Afion Wed, 12 Jan 2022 00:49:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Afion 32 32 How Center Theater Group Is Moving Forward With Live Shows – Even Amid The Omicron Wave Tue, 11 Jan 2022 23:57:02 +0000

Less than a month after the 22 remaining performances of “A Christmas Carol” were canceled due to groundbreaking COVID-19 infections in cast and crew, Center Theater Group is gearing up for the Jan. 16 start of its next show at Ahmanson Theater, the North American premiere of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”.

CTG Twitter feed presents enthusiastic messages from the show’s star, Layton Williams, who is part of the UK company bringing the musical from London’s West End to Los Angeles. Williams recently recovered from a holiday episode of the virus, which he wrote about on Instagram, and which CTG chief executive and CEO Meghan Pressman says is somewhat heartwarming given that a previous infection could make one. other less likely.

Reducing the risk of disease behind the scenes and in the public is the name of the game as CTG continues its season amid an almost vertical wave of infections caused by Omicron, with more than 250,000 cases of COVID-19 detected in County of LA over the past eight days and is expected to peak again in a few weeks. As big events like the Grammys have been postponed and others like the Sundance Film Festival go virtual for another year, CTG is banking on a cumulative experience to help it safely dodge related closures. viruses.

The company’s optimism remains intact even as other prominent local arts groups make different decisions. On Tuesday, for example, Pasadena Playhouse announced that its next show, “Teenage Dick,” which was scheduled to open on February 1, will switch to streaming only. In-person performances are now scheduled to resume at the end of March. And Cal State Northridge’s Soraya has now canceled three of its January shows and postponed the fourth to April.

“Contrary to what we said a year ago, we have learned to live these previous times, ”CTG’s Pressman said over the phone.

She knowingly laughs after uttering the word ‘unprecedented’, acknowledging that so far ‘unprecedented’ has been the # 1 descriptor of the effects of COVID on the performing arts – the devastating closings, the grim scenes ongoing, massive layoffs. Pressman’s sentiment that COVID-19 has become the devil we know rather than the devil we don’t know is in line with rapidly changing public opinion in the face of Omicron’s soaring boom. There is less palpable fear in the air as those vaccinated and vaccinated come to terms with the fact that an increased risk of infection is likely to be accompanied by milder symptoms.

Except when it doesn’t. And who ends up getting super sick is a bit of a guessing game. Plus, experts say the large number of infections could still mean hospitals will be overrun – a trend already playing out in cities like New York City, where Omicron started to rise earlier than in LA. Nationwide hospitalizations on Monday broke the previous record of over 142,000 set at this time last year.

Pressman says CTG has had several meetings to discuss whether or not it remains viable to conduct all of its scheduled shows.

“We always have to ask ourselves: is it safe for artists and for the public? “Pressman told The Times. For now, the answer, she says, is yes.

“Most of the show cancellations in the industry, I really believe, are due to issues behind the scenes,” Pressman said. “We have the safety of the public in hand. “

She cites the constant use of the mask, mandatory vaccinations, social distancing, and Ahmanson’s high-quality filtration and ventilation systems, which were upgraded as part of the Music’s “healthy building” audit. Center, set up last March.

Behind-the-scenes measurements require a major update in the Omicron era. As heartbreaking as the cancellation of “Christmas Carol” is, Pressman says the bottom line is that a show will only remain in danger of being canceled if there is no way to keep it. intact in case a member of the cast or team becomes ill or needs to be quarantined.

“We’ve always had breakthrough infections and put on a show or two – most places have them – but at some point you don’t have the depth of the bench to continue the show,” she says. “What Omicron did was change all of our protocols because that made the calculations faster.”

One notable change is that CTG is deepening its bench. There are more liners (“Slave Play,” the first show slated to open at the Mark Taper Forum in early February, plans to employ a similar strategy), and saving isn’t just for actors.

