Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great writing about great art

Today I was pleasantly surprised to read that The Washington Post's Gene Weingarten won a Pulitzer Prize for his achingly wonderful account of what happened when world-famous violinist Joshua Bell spent a morning busking in a Washington D.C. subway station.

Not only do I feel Weingarten's fundamental question, "In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?" is one anyone interested in art should ask themselves from time to time, but his piece was one of the things that inspired me to start this blog. (Transcendent beauty it is not, but at least I've got the banal setting part down cold.)

In all seriousness, I believe Weingarten's question is so fundamental to what we do I plan to make a point of raising it at the festival — I can't wait to hear what our artists have to say on the topic.

If you're interested in joining our discussion — or starting one of your own — I suggest you read the prize-winning piece.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

White Pine in the Star Tribune

Yesterday was a very good day for us, on account of a wonderful feature on the 2008 White Pine Festival in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Not only did Allie Shah do a fine job explaining the vision behind this year's festival, but she even gave us a new way to talk about the festival without saying "festival" when she at one point referred to the event as a "four-day arts summit."

(As you may have noticed in the previous paragraph, finding appropriate synonyms for "festival" can be a real problem. I'm pretty sure some of our grant applications read like a scene from Being John Festival: "Festival? Festival festival festival, festival festival...")

Inspired by the idea of an arts summit, I had the Mazda measured for a set of rockin' miniature flags with tiny pine trees on them yesterday afternoon. I was told the least expensive route would be to just buy Lebanese flags, but I also briefly considered designs from the American Revolution and a tiny island in the South Pacific before ultimately deciding it'd be best to have custom-made White Pine Festival flags. The big question now is whether to get green on white, or white on green.

Of course, as with all summits, setting the seating chart will probably be the most difficult challenge. Seeing as how we're dealing with artists and not politicians, I don't think anyone will be too uptight about it, though... at least as long as there's enough room for everybody on the summit cabana chair.

Seriously though, the article was great, and I'm sure it will help at least a few more people find their way to our fantastic summit, er, festival.