Why There Needs To Be a ‘Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations’

Bartletts Familiar Black Quotations

Retha Powers, editor of the newly-published first edition, says that people ask her, “Why have this book if we have a President who is black? Is it really necessary for us to do this?” She says that the reason is to add stories to our collective memory: “The lens through which we look at history, when it’s narrow, tells us a very, very narrow story, a narrow impression of what the truth is.”

Where Dance and Boxing Meet

Full swing … Mourad Merzouki's Boxe Boxe.

In choreograher Mourad Merzouki’s Boxe Boxe, “as the protagonists come into the ring (complete with stripe-shirted umpire), boxing mitts turn into glove puppets, a dancer’s body curves in a feline swoop only to be caught in a firm headlock, and limbs jab, swipe and kick while a string quartet roams the stage.”

The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries


“A new, lavish coffee-table book, Libraries, pays homage to 44 of these vaults of wisdom around the world. In these photos, spines of shelved books appear like ornate mosaics; labyrinthine stacks seem like architectural gestures.”

Can High-Tech Speed-Reading Work? Should It?

Can High-Tech Speed-Reading Work

The creators of the app Spritz argue that “only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word.” They mean to reverse those percentages. If they’re right, what does that mean for how we experience the written word?

We Still Need You, Monuments Men!

bring back the Monuments Men

Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments Fund, argues that the Middle East in particular – especially Syria – needs the help of those heroic men and women to save the region’s irreplaceable cultural heritage.

Tales From Paupers’ Graves

Room of one's own … Ice & Fire's The Nine O'Clock Slot.

“Every year, thousands of paupers’ funerals – for those without the means to pay for burial – take place across the UK. The Nine O’Clock Slot pieces together the stories of those who die alone.”

Are Comedians Really Depressives?

Photo by VvoeVale/Thinkstock, photo illustration by Natalie Matt

“One of the most enduring stereotypes in all of comedy is of the road-weary, alcohol-soaked, and/or drug-addled comedian. Certainly there is a long line of victims.” (The L.A. comedy club the Laugh Factory even has an in-house therapy program.)

Orthodox Jewish Dancercise Is Now a Thing

Orthodox Jewish Dancercise Is Now a Thing

“On a crowded dance floor, a group of 50 women are swaying, stomping, lunging, and gyrating to singer Jason Derulo’s ‘Talk Dirty,’ Pitbull’s ‘Don’t Stop The Party’, and other popular numbers blasting over loudspeakers. It could be any trendy New York club, except here the dirty words and sexually explicit lyrics are missing from the raps, and no men are allowed. Ever.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 04.02.14

On the Value of the Arts
AJBlog: Field Notes | Published 2014-04-03

Delaware Art Museum’s Deaccession Debacle: My Q&A with Its Former Director, Danielle Rice
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-04-03

Betsky Asked To Leave Early?
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-04-02

Disassembling something that nobody owns
AJBlog: The Artful Manager | Published 2014-04-02

The choir who came in from the cold (for Joyce DiDonato)
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-04-02


Cleveland’s Downtown Rebuilding Using Theatre


“Today PlayhouseSquare manages more than 2.3 million square feet of office and retail space in northeast Ohio. Just under half of that is in the PlayhouseSquare district, which includes five historic theaters, dating back to the 1920s, that after decades of neglect were renovated as part of a 27-year, $55 million campaign of public and private funds.”

Data Don’t Support Hollywood’s Biases About Women


“We found that the data doesn’t appear to support the persistent Hollywood belief that films featuring women do worse at the box office. Instead, we found evidence that films that feature meaningful interactions between women may in fact have a better return on investment, overall, than films that don’t.”

Where Are Today’s Compelling Novels About Poverty And Inequality?


“Despite our recession-era reckoning with economics and inequality, fiction that examines both the macro and micro experience of poverty is all too rare. Of the writers who do venture forth in the tradition of John Steinbeck, many are finding new and riveting approaches to an age-old subject. But there are crucial gaps, still. And as brilliantly as Steinbeck wrote about poverty, we cannot rely on him to comprehensively tell today’s story.”