The creative crusader

first_imgActress and arts activist Jane Alexander on Friday received the 2013 Radcliffe Medal, which recognizes someone “whose life and work substantially and positively influenced society,” said Lizabeth Cohen, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, who presented the medal.Alexander is a “warrior for the arts,” Cohen said during the afternoon event known as Radcliffe Day, a luncheon and reunion celebration traditionally held a day after Harvard’s Commencement. Alexander’s work at the head of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from 1993 to 1997 helped deepen and expand the group’s constituencies and helped protect arts funding, ensuring “that Americans enjoy continued access to the arts,” Cohen said. Alexander’s talents and accomplishments, she added, “have touched us all.”The actress has garnered four Oscar nominations, nine Emmy nominations and two wins, and seven Tony nominations, including a win for her Broadway turn in “The Great White Hope.” She is also known for her advocacy work. Responding to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, the actress joined the civil and human rights movements, protested the Vietnam War, and became an outspoken critic of nuclear proliferation.During her remarks, Alexander called for more arts funding and education in public schools. She said that the recent educational movement toward focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math, known as S.T.E.M., should instead be a concentrated effort to generate S.T.E.A.M., with an added A for arts. She lauded the Rhode Island School of Design for its efforts to get the S.T.E.A.M. initiative going.“I applaud President [Drew] Faust and Dean Cohen for all they are doing here on these campuses to put more arts into the curriculum, because I think that is what we need for the future,” Alexander said.She urged her listeners to engage with the arts, either on their own or with their children. “It’s important to find what is important to you in your creative life … [and allow] yourself to fail over and over again on your own terms.” Failure, she added, “is the most exacting teacher and defines your path to success.”“Creativity can be encouraged,” said Alexander, “and exploring the arts is a fabulous way to do it.”She said her own arts epiphany came at age 6, when her father took her to the ballet. “I was gobsmacked,” said Alexander, who recalled thinking, “Oh my God, is this possible? Does this really exist in life?” From that moment she wanted to be on the stage, and initially focused on dancing. But the rigors of dance proved too hard, so Alexander turned to the theater, nabbing the role of Long John Silver in the fifth grade.She attended Sarah Lawrence College for two years, where she concentrated on theater. But her true education came, she said, during a transformative year studying abroad in Scotland. She hitchhiked across Europe, sang, acted, and won a leading role in a Tennessee Williams play during the new Edinburgh Festival Fringe. “I got an education my parents never dreamed of,” she joked. Back in the United States, instead of returning to school, Alexander headed to New York City “with $40 in my pocket, and I have never looked back.”Alexander also offered a note of caution about the wonders of social networking tools such as YouTube and Facebook. “It is exhilarating, and it is sometimes edifying, but I don’t think we have passed yet from the information stage and made the leap to creativity and storytelling.” While many artists may struggle to move forward in this digital age, they will find a way, she said. That leap “is about to come … I think we are on the cusp of that breakthrough.”Alexander’s message resonated with many in the audience, including Claire Gilman Selfridge, a graduate of the Class of 1948. “I was inspired,” said Selfridge, a onetime singer. Selfridge said the talk encouraged her be open to artistic and creative outlets. “If I am open to it, then I can just let it come.”Earlier in the day, the theme of arts and creativity held center stage as four panelists, all artists and former Radcliffe Fellows, took part in a discussion titled “From Artist to Audience” at the Loeb Drama Center of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). Diane Paulus, A.R.T. artistic director, moderated the Radcliffe-sponsored panel that unfolded on the set of the theater’s current production, “The Pirates of Penzance.”As part of Radcliffe Day, A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus (right) moderated a panel of artists and former Radcliffe Fellows titled “From Artist to Audience” at the Loeb Drama Center.The panelists — a poet, a painter, a composer, and a designer/photographer —  discussed their creative process, technology and the arts, the importance of funding, creativity blocks, and engaging an audience.“Being an artist is the hardest job I’ve ever had,” said Beverly McIver RI ’03, a painter and a professor of art at North Carolina Central University whose work examines racial, gender, and social identity. She said she has been the fortunate recipient of numerous grants during her career, but that money is always a worry. What she studied in school “gave her the skills,” she said, “but not the financial means,” and she urged aspiring artists to study business and administrative practices in addition to their craft.Poet Elizabeth Alexander, RI ’08, who composed “Praise Song for the Day” and delivered it at the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, said she welcomes the Internet’s connective powers. But the chair of the Department of African American Studies at Yale University also urged caution when reading poetry online.Line breaks in a poem are critical to its structure, offering the reader both breath and time, said Alexander, who also is an essayist and playwright. Too often, she said, poems get “deformatted” on the Internet. “Always know what your sources are,” she suggested.Poet Elizabeth Alexander, RI ’08: “You never know what is going to draw someone into a work of art.”She said when it comes to connecting with her readers, she never tries to second-guess her audience, since “You never know what is going to draw someone into a work of art.”Attracting an audience to his work always involves some level of seduction, said photographer Mark Robbins RI ’03. The executive director of the International Center of Photography, Robbins said that he often looks for some kind of material or color — “things that have a resonance so that people can enter in enough to begin to engage.”Music is the domain of contemporary composer Augusta Read Thomas RI ’91. Her work often consists of complex scores, she said, but her goal is to always make her music sound spontaneous.last_img read more

