Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...

You are currently browsing the archives for the Art category.

Jennifer Gandin Le
Poetic People Power
2 Comments | posted April 12th, 2007 at 02:37 pm by Jennifer Gandin Le

Poetic People Power logoI’d like to give a shout out to Ms. Tara Bracco, a friend of many Crucial Minutists. (Though that’s not really a word, and it looks kind of like “Menudo.” Maybe we need a different term for ourselves.)

Tara’s the founder and producer of Poetic People Power, an annual poetry event that combines poetry and activism. Last night was the project’s fifth event. Tara always offers a great variety of poets and styles: from the hilariously theatrical and brief Sugar Johnson to the long-form lyricism of Pamela Sneed.

The cool thing about this project is that Tara commissions a new poem from each writer, each year on a different subject. This year it was universal health care. You’d think those poems might be awfully dry, but they were eloquent and moving. Each poet reads their commissioned piece, and another original poem that represents their style. The result is a delicious sampling that addresses one issue, but weaves in the poets’ other passions as well.

Another thing I dig: Tara always provides a “Stay Active!” section in the program, which offers several organizations doing concrete work to make a difference.

I overheard Kimmi talking with several other audience members after the show. They were saying how refreshing it was to listen to people speak out passionately about an issue, without being embarrassed or ironic.

I wish those crotchety critics of young people could see projects like Tara’s. They might think twice before accusing us of apathy.

Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: The Power Of Ritual
7 Comments | posted April 05th, 2007 at 09:41 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

“Ritual gives structure to chaos,” says Judy Davis, author of Who’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This Anyway. “It’s a form of communal holding. All who light candles in this way are connected, part of a family, part of something larger.”

It’s the morning after the second night of Passover, and we’re sitting in her kitchen, eating Matzo Brei covered with real maple syrup. Delicious.

She goes on to explain, “All rituals have open and closed parts. Everyone usually agrees about the closed parts. A Christmas tree on Christmas. A turkey on Thanksgiving. Open parts are the ways in which we can contribute our signature stamp, personalize the structure.”

Read more…

Jennifer Gandin Le
Beauty in a Wicked World: The Sky is Falling?
7 Comments | posted April 04th, 2007 at 10:14 am by Jennifer Gandin Le

No doubt, the climate change picture is bleak. A new UN report out this week says that 20 to 30 percent of all life on the planet could be destroyed within decades. Millions could go hungry. Fresh water could vanish. Blah blah blah death destruction, etc.

I don’t mean to minimize how much this sucks. But if we think we’re screwed no matter what, why would we bother to act?

Buried at the bottom of the CBS article (of course) is the good news. In May, the UN will issue a third report with strategies for how we can slow global warming. James J. McCarthy, a Harvard oceanographer and author of a 2001 report on climate change, says, “…Many of these [projections] can be avoided.” Says the article:

He said he is optimistic the worst won’t happen “because we can’t be that stupid.”

I agree. Read more…