Friday, June 24, 2016
NAACP to Host 107th Annual Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio July 16-July 20, 2016 “Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count”
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John Malveaux: At Korean Bell of Friendship Ceremony July 4, Anita Asiimwe of Uganda will sing "Kiri Omulangila" while playing African harp
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Thursday, June 23, 2016
Roderick Cox Conducts Minnesota Orchestra, "Symphony for the Cities," 8:30, June 27 Hudson; 7:30, June 28 Lake Harriet; 8:30, June 29 Plymouth; 8:00, June 30 Winona
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John Malveaux: HowlRound.com: Malesha Taylor: Is Your Theatre Only “Diverse and Inclusive” Twice a Year?
I was given a ten-week, remote position with a regional theatre company that was funded through a major foundation that seeks to provide models for new and diverse audience development. My job was to get people of color in the seats and mingle with the community and promote plays. To start, I was in a mindset of “audience development,” but soon discovered my best approach would be to be in a mindset of genuine community engagement. I gave people the impression that my position was permanent. I met people at the door who were coming to the theatre for the first time. I hosted events at the nearby bar and represented the theatre at civic events to demonstrate genuine reciprocity. But I was also conflicted. Was my job ultimately about sales and meeting diversity numbers? Once this temporary position ended, I was worried about how the arts sector would really handle this shift from audiences of historical white-privilege, to audiences for everyone. I would like to help solve this problem by sharing my personal takeaways from this job.
- Why do
so many theatre companies and foundations launch these temporary
“diversity initiatives” and then expect to activate long-term systematic
change? Relationships take time to build, and my relationship
with the community was cut off within a matter of weeks. The 100
business cards I passed out in that temporary position, were already
null and void. What kind of message does that send to potential
subscribers, the theatre’s diversity council, and the community? If the
arts sector is really serious about developing relationships with
communities of color specifically, then it has to be a sustained and
genuine relationship—not just at moments when tickets can be sold to
target specific communities.
- Diversity can’t just be about numbers.
After working in that position, I began to further realize that the
urgent call for diversity seems to primarily be about data and revenue.
In an article in the LA Daily Times,
an arts leader states: “it is an economic imperative for the performing
arts to diversify…What is onstage, in the audience, backstage and in
the board rooms should look like America…It’s extremely important for
the arts to be relevant…If we don’t look like America, we can’t expect
to have ticket buyers and patrons in the future.” The keywords here for
me are, “economic imperative,” “ticket buyers,” and “patrons.” And I
understand money keeps theatres open. But I think there is something huge
missing here. I would suggest we return to making art about the human
condition, about human experiences, and simply strive to move human
beings. We are already a diverse society with millions of diverse
stories. It just looks like we aren’t comfortable hearing from everyone
for some reason. And now that demographics are shifting, many are
worried about keeping their jobs. I suggest we evaluate motives more
- I believe that revenue (an audience) is a result of genuine community engagement. According to Wikipedia: “Community engagement refers to the process by which community benefit organizations (which most theatres are) and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community.” Can the theatre see itself as a benefit to the community and not the other way around? If the community is to be reflected in the theatre, and the community is in fact diverse, why not simply engage in an organic relationship with the community and let the diversity in the audience be a result of that engagement?
3) from James V. Burks
Thank you for the article. I attended a benefit performance in Augusta, Georgia last October for the Jessye Norman School that featured several of my colleagues. I love the article by Malesha as it has a great bearing on the work I am instituting for the Vision Theater today.
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Watch The Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition Online - Semifinal Round begins at 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time Thursday, June 23, 2016!
EXPERIENCE THE AMATEUR COMPETITION
ATTEND IN PERSON
PERFORMANCES: Tickets start at $10 and are on sale now for all performances, including the Final Round with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Damon Gupton at Bass Performance Hall. CLICK HERE for info or to purchase today. Patrons must be 8 years or older to attend.
SYMPOSIA: We invite the public to join us for a Conversation with Olga Kern on Saturday, June 25 at 10:00 a.m. in Van Cliburn Recital Hall (330 East 4th St.). CLICK HERE for full information.
OPEN PIANO NIGHT: We're also hosting an open piano night at The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge (1311 Lipscomb St.) on Friday, June 24 starting at 5:00 p.m. Competitors will be given the opportunity to perform in the fun, relaxed music room, with bar and food service. This event is also free and open to the public, and is sure to be a great celebration of the piano. CLICK HERE for more information.
LIVE WEBCAST: All performances will be streamed live online at Cliburn.org and made available for on-demand viewing. Hosted by Shields-Collins Bray, this CLIBURN LIVE broadcast will feature over 40 hours of performance, awards ceremonies, commentary, and interviews, providing a behind-the-scenes view into the Competition.
ONLINE CHAT: Webcast viewers will also have the chance to chat with each other online at Cliburn.org, sharing their thoughts and cheering on their favorite competitors.
AUDIENCE VOTE: During the Competition, visit Cliburn.org to vote for your favorite competitor. You'll be able to vote once a day for any competitor still active in the Competition. The Audience Award will be given to the competitor with the most number of votes at the conclusion of the Final Round.
#CliburnAmateur Participate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share with your friends and followers, so that they can enjoy the Amateur Competition along with you! Use the #CliburnAmateur hashtag, and we'll share and retweet.
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"My Father's Faith" by Dr. Jacqueline M. Gaither Respress recounts the author's rise to become the first African American Principal of New Castle, PA Senior High School
When the Superintendent of the New Castle Area School District announced the appointment of Dr. Jacqueline Respress as Principal of a combined New Castle Junior/Senior High School, it would be the first time in the District’s 150-year history that a female has been chosen to lead the senior high school, and the first time an African American has reached this pinnacle.
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Sergio A. Mims: Chineke! Cellist Abel Selaocoe wins Royal Northern College of Music 2016 Gold Medal, highest accolade at the conservatoire
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Jim Greeson: "The Caged Bird" was accepted by the Black Harvest Film Fest in Chicago and will be shown sometime in August at the Gene Siskel Film Center
On June 22, 2016 AfriClassical posted:
KUAF.com: The Caged Bird: Rarely Heard Music of Florence Price Closes 2016 KUAF Fulbright Chamber Festival
fILM pRODUCER JIM gREESON wRITES:
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