Friday, February 25, 2011

‘Kind of Blue’: Senior Debuts Jazz-Inspired Play About Male Identity // UNC Student Kuamel Stewart

Full article here // Excerpt below

Senior communication studies major Kuamel Stewart is passionate about jazz music and playwriting. He combines those two loves into one with the Feb. 23 debut of “Kind of Blue,” a play he wrote that explores male identity. The title of the play comes from the 1959 Miles Davis’ modal jazz album, “Kind of Blue.”


Preview night is 6 p.m. Feb. 23. The play will be performed Feb. 24-28 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 26-27 at 2 p.m in Playmakers Theatre, 202 E. Cameron Ave. After the Feb. 24 show, theater-goers can enjoy a free live performance of Miles Davis’ iconic album at 10 p.m. in Room 1201 of the Kenan Music Building as part of the Carolina Jazz Festival. Free tickets to the play are available at the Memorial Hall Box Office in person, by calling (919) 843-3333 or online at On March 1, the cast and crew will hold a “talk back” session to further explore the themes of masculinity at 7 p.m. in the Carmichael Dormitory ballroom.

Keep reading...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What is the Future of Traditional Church Music? // From the Daily Episcopalian

Full article here // Excerpt below

By George Clifford

Recently, I’ve participated in, or overheard, several conversations about church music. A well-known, respected authority on Episcopal liturgy openly declined to attend Morning Prayer at a conference we both attended because the service included Taizé music. These experiences evoked memories of conversations in my former parish between parishioners who wanted a variety of contemporary music (Taizé, jazz, guitars, praise choruses, etc.) and those who wanted only traditional music (i.e., classical, chant, or from the 1982 Hymnal).

Keep reading...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Singing Hallelujah with Fear in Your Heart // Arcade Fire and the Suburban Soul

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Paul Harvey

Has there been a major pop group more concerned with exploring personal anxieties, aspirations, and narratives through music defined so fundamentally by religious themes? The turmoil and paranoia of the last decade—wars, attacks, economic crashes, myriad color-coded fears—run through Arcade Fire’s three full-length records: Funeral, Neon Bible, and The Suburbs. The newest effort induces a tour of previous decades, when suburbia seemed (but only seemed) to offer placidity and refuge from the wilderness downtown.


From their debut, Funeral, and then most obviously and grandiosely in their last production, Neon Bible, religious desire, frustration, and anger define the lyrics. For some of the band’s critics, the group lays it on a bit thick. On Neon Bible, a crashing church organ accompanies a song about crippling inhibition and self-consciousness:

My body is a cage
that keeps me from dancing with the one I love
but my mind holds the key

set my body free, set my spirit free...

And a symphonic explosion of sound highlights the climax to “Intervention”:

Been working for the church while your life falls apart
been singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart

Keep reading...

What Does Mercy Look Like? // From NY Times' Lens Blog

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Niko Koppel

Mercy is commonly defined as compassion, forgiveness, kindness or an act of piety. But photographs of prisoners reaching through bars, a wrestler being contorted by masked men and an infant dressed for burial are among the many interpretations of the word in the book “The Mercy Project/Inochi,” created and curated by James Whitlow Delano.

Keep reading...

Haiti’s Scars, and Its Soul, Find Healing on Walls // Haitian Murals Find Sanctuary in Restoration Project

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Damien Cave

Colorful and sad, beautiful but cracked, the three remaining murals of the Episcopal Trinity Cathedral received the soft afternoon sun after last year’s earthquake only because the rest of the church had collapsed.

Haitians walking by looked heartbroken. All 14 murals had been internationally treasured. Painted in the early 1950s during an artistic renaissance here, they depicted biblical scenes from a proud, local point of view: with Jesus carrying a Haitian flag as he ascended to heaven; and a last supper that, unlike some famous depictions, does not portray Judas with darker skin than the other disciples.

“All of this was painted from a Haitian perspective,” said the Rev. David César, the church’s main priest and its music school director. He marveled at the image miraculously still standing: Judas, with the white beard and wavy white hair often assigned to God himself.

It was his favorite mural, he said, and now, it is being saved.

Keep reading...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

North Africa's Hip Hop Protest Music // On the Media

Full story here

In the midst of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the protests elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, a group of Libyan exiles who run a website called Khalas noticed one surprising common thread in the voicing of discontent … rap music. Across the region rap artists were providing the soundtrack to protests in the streets. So Khalas decided to contribute by releasing a mixtape of their own. Khalas co-founder Abdulla Darrat talks about the influence of hip hop in this latest round of protests.

