paul bryant hudson 4
book talk 6
The Arts Paper a free publication of The Arts Council of Greater New Haven • artspaper.org
January | February 2018
NEIGHBORHOOD MUSIC SCHOOL
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Artists Next Door Hank Hoffman interviews
Paul Bryant Hudson
board of directors
Daniel Fitzmaurice executive director
Rick Wies president Daisy Abreu vice president Wojtek Borowski vice president
Winter Marshall operations director Megan Manton development director Jennifer Gelband marketing director Lucy Gellman editor, the arts paper Amanda May Aruani design consultant
Ken Spitzbard treasurer Mark Potocsny secretary
directors Robert B. Dannies Jr. James Gregg Todd Jokl Mark Kaduboski Greg Marazita Rachel Mele Frank Mitchell Greg Nobile Eileen O’Donnell John Pancoast Caroline Smith Genevive Walker
Book Talk A conversation with Sophfronia Scott about her Unforgiveable Love
New England News Collaborative Read about this budding experiment in regional news
The Arts Council of Greater New Haven promotes, advocates, and fosters opportunities for artists, arts organizations, and audiences. Because the arts matter. The Arts Paper is published by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, and is available by direct mail through membership with the Arts Council. For membership information call (203) 772-2788. To advertise in The Arts Paper, call the Arts Council at (203) 772-2788. The Arts Council of Greater New Haven 70 Audubon Street, 2nd Floor, New Haven, CT 06510 Phone: (203) 772.2788 Fax: (203) 772.2262 firstname.lastname@example.org newhavenarts.org artspaper.org
honorary members Frances T. “Bitsie” Clark Cheever Tyler
In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, The Arts Council now prints The Arts Paper on more environmentally friendly paper and using soy inks. Please read and recycle.
RevA.A.R.Tlution A series of art events intended to convene majority-black audiences around Conn.
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executive champions Yale University senior patrons L. Suzio York Hill Companies Marcum Odonnell Company Webster Bank Wiggin and Dana corporate partners Chamber Insurance Trust Edgehill Realtors Firehouse 12 Fusco Management Company Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven KeyBank Knights of Columbus Metropolitan Interactive Yale-New Haven Hospital business patrons Albertus Magnus College Gateway Community College Lenny + Joe’s Fish Tale Newman Architects
business members Access Audio-Visual Systems Brenner, Saltzman, & Wallman, LLP Griswold Home Care foundations and government agencies AVANGRID The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven DECD/CT Office of the Arts The Ethel & Abe Lapides Foundation First Niagara Foundation Josef and Anni Albers Foundation NewAlliance Foundation The Wells Fargo Foundation The Werth Family Foundation media partners New Haven Independent WPKN
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Valid for one free introductory lesson. Please call 203-624-5189 or email email@example.com and mention code #0118FREE. May not be used as a credit to any existing lesson. Offer valid through February 28, 2018.
Also registering for classes, ensembles and The Preschool at Neighborhood Music School. DA N C E SING P L AY
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NMSnewhaven.org january | february 2018 •
The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Welcome Back! Let’s Do Better This Year. Oh, hello there! Is it 2018 already? I could have sworn we were just watching ball drops and fireworks to usher in 2017. If you are reading this, I will assume we’ve made it once again into the New Year and are all sticking fast to those tricky resolutions. Mine are always the same, and always dwindle as the year continues. Work out more often, spend more time volunteering, save more, spend less, take time for family. By December, they are usually threadbare and walking on spindly legs, and then the 31st rolls around and I do it all over again. We all do.
This year they include something new: Do better by the community. Continue to expand what we think of as art, and push back against those boundaries when they come up against us with a vengeance. Last year, we put that plan into motion, piloting our new website artspaper.org, expanding our coverage to daily and doubling down on a real commitment to equity and inclusion. But it’s not enough. I’m proud of what The Arts Paper accomplished in 2017. Really, really proud. But there’s so much work to do. There are so many artists, nonprofits, and events we missed last
On the Cover
year. So we’re hitting the ground running this month, armed with our steno pads, cameras, and multiple cups of coffee. In that spirit, we’ve dedicated this issue to new beginnings. From Greater New Haven, Leah Andelsmith brings us a story about JoAnn Marrero, a professional photographer who spends time volunteering in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Hank Hoffman and Malia West hit the music beat, covering two artists who have just dropped albums and are exploring new themes in their life and work. Cyd Oppenheimer has the latest from Connecticut
author Sophfronia Scott, on her new novel Unforgiving Love. Thomas Breen digs in to new film collaborations and I take a radio road trip to Hartford to get the scoop on a still-young regional collaborative. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did. Happy New Year. Let’s get to work. Lucy Do you have questions? Comments? Queries? Suggestions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Next Issue … Zane Brandl in the NICU at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Photo by maternity and birth photographer JoAnn Marrero. Read about Marrero’s pro-bono work on page 7.
Remember the movie Big? It’ll be like that, but so much better. In the next issue, we’re taking a closer look at youth programs in the region, from after-school drama camp to some budding artists on Chapel Street. If you have any suggestions, send them to us! Students at Music Haven’s new Erector Square space practice on box violins in their “Discovery Orchestra” class. Lucy Gellman photo.
Paston Treasure \
microcosm of the known world February 15–May 27, 2018
This exhibition is organized in partnership with the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, UK. Free and open to the public 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven 1 877 BRIT ART | britishart.yale.edu @yalebritishart #PastonTreasure
Unknown artist (Dutch School), The Paston Treasure (detail), ca. 1663, oil on canvas, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich, UK, courtesy of Norfolk Museums Service
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Asian Art Visit the newly expanded and reinstalled galleries!
YA L E U N I V E R S I T Y A R T GA L L E RY Free and open to the public | artgallery.yale.edu 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut | 203.432.0600 @yaleartgallery View of the Ruth and Bruce Dayton Gallery of Asian Art
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
artists next door
Hudson Brings The Black Parade
Paul Bryant Husdon opens for hip-hop artist J.P. Reynolds at The Outer Space in fall 2017. Lucy Gellman photo.
hank hoffman On a recent Friday, Paul Bryant Hudson was soaking Hamden’s Outer Space in sound. He tipped his head back, sweat running down one side of his face. Woooaaahhh feel my rage, he sang, opening his mouth wide as he sang. His lower lip trembled. Oooohhhh it’s the Black parade. The song isn’t just a song; it’s a mission statement. For Hudson, music is a route to inclusion and equity. Hudson grew up in New Haven, born and raised in the city’s “Tre” neighborhood. In high school and college, he took a deep dip into Motown and jazz, making stops at rock, gospel and soul as he moved deeper into the musical scene. As he learned more about music, he also wrote more. In particular about experiences of violence he was experiencing that were at odds with images of dominant white society. “I see violence in neighborhoods that might not seem violent to you,” he said in a recent interview, holding his infant son as he spoke. “The traumas I speak to in my music are traumas I experienced in predominantly white spaces.” They come directly out of his life experience. Hudson said he had been working in a bank for five years and found it frustrating “existing in the space and not being able to express my own anger.” “It’s a universal idea. All people of color experience it in some way, shape or form,” he said. That anger inspired “Black Parade,” a soulful yet barbed exclamation of contemporary rage at the persistence of racism. Hudson gets right to the point in the first line: “I got two fucks left/ Can you hear me?” “It always catches folks off guard. It’s
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intended that way,” he said. “It talks about rage and anger and my inability to express that anger without social consequences as a Black dude and a big man.” Hudson stopped working at the bank when he realized how harmful it was to his health. He’s now been pursuing music full time for over a year. Solo or with his band Soul Du Jour, he plays the New Haven club circuit. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his upcoming EP “Free,” which he released digitally before the New Year. Along with playing his own shows, he curates an ongoing series of “secret” house concerts under the rubric of Sofar Sounds. An acronym for “songs from a room,” Sofar is an international network of musicians, artists, concertgoers and music lovers. Founded in London in 2009, the network now encompasses 387 cities. “The idea is secret shows,” Hudson explained. He’d experienced his first Sofar show in London in 2016, and decided to found a New Haven chapter. “It’s super-intimate. It capitalizes on an attentive audience. You’re required to stay for the entire show. There’s no cellphone activity and no talking. I yearn for that as a musician.” Hudson’s affection for this gumbo of acoustic and electronic sounds is the fruit of “a marriage between the things I have to say and the things I like to listen to.” Among them are jazz, hip-hop, Bob Marley (he will often pull out a slowed-down cover of “Redemption Song” at shows) and soul balladeers like Donnie Hathaway. Most of his compositions derive from a “super-specific cultural place. They’re stories of Blackness and struggle but also triumph,” said Hudson. “That, in theory, is such a raw idea so when I’m composing something, I try and
give that story the space and air to be told,” Hudson said, explaining the acoustic elements to his sound. “But as a young person, I feel a strong pull toward electronic music, digital production and hip-hop. Those elements tie it all together—we’re here now, it’s who we are now, it’s who I am now.” Piano, guitar and bass anchor most of his compositions. But Hudson is also enamored with ambient electronic sounds as complement to the analog, organic feel. He likes to “sit really intricate synths on top of a really simple acoustic idea. I think that contrast produces a really cool sound.” “It’s symbolic of the way I make music in general—putting a flashy complement on a simple idea,” he said. Lyrically, Hudson pulls from Black history and folklore as well as his own anger at—and frustration with—racism. One of his favorite compositions is the ballad “John,” written with Black folk hero John Henry in mind. According to legend, Henry competed with a steam-powered drill to drive a steel drill into rock, winning the contest only to succumb to exhaustion. “John” is a missive of gratitude and love to Black ancestors. “When I wrote it, I was reminiscing and reflecting on the things our ancestors had done for us, the sacrifices they made, the work they’d done, the blood they had shed,” Hudson said. In its opening verse, the song references not only the John Henry legend but also Langston Hughes’ “Harlem” and its provocative question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Hudson sings, “ I was born with it/ In my hand like/ Like a hammer/ Like a hammer in my hand/ Driving dreams deep below/ Passed the crust and the mantle/ Until they explode.”
