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San Diego’s Top Weekend Arts Events: Cirque, August Wilson And Ukuleles

This weekend offers an eclectic mix of arts, from a jam with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to Cirque du Soleil’s street-inspired acrobatics. Plus, there’s a festival dedicated to the playwright August Wilson.Cirque du Soleil’s VoltaTheater, DanceCirque du Soleil returns with Volta, a big-top production that celebrates the culture of street sports.The mesmerizing Cirque acrobatics blend with jump ropes, roller skates, parkour movements and more.Even the costumes are street-inspired; designed by Zaldy, they’re infused with bright colors and bold patterns to complete the visual story. Every show has a message and this one is about embracing our differences in a time when social media isolates us.

Volta is Cirque du Soleils’s 41st original production and it will be performed at the Del Mar Fairgrounds through April.Details: 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 4:30 and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sundays.Through April 28. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.Del Mar. $54 to $235; find tickets to Volta.

Intrepid Theatre.A 2019 promotional poster for the August Wilson Festival.August Wilson FestivalTheaterAugust Wilson is considered one of America’s best playwrights, and this weekend there will be a festival to celebrate his words and legacy.Wilson wrote a series of 10 plays, each set in a different decade, exploring the African-American experience in the 20th Century. Intrepid Theatre and the San Diego Central Library present an all-day event featuring student monologues, panel discussions and a staged reading of “Fences.”This festival was created because next year San Diego will participate in the 2020 National August Wilson Monologue Competition.Details: 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Four Maine arts groups receive $329000 in federal funding

The Portland Museum of Art is one of four Maine organizations to benefit from a round of federal grants announced Thursday and will use.Its the first time the museum has received NEH funding for an exhibition, said Graeme Kennedy, the museums director of communications.
Weve received NEH money for special projects in the past, but never for an exhibition. Were pretty excited, he said.An early sign for Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, part of an exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art opening in May supported by a federal grant. Photo by Ross Lowell/Courtesy of Haystack Mountain School of CraftsU.S. Rep.
Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, announced the funding Thursday morning. The Maine Humanities Council will receive $98,779 to support programming for war veterans, and the Maine State Museum will receive a $95,000 matching grant to help raise additional capital for a planned education center.Saint Josephs College in Standish gets $34,995 to support academic programming.These competitive grant awards speak to the quality of these organizations and Maines remarkable leadership in the arts and humanities, Pingree said in a news release.
The grants are part of the NEHs annual funding cycle. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating money for the NEH and National Endowment for the Arts in its budget proposals, Pingree noted.The Maine grants were among 233 humanities projects that received federal funding on Thursday.Thursdays announcement means Maine arts groups have received more than $500,000 in federal money since February, when the National Endowment for the Arts announced $205,000 in grants to 11 Maine arts groups.

The largest grant in that batch was $40,000 for the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston.In addition, this week in Lewiston, the newly formed LA Public Art Working Group met for the first time since receiving a $75,000 Maine Arts Commission Creative Communities = Economic Development grant for the implementation of a regional cultural plan.Community leaders hope the money will help improve the image of Lewiston and Auburn with public art projects.The Portland Museum of Art opens its Haystack exhibition May 24.In the Vanguard will explore the Deer Isle schools early years and its influence on 20th-century crafts in America. It is organized by PMA curator Diana Greenwold and Rachael Arauz, an art historian and independent curator.The exhibition will include craft objects in a variety of material as well as correspondence, articles, posters, brochures and other items from the schools archives

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What’s wrong with ‘cultural Marxism’?

It’s cultural Marxism week at Spectator USA. The dialectic of Enlightenment, prodded by the Angel of History, has forced us to confront the false.
The dialectic of Enlightenment, prodded by the Angel of History, has forced us to confront the false consciousness of late capitalism and to choose between Eros and Civilization, socialism and fascism. Yay!If that sounds like drivel, it’s because it is.The meaningless bits in the previous paragraph are meaningful phrases in the mad Marxist dreamland of laugh-a-minute lefties Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, Theodore Adorno, and that other one that Adorno wrote TheDialectic of Enlightenment with. Collectively known as the Frankfurt School, because between the world wars most of them worked at the Institute for Social Research, a Marxist think tank in Frankfurt.