“We usually don’t have an understudy for a member of the film crew, but we do need one,” says Pressman, referring to the dozens of workers who oversee and operate various technical aspects of a production during a representation. “If a stage manager and an assistant stage manager come out, who runs the show?” Where are we covered? “

Omicron has a faster incubation period and two doses of the vaccine no longer provide adequate protection against infection. This means that testing the cast and crew two or three times a week may not be enough anymore, Pressman says. Daily testing, especially for actors who need to unmask themselves on stage, might now make sense – and approaches in this regard are being discussed and are expected to evolve with the pandemic. Backstage medical grade masks are a must have for everyone involved in a show (although they are not yet mandatory for the audience). Post-travel testing is taken very seriously and sniffles are not tolerated. CTG is working on revising contracts to add mandatory booster injections where they are not already contractually mandatory. (Boosters will be mandatory for eligible audience members to attend CTG productions starting February 1.)

“For some shows we can demand it, and in some cases we have to strongly encourage it,” Pressman says of the cast and crew boosters, but when it comes to “Everybody’s Talking of Jamie, “she says the company and CTG are happy with on the exact same page regarding health guarantees, including additional testing after international travel.

Pressman estimates that the cancellation of “A Christmas Carol” at the height of the holiday season cost the company about $ 1.5 million. And unlike the first COVID-19 shutdowns of 2020, which were mandated by the Ministry of Health, this shutdown resulted mainly in reimbursements. As theaters reopen, she notes, the cost of COVID compliance has increased and ticket sales have declined.

Right now, ticket sales for “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” are between 50% and 75% of what she’d like to see. CTG is lucky, she says, as it has a dedicated subscriber base and has pre-sold a good chunk of the tickets.

However, the situation – with rising costs and falling footfall – cannot continue indefinitely. Pressman says CTG can operate on this basis for another six months or so before it needs another source of funding to shore up the $ 10 million closed site operating grant it received earlier in the year. pandemic.

“We’re going to have to figure out how to pull big levers. Either for the public to come back or for the costs of COVID to go down – something important before next season, ”Pressman said. “I can’t keep losing a million dollars on a show.”

For now, as uncertainty and anxiety over the pandemic cloud just about every aspect of daily life, Pressman remains optimistic.

“One of the hopeful things I have in all of this is the reflection that the arts are important enough for people to attend,” she says. “The people who participate in it make the choice to do so and understand the risks involved and hopefully trust us. “

🌱 Golden Globe Wake winner + Retirement home staff + Road closures Mon, 10 Jan 2022 21:16:26 +0000

First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Cold with lots of sun. High: 38 Low: 19.

Rent this space!

Are you a local business owner or trader in Raleigh? We want to start connecting local businesses with our amazing readers. Find out more here.

Here are the five best stories in Raleigh today:

  1. Ariana Debose of Wake County won a Golden Globe Award for her work in “West Side Story”. DeBose played Anita in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the musical and won the award for Best Supporting Actress. After her victory, Debose took to social media to accept the award and comment on the issues with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. (abc11)
  2. About 1/3 of North Carolina Nursing Homes Report Shortage of Nurses and Caregivers. Currently, the labor shortage is the highest it was during the pandemic. Wake, Durham and Cumberland County are better than the state with less than 20% of establishments reporting a shortage, but the decline has continued. (abc11)
  3. The 800 block of Vance Street is closed for at least a week to complete a water and sewer project. The shutdown could last up to two weeks and spans the distance between Cowper Drive and Glenn Avenue. Local traffic may pass but passing motorists will have to take detours. (CBS17)
  4. Four people had to be taken to hospital after an accident near North Carolina State University on Sunday evening. The crash happened on Avent Ferry Road around 8:00 p.m., and the road was closed for hours after the crash. (CBS17)
  5. Eastbound lanes of I-40 near RDU were closed Monday morning due to an accident involving 7 vehicles. The accident happened around 9:00 a.m. and the lanes were closed until late Monday morning. Soldiers are still investigating the crash and at least three people were injured, but none endangered their lives. (HeraldSun: paid content possible)