Hudson was in a “tough place” when he wrote “John,” he said. But music “has a way of pulling you out of your physical place and putting you in a better spiritual space. I wrote John with the absolute purest of intention. It flowed out,” Hudson recalled. “I meant every word. There was no backtracking to fill in words or make up spaces in bars. It wrote itself with a purpose.” He has long struggled with finding the language to express his frustrations with injustice. “I think Black Lives Matters and other activist groups—and the idea of contemporary Black activism—serves as a catalyst and promotes clarity in that way,” said Hudson. The upsurge in activism also fosters the cultural and political conditions for his lyrics and passion to resonate. “When I am writing about these things and creating this art, it creates space for us to share it and for it to be understood organically,” he said. Those cultural conditions are almost as important to Hudson as the making of his own music. In New Haven, as in most cities, “there manages to be a sentiment of elitism and it baffles me,” said Hudson. “Creativity is such a universal property. It surfaces in all of us, in every culture, every race,” he said. And while he is managing to survive as a full time artist, he knows many others who struggle “not based on their drive or ability to create but based on their own cultural background, or race, or gender.” “Sofar New Haven’s priority and core focus is diversity and equity. We’re super explicit about that in our interactions with guests, artists and the communities we visit,” said Hudson. “We work really hard to ensure that Sofar New Haven gigs are inclusive and accessible—especially to communities of color, folks who often feel unsafe and underrepresented in creative spaces.” n
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“Breathe In, Breathe Out, Speak Truth” with mantras for the revolution, hanifa washington starts a new chapter malia west A year after the election of Donald Trump, Hanifa Washington has gotten used to hearing New Haven artists ask, “What do we do now?” In response, she suggests they listen, open up their chakras, and start singing along with each other. Washington is a singer, songwriter, community organizer and spoken word artist based out of New Haven’s Westville neighborhood. Last fall, she brought those skills together in a new album, titled Mantras for the Revolution. It’s her self-described newest chapter—and she’s using it as a chance to talk to the people about healing on a communal scale. To share the work with the greater New Haven community, she has developed a “Mantras For The Revolution (M4TR) Winter Series,” held at Westville’s Lotta Studio once a month through March. The 2018 dates will be Jan. 21, Feb. 18, and March 18 from 5-7:30 p.m. “My greatest hope is that people use this as medicine,” she said in a recent interview at Lotta, where she released the album just before Thanksgiving. “That it goes out to people who need it the most. ” But that approach didn’t start with Mantras, and it won’t end with it. Washington has been perfecting the art of communication for the past 16 years, and using song for her entire life. At age five, she joined the church choir at the urging of her grandmother. It was there that Washington found her voice, the youngest member of the Oak Park Missionary Baptist Church
choir. Violin lessons three years later didn’t have the same sticking power, Washington insistent that her voice was the first thing she wanted to hone. “I’m a poet and a lyricist first,” she said. “Singing has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.” Song reigned supreme in those years, filling a house in Detroit, Mich., and then the halls of Wisconsin’s Beloit College, where she headed to pursue communications and Russian & Soviet Studies. After her freshman year, she recalled, she played the same chords of The Times They Are a Changin’ all summer long. She recorded her first album in 2001, the same year she graduated from college, and set her eyes on the State Department. During those years, Washington imagined working in the Peace Corps in Russia, and utilizing her skills to resolve socio-political conflict. Instead, she wound up in Ivoryton, Conn., at a environmental education nonprofit called Nature’s Classroom. It sparked an interest in working with youth. Her year in Ivoryton turned into education and outreach positions with New Haven nonprofit Solar Youth, Maine’s Preble Street Teen Center, a budding food cooperative, Amistad America, and public schools in Austin, Tex. After returning to New Haven to form a farm exchange in Bethany, Conn., she got involved in the then-nascent The Word Poetry Jam, then run by poet and playwright Aaron Jafferis. When Literary Happy Hour founder Ifeanyi Awachie left in 2016, she took over that event. “There’s a sparkle that happens, it’s pal-
pable, I can feel it in my heart,” she said of her work with young poets, a grin spreading across her mouth as she spoke. “When youth are with you, there’s an ease that happens.” Even before the election of Donald Trump in Nov. 2016, Washington said it was important to her that Literary Happy Hour remain a place by and for artists of color, to hold and honor the community’s stories. It’s something she’s also brings to “Circle Up,” an educational outgrowth of the city’s Community Leadership Program (CLP) that focuses on how listening plays a part in relationships. She didn’t intend for those to become political statements. Not at first. But they did—and after the election of Donald Trump, as she observed that people weren’t listening to each other anymore, she decided it was time for another. She expanded “Circle Up” in schools and organizations, responding to a “lot of interest in bringing health and wellness to organizations and community groups.” She began journaling, taking time to walk by the West River, stop eating meat and animal products, and realign her own company, The Hands of Hanifa. “I’m seeing in a lot of different community sessions people saying, ‘I didn’t realize how it important it is to my sanity and body and spirit to be able to take time so that I can be in this revolution and show up for the work I’ve been assigned.” The way she’s doing that for herself—and those around her—is Mantras for the Revolution, which doubles as a meditation on
Hanifa Washington performs at the release of “Mantras for the Revolution” in late November. Lucy Gellman photo.
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Cover of Mantras for the Revolution. Image courtesy Hanifa Washington.
the act of being, and surviving in this world. On the album, a spiritual medicine spreads over each track, vocals frank and certain as they ride up the seven chakras: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. They are a salve, sometimes buoyant and sometimes not, that coats everything that hurts. “My name means the bringer of happiness with whom I go,” she says on the first track of the album, her voice steady and calm as she speaks. “I invite you to come with me on a journey to happiness, feeling and release. This offering of mantras or meditative songs is a gift from my heart to yours.” There are light-filled, buoyant songs like “Fire Belly,” an embrace of veganism that encourages listeners to “Eat up the light and dance.” Calming, reassuring meditations including “It’s OK,” with the looping lyrics “It’s OK/If you don’t/Wanna let go right now/You got all/Of your life/To remember how,” Washington sang, looking out into the audience. “How to let go/And seeeeeeee/How to let go/And seeeeeee/ Just see/And be free.” And then, “Sweet Revolution.” In the final song of her album, Washington’s rich voice sings “In one revolution/around the sun/In one revolution/around the sun/In this revolution/around the sun/Breathe in/Breathe out/Speak truth.” When she performs it in public, she encourages listeners to join in, taking the song at their own pace to make it into a round. Washington is quick to say that her focus on physical wellness is not a response to Trump and his administration—but it seems right on time. “I’ve always used my music and my poetry to connect with young people,” she said. “To draw them out by saying, here’s some of my vulnerability. You might see me as this rock and as this leader, but guess what, my feelings got hurt and I was sad and I struggled.” n You can find out more about Hanifa Washington at handsofhanifa.com/. Check out Mantras for the Revolution on Washington’s music website, musicofhanifa.com. The album is also available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. For the listening parties, Lotta Studio is located at 911 Whalley Ave., New Haven. Lucy Gellman contributed reporting for this story.
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Miles to Go Before They Sleep
and betrayal. So yeah, I was walking that line; I knew I was. That even though I was striking out to write literature, I knew there was going to be a level of soap opera to it. I knew I had to accept that because of what this story is. But at the same time, I did aspire to make it something more, and I knew I could do that.
Unforgivable Love is a re-telling of the 19th century novel Dangerous Liaisons, set during the Harlem Renaissance. Mae Malveaux is a beautiful, wealthy, still-youthful widow, who wields her looks and her money as agents of power. Val Jackson’s looks and wealth likewise mean that no one ever dares to refuse him whatever he desires. They are natural allies, co-conspirators. But when Mae sets out to corrupt her young cousin, Cecily, and when Val sets out to seduce the married and proper Elizabeth Townsend, it sets into action a chain of events that will lead to death, devastation, and, possibly, redemption—but only for some. The following interview is an excerpt from episode 49 of “Book Talk,” through The Arts Paper’s partnership with WNHH Community Radio. For the full interview, check out booktalkradio.net. Sophfronia Scott grew up in Ohio, attended Harvard University, earned her MFA at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and now lives in Sandy Hook, Conn. She is the author of All I Need to Get By and has two more books forthcoming in the next few months, This Child of Faith, co-written with her son, and Love’s Long Lines, a collection of essays. Unforgivable Love is available wherever you get your books. I wanted to talk about your book. It is subtitled “A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons,” and I wanted to start by tackling your choice of doing a retelling. I thought that was so interesting … as a writer you have the freedom to do anything, go anywhere, but when you decide to start with someone else’s novel you kind of agree to work within a certain set of restraints. First of all, I didn’t see it in terms of constraints. And it’s because of a movie, the movie Vanilla Sky. I didn’t realize that movie was actually a retelling or a remake of a Spanish movie called Open Your Eyes and … I went and got that movie from the library. There’s a seminal point in the Tom Cruise movie [the American version] where he learns it’s the little things—this one little decision he made had changed the course of his whole life. And I was surprised to see that in the original Spanish version, that wasn’t in there. It occurred to me that somebody … saw that in the movie, and told this whole different story around it. I have that feeling where I observe stories where there is a story within a story, or where I have questions about a story that I feel just weren’t answered in the way the story was told. So when my friend Jenny … when I was telling her about my obsession with Dangerous Liaisons, and she said, “Oh there should be a version of that with Black people in it,” it just rang a bell. I noticed that you do have this prologue to the story where you kind of give us a little bit of the backstory of Val and of Mae, and I wondered if you could talk a little more about that. That is totally missing in the original story.
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A photo of the author. Rob Berkley Photo.
I wanted to understand the nascent aspects of their sexuality. The prologue for Mae is actually rooted from a seed that I saw in the original Dangerous Liaisons, both in the play and in the original, where I saw she wants to to get Cecilie, or Cecil, seduced. And there’s this point where she says, “Oh, if I were willing to cross that line, I would do it myself.” And I just thought that was absolutely fascinating … I wanted to go there and see where that initial love for another woman may have been sparked in her. In the past, with epistolary novels, the letter had been the way of laying bare the heart of the character. But the difference with this novel is that you have the letters written to different people, and each letter represents the character, the author, in a different light. Yeah, let’s really get into their psyche and who these people really are. And that led to my choice of the alternating chapters in close third person, as opposed to true omniscience, because I really did want to walk around in each character’s brain and to show and lay bare essentially their thought process, and to invite the reader into getting to know them on a much closer level. We’re not only privy to the strategy and the game playing, but we’re also privy to the vulnerability and a sense of what might happen as a result of this game playing. Both Val and Mae make choices that are, to put it mildly, questionable. And so I wondered if you found them as characters harder to write, because they are characters that might generate less sympathy from your reader.
I knew that if I truly wrote them as three-dimensional characters, that that would come—that there would be an aspect of sympathy about them. And I’m going to refer to some seemingly bizarre source material, but the television show Dallas was a huge influence on me … to see it as an adult. Because I saw that character of J.R. Ewing, who is villain upon villains. I mean, he is the soap-opera villain of our age. But when I saw those early episodes of Dallas again as a writer and as an adult, it was obvious that this man was obsessed with gaining his father’s love and approval. To me, that’s what made him a much more interesting villain. It was like “oh my gosh, this is what’s beneath them.” When I was trying to write a brief summary for the website, I found it hard to kind of do a quick outline of the plot that captured the main elements without getting really, really long, because so-and-so is seducing so-and-so, and it goes on and on. And yet, the way that you see it, and the way you’re describing it right now, that maybe that those interesting plot developments can actually enlighten us as to character, and there’s not that contradiction that we sometimes think of in that way. I admit I’m an odd writer in that way. I am a trained writer and I am steeped in literature … Jane Austen and Tony Morrison and Zora Neal Hurston. But I’m also … I grew up watching soap operas, both daytime and nighttime. I was once the soap opera expert on staff where I worked. So I knew that level of storytelling, I knew that fever pitch of romance
This brings me into something else I wanted to talk about—the time and setting of the book. So what you’re saying about the vulnerability of people around their sexuality; the kind of silence that is around that. Is that something that you feel like is still as true in today’s society, or is that something that you feel like was more true both in the original book and in the time you choose to set it? And did that make that particular time and place ripe for the story in a way maybe a present day telling wouldn’t be quite as appropriate? Well, first of all, there is a modern day story of this: Cruel Intentions. I think the reason why this story keeps getting retold is the fact that we haven’t figured out who we want to be as sexual beings, and the story fascinates us in that way because you have these people that do wield this power in a certain way. I think it was the setting that I chose, it was quite apparent that you’re not supposed to have sex before marriage and women their whole reputation was staked on that, and you’re not supposed to embarrass your family. So the fact that that was still active in society was important. But honestly, the setting had more to do with the fact that it was post-war, and there’s a way in which society was still not quite back on its feet after the war … this is a very particular moment that I think worked for me. You talk a little about race in the book, and why it matters that these are Black characters. Well, I liked the fact that it’s just a different story about race. About the fact that these people are wealthy. I just wanted to have a story where that didn’t matter, where race comes up but it’s not as apparent. Some of that is the root about what’s bugging Val, because he feels like he can just kind of throw money around and he gets what he wants, but he’s limited in a certain way, right? What’s interesting is I didn’t set out to have race really play a role. But it bubbles up in ways I didn’t expect for that reason. Because Val feels the limitations and the possibility of what it means to be a good person in the world, but Elizabeth is also challenging him on that, especially because of a novel she’s reading called The Street by Ann Petry, and she’s … thinking about the way Black people are viewed in the world, and he her husband works in the South on a Civil Rights case. So she’s pushing Val to see that, this does matter. You really do have to think about this. n
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Where Service Meets Art
Zane in the NICU. Photo by JoAnn Marrero.
