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New: An Open Letter to Artists from Raymond J. Steiner
New: Discover India / Viva Kultura Brinda Raval
The Here/ Now Festival at New York City Ballet Dawn Lille
Feedback Merritt Minnemeyer
Barbara Cook: A Remembrance Evan Guilford-Blake
Poetry by Christina Turczyn, Alison Stone & Raymond HV Gallucci
New: Art Books
New: Calendar listings
New: Opportunites & Calls for entries

What’s the Big Deal About Plain Air Painting? M. Stephen Doherty
In The Box 2; Miki Orihara and Friends at LA MAMA Dawn Lille
Elyn Zimmerman and Grounds for Sculpture Christina Turczyn
Trust the Author! by Wendy Caster

Alaska, Part 4- Juneau, The State Museum, The Mines and a
                New Venture Cornelia Seckel
Cornelia Seckel's Blog: What's up and more
Raymond J Steiner's Blog:

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New: An Open Letter to Artists
By Raymond J. Steiner

THE PURPOSE OF this letter is to acknowledge and to thank the many, many artists, both deceased and those still ‘fighting the good fight’ who have helped me over the past 40-45 years to understand and appreciate the process as well as the product. ……So, my artist readers, if it were not for sharing those early encounters, the prolonged studio chats, the stories, the exhibitions, the struggles, the insights, the life-sharings for my profiles and books — if it were not for you, dear artist (whether we met face-to-face or only through your art), the artwriter Raymond J. Steiner would never have come into being. (see RJS Blog)

New: Speak Out: Discover India/ Viva Kultura
By Brinda Raval

…The beauty of much of the Indian arts is that while they explore these themes, they cannot help but to also weave those facets back to a philosophical center which aims to understand the mystery of existence and the true purpose of life. So while Bollywood, vegetarianism and our love of cows are all true snippets of Indian culture, I experience Indian culture in my daily life as something that is so much more beautiful, expansive, and thought-provoking.… (see essay)

New: Dance Essay: The Here/ Now Festival at New York City Ballet
By Dawn Lille

Tyler Angle and the corps in Namouna, a Grand Divertissement © Paul Kolnik

…The spring season of NYCB offered a four- week long Here/Now Festival presenting 43 ballets, commissioned since 1988, by 22 choreographers. Solo evenings the first week were given to three choreographers, who, between them, created 19 of the ballets: Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon. They also appeared on the mixed programs of the following weeks, with all three having a work in one performance.… (see essay)

New: Music Essay: Barbara Cook ~A Remembrance
By Evan Guilford-Blake

Barbara Cook as Marian, in
“The Music Man”, 1957

…By the time she re-became a legend, via her 1980 Carnegie Hall concert, I’d left New York and was consigned to hearing only her recordings. I lived in Chicago then, and through the next two decades. As I recall she appeared there only once; I was out of town. Oh, well, I sighed, there’ll be a next time. There was, but it was a long time coming. …
(see essay)

New: Help Desk 4 Creatives: Feedback
By Merritt Minnemeyer

As people who live with creativity at the center of our lives, we tend to thrive on feedback. We pour our hearts into our work, and whether it is whimsical or solemn, the origins of what we create are deeply personal. When someone responds with praise or genuine connection, we may feel joyful, even validated in our efforts. If met with criticism – if you are anything like me – it can send you into a spiral of questioning your raison d’etre. … (see essay)

Theater: Trust the Author!
By Wendy Caster
poster of Noises Off

…The actor’s job is—always—to understand what the character wants, what’s getting in the way, and how the character deals with it, and then to take the character’s goals and desires absolutely seriously.…
…Getting laughs is the author’s job. Honoring the character’s needs and desires is the actor’s. The directors of Cloud Nine didn’t respect Caryl Churchill, who is a truly brilliant and subtle playwright (yes, farce can be subtle, if you let it be). They claimed to be taking a Brechtian approach, which is fine, but while the production may be Brechtian, the characters’ lives are still real to the characters.. …(see essay)

Travel and Culture: Juneau, Alaska, part 4-
          The State Museum, The Mines and a new venture
By Cornelia Seckel
Harry Vannatta & Stephanie Nicosia outside their kiosk downtown Juneau selling Harry’s Wild Berry Preserves
Harry Vannatta & Stephanie Nicosia outside their kiosk downtown Juneau selling Harry’s Wild Berry Preserves

Back into town I met up with Harry Vannatta and Stephanie Nicosia, a delightful couple recently moved to Juneau. They met online a few years ago, fell in love with Alaska and moved from LA. …
…I recently heard from both Harry and Stephanie. They are currently in full operation manufacturing their delicious preserves and accumulating a large stock for future sales! Harry's Wild Berry Preserves has set a tenacious goal to reach mass market in a matter of just a couple short years. 
(see essay)