Arts and Entertainment

Website Hometown Reads promotes locally sourced books

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Becky Robinson was young, she read voraciously and dreamed of being a writer. Now an adult with three daughters of her own, she cultivates their love of reading and works to help writers connect with an audience. Robinson recently launched a Bowling Green page in her Hometown Reads project. It’s the 43rd page devoted to locally sourced literature. “The vision of Hometown Reads is for local people to discover authors in their hometowns,” she said. The concept is simple.  First go to the home page (http://hometownreads.com/) and find and see a photographic listing of cities from Ann Arbor to Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Places as small as Grants Pass, Oregon to places as large as Los Angeles. Then click on the photo of the county courthouse and that brings you to: http://hometownreads.com/city/bowling-green. (Or of course you can go directly there.) On the page currently are links to half dozen books by local authors. Click on the link and that connects to more information about the book and author. Like what you see?  For most books there’s “Learn More” button takes you to the author’s home page and another button links to Amazon where you can buy the book. (Many of the books are also available locally.) Robinson said usually she wants more books to populate a page before launching it, but she felt there was enough market in Bowling Green to take a chance. She like to see more writers affiliated with Bowling Green State University avail themselves of the service. The service for writers is free. Robinson said at first it was free for the writer’ first book, with a charge for any subsequent volumes, but she is switching to make all listings free. At this point Hometown Reads is a passion project that’s funded by her core business Weaving Influence. That company provides marketing assistance, both online and traditional, for the authors of business books. The Lambertville, Michigan-based entrepreneur founded Weaving Influence in 2012, and she now employs about 30 associates. She launched the business after earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Miami University and a master’s degree in Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. No formal tutelage in business or marketing, she notes. Robinson spent nine years at home raising her daughters. She transitioned back into the workforce doing freelance marketing consultant work for business book authors and working as a social marketing director for a management consulting firm. Other authors approached her, but she was reluctant at first to take the offers because she was working full-time. Then having a vision of an enterprise larger than herself, she started Weaving Influence. Early on she had the idea for Hometown Reads as a division of the core company. She even bought the domain names. “I realized there were a lot of authors who cared a lot about their content and their books but didn’t know how to market.” But she also realized “I didn’t have time, staff energy to make a startup go.” By late 2015 she was ready to revisit the idea, and in early 2016 she started Hometown Reads. Toledo was the first city. “I know how much heart and soul people pour into their books, and I think they deserve to be recognized,” she said. And…


Kesha and The Creepies electrify crowd in Bowling Green

By  ANNIE GALLO Special to BG Independent News Kesha is back at it again with her band “The Creepies” as she kicked off her first concert of 2017 Friday night at Bowling Green University’s Stroh Center. Kesha and the Creepies took the stage as a part of the Bands4Change charity concert. By choice of the artist, all proceeds went to the National Eating Disorder Association, Humane Society International and RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network).   Though she has been struggling with a legal battle for the past two years, that did not stop her from performing a kickass show and providing support to those struggling with accepting the new president.  In between performing rock renditions of older songs, Kesha talked about how she will fight for human rights even if our new president doesn’t. “I’m with you, I’m standing beside you, I’m standing behind you, and we will not ever give up,” Kesha said.   After speaking those words her band started to play “Your Love Is My Drug.” She belted out all the lyrics enthusiastically as her boyfriend Brad Ashenfelter danced around her with a gay pride flag. From singing old songs like “Tik Tok” to newer songs like “Timber” Kesha gave it her all on stage and showed fans a different side of her. The most heartbreaking, but captivating moment of the concert was when Kesha sang a cover of the song “You Don’t Own Me” by Leslie Gore. With every word that came out of her mouth you could feel her vulnerability and the pain she has been going through. She told the crowd Friday she has 72 newly recorded songs she cannot wait to release and she said she is fighting every day to give her fans new music. “I know I was put on Earth to do this with you guys and I will not let that get f*****g taken away from me,” she said. After attending a Kesha and The Creepies concert it is clear to see that Kesha has not only the talent, but the attitude and positivity to inspire many people. Whether music fans like pop or rock, Kesha’s talent is undeniable after witnessing her sing these songs in such a bold new way. Kesha and The Creepies’ renditions have enough of everything to ensure everyone has a rock and roll, glitter-filled, and empowering experience.  