leah andelsmith On a cool November Sunday afternoon, JoAnn Marrero greeted Ashley and Benjamin Brandl as they arrived at her photography studio with their son Zane. The three went into an impromptu, whispery meeting, debating which props and outfits to use for their shoot. Their goal: To document a single, fleeting moment in time as their 16month old son grows up. But the Brandls do not take this moment for granted. Zane, a smiley baby with a Kewpie-doll lock of hair curling up from his head, is lightyears away from his tenuous, premature entry into the world. That’s where Marrero first met the family, in her work as a pro-bono photographer in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Trained as a doula, Marrero is a maternity and birth photographer who does free sessions in the NICU whenever she can make the time. She photographs babies who are often very tiny, documenting their first—and sometimes last—moments of life. To date, Marrero has photographed in the NICU more than 200 times. “This is my way of giving back,” she said in a recent interview. “People reach out and I’m happy to help if I have the time.” She has a routine: bouncing from room to room with her camera, careful and often quiet as she asks parents what they’d like. She meets parents like the Brandls, who are often spending hours on end in the hospital. For Marrero, these visits are “very busy and tiring,” but also extremely rewarding. For parents like Ashley Brandl, that dedication is palpable. “JoAnn just has an eye. She never takes a bad picture,” she said. “It’s a memory you don’t want to remember, but it’s a memory you have to remember.” She is talking about Zane, who weighed in at just 1 pound 12 ounces when he was born. In the pictures, his limbs are thin and wrinkled, he’s covered in tubes and wires. His palm is just wider than his mother’s pinky. But looks can be deceiving, said Brandl: “Preemie babies are amazing. They are strong. Zane is the strongest person I know.” Marrero said she loves recording NICU
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milestones—when a child moves from an incubator to a bassinet, is taken off of a breathing apparatus because they have enough lung capacity to do it on their own, or when parents and preemies have “skinto-skin” time. This time to “just be” with each other: so simple, yet so special, she said. “The tears start to flow,” Marrero said. “The family may have waited three months to hold their baby on their chest. It can be very intense, but it is still so beautiful.” Marrero is witness to the tough moments, too. “It’s emotionally taxing when any baby passes,” Marrero said. “But especially when I’ve been photographing the family every two weeks, building relationships. Sometimes I don’t know how I do it. I just know that someone needs it and I have that talent. These parents deserve it after what they’ve been through.” She recalled an occasion when a family asked her to photograph their child’s final moments. “The mom said, ‘Take pictures of everything,’ but every 15 minutes or so I still needed to leave the room to compose myself. The most beautiful things happen before passing. As they removed all the apparatus, the mother’s face started lighting up and her son looked at her and kept smiling and smiling. The two of them were so focused on each other. It was like his gift to
Zane at 7 months old. Photo by JoAnn Marrero.
her, and then he took his last breath.” “There is beauty in tragedy,” she added, her eyes filling with tears. With medical advances, Marrero has met many families like the Brandls, whose babies grow up to be healthy children. When Zane was born, part of his brain was missing, and the family was told that he might have cerebral palsy. “People said to have hope and they were right,” Ashley Brandl said. Just six days before this photo shoot in November, Zane took his first steps. Doctors say he’s making excellent developmental progress. But “even if he did have a disability, that would be more of a challenge for me than for him,” Brandl said. “That would be his normal. Disability isn’t the end of life. Trust your child and have hope.” Ashley Brandl has plenty of advice for parents of preemies, and a lot of it overlaps with Marrero’s. “Always look forward to tomorrow. Even if today is the worst day, tomorrow can be different,” she said. “Trust that your baby is in the best hands possible with the nurses and doctors in the NICU.” ”I used to question why,” she added. “Why did he come early? That ‘why’ became ‘how.’ How can I help other parents?” Like Marrero coming into the NICU to share her services with parents, Ashley Brandl made a Facebook page for Zane. She said
Zane session three. Photo by JoAnn Marrero.
that his story has become a lifeline of support for other new mothers. The Brandls have plans they couldn’t have imagined in 2016, when Zane was still in the NICU. This year, they’ll head to Disney for a family vacation. As Marrero snapped away, Ashley Brandl dressed Zane in Mickey Mouse pajamas and gave him presents covered in Mickey Mouse wrapping paper to play with. The Brandls are also paying it forward by serving the March of Dimes as New Haven County’s Ambassador Family for 2018. According to the March of Dimes—whose mission is to prevent premature birth—race and postal code are the two most influential factors in determining a mother’s chance of delivering preterm. 9.4 percent of all babies are born prematurely in Connecticut. However, the premature birth rate for Black women in Connecticut is 12.4 percent. The March of Dimes advocates for policies that improve education and access to health care and resources for all mothers. The organization is working to expand research into the ways living and working conditions—including health care, housing, jobs, neighborhood safety, food security, and income—affect preterm birth rates. As the family packed up and prepared to leave Marrero’s studio, Ashley Brandl said she remains joyful and optimistic. “I couldn’t be more thankful,” she said. “It’s a journey that I don’t regret. It made us stronger as a couple and stronger as people. We have a new outlook on life that miracles do happen.” Those are miracles great and small that Marrero will continue documenting in the NICU this year. In her mind, she said, it is simply a quiet, consistent act of service. “All I see is someone may lose something,” she said. “If I give them a photo, they can keep that memory. I feel blessed to do what I do.” n To find out more about JoAnn Marrero’s photography, visit fromlabortolove.com. Ashley Brandl is hosting a “Zaneiacs” fundraiser at Fantasia in North Haven on March 23 to benefit March of Dimes. For tickets, email: email@example.com.
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Collaborative Eyeballs Its NEXT Chapter
Visitors approach a work by Nari Ward, made from shoelaces, at an art show about the immigrant experience at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR.
lucy gellman Producer Andrea Muraskin had referenda on the brain. It was a rainy November Monday in Hartford, and she had spent the weekend catching up on elections across New England. She’d been scanning local news outlets and radio affiliates in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island for news about ballot measures. Two stuck out: Maine’s voter approval on Medicaid expansion, and Massachusetts’ continued webbing around recreational marijuana, one year after voters voted to legalize and regulate. Two years ago, the multi-state story might not have belonged in this dreary conference room in Hartford. Now, it’s one of the things propelling the future of public media in New England—if it can find the resources to sustain itself for the foreseeable future.
That’s the story behind the New England News Collaborative (NENC), a budding experiment in regional news and broadcast journalism. Currently funded by a $625,538 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that came through in Feb. 2016, the collaborative comprises Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, WBUR, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, New Hampshire Public Radio, Vermont Public Radio, New England Public Radio, Rhode Island Public Radio, and WSHU Public Radio. In April of 2016, WNPR’s John Dankosky was named its executive editor. There are two parts to the collaboration. The first, and largest, is a near-daily content share between the eight NENC stations and NPR flagship programs like “Morning Edition,” whereby a piece from one station might get exposure on several, to tell the greater story of a region. That’s part of what the grant pays for—a reporter
Blades are affixed to a turbine in the nation’s first offshore windfarm near Block Island, Rhode Island. The farm became operational in December 2016. Photo by Ambar Espinoza for NENC.
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at each station who is specifically part of the collaborative, and dedicated to local perspectives on regional issues. The second is NEXT, a weekly, hour-long broadcast that brings together stories from across the region. In reporting out stories from six states (and eight affiliates), it’s meant to get at regional trends and outliers alike—like a recent episode that took listeners through referenda in Maine and Massachusetts, a Puerto Rican family reunited in Massachusetts, a veteran using farming to cope with PTSD, and a soothing visit to a tucked-away pond in Sandwich, New Hampshire. A central thesis holds the moving parts together: The region is changing more rapidly than other parts of the country. This is the way to keep up with it. “Here’s my sales pitch for that,” Dankosky said in a recent interview. “We’re the oldest part of the country. Meaning not just that our physical infrastructure is old—
which it is—but our people are aging. Aside from the greater Boston market, you basically see out migration as opposed to in migration. But where you see immigration into our region, it’s seen as … the savior of New England. At least from a demographic standpoint. You have younger people coming in, who are having kids here, who are raising families here, who are changing the makeup of a region. Which if you look, has been overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly older. That causes tensions, but hopefully it causes a lot of opportunities.” That’s been particularly true of some of the stories in NENC’s “Facing Change” series, reported out over 2016 and 2017. In late 2016, Vermont Public Radio Reporter Kathleen Masterson (she has since left VPR) brought listeners and readers the story of Miguel Alcudia, who was detained in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite Obama-era guidelines that put an end to random detainments, arrests
John Dankosky poses with a new friend in the New Hampshire Building at the Big E. Photo by Ryan Caron King for NENC.
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
and deportations. As a rash of similar cases rose across New England, Masterson’s piece became a sort of case study on how and where those laws are broken, and how they’re changing with a new administration in the White House. Or its environmental reporting, which has tracked over six states how climate change and the Northeast’s precipitous warming is affecting the region—and the country—in real time. In one episode, Dankosky and Muraskin travel the Long Island Sound with author Patrick Lynch, tracking how nitrogen runoff is affecting both fish and underwater plants in parts of Connecticut and New York. In several others, reporters explore how their states, towns and neighborhoods are preparing for rising temperatures, increased rainfall, and more frequent storms. Not all of the reporting is so news-driven, Muraskin noted. Typically the last segment of NEXT is dedicated to a short regional story that might leave listeners scratching their heads and thinking about how things are different just a state or two away. She recalled a personal favorite, from New Hampshire Public Radio’s Sean Hurley, just before the 2016 presidential election. Hurley had met a farmer named Chris Owens, who’d made his outhouse into an “Official NH Voting Booth.” It was quirky, and utterly unexpected, and wonderful. Who would have known about it otherwise, she asked. “We’re getting stories from all over the place, so sometimes it’s not entirely clear,” said Catie Talarski, who serves as the show’s executive producer (she also produces WNPR’s Where We Live and The Wheelhouse each week). “But if you think of an old New England quilt, it’s kind of like we’re just piecing together bits of the region.” But the NENC is also a salve in a changing media landscape. It comes out of a supply and demand problem that public media affiliates, and newsrooms more broadly, are experiencing as resources shrink. By Dankosky’s estimation, WNPR and similar stations do “a pretty great job of training reporters.” But there’s no pipeline up and not enough money for new editors, leaving close to 300 public radio stations without the oversight they need. With the collaborative model, stations are able to both hone in and step back, getting viewpoints that tell a larger story. “Our listeners don’t just want local news,” he said. “And they don’t just want regional news. And they don’t just want national or international news. They want something that spans everything. And so the idea of regional hubs helps us build that bridge.” The collaboration is reflective of a greater regional trend that’s taking over the National Public Radio landscape. In June 2017, NPR’s then-Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director Michael Oreskes (he has since been placed on leave following allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace) announced a shift to NPR-Member Station Collaborative Journalism Network, with regional hubs across the country. In that new model, journalists dig deep on both hyper-local, state and regional trends with a regional editor—and would-be competitors become collaborators instead. Now, the NENC’s biggest hurdle is
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Miguel Alcudia, a Mexican national, milks cows in a Vermont dairy. He was arrested by ICE last year on the grounds that he’s living in the country on an expired visa. Photo by Ryan Caron King for NENC.