Today in Raleigh:

From my notebook:

  • Although National Human Trafficking Awareness Day does not carry the light pleasure of some of my other vacation features, I am very passionate about it and knowing what resources are available is important. Fortunately Raleigh Dream Center does a lot of work to prevent it in our area.
  • Tonight, Red Robin at Apex is hosting a Spirit night for the benefit of Apex Middle School PTA. Show the flyer of 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. to give 20% back to school.
  • The City of Raleigh has several upcoming opportunities to provide feedback and inquire about proposed new zoning going forward. Rapid Transit Bus (BRT) corridors. (RaleighNC.Gov)

Do you like the Raleigh Daily? Here are all the ways you can get more involved:

You are now in the know and ready to go out this Tuesday! I’ll see you soon.

CJ Fullford

Moroccan-Italian model Malika El-Maslouhi celebrates her birthday in style Mon, 10 Jan 2022 08:45:54 +0000

DUBAI: Perfume is an essential part of the beauty regimes of Arab men and women. According to Euromonitor, the Middle East perfume market is expected to reach $ 4.4 billion in 2027, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates being the two largest perfume markets in the region.

These statistics prove to be hugely beneficial to the revenues of luxury brands, many of which have produced fragrance lines designed specifically for regional consumers.

“Middle Eastern consumers, they are really in love with the perfume,” said famous French nose Fanny Bal, who recently imagined Loubiprince, one of the musk-infused scents that make up Christian Louboutin Beauty’s unisex fragrance collection. launched exclusively for the region. .

Loubiprince is the fruit of the French nose Fanny Bal. Provided

“Perfume is part of the culture in the Middle East. It goes much further than in any other region of the world, ”she added.

When it comes to their preferences, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both favor traditional scents and tend to look to scents with powerful ingredients like oud and musk, she said.

“It was very interesting to develop the perfumes because we can go further in the intensity and the choice of ingredients. Unlike Europe or America, where consumers prefer fruity or floral scents, we were able to explore stronger notes that we would not typically use for the European market, ”said Thomas James, Brand Director for niche brands at Puig. “For example, we wouldn’t use incense for European customers, but in the Middle East, of course, incense is so important.”

For this specific scent, Bal – who designed fragrances for Givenchy, Frederic Malle, Issey Miyake, and even pop star Shakira – looked at ingredients that have become synonymous with Middle Eastern scents, including resin, amber, spices and sandalwood.

The three-piece fragrance collection pays homage to the Middle East. Provided

Two other perfumes make up the exclusive Louboutin collection: Loubicharme and Loubiluna from French perfumer Christophe Raynaud.

Loubiluna is a blend of fig milk, cedarwood and papyrus, while Loubicharme features floral notes of geranium and rose balanced by frankincense and patchouli.

Besides the ingredients, Christian Louboutin also paid homage to the region in the presentation of each perfume. They come in an opulent red bottle with a gold cap depicting a scarab, pyramid and crescent moon.

Bal reveals that Louboutin’s roots served as the starting point for the collection. The designer, best known for his red-soled shoes, was born in Paris to a French mother and an Egyptian father, a discovery he only recently made. Godfather of the partly Egyptian model Elisa Sednaoui, he has always felt a link with this North African country. He owns a property in Luxor, a purchase made long before he discovered his inheritance.

For example, one of the main ingredients used in perfumes is papyrus, a thick paper-like material that was used in ancient Egypt for writing. “When you think of papyrus, you also think of Egypt. Perfumers don’t often use papyrus, but it made sense with the Louboutin story,” Bal shared.

Hilary Duff Set To Co-Host Clayton Echard’s First Group Date On ‘The Bachelor’ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 17:18:21 +0000

Hilary duff is set to make an appearance on the next episode of The single person on ABC.

The pop singer and How i met your star dad will co-host part of the Monday night (Jan. 10) episode of the popular reality show as Clayton Echard attends his first group date of Season 26.

