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Elevating Art in Atlanta

Artwork%20by%20Branden%20Collins%20-%20photo%20by%20Brian%20Smith
Artwork: Brandon Collins
Picture credit: Brian Smith

 

This Press Release was received in my email this morning and because we may actually drive up for it, depending on Doctor Appointments that month, I thought that I would share it here in the Global Culture Blog.

This will be a really wonderful place and way to experience both the fantastic city of Atlanta, one of our very favorite cities and a Cultural Event that will probably be unlike anything that you have ever been to before~

Below is the Press Release, hope to see many of you up there in October.

We’ll be the ones being dragged around by an Airedale!

 

ELEVATE Invites Public To Explore A Social City With Arts Events From Oct 17-23

“This year’s ELEVATE contemporary art happenings in downtown Atlanta will be playful and interactive,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

“Our theme is ‘Social City’ and, with the help of more than 100 artists, we are creating an environment ripe for exploration, discovery and conversation.

You’ll have a chance to engage with living sculptures, interactive gadgetry, artist panels, portable art and dance performances, and quite a few surprises.

We’re throwing a huge art and music block party on Friday, October 17 and presenting events and exhibits daily all over downtown through Thursday, October 23.

All events are free and open to the public. Come get social with us!”

Here are just a few things you can experience during ELEVATE 2014:

Branden Collins will use ancient forms of masking and costuming from various cultures as reference points in his exhibit at Gallery 72. His artwork incorporates brilliant colors and tribal elements and encourages the viewer to come closer.

The Goat Farm, working with over 20 artists and designers, will transform ten dumpsters into built galleries, installations and sculptures.  Utilizing art, science, technology and micro-manufacturing they’ll create cozy, inviting spaces.

Among the galleries, located in hidden alleyways and nearby parks, visitors will discover a Secret Garden to make a wish or a Giant Synthesizer where they can make public music.

Strolling through downtown at lunchtime you may encounter La Passante.

These walking French parasols invite you to join them for an intimate poem and a brief respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, an unforgettable experience.

La Passante is co-sponsored by France Atlanta.

Joanie Le Mercier’s unique, light-based projection art will create optical illusions and “geometricize” areas of Atlanta’s urban landscape.  His works combines math with art and immerses the viewer in a journey that conjures space exploration.

Dance Truck will present dance and performance art, complete with lighting, music and all the trappings that you find on a traditional stage…in a most extraordinary mobile setting.

ELEVATE 2014 is being created with a wealth of talented artists and organizational collaboration.

Just to name a few: Casey Lynch, Dustin Chambers, Romy Maloon, Joanie Le Mercier, Jane Garver, Igor Korsunskiy, Kris Pilcher, Branden Collins, The Goat Farm, Mammal Gallery, Dance Truck, The French Consulate and Eyedrum.

Locations for this year’s ELEVATE are:
Woodruff Park, Gallery 72, Five Points Plaza and the Fairlie-Poplar District.

However, many exhibits will take place in unexpected, non-traditional locations around town and some art will be mobile.

Financial support for ELEVATE 2014 is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and FORD.

ELEVATE is a program of the City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

For more information,  visit their website:  http://www.elevateatlantaart.com/

and like them on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ElevateAtlanta

 

Dog friendly places to stay and eat will be added here, as they are found, right up until the Event in October!

One place so far,  that has been confirmed as Dog Friendly,  is the Hotel Indigo, right downtown and across from the Fox Theatre.

More names to be here soon……..

 

As promised some updates.

 

Info on dog-friendly places in Atlanta:

http://atlantaeats.com/blog/pooch-friendly-patios/

http://www.bringfido.com/restaurant/city/atlanta_ga_us/

and here’s the Facebook page of Hotel Indigo:

https://www.facebook.com/IndigoATLMdtwn

 

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A Serbian Sensation~

drawing2

Dusan Krtolica,  Serbian artist extraordinaire~
Picture credit: Dušan Krtolica

 

A very kind fellow Hoosier just sent me a link to a story about one of the most gifted young artists that I have ever seen.

Thank you  Mosdao  for this information,  it was absolutely awesome.

And here are all of the details about the incredible work of this very young creative genius.