Greek accordion virtuoso Panagiotis Andreoglou in residence at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Early in her 2014 stay in Thessaloniki, Greece, as a Fulbright Scholar at the Municipal Conservatory at Thermi, Dr. Elainie Lillios, a music composition faculty member specializing in electroacoustic music, attended a concert featuring accordion music. One Greek performer was playing Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza XIII” for accordion, and Lillios found herself “transfixed by the young accordion player. He was amazing.” That was the start of her acquaintance with Panagiotis Andreoglou. Not only is he an accomplished and riveting musician who has given the world premieres of many solo and chamber music works in concerts throughout Europe, but he also shares Lillios’s interest in contemporary and electroacoustic music. The friendship begun in Greece has now resulted in Andreoglou coming to Bowling Green State University as a Fulbright Scholar for the spring semester. “The goal of the Fulbright Program is to meet people and exchange ideas,” he said. “I think with this we are achieving that.” He is working with faculty and students in the College of Musical Arts’ highly regarded program in contemporary music. It is turning out to be a comfortable and productive fit, both personally and professionally. “I feel this is the proper place for my interest,” he said. In addition to the interaction with faculty and students, he finds that the facilities are excellent. “The electroacoustic studios are very fine. I’m very happy to be here,” he said. Area audiences will get to experience his exciting performance on Feb. 7, when he gives a free Guest Artist Series concert at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. The program will feature his playing of solo works for accordion and electronics. That will be the first of three presentations planned during his stay. His second public appearance will be a talk on Feb. 10 at a seminar for composition students, where he will share information about the accordion and present its possibilities. Andreoglou plays the classical, or concert, accordion, a larger version than the style used to play folk music. With buttons on each side and the ability to produce polyphonic textures, it is well-suited for contemporary music. He is eager to share knowledge about his instrument and encourage composers to write for it. Historically speaking, “it’s a new instrument,” he said, “and collaborations with composers toward the expansion of its repertoire is a vital activity for us accordionists.” On March 2, in a further cultural exchange, he will premiere a piece for accordion and ensemble by a composer friend from Thessaloniki, Dimitris Maronidis, who is composing it especially for the BGSU performance. Dr. Christopher Dietz, a musical composition faculty member, will conduct the New Music Ensemble performance. In the meantime, Andreoglou is attending Lillios’s Music Technology class. Following the round of performances and his talk, he will pursue research on works composed for instruments in combination with electronics. In May, he will participate in the New Music Gathering at BGSU, a smaller version of the annual New Music Festival, which will bring musicians and composers to campus from around the country. He is not fazed by the intense work schedule. “I came to be busy,” he said good-naturedly. Although this is his first time in the United States, he has lived and studied abroad before, in Denmark…


As FCC auction nears end, future of WBGU-TV hangs in balance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The fate of WBGU-TV may be known by early spring. After more than a year, the Federal Communications Commission’s incentive auction of spectrum is drawing to a close. The auction, which began last March, is nearing the end of its four-stage of bidding. This is expected to be the final stage. After that in about a month there will be another auction to determine what stations land where. Only after that is completed will we know where stations, including WBGU-TV, will land. In summer, 2015, officials at Bowling Green State University, which holds the WBGU’s license, announced they were considering participating in the process that is designed to reallocate broadcast spectrum for use by wireless companies. After a couple months of public forums, where the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the station, the administration said it favored participating in the auction while still keeping the station on the air. That commitment to maintain WBGU was backed by the university’s trustees. That could mean the public TV station moving to the less desirable VHF part of the spectrum, or partnering with another station to share its spectrum. Charles Meisch, Jr., a senior advisor to the Incentive Auction Task Force, said doing that has required the FCC to come up with a unique auction format. The process started with each station being given an initial bid price. That was $188.4 million for WBGU. That would be a price if the station gave up its license, which the university has said it would not do. The price would be lower depending on where in the VHF spectrum the station ended up. And those are opening bids go down as the auction progresses. Industry media have reported that there was less demand for the broadcast spectrum than anticipated. Once the auction was underway, station representatives were not allowed to comment at all on the procedure, a stance recently reaffirmed by Dave Kielmeyer, chief marketing and communications officer, who as part of his position oversees WBGU. Meisch said he could not comment activity for a specific station, but could talk about the process in general. Each stage of the auction has involved two rounds. In one, the reverse auction, the FCC tried to find the lowest price at which stations would relinquish spectrum. In the forward auction it determines what carriers are interested in buying the spectrum acquired in the reverse auction. Once the FCC determines that there is no more spectrum to be had in the top 40 markets, it moves onto the next stage. In the final stage the forward auction will continue until there is no spectrum demand in every single market, no matter how small. It’s matter of finding balance between what broadcasters are willing to sell and what wireless carriers are willing to buy. “It’s working exactly the way we expected,” Meisch said.  “It’s doing what it’s supposed to do, whittling down the cost until we have equilibrium.” The system was designed to go through multiple stages. In the end, he said, the auction process needs to raise enough money to pay for itself. That includes any cost incurred by broadcast stations related to moving to a new channel. Any money raised beyond that, he said, will go toward federal deficit reduction….