According to the official episode synopsis, Duff, 34, will enlist the help of the ladies in throwing a dreamy Beverly Hills birthday party as part of the group activity. However, one of the women is more interested in spending time with Echard than with the children, while the others have a strong feeling to share.

Later on the show, “Lucky Woman Flies High with Clayton on First One-on-One Date with Surprise Musical Performance by Amanda Jordan.”

Comedian and writer Ziwe is also stopping for a second group date to help Echard spot potential red flags among his singles.

After the group’s dates, “a major storm is brewing as the cocktail hour approaches when a shocking secret about a woman who already has a rose is revealed.”

Ahead of the show, the network shared photos of the superstar and Erhard chatting in a field of grass.

The former Seattle Seahawks football player is seen next to Duff wearing a blue button-down shirt and khaki shorts, while Duff is seen wearing a white fringed tank top and classic skinny jeans.

See the photos below.

Hilary Duff and Clayton Echard on “The Bachelor”; Photo courtesy of ABC / John Fleenor
Hilary Duff and Clayton Echard on
Hilary Duff and Clayton Echard on “The Bachelor”; Photo courtesy of ABC / John Fleenor
Hilary Duff and Clayton Echard on
Hilary Duff and Clayton Echard on “The Bachelor”; Photo courtesy of ABC / John Fleenor
Hilary Duff on
Hilary Duff on “The Bachelor”; Photo courtesy of ABC / John FleenorHILARY DUFF

Season 26 of The single person Airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET / PT on ABC.

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Bikaner Camel Festival: A Captivating Case Sat, 08 Jan 2022 12:28:38 +0000

Bikaner Camel Festival: A Captivating Case

Celebrate the desert ship

Spot the beautifully adorned camels at the festival (Photo: Talha Riaz / Pexels)

The camel festival which was to start in Bikaner in January has been halted. Organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, it recognizes the central role that the camel plays in helping locals survive life in the desert. One of the most important festivals in Rajasthan, the show is once again canceled due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. Although the festival was canceled in 2022 due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, here is a look at what the festival has to offer.

The Bikaner Camel Festival is an annual cultural event to celebrate the importance of camels in the lives of local people. The “land of camels”, as Bikaner is commonly known, is located in the middle of the great Indian desert at Thar in Rajasthan, painting the arid land colorful with its rich cultural history and magnificent buildings such as Fort Junagarh and Lalgarh Palace. The architectural beauty of these palaces is an eclectic mix of Rajput, Mughal and European styles.

The festival is a proud showcase of the beauty, strength and endurance of the camel that helps locals survive the harsh realities of life in the desert. The three-day event includes various competitions and performances focused on the desert ship and it has become a major attraction for locals and tourists. The festival offers many competitions, performances by musical groups and many other cultural events. Although it has been a victim of the rise in Omicron cases, the festival is something tourists can add to their bucket list when the world returns to normal.

To see at the Bikaner Camel Festival

Tourists flocking to attend the festival are greeted by the beautifully decorated procession of camels that immediately catch the attention of visitors. Lively and fun activities include a moving musical evening and playful competitions among the rural people such as tug of war, matka race in which women run against each other, carrying clay pots filled with water on their heads, wrestling and many more. In addition, visitors can also add captivating activities around the camels.

Camel decoration

The idea is to embellish these friendly animals. Adorned with their owners, the wandering camels display their prowess, almost proud of their possessions and yet covered with grace. The whole procession is fascinating to watch. If anyone asks how the camel got its loot, it’s probably because of the tassels and pom poms used to make them stand out among their brethren.

Camel Fur Cutting Competition

What looks like a one-day affair takes a year of preparation to participate in this event. Camel hair grows in the first years. A lot of care and persistence is required before the hair is cut, dyed and prepped, all for the show. The intricate patterns carved on these camels reflect the design skills of rural art and their aesthetic taste.

Camel dance competition

Trainers participate with their camels to showcase some sassy moves that slow-walking creatures can groove with. Camels are trained to perform acrobatic movements on specific drum beats.