The Frankfurt School invented the intellectual pestilences now known as Cultural Studies and Media Studies. They called their method Critical Theory or Social Theory.The gist of their interminable argument is that the reason the proles don’t join the revolution is that their thick heads are blunted by capitalist culture and sexual repression. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the New Left took it up, then populated the universities of America with vulgar Frankfurters whose pretentious, chippy warbling, instead of pulling down the boss class, has crushed enrollments in the Humanities, and produced generations of replicant professors who know nothing about their subjects, and not much about Marx and Freud either.
For the Nazis, the Frankfurter School and its vaguely Jewish exponents fell under the rubric of Kulturbolshewismus, Cultural Bolshevism’. You can see why the Nazis might have thought this.But you probably wouldn’t characterize the Frankfurter style in your local English department as Cultural Bolshevism, because that would imply an endorsement of Nazi social theory. For the same reason, Americans now say people of color’, because colored people’ evokes the social theories of Jim Crow.
And while we’re about it, we need an alternative to the phrase ethnic cleansing’, which has Soviet and Nazi origins. Here, the Frankfurters were right about the inadvertent consequences of speaking the language of tyranny in the name of freedom.Which brings us to Jordan Peterson and cultural Marxism’. Peterson uses cultural Marxism’ as shorthand for left-wing ideology in the Humanities.So does Douglas Kellner, a professional third-generation Frankfurter at UCLA; see Kellner’s potted history of the whole tedious business, Cultural Marxism and Cultural Studies’. And so did the Frankfurt School.
The phrase cultural Marxism’ might even precede the Frankfurt School. Marx had applied his ideas to culture; the germ of false consciousness’ theory lurks in Marx’s reflections on the French revolution of 1848 and his report on the Great Exhibition of 1851.The Frankfurters certainly didn’t invent the idea of a comprehensive Marxism of culture, either. The key ideas arose in the aftermath of World War One, from the Hungarian literary critic Georg Lukcs, and the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci.It was Gramsci who adopted the dreaded term hegemony’, probably from Lenin, and devised the strategy now known as the long march through the institutions’.The problem is that in the 1980s, a hostile theory of cultural Marxism’ developed on the right, and then spread right over the edge.
William Lind of the American Conservative and the Free Congress Foundationseems to have beencentral to popularizing the idea that multiculturalism and Political Correctness’ were the latest face of the Gramsci-Lukacs-Frankfurt program to destroy Western culture and the Christian religion’ by mobilizing what Marcuse called a coalition of blacks, students, feminist women and homosexuals’.As with the Nazis’ Kulturbolshewismus meme, you can see what Lind is talking about, even if you dislike what he means.
The idea of political correctness’ has impeccably communist origins. The ideal of multiculturalism’ emerged from the Third-Worldist mood of 1960s’ Marxism-Leninist-Maoism.
But these are not coherent programs, and their subscribers, who struggle to organize a faculty meeting, don’t operate in organized terms. For Lind, however, the dots add up.Using Frankfurt theory against itself, Lind claims that the cultural Marxists brainwash us: Today, when the cultural Marxists want to do something like normalize homosexuality, they do not argue the point philosophically. They just beam television show after television show into every American home where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual (the Frankfurt School’s key people spent the war years in Hollywood).’All the names on Lind’s list of conspirators against the West and Christianity happen to be of Jewish background: Freud, Lukacs, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, and the man behind the curtain old Karl Marx’. In 2002, Lind even advanced his conspiracy theory before a receptive audience of Holocaust deniers.These guys were all Jewish,’ he said. Anders Breivik, the Norwegian neo-Nazi who massacred 77 people in 2011, pasted long sections Victoria, a novel of race-war against all in which white Christians expel the black population of Atlanta.Since the late 1990s, cultural Marxism’ has filtered into the mainstream from the racist alt-right. While a tiny number of academics have been one-upping each other with quotations from Lukcs and Adorno, millions of online racists have redefined its public meaning.
More recently, no one has been more influential in spreading its mainstream, non-racist use than Jordan Peterson.I think that Peterson, who has spent most of his life on campus in the Frankfurter-rich field of psychology, missed the fringe redefinition of cultural Marxism’, understood cultural Marxism’ in its original, Frankfurter sense when he started throwing it about.I also think that Peterson should have known better by 2016, when he posted a link on to a Daily Caller story titled Cultural Marxism is Destroying America’. Its opening sentence was: ‘Yet again an American city is being torn apart by black rioters.’ The author of this and more than 20 other Daily Caller articles was the pseudonymous ‘Moses Apostaticus’. In 2018, Jane Coaston of Vox exposed him as anti-Semitic conspiracist David Hilton.
This is the context in which I first read the words cultural Marxism’ in the early 2000s. Not from Marxist theory in the ivory tower, but from online conspiracy theorists.It had already become a buzzword for racists who have never heard of The Dialectic of Enlightenment. That is why I have never used it, even when attacking the influence of Frankfurt theory in the academy.
A neutral and more accurate term would be neo-Marxism’.Let’s face it: cultural Marxism’ hasn’t floated into common parlance among conservatives because they’ve suddenly developed a taste for the cod-Baudelaire musings of Walter Benjamin.It’s floated in from the racist fringe on the Internet, the same fringe from which terms like Zio’ have floated into left-wing parlance. This week, the Conservative MP Suella Braverman used cultural Marxism’ in a speech to a Euroskeptic think tank, the Bruges Group: As Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against cultural Marxism, where banning things is becoming de rigeur; where freedom of speech is becoming a taboo; where our universities, quintessential institutions of liberalism, are being shrouded in censorship and a culture of no-platforming.’Braverman is the brown-skinned child of immigrants from Goa and Kenya. She has a Jewish husband.
I am certain that she didn’t mean to invoke an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, or to render it kosher by alluding to it in respectable society. She was only speaking in memes, as politicians have to do, especially conservatives hoping to catch the Peterson crowd.
And it’s impossible to disagree with Braverman’s analysis, or her suggestion that some of the ongoing creep of cultural Marxism’ comes from that ongoing creep Jeremy Corbyn, whose long march through the institutions has been succored by online racism and conspiracy theorizing. But I’d be fascinated to know where a decent person like Braverman learnt to summarize her analysis in the catch-all cultural Marxism’.I imagine that when she apologizes, she’ll attribute it to false consciousness.Dominic Green is Life Arts Editor of Spectator USA.