Border patrol agent Brad Brant walks along the “slash” - a slang term for the break in trees that demarcates the U.S.- Canada border, in Highgate, Vt. Photo by Ryan Caron King for NENC.
funding to make the project sustainable. Distributed across the eight NENC stations in 2016, the CPB grant is only intended to cover the first two years of NENC’s existence. That second year will end in 2018— and Dankosky is thinking about what a working model will looks like going forward. Dankosky said that he has a long-term vision of a huge network newsroom “in which we know what everyone else is doing and we’re very very functional and we’re only assigning one reporter to a story as opposed to three different reporters at three different stations. But that’s a long way off. “ “I’ve been on this two-year plan where it’s like: Okay. For two years, it’s gonna be
a big experiment,” Dankosky said. “We’re gonna try a lot of things, we’re gonna work really hard, we’re gonna fail a lot, probably, and we’re gonna push people into some uncomfortable territory as far as sharing content and working regionally. And then at the end of two years, we’re going to figure out which of these things are sustainable and worth investment of time and money.” But Muraskin said she sees a robust future for it, because it is telling a story in a different and compelling way. Listeners are taking note: NPR reported that it experienced historic highs in 2016 and 2017 listenership. Some of those are the hundreds of thousands of people who hear NENC coverage and NEXT across partner stations,
she said. “There’s not a lot of places that cover New England,” she said. “It’s basically The Boston Globe, us, and Yankee Magazine. I think sound is powerful, and then within that we’re providing a way for people to get this sense of where they live. There’s something about driving in your car and thinking ‘Oh! This is a show about New England! This is for me. It helps me understand where I live.’ And that’s pretty cool.” n NEXT is hosted by John Dankosky. Andrea Muraskin is the producer and Catie Talarski is the executive producer. To find out more about the New England News Collaborative, check out nenc.news.
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
New Year’s RevA.A.R.T.lution stephen urchick Just before Thanksgiving last year, sculptor Kyle Kearson brought a chair to Artspace New Haven. A bottomless, open-frame iron throne to represent his seat at the table—for an exhibition of the same name. Seats at the Table—the first in a series of art events intended to convene majority-Black audiences around Connecticut in the coming year—took place in late November at Artspace in the city’s Ninth Square. The show and its accompanying performances were organized by The Lineage Group. The LG seeks to “highlight experiences across the African diaspora” through art, culture, and youth entrepreneurship and is known especially for its annual Kuumba Week. The evening featured song, poetry, puppetry, all variety of visual art, contemporary and hip-hop dance and step. This event, which took its name from the 2016 Solange album A Seat at the Table, inaugurates the LG’s new four-part RevA.A.R.T.lution program. “We want to elevate Black artists,” announced LG founder Malcolm Welfare in his opening remarks. He called upon visitors to Artspace to not just look at the objects on the walls: If they liked it, they should put a down payment on it. “We want to ensure that our artists have a support network in this great arts city.” In a way, the A.A.R.T. in RevA.A.R.T.lution—“altruistic ancestral renderings of truth”—belongs to a long line of double-a acronyms for the betterment of Black culture: Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (A.A.C.M.), the N.A.A.C.P. among others. “No starving artists,” cheered emcee Rahisha Bivens. “How ‘bout for abundance!” Kearson’s chair, however, is something that literally lacks the “support” of which Welfare spoke—it is a seat at the table without a seat, and a symbol for the status quo The Lineage Group pushes against. A recent sculpture and ceramics BFA out of the University of Connecticut,
Dancer Sherylynn Sealy. Photo by Naomi Santiago.
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Sherylynn Sealy leads a group dance. Photo by Naomi Santiago.
Kearson “completely manufactured” each part of the work. He selectively oxidized the metal bars with salt, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide; he burnished and brushed the steel by hand. Kearson didn’t work from an actual chair, but from “what I assumed to be the typical dimensions of a chair.” He applied his full range of talents as a sculptor to create a broken thing from a model that doesn’t exist. The chair is a malicious investment of time and energy, not unlike like the futile racism that cuts the cushion out from under people of color in the United States. Kearson suspended chains from grisly, soldered-on hooks to serve as the chair’s back rails and the front and rear sides of its apron. Installed in the gallery, the chair’s chains made negative space an active ingredient in Kearson’s art, trembling with the breeze of the HVAC and shaking in the steps of each passerby. “I could have just made this with straight bars across,” Kearson said. But he wanted a visual citation of slavery that would repudiate “the prejudiced tactics” of “white supremacists.” “We are revolting against the isolation, the silence, the special categorization of Black artists,” Welfare said in an interview later that evening. He was still sweating gently from his stepping routine, his blazer shed to reveal a purple Omega Psi Phi t-shirt underneath. The fraternity brothers’ energetic high-kicks and jumps had brought down at least one framed photograph and left a second painting hanging from a nail 20 degrees off the level, to the surprise of the crowd. An educator in New Haven Public Schools by day, Welfare related how he regularly hears discouragement from creatively-minded students who either
don’t believe there are outlets for their ambitions or don’t believe those outlets belong to them. “But there is space for that,” he insisted. “There are opportunities for that!” Emcee Bivens worked tirelessly to indicate to Seats at the Table guests that the wellsprings of Black culture ran swiftly and deeply in the tri-state area—way deeper than the night’s jam-packed runof-show. Between performances, she got the scoop on an author’s upcoming book, an NYU urban planner’s thesis. She nosed out and uncovered the rappers and slam poets in the crowd: secret superheroes. “Quartz put out an album and she wasn’t going to tell us,” Biven tsk-ed good naturedly to one shy musician. Bivens then gave up what might well be the show’s thesis. “No matter who you are— we gonna’ come up and find you!” RevA.A.R.T.lution recognized, however, that visibility and publicity could only go so far. Audience education was as important as the economics of art. Welfare plugged the companion reading lists The Lineage Group hoped to create before each RevA.A.R.T.lution event, but he appeared to be more interested in the stereotypically stony, stoic hearts of his fellow men. “The act of observing art and participating in an art event, for men, is an act of vulnerability,” Welfare said. “That barrier of taking in someone else’s work instead of being producers—to observe someone else’s artistic expression—is a site of vulnerability!” Welfare, Lineage Group co-founder Faith Lorde, and curator Ariel Herbert worked in moments for all-audience reflection as well as gendered men’s and women’s discussion sections. The
womanhood group was facilitated by Rhoena Ma’at of Redfeather Wellness and Empress Ayana of ONYX Restorative Justice—certified health consultants and sexual assault advisors whose practices helped “reintroduce women to themselves” in the “Me Too” moment. Welfare led the charge with a male group. “Let’s have a discussion of what’s on our mind,” he began. The men had just gathered together after watching a puppet show by another recent UConn grad, Isaac Bloodworth. Bloodworth’s performance began as a side-scrolling children’s book narrated to the upbeat bars of Miles Davis’s “So What,” but it ended with the grainy CCTV footage of Tamir Rice’s murder dubbed to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” It happened to be “Strange Fruit’s” second sobering cameo that evening. “Watching a video of someone getting shot is not natural,” Bloodworth admitted, a little drained. The talk swung from how to address this pervasive stress, to actually healing New Haven’s Black community, to finding the right places to begin that work. It is toxic and tiresome to be the only person of color in most rooms about town, several attendees said. “No offense to white people,” commented one participant. “But I’m around white folks all day.” Another, a recent resident of West Hartford, spoke about how he just moved to New Haven precisely because he was sick and tired of not seeing people like him at bars and the suburb’s other public venues. “We were in a sea of white people,” added a third attendee with a similar experience. “And it wasn’t until college that I knew how brainwashed I was.”
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Welfare cut in and plugged “art as a vehicle for change.” Seats at the Table brought these men to the table, to share their feelings in a gallery filled with their peers. Bloodworth noted, however, that Welfare and The Lineage Group still had some work to do before the RevA.A.R.T.lution was complete. “I would like to see people from Newhallville or Dixwell come here and feel comfortable. Bring that booginess down a little bit,” he said with a chuckle. Romantic stories and dancing dinner dates picked up where these intimate conversations left off. Poet-minister King Obayigo Brown told all how Black power was Black love: Black love is like when you let your natural hair grow, like wearing locks, braids, or just letting out the fro Some in the crowd might have squirmed or giggled a bit when Brown told how he bit the lips of his poem’s interlocutor in a kiss, because “sometimes pain is pleasure.” On the whole, though, King Oba offered exactly the kind of frank, unselfconscious disclosure Welfare wanted. “I think Black love is good for our health,” Brown hypothesized, midstanza.
Muata “Madd_Moses” Langley and Melissa Diaz repeated in the sign-language of movement what Oba said with the spoken word. They popped and locked in from the edges of a candle-lit table for two, gliding into their seats at this table and bouncing back for another round of hip-hop promenades. Langley caught Diaz’s limp body with a palm in the small of her back, reanimating her with a push forward that clipped the edge of the tablecloth and rattled the cutlery. They took mincing salsa steps in place, raising their fists in a Panther salute. The two finally settled down to their meal, having exchanged their upper garments for stiff tunics of shiny, varicolored broadcloth. They joined hands in a prayer, or blissful mindfulness—Diaz’s chin up and eyes closed, serene as a redgold, cinquecento icon of Solange hung on the wall behind her. An Afro-Latina Bronx native now settled in New Haven, Diaz described how Puerto Ricans struggled to identify with the culture Seats at The Table showcased. “They try to wash out our Black heritage,” she said. “But I embrace who we are!” n Find out more about The Lineage Group at facebook.com/thelgrbg.