Camel race

Another much anticipated activity of the festival is the camel race. It is said that the running speed of a camel is between 40 and 65 km / h. Riders participate with their camels and some of them are specially bred and bred to perform better in such competitions.

Dance and music shows

After the animals dazzle visitors, it’s humans’ turn to show off their own dance and music skills. Rural men and women display their talents as a representation of the region to which they belong. Their folk music and dance conveys the essence of Rajasthani culture in the tunes and movements they perform.

Staff illness should hinder classroom learning Sat, 08 Jan 2022 09:18:53 +0000

If COVID-19 clusters don’t force classes to move away after students return for face-to-face instruction later this month, staff shortages are almost certain to be.

Leaders of public and independent schools are preparing contingency plans in the event of high absenteeism among educators, during the widespread return of kindergarten to grade 12 buildings on January 17.

“We’re going to be faced with the reality of having to shut down a class because we don’t have a teacher, or shut down, say, part of the school for five days until the teachers have self-taught. isolated and tested, if they got sick, ”said Reg Klassen, superintendent of the Frontier School Division. “I’m worried about it, but it’s a reality. ”

The updated isolation rules require anyone who is symptomatic or tests positive for the virus, including via a rapid antigen test, to self-isolate immediately for at least five days.

(Despite recent changes to test eligibility, K-12 students and educators can still take a PCR test at a provincial site.)

There have long been concerns about shrinking lists of surrogates, which are particularly serious in rural and northern communities, across the province throughout the pandemic. Some replacements have decided not to work this year to limit close contact.

In the spring, when the highly infectious Delta variant – which is not as transmissible as Omicron – took hold, a high number of unfulfilled replacement requests prompted some schools to pull away.

“(Distance learning) will either be imposed now or urgently later,” said Lauren Hope, mother and teacher in Winnipeg, who co-founded the Safe September MB movement.

Safe September MB has repeatedly called on the province to require vaccination of all students and education staff, prioritize educators for booster shots, and introduce frequent and widespread rapid testing in school communities. , as well as CO2 monitors, HEPA filters and KN95 or N95 masks.

As for Hope, readjusting desks to be more spaced out for January 17 is nowhere near enough to prevent Omicron transmission and keep teachers on the job.

The latest shade of Code Orange (the restricted level of the provincial pandemic response system) in schools will be slightly different from what it was in 2020-2021, given updated provincial protocols and availability vaccines.

Alan Campbell, president of the school boards association, said the focus was on strengthening the cohort and widening the distance. Some divisions may also try to recall staff who were hired last year to meet the demands of allocating students to multiple classrooms, he said.

This time around, the province provided divisions with rapid test kits for K-6 students and called for three-layer medical masks to be worn by both education workers and teachers. students inside schools. Music lessons, indoor physical education, and extracurricular activities can continue with masking and physical distancing in place, where possible.

High school students are also expected to stay in class full-time, the province said, although Frontier officials have indicated that its schools may have no choice but to resort to alternate learning.

“Because of the level of vaccination, we can do things differently and we can run the school closer to normal even with a significant spread of the new variant,” said Brian O’Leary, who oversees the Seven Oaks school. Division.

Vaccination rates among high school students and division staff are just under 90 and 98.5 percent, respectively.

Even still, as a growing number of staff must isolate themselves in the coming weeks, O’Leary said priority for replacements will go to the early years, teachers may be asked to replace their colleagues, and teachers may be asked to replace their colleagues. Guidance counselors, clinicians and other support staff might be called upon.

Temporary closure of a class, cohort or school is a last resort in every corner of the province.

Ted Fransen, superintendent of the Pembina Trails School Division, said he anticipates new guidelines regarding school contact tracing protocols will be introduced soon, following Omicron.

With all schools moved away next week, Fransen said families can expect the same they experienced on previous home education stays.

Primary and secondary students will be responsible for a mix of independent and real-time lessons, while kindergarten children are encouraged to engage in meaningful play.