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Four Maine arts groups receive $328000 in federal money

The Portland Museum of Art will receive $100,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support its upcoming exhibition about Haystack .Its the first time the museum has received NEH funding for an exhibition, said Graeme Kennedy, the museums director of communications.
Weve received NEH money for special projects in the past, but never for an exhibition. Were pretty excited, he said.An early sign for Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, part of an exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art opening in May supported by a federal grant. Photo by Ross Lowell/Courtesy of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts U.S. Rep.Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, announced the funding Thursday morning. The Maine Humanities Council will receive $98,779 to support programming for war veterans, and the Maine State Museum will receive a $95,000 matching grant to help raise additional capital for a special project.St. Josephs College in Standish gets $34,995 to support academic programming.
These competitive grant awards speak to the quality of these organizations and Maines remarkable leadership in the arts and humanities, Pingree said in a press release.Thursdays announcement means Maine arts groups have received more than $500,000 in federal money since February, when the National Endowment for the Arts announced $205,000 in grants to 11 Maine arts groups.The largest grant in that batch was $40,000 for the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston.In addition, this week in Lewiston, the newly formed LA Public Art Working Group met for the first time since receiving a $75,000 Maine Arts Commission Creative Communities = Economic Development grant for the implementation of a regional cultural plan.
Community leaders hope the money will help improve the image of Lewiston and Auburn with public art projects.The Portland Museum of Art opens its Haystack exhibition May 24.In the Vanguard will explore the Deer Isle schools early years and its influence on 20th-century craft in America. It is organized by PMA curator Diana Greenwold and Rachael Arauz, an art historian and independent curator.

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Filling the food gap: Buffalo County found to have the nation’s worst food environment

A recent study indicates that people in Buffalo County may have less access to healthy food than people in any other county in the country.On Tuesday, the County Health Rankings Roadmaps (CHR) program released its 2019 data, which ranks counties across the country in a variety of health-related categories, from air pollution to obesity.One of those categories, which CHR calls the food environment index, is calculated on a scale from 0 to 10 that equally weighs the percentage of the county’s population that is low income and doesn’t live close to a grocery store and the percentage that didn’t have access to a reliable food source in the past year.
In the 2019 CHR, Buffalo County, in which the majority of the population lives on the Crow Creek Reservation, scored a 0. It’s the only county in the country to do so, but is followed closely by Oglala Lakota County, which scored a 0.2. The state’s average was 6.6, and counties with reservations within them had significantly lower scores, meaning the people there tend to be far less likely to be able to afford and otherwise access consistent, healthy food sources.The Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) is one organization that delivers food, in addition to clothing and household items, to reservations.

