February Staff Picks
For the past three weeks, millions of people all around the world have gathered together in solidarity to protest President Donald Trump’s blatant disregard of our country’s Constitution and the individual rights of all Americans. George Santayana’s words, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.,” seem to be ringing true more than ever before. In a maybe-not-so-ironic twist, Boston’s February arts offerings seem to be examples of “art imitating life.” Coincidence? Or are we seeing perhaps a new trend – art as resistance?
The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret at the Boston Opera House makes it virtually impossible to “leave your troubles outside,” as this revival of the classic musical hits a little close to home. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis rise to power, the parallels to current events and attitudes are so eerie that audiences cannot help but reflect on the present state of America. Audiences will remember songs such as “Mein Herr,” “Money,” “Maybe This Time,” and of course, “Cabaret;” yet it’s act II’s “What Would You Do?” that makes us take account of how we will deal with the challenges that lay ahead.
The Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot is the story about a young boy who makes his dreams of turning boxing gloves into ballet shoes come true. It is a story of acceptance and inclusion, but also resistance. Set during the 1984-85 coal miners’ strike in Durham, Billy Elliot tells the story of the community protesting against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s attempt to break the coal miners’ union. Sound familiar West Virginia? Again art imitates life as we see the community join in “solidarity” to fight the establishment, and a young man fight for his identity in a hostile world.
Poetic, political, complex, compassionate, and timely, Ike Holter’s Exit Strategy examines the long legacy of racism and inequality in America’s public schools, as well as the future of public education. See a pattern here? In Exit Strategy, a large city school is slated to permanently close unless they can get the attention of the wider and “whiter” Chicago community. Perhaps we should send Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos as ticket…
Picturing Frederick Douglass: Museum of African American History
Now – July 2017
Now through July 2017, the Museum of African American History’s Picturing Frederick Douglass promises to revolutionize your knowledge of race and photography in 19th century America. The exhibit, a photographic autobiography, is based on the acclaimed book of the same name by Dr. John Stauffer of Harvard University and Dr. Zoe Trodd of the University of Nottingham. Dozens of photographs allow visitors to experience Douglass’ activism as he sought to transform the country. Did you know he was the most photographed person of the 19th century?
Northampton Ice Art Festival
The Northampton Ice Art Festival is a free event celebrating the thrills and chills of ice sculpture. On Friday, February 10, 2017, the public is invited to the 7th annual festival where artists carve, chop and chainsaw massive blocks of ice into frozen masterpieces. Work takes place in 10 downtown locations, and completed pieces highlight Northampton’s Arts Night Out, 5-8 pm. Artists come from diverse backgrounds with varied levels of experience and expertise. Many have participated in all of the festivals, and include professional ice carvers, sculptors and those working with ice for the first time. The eclecticism extends to the works themselves: winter themes, abstract displays, figurative forms and those created especially for Valentine’s Day. Weather permitting, they remain on display through Valentine’s Day.
David Costa, Ad Sales Manager