Art Works Blog

In this week's podcast, we meet a member of the 2013 class of NEA Jazz Masters: alto saxophonist, Lou Donaldson . For over 60 years, Donaldson has played a swinging bebop---combining elements of bop with a soulful sound that is absolutely his own. It's a style of playing that earned him the...
J. Rachel Gustafson on the banks of the Seine before joining the NEA team. Photo by Maggie Shackleford 2012 has been a flurry of change and firsts in my life. I moved from a town I had called home for a decade. I quit my ‘career’ to branch out into a new one. I surpassed my mid-twenties...
Preservation by flickr user Gruenemann If you were to criss-cross the country visiting the nation's legendary jazz clubs, one of your first stops would be the Village Vanguard, owned by NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . Founded by Gordon's husband Max, the Vanguard first opened its doors in...
Bob Koester with the late, great bluesman Big Joe Williams's famous nine-string guitar. Photo by Frank Corpus For most of us, our childhood hobbies---rock collecting, baseball cards---end their lives in dusty boxes in the attic. For select others, they grow into passions that eventually turn...
Video of LgF-mK5wCRo "[T]hat ever-present element of surprise is a celestial synchronicity that not only energizes the film you're making but also hopefully resonates with your audience." --- Kelly Sheehan At the turn of the last century, Kelly Sheehan found herself working with...
Last week, we heard from folk legend Pete Seeger as he shared his memories of fellow musician and good friend Woody Guthrie. In this week's podcast , we continue the conversation with Seeger. Born into a family of classical musicians, Seeger was encouraged to play music from the very start. By...
"Unlike most poets, I do not teach at a university, possess an MFA, or even spend very much of my time talking about poetry." --- Ken Chen Author, attorney, translator, executive director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW), and a 2013 NEA Creative Writing Fellow, Ken...
Text and photo by Jamie McCrary I wasn't sure what to use as a picture, but I figured a notebook and some coffee are a pretty accurate portrayal of my work here. When I moved to Washington, DC in August, I hit the ground running. There were so many things I wanted to do, and I didn’t want...
The Hybrid Movement Company performs Spirito dell’aquila (Eagle spirit) at the 2012 gala for Career Transition for Dancers. Photo by Richard Termine. "[Dance] itself develops, through the years of training, the skills and qualities in dancers that make them exceptional in any post-...
Art Room by flickr user cayoup As we wind down another year of NEA research blog posts, I thought it fitting to end on a mildly aspirational note. For a topic, I need look no further than arts education, itself redolent with the themes of hope, striving, and self-discovery. It also helps that I...

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