BGSU Dance Program showcases local choreography in concert, Jan. 27 & 28

From COLLEEN MURPHY Staff and students of the BGSU Dance Program proudly present the Winter Dance Concert this Friday, Jan. 27,  and Saturday, Jan. 28, . The concert features choreography by Dance Program faculty Kristi Faulkner, Colleen Murphy, Tammy Starr, and Tracy Wilson, as well as undergraduate Dance major Courtney Alston. Dance majors and minors have been rehearsing for the performance since the fall semester. The concert highlights versatility in the BGSU Dance Program, with ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap dances on display. In addition, a special work features Dance Program faculty Tammy Starr and Tracy Wilson, and BGSU Dance Program alumnae Samantha Stearns and Alexa Rittichier. The Winter Dance Concert is produced with generous support from the BGSU Department of Theatre & Film.  The concert will be held at 8pm in the Wolfe Center for The Arts Donnell Theatre. Tickets are $10 at the door. Contact Colleen Murphy cmurphy@bgsu.edu for additional information.    


BGSU arts events through Feb. 8

From BGSU MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Jan. 25 – The Faculty Artist Series presents pianist Robert Satterlee. He has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series and the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minn., among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 26 – The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features graduate students Sam Adams and Dan Gualtieri. They will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 26 – BGSU’s Jazz Lab Band I will perform with guest artist and saxophonist, Loren Stillman. Stillman has received praise in such publications as The New York Times, Downbeat magazine, Jazziz, Jazz Times, and on National Public Radio,marking him as an innovative voice of modern jazz. His original recordings have received critical acclaim from The New York Times and four star recognition in BBC Jazz Review, Jazz Man magazine and Downbeat. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu/arts. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Jan. 27 – Students in the BGSU dance program will present a concert at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $5 at the door. Jan. 27 – The College of Musical Arts Guest Artist Series features “Schubert, Songfulness and the Body,” a lecture/recital by pianist Arved Ashby, a professor of music at Ohio State University. Ashby focuses on 20th- and 21st-century art music within broader contexts of cultural history, critical theory, post-Marxist aesthetics, and media and communications. He is the editor of “Listening to Modernism: Intention, Meaning, and the Compositional Avant-garde” (Rochester, 2004) and author of “Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction.” In 1996, Ashby received the prestigious Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society. The lecture recital will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 27 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts presents EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art. The performance and discussion series explores the relationship between contemporary music and art through music performances in response to specific works of art. The event will feature BGSU doctoral candidates and begin at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St, Toledo. Free Jan. 28 – Students in the BGSU dance program will present a concert at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $5 at the door. Jan. 30 – Students from the BGSU piano studio will present a recital at 7 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free Jan. 31 – Tuesdays at the Gish begins with the 2010 film “Night Catches Us,” directed by Tanya Hamilton. Set in 1976, this award-winning film developed at Sundance centers on Marcus (Anthony Mackie), a Black Panther member who returns to the neighborhood he left after tumultuous events a decade before. His father has died and the family home has…


