Posts Tagged ‘arts’
From the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:
For a weekend in April, the library at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will be transformed through the imagination of performance artist Sebastienne Mundheim. Mundheim and her team travel through time, using puppetry, dance, storytelling, and the archives of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for inspiration. The performance is part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), a month-long city-wide festival produced by the Kimmel Center. This year the festival celebrates time travel – what better way to do that than through the magic of an archive…a paper time machine. Performances are scheduled for 4, 6, and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, Sunday, April 14, and Monday, April 15.
This is your chance to experience the Society’s beautiful, historic Reading Room as you never have before. The audience will encounter sleeping giants, stomping faceless warriors in weighted costumes made of books, and silent planters who insist that history is best kept by the ringing of the trees. Through their questions we discover our own, and reflect on how we chose to see ourselves in the context of the past.
Tickets to ArkHIVE are $20 for general admission. HSP members can purchase tickets for $15; the student price is $10. Seating is limited, so buy your tickets today! Performance runs for 40 minutes.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit, https://hsp.org/calendar/arkhive
From the Philadelphia Folklore Project:
Nov. 12 and 19: 6 PM – 8 PM
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is now accepting applications for folk and traditional arts apprenticeships. Make an appointment at PFP to work on your application. These grants support partnerships between a master artist and an apprentice who is seriously studying in a particular folk art form. PCA will provide up to $3,000 to support the master’s time and travel, as well as supplies for the apprenticeship. RSVP or call215.726.1106. Application Deadline: December 14, 2012.
This time of year is known for many things: holidays, the beginning of winter, and a barrage of end-of-year fundraising appeals.
Online giving is especially important in December, as people rush to make donations before the end of the tax year. In fact, a significant portion of online giving apparently happens in the final two days of the year. I guess we’re a nation of procrastinators. Fortunately, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, many nonprofit groups are seeing better fundraising results this year compared to 2010.
One interesting strategy I ran across this year was organized by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. The Council’s “Ways to Share . . . A Holiday Wish List” compiled organizations’ needs from around the state into one go-to resource for potential donors. Groups could list specific items they needed, as well as volunteer opportunities and a “big wish” item. Then, in addition to posting the resource on its own web site, the Council posted highlights from the list to its 450+ followers on Twitter and Facebook — making it very easy for donors to retweet or share on Facebook to their own social networks.
I’d love to see an association of museums or public history sites try a “history holiday wish list” or something similar. Sure, groups would be competing for donations, but we all know that we’re competing no matter what. Pooling marketing efforts just might reach a broader audience than individual organizations would reach on their own.
For other ideas for online fundraising, check out these tips for creating effective online campaigns. And for next year, make sure to investigate some of Mashable’s picks for the best online fundraising platforms.
Happy holidays, and happy fundraising.
The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) announced 227 grants awarded to local artists and nonprofit arts organizations for 2012. The grants fall into eight categories: Grants-In-Aid, Festivals and City Arts Projects, Arts Education Program, East of the River, Individual Artist Grant, Community Arts, UPSTART and Cultural Facilities Project. The DCCAH administers Public Art Building Communities grants, but these grants operate on a rolling deadline and were not included in the $3.7M total.
The complete list of recipients is available on the DCCAH website.
What does history look like? In school, we learn to conceive of time in a linear fashion, using dates as coordinates to locate events and meaning in the past. “Cartographies of Time,” an exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum, explores the varied ways we have measured and mapped time visually. Timelines are relatively new, as it turns out. Francesco Bianchini, a 17th-century Italian philosopher and scientist, thought objects were preferable to dates; he saw chronology as a sort of cabinet of curiosities. Emma Willard created “The Temple of Time,” a drawing of an ancient Greek temple in which the base of each column is a century and notables from that century are listed along the shaft. This device helped the girls at her school memorize historical information by organizing those details in a three-dimensional architectural space.
The history of civilization, drawn to resemble several rivers flowing into a delta and then separating out again. (Friedrich Strass, Strom der Zeiten (Stream of Time), 1804. Cotsen Children's Library, Princeton University Library.)
If this show turns time, or at least our spatial understanding of it, on its head, a related exhibition “The Life and Death of Buildings,” explores how the arts can shape our collective memory of the past. This collection of photographs queries, again, what history looks like. Each photograph represents a single moment in the lifecycle of a building, offering the viewer a way to orient themselves in time. In one poignant scene, a photograph shows a group of women looking a little lost on a Manhattan street corner – a neighborhood building had been torn down overnight, altering the landscape of their daily life dramatically. Buildings can seem like permanent fixtures in the landscape, but these immovable edifices are also subject to the shifting winds of history.
Both exhibitions are part of “Memory and the Work of Art,” a yearlong collaborative effort from the Princeton University Art Museum and a slate of university and community partners, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. At the heart of the project is a lecture series – Maya Lin, among other distinguished speakers, is coming to campus to help explore the role of the arts in deciphering loss. The two shows will likely inform much of the conversation.