After a rigorous screening process of more than 150 applicants from across the globe, the NHSO has invited three finalists to conduct the orchestra. NEALE CONDUCTS MOZART Thursday, February 15 | 7:30pm | Woolsey Hall Alasdair Neale, guest conductor & music director candidate Michael Brown, piano Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 Elgar: Variations on ‘Enigma’ Bates: Mothership Puts: This Noble Company MILLER CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY Thursday, March 22 | 7:30pm | Woolsey Hall Rebecca Miller, guest conductor & music director candidate Nick Canellakis, cello Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 Shostakovich: Concerto for Cello Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia AMADO CONDUCTS SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE Thursday, April 12 | 7:30pm | Woolsey Hall David Amado, guest conductor & music director candidate Stewart Goodyear, piano Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique Ravel: Piano Concerto Tsontakis: Laconika
Three-concert packages start at just $42! 203.865.0831 ext. 20 | NewHavenSymphony.org • january | february 2018
Malcolm Welfare: “We want to elevate black artists.” Photo by Naomi Santiago.
yale institute of sacred music presents
Yale Schola Cantorum
thursday, february 1 5:30 pm
At the Foot of the Cross
Truth Telling in a World of Spin
Battell Chapel 400 College St., New Haven
Yale Literature & Spirituality Series
David Hill, conductor
Works by Domenico Scarlatti and James MacMillan
saturday, february 24 7:30 pm Battell Chapel 400 College St., New Haven
Both concerts are free; no tickets required. ism.yale.edu
New Year, New SeMester, New SUPPLIES!
everything you need for getting back into the groove
Hull’s Art Supply & Framing
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Welcome To The Nut thomas breen What do John McClane, the Outer Space and New Haven’s filmmaking community have in common? Starting in January 2018, the answer to that question will be the Nutmeg Institute: A new venture from local movie advocates Trish Clark, Patrick Whalen, and Michael Field to help encourage and organize the production and enjoyment of movies in the Greater New Haven area. One of the group’s first initiatives toward bolstering the city’s cineaste community is a new, monthly brunch-and-movie series to be hosted at the Outer Space, a bar and music venue tucked inside of an industrial park off of Treadwell Avenue in Hamden. The series kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 14 with John McTiernan’s 1988 holiday and action fan favorite Die Hard, in which Bruce Willis stars as John McClane, a rakish offduty NYPD officer who finds himself pitted against a cabal of German terrorists during a Christmas-time visit to Los Angeles. Screenings will take place at the Outer Space every second Sunday of the month. Tickets will cost $22 each, and will cover admission to the movie, one mimosa, and one entree from a rotating brunch menu designed to correspond with that month’s movie. But the folks behind the Nutmeg Institute are not simply interested in hosting an entertaining Sunday afternoon filled with on-screen explosions and off-screen schmoozing. Rather, they’re looking to provide a consistent venue for locals to connect over their shared love of watching and talking about movies. They’re also interested in serving as a centralized resource for New Haveners who are interested in making movies but don’t know where or how to start. Clark, Whalen, and Field are all veterans of the local filmmaking scene. Clark and Whalen currently run the 48 Hour Film Project New Haven, an annual competition that Clark first brought to the Elm City in 2010 that challenges teams of filmmakers to write, shoot, edit and deliver a five-to-seven minute movie, all over the course of just one weekend. Field is a local writer and director who has spent the past 15 years telling stories on video, directing feature films like Save the Forest and web series like The Puzzle Maker’s Son, Scenes from the Movies and Life Ends @ 30 (the last of which Clark and Whalen helped produce). Though the local film scene has expanded in recent years through such popular, annual events as the 48 Hour Film Project New Haven, the New Haven Documentary Film Festival, Home Movie Day at the New Haven Museum, Magneticfest at Lyric Hall, and the BestFest Student Film Festival at Best Video, Clark, Whalen and Field found that the city’s filmmaking community was still too fragmented to provide clear guidance for locals interested in starting or working on a movie project. That’s owing especially to the Film Division of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, which dis-
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Trish Clark presents at last year’s 48 Hour Film Project, the kickoff for which is always at the Outer Space.
continued its Film Industry Training Program in the summer of 2012. Clark, Whalen and Field lamented that there was no clear place for locals to turn for advice on which cameras to use, the importance of storyboarding, or how to set up a shot. Until, that is, they seemed up something called the Nutmeg Institute. Along with their tentative slogan: “Welcome to the Nut.” “This is us starting a new business to act as a collaborative and cooperative spot for content creators to go to,” Clark told The Arts Paper in a recent interview. “It’s a way for us to offer educational tips. As Mike always says, it’s supposed to be a local movie resource that he wishes was around when he first started making movies.” One of the first regularly scheduled events that the Nutmeg Institute has planned for 2018 is the new movies-and-brunch series at the Outer Space. In addition to Die Hard, some of the screenings already on the calendar include Leo McCarey’s mid-century romance An Affair to Remember (1957) on Feb. 11, Robert Zemeckis’s 1984 action-adventure Romancing the Stone on Mar. 3, and the Coen Brothers’ indelible screwball comedy Raising Arizona (1987) on April 15. The series will also include an Oscars 2018 viewing event on Mar. 4, which Clark described as the unofficial kick-off date for the various happy hours, workshops and meet-and-greets that lead up to the 48 Hour Film Project New Haven competition in July. For each screening in the Outer Space series, Clark, Whalen, and Field will put together a short, promotional video (a la Turner Classic Movies) in which one of them will share some background on the movie’s production and legacy. Doors will open at 11 a.m. and the movie will start playing at noon. If more than 30 people buy tickets for any given movie, then the screening will shift from the Outer Space
to the Ballroom right next door, which can fit closer to 100 people. Clark said that both venues are equipped with a screen and a projector. “We want to screen some new classics, and some older classics,” Whalen said. “But you don’t have to be a film expert to come out and enjoy these events. It’s open to anyone who enjoys watching movies, to anyone who enjoys good food and good company.” Clark, Whalen, and Field each cited the Alamo Drafthouse and the Boondocks Film Society as models—they eschew any notion of just sitting back and watching a movie in favor of turning screenings into memorable community events. Along with the Outer Space screening series, the Nutmeg Institute founders are also looking to host production-oriented events that educate newcomers and support existing filmmakers who need support in completing a project. Clark said that the Nutmeg Institute will now be listed as the official producer of the 48 Hour Film Project New Haven, so that the local and regional filmmakers who descend upon the city to compete each July will associate the annual filmmaking event with the new venture. She also said that she, Whalen and Field are talking with local high schools about setting up one-day student workshops on the basics of filmmaking. Earlier this school year, Clark and Whalen worked with the Connecticut educational service EdAdvance to teach a course on how to create Public Service Announcements for a group of around 50 high school students who were bused in for the day to Naugatuck Community College. Clark and Whalen have also served as judges for the 84 Hour Film Challenge, which they described as a high school version of the 48. They said that the Nutmeg Institute would look to partner with the teachers and
students involved in that annual competition as well. Field explained that the educational element of the Nutmeg Institute’s mission is not just technical. It’s also an opportunity for experienced filmmakers to share more fundamental tips on what is required of any production. “As someone who has written stuff and directed, you have to understand that making a movie, it’s not just you,” Field said. “It’s not just you and a friend. It takes a lot of people. You’re asking people to give up their time. You’re asking them to give up a possible paying job. It’s a giant collaborative set, and you need to understand that you can’t do it alone.” Alongside its exhibition and educational goals, the Nutmeg Institute will also support new video and digital media productions. Clark, Whalen, and Field have already scheduled shoots for a third season of Field’s webs series Scenes from the Movies. Clark also said that the Nutmeg Institute will be working with Alicia Ghio of the Danbury production company RmediA to create a “Filmed in CT” series, in which Ghio travels to different locations featured in films shot in Connecticut (such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Mystic Pizza) and unpacks how the setting helped shape the movie. “We’re just looking to coordinate likeminded content creators and storytellers,” Clark said. “And get them together to support each other and push each other forward to the next level.” “We’re just three Conneciticut filmmakers who want to see more Connecticut filmmakers,” Whalen agreed n Learn more about The Nutmeg Institute and their upcoming screening series at the Outer Space by visiting their Facebook page at facebook.com/NutmegInstitute.
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
CALENDAR Classes & Workshops Modern/Contemporary Dance Classes Adults of all ages welcome! Come dance with us in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Release tight muscles, increase flexibility, and strengthen your body. Integrate your movement. Experience dance as an art form. Times and dates vary by skill level. $18-$150. Annie Sailer Studio Space, Erector Square, 319 Peck St., Bldg. 2, Fl. 1, Studio D, New Haven. (347) 306-7660. anniesailerdancecompany.com Barre Workout Class Yogi Boho Fitness is offering barre workout classes. Barre is a sculpting and conditioning routine inspired by ballet barre warmups targeting the core, posture alignment, toning and strengthening the arms, legs as well as firming the bottom. A portion of the barre class utilizes small weights. The class cools down with gentle yoga floor stretches. Monday and Wednesday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. $55 for an hour session. 1125 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. (203) 690-8501. Barre Workout Class for Women Yogi Boho Fitness is offering barre workout classes. Barre is a sculpting and conditioning routine inspired by ballet barre warmups targeting the core, posture alignment, toning and strengthening the arms, legs as well as firming the bottom. A portion of the barre class utilizes small weights. The class cools down with gentle yoga floor stretches. Sunday, 2-3 p.m. Every other Friday 6:30-7:30 p.m. $55 for an hour session. 1125 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. (203) 690-8501. meetu.ps/c/3tCKf/1K3M Private Barre Fitness Training. Get help with losing weight while sculpting and toning all parts of the body with this ballet and yoga inspired workout. See great results right away using isometric movements at the ballet barre. Get personal private training focusing on desired target areas that need muscular toning and developing. Sept. 25-Oct. 30. Choose a time and day. $55 for an hour session. I can come to you, New Haven to Westport. (203) 690-8501. sharonbaily30@ gmail.com Red Tea, 22” x 30”, Watercolor and Acrylic by Lexi Axon. Image from the Hamden Art League. Their monthly meetings will be held Jan. 9 and Feb. 13.
Dance 27 Saturday Shaping Sound | After The Curtain Conceived and choreographed by Travis Wall, After The Curtain tells the story of a man fighting to find his creative
voice after the death of his one true love. After The Curtain is the second show for the eclectic dance company Shaping Sound. Jan. 27. 8 p.m. See website for seat prices. Shubert Theatre, 247 College St., New Haven. (203) 562-5666. shubert.com
9 Friday Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group returns to Wesleyan with the Connecticut premiere of Citizen (2016), questioning what it means to belong and what it means to not want to belong. Friday Feb. 9, 8 p.m. $28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students, youth under 18. Wesleyan Center for the Arts, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown. (860) 6853355. wesleyan.edu/cfa/events/2018/02-2018/ 02092018-reggie-wilson-citizen.html
Nadia Bolz Webber will present at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music on Thursday, Feb. 1. Alex Baker Photography, Courtesy of the ISM.
