Art Works Blog

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Washington, DC City Arts DC's Duke Ellington Mural was installed at 1200 U Street, NW in 2007. Photo courtesy City Arts DC I founded City Arts DC in 1997 in order to continue the work I had begun under the auspices of DC Artworks, a nonprofit arts organization that supervised the District Mayor...
Washington, DC Duke Ellington (far left) and his orchestra performing at Howard University in Washington, DC in 1940. Photo by William P. Gottlieb This week's podcast continues our look at the nation's capital, this time turning our attention to one of DC's most famous sons, Duke...
Washington, DC U Street, NW in Washington, DC - once known as the "Black Broadway" for its plethora of theaters - hit hard times in the 1970s and '80s. After the riots of 1968 nearly burned the neighborhood to the ground, it was a long time coming before new life sprung up there. But...
Washington, DC "The more I tried to get away from what was genuine in my life, the worse off the stories were," said Amy Tan when talking about how she began the writing of The Joy Luck Club, an NEA Big Read selection. In this excerpt from this week's podcast, she talks about how she...
Washington, DC How has opera changed over the last 30 years? NEA Opera Honors recipient Carlisle Floyd has a perhaps surprising theory on why opera has grown over the last three decades. [2:57] Listen to the entire podcast , with Floyd as he discusses the writing of some of his most famous pieces,...
Washington, DC What happens when you start a career on an instrument, become one of the leading performers on it, and then can't play it any more? If you're NEA Jazz Master David Baker, you move on to something new. When he could no longer play trombone due to an accident to his jaw, Baker took up...
The Birmingham Sunlights--2009 NEA National Heritage Fellows---draw on the rich heritage of quartet-style singing of Alabama's Jefferson County region, which folklorist Hank Willett calls one of the "most remarkable of Alabama's cultural jewels." The five-man, four-part harmony a cappella gospel...
So there you are, in charge of one of the most treasured orchestras in the country. Looked up to. Respected. And there in the front row, one of your musicians is your mother. You know, the person who took care of you for years---now you're her boss. That?s the situation Alan Gilbert faced when he...
Washington, DC JiYoung Lee and other young artists from Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program performed at the Great American Voices launch event, which was held in the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon. Photo by Keith W. Wood, The Boeing Company From 2005-2007, the NEA's...
"I think that when those two things collide---the political forces of the world and the primal nature of one's own being---sparks fly." So says playwright Rajiv Joseph in the NEA's newest podcast as he discusses, among other things, his play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo . Certainly sparks fly...

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