Theater
647 St. Nicholas Avenue
btwn W. 145th and 141st streets