REFLECTING

24 11 2009

November 4th 2008 Was one of the best days of my life. Never before have I witnessed 1 man move the masses with his presence alone. The words he spoke escalated the the rambunctious level of love that had been held captive for over 400 years…Even if this man was a fraud this was a Lie Worth Living so  we did NOT mind..This Night I experienced Unconditional Love….PEACE to MAN WOMAN and CHILD…..PEACE TO OBAMA

-MERK





The world’s tallest female-designed skyscraper

23 11 2009

I saw this story on Fast Company first. Read that here.

The Aqua Tower

According to the Studio Gang Architects website: “In an increasingly dense city like Chicago, views from a new tower must be negotiated between existing buildings. Aqua tower considers criteria such as views, solar shading and function to derive a vertical system of contours that gives the structure its sculptural form. Its vertical topography is defined by its outdoor terraces that gradually change in plan over the length of the tower. These terraces offer a strong connection to the outdoors and allow inhabitants to occupy the building façade and city simultaneously. The result is a highly sculptural building when viewed obliquely that transforms into a slender rectangle from further away. Its powerful form suggests the limestone outcroppings and geologic forces that shaped the great lakes region.”

Architect: STUDIO GANG ARCHITECTS
Architect of Record: Loewenberg & Associates
Owner: Magellan Development
Program: Hotel and Residential High-rise with retail and commercial spaces
Size: 1.9 m SF including parking, 823 feet high
Completion: Summer 2009, currently under construction
AWARDS:
2008 American Architecture Award; Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design

 

This is hot! We don’t get magnificent structures in the city often, but when one is created by a woman, we have to stand back in awe. This gives the entire city something to look up to. Learn more about the Studio Gang Architects at http://www.studiogang.net.





Arts=Smarts Afterschool Program

19 10 2009

I used to drive by the Little Black Pearl weekly and was always bedazzled by the fine space. It was only when looking into rental space that I learned of the wonderful things going inside that architectural gem, making it a true community gem. With that being said….

Arts-smarts

Arts-smarts

They also have scholarships available for this program. If you have a little one or are an artist looking to give back, call them up.





A letter

8 10 2009

The Gotta E.a.T. Project is still here and we’re still pressing on. We feel like we’re under fire as there is a crisis going on in our city which has found its way into our classroom. Until we contribute to the solution we are still a part of the problem. Thus we are pressing on. We have a lot of outstanding efforts planned. We will contribute to the arts and education inside and outside the classroom. We can’t expect “them” to solve the problems for us. They only brought the chosen few into the discussion. We gotta do better for our people.

“It’s important to me that we give our students a reason to be excited to come to school everyday. The only way that happens is if children have the exposure to a broad range of activities, and music is a huge, huge piece of that. What worries me the most is that children who often need the most access often have the least.
–Arnie Duncan, US Education Secretary

“The arts must be at the heart of every child’s learning experience if…
they are to have a chance to dream and to create, to have beliefs, to carry a sense of cultural identity.”

–James D Wolfensohn, former chairman of The Kennedy Center

Yours in the struggle

-Venus

My mission

I think about it all day every day





It ain’t at all sunny in Philadelphia

28 09 2009

braindrainWhat’s going on in Philadelphia?

It was about two weeks ago when the country found out that Philadelphia’s state senate voted to close the cities free libraries ( as so eloquently described in the Huffington Post here).

But today we have learned that they will also pose a 6% tax increase on the arts. How can you tax the arts you ask? I asked the same thing.  As reported by Peter Jackson of the Associated Press, (find the complete article here.) the state plans to hike up the price of admissions museums, historical sites, performing arts events, zoos and parks. That is how.

It seems to me that the state’s elected officials are trying to ensure that their constituents remain in the dark, become mindless drones who work everyday to pay taxes to line their pockets to ensure they stay in the office.

Here’s my math:

 No books = no new ideas. No arts = no self-expression. No after school programs = let the kids make play out of each other (as we have seen in Chicago.).  No access to the internet for low-income household = no means to look for a better paying job, learn about the world around them, hell download coupons for free chicken. No GED or ESL programs =  no future. Taxing the arts admissions prices is practically ensuring the non-profit organizations supporting the arts will shut their doors. They do not have profit in which to operate from when their patronage drop. They operate based on tickets sold at the door, based on healthy subscribers and benefactors. Philadelphia’s government is going to make a practically impossible task (trust me, the Gotta E.A.T. Project knows from experience) plain impossible.

All of this = brain drain and places Philadelphia and Pittsburgh right beside Detroit.

Btw, this is by no means a diss to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, that’s a separate blog post. 😉 VB





Artists as Government-Supported Activists?

21 09 2009

First, before I stand on my soapbox, find the original Fast Company article by Alissa Walker here. If you want another perspective, which I will most likely go IN on read the editorial by The Washington Times here. Lastly, read this letter to the editors of the Washington Times by Bob Lynch for Americas for the Arts here. And now….

For awhile now I’ve been thinking about the longevity of the urban arts. One hundred years from now when city walls have been blasted and niche galleries have closed their doors will the works of the urban artist remain? We know who the author’s of the history books are. We know the funding for the arts in schools of all levels is practically non existent, all of this ensuring our future leaders will have no interest in the arts. So when the National Endowment for the Arts former chairman, Rocco Landesman schedules a meeting with artist and arts organization it is a win for the arts. Not an attempt to put artist on the payroll.

Since this infamous teleconference, Rocco Landesman has stepped down and now holds another position in the NEA because anti-health care reform loud mouths has decided that the government held this meeting to pressure arts organizations to support health care reform. It has also been reported that these organizations and artist received large grants at one point.

Bob Lynch reports that no such meeting occurred and this teleconference is just another misrepresentation of the facts by Anti-Obamanites. I will have to agree with him.

If artist are easily persuaded by the government than that would be represented in their work. If they are not easily persuaded by the government, that too will be represented in their work. I think it’s belittling to artist for the Washington Times to suggest that artist can not come to their own decisions, could not support health care reform, could not depict President Barack Obama as a super hero without the pressuring of Landesman, without being paid.

Artist gaining the attention of the federal government is a win for the arts. Images of politicians and war live on. There is no question that Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster will stand right alongside Obama’s historic victory. I knew about the Daisy Ad used in 1964 by LBJ (seen below) against Senator Goldwater before I fully understand nuclear weapons in America.

If the government and the arts can get on the same page, it will be a plus for America. Maybe we need artists’ paint brushes and graphic designers to re-illustrate and repair America’s image in our global community instead of painting a conference call as an attempt to pimp and brainwash.





Is there a pot o’ gold at the end of the Reading Rainbow?

28 08 2009

Yes! It’s called literacy, love for books, bibliomania, uber imagination, increased vocabulary and other goodness you won’t pick up from the average afternoon show. Reading Rainbow was my first book club. I remember watching an episode and forcing my mom to remember the titles so that we could pick it up either at the bookstore or on our library runs.

But like all good things, Reading Rainbow, on air for the past 26 years (all of my life), the third longest running children’s show, the show with the first theme song I learned, is coming to an end.

Read or listen to more here on NPR.

In honor of Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow goodness, watch Jam Master Jay spit.
VB