Art Works Blog

The Art Works blog is on hiatus until January 2nd. We look forward to another great year of art in 2014!
Julie Otsuka’s debut novel , When the Emperor was Divine — one of our new Big Read titles — is a somber and insightful historical narrative of contemporary fiction. In her novel, Otsuka masterfully captures and illuminates the infamous tensions in the United States during 1942...
When it comes to the power of performance space, jazz vocalist Ruth Price could more or less write the book. She spent her career singing at legendary jazz venues such as Birdland, the Village Vanguard, the Black Orchid, and Shelley’s Manne Hole, accommodating her performance to the...
"The fact is one's own voice is not heard anywhere else…. It's a challenge to be yourself. It takes a lot of courage." --Yusef Lateef, 2010 NEA Jazz Master Visit our Jazz Masters page to read the complete interview with Yusef Lateef. And don't forget to join us for the...
“[A]rt works to shake the rickety rafts of my half-truths.” – Kim Coleman Foote Kim Coleman Foote is no stranger to awards--her FY 14 NEA Literature Fellowship joins a long list of honors, including an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Pan-African Literary Forum Africana...
It's been a cold and snowy week in Washington, which naturally put us in a wonderful wintry mood (or a cranky, bitter mood, if you're the summer type). To celebrate the fact that it finally feels like winter, we thought we'd share "The Bells," a sweet seasonal poem from Edgar...
“For me, playing jazz is like problem solving, you know, you start improvising and you hit a wall, and then, like, how am I going to get around this wall? And then you do it. But the thing is, you can get around that wall in a million different ways, depending on your experience, your musical...
What if the visual and aural worlds collided, and we were able to listen to dance and watch radio? What would it look like? How would it sound? As one of 1,083 grants announced today, the Monica Bill Barnes & Company contemporary dance troupe will continue its collaboration with Ira Glass, host...
"Addressing improvisational music, which is considered jazz and the non-improvisational music, which is considered classical, I would say that the big difference for me was to be able to interpret what was already composed and written. How do you interpret it? Do you make this note short or...
It goes without saying that we know an author or poet first and foremost by their words. But what were the places and passions, the people and objects that inspired and shaped the stories and verses we know so well? Below are five well-known items associated with Big Read writers, and a look how...

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