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May 17, 2007

Art in the American Outback: The Midwest

Bridgette Redman

Picking up an Instrument Again

It seems to be a growing trend. Community bands are reaching out to adults who haven't played their instruments in years. Whether it is a senior band or one for all ages, adults are rediscovering their love for instrumental music.

(Thanks to John Sinkevics of The Grand Rapids Press)

Ballet as self-help?

If you're not the type to buy self-help books, watch daytime talk shows, or attend support groups, perhaps you'd like to indulge in the self-help genre by attending an original children's ballet. A ballet company in Holland, Michigan (a small Dutch town on the western coast where the annual Tulip Festival is held) is putting on an original ballet based on Max Lucado's book, You Are Special.

(Thanks to Sue Merrell of The Grand Rapids Press)

Can Artists Do Anything About Global Warming?

One of the crucial roles artists play in our society is in giving us a language to talk about important, societal issues. They may not be the experts, but they can capture the emotion and help clarify issues for us. The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the North Lakeland Discovery Center has created a traveling exhibit of 20 artists addressing climate change in Wisconsin and Northern Michigan.

(Thanks to The Daily Press in Ashland, Wisconsin)

Telling a Native American Family's Story

A Native American woman wrote a play based on stories her mother told her of Native Americans whom the government placed into residential schools. A staged reading of it is being directed by her sister and being performed in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It handles pretty intense material.

(Thanks to The Green Bay Press-Gazette)

Collaborative Composing--in Middle School

A grant has brought a composer into the middle school where he is helping seventh graders to compose a symphony which they will soon perform in concert. He had each student compose a three to five note melody for their instrument. ""He names the movements after what the music sounds like," said (band instructor Connie) Root. The four movements are "Brett's Solumn Vow" by Brett Ducharme, "Martha's Dorian Dance" by Martha Muchlinski, "Jake's Lament" by Jake Blair and "Kaitlyn's Canzona" by Kaitlyn Young. Together they make up the composition "Motive Alliance.""

(Thanks to Hudson Star Observer)

Excited about Small-Town Theater

Geri Parlin's column is fun to read because of the genuine excitement about what is happening in the city's theater community. There is also a strong identification with the community and what speaks to its residents. For her, it's the upcoming summer production ofMusic Man, a musical that deals with small-town concerns.

(Thanks to Geri Parlin of La Crosse Tribune)

New Director Gets Creative with Programming

How do you keep attendance up at performing arts venues? The new director of Madison, Wisconsin's Overture Center has searched for several answers that he'll be trying out in the upcoming season. Some of it includes dropping classical performances in favor of others in the community who are doing them as well as changing pricing structures.

(Thanks to Jacob Stockinger of The Capital Times)

It's not easy...

...being a 60-something teenager. Especially not if your family is far more screwed up than you are. This delightful review in a weekly newspaper proves their having fun with theater in Nebraska.

(Thanks to Steve Eskew of The Reader)

Collaborating for Art

"Two of downtown Omaha's independent spirits again are coming together in the name of art. As part of the Bluebarn Theatre's upcoming production of Six Degrees of Separation, the Bemis Center will present, in tandem, a show of contemporary portraiture in the theater's art space called Separate Selves. Bemis Curator and Assistant Director Jeremy Stern brought together regional and international artists for the show; through many approaches they artfully explore the idea of self. Artists are based in New York, Omaha and from countries around the world. The shows open April 19 and offer the perfect opportunity to get a double dose of creativity in one night. "

(Thanks to Sarah Baker of The Reader)

Posted by Bridgette Redman at May 17, 2007 1:17 PM

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