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Feasts for Eyes Too Blind to See: Destroying Communities in the Name of Ideology

Feb 09, 2016
District 6 Museum- Cape Town--by Jasmine Nears

The end – as Nomvuyo Ngcelwane would recall decades later in her memoirs Sala Kahle District Six: An African Woman’s Perspective – proved to be unremarkable. One early October day in 1963, an ungainly truck rumbled up to 22 Cross Street in Cape Town’s District Six, in the heart of one of the most diverse neighborhoods on the African continent.

Down By The Riverside: Jazz Over the Volga

Jan 19, 2016
Jazz Over the Volga

The quiet Russian provincial city of Yaroslavl would hardly appear to be a hotbed of jazz.  Located around 160 miles north east of Moscow on the Volga River, the city retains a charming historic center shaped by Catherine the Great’s planners in the eighteenth century, and embellished by the region’s wealthy merchants in the nineteenth.

Any understanding of “community” loses texture and vitality as it becomes a term of art spoken too often in policy debates without much thought.

Aug 26, 2015

Recently, I have been hearing a lot about supporting “community” as a way to address pressing urban challenges, such as rising crime, entrenched poverty, and substandard education systems.  The concept of “community” – especially those deemed to be “sustainable” and “resilient” – has come to be a currency of the realm in discussions about cities, development, and rebounding from disaster. Any understanding of “community” loses texture and vitality as it becomes a term of art spoken too often in policy debates without much thought. 

After Baltimore, we must see community as a process

May 01, 2015
After Baltimore, we must see community as a process

Baltimore became my refuge when I moved to the District four decades ago. As a native New Yorker, I could not quite adjust to overly conformist official and bureaucratic life in a nation’s capital. Charm City’s quirky citizens just an hour away offered a much appreciated escape. Working-class Baltimore was the opposite of Washington, blues singer Leadbelly’s quintessential “Bourgeois town.” Watching Baltimore’s torment unfold in recent days has broken my heart.

Misty Copeland to Dance Swan Lake at DC’s Kennedy Center

Apr 06, 2015

History will be made at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the e

Theater and the Heart of a City: Moscow’s Teatr.doc’s Confrontation with Authority

Jan 07, 2015
Teatr.doc

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

Dancing towards Revolution in Kyiv

Dec 15, 2014

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.

“Beauty and the Beast:” A Tale of Entrepreneurship and Community

Dec 15, 2014

     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.  

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