Art Works Blog

NEA

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...
This year is the centenary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth—April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia—and there are musical celebrations planned across the country and around the world. And with good reason. She is a singer’s singer, a voice like crystal with a purity of range and intonation and a...
Today, we get to hear from Afro-Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado. Twice. That's right, folks. Two blogs for the price of one. Well, two audio stories. The first in English, the second in Spanish. In mid-October, at the tail end of Hispanic Heritage Month, Betsayda Machado and the electrifying...
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...
After recently stumbling into an (older) review of Wes Anderson's movies by the remarkable writer, Michael Chabon, I was reminded of Chabon's memorable breakdown of the Big Read novel, A Wizard of Earthsea, by one of his favorite writers, Ursula K. Le Guin. Curiously, both Wes Anderson's movies and...
"Every interaction with a patient is in some sense a form of poetry." - Dr. Rafael Campo Dr. Rafael Campo is that rare kind of human being who’s both right and left-brained. Not only is he a doctor, he’s a published and well-respected poet. Campo is as serious about the power...
Actor Tony Plans reads "My Life with the Wave" by Nobel Prize laureate and NEA Big Read author, Octavio Paz.
School is back in session. For you Big Readers out there, the end of summer means the return of our Big Read-focused blog posts. Hooray! Ok. Now for some Housekeeping . (Anyone? That's a sly Big Read reference and this author's favorite Big Read novel). For anyone who missed the...
NEA grantee American Routes has been on the air for almost 16 years, educating and entertaining audiences about all sorts of American music and cultural heritage. Now Nick Spitzer, folklorist, professor, and the show's host, has taken the show on the road…and we ain't talking Route...

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