Fransen, however, said the curriculum may have to take a back seat if educators are to focus on student well-being issues.

“Distance learning is preferable to learning in person, and the isolation, we know from the last time, has created all kinds of problems and concerns for students and their families,” he said. declared. “We have to be very careful about the impact of this. “

Stober’s bar closes for two weeks to protect staff Fri, 07 Jan 2022 23:41:53 +0000

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Many restaurants and bars make decision to close – after staff fell ill.

But a bar in Lansing is anticipating and taking a provisional two-week hiatus to protect staff during the current outbreak.

Bar Stober’s facebook page claims to be Lansing’s oldest bar, dating back to 1933.

Since then, the service industry has experienced many changes and challenges. More recently, a staff shortage following a pandemic.

An employee told 6 NEWS the decision to shut down was not just to protect them, but also to protect their family and friends.

“Fortunately, our owners have their ears open and have listened to their employees,” said Patrick Moriarty, Head Bartender at Stober.

Moriarty has worked at the Stober’s Bar for seven years. He says the last two have been difficult for the entire service industry.
“We try to be responsible for our community. The owners try to be responsible for their employees, and I don’t know how you argue that, ”he said.

Moriarty says the bar made the decision to close for two weeks as a team. During those two weeks, he says the employees will still be paid.

Customer response to the move has been positive.

As for what lies ahead for the rest of the industry … Just Winslow, of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, says he’s optimistic about next year, but adds the industry will have to get past this month’s COVID outbreak. .

As for Moriarty, he can’t wait to see again serving cold drinks.

“We will return to live music, we will check the temperatures at the door, masks are not mandatory for customers but are for employees and we will do everything we can to keep our employees and customers safe. “

The bar is scheduled to open tentatively on January 16, but Moriarty says the bar will constantly check rates of COVID cases before reopening.

Elvis Presley Watch: Where to Buy the Hamilton Ventura Watch, Price and Style Fri, 07 Jan 2022 23:41:20 +0000

The featured products are independently selected by our editorial team and we may earn a commission on purchases made from our links; the retailer may also receive certain verifiable data for accounting purposes.

Watchmaker Hamilton joins the festivities for the birthday of Elvis Presley, the American brand highlighting one of Elvis’ favorite watches: the Hamilton Ventura.

Originally launched in 1957, the Ventura has a history of movie cameos – perhaps most notably, an appearance on Elvis’s Chad Gates wrist in the 1961 musical, Hawaii Blue. Thanks to the unique triangular shape of the Ventura, moviegoers immediately identified the timepiece. This King’s endorsement propelled the already popular Ventura to new heights and ensured the continuous reissues of the watch.


To buy:
Hamilton Ventura S Quartz
$ 725

Fast forward to the present day and, in our opinion, the Ventura’s retrospective futurism is still so cool. Hamilton recently launched a new iteration of the classic watch, dubbed the S Quartz, as seen below. It features a 3D illusion design on the face, a comfortable rubber strap and, of course, the iconic triangular shape. Inside is a reliable quartz movement. Priced at $ 725 online, the S Quartz is available in black and white colourways and is a fine timepiece for Elvis fans and watch collectors.

Elvis endorsement aside, the Ventura is still a celebrity in watch culture. It was the first watch to use an electric movement, and this innovation was reflected in the Ventura’s unique futuristic look.

Decades after its appearance in Hawaii Blue, the Ventura landed another Hollywood role as a watch worn by anti-alien agents in Men in black. You can spot the watch on the stars of the four Men in black films, including Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Tessa Thomson and Chris Hemsworth.

modern black watch


If you’re looking to pay homage to the King (and his iconic sense of style), consider picking up this new version of the Ventura at The watch follows other Elvis-related products released to coincide with what would have been the artist’s 87th birthday on January 8 – the Elvis estate recently gave the green light for an officially licensed release of ‘Elvis Whiskey and Elvis Rye.

