Archive for January, 2009

Arts Presenters: Manuel Bagorro

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Manuel BagorroManuel Bagorro is the founder and artistic director of the Harare International Festival of the Arts. Now in its tenth year, HIFA celebrates a vibrant cultural life and highlights connections between Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.

In this podcast Manuel talks about transitioning from concert pianist to festival director, the importance of creativity for communities struggling to cope, and his new collaboration with Carnegie Hall.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

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Suzan-Lori Parks Has Some Advice for You

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Photo by Eric Schwabel

When times are tough, why not take some advice? Especially when it comes from a perceptive playwright.

This week, New York plays host to the annual meeting of presenters, managements, and performing artists of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. (Be sure to check out the podcast interviews with some of the players.)

By this time next week, many of your local arts centers will have programmed their future season, bringing back favorites and introducing you to new artists.

To help inspire their choices, APAP gave the opening platform to one of America’s most remarkable playwrights, Suzan-Lori Parks.

Parks recounted her story from trying to write a novel in fourth grade, to finding her voice, to being surprised by the accolades that have followed her work.

Maybe you have already broken your new year’s resolutions, or even forgotten them. Either way, Parks has some timeless advice for all of us, especially in these difficult times.

  1. Entertain Your Far-Out Ideas: Don’t ignore them, don’t put them until retirement, but invite them in.
  2. Just say no to advice that doesn’t jive with your heart. Do say yes to advice that resonates with your heart.
  3. Practice listening. You’ll be amazed by what you hear.
  4. Don’t worry about being cool.
  5. Practice radical inclusion.
  6. Work to see yourself in the other person.
  7. Always realize the value of kindness.
  8. Enjoy the trip.

A new year, new season, and new hope — for the arts; and where there’s a renewed art, there’s a renewal in all of us. Don’t you think?

- Bill Reichblum

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Arts Presenters: Bill Bragin

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Bill BraginBill Bragin is Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center, heading up the summer outdoor festivals Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Bill was also director of Joe’s Pub and The Public Theater.

In this podcast he talks about how he became hooked on world music, how he draws audiences to innovative performances, and the challenges and opportunities for American presenters.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Photo Credit: Nicole Szalewski

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Arts Presenters: Dana Leong

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Dana LeongDana Leong is an electro-jazz cellist/composer and heads the quartet MILK & JADE by Dana Leong. Dana studied both classical cello and jazz trombone at the Manhattan School of Music, a mix that has resulted in his becoming what some have called a “hi-def Yo-Yo Ma.”

In this podcast he talks about performing and composing, participating in the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program, and how he incorporates technology into his artistic vision.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Photo credit: John Walder

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Arts Presenters: Ben Todd

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Ben ToddBen Todd is the executive director of Arcola Theatre in London. Arcola takes the artistic traditions of innovation, inspiration and integration with the local community and extends them to sustainability. In addition to managing Arcola Theatre, Ben also works as a technology broker for the Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Knowledge Transfer Network run by the UK Technology Strategy Board.

In this interview he talks about what drew him to Arcola Theatre, how environmental initiatives and the performing arts converge, and why arts organizations will be the agents of change for sustainability in the 21st Century.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

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