Friday, September 24, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

PEOPLE

Sundance Institute’s Head Of Indigenous Inclusion Reflects On 20 Years Of Programming

Bird Runningwater has built upon the organization’s foundations of Indigenous inclusion, helping to develop a pipeline of Indigenous creative talent and expand their cultural reach across storytelling both in the U.S. and beyond. - The Hollywood Reporter

Kristy Edmunds Named New Director Of Mass MoCA

Edmunds has been a leading voice in the arts in Los Angeles, having steered CAP UCLA since 2011. - Los Angeles Times

Last Suspect In Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Robbery Dead At 85

Robert Gentile, a mob figure who did several stints in prison on unrelated charges, refused for decades to speak with FBI agents about the 1990 theft — even after a handwritten list of the stolen artworks, with estimated values, was found in a raid on his home. - Artnet

French Pianist Colette Maze, 107, Releases Her Sixth Album

It's that humor, a sense of optimism and her beloved piano that have buttressed and comforted this centenarian through an often difficult life. Maze has just released her sixth album at the age of 107. - NPR

Melvin Van Peebles, Dead At 89, Was So Much More Than The Maker Of “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”

Over 60 years, he was a master of self-reinvention: Air Force navigator; cable-car operator in San Francisco; indie filmmaker; author (in English and French); playwright, composer, and TV writer (nine Tony nominations and an Emmy); the only Black floor trader at the American Stock Exchange. - The Washington Post

Saadi Yacef, The Man Who Started “The Battle Of Algiers”, Dead At 93

He didn't start the battle itself, but he was the top military man in Algeria's war of independence. When that was won, the new government wanted a movie about it. So Yacef found director Gillo Pontecorvo and co-produced and starred in the 1966 film. - The New York Times

Pathbreaking TV Writer Irma Kalish Dead At 96

Most female scriptwriters in the 1950s and '60s had to churn out proto-Hallmark-Channel movies, but Kalish thrived in comedy. Her biggest mark was in Norman Lear's sitcoms All in the Family and its spinoff Maude; she co-produced the Maude spinoff Good Times. - The New York Times

The Unlikely Rise Of The UK’s New Culture Minister

Many in entertainment have been scathing of a politician who once claimed "left-wing snowflakes" were "killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech". - BBC

Bennie Pete, Whose Brass Band Kept New Orleans Dancing After Katrina, Has Died At 45

Pete, born in the Upper Ninth Ward, "started playing the tuba at 10 and joined a marching band in middle school. At 18, he helped bring together two brass bands, the Looney Tunes and the High Steppers, into the Hot 8." - The New York Times

Jane Powell, Hollywood Musical Star, 92

Her parents pushed her into showbiz when she was only 2 years old, and eventually she became a star opposite Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding and Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. - Washington Post

Yolanda Lopez, Who Celebrated Working Class Women In Her Art, 78

López "created one of the most famous artworks in Chicano history by boldly recasting the Virgin of Guadalupe in her own image — as a young, strong, brown woman wearing running shoes and a wide grin." - The New York Times

Adalberto Alvarez, 72, Bandleader Who Revitalized Cuban Dance Music

Álvarez "was known as 'El Caballero del Son' (the 'Gentleman of Son') because of his passion for the genre and the infectious enthusiasm with which he repopularized it. Son is at the root of salsa, among other Latin dance genres, and is considered the bedrock of the Cuban sound." - The New York Times

Jane Powell, Wholesome Star Of Classic Movie Musicals, Dead At 91

"An actress and singer who first appeared in movies as a teenager, (she) became a sunny stalwart of Hollywood musicals in the 1940s and 1950s, most notably opposite Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding and Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." - The Washington Post

Playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie Dead At 85

" was a mainstay of the experimental theater world, … especially known for America Hurrah, a form-bending trio of one-acts that opened in 1966 in the East Village and ran for more than 630 performances." (In Alabama, authorities shut it down after two.) - The New York Times

Soprano Carmen Balthrop Dead At 73

Part of the third generation of Black opera singers to become international stars, she performed throughout Europe and the US, achieving wide fame in the title role of Scott Joplin's Treemonisha. Her second career was as a beloved voice teacher at the University of Maryland. - The Washington Post

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