Artist Kevin Cole depicts the intricacies of the black experience through large-scale multimedia works that reexamine the history of the United States Fri, 07 Jan 2022 17:31:20 +0000

Vivid colors burst forth in a range of painterly strokes, from sharply lined splashes to geometric and organic shapes, applied to a labyrinthine three-dimensional sculptural canvas. The viewer’s gaze embarks on a vibrant visual journey celebrating abstraction and multimedia textures.

The title, When the blessing follows you (2020), evokes comfort and spirituality. But a painful story is told through the vivid colors and interconnected shapes that, on closer inspection, reveal themselves like ties. Artist Kevin Cole’s work elegantly and eloquently shares tales of black struggle and black power, creatively struggling to expose the shameful history of this nation.

Ties emerged as a deeply personal and political symbol in Cole’s work after a formative conversation with his grandfather.

“When I graduated from high school, I didn’t want to register to vote. I kept telling him that I didn’t think it was going to matter, because I’m just one person, ”recalls Cole. “He was 91, and he knelt down and drew me a map and told me to go to a certain area of ​​his property. He took me to a tree where black people were lynched by their ties as they went to vote.

Her grandfather presented a compelling argument that compelled 18-year-old Cole to embark on a lifelong research journey, woven into the dialogue of decades of artwork spanning themes ranging from powerful black women to her. music appreciation.

Cole began to study the lynchings of blacks by white mobs in Jefferson County, Arkansas, where his grandfather lived. The region and this nation have long faced their racist legacies. The Equality Initiative created by the National Peace and Justice Memorial, honoring more than 4,400 black people who were lynched, burned, maimed or brutally assaulted in the United States between 1883 and 1940. A tie is compared to the hangman’s noose, a symbol long associated with lynching and racism.

Born in Arkansas, Cole, now 60, received a master’s degree in drawing from the University of Northern Illinois at Dekalb, a master’s degree in arts education and painting from the University of the Illinois in Champaign and a BA in Arts Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. , and moved to Georgia where he has a studio in Fairburn, about 17 miles south of Atlanta. His multimedia work appears in more than 3,600 leading public, private and corporate collections across the country. He has won over 66 art awards, 27 scholarships and grants, and 51 teaching awards. His work has been presented in 22 solo, group, jury and invitation exhibitions since 1998.

Ties are prevalent in Cole’s latest Gerrymandering series, which includes an array of large-scale works that amplify the charge for social justice. The ongoing series depicts the shapes of seven southern states where black votes are removed, each engraved in aluminum with symbols and images, including ties and scars, and dirt from that state adhered to the cloth. Seven works he calls Banners will be suspended from the ceiling to represent the oscillating states. Each Banner will be suspended nine feet long and will be engraved with tie and scarf shapes to symbolize various court cases or information associated with each state. Cole also created life-size Ballot box works, both monochrome and brightly colored, as well as a series of smaller urns.

“A few years ago, I introduced the concept of cartography as the foundation of pieces related to certain counties and cities in the South that have been hotbeds of hate for the past century. This spawned further work on the lynching with the series Attached to politics“Cole said.

Cole – an educator who serves as an Advanced Placement art consultant for the College Board of New York representing more than 6,000 of the world’s largest colleges, schools, and other educational organizations – conducts extensive research on each state and its people before creating works of art.

“I came across the work of several authors who have focused on gerrymandering and how it has become the last firewall for those who would rather continue their indefensible domination in society rather than abide by the rules they have established which empowered the idea of ​​’one man, one voice,’ said Cole. ‘Thanks to gerrymandering, even though every man and woman has a voice, constituencies are so drawn that the balance of power remains. always with those who have always been in power. This must continue to be addressed. “

Cole’s wide-ranging academic sources include Freedom Is Not Enough: Black Voters, Black Candidates, and US Presidential Politics, a 2007 book by Ronald W. Walters. American author, speaker, and African-American politics scholar, who died in 2010, examined the 2000 election results and the potential impact of black voters denied the right to vote in Florida. Walters explored the effect Jesse Jackson had on the Democratic Party and the electorate in 1984 and 1988, and the influence Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton had on voters during the 2004 Democratic debates.