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An Artist for Conservation: Albert Earl Gilbert As a child with crayon in hand, Al Gilbert enjoyed drawing lions, tigers, bears, and birds. Today he is regarded as one of the world’s premiere wildlife artists. Through the years, he has conducted fieldwork across the globe, traveling from Africa to Australia to observe and sketch rare and colorful tropical birds in their native habitat. Sept. 2-April 15. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 12-5 p.m. $6-$13. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 432-5050. peabody.yale.edu
Between Beauty and Decay confronts with unflinching beauty and terror the realities of what happens when humanity is at odds with the other and the natural world. Featured artists include Basma Alsharif, Natalie Ball, Andrew Erdos, Nicholas Gelanin, Starr Hartridge, Jetsonorama, Julie Perela, and Kim Weston. Curated by Erin Joyce. Dec. 1-Feb. 24. Wednesday-Thursday, 12-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 12-8 p.m. Free. Artspace, 50 Orange St., New Haven. (203) 772-2709. artspacenewhaven.org Fall 2017 Member Exhibition presents 34 paintings in many mediums and in both abstract and in representational styles. It is one of three Guilford Art League member shows a year. Contact Diana Perron for more info or to purchase a painting. Nov. 1-Jan. 25. Open 7 days a week. Free. Guilford Community Center, Menunkatuck Room, Guilford Art League, 32 Church St., Guilford. (203) 4885768. Invisible Boundaries: Explaining Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations is a groundbreaking, interdisciplinary exhibition that combines art and science to explore the meaning of wildlife migrations to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Sept. 16-March 25. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.;
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Sunday 12-5 p.m. $6-$13. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 432-5050. peabody.yale.edu Japan’s Global Baroque, 1550–1650 This focused exhibition includes important loans alongside works from the Gallery’s collection and explores the critical role that imported goods played in Japanese culture during this momentous period. In addition to spectacular screens showing the arrival of foreign ships and their crews, the exhibition also features Japanese lacquers produced for domestic use and export, Chinese ceramics made for the Japanese market, and Persian and Indian trade textiles, some of which were refashioned into Japanese clothing. Feb. 23-May 21. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Thursdays until 8 p.m.); Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-0601 artgallery.yale.edu New Haven Paint and Clay Club Members’ Exhibition features work by our active artist members. The exhibition of this historic art club, founded in 1900, includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Dec. 3-Jan. 7. Wednesday-Thursday, 5-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Free. Ely Center of Contemporary Art at the John Slade Ely House, 51 Trumbull St., New Haven. (203) 248-3504. newhavenpaintandclayclub.org No Longer Noticed “Lost Dog.” “CD Release Party.” “Tag Sale.” Posted to streetlight poles and utility boxes, notices like these create a collage of various colors, images, and typefaces. Mark St. Mary has spent the past year photographically studying the results of their eventual removal, where the residual adhesives look like a community game of visual Mad Libs. Jan. 11-Feb. 11. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Opening reception Jan. 13, 3-6 p.m. Free. Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave., New Haven. (203) 389-9555. kehlerliddellgallery.com Old-School Ink: New Haven’s Tattoos reveals the roots of a thriving “old school” body art tradition, and offers insight into how the Elm City has contributed to the tattoo field worldwide. Sept. 23-March 10. Visit website for hours. $2-$4. New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 562-4183. newhavenmuseum.org
chorus with singers of diverse musical backgrounds, some who have never sung in a chorus before and others who are highly skilled. GNHCC offers a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for all. During the three-week enrollment period, interested singers are invited to attend two rehearsals before joining. Rehearsal Thursday, 7-9 p.m. $500-$750 per semester. First Presbyterian Church, 704 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 303-4642. gnhcc.org
Barre workout classes at Yogi Boho Fitness. Check them out at 125 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. Photo from Facebook.
Once Upon a Dream in Lapland From the artist Joan Jacobson-Zamore: “After taking a trip to Finland, I decided upon this playful title since it asks us to suspend our sense of reality for just a while. What encourages my work is my emotional response to nature and my wish to reinterpret it. I use the ‘monotype technique,’ or ‘painterly print,’ as a vehicle to convey my narrative.” Jan. 11-Feb. 11. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Opening reception Jan. 13, 3-6 p.m. Free. Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave., New Haven. (203) 389-9555. kehlerliddellgallery.com Resident X is a group show that introduces the idea of the artist residency as a circumstantial form. Artists include Jonathan Gitelson, Keith Johnson, Katie Jurkiewicz, Sam Messer, Dushko Petrovich, and Carmen Papalia. Curated by Sarah Fritchey. Dec. 1-Feb. 24. Wednesday-Thursday, 12-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 12-8 p.m. Free. Artspace, 50 Orange St., New Haven. (203) 7722709. artspacenewhaven.org The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known World The seventeenth-century painting The Paston Treasure (ca. 1663) is an enigmatic masterpiece. It will make its North American debut at the Yale Center for British Art in an exhibition organized in partnership with the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, UK. Gathering some of the depicted objects around the painting for the first
time in nearly three centuries, the exhibition will trace the genesis and demise of the Paston family collection of treasures from the fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. Feb. 15-May 27, 2018. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. britishart.yale.edu
Music Call for Singers Greater New Haven Community Chorus (GNHCC), a non-auditioned, all-volunteer, four part (SATB) chorus, invites singers of all backgrounds to join us for our Spring 2018 semester as we prepare for our June Concert. The first three Thursdays of each semester are GNHCC “Open Enrollment” rehearsals; spring semester Open Enrollment dates are January 11, 18, and 25. Open enrollment offers interested singers an opportunity to try out the chorus and to see if GNHCC provides an atmosphere that suits them; prospective members are invited to attend at no cost. Rehearsals are held Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 704 Whitney Ave., New Haven. No experience is required. Come sing with us! For more information, visit our website at gnhcc.org, visit us on Facebook, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. GNHCC Invites Singers for 2017-18 Season GNHCC is a non-auditioned, four-part (SATB)
Rolling Auditions for the 2017-2018 Season The New Haven Chorale will hold auditions throughout the year by appointment with the director. Interested singers are encouraged to call the Chorale office for appointments or go to our audition website to request more information or to schedule an audition. Sept.11-May 14 . Rehearsal Monday, 7-9:30 p.m. Annual dues after the first year. Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 776-7664. newhavenchoraleauditions.com
12 Friday Guitartown Welcomes Back Beppe Gambetta! World famous Italian guitarist doing beautiful original instrumentals and classic American bluegrass. He’s a real charmer! Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Best Video Film & Cultural Center, 1842 Whitney Ave., Hamden. guitartownct.com
14 Sunday Great Organ Music at Yale | Boyd Jones Featuring the music of Bach, Mendelssohn, Hindemith, and others. Boyd Jones performs extensively throughout the United States on both organ and harpsichord in addition to his duties as University Organist and John E. and Aleise Price Professor of Organ at Stetson University, DeLand, Florida. Jan. 14, 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, United Church on the Green, 270 Temple St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/ calendar
21 Sunday Great Organ Music at Yale | Martin Jean Featuring the music of Widor and Vierne. Professor Jean has performed widely throughout the United States and Europe and is known for his broad repertorial interests. He was awarded first place at
Field Guide comes to the Yale Rep starting Jan. 26. More information available at their website. Photo credit Yale Repertory Theatre.
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
26 Monday Liturgy Symposium Series | Claudio Carvalhaes A Liberation Liturgical Theology. Claudio Carvalhaes, theologian, liturgist and artist, a native Brazilian, is Associate Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Feb. 26, 4:30-6 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Great Hall, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
Talks & Tours 9 January
The Greater New Haven Community Chorus performs at one of its 2017 concerts. Open enrollment dates for the group are January 11, 18, and 25.
the international Grand Prix de Chartres in 1986, and in 1992 at the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. Jan. 21, 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Woolsey Hall, 500 College St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
27 Saturday Yale Schola Cantorum | A Christmas Story & Other Works David Hill, conductor. Cantatas for Advent: Historia der Geburt Jesu Christ, SWV 435; Hodie Christus natus est, SWV 456; Ave Maria, SWV 334; Der Engel Sprach, SWV 395; Ein kind ist uns geboren, SWV 384; and Das Wort ward Fleisch, SWV 385. Jan. 27, 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Christ Church, 84 Broadway St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
1 Thursday Literature & Spirituality | Nadia Bolz-Weber Nadia Bolz-Weber is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs: Pastrix; The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (2013) and Accidental Saints; Finding God in All the Wrong People (2015). She is an ordained Lutheran pastor (ELCA) and still works as the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. Feb. 1, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Battell Chapel, 400 College St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
3 Saturday Student Recital | Nicholas Quardokus, organ Student recitals are one hour in length. Feb. 3, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Woolsey Hall, 500 College St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
8 Thursday Joe Walsh & Celia Woodsmith, feat. Bobby Britt & Zoe Guigueno Thursday Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Best Video Film & Cultural Center, 1842 Whitney Ave., Hamden. guitartownct.com
9 Friday Yale Voxtet | Music for a Winter’s Night An evening of Spanish vocal solo and chamber works. Feb. 9, 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
15 Thursday Neale Conducts Mozart Program includes: Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 20; Elgar, Variations on an Enigma; Bates, Mothership Puts, This Noble Company. Feb. 15, 7:30-9:30 p.m. $0-$74. New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Woolsey hall, 500 College St., New Haven. (203) 436-4840. newhavensymphony.org
18 Sunday Impermanence/Reconstructed | Lorelei Ensemble Lorelei advances the women’s vocal ensemble
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through passionate, engaging artistry and creative collaboration. Committed to a fresh and culturally relevant repertoire, Lorelei reimagines and cultivates bold compositional voices in performances that transform audience perspectives and expectations. Feb. 18, 4-6:30 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar Student Recital | Simon Lee, choral conducting Student recitals are one hour in length. Feb. 18, 7-8 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 4325062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
24 Saturday Yale Schola Cantorum | At the Foot of the Cross David Hill, conductor. Domenico Scarlatti: Stabat Mater; James MacMillan: Seven Last Words. A baroque vision of the Virgin Mary’s lament at the foot of the cross, and a striking modern interpretation of the last seven utterances of Jesus Christ. Feb. 24, 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Battell Chapel, 400 College St., New Haven. (203) 4325062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
Monthly Meeting, Hamden Art League The Hamden Art League provides an organization for artists, art students, and art patrons for the growth of artistic potential through demonstrations, instruction, and individual and group exhibitions. We meet the second Tuesday of each month in the Miller Library Social Room, 2901 Dixwell Ave. hamdenartleague.com
29 Monday Liturgy Symposium Series | Molly Lester The Scales of Orthodoxy: Music, Sacraments, and the Mass in Seventh-Century Iberia. Molly Lester studies late antique and early medieval Europe, with a focus on the history of Christianity. Jan. 29, 4:30-6 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Great Hall, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
20 Tuesday Literature & Spirituality | Mary Szybist Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry. She teaches at Lewis & Clark College, and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and the Lannan Foundation. Feb. 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, TBD, TBD, New Haven. (203) 432-5062. ism.yale.edu/calendar
Theater 23 Friday Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava Performance collective Manual Cinema creates live film on stage, combining cinematic techniques, theatricality, handmade shadow puppetry, and innovative sound and music by the company member band. The Connecticut premiere of Ada/Ava (2013) uses a story of the fantastic and supernatural to explore mourning and melancholy, self and other. Friday Feb. 23, 8 p.m. $28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students, youth under 18. Wesleyan Center for the Arts, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown. (860) 685-3355. Amazing Grace This sweeping musical centering on the life of John Newton, the hymn’s 18th-century author tells the inspiring story of how the beloved song came to be. This captivating tale of romance, rebellion and moral redemption traces Newton’s gradual awakening that led to his conversion from slave-trader to abolitionist-pastor. Jan. 19-21. See website for times and prices. Shubert Theatre, 247 College St., New Haven. (203) 562-5666. shubert.com Field Guide With breakneck speed and endless invention, Field Guide skates through one of the greatest—and longest!—novels ever written: The Brothers Karamazov. Rude Mechs literally (well, not literally) rips pages out of Dostoevsky’s powerful meditation on faith, meaning, and morality and mischievously replaces them with stand-up comedy, pop music dance numbers, a cardboard bear, and a talking bird. Jan. 26-Feb. 17. See website for times and prices. Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-1234. yalerep.org/productions-and-programs/ production/field-guide
Wanted: Bad Cartoons Do you have what it takes to be bad? Not get-arrested-and-yourembarrassing-mug-shot-becomes-a-meme kind of bad (okay, maybe), but the artistic kind of bad. If yes, here’s your chance to enter the firstever Arts Paper Bad Cartoon Contest! The name says it all. We’re looking for the best of the worst. So bad it’s good. There’s no fee to enter and the prize is minimal: Fame, bragging rights, and personal glee from seeing your craft in print. What constitutes bad? That’s up to you. Cartoons can be a singlepanel or a strip. The winning cartoon will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges. The winner must commit to providing 10 cartoons on publication schedule for The Arts Paper, which will be published both in print and online. Artists and non-artists of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to enter. Here are a few details: We need hard copies. All entries must include name, address, phone, email on back. Winner must commit to 10 submissions for the entire year, one cartoon for each issue of The Arts Paper. Should the winner be unable to perform the duties of Contest Winner at any point during the year, the runner-up will be asked to carry on from there. Entries are due at Arts Council Headquarters no later than 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 26. We’re located at 70 Audubon St., Floor 2, New Haven, CT 06510. Ok. On your mark, get set, draw! Go forth and create your twisted, irreverent, weird, punny, quirky masterpieces! For questions, email us at email@example.com. These are good cartoons. We want your bad cartoons. Seriously. Reinaldo Goyenechea for La Voz Hispana.
