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Bold and Courageous

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, October 18, 2012
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BOSTON — Through performance, photography and film, consider those who fight for love, for peace and for family. 

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Young People These Days

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, August 23, 2012
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August 23, 2012



BOSTON — What prompts young people to roll up their sleeves, make money or make art? David Cronenberg explores the ugly side of success with his new film, while the young artists in downtown Boston will tell you it's creativity and hard work that pay off.

cosmopolisCosmopolis
In theaters Friday

David Cronenberg's new film, based on the novel by Don DeLillo, will leave you puzzling about the new millennium’s obsessions with power, money, control, information, technology, violence, sex, mortality, revolution, destruction and hopefully, some redemption.


afhArtists for Humanity—The Store

In Faneuil Hall, Boston

With help from the city of Boston and COLOR Inc., teen artists have envisioned, designed and built a retail space made from 70% recycled/reused materials. Students have created mugs, tee-shirts, and other souvenirs and sell their own photographs, sculpture and paintings. Artists for Humanity empowers and employs Boston teens in an intensive program of arts, creativity and enterprise.

>>Read Jared's full review and see photos of the store.

What to look forward to in the upcoming arts season:

Marie Antoinette at the A.R.T.: Jared has met the cast and expects a great performance.

The New Repertory Theater will present The Kite Runner, based upon the 2003 novel by by Khaled Hosseini

David Lindsay-Abaire's play Good People, set in South Boston, will run at The Huntington Theater.

The MFA will present an exhibit of Mario Testinos fashion photography in a show called "In Your Face"

The Boston Ballet gives The Nutcracker a makeover this year. Visit their website to see video and sketches of the new set by Robert Perdziola. 

Phyllis Diller: Comedy Comes From Tragedy

By Jared Bowen   |   Wednesday, August 22, 2012
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diller

Phyllis Diller interviewed for the American Comedy Archives. (Emerson College)

There was everything to love about Phyllis Diller—the jokes, the clothes, the stage presence. Then there was the intellect and the fortitude. How stunningly remarkable that at age 37 and with five children at home, she could begin carving out one of the most distinguished careers in American comedy. And it was the 1950s!

Diller made us think she was ugly when it wasn’t remotely true. She made us think she was crazy when she was actually quite brilliant. Most importantly, she made us laugh. Her insight into comedy was recorded by researchers at Emerson College who assembled the American Comedy Archives there beginning in 2004. They collected memorabilia, props, scripts and interviews with more than 50 comedians dating back to the first days oftelevision. We profiled their efforts in this Emmy-winning piece from 2006. In it Diller, as always, is a delight.


(Greater Boston)

Artists for Humanity Opens in Faneuil Hall

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, August 9, 2012
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August 9, 2012



BOSTON — Quincy Market is a maelstrom of Massachusetts merchandise.  But make your way past all the Red Sox caps, stuffed baked beans and lobster tchotchkes and you’ll find a brilliant little boutique oasis in the corner of historic Faneuil Hall.  It’s Artists for Humanity—The Store featuring merchandise designed by teenagers. Very clever ones.
 
For 21 years now, Artists for Humanity has employed teenagers to make art. Roughly 225 students from Boston neighborhoods annually make their way into AFH’s Fort Point channel headquarters named the EpiCenter to find their muse and mine undiscovered talents in seven artistic media including painting, sculpture and video production. This is not just a fluffy confidence-building exercise. AFH’s professional artists, teachers and mentors guide kids into creating art they sell. And not just to proud parents—major Boston corporations and banks have commissioned AFH works.  Now the enterprise is expanding with their very own store featuring T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, buttons, water bottles and more sporting student designs.
 
“We didn’t want this to be like all the other stores,” says AFH Marketing Director Rich Frank. It’s not. Wicked populah now is a red T-shirt featuring a Tim Burton-esque Boston Terrier with a very Boston bark. Proceeds go to AFH, the teen designer receives royalties and with Holliston-based souvenir chain Color Inc. generously providing the retail space, the non-profit’s overhead is nil.
 
Artist for Humanity’s reach is jaw-dropping. Architectural Digest magazine twice commissioned the group to create its signature tables featuring recycled materials for AD events. That led Neiman Marcus to commission tables for a new California store and that led Newton-based shoe company Clarks to order up tables and stools made of old catalogs for an upcoming convention.
 
AFH alum Kershner Williams, who splits his time between The Store and mentoring at the EpiCenter, is all about the business. The students “are going to create something that someone’s always going to see,” he says. “They need to focus on that because once they put that together, they’re selling their story.”
 
It certainly beats a paper route.

The Summer Arts Weekend Preview

By WGBHArts   |   Monday, July 23, 2012
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July 23, 2012
Vega
Suzanne Vega kicks off a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Solitude Standing in Copley Square. (photo credit: Mary Rozzi)


BOSTON — WGBHArts contributors offer you a preview of the upcoming Summer Arts Weekend, three days of performances in Copley Square happening this July 27-29.

Friday

preservation hall Preservation Hall Jazz Band Brings New Orleans Spirit to Boston
by Mary Tinti

Laissez le bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!) embodies the spontaneous and exuberant essence of the PHJB music.

Hear them play on Friday evening.


sierra hull A Conversation with Sierra Hull
by Kris Wilton

Sierra Hull has been shaking up the bluegrass establishment since she was just 15. Read a Q&A with the rising star.

Hear her play on Friday evening with her band Highway 111; and with Del McCoury on stage for a fantastic meeting of bluegrass legends past and present.

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Museum Invites You to Worcester's 'Living Room'

By Jared Bowen   |   Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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July 20, 2012

WAM doors
Matthias Wascheck, Director of the Worcester Art Museum, at the front doors on Salisbury Street.


BOSTON — A few months ago I visited the Worcester Art Museum for the first time (I am now embarrassed to admit), and I was stunned by its positively staggering collection. It brims with gems. All of the European masters are represented—Monet, Gauguin and Goya, to name just a select few. The museum’s American galleries are equally vibrant and it boasts impressive modern and contemporary art galleries as well. The new director of the Worcester Museum, the ambitious Matthias Wascheck, has now removed the cloak from the region’s hidden gem.
 
In a symbolic gesture that worked well for the MFA, Wascheck is reopening the museum’s front doors on Salisbury Street, which were shuttered in 2009 due to budget cuts. He has also commenced having the entire collection digitized and has launched a major advertising campaign. Even more impressive, today Wascheck announced that museum admittance will be free for all of July and August.

"This is the Renaissance Courtyard of the Worcester Art Museum," Wascheck said in a solicitation video,  "but it's not only our court, it is the living room of Worcester. It is your living room, and it is easier than you think to help us open this to the public." He goes on to ask for $60,000 to keep the doors and the courtyard accessible.
 
Wascheck arrived at the Worcester Art Museum in November from the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as director. Before that he was director of Academic Programs at the Louvre. He is a man with exceptional pedigree and with the drive to dust off the cobwebs and elevate the WAM’s profile. So I implore you—go to Worcester. See works by all of the greats you’ve never seen before. Revel in your discoveries and the free parking. You will be bowled over. I promise.

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Jared Bowen Jared Bowen
Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts. 

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