“I tried to get rid of the ties and move on, but it’s a political statement that just sticks there, just like a lot of my headlines are positive headlines. The reason these are positive headlines is that we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. When you listen, when you look at someone’s work, you find the phases of human experiences. I listen to a lot of sermons, a lot of speeches, and that’s where I get my titles from. And music, because it’s a universal language.

Cole is particularly inspired by jazz and gospel music. Her mother was devoted to the church and her grandmother owned a jazz club.

“I’ve always listened to all types of music, depending on what I’m working on,” Cole said, outlining the complex processes, materials and themes of his work.

“Every medium I use is tied to the situation,” Cole said. “I started working with aluminum after September 11 (2001). I was supposed to be in New York with a friend to visit galleries, and (the attacks) happened the day before, so I decided not to go. An artist by the name of Bill Stevens sent me a photo of a little boy holding a piece of metal and tar paper that was part of the debris from the Twin Towers.

Vis-a-Vis, “The best of Vis-a-Vis in the Congo style” Fri, 07 Jan 2022 14:57:06 +0000


Vis-a-Vis, “The best of Vis-a-Vis in the Congo style”

By Megan Iacobini de FazioJanuary 07, 2022



I can say with some certainty that it’s the funk grooves, distorted sounds and spiky horn lines of Vis à visThe sprawling “Aboagyewaa” which introduced me to African music several years ago. Their catalog alone gave more than enough for a relative novice to explore: between 1975 and 1982, Vis-a-Vis released 13 albums, some more experimental than others, but all combining Ghanaian highlife with afrobeat beats, funk grooves, cosmic synths and jazzy brass. . They helped propel the legendary highlife singer K. Frimpong to fame, but they were more than a backing band. While flirting with different technologies and genres, Vis-a-Vis has created a hypnotic and meandering highlife style that is both witty and dancing.

On their album The best of Vis-A-Vis in the Congo style, the latest reissued by the Toronto label We are busy bodies (following the reissues of Odo Gu Ahorow, Di Wo Ho Ni, and the seminal Obi Agye Me Dofo), Vis-a-Vis departs from their signature style and adds a heavy dose of Congolese rumba to the mix. Born out of the Cuban sound wave of the 1930s and 1940s, Congolese rumba invaded the continent in the 1970s and became a major influence on many styles of popular African music. Few bands, however, have taken it in the direction Vis-a-Vis has taken on this record: with singer Isaac “Superstar” Yeboah, Sammy Cropper on guitar, Slim Manu on bass, Gybson “Shaolin Kung- Fu »Papra on drums, and a cast of other musicians, TThe best of Vis-A-Vis in the Congo style effortlessly combines the sunny atmospheres of highlife with the harmonized vocals and agile guitar playing of rumba.

During the opening “Medofo Pa”, the musicians sing in unison, Congolese style, on a riff of bouncy keys and a thumping bass that turns in a crescendo loop, before a melodic and fluid horn line emerges. bursts out amidst the applause and chants. It’s unique to hear Twi’s lyrics among those typical rumba sounds, but Vis-a-Vis is so sure of himself that it performs flawlessly, emphasizing the band’s versatility and pan-African perspective. On ‘Cherie Bondowe’, a cover of Mayaula Mayoni’s original from 1974, the harmonized vocals sound as if they’ve come straight out of a Kinshasa nightclub, but the syncopated rhythms and rolling basslines give it a twist. more funky. Guitarist Sammy Cropper practices the tight and repetitive riffs of “Efre Adofo”. He relaxes a bit on the opening notes of the next track “Nsenkeka Adooso”, just as a deceptively airy horn line begins to slide over a bed of playful percussion and organ riffs.

The punchy brass beats and nasal guitars at the end sound like the celebration of the collision of different musical worlds. It is an appropriate ending to this record which sheds light on another facet of this infinitely talented and multifaceted group.