Tonight at Duke // 'Jazz Mama' Documentary Showing

'Jazz Mama' documentary film screening and discussion with filmmaker Petna Ndaliko and African Studies scholar Chérie Rivers

Tuesday, February 22 @ 6:45pm
0014 Westbrook
FREE Pizza & Beverages

Does the media’s focus on stories of violence condition us to overlook the strength, resiliency and hope of women in Congo?
Jazz Mama is both a film and a movement inspired by the uncompromising strength and dignity of Congolese women, despite the obstacles and violence they face. Jazz Mama aims to bring awareness to gender-based violence in Congo without reducing the women to victims whose lives are circumscribed by rape. While sexual violence is a devastating problem, these women are often not only survivors but pillars of the community.

Film Chronicles Persecution of Monks in Algeria // "Of Gods and Men"

Full article here // Excerpt below

"Of Gods and Men" is a French film that's set in a monastery in Algeria in the 1990s. It's loosely based on the story of seven monks who were kidnapped and decapitated in 1996. At the time, Algeria was facing a violent Islamist insurgency.


"Of Gods and Men" has been a surprisingly successful film at the box office in France. And the actor who plays Brother Christian, the prior of the monastery, is a very well-known French movie star, Lambert Wilson, who is better known in this country for playing the Merovingian in "The Matrix" movies and who joins us from New York.

Keep reading...

Juror for New Creation's 2011 Juried Arts Exhibit Announced

The juror for NCAG's 2011 Juried Arts Exhibit, Carolyn Butler, is a North Carolina-based artist working in digital and new media. Her work has been shown throughout the south and northeast, winning awards at the Green Rice Gallery, in Charlotte, NC and the Reece Museum in Johnson City, TN. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Duke Youth Academy at Duke University, and recently was awarded an artist residency at the prestigious Vermont Studio Center. Butler received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and will complete the MFA program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill this spring.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Playing for Change // Songs Around The World

You've probably seen at least one of the videos from this album (like the one below), but be sure to check out the entire project from Playing for Change.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Monday at Duke // Free Show in Reynolds Auditorium: Mayda Del Valle

Mayda Del Valle (2001 National Poetry Slam Winner)

Monday, February 14 @ 8:00 p.m.
Reynolds Theater, Duke University

More info

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Photography and the Education of a Doctor // Learning from Patients

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Lucy Hood

A stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and a few other tools are all pediatrician John Moses needs to obtain basic information about the health of his patients. But when he wants to go beyond the clinical setting and find out more about their health issues -- the whys and wherefores of teen pregnancy, for example - he puts the medical instruments down and picks up a camera.

Keep reading...

“Enhancing My Medical Education Through Photography," A Talk By Pediatrician/Photographer John Moses from Center for Documentary Studies on Vimeo.

Drawn Into Scripture: Arts and the Life of the Church // 2011 Convocation & Pastors’ School @ Duke Divinity

While the church’s celebrations and teachings follow a steady cadence, we continue to seek new and vibrant ways of interpreting the Word. The arts – in their varied forms – can provide a source of inspiration.

Join us as professor and musician Jeremy Begbie, author Marilynne Robinson, professor and musician Anthony Kelley and the BLAK Ensemble, and the Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel help us explore art’s illuminating power.

Together, we will experience the scriptures from a new perspective and find imaginative ways of expanding the life of the church.

More info

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In London, Climate Change Comes to the Stage // "Greenland" at the National Theater

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Matt Wolf

It’s not often that the mundane activities of an audience directly fly in the face of what is happening on stage. But there I was the other night at “Greenland,” the National Theatre’s admonitory potpourri of a drama about climate change, when I became all too aware of my fellow spectators crumpling packets of this or that or popping plastic water bottles like (very) cheap champagne.

“Hang on!” I wanted to call out, as images of the plastic trash-turned-land mass that is gradually despoiling our earth unfurled before me. (The production runs in repertory at the Lyttelton through April 2). “Is no one paying this show any heed?” Or perhaps the sorry truth is that even plays considerably better than “Greenland” can hector till the cows come home, and yet we still aren’t as conscientious as we ought to be. Recycle, recycle, recycle, I muttered all the way home.

Keep reading...

Learning How to Transpose // How the Arts Inform Christianity

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Wes (Transpositions)

...What are the methods for putting the arts in conversation with Christian thought and practice? How do we describe the relationship between the arts and Christianity in the context of interdisciplinary studies?