BG high students get in the act as directors in this weekend’s showcase

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Claire Wells-Jensen is trying to block a quartet of actors on the stage of the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The arrangement of actors just doesn’t seem to be coming together quite like she and co-director Lily Krueger envisioned. “This is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done,” she says. Maybe as frustrating as a mom trying to hustle a teenage daughter off to school. Maybe as frustrating as herding cats… on the internet. Wells-Jensen and Krueger are directing “The Internet is Distract – Oh Look A Kitten!” That’s one of four one-act plays on the bill Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The school’s Improv Troupe will also perform. Tickets are $8 and $6 for students and senior citizens. Seniors with a Bobcat Pass get in free. Jo Beth Gonzalez, the advisor for the Drama Club, said the program of one-act plays gives students a chance assume the director’s role. “Kids think directing is easy until they do it. They learn so much,” she said. Certainly that was the case for Krueger and Wells-Jensen. “It was not what I expected,” Krueger said.  “We’ve been in one acts directed by students, and you think you know what they’re going through, but it completely different.” The responsibility for the play from selection to staging falls on their shoulders. Wells-Jensen and Krueger realized their young cast needed a little more help concentrating so they did four focus exercises before each rehearsal. The other plays on the bill are: “Windmills and Millstones” by Louise Wade, directed by Meagan Worthy, a thought-provoking play about characters whose playwright has abandoned them. “Action News: Now With 10% More Action” by Jonathan Rand, directed by Rachel Amburgey, a comedy that spoofs local TV news. “Life as a Techie or Something Like It” by Christopher Fleitas, directed by Natalie Avery and Jessica Wilson, a comedy in which a student must decide which faction to belong to – the theatre techies or the actors – of a hilariously bad high school musical. Gonzalez said students must make a proposal explaining why they want to direct and what script they’ve chosen. She said she can give them some guidance as far as scripts, and they see some at the annual state thespian conference. But they often go online to find plays. “They’re sleuths,” the drama teacher said. “This is just a play that really spoke to us,” Wells-Jensen said. “It’s very relatable.” In Ian McWethy’s comedy, a teenager is trying to complete her paper on “The Great Gatsby” while wrestling with all the distractions of the internet. “We have definitely done papers in the last minutes before school,” Krueger said. Gonzalez then reviews the plays for appropriateness. Sometimes students select material that they best wait until college to deal with. Other than that, she said, takes a supporting role. She’s around for consultation, but she does watch the plays until a week before production. “I’m going to be your third eye,” she tells them, because when she directs “I need a third eye.” With four different casts and crews, the one-acts draw in a large number of students, some of whom are new to the Drama Club, Gonzalez said. Some have experience with the Horizon Youth…