His name is  Dušan Krtolica and he is an unbelievably  talented  11-year-old from Serbia, who has been creating beauty in the form of a multitude of animals of all kinds and drawing  since the tender age of two.

This brilliant young artist has already had several art shows and his future appears to be so bright, that  he may need some really good sunglasses to protect him from the glare of the huge spotlight on his work right now.

Dusan’s dream is to one day be a  Zoologist and the field would be lucky to have one as knowledgeable about such a vast number of animals,  as he already appears to be.

Please do see the links below to learn more about him,  his work is absolutely breathtaking.

The detail found in his stunningly beautiful drawings would be expected of an adult, but to see this in one so young,  is mind-boggling.

Dusan already has a Blog, a Facebook Group that you can join and follow for updates on his work and he also has a Facebook Fan page.

This very intelligent young man is quite well covered in social media and it can only get better for him from here.

His talent and hard work will surely lead him to a lengthy career in the fine arts,  where he will have few peers.

 

Places to learn more:

11-Year-Old Artist Creates Amazingly Detailed Drawings of Wildlife

Dušan Krtolica, the World of Art

DUSAN KRTOLICA FAN PAGE

 

 

 

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April is for Pow Wow’s

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drumgroupdean1renato

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Top: Grand Entry, Middle and Bottom rows, some of our friends, dancers and drums.

 

For the past twenty years or so, this time of the year has always meant that every weekend would be spent at a Pow Wow, somewhere.

For those of you not familiar with the word, a Pow Wow, is a cultural celebration put on by Native Americans all across America.

The best place to find one,  is in your local newspaper, or online, under any of the myriad of Pow Wow listings.

Some of the finest ones that we have been to and taken part in over the years, were at Colleges all across the country from Maine to Minnesota and from California to Florida,  they are a joy to be involved in and to witness.

Most of these Native Cultural Events run from Friday thorough Sunday Evening.

The sights, sounds and smells found at a Pow Wow, are a delicious, delightful feast for the eyes, ears, and nose.

The Pow Wow incorporates much of the rich tradition and culture of the Host tribes and those who come to see it leave enriched.

Each day usually begins with a series of Native Pow Wow Customs, or Events.

First,  the head spiritual leader will begin by removing any trash or litter around or near the circle, or close proximity, then he or she, will smudge the area, while working with the fire keeper.

When this has all been finished,  the Head Veteran will begin assembling the dancers, flag bearers and others who will be coming into the circle, on the East side,  for what is called the ” Grand Entry.”

The spiritual leader will now bring the group into the circle.

Once all are assembled in the circle, the Veterans song is drummed, followed by the Flag song and lastly by a prayer.

The drum group which has been chosen for the entire weekend event, then drums for the dancers who represent many Tribes and Nations, who will follow the Veterans around in the circle and out the East side.

When this dance is finished, the Pow Wow is officially opened and the celebrations may begin.

Often, there will be Special Invited Entertainers, such as singers, flute players or dance groups, who may perform during the day with the other traditional dances occurring in between.

The day will be filled with a wide variety of dances, beginning with the Flag song, then many others will follow like,  ” the Jingle dance,”  which is a specific type of dancer’s regalia/clothing, with tiny jingles sewn on the fabric, that makes a delightful sound as the dancer moves around, and  both men’s and women’s ” Traditional dances,”  ” the Round dance,”  ” the Inter-tribals,”  then later in the evening,  many times there will be a special dance which is called the  “ Friendship dance, ”  which invites all those still in attendance into the circle to say hello to each other, or a Native ” meet and greet. ”

Some very tasty Native foods are usually on hand at each Pow Wow, from the very delicious Indian Tacos, or the ” Three Sisters ” of corn, beans and squash, to special local or regional items from an individual Tribe or Nation’s own menu.

There are of course, many vendors selling their own hand-made crafts, of leather, wood, clay, fabrics, metals and stone to share their own particular Tribal culture with you.

Often at the end of the weekend a blanket dance is done to collect money for the drum group,  who might not receive a great deal of money otherwise,  to help with their travel expenses.

After all of the goods have been sold, the dance prizes awarded and the last songs drummed, comes the closing ceremony which is a beautiful, somewhat bittersweet end to a wonderful joyful weekend for all who came.