Mourinho: Schedule tough on players

first_img The Blues have little recovery time following their midweek Champions League trip to Istanbul, having arrived back in the early hours of Thursday morning, before heading into the west London derby with Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. Mourinho’s squad trained at Stamford Bridge on Friday afternoon before the players headed off to their usual pre-match hotel at Chelsea Harbour. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has backed the claims of midfielder Frank Lampard that the Barclays Premier League has to do more to help clubs in Europe with fixture schedules. “It is not just them (Spain and Portugal) – it is Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Greece, it is everyone,” said the Chelsea boss. “If someone says ‘Friday, no’, because Friday has some implications at different levels, we accept that, but what we don’t accept is why we are playing Saturday and not Sunday. “Why a team who plays on Wednesday in the Champions League has to play on the Sunday before and not the Saturday?” New Fulham manager Felix Magath is hoping to capitalise on Chelsea’s European fatigue when the rivals clash at Craven Cottage. Mourinho said: “Not many people are honest in the way they analyse things. I have to praise Magath because he was the first one to say this is a different match because Chelsea have this situation in midweek, the special situation that the game was so far, and we don’t play on Sunday. “Sunday would be difficult. We play Saturday which is more difficult. Magath knows that. “He has experience at this level, having played European competitions for many years with other clubs, so I have to praise his honesty.” Mourinho has full respect for the three-time Bundesliga-winning coach, whose reputation as a disciplinarian has made many headlines. “I don’t know his training methods. I just know his CV, and the CV is one of the best CVs of the 20 managers now in the Premier League,” he said. “I try to be pragmatic – read the CV, and it’s very clear. He has a reputation and a past, and I respect that.” Despite leading the table, Mourinho continues to deflect talk of Chelsea being in the driving seat for the championship. “We are top of the table because Man City have one match in hand. If they win that match, we are not top of the table,” he said. Clubs who play in the Europa League on Thursday evenings are allowed to push their next domestic matches back to a Sunday kick-off, but there is no such dispensation for Champions League fixtures. The Portuguese manager, whose side are top of the Premier League, insists Lampard was right to speak out against what he sees as poor planning, with little consideration for fatigue on players. “We all prefer to play game after game after game, but we all want to play game after game with conditions to recover, with equal conditions for every team, and no sense that a team has a privilege in the choices, and every team in the same country has the same privilege to be a little bit protected in relation to European matches,” said Mourinho, who will assess the fatigue levels of his squad before making a final team selection. “It makes the players’ job difficult, not my job. “I can play a match every day, it is not a problem for me or the people who make the fixtures. I don’t run, they don’t run. It’s difficult for the players. “When a player like Frank Lampard, who has a right to speak and has played an unbelievable number of seasons and matches in this club, and over 100 times for England, and is not the kind of player who is trying to give an opinion all the time, so when a player like him, and a man like him, expresses his feelings about that, this country should listen.” Chelsea’s schedule could, of course, have been more hectic were the west London derby selected for an early Saturday kick off by TV – as was Arsenal’s match at Manchester City just after an away midweek European tie earlier this season. Mourinho arrived from Porto in 2004, coming from a culture where the authorities allowed games to be moved around by their Champions League participants, a situation which has also been followed in both Germany and Italy. Press Associationlast_img read more

