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Congress Ave, Independence Ave, world

I had over 100 FB friends marching in 30+ cities around the USA in 22 states on Friday and Saturday.

In Austin, the crowd was about 50,000, quite likely the biggest-ever gathering at the Texas capital. (Second to about 25K at a UT anti-Vietnam war protest 40 years prior.) My mom said the Fort Worth rally was 6000+ after only being announced on Monday and with options all around, Denton, Dallas, etc.

It is so, so cool to hear all these huge numbers, and to have been there. Continue reading

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Thoughts, Links, Etc.

Thanksgiving: Louisiana with my mom’s side of the family. Way fun, would do again. We love VRBO for these kinds of gatherings, more flexible and kitchen-y.

Spent a day in New Orleans, had a great meal and went to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. After ending up at the Contemporary Art Center 4 hours too early for that day’s showing of Christian Marclay’s THE CLOCK. Maaaajor disappointment for me, as I’d missed it twice in NYC.

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So I’ve been doing a ton of reading and sort of trying not to think that much these days. Christmas in Arlington, visiting with cousin & fam in town from North Carolina, then a VERY chill New Year’s Eve in Waco.

Here are some links & events of interest:

Women who draw, a directory. via Cup of Jo

Artist changes artwork in museum display in response to election results. via Hyperallergic

I am a white feminist, but I’m working against White Feminism by thinking about intersectionality. via UUWF

Keeping up with the housework to unfuck your habitat. via Boingboing

UUWF is a partner of the Women’s March on Washington! Affiliated Minister Marti Keller will be there, and I’m planning to be in Austin for the Texas state capitol sister march. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a protest and I’m pretty excited.

I’ll be going to the Third International Women’s Convocation in February in Monterey California.

Coming up in the Waco art scene:
Joel Edwards show opens at Art Center Waco on Thursday, Jan. 19. Can’t wait, he is a very talented artist and a super nice guy.
Deep in the Heart Film Festival in February – which I will unfortunately miss because it’s the same weekend as the Convocation.
Top Young Artist exhibitions from March 1-18 at Studio Gallery, then at The Art Center from March 23 (Award Ceremony & Opening Reception that evening) to April 15. And last but certainly not least, is Art on Elm on Saturday April 8! We’re switching websites for simplicity – now at artonelm.org. Here’s a little history of the event that I wrote, and I want to dig more into the history of the area for another post.

 

Related Post: Art on Elm Avenue 2016.

 

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San Antonio Visits

On a Thursday in November, I got picked up at home very early in the morning by my colleague in an unusually low-key car for her. We were on our way to a Texas Public Art Administrators meeting in San Antonio. It was so good to meet people in a specific realm of the arts, and they came from a variety of places and agencies: San Antonio Public Art of course, but also Love Field (an airport), Houston Airports, San Antonio River Authority, etc. Most are city-funded, others included a library with a public art program and no dedicated staff. It was two days after the election and we were all able to tell each other about our local places and not worry about national affairs for the day.

After lunch we met up at a newly re-done park called Yanaguana Garden, which was spectacular. The play structures were huge and wonderful, like nothing I’d ever seen, and there was art all over. We learned that in addition to the large, stunning mosaic sculptures by Oscar Alvarado, were 6 more artworks from the public art exhibition “Play” at Hemisfair, brought together by lead artist Stuart Allen, who led a tour of the park to talk about working with the city and the artists to make ideas reality.

After *that* Continue reading

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What I’m Doing (Post-Election)

This summer I joined the board of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation as the new Vice President of Funding Programs. Last week, at our Affiliated Minister’s request, I started writing a reflection of what’s helping my (liberal, heartbroken) soul after the election of Ivanka’s Dad to the highest office in the land. I wrote more & wrapped it up yesterday for the UUWF blog “Leaping From Our Spheres.” An excerpt is below, and you can see the whole entry here on the UUWF website.

Continue reading

Open (Love) Letter to Amir Thompson

Today, I was listening to Questlove Supreme (on Pandora, for those of you who are not Amir, or familiar with his new radio-style show) with Ray Parker Jr. and it dawned on me how much better my life is because of the music you make and the work you do.