BG dinner to toast poet Robert Burns

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elliot MacFarlane of Bowling Green, found an unusual partner in his celebration of the birth of Scottish national poet Robert Burns, Bulgarian chef Boyko Mitov. For the second year, they are teaming up to present Robert Burns Night dinners , Thursday, Jan. 26, and Friday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. both nights at Naslada Bistro, 182 S, Main St., in Bowling Green. Dinners in honor of Burns, around the time of his Jan. 25 birthday, have been celebrated since the poet’s death in 1796, MacFarlane, a member of the St. Andrews Society said. He has been involved in organizing such events for decades in Toledo, Detroit, Frankenmuth and elsewhere. The closest to home was years back when there was one presented at Nazareth Hall. Now, he has to drive miles, to enjoy and help others enjoy this mid-winter festivity. Last year, after working with Mitov on a Scotch tasting dinner, they decided to present a Burns Night celebration. Held one night in January, 2016, the restaurant was packed and had dozens on the waiting list. This year, the Burns dinner will be presented twice. MacFarlane said he’s had people approach him to make sure there’s room. As of Thursday noon, Mitov said there were places for a few more. Each dinner accommodates about 40 people. Only the back part of the restaurant is used. The large tables up front are needed for staging. The event offers a full evening of entertainment, as well as a four-course meal of Scottish specialties. The festivities begin with the arrival of the traditional meat pudding, the haggis, accompanied by a piper. Mitov uses grass-fed beef and fresh lamb to make the traditional dish. MacFarlane said he provided Mitov with Scottish recipes, and he’s tweaked them in his own style. “It’s great working with a good chef,” MacFarlane said. Though the cuisine was new to him, Mitov said, he had no problems adjusting the recipes and the preparation. The format, with paired drink and food, is similar to traditional dinners served in Bulgaria. In both cases, specially selected liquors are serve with complimentary entrees. The haggis will be accompanied by 12-year-old Cragganmore, Speyside Single Malt. The other courses are Cock-a-leekie Soup with 14-year-old Glenfiddich U.S. Exclusive Bourbon Barrel Reserve; Scotch Collops of Beef with Rumbledethumps with 18-year-old Aberlour Highland Single Malt; and for dessert, Cranachan (cream, berries and oats soaked in whisky) and  15-year-old  Dalwhinnie, Highland. Vegetarian can be requested when making reservations. MacFarlane has selected the best whiskies available to go with each of the four courses. Mitov said the evening is about more than eating and drinking. The entertainment includes music by the bagpiper Kim Sautter. Songs will be performed, a memorial to the poet, and, of course, plenty of verse, both by Burns and by later authors influenced by him Robert Frost, Robert Service, and Edgar Allan Poe. Diners are invited to bring favorite poems to share. The Burns Night is an evening of culture in the bleak days of midwinter, MacFarlane said. And he’s glad now to have one in the heart of his hometown Bowling Green. He and Mitov plan to continue the tradition. The dinner, $95, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations required. Call 419-373-6050.    


BGSU Arts Calendar through Feb. 1

Jan. 18 – The Faculty Artist Series features Conor Nelson on flute. Nelson has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Flint Symphony, among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19 – The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature the BGSU Wind Symphony in performance at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19 – Poet Bruce Weigl will read from his work as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writer Series. Weigl is author of “The Circle of Hanah” and more than a dozen books of poetry, including “The Abundance of Nothing”(2012) and “Song of Napalm”(1988), both of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 20 – The Brown Bag Music Series will feature a musical theatre extravaganza by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts. The program will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free Jan. 21 – The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature all Ohio Honor Bands. The concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 25 – The Faculty Artist Series presents pianist Robert Satterlee. He has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series and the Schubert club in St. Paul, Minn., among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 26 – The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features graduate students Sam Adams and Dan Gualtieri. They will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 26 – BGSU’s Jazz Lab Band I will perform with guest artist and saxophonist Loren Stillman. Stillman has received praise in such publications as The New York Times, Downbeat magazine, Jazziz and Jazz Times and on National Public Radio,marking him as an innovative voice of modern jazz. His original recordings have received critical acclaim from The New York Times and four star recognition in BBC Jazz Review, Jazz Man magazine and Downbeat. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu/arts. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Jan. 27 – Students in the BGSU dance program will present a concert at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $5 at the door. Jan. 27 – The College of Musical Arts Guest Artist Series features “Schubert, Songfulness and the Body,” a lecture/recital by pianist Arved Ashby, a professor of music at The Ohio State University. Ashby focuses on 20th- and 21st-century art music within broader contexts of cultural history, critical theory, post-Marxist aesthetics, and media and communications. He is the editor of “Listening to Modernism: Intention, Meaning, and the Compositional Avant-garde” (Rochester, 2004) and author of “Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction.” In 1996, Ashby received the prestigious Alfred…