WBB : Orange burned by 3-point shooting in loss to DePaul

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm Quentin Hillsman outlined a simple game plan before Syracuse’s game against DePaul on Tuesday: stifle the Blue Demons’ shooters.Syracuse would try to shut down the Big East’s fourth-best 3-point shooting team by shutting down DePaul’s perimeter players. But much to Hillsman’s dismay, that strategy was not executed by his players.‘I’m not very happy with us not getting out to shooters,’ said Hillsman, Syracuse’s head coach. ‘We had a game plan in place, and the game plan was ‘do not help off shooters.’ And we helped off shooters tonight. And that got us beat.’Syracuse (16-7, 4-6 Big East) fell 77-61 to DePaul as the Blue Demons torched the Orange’s zone in front of 1,008 fans inside the Carrier Dome. DePaul knocked down 13 of its 23 3-point attempts, the most for an Orange opponent since Northeastern hit 14 in the first game of the season. After sticking with the Blue Demons (22-3, 9-1) in the first half, the Orange could not keep up with DePaul’s torrid shooting pace for the full 40 minutes and suffered its third consecutive loss.‘Every time we would get something going, they would come back,’ SU sophomore guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas said. ‘Dagger 3 at the top, 3 at the top, offensive rebound. Every time we did something good, they did something better.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDePaul was dialed in from the opening tip, as forward Keisha Hampton nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the Blue Demons’ second possession. Hampton continued to lead the charge early, knocking down her three first-half triples within the game’s opening seven minutes.When she finally missed her first shot of the game, the junior Hampton chased down her own rebound and buried a floater in the paint, giving DePaul its largest lead of the half at 20-11.SU willed its way back into the game, battling and clawing for points in the paint. While the Orange struggled for every basket, DePaul was the side constantly getting wide-open looks.But in spite of this, Syracuse took the lead a few times before halftime. After the break, though, the Blue Demons maintained their scorching pace, and SU couldn’t keep up.‘I feel like we were getting there, but we were just a second late,’ junior guard Iasia Hemingway said. ‘And they had some good shooters. They shot crazy good.’That shooting percentage was aided by the Blue Demons’ ability to pick apart the SU 2-3 zone. Of the 13 3-pointers DePaul made, 11 of them were assisted as its players worked the ball flawlessly around the Orange defenders.As a result, the shooters weren’t creating room for themselves. DePaul worked the ball around the zone until a hole opened up. And once Syracuse left someone open, the Blue Demons found a shooter for the easy look.‘That’s what we work on right there is assists,’ Blue Demons head coach Doug Bruno said. ‘We want our baskets scored by people sharing. … Today, I thought we really came back and shared the ball well in the second half.’While Hampton led the attack for DePaul early, senior guard Deirdre Naughton came off the bench and caught fire the rest of the way. She tallied a season-high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.And in the second half, it was Naughton who provided the daggers that killed SU’s comeback hopes.Her first 3 after the break extended the DePaul lead to double digits for the first time with 12:22 left. Her second — just two minutes later — extended the margin to 14. The last triple just two possessions later put the score at 66-51. SU never got closer than 12 after that.After the game, Hillsman said the problem was not that the Orange stayed in a 2-3 zone. Instead, in his mind, the team’s issue was its execution of that trademark defense.‘It’s about playing a better zone,’ he said. ‘It’s not about wavering on what you believe in and what you stand for as a coach and as a program. … It’s about playing a better zone. It’s about not giving up open looks.’[email protected]center_img Commentslast_img read more