If you have the time and the chance, I highly recommend you find a Pow Wow in your area and go have a cultural experience you are not likely to soon forget.

But, be forewarned, like the beginning of Spring and the awakening it brings to the world, your first Pow Wow may bring an awakening to your soul, and you will find yourself looking for them everywhere in the future~

 

 

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My Most Admired Women~

Clinton_and_Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

Hillary Rodham Clinton with Aung San Suu Kyi
Picture credit:  U.S. State Department

 

They say that today is International Women’s Day.

This makes me just a bit curious, what about all of the other days?

What follows here is a selfish post.

I have always wanted to write about the women that I think have changed the world and influenced me.

So, with the excuse of what has been deemed their “day,”  I shall  begin!

I would like to speak of just a few of the women who have impacted my life and are especially worthy of mention here today.

 

I would of course, begin with my grandmother, who had 18 children and was the matriarch of our huge family and my mother, who raised me as a single mother, long before it was socially acceptable. Between them, these two very different, equally strong women, gave me all that was needed to become the person that I am today.

berthanugentmother

 

Of the women in my past not related to me, that I most admired,  I would like to mention a very special History teacher at Shortridge High School who made the subject come alive, for one who despised the whole idea of it, Mrs. Mary Walker.
She was a tiny, vibrant, African-American woman with beautiful white hair and I loved being in her class.
To this day, I can still hear her saying the word  ” Hapsburg’s.”

marywalker

 

Of all of the world’s current women leaders,  the one that I hold in the highest esteem is  Aung San Suu Kyi   of Burma/Myanmar. What she had done for her people and her country is  simply astounding and remarkable and there are few in the world who could have endured all that she has.

aungsansuukyi

 

Dr. Judith Marti was my first Anthropology Professor at CSUN and  taught mostly Ethnography Classes, which is basically, the study of a people through written observations.  She made a huge impact on all the years that followed in College. My classes with her and the lessons in life that she gave me, changed the way that I looked at  the world. She pushed me to always do better in every paper, every project, I would know little of real Anthropology if it were not for her. (Regretfully no picture)

 

Mrs. O’Brien, the dynamic, demanding,  Irish Charge Nurse at two of the facilities where I worked. She put the fear of God in all who were near, and not meeting her expectations in Nursing and patient care and taught me how to be a better Nurse. She often stood over me as I did treatments and remarked how perfectly they were done. As I told her, I had many times to practice with my son, who had years of skin breakdowns due to his paraplegia. We became very close and I will never forget her passion and her insistence on nothing but the best from all who worked with her. (Regretfully no picture)

 

For our current positive status in women’s liberation and equal rights we all owe much to many women, but for my own generation, my connection has always been to Gloria Steinem.  Those of us who came of age in the ’60’s, especially in Southern California, found their voice,  through hers. We were able to fight for our rights,  when no one wanted to give them to us and what she did made me a stronger woman. Regrettably, we are still waiting in this backwards thinking state of Florida for the ERA to be passed!

GloriaSteinem1972

 

In American politics, my choice must certainly be  Hillary Clinton  for being one of the most intelligent, powerful, accomplished women of my time. She is the closest we have come so far in putting a woman in the White House. For that I will forever thank her. Hillary has worked hard all of her life to make the world a better place for all of us.

HillaryClinton

 

 

 

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Tibet: A Country, a People, in Crisis

Tibet-claims    People_of_Tibet
Left: Tibet, the Roof of the World
Picture credit : Ran

Right: Kids in the Kham (in a horse festival)
Picture credit: Antoine Taveneaux

 

Tibetans are frequently in the news and the stories are sometimes alarming, as with another who has set themselves on fire in protest, or being brutalized by a member of the Chinese Military.

This act is called,  Self-immolation  and since 2009 more than 125 Tibetans have died this way,  they simply have given up and see no other way of escaping the suffocating Chinese rule.

Please refer to this excellent source for the details on this:   Self-immolation protests in Tibet

Another example of the ongoing tragedies: Tibetan Man Kills Himself to Avoid Arrest in Statue Controversy

Groups protesting in support of the people of Tibet, who are hoping to help them become free of China,  have now become a common occurrence all over the world.

