Urban Studies

Urban Life and Creativity: From Conflict to Cultural Innovation

What role does the experience of urban life play in stimulating creativity? In his newest book, “The Muse of Urban Delirium,” author Blair Ruble writes about the challenges of urban diversity, conflict, and creativity by examining the emergence of artistic expression in a series of specific cities at particular times. His analysis provides the focus for this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Guest

Vanessa German and Spoken Word Opera

One afternoon in December 2016, well over one-hundred denizens of official Washington crowded into an auditorium in the Woodrow Wilson Center to celebrate “creative placemaking.”  With NEA Chair Jane Chu, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson looking on, a young African-American artist stepped to the stage and transported the entire room into another dimension with her moving poem about the children of the Homewood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  German transformed the afternoon into a spiritual awakening with what many were calling the most

A Five-Story Story

Up to 1.6 million Muscovites live in worn-out dwellings that are beyond repair, the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin told President Vladimir Putin during their televised meeting last week. “Well, these building have to be razed and new housing has to be built instead,” Putin suggested matter-of-factly, as if the two men were discussing Sobyanin’s old dacha.

Local Approaches to Addressing Crime and Violence in Latin America

  

Local Approaches to Addressing Crime and Violence in the Americas: How Smarter Policing and Decentralized Approaches Can Help

The Muse of Urban Delirium: How the Performing Arts Paradoxically Transform Conflict-Ridden Cities into Centers of Cultural Innovation

The Muse of Urban Delirium is a collection of essays that seeks answers to the challenges of urban diversity, conflict and creativity by examining the emergence of musical and theatrical originality-to include opera, dance, theater and music-in a series of specific cities at particular times. It explores the relationship between those creative minds who sought to define their communities and their urban muses.

Musical Performance by The DC Legendary Musicians featuring Manny Kellough and the Jazz All Stars 

 

Reception to follow.

Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili and Physical Theater

Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili arrived in the United States with their own immigrant dream: to integrate their distinctive brand of physical theater into American theatrical life. As The New York Times has noted, their vision produces an “elegant fusion of dance and experimental theater.” Their approach draws on the long-standing theatrical traditions of their homeland, the country of Georgia, which merges physicality and mime into an exceptional brand of performance.

Violence and Crime in Major Andean Cities: Characteristics and Public Policies

  

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The Muse of Urban Delirium: How the Performing Arts Paradoxically Transform Conflict-Ridden Cities Into Centers of Cultural Innovation

This collection of essays seeks answers to the challenges of urban diversity, conflict, and creativity by examining the emergence of musical and theatrical originality in a series of specific cities at particular times. It does so by using various performing arts - opera, dance, theater, music - as windows onto the creativity of urban life. These were urban societies in which the socio-economic and political transformations were taking place at such rapid speed as to force consideration of their meaning and identity.

The Urban Disadvantage: Maternal and Newborn Inequalities Among the Urban Poor

Urbanization is changing the face of poverty and marginalization, and the maternal and newborn health field needs to change too, said a panel of experts at the Wilson Center on January 24.

Hometown D.C.: America's Secret Music City

In his memoir Music Is My Mistress, Duke Ellington fondly recalled whiling away the days of his youth at Holliday’s poolroom in Washington, DC.

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