Art Works Blog

National Endowment for the Arts

"For me, in rehearsals, every time I showed up I wanted to make sure that I was being truthful to my own voice." – Ty Defoe There’s a reason why the word multidisciplinary exists. Ty Defoe is that reason. He sings, dances, writes music, writes musicals, acts, educates and tells stories. This past...
Born in 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Leonard Bernstein was, in many ways, the most important American classical figure of his generation. If you’re familiar with his work, you probably know him as the man behind the score to the musical West Side Story . But Bernstein was a cultural juggernaut...
Summer is fast approaching and so we're winding things down on the Big Read blog. Two more posts to go and then we close up shop 'til the fall. Fare the well breezy spring days of 75 degree temps (all three of them), and hello swamp-heat, which so graciously suffocates the District like a wool...
How do you live in a place that might be completely alien to you? - Manil Suri Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel and Big Read selection, The Namesake , further explores an issue near and dear to the author's heart: what it feels like to be an immigrant. Though Gogol Ganguli is the protagonist, it's his...
Actor Tony Plans reads "My Life with the Wave" by Nobel Prize laureate and NEA Big Read author, Octavio Paz.
New to Poetry Out Loud or just need a reminder how it works? Don't worry, 2011's POL emcee Kerry Washington is here to help! Just click "play" and you'll know all you need to know about the rules before you join us tonight on arts.gov at 7pm ET to cheer on the next Poetry Out...
Emily Dickinson was, it's been noted, progressive for her time, her time being the late 1800s. In the poem featured below, we see how she skillfully, and slyly, reveals how she's not your typical, church-going woman. After you read the poem, you'll find an excerpt by former president of...
March is one day away, so to kick off National Women's Month we're shining a light on Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of Charles Portis's novel, True Grit . Though fictional, young Mattie leaps off the pages with her unwavering conviction and outsize personality. This wonderful...
Listing all of Ernest Gaines’s achievements would likely take up an entire paragraph or five. There’s been a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and critically acclaimed books such as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman , A Gathering of Old Men , and...
When Kenn Nesbitt found out he would be the new Children’s Poet Laureate , he said he was “floored.” We’re not sure why. After all, the poet has published over a dozen books and collections of poetry and has endeared himself to kids across the country with his instinctual ability to make them laugh...

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