Mass Cultural Council 2nd annual Traditional Arts Showcase at Shalin Liu, Sept. 8

Mayor Romeo Theken shares Mass Cultural Council’s invitation to upcoming arts showcase in Rockport: The Mass Cultural Council presents Saturday, September 8, 7:30 PM 

MCC event at Rockport Music.org- Crossing Customs: Immigrant Masters of Music & Dance

“The Mass Cultural Council is sponsoring our second annual Traditional Arts Showcase at the Shalin Liu on September 8. We would love for you to join us! Please share this invitation with your networks (via your newsletters, social media, online calendars, etc.) See details below regarding performers and ticket info. $20 general admission”

Event will celebrate music and dance: Gund Kwok Asian Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe; recent immigrants from Nepal will perform music of the Gandharvas; indigenous music of Greece led by Vasilis Kostas; salsa lesson from Eli Lady Pabon; and music from Latin Logic (photo above).

I wonder if Carlos Menenzes (Cape Ann Big Band;Jambalaya horns, O’Maley), Zach Gorrell, Docksiders, and other area artists and musicians know these groups and vice versa?

Continue below to see more information about the upcoming event and videos of the performers from MCC Press release:

Continue reading “Mass Cultural Council 2nd annual Traditional Arts Showcase at Shalin Liu, Sept. 8”

Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing 2017 Harbor Lights 20171122_091510

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing Harbor Lights, GIF 1122091429
from a studio visit with Stephanie Benenson Nov 2017

You can join in Stephanie Benenson’s fascinating big vision, Harbor Voices, a public art and cultural piece that’s made from light, sound and community participation. Part of the project is a  large-scale and temporary LIVE light & sound installation which will happen on ten minute loops from 4-8pm on Friday December 8th, and Saturday December 9th, one of many featured events for the 2017 Middle Street Walk. Harbor Voices will be held inside the Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall , 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA.

Come experience a sweeping ocean of sound, stories and light, drawn by the voices and acts of generosity of neighbors and friends.

Benenson, a Rockport native and North Shore based fine artist, received a prestigious and competitive RISD grant to create Harbor Voices. Benenson collected over 100 stories in eight languages of recent and ancestral immigration to Cape Ann. For the past year she led (and continues to lead) practical and creative storytelling sessions and workshops at area schools like Veteran’s Memorial and Gloucester High School,  as well as community organizations and centers such as Sandy Bay Historical Society. Students talked with Benenson about “their ancestors* and families bringing cultural heritage to Cape Ann.” She said that kids mentioned “family members that started businesses here (like Jalapenos, Sclafanis, and other cultural destinations on Cape Ann)…and how meangingful that was to them…and people that they had deep respect and admiration for…” They discussed “family recipes, music, food and how immigration historically has made American art and culture come alive.”  Mayor Romeo Theken was the first story collected. Other Cape Ann storytellers outside of the schools and non profit partners include: Jean Testaverde (Portuguese fishing ancestry), Ingrid Swan (Swedith quarrying ancestry), Heather Lovett (descendent of Roger Babson), Sal Zerilli (Awesome Gloucester and Rockport), Jan Bell, Buddy Woods, Susannah Natti (Finnish and descendent of Folly Cove designer), Rich Francis (GHS teacher), and Celestino Basille (GHS teacher).

Depending upon age and preference, stories were written, recorded, or drawn. All were mixed into materials and audio that will choreograph connections directly into the light installation, and an enlarging community. At first, Benenson thought the light might guide any audio. Instead voices continue to guide the light.

Every story and act of generosity is linked to the installation and transformed into light.

Blurring the lines between public art and social sculpture, LIVE happening and virtual action, Harbor Voices emblematically presents stories, shared connections and actions. Participants of all ages are encouraged to interact with the project www.harborvoices.com and its installation– to bathe so to speak in a community of vibrancy and waves of interconnectedness and support.  Benenson adds that from 4-6PM during the two days of this installation iteration, “children will be offered a small flashlight to engage with this artwork, allowing them a tangible moment to consider their part in this interconnected network of community and local history by creating their own beam of light.” Also, before the installation opens to the public, one hundred Gloucester High School students –including some who have already added into the piece– will come to City Hall to experience Harbor Voices.

Benenson’s promotion for Harbor Voices launched in September. Leveraging attention for this remarkably ambitious project is an essential component as more involvement means more impact. Straight away it fostered community and brought opportunities. For example, Benenson spoke about the project and shared audio of the stories with Rose Baker seniors, Gloucester Rotary and the Cape Ann Museum’s Red Cottage Society. Someone from Beverly has already underwrittten  support for a class at Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School. She spoke about the project with Joey as part of GMG podcast #253

As a third generation Cape Ann artist, Benenson is especially excited to “create art and conversations around our cultural heritage and our contributions to the vibrant mix of people that live on Cape Ann.”

See more pictures and read more about the artist

Continue reading “Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art”

The New Yorker Magazine- Louis Menand checks out Gloucester TS Eliot House

 

Not surprisingly, the Eliot House writers’ retreat is getting some major ink. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Louis Menand, writes about his visit this past spring, fleshing out some context and the mission of the T.S. Eliot Foundation. I’d tweak the title “one paradox”. Menand has written about Eliot before: his first published book was Discovering Modernism: T. S. Eliot and His Context, 1987.

“…Eliot’s father, Henry, who ran a company that manufactured bricks, took the family to Massachusetts every summer, and in 1896, the year Eliot turned eight, Henry built a big house on Cape Ann, in Gloucester, overlooking the outer harbor. Until Eliot went off to Europe, in 1914, he spent his summers there…”

The New Yorker Louis Menand T S Eliot House

HarborWalk T S Eliot marker

 

Celebrating 63 Years in the USA Today

Anibal 2 (2)

This day  March 23rd, I celebrate my arrival in Gloucester in 1954 from Lajes do Pico Azores.

Many thanks to my parents Anibal and Adelina for all their scarifies bringing our family to this great country.

Photo of my parents as God Parents during a christening in 1969.