Food for Thought

Joe Patti, author of the arts blog Butts in the Seats and experienced arts administrator, writes about the connections that are created in a community engaged with the arts, and some not-often-discussed benefits that the arts bring, even in a small town.
Case in point, I met an administrator at the university early one Friday, later that day he got his haircut. That night his hairdresser, whom I had never met before, said he made positive remarks about me.
What has been interesting to me... 						
						
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I like cemeteries, especially the old ones.  They're time machines, filled with artwork and stories. I'm as  curious about the people who carved grave monuments as  I am about those who lie beneath and around them. On a recent sunny Saturday,  I got a chance to ride through Spring Forest Cemetery, off Mygatt Street in Binghamton.   One stone read "Died at Age 70" with a death date of 1845.  That meant she -- it was the grave of a woman --  was born  in 1775, one...
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The issue of violence against women has been much in the news. Congress recently re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is holding hearings on sexual abuse in the military. A rape and killing in India has prompted protest and self-examination in that country. So a production taking place this coming weekend (March 8 and 9) in Binghamton is both timely and provocative. KNOW Theatre, known for presenting challenging plays, is staging The MENding Monologues, a 90-minute play that explores violence against women and girls from...
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In a recent Wall Street Journal article, American author, teacher and social critic Camille Paglia wrote  that "too many artists have lost touch with the general audience and have retreated to an airless echo chamber... "For the arts to revive in the U.S., young artists must be rescued from their sanitized middle-class backgrounds. We need a revalorization of the trades that would allow students to enter those fields without social prejudice (which often emanates from parents eager for the false cachet of an Ivy League sticker on...
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Reviewed by George Basler In the midst of big-budget summer blockbusters flooding local multiplexes, a small but important film has opened at the Art Mission & Theater in downtown Binghamton. Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch, is a documentary that focuses on schoolyard persecution and  its impact on students and their families. While some may consider sitting through a documentary as a far-from-entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I found Bully anything but bland. It's extraordinarily compelling as it tackles a topic that has been much in the news. Read more