Benefit to raise funds for Standing Rock Water Protectors

By ELENA ENRIQUEZ Join us on Saturday, Jan 21, from noon until closing for BG Standing With Standing Rock at Howard’s Club H to raise money to bring vital supplies to the Water Protectors who are risking their lives in sub zero temperature so that we all may share a healthy planet. The fight for clean water and life is far from over! Acoustic Stage Matt Ingles noon-12:30 April Freed 12:30-1 Jimmy Lambert 1-1:30 Sarah Connelly 1:30-2 Adamantium Experiment 2-2:30 Justin Payne 3-4 Main Stage Cadillac Jukebox 4-4:45 Getting Out Alive 5-5:45 2nd Mile Society 6-6:45 Moths In The Attic 7-7:45 Wood N Strings 8-8:45 Weak Little Ears 9-9:45 Awesome Job 10-10:45 Split Second 11-11:30 Daniken 12-12:45 Musical interludes between acts on the acoustic stage performed by; Matt Cordy, Barry Johnson ,Boo Lee Crosser, Bruce Lilly, and Zack Wilson. There will also be a silent auction, bake sale and food. $5 entry All proceeds from the event go directly into support for either firewood, or to supplies for the Medic Healer council. Let’s come together, the day after the inauguration, in solidarity as a positive, progressive community. Share passions and ideas, speak from your heart of how to transform this reality and how to grow as a community. We are creating a better, more inclusive and caring world for each other. Stand in support of a healthier planet and those who are peacefully protecting this dream. Mni Wiconi! Water is life! (Related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/local-woman-joins-effort-to-stop-pipeline-at-standing-rock/)


Kehinde Wiley’s urban take on Old Masters coming to Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art presents Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, an exhibition of 60 paintings and sculptures questioning ideas of race, gender and the politics of representation. On view Feb. 10-May 14, 2017, A New Republic spans Wiley’s 14-year career including his earliest explorations of the male figure, his unique take on Old Master portraiture and his later forays into sculpture and iconography. The exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. “The magnitude of this exhibition will impress even those familiar with Wiley’s work,” said Brian P. Kennedy, TMA director, president and CEO. “He has taken the grandeur of portrait painting and translated it with his portrayals of contemporary African American men and women. Wiley bridges the gap between traditional portraiture and our daily lives, and in doing so, he raises questions about identity and how we perceive ourselves and others.” Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. “The Toledo Museum of Art is home to a wide array of singular masterpieces gathered together from across time and geographic regions,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, TMA director of collections. “The museum’s strong collection of Old Master paintings offers a particularly compelling framework for the presentation of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. Playing with traditional conventions of European portraiture, Wiley examines symbols of power, wealth, status and identity in today’s world. Juxtaposing A New Republic with the Old Master portraits hung in TMA’s adjacent galleries provides context for Wiley’s work. Visitors will be encouraged to examine the paintings that inform his portraits through a new lens.” The subjects in Wiley’s paintings often wear sneakers, hoodies and baseball caps, and are set against contrasting ornate decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and a range of cultures. Through the process of “street casting,” Wiley invites individuals, often strangers he encounters on the street, to sit for portraits. In this collaborative process, the model chooses a reproduction of a painting from a book and reenacts the pose of the painting’s figure. By inviting the subjects to select a work of art, Wiley gives them a measure of control over the way they’re portrayed. The exhibition includes a selection of Wiley’s World Stage paintings, begun in 2006, in which he takes his street casting process to other countries, widening the scope of his collaboration. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by Eugenie Tsai, the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum. A fully illustrated catalogue published by the Brooklyn Museum and DelMonico Books • Prestel accompanies the exhibition. This touring exhibition is made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and Grey Goose Vodka. Additional support is provided by Sotheby’s, Ana and Lenny Gravier, Sean Kelly Gallery, Stephen Friedman Gallery, John and Amy Phelan, Roberts & Tilton, and Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr. The Toledo showing of A New Republic is presented in part by Welltower, a Toledo-based real estate investment trust (REIT) that provides capital to leading seniors housing operators, post-acute care providers and health systems. This presentation of the exhibition is also made possible by…


Opening acts for Kesha announced

The bands Light Horizon, from Toledo, and Graduation Day have been selected by Kesha and concert promoter Bands4Change as the opening acts for the Kesha and the Creepies Jan. 27 show at the Stroh Center on the Bowling Green State University campus. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $45, $55 and $65. All of the profits from the show will go to the following charities: Humane Society International; National Eating Disorder Association; and Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. Tickets in sale at Finders Records in downtown Bowling Green, or online http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/08005187F3217896#efeat4211. See related story at: http://bgindependentmedia.org/perrysburg-teen-expresses-passion-for-doing-good-by-bringing-pop-star-kesha-to-stroh-center/  