Tim Curns, director of operations, said the issue across multiple reservations when it comes to accessing food stems more from lack of income than lack of available food.”Grocery stores (aren’t) the issue.It’s the funds, the money available. They get so much EBT, assistance from the state, and that probably only covers about three weeks, if that,” said Curns, referencing the government assistance many on tribal reservations receive.

“It just depends on how many people are in the house, and stuff like that, and it’s not enough for the whole month. That’s why we try to help out as much as we can.
“In Buffalo County, 76 percent of the population qualifies for programs such as WIC or free school meals, and as of 2016, only three percent was above the income threshold that makes them ineligible for any nutrition assistance programs.Curns said that NAHA works to fill the gap between what’s covered by benefits and income and what’s actually needed to keep people fed in a month.And that gap is not a small one. Feeding South Dakota, a division of Feeding America, tracks what it calls the “meal gap,” or the difference between the number of meals per year that are needed to feed everyone in a county and the number of meals that are currently available.

According to the organization’s 2016 data, Buffalo County has a meal gap of 82,000 — the equivalent of every person in the county missing 40 meals per year.While money is the primary issue standing in the way of keeping people in Crow Creek and other reservations well fed, distance is still a contributing factor to food insecurity.Fort Thompson is the site of the only grocery store on the reservation. Excluding a couple of convenience stores, the next closest place to buy food is in Chamberlain, 22 miles south.Curns said that as they’re in smaller towns, stores in Fort Thompson and Chamberlain tend to have higher prices. To find a grocery store with more affordable food, those who live on the Crow Creek Reservation — many of whom do not own vehicles — would have to go 50 miles west, to Pierre.

Buffalo County’s rank in terms of food accessibility varies slightly from list to list, depending on which organization is compiling the information and what criteria is used. But across any number of similar rankings in recent years, the counties in South Dakota that are home to tribal reservations are consistently among those with the lowest accessibility to healthy food close to home, both in the state and across the country.While the county holds the most extreme spot in terms of CHR’s food environment index, it holds South Dakota’s fourth-highest spot on Feeding America’s list of food insecurity rates at 21.6 percent, based on 2016 data.In total, five additional South Dakota counties — Oglala Lakota, Todd, Dewey, Corson and Ziebach — have food insecurity rates above 20 percent. Like Buffalo County, all are home to reservations.

And though the six counties only contain 4.5 percent of the state’s population, they comprise 9.2 percent of the total meal gap.Food isn’t the only health-related issue in Buffalo County.CHR’s statistics show that people in the county have more days of poor mental and physical health per year than many other counties across the state and tend to live shorter lives with more health problems.At 62.6 years, Buffalo County’s average life expectancy is 16.4 years below the state average.The county also has the highest age-adjusted mortality rate in the state, meaning that more of its residents can be expected to die before age 75 than those in any other county.CHR found that 41 percent of adults in Buffalo County are obese, 37 percent smoke and 35 percent aren’t getting enough sleep — all of which are between nine and 19 percent higher than the state’s averages.Curns said the six reservations in South Dakota and two in Wyoming that NAHA serves all see the same problems that lead to such a great need for assistance.”Crow Creek and Lower Brule are much smaller than the other reservations that we deliver to.

They have a great need, no matter how small they are,” he said. “They all have the same kind of issues: very high unemployment; lots of grandparents taking care of children because the parents aren’t available.In proportion, it’s all the same as far as who we deliver to. It doesn’t matter the size.”To alleviate some of that need, Feeding South Dakota gives food to NAHA, which then distributes it to the reservations. Curns estimated that a couple thousand people are served in Crow Creek every month.According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the tribe has an estimated population of 3,429.Curns said NAHA prides itself on the fact that 96 cents out of every dollar donated is given back to the reservations, while the other four cents are used to operate the company.
In January and February, 41,505 pounds of food were delivered to the Crow Creek Reservation, worth more than $65,000

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