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The Arts Council provides bulletin board listings as a service to our membership and is not responsible for the content or deadlines.
Call For Artists Artspace announces an open call for artists interested in joining our Flatfile Collection. The Collection was started in 2000 and expanded in 2010 with the aid of an Institute of Museum and Library Science Grant, and holds over 1,000 works on paper by 150 artists from across the country. Apply online: artspacenewhaven.org/ opportunities/flatfile. Deadline: February 15, 2018 Announced: March 30, 2018 Artists USArtists International supports performances by U.S. dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo artists invited to perform at important cultural festivals and performing arts marketplaces anywhere in the world outside the United States and its territories. Since its inception, USArtists International has awarded nearly $5 million to more than 450 ensembles and solo performers nationwide. Applications for Round 2 are due December 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST for engagements between March 15, 2018 and March 14, 2019. Go to midatlanticarts.org/ usartists-international/ for more information. Artists Guilford Art Center announces CFA for Craft Expo 2018, Connecticut’s premier outdoor juried show of fine American craft. July 13-15, 2018. Application at zapplication.org/event-info. php?ID=5999 Application deadline is January 9, 2018.
Artists The Connecticut Sea Grant Arts Support Awards Program awards up to $1000 to an artist through this competitive funding program. The winning submission will be selected on the basis of its aesthetic quality, relevance to coastal and marine environments and Connecticut Sea Grant themes, as well as its potential impact on non-traditional “audiences.” Artists who live in Connecticut, or whose work is related to Connecticut’s coastal and marine environments and/or Long Island Sound are eligible for funding consideration. Previous recipients of Sea Grant Arts awards are not eligible for five years. The grant application will be submitted electronically as a compiled PDF file with one additional media file (mp3 or mov file), if needed, via email to SeagrantResearch@ uconn.edu for receipt no later than 4:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 7, 2018. For more information refer to the Call guidelines: seagrant.uconn.edu/ wp-content/uploads/sites/1985/2017/10/CTSG_ artsgrant_rfp_2018.pdf Singers Silk ’n Sounds a’ Capella women’s chorus is looking for new members to join us on our amazing journey of musical discovery! Come meet us (we are very friendly) and our award winning director, Christine Lampe-Onnerud, at one of our Tuesday night rehearsals from 6:15-9:15 p.m. at the Spring Glen Church located at 1825 Whitney Ave in Hamden. You can contact Lynn at (203) 623-1276 for more information or check us out online at silknsounds.org or on Facebook.
Singers Men Like to Sing? Sing with Us. The University Glee Club of New Haven is an all-male chorus looking for new members. We are a non-audition group singing with the rich blend of men’s voices: Tenor I, Tenor II, Baritone and Bass. Our feel good repertoire ranges from Glees to Classical to Broadway and more. Information at universitygleeclub.org or call 203-248-8515 for more information. Rehearsals are 7:15 to 9:30 on Monday evenings. Location: Bethesda Lutheran Church 305 St Ronan Street, New Haven, CT.
Web Design & Art Consulting Services Startup business solutions. Creative, sleek Web design by art curator and editor for artist, design, architecture, and small-business sites. Will create and maintain any kind of website. Hosting provided. Also low-cost in-depth artwork analysis, writing, editing services. (203) 387-4933. azothgallery@ comcast.net.
Volunteers The non-profit Spectrum Art Gallery and its affiliate, Arts Center Killingworth offer numerous opportunities for volunteers! Learn new skills, meet new people, and be part of a creative organization that gives to the community. Opportunities exist throughout the year for a variety of events and ongoing programs. Teens are welcome and can earn community service credit. Email Barbara Nair, Director, at barbara@ spectrumartgallery.org or call 860-663-5593.
Studio/Event Space at Erector Square in New Haven available for dance and theatre rehearsals and performances, events, workshops, and exhibitions. 1,500 sq. ft., 1st floor, 14 ft ceilings, white walls, great light, wooden floors. Contact Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creative Services Historic Home Restoration Contractor Period appropriate additions, baths, kitchens; remodeling; sagging porches straightened/leveled; wood windows restored; plaster restored; historic molding & hardware; vinyl/aluminum siding removed; wood siding repair/ replace. CT & NH Preservation Trusts. RJ Aley Building Contractor: (203) 226-9933 email@example.com
The Arts Paper Cover Art Contest The Arts Paper is launching a new initiative to highlight original local artwork on the cover of each issue: The Cover Art Contest. Artists, help us spruce up the look of our new, hip, and shiny Arts Paper—and of The Arts Council— with a solo appearance on the front of the region’s only all-arts newspaper. Everyone wins. Well, 10 people win. That’s one for each issue. Winners receive a copy of the issue and immeasurable fame and notoriety. Guidelines: Local artists are encouraged to submit their original work for consideration. To submit artwork for The Arts Paper’s cover, bring it to AC Headquarters at 70 Audubon St., Second Floor, New Haven. All mediums are accepted. Artwork chosen for the cover must be donated to the Arts Council. Artwork not selected for the cover will be ready for pick up 30 days from your submission date. Work not picked up within six weeks of submission will be considered abandoned. There are no deadlines; art is accepted and published on a year-long rolling basis. If your submission has a seasonal or holiday theme, check our editorial calendar at newhavenarts.org. It’s best to submit early in the year. For questions and submissions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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Studio Space for Dance, Performing Arts, Events Hall A 1,500-square-foot space with adjoining rooms in a turn-of-the-century mansion in a historic district. Hardwood floors. Vintage stage with curtains. Mahogany woodwork and glass doors. Ample natural light. Chairs and tables on premises. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jobs Please visit newhavenarts.org for up-to-date local employment opportunities in the arts.
Upcoming Ad & Calendar Deadlines: The deadline for advertisements and calendar listings for the March 2018 issue of The Arts Paper is: Monday, January 23, 5 p.m. Future deadlines: April: 2/19/18, 5 p.m. May: 3/26/18, 5 p.m. June: 4/23/2018, 5 p.m. July/August: 5/21/18, 5 p.m. Calendar listings are for Arts Council members only and should be submitted online at newhavenarts. org. Arts Council members can request a username and password by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. The Arts Council’s online calendar includes listings for programs and events taking place within 12 months of the current date. Listings submitted by the calendar deadline are included on a monthly basis in The Arts Paper.
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The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Church Street South, The Album
The chords that start “Comfortable,” the first song from Manny James’s latest album, Church Street South, are pure bedroom. A melody line purrs in the background, held up by crooning voices. Then the beat drops, and James’s voice comes in strong. “If you feel that comfortable, you ain’t got to go nowhere,” he sings. “Let’s do what we came here to do.” “This album is definitely a lot rawer,” James — whose full name is Emmanuel James Sorrells — said on a recent episode of WNHH’s “Northern Remedy.” “It’s back to the essence of when I first started doing music.” And where that happened was in, you guessed it, Church Street South. “I’m from there, born and raised,” James said. “I was down there for 19 years … that’s where I first discovered music, where I first experienced it, where I had my first singing group.” “Comfortable” taps into that vibe, and into James’s memories of the place. “When I first started listening to music, R&B, it was New Edition, it was some of the ‘70s stuff … speaking about sex and intimacy, but doing it in a way that’s still colorful, that still leaves something to the imagination, that wasn’t just in your face. When Marvin Gaye did ‘Let’s Get It On’ and ‘Sexual Healing’ … you knew what he was talking about, but he did it in a way that was still tasteful.” When James set about to make a follow-up album to 2014’s Just Being Honest, wanted to create a record that “felt like today, but still had those elements.” Why? “That’s who I am as an artist. I listen to anything from Sam Cooke to SZA, or Bryson Tiller,” James said. “What you’re getting is all those influences on my record.” James started singing as a child. In church he sang in the congregation at Ebenezer Chapel, which was on Columbus Avenue at the time. He first performed in public, with a microphone, when he was eight years old. He was in fourth grade, and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at an assembly at Prince Elementary School. “I remember the whole crowd in school just getting silent. And then when I finished, everyone just stood up and started clapping and cheering. Because only my music teacher, and people in my music class, knew that I could sing.” His music teacher at the time put him up to it. “Shout out to Ms. Kumar,” James said. “The lightbulb went off, that this might be something I really need to pursue.” He kept singing in church, eventually in front of the congregation, into his early teens. “I love gospel music,” James said. “The foundation for a lot of genres is gospel music. A lot of gospel artists go back and forth, from Al Green and Michael Jackson to Sam Cooke.” But he found the pull of R&B and soul music too strong to resist. In Church Street South he found himself among other musicians, “a ton of people who truly had talent,” who gave him the chance to hone his craft and are “still pursuing their dreams.” He also drew strength from the community around him, “one big dysfunctional family,” he said. “You get along one day and next day you don’t, but later on you become lifelong friends. You
• january | february 2018
Manny James. Courtesy of the artist.