Michael Daugherty’s American musical landmark center of Toledo celebration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Hearst Castle in California has an organ. Composer Michael Daugherty told an audience at the Toledo Museum of Art he’s never heard it. He does know that it was used to accompany the showing of the silent films that William Randolph Heart’s mistress Marion Davies starred in. Hearst would round up his guests into the theater to watch the films, and he had people who would go and rouse anyone who dozed off. That’s the kind of detail Daugherty as a lover of American culture savors. Scott Boberg, the museum’s manager of programs and public engagement, said the composer’s work is “a comprehensive exploration of American culture and geography.” He’s written works inspired by Route 66 and the Brooklyn Bridge, Superman and Elvis Presley, the paintings of Grant Wood and Georgia O’Keefe, and the Detroit Industry murals of Diego. “You get a sense of America.” Daugherty said he’s been to the Hearst Castle at least 10 times. He’s fascinated by the structure, with its enormous Neptune pool as well as the glittering Hollywood era it represents. When he received a commission to write a concerto for organ and orchestra he decided this would be the right occasion to celebrate Hearst, his castle, and Orson Welles’ classic film “Citizen Kane,” an acerbic portrait of the media mogul. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is playing the concerto this weekend on a program that includes another American work inspired by a castle “Xanadu” by Charles Griffes and a masterwork for orchestra Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. The Toledo Museum of Art programmed the “Citizen Kane Experience” around the orchestra’s performance of Daugherty’s piece (Friday and again Saturday night at 8). It started on Thursday night with a screening of “Citizen Kane” and included “Once Upon a Cocktail” reception before Friday night’s performance. Daugherty was on hand for the reception, where guests sipped cocktails – the Hearst Cocktail, Bee’s Knees and Highball – fashionable from Hearst’s time. Not that Hearst’s guests would have imbibed heavily in them. Daugherty said the tycoon restricted his guest to one drink a night. Errol Flynn was tossed from the castle for bringing his own booze. Hearst was a collector. He was so acquisitive, some of his purchases were never uncrated. Some of the objects he bought have ended up in the Toledo Museum’s collection. Jutta Page, associate curator, described them, and how she recently came to realize that a large table in the collection had been owned by Hearst. An archivist, who was trying to locate a fireplace from an English castle, sent her a photo. Page was able to determine the fireplace was the one being sought, then she realized the table in the photo was in the Toledo Museum’s collection. Daugherty noted that though Hearst lived at a time when American art, architect and music was blossoming, he like most of his fellow magnates, had no interest in it. The castle was designed to look like a European structure, even as Frank Lloyd Wright was making his mark designing Fallingwater. In his composition “Once Upon a Castle” Daugherty said he “riffs off music of the past.” In the third movement “Rosebud,” the name of Citizen Kane’s boyhood sled, Daugherty evokes the music composed for the film by Bernard Herrmann in…


