By Debbie Coleman-Topi
The staff at Outreach International has a customary role: helping those living in impoverished nations learn to help themselves to a better way of life. But, a devastating earthquake two weeks ago, in one of the organization's hubs in Haiti, has left the staff scrambling in a new role: offering disaster- relief assistance. The focus is on helping staff, students and families attending the schools closest to Port au Prince, the capitol. Those buildings are among 90 schools they operate throughout Haiti, the poorest nation of the Western Hemisphere.
"We're not traditionally a first-responder," Andrew Betts, director of communications and marketing at Outreach International, said of the organization's newest role. Nevertheless, in the last two weeks, the organization has created and initiated a disaster-relief plan aimed at assisting the teachers, students and their families, with the necessities of daily survival.
"How do you send your kid to school if there's no food or health care?" Betts asked.
Long before the new (old) vogue for 3-D at the movies, the theater was all about it. Trap doors onstage, apparatus dropping from the ceiling, lighting and sound cues, sets moving and changing as in Terry Gilliam’s film homage to old-fashioned theatrics “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”—indeed, the simple act of the actors on the stage, seemingly close enough to touch—all of it, when done right, registers as an experience that the audience feels it is a part of.
The new technically classy version of Jules Verne’s classic adventure “Around the World in 80 Days,” which débuted on January 29 at The Kansas City Repertory Theatre is Gilliamesque. The sets and the actors combine to create an illusion of travel, via locomotive or steamship or even elephant. The story recalls Verne’s popular 1873 novel (it was originally planned as a play, based on Verne’s own voyages); while there is a nod to the hokey 1956 Hollywood movie with David Niven as Phileas Fogg—Fogg’s servant, Passepartout asks if they will be going “by balloon”—this production, originally conceived by Laura Eason of Chicago’s innovative Lookingglass Theatre, relies on Verne’s modes of transportation.
Lesley Dill at Byron Cohen Gallery
Reviewed by Steve Shapiro
Of the many words used by critics, curators and art-goers to describe contemporary art—such as angry, baffling, cryptic, daring, extravagant and exasperating—the word haunting gets little play. Perhaps it is because so much of today’s work has a mass-produced feel, or no feel at all.
Modernism was predicated in part on an industrial, almost clinical, quality; the warmth of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings were overtaken by the cold porcelain of Duchamp’s urinal and the mechanical engineering of Cubism. Art since the twentieth century has come to mean anything, yet often unconnected to the idea (and the ideal) of the artist’s hand.
The sense of art that proves most haunting is art with a human touch. A Vermeer portrait, suffused with the artist’s personal intent (combined with technical prowess), can thus be linked to, say, Giacometti’s sculptures with their evidence of puttied fingerprints, and to Hannah Höch’s collages, onward to Joseph Cornell’s boxes, Richard Serra’s torqued steel arcs, and Lesley Dill’s hands-on works of copper, wire, steel, horsehair, rice paper, and thread.
Opinion by Daniel Starling
“Inconsistencies of opinion arising from changes of circumstances are often justifiable. But there is one sort of inconsistency that is culpable: it is the inconsistency between a man’s conviction and a man’s vote, between his conscience and his conduct. No man shall ever charge me with an inconsistency of that kind.”
--United States Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts during debate on the 1850 Clay Compromise as quoted in “Profiles in Courage” by Sen. from Mass., John F. Kennedy.
As I sat and watched President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union speech, it struck me again how ironic America can be. Just days after the election of a Republican to complete the term of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the last liberal lion of the Senate, and defenders of our broken American health care system jumped for joy.
by Rhiannon Ross
The veteran Kansas City journalist, whose 40-year career included reporting, editing and publishing, died January 16th at the University of Kansas Medical Center after waging a long battle with lung cancer.
Fond memories of Tom, as well as accolades hailing him as a Kansas City “journalism legend,” continue to appear on Internet sites around the area and beyond.
Longtime CNN Headline News Anchor Chuck Roberts wrote from Atlanta, “No one articulated the city’s problems and potential better. Tom was irreplaceable...I admired him greatly.”
I recently had the kind of day where if you could take it to the customer service department and get your money back, you would. I won’t go into the details, though it involved a car, a cop, an ex-, and a lost DVD rental. PMS was my friend and I didn’t have many others.
I exploded through the door of Higher Grounds in search of pure cane sugar demons to take my frustrations out on. Seducing me sweetly from the confectionery case stood a voluptuous chorus line of glowing cupcakes. Maybe an inch and a half tall adorned with two inches of icing squeezed into church spires of heavenly glory, the vanilla one with the red heart chose me. I bought it with a charming latte to accompany us to our table.
By Karen :Land
Didn’t someone once say, “It takes a village to raise a terrier?”
Most people would think that owning just two dogs would seem like nothing after having a kennel of 60-some sled dogs. But if one of those dogs happens to be a terrier, it’s a whole different ball game. Terriers aren’t stuck with the infamous nickname “tiny terrorists” because of their angelic behavior.
Even though Jigs, my German Jagd Terrier, is no saint, I’m crazy about him. He’s my bedwarmer, my little man. And he’s just so darn cute.