One relationship we should discount right away is illustration. If we are going to take the conversation between the arts and Christianity seriously, we have to move beyond thinking about the arts as mere illustrative tools for theological reality. Even though Christians are really good at “finding God at the movies” and other methods of mining the arts for truth, I believe that the arts have more to offer than this.

Keep reading...

The Glen Workshop // Acts of Attention: Art as Discovery

The Glen Workshop is a unique opportunity offered by Image. Pick up a brochure from the bulletin boards above the student folders or next to the student lounge, or get more info below.


The Glen Workshop 2011

Writing classes. Art classes. A seminar on arts and aesthetics. A retreat option. The Glen Workshop combines an intensive learning experience with a lively festival of the arts.

Glen East, in its first year, will be held in the Pioneer Valley, one of New England’s most beautiful and intellectually vibrant spots, home to some of the country’s oldest renowned colleges and known for the natural beauty of the Connecticut River and rolling green terrain.

Glen West, celebrating seventeen years, takes place in the stark, dramatic beauty of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and within easy reach of the rich cultural, artistic, and spiritual traditions of northern New Mexico.

More info

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

At Night, Protest Gives Way to Poetry // Poetry and Performances in Tahrir Square

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Anthony Shadid

It was a few minutes after midnight on Sunday, when an unaccustomed rain washed Cairo’s somnolent streets, as Ahmed Abdel-Moneim walked with friends across a bridge that was a passageway to a parallel capital in Tahrir Square, an idea as much as a place.

“My vision goes a lot farther than what my eyes can see,” he said.

Egypt’s revolution is a contest of ultimatums — chaos and revolution, freedom and submission — but its arena of Tahrir Square becomes quieter at night, the cacophony of rebellion giving way to a stage of poetry, performance and politics.

Keep reading...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Call for Submissions // 2011 Juried Arts Exhibit: "Places of Redemption"

Submissions for the 2011 Juried Arts Exhibit will be accepted March 16-18, 2011. Guidelines and submission forms will be available in a folder above the student mailboxes or as downloadable PDFs from the New Creation website (click here).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Google Takes Street View Into Art Museums // Art Project Preview

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Nick Bilton

Now that Google has conquered a majority of the earth’s major streets with its Google Street View project, the company is starting to move inside. It’s creating the Google Art Project, a virtual equivalent of 17 major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Britain and National Gallery in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many others.

Keep reading...

Sing Praises to God // Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm on Faith & Leadership

Full article here // Excerpt below

Musician Charles Pettee was reading a psalm one day when it occurred to him: This is a song! He began writing music based on Scripture and founded FolkPsalm, a band with a changing set of members ranging from Pettee performing solo to a full seven-piece band. Pettee hopes to make the ancient texts -- and their expression of God’s grace -- more accessible to audiences.

Keep reading...


For those of you who were present when Charles and the group led worship in Goodson Chapel on January 19--or if you have seen or heard of FolkPsalm in other settings--what do you think of this project? Did you know that Charles often works with Duke Divinity professor Ellen Davis on texts for his songwriting? -- Sarah

Does One Need Sight to Grasp the World? // Brian Friel's 'Molly Sweeney' at Irish Rep (and Ken Medema)

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Ken Jaworowski

It takes two hours to watch “Molly Sweeney” at the Irish Repertory Theater. But you’ll spend much more time thinking about it afterward. A deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair, it’s a compelling piece of theater, one in which the ending applause is only the beginning of the play’s effects.

Molly, who has been blind almost since birth, starts off by recounting her life, one blessed with friends and a recent marriage. Her ever-enthusiastic husband, Frank, embarks on a plan to restore her sight and seeks out Mr. Rice, a once-promising eye surgeon who has gone into near-seclusion. “What has she to lose?” Mr. Rice asks as
he agrees to operate on her. That question will haunt them all.

Keep reading...


Sidebar: This past weekend at the Calvin
Symposium on Worship, I was blessed to be in a worship service and a songwriting workshop led by Ken Medema. Though blind from birth, Ken is one of the most effective songwriters and worship leaders I have come across. I encourage you to check out his work, and to consider this question: how do you think the lack of one of the five senses might hinder--or enhance--one's appreciation and/or creation of art and beauty?
-- Sarah

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lee Smith: A lifetime of paying attention | Faith & Leadership

See my latest interview with one of the iconic Southern writers of our time:

Lee Smith: A lifetime of paying attention | Faith & Leadership