realize these people have your back, and they want the best for you and they want to see you succeed. Some of my biggest supporters are people that have known me since I was a kid. That is the greatest feeling ever, hands down. Because they were literally there from the beginning. It’s not like they jumped on later. They’re like, ‘I know you and I know your struggle, and I know everything you’ve been through, so to see you take that and turn it into something positive is incredible.’” James started performing with his band — Soulclectic — in his early 20s, and saw success, drawing crowds of a couple hundred people thanks to the reputation he had already built for himself. He played clubs all over town, and started playing gigs out of town, too. In 2015 he played the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Over that time James connected with producer Fred Sargolini at Patriarch Recordings, who first hired James to do vocals on a few recordings. They moved on to writing and producing Just Being Honest. That album included the lushly produced “If the Sky Was Blue” and the reggae-tinged “She Is Loved.” For his follow-up effort, James decided to do something different. “Sonically, I went in with the mindset to make the records bigger, to make them be able to appeal to a bigger audience.” He booked a few days and went back into the studio with Sargolini and manager George Clomon. They started each day with no song written beyond sketches of melodies and lyrics; by the end of the day, a song was written, recorded, and produced. “It kind of happened on its own,” James said. “It was all raw and organic…. I think that you can stunt your growth, for lack of a better word, when you have set out exactly what you want to do.” So they would instead let ideas coalesce in the studio, where Sargolini had gathered together the instruments and recording gear they would need, with James’s voice to steer the proceedings. “A couple of the records I actually recorded in one take, straight through,” James said. The general idea, James said, was “to make something out of nothing — which is what Church Street South was. We didn’t have fancy cars and we didn’t have all the opportunities, but you had to take what you had and turn it into something great.” So the bedroom talk of “Comfortable” gives way to the even sexier “Begging (The Vamp),” the upbeat “I Told You So,” and the club jams “Close 2 Me” and “Blindfolded,”
which it’s easy to imagine booming out of enormous speakers. (“And me on top of the speakers,” James said.) But one song had been written before James visited Sargolini’s studio, one for which “I think I had an idea of exactly what I was going to create before I created it,” James said. “That was ‘Dear America,’ and that’s just because of everything I wanted to articulate.” In contrast to the big productions on the rest of Church Street South, “Dear America” is scaled back, the textures Sargolini excels at pulled mostly into the background. Out front it’s just James’s voice, a plaintive piano, a drum beat that could be on a Bill Withers record, with the sound updated to today. “There’s a lot of things that are going on the world today that are weighing heavy on me.” His wife encouraged him to write the song; he did it in 35 or 40 minutes filled with emotion. “I just kind of poured my heart out,” he said. “I wanted to address those people in America who don’t understand what people of color are trying to say, what we’ve been asking for, what we’re trying to do…. It’s about inequality, about racism, about segregation, about white supremacy. And it’s about us wanting to be treated equal. And that’s it. That’s all any person wants.” He sent a recording of the melody with a basic beat and chord structures to Sargolini, who told him not to change anything. Then Sargolini got to work creating the music around the melody. “It took him a while,” James said, “because he wanted to match the lyrics and the message in the song with the music, but also do it in a way that the music wasn’t distracting, and it actually was a marriage between the lyrics and the music.” “I thought it was very important as an artist with a platform for me to use my platform to move the culture forward and actually start those types of conversations and to get people to understand, ‘listen, it’s way bigger than what you think it is, and if we all can just have some empathy for each other, and look at what’s going on the world, and just work to make things better, it can get better.” James works in the field of special education as a behavioral technician and does some mentoring as well, and sees connections between that work and his work as a musician. In music, “you’re telling your stories and you’re putting your emotions into these records, but you’re doing it for the people…. Because it’s not about you. It’s never about you,” James said. When people come to see him perform, he added, “you try to give them back what they give to you. That’s how I try to approach every performance: ‘When I leave here, I’m going to make sure I gave it everything I had.’” n Church Street South is available on iTunes and on Amazon. To listen to the full interview with Manny James as well as “Comfortable,” “Dear America,” “Blindfolded,” and “Close 2 Me,” check out “Northern Remedy” at soundcloud.com/ new-haven-independent/sets/northern-remedy. This article comes via our content share with the New Haven Independent.
Even as “Vining,” the second song on Quietly’s Aestivation, fades in, a beat is already driving beneath shimmering chords, moody but not despairing. The singer’s comes in confessional but strong. “You got me addicted to the moonlight,” she sings. What follow are a set of lyrics as elliptical as they are emotional, their meaning elusive but the feelings clear. Full of subtle details and rich soundscapes, on Aestivation Quietly — the musical project of New Haven-based visual artist Cassie Bozicek — makes a big effect. According to Bozicek, it was a long time in coming. “I started writing songs on my acoustic guitar as far back as 2006 but I always craved more of an electronic-ambient synth oriented sound,” she wrote in an email. “I’m just now starting to feel like I’m able to produce sound that matches my intention as an artist.” The musical assurance evident on Aestivation belies Bozicek’s humility. Bozicek created the album on her laptop at home, and it vibrates with the thrill of discovering just how much can be done these days with that single tool. Beyond the big emotional statements in every song, there are details to explore, layers of sound moving in and out of one another. “Luxation” begins with a chord in each ear, both drenched in effects, a shaking tremolo. Then a slow, clanking beat anchors a sound that swoops in and rushes out again, filled with drama and menace. Bozicek’s voice soars over the top. “What is there to say?” she sings, but the music answers the question: a lot. The instrumental “Hibernaculum” makes a cavernous space for itself out of buzzing, pulsing synths. “Thanatosis” gets almost choral in its deploying of single melodic lines that weave among one another to create a harmonic lattice for Bozicek’s voice to lose itself in, and that’s before an insistent drumbeat pushes the song forward and a distorted tone — could be a guitar, could be a synth — seems to drop down from the sky to join Bozicek in a duet. “I like my work to be serious and beautiful,” Bozicek wrote. “I don’t play live … I used to with my acoustic, but I wasn’t really able to create the experience I would want with the limited resources that I have … I’m totally okay with that. I’m more into building something behind the scenes.” And build she does. The album’s closer, “The Holiday Paradox,” starts with the simplest drum beat that serves as the foundation for glassy synthesizers, and then, multiple voices that start off singing in unison but soon split off into rich harmonies that don’t offer solace so much as understanding. Though Bozicek made Aestivation solo, she’s no hermit. “I’m super in awe of the sound art scene in New Haven and I’m lucky to be able to experience it,” she wrote. “Everyone is so supportive of each other … it’s just wonderful to be met with friendly and accepting faces anywhere I go.” She’s already planning to release more songs in the near future, which includes possible collaborations with other musicians in town. In the meantime, that Aestivation was released at the cusp of winter last year seems fitting. It’s music for when the days are getting shorter and the sun is setting earlier, and it feels already like winter is coming, but we know we have ways to keep warm. n To check out Aestivation, visit veryquietly. bandcamp.com. This article comes via our content share with the New Haven Independent.
artspaper.org • 17
The Arts Paper january | february 2018
Ginger Chicken On The Menu lucy gellman Peter Guo has a routine at the end of every January: Pick out the freshest fish and vegetables from his favorite markets, buy enough pork, lotus root, and you choi for 600 customers in two days, put on his starched apron and splattered chef’s cap, and get to work. Guo, with his wife Michelle and daughter Abby, runs Great Wall restaurant on Whitney Avenue. His preparations—always frenetic, but especially as late January approaches—come in time for the Lunar New Year, which falls this year on Friday, Feb. 16. His goal, he said, is to watch customers walk in expecting a meal, and leave believing 2018 can still be a year of auspicious beginnings. “Three weeks [of celebration],” he said in an interview for WNHH’s “Kitchen Sync” program. “And a lot of family. We have customers come in and leave happy.” Based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, 2018 marks the year of the Dog. Peter Guo said he expects celebrations to last not just through the weekend of the 16th, but through the following two weeks, in keeping with Chinese custom. That includes Yale’s annual Lunarfest and parade, which the restaurant has supported for the past several years. Guo’s optimism for an auspicious new year—which is infectious, and radiates through the low-hanging steam and ginger-scented air of the restaurant—comes from his upbringing in Fu Jian province in southern China, where he and Michelle grew up. As a kid, he would watch his mother and grandmother prepare for Lunar New Year, cleaning the house with an inward sweeping technique for good luck, and then cooking enough to celebrate for three weeks as family members travelled from different cities to be together. He recalled the scents that would knock into each other like electrons as aunts, uncles, and cousins arrived and family members handed out Hongbao, or red envelopes stuffed with money, to the youngest members of the household.
Lucy Gellman photo.
As they celebrated late into the night, Michelle added of her own childhood, a spray of fireworks would light up the night sky. Now he, Michelle, and Abby are hoping to share that with New Haveners as a gesture of inclusion and community that can cross cultural boundaries. And it all starts in the kitchen, where still-pinching lobsters, pounds of ginger root, and glistening pork rub up against each other as they await meal prep. From there, the Guos and their small but mighty staff — with whom they make time to sit down during the weekend, when the crowd has quieted — are all hands on deck, working to present a spread specific to the new year. That begins with whole boiled fish with their scales and beady black eyes, root vegetables mixed with meat, summering vegetable soups, and sweet, round edibles,
Lucy Gellman photo.
18 • artspaper.org
including glutinous rice balls packed with red bean paste and sesame seeds and bright, golden oranges. A tray of candy in red and gold wrapping usually arrives atop a bed of melon seeds, the sign of many healthy children. Each, explained Abby Guo, has symbolic meanings, tied to both the foods themselves, and how they are pronounced in both Mandarin and Cantonese. Like fish, pronounced yú — which also alludes to prosperity and fortune. It’s common to hear Nian Nian You Yu, she said: May there be a fish in every year. There are multiple dishes that carry the same significance. Yu choy, which refers linguistically to both Chinese broccoli and the idea of good fortune, while Yùtou — taro root — stands in for amassing money. Crispy, garlicky and ginger-kissed chicken doubles as a sign for financial ascension. And thin, stir-fried lotus root —
Lián’ou — means family connectedness, coming together. At the end of the meal, Michelle Guo added, round rice balls and small, globeshaped fruits bring that idea to its zenith, representing a universal coming together. Those foods — and the whole meal — amount to what she is hoping will be a hopeful and prosperous year for not just the restaurant, but also the New Haveners who frequent it. “We wish New Haven for this new year … become better,” she said. “And the whole world, people become peaceful and the happiest year.” n This story first appeared in the New Haven Independent last year, and has been updated for accuracy with this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations around the corner. WNHH’s “Kitchen Sync” is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and wherever you get your podcasts.
Lucy Gellman photo.
january | february 2018 •
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• january | february 2018
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artspaper.org • 19
The 37th Annual Arts Awards ac staff photos by judy sirota rosenthal The Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s 37th annual Arts Awards honored the people, projects, and organizations that exemplify the complexity of our Creative Ecosystem. Artist and director of the Yale University Art Gallery, Jock Reynolds received the C. Newton Schenck III Lifetime Achievement in and Contribution to the Arts. Other honorees recognized at the December 1 luncheon at the New Haven Lawn Club included design education program Architecture Resource Center, librarian Diane Brown, Reverend Kevin Ewing, social enterprise Musical Intervention, and the massive Nasty Women New Haven exhibition. The Arts Council is grateful to our 2017 Arts Awards Honorary Committee: Bitsie Clark, Erik Clemons, Steven Kaplan, Charlie Kingsley, Jocelyn Maminta, Ed O’Brien, Barbara Pearce, Tony Rescigno, and Rick Wies. We are also grateful to the following sponsors who helped make this event possible: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Cannelli Printing, Coordinated Financial Resources/Chamber Insurance Trust, Edgehill Realtors, Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, KeyBank, Metropolitan Interactive, Wiggin and Dana, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University, Edible Arrangements, and UBS Financial Services. n
The 2017 award winners with Arts Council staff members and Board President Rick Wies.
Performance by Kiki Lucia and Luis Antonio.
The crowd at the New Haven Lawn Club at this year’s awards.
Photography investigating life
Judy Sirota Rosenthal firstname.lastname@example.org www. sirotarosenthalart.com www.sirotarosenthal.com families ~ events ~ education ~ documentary
Published on Jan 1, 2018