Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans
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Defining an Artist

Honorific vs. Generic

By: Charles Giuliano - 08/30/2014
Honorific vs. GenericAnyone who hangs a few pictures in a coffee shop is a self proclaimed artist or photographer. Is anyone who makes art an artist? Does posting comments to Facebook make one a critic? Does posting snap shots of your cat or kids qualify as art? Despite decades as a successful commercial and fine arts photographer the Berkshire based Benno Friedman, during an extensive interview, explains why he hestitates to call himself an artist.

Open Letter to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

My Theatrical Response to Disaster in Ferguson

By: Larry Stark - 08/29/2014
My Theatrical Response to Disaster in FergusonBack in the day Larry Stark was the theatre critic for Boston After Dark which elided as The Boston Phoenix. He has covered theatre for decades currently with his website Theatre Mirror. Following up on campaign promises Stark in an open letter has questions for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "To put it bluntly Mayor, I voted for you Only because I thought at the time that your commitment to The Arts was genuine."

The Vaccination Divide

Exploring the Pros and Cons

By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/25/2014
Exploring the Pros and ConsFaith based and other concerned parents have opted not to vaccinate their children. This can result in outbreaks in formerly widely preventable diseases. There are concerns that vaccinations may in fact induce dangerous side effects inluding an inclination for autism. Our science correspondent, a firm advocate of vaccination, explores the issues and risk factors.

Exhibit in Grant Park Addresses Ferguson

Unspeakable Times Are Soothed by Chicago's Statues

By: Susan Hall - 08/25/2014
Unspeakable Times Are Soothed by  Chicago's StatuesThe figures are iron and aluminum, but to me and many others they stood for black and white. People of all colors are walking and seated in the Georg Solti Park in Grant Park, Chicago. These sculptures invite quiet contemplation of the state of race relations in this country this August.

NY Times Zings Mass MoCA

Mixed Report on $25.4 Million from Commonwealth

By: Charles Giuliano - 08/22/2014
Mixed Report on $25.4 Million from CommonwealthTwelve days after breaking news the New York Times has reported on $25.4 million in Commonwealth funding for the $50 million renovation of the final phase of build out for Mass MoCA. While damning the museum with faint praise the Times drags up an eight year old controversy of a botched installation by Christoph Buchel. The reporter probed far and wide for on and off the record smears of the museum and its critical reputation.

A Welcome Settlement at the Met

The Unions and Management Both Give Ground

By: Susan Hall - 08/21/2014
The Unions and Management Both Give GroundFrom inside the Met: "Both sides gave in. This is heartening. The three big unions took income reductions, even though they are not the massive reductions Gelb wanted. One of the good things is having some oversight on Gelb's spending. A big concern house-wide has been Gelb's tendency to over-spend without thinking things through." It appears that by settling with unions there will not be the anticipated lockout and the Metropolitan Opera will launch its season on schedule. We dig below the surface of this news for an understanding of long term implications for the Met and the struggle to sustain opera as an expesnive and viable cultural resource.

Descartes to Yogi Berra

When You Come to the Fork in the Road Take It

By: David Zaig - 08/19/2014
When You Come to the Fork in the Road Take ItThe artist/ playwright/ thinker David Zaig evokes Descartes and Yogi Berra in a lively response to dissent aroused by his recent ruminations in Berkshire Fine Arts. Here he brings more depth and insight to those previous discussions.

What's Up at the Metropolitan Opera?

An Insider's View

By: Susan Hall - 08/10/2014
An Insider's View The jury is still out on when the Metropoitan Opera season will actually start. The bulk of the rehearsals for the Marriage of Figaro have already been completed, so it may be possible for the House to be ready for opening night. One rumor circulating is that Gelb will plan his lockout during the scheduled rehearsal time for Death of Klinghoffer, so that he can cancel the production. This would mean that he could extricate himself from that publicity disaster and blame the unions for it. An independent budget analysis is supposed to be completed by August 11th. It will be interesting to see how negotiations go forward after that.

Cogito Ergo Sum Ok Now What?

The Mind Is What the Brain Does

By: David Zaig - 08/06/2014
The Mind Is What the Brain Does We are supposed to love, feel, and have emotions, but not supposed to know what the mechanisms are that make us behave that way. That is too much to ask. So now, it’s normal to say, “I feel” or “I love” without having to explain how these emotions came about. This is the accepted standard for social and human behavior—it’s very much a fixture of our psyche and the cause for our societal chaos, helplessness, confusion, and mindlessness.

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