Petition to remove China and others from the UN Human Rights Council: Geneva Summit For Human Rights

This week President Obama welcomed the Dalai Lama to the White House, knowing quite well that he will suffer the full, unmitigated wrath of China for doing so:

Barack Obama risks China’s anger with Dalai Lama visit

Also this week,  a story of selflessness and love of a fellow-creature, as three Tibetan monks were held after saving 300 Yaks from  being slaughtered:

3 Tibetan Monks held after saving 300 Yaks from Chinese Butchers

The Yak is to the Tibetans,  what the Bison/ Buffalo is/was to the Plains Indians in the United States.

These three Tibetan Monks bought the Yaks that were about to be slaughtered, and by doing so have put themselves in harm’s way:

Three Tibetan Monks Detained for Freeing Yaks Headed to Slaughter

 

The Tibetan Yaks

Yak_at_Nam_Tso_Tibet    tibetanyak

Left: Yak at Nam Tso Tibet Picture credit: Paxse

Right: Yak near Yamdrok lake, Tibet. Picture credit: Dennis Jarvis

 

One positive thing that these frequent Global news stories do, even the tragic ones,  is keep the attention of the world on the plight of the Tibetan people.

There are many around the world who understand what they suffering because of China and want to help.

China has been making the lives of Tibetans hell since their invasion and takeover in the 1959 Rebellion.

Those who were able to escape,  found  freedom in Dharamsala, India, including the Dalia Lama.

But many Tibetans do not wish to live out of their country, they want to go home and they want their Spiritual leader back in place.

As the Chinese have repeatedly demonstrated that they have absolutely no intention of leaving, the prospects for this ever happening are slim.

It is tragic that a place of such breathtaking beauty, with one of the world’ most unique people and distinctive cultures, is being held hostage and remains at the mercy of one the planet’s biggest Bullies.

China has a strangle hold on millions of people, not just those in Tibet and they show no signs of slowing down or backing off, so those in their tight grip, will continue to suffer.

A new trend in political controls is happening now across this country, some of our most prestigious schools are teaching Chinese propaganda and many students do not know what the truth is any more. Some schools are now even turning away American students, while accepting wealthy Communist ones. Please do read this, these students who are being educated here, are then going back to China,  better armed to help defeat us around the world:   Stanford University Welcomes Chinese Regime

Even if the whole world were to attempt to unite against China, which is highly unlikely, they could not break these chains, China has simply become an undeniably dominant force on the Earth.

 

These are several places to learn more about Tibet:

The official Tibet Source:  Central Tibetan Administration

A good place to learn about Tibet’s struggles:   The History of Tibet from 1950 to present

Please visit this very informative website if you wish to learn more about Tibet:  Free Tibet

A timeline in the tumultuous History of Tibet:   Tibet’s History

Another excellent source of information:  Radio Free Asia – Tibet

 

A look at Tibetan Culture, the places and faces of Tibet

Potala_palaceThe Potala Palace — A Buddhist temple complex in Lhasa, Tibet.
Picture credit: Antoine Taveneaux

 

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Prayer wheels at Swayambhu, Kathmandu depicting three Sanskrit mantras in Ranjana script
Picture credit: Kamal Ratna Tuladhar

 

PrayerflagsNepal

Lung ta prayer flags hang along a mountain path in Nepal.
Picture credit: public domain

 

The Monks and their daily lives

Tibetan Monks are called Bhikkhu.

Lamas_Rumtek    Kalachakra

Left: Tibetan Monks attending the 2003 Kalachakra in Bodhgaya, India.
Picture credit:  Morrisjm

Middle: Lamas at the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.
Picture credit: Amar

The lives that the Monks lead are called the patimokkha.

Sakya_Monastery,_Sakya,_Tibet    Tibetan_monk_in_Tashilhunpo_Monastery

Left: Sakya Monastery, Sakya Tibet
Picture credit: Moszczynski

Right: Tibetan monk in Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Picture credit:  B_cool

 

 

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Zora Neale Hurston

ZoraNealHurston

Zora Neale Hurston in 1937
Beating a Haitian tambour maman or mama drum
Picture credit: World Telegram staff photographer

 

As an Anthropology student in California years ago,  I do not remember ever hearing about this remarkable woman.

