Building Inclusive and Livable Cities
On the evening of December 30, 2014 -- just as two dozen or so patrons were settling into their seats at a purposefully ramshackle basement theater in central Moscow to watch a film about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine -- police officials and a television crew entered the hall, declared a bomb threat, and asked everyone to evacuate. Despite the declared urgency that a bomb might go off, the police checked and recorded the documents of everyone in the audience and requested that they wait in paddy wagons parked outside for their own protection. When questioned about the wisdom of taking 4
The rhythmic hip-hop-like chants of protest exploded just as the final curtain came down on the flower-laden ballet dancers and the musicians who had performed with them.
Synetic Theater has another hit on its hands with its new production of Beauty and the Beast. “It gives you goosebumps,” writes the website Broadway World; “A lush, almost feverish theatrical experience, impressive to see and satisfying,” gushes Talkin’ Broadway blog; “fresh and frightening,” declares the Washington City Paper; and “graphically clever” as well as “bewitchingly ideal conveyance,” notes the doyen of Washington critics Peter Marks in the Washington Post.
More than two decades ago, in 1993, Harvard Government Professor Robert Putnam published his now classic study Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Trying to answer the question why northern Italian cities developed vibrant civic traditions which came to support the growth of democratic institutions and southern Italian cities did not, Putnam was surprised to find a strong correlation between civic health and choral societies. Putnam masterfully argued that choral societies emerged fro
Several of the speakers at the recent Meeting of the Minds in Detroit – including Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken, together with several foundation and community leaders from Detroit itself — echoed one simple sentiment: “We aren’t going to lose our community on our watch.” This sense of identification with and responsibility for community constitutes an important component of urban resilience. Significantly, speakers underscored how “not losing” one’s community is not just about keeping things as they are.
Just eight years after establishing a powerful military regime that would last 26 decades, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu became so disturbed by a troupe of itinerate actors that he expelled them from his Suruga military base. The group performed in a popular new style known as “kabuki.” To critical observers such as Ieyasu and his coterie of military strong-men, kabuki dancing consisted of women of ill-repute showing themselves off to potential customers. While an overly simplistic characterization, early kabuki performance seemed to many to be primarily about sell
On a recent pleasant summer evening, my wife and I found ourselves at Washington’s Southwest Waterfront listening to a free sunset concert by one of the fabulous jazz divas of our times, Washington’s Sharón Clark. Sharón, who packs important clubs from Broadway to Irkutsk and is frequently compared by critics to Sarah Vaughn, was performing before people who know and appreciate what a special singer she is.
Communities undergoing gentrification often fail to find ways to talk across the fault lines running among newcomers and old-timers.
At the height of the Cold War, Soviet wags loved to tell ironic tales about their political leaders. Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev inspired a number of particularly endearing stories which always somehow related to his being slightly at sea in the middle of world events swirling around him. One such anikdot pitted the witless Brezhnev against a wily Richard Nixon.