David Jackson professes his love of polka every Sunday morning

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When I arrive in David Jackson’s office in Williams Hall on the Bowling Green State campus, he’s busy doing what he’s been doing so much of since the campaign started. He’s on the telephone talking to a reporter. In this instance, he responding to questions about Meryl Streep’s impassioned speech at the Golden Globes the night before. Jackson, who teaches political science, has become the go-to expert for the national media on the impact of celebrity endorsements in politics. He’s found they don’t matter much, and often hurt. Even after the election he’s still getting calls. That’s not what prompted this visit from BG Independent News, though. I want to talk polka. For almost six years, Jackson has hosted the Sunday Morning Polka Show 10a.m. to noon, on WXUT, 88.3, and available for streaming on Mixcloud at https://www.mixcloud.com/discover/sunday-morning-polka/. While the show includes all styles of polka as well as some related pop music, at its heart is the Polish-American polka that Jackson grew up listening to in southern Saginaw County, Michigan. His parents, especially his mother (maiden name Lazowski), listened to it. Every year it was the focal point of the festival hosted by the Catholic Church he attended. ”There wasn’t a period in my life that I didn’t listen to polka,” Jackson said. Sure, he admits, maybe for some time as a teenager, he looked down on the music as corny. Then he came to appreciate its variety and complexity. “It’s about more than drinking beer and dancing.” And he demonstrates that in the stream of consciousness show in which he decides on the fly which of the 25,000 polka songs stored on his computer he’ll play. Maybe he’ll play “Midnight in Moscow,” formerly a Soviet radio network theme after a New from Poland story about American troops arriving in Poland. Or he’ll do a keyword search to string together related songs. They can be brand new, or vintage vinyl, scratches and all. Polish-American polka is, Jackson asserts, “as distinctive an American style of music as bluegrass, blues, jazz or Cajun music in the sense that it has a non-US origin that combines with other influences in the US to become this hybrid.” But, he said, “it’s the one that gets made fun of, which I don’t like.” The music has evolved. Polka in the 1930s and 1940s was played at a fast tempo by big bands using intricate arrangements. “It blows the walls off the place.” The music settled down since then and was a staple of Polish-American festivals celebrating their culture. Jackson has written research papers on how polka helped maintain a Polish identity, and about the organizations that stage festivals. The irony, he notes, is that Poles, past and present, will be the “first, last and second” to tell anyone who asks that “polka is not a Polish phenomenon, it’s a Czech dance.” His next polka-related project will be a survey of his fellow polka disc jockeys. The Sunday Morning Polka Show isn’t his first foray into polka programming. He hosted a couple shows at Michigan stations. Both of those were established programs when he came on. These were brokered-time arrangements, where the air time is purchased from the station, leaving it up to the host to find advertisers to…


Debate over afterlife puts church through hell in “The Christians”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Clearly Presbyterians don’t believe in bad karma. Otherwise the pastors and board of the First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green would have thought thrice about hosting a production of “The Christians,” a drama about a church being ripped apart. The church lived up to its declaration on its sign outside as a welcoming congregation, and welcomed Broken Spectacle Productions into its sanctuary. Luke Hnath’s 2015 play “The Christians” is being presented Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. That’s a fortuitous setting for the play. After a small choir (William Cagle, Beth Felerski, and Lorna Patterson) directed by pianist Connor Long has offered a couple hymns, the pastor, Paul (Jim Trumm) steps out and greets the congregation. Given the stage is a sanctuary a moment of confusion ensues – is this a service or a performance? Trumm’s Paul is a warm, reassuring figure, glib but not quite unctuous. He’s certainly proud of what he’s built. As he details in the opening lines of his sermon, he built this church from a handful of worshippers in a storefront into a congregation of thousands with a church that has a bookstore, coffee shop and parking lot big enough to get lost in. This Sunday is one of celebration, he tells the congregation, because the mortgage on the church has finally been paid off. And the Sunday is notable as well because he is announcing a dramatic change in theology – he no longer believes in hell. Paul arrived at this epiphany not on the road to Damascus, but in a bathroom in an Orlando hotel. At a conference he heard a missionary lament that a boy, who burned to death in the process of saving his younger sister, would not go to heaven because he was not a Christian, not saved. Paul says that is incompatible with a loving God. “We are no longer that kind of church.” Trumm’s Paul announces this with joy and certainty. The audience – or is it a congregation? – would do well not to be so mesmerized by Paul’s preaching that they neglect to watch the others on the dais. The actors – Eric Batts as the associate pastor Joshua, Jim Dachik as the elder Jay, and Libby Dachik as Paul’s wife, Elizabeth – register their characters’ reactions to Paul’s revelations. Jay is confused. You can see him trying to process what’s being said. Joshua is in turmoil, pondering how he will react to this change. Elizabeth’s face is a greater cypher, by design. Her role as pastor’s wife requires her to contain what she’s feeling. Libby Dachik communicates that initial struggle with the slightest tightening of the muscles and shifting of her eyes. It’s an attitude she must maintain until the drama nears its climax. That what she says when she does speak her mind is a revelation to her husband, and the rest of us, is a tribute to Libby Dachik’s controlled performance. Under the direction of Jonathan Chambers, the actors portray rounded, complicated characters. Paul is neither a heroic iconoclast, nor a martyr, nor a charlatan. Joshua is not a dogmatic firebrand. Through their conflict as it roils…