There are few direct references to 9/11 – the exhibitions, at least, are more of an oblique treatment of the relationship between time, memory, and loss. For me, this made piece about the death of buildings all the more powerful. Here, we are encouraged to consider the meaning we ascribe backwards into the past. Do the twin towers, in a photograph taken in the 1970s, look vulnerable?
Memory is a funny thing. It can play tricks on you – shift your perspective over time, soften one emotion and amplify another. And because memory shapes our understanding of the past, history is not static. In this season of remembrance, I find the words of curator Joel Smith especially important: “[History] is an ever-evolving narrative about what is gained and what is lost in the lives of civilizations.”
“Memory and the Work of Art,” A Princeton Community Collaboration
“Cartographies of Time,” through September 18, 2011.
“The Life and Death of Buildings,” through November 6, 2011.
At the Princeton University Art Museum
Princeton, NJ 08542
Civic engagement comes in different shapes and sizes. Last month, I wrote about how one museum uses its history and collections to incite visitors towards social action. There are quieter methods, too. I worked at a museum that co-hosted an annual event with a student group; in addition to the opportunity to see art after hours, it included yoga in the galleries, shoulder massages in the lobby, and goodwill all around. It was always a smashing success. Engaging the community can be about opening your doors and seeing what they might want to use your space for.If we’re looking for institutions that have found innovative ways to invite the community into their museum, the Delaware Art Museum shoots to the top of the list. Its Outlooks Exhibition Series “encourages community involvement in the creation of exhibitions that will be hosted by the Museum.” In the three years since the initiative has been in place, twelve shows have gone up. Exhibition themes have ranged from folk art, to modern ceramics, to juried shows with artworks from various community groups. In each case, the exhibition is proposed by an individual or group in the area, with the aim of representing a group, exploring a cultural identity, and/or focusing on a particular medium. Several shows have provided a space for area artists, often amateurs, to display their work.
Brian Joseph Repetti, Title: Cubistic Self Portrait (Created 2010). Lent by the artist, Delaware Art Museum.
The most recent exhibition, “Creativity Multiplied: Art Teachers of the Christina School District,” is a celebration of art educators. Eleven teachers exhibited 27 artworks, selected by an artist and former University of Delaware faculty member. The pieces are bright and lively, and taken as a whole they are a testament to the kind of creativity and inspiration these artists bring to the classroom.
It’s no small thing to involve the public in the work that you do. In the field of public history that practice is termed “shared authority,” and there is a reason the concept still pervades most discussions of community engagement. It can be hard to let community partners dictate some of the terms. In an art museum, exhibition development is the bread and butter of curatorial work. How do you successfully transfer some of that job to your audience, without losing your vision or sacrificing your quality standards? The Delaware Art Museum knocks it out of the park.
As someone who works in the humanities, I occasionally find myself in the position of defending my line of work. Museums are places to admire the master works of our civilization and reflect upon our shared past, but I often feel a push to define our function in society in more immediately beneficial ways. We want to help solve problems and provide useful services to our diverse audience, as much as we want to promote a love and appreciation for the arts. That’s what civic engagement is all about, right?
I’ve long been interested in art museums that use their collections to teach visual literacy. The Yale Center for British Art, among others, uses paintings as a way to help medical students better diagnose patients. Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection offer programs to help police hone the skills of observation for use in crime prevention or crime-solving. All of these initiatives convincingly demonstrate the need for sophisticated visual skills and the role art museums can play in developing that expertise.
Visual literacy can be useful to other populations, too. In December, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh held a workshop on making art accessible to people with dementia. This event brought together partners from the Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Research Center and the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as museum professionals from the Museum of Modern Art’s pioneering program. (MoMA began offering programs for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers in 2004.) The Carnegie Museum used this workshop as a way to launch an expanded slate of tours, called “In the Moment,” which follows upon the heels of a successful pilot program.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pa.
To create “In the Moment,” the Carnegie Museum worked closely with Woodside Place, a senior care facility in nearby Oakmont. Tours are offered monthly for residents and their caregivers; since May, tours are also available for individuals with early and middle-stage dementia who do not live in a residential care facility. Each tour includes discussions around 4-5 separate pieces of artwork in the Museum’s collections. The results have been stunning. Some works have stirred up long-term memories, allowing residents to engage with their own past in constructive ways. Participants have made connections between their experience and that of their peers, their caregivers, and the larger world – an occurrence that becomes less frequent as Alzheimer’s progresses. Because the entire premise of the tour is to talk about what you see, conversations and connections occur in a low-stakes environment. The pressure is off; what a relief for patients who need a respite from the frustrations of grasping at receding memories.
Art museums will always be places to encounter works of art. The opportunity to stroll through a gallery examining master techniques and pondering an artist’s meaning is a powerful experience. But, it’s not the only way to foster a connection with the arts. Museums are engaging new audiences in increasingly creative ways, constantly striving to be community institutions. With “In the Moment,” the Carnegie Museum of Art is being a good neighbor – responding to the needs of a local population and living up to the promise of accessibility and inclusion.
Carnegie Museum of Art
“In the Moment” tours offered on the second Tuesday of each month; Cost: $15/pair
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213