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I first heard of the Roots when I was at Lollapalooza (’95ish?) in Dallas and my friend wanted to check y’all out on the second stage. It was the very early days of my hip hop love affair and I realized I’d seen y’all earlier that year opening for the Beastie Boys. I remember just about losing my mind when Rahzel really opened it up on us. Over the years, I ended up following your work more and more closely. I’ve seen the Roots crew live more times than any other national act, and I used to go see a lot of bands. I remember when y’all filled the gap for Wu-Tang when they got kicked off of a tour with Rage Against the Machine. I was excited that it was gonna be y’all if it wasn’t going to be the Wu but man, oh man, the crowd that night really wanted the Clan and they were practically mean to you from the floor.

But I digress. Last year I was at a bar in my old neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was a quiet night at a small, friendly place with great music playing. “You Got Me” came on and everybody in the place was singing.** I was up at the bar getting another round and a guy who had been up there on his own was also singing. I asked him, “Could you ever have imagined, when this song came out, that the Roots would end up being the house band on the Tonight Show?”

When I heard Fallon got the big gig, my first question was “are the Roots going too?!?!” It was wild enough to me that you’d been the first hip hop group on any nighttime talk show, and of course Jimmy didn’t leave y’all behind. Obviously, y’all would be on, because the Roots are hands-down one of the most talented groups of people in the music business. I love the theme music for the show. It’s totally you, but also totally friendly for the wide audience.

You, Amir, keep yourself so crazy busy, but you seem to love it. I feel like you are enjoying the ride as much as possible while it goes on. I hope you’re taking good care of yourself among all the different projects you do, in addition to a full-time job on TV. Because I want to keep up with your work for a long, long time.

*And I’m a little embarrassed to say that I never once made it out to Bowl Train, only a 10 minute cab ride from my home.

**The album that “You Got Me” is on is Things Fall Apart and came out about a semester after I read the namesake novel by Chinua Achebe in college English class. I was so proud to be hip to that reference.

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Texas to NY to Texas to Columbus, OH

When I first knew I’d go to grad school, I wasn’t sure what for. I just knew that my brand new BA in Art History from a state school that most people outside the state have never heard of wasn’t going to get me far.

A few years after finishing undergrad working at a doctor’s office, I was feeling a little antsy and got an idea. I wanted to start a community arts center. To me museums were (and are) like church. Spiritual, contemplative places that are technically open to everyone but lots of people who may appreciate art do not feel at home there. I wanted to bridge the gap between the Art Institution and the person who could benefit from making or being around art (ahem, everyone). I started to explore graduate programs. To get into communities, to connect with people, you go through the kids. My plan was to have after school art classes, maybe in a building where there are studios behind and common areas in front. Give artists discounts or free rent for teaching art classes to the kids.

So I looked at art education programs – I would learn all about arts education, while also looking into nonprofit management on my own. Then, to my surprise & joy, The Ohio State University’s huge, excellent Art Education Department contained a program called “Arts Administration.” This is a thing! I found others and applied to 4 Art Administration programs (NYU, Ohio State, Indiana, and Oregon) and University of Texas’s Art Ed program.

I talked to friends and family about the idea, they all had input about what sorts of arts would need to be in a proper community arts center. ALL of them! Continue reading

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Day After Reading: Around the USA

Through a fun grapevine of New York professionals &  friends, I got connected with a graphic artist named Luodvic Balland to help with publicity for his project Day After Reading. Balland is traveling with a team of journalists, historians and supporters to interview people about the news. What is your earliest memory of the news? How do you get your news? etc. They started in New York City, went to Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis (where they got to be on the Washington University (aka WUSTL) campus during the debate that was also held there.

Now, I am helping to arrange interviews around the country, an exciting, fast-paced job for someone in a small town. I’ve gotten to speak to folks all around the country to see if they or a colleague or friend could be interviewed. Julie from Robert’s in Nashville is THE best! Jesse Lee Jones has a great story to tell, and I bet Julie does too.

The following city, in Memphis they were interviewed for a post on The Atlantic’s CityLab.

Today we interview the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, then go to the Texas State Fair! What do you recommend we eat while there, fellow Texans?

Afterward, they will head west to go to Marfa and Fort Davis to visit the Chinati foundation and McDonald Observatory, respectively. I would love to go out west with them, but I will stay in Waco for about 5 days, then go off to Columbus, Ohio for a community leaders initiative of NeighborWorks America.

They will then go on to New Orleans, Miami, and DC for the election. More to come!

Image: Claire Sexton, Dr. Tiffany Anthony, abdominal transplant surgeon, during her interview 10/12/16 at Baylor Medical Center Dallas.