It was only after coming here to Florida in 2000, that I became aware of her work in my own field of study.

I was at the University of Florida Press in Gainesville one day, picking up some books, when I noticed a stack of hers on the counter.

I asked the person there who she was and she said that she was  ” A Florida writer.”

Well as soon as I got home, I looked  her up and the shock hit me, she was a great deal more than just a “Florida writer.”

So this is a brief introduction into the world of this extraordinary African-American woman, whose life was just celebrated recently in the Annual Zora Festival in Eatonville.

Although many are not aware, Zora was not born in Florida, she was born in Notasulga, Alabama on January 7, 1891, but was brought to Eatonville at the tender age of 3.

Eatonville,  which is near Orlando, was/is one of first all black towns in this country.

I believe it was certainly the first one here in Florida.

Zora was the daughter of Baptist preacher and after they moved to Florida, he later became the Mayor of Eatonville.

After her mother died when she was 13, her father remarried quite quickly and soon after, her father and new step-mother sent her away to a boarding school in Jacksonville.

When they stopped paying for her tuition, Zora took what ever work she could find during this period, to stay in school.

Later as their  only black student, she received a BA in Anthropology at Barnard College/ Columbia University and graduated in 1928 at the age of 37.  (she had changed her date of birth to be able to complete her education)

During this time she worked with renown Anthropologists, Franz Boaz  and Margaret Mead.

She also became an active writing member of the Harlem Renaissance Era in the 1920’s.

Sadly, Zora later had several personal issues that hurt her and caused her great embarrassment.

Like so many other very talented, political and social trailblazers, Zora died alone and poor.

She was buried in the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce,  Florida,  in an unmarked grave in 1960.

Years later  in 1973, an upcoming author  Alice Walker  (who in 1982 would  write The Color Purple) and who had benefitted from Zora’s  example and writing, went to Fort Pierce and found what she believed to be her grave site and had a marker placed there.

 

This is an excellent accounting of her fascinating life:  Zora Neale Hurston

 

Zora Festival 2014

Zora Sustaining a Culture of Color

 

 

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tahtonka, in the beginning~

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My favorite place on Earth, Yellowstone and the Tetons.

 

Greetings~

This is a quite personal Blog concerning my passion for the world’s people and places, or to be more accurately defined, Global Culture.

My education was in Anthropology and much of what you will find here shall be conversations regarding the relevant past, present or future of Cultural Issues and News from around our Globe.

For those who may not be familiar with the word tahtonka, it is Lakota for Buffalo or Bison.

The first time that I heard the word, was when it was used in the movie Dances with Wolves, then a few years later, I studied the Lakota people at CSUN.

But the word did not truly reach its full meaning until seeing first hand, the ancestral importance it held for the Lakota people in South Dakota.

For hundreds of years, before the invasion of their homelands, the Buffalo/Bison had been the central part of their Culture.

They depended on it in every aspect of their lives and when it was taken from them by the invaders and our own US Government, they were lost.

Then being forced onto Reservations was the final insult to a once vital and vibrant people, who became only a shadowy reflection of what they had once been.

In 1990, I embarked on my first real journey alone,  driving from just outside of Los Angeles to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

I got absolutely no moral support in this adventure from my instructors at school, nor from any of my family.

They were all united in their complete and total opposition to this “dangerous journey”  for a woman to be taking all alone!

But it was something that I felt compelled to do.

Lectures, books and movies can only educate and define just so much, they do not tell you the true story.

I needed to see for myself about what I had studied.

It turned out to be a revelation that I was not fully prepared for at the time.

The conditions at Pine Ridge were often referred to as what is commonly called, Third World  and as it turned out, this was not to be an exaggeration.

Until you experience an Indian Reservation personally, you could not accurately comprehend the living conditions that Native People there must endure daily.

Deplorable comes to mind.

So, now with a bit of background of what I am about,  this begins a new form of exploration for me, writing a Blog about Global Culture.

As this Blog will not be about topics that are normally given great media or public attention, I do not anticipate many likes, hits or followers, however, I will be quite to content just to put it out there and occasionally receive some sort of feedback from those happen upon it.

It is my hope, that you may find this Blog dedicated to Global Culture, a worthy, educational, experience~

 

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