creativity

Simon McBurney in The Encounter
Robbie Jack

The Encounter - conceived of, directed by, and starring, Simon McBurney is currently running at the Golden Theater in New York City. McBurney is a multi-Olivier Award-winning, Tony and SAG Award-nominated actor, writer, director and one of Europe’s most original theater makers. He is co-founder and artistic director of Complicite.

The one-man play tells the true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre in 1969 - lost in Brazil as he encounters the Mayoruna - a remote people whose ancient traditions are uninfluenced by the western world. In The Encounter, McBurney also shares the story of the creation of this unique piece of theater.

Molding and stretching the classic artform of storytelling, McBurney and The Encounter team use specific and immersive binaural audio technology and sound design. Each member of the audience wears headphones which create an experience that uses their ears to trick their brain into telling their body and comprehension that events are happening that - in reality - aren’t; a voice from over your shoulder, a mosquito in your face, a fire nearby, a warm breath a little too nearby.

Peter Himmelman is an award-winning musician turned communications expert and the founder of Big Muse.

His new book is Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life. In it he uses science-based techniques and simple exercises to get unstuck and unlock your creative potential.

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is a new initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, along with WAMC to converse with artists of national and international prominence about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers, and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. 

Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and considered “the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes.” At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, which earned seven Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the age of 15, he received a Tony nomination for his role in Black and Blue and, three years later, a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Jelly’s Last Jam.

He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, for which he received the Tony for choreography. In 2016, he earned another Tony nomination for choreography for Shuffle Along. He also performed the live capture dance moves for “Mumble,” the penguin in the Disney film Happy Feet and its sequel. 

This interview was recorded at Page Hall at UAlbany on October 16th. .  Later that night, Glover premiered his latest work New Soundz, at The Egg in Albany. 

With his break-out debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction.

His latest, A Gentleman in Moscow, tells the story of a Russian aristocrat who was sentenced by the Bolsheviks during the revolution to a lifetime of house arrest in Moscow's ​Metropol hotel. 

Joyce Carol Oates has won the highest honors in American fiction, ranging from the National Book Award to being awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2010. She is also a 5-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has a pair of new books out – one a memoir, one a meditation on writing. 

We spoke to Joyce Carol Oates her as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at The University at Albany. Our conversation was taped in September before a live audience in the University’s Performing Arts Center. 

  Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program This American Life. The show is heard each week by over 2.2 million listeners on more than 500 public radio stations, with another 2.2 million downloading the podcast. For years, the podcast of This American Life was the most popular podcast on iTunes, until the show started its first spin-off program Serial, which quickly became the most popular podcast ever created.

In Reinventing Radio, Ira will return to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall to talk about how they put together This American Life.

  In his new book Creative Schools, Sir Ken Robinson offers a roadmap to parents, educators and administrators on how to transform the way our schools work, highlighting schools around the world that have already begun this process and giving practical examples of what works.

One of the schools Robinson profiles is Smokie Road Middle School in Newnan, Georgia, which had the odds stacked against it with consistently low academic achievement ratings and a high poverty level. When a new principal arrived and focused on the everyday needs of each individual student and strove to meet those needs by prioritizing what the student found to be important - she had dramatic results and saw improvement on every level.

Artist Danny Gregory says that you can carve out time for painting and drawing anytime at anytime in your day. He looks to show how making art even for just ten minutes can lead to a richer, more fulfilling life. Gregory’s artistic approach is through bite-sized and easily achievable exercises which he presents in his new book Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are.

  A young lad who would rather draw than do math, spell, or gargle finds the perfect outlet for his always-on imagination in this manifesto to creative joie de vivre, featuring a book within a book, from the brilliant minds that brought you The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Full of nostalgic references to a time when TV was black-and-white and Sunday newspapers had things called the funnies, this wildly fun story-within-a-story is based loosely on children’s book legend William Joyce’s third grade year, and includes a sewn-in mini-book of that tale of the world’s smartest booger.

  Martha Frankel is the executive director of the Woodstock Writers Festival, and host of the weekly show, Woodstock Writers Radio, on Radio Woodstock 100.1.

For over thirty years, Kristin Garnier has been writing and performing her stories and songs live on stages, public radio stations, and in the echoing hallways of the Parisian Metro.

Together, Martha and Kristin present StorySlams and this Saturday they’re staging one of their events at The Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock, NY. The StorySlam will feature 9 storytellers in competition, speaking on the theme “I Believe in the Power Of…” – there will be music and merriment.

Martha Frankel and Kristin Garnier join us.

  For more than fifty years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry—including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey.

But it also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training to cutting-edge companies, nonprofits, and public sector organizations—all aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.

Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City is a new book by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton.

  Gail Godwin takes a look at the publishing industry over the last fifty years, a time of great upheaval and ingenuity, in her new memoir, Publishing.

Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and is the bestselling author of fourteen novels including Flora, Evensong, and The Good Husband.

  Change is no stranger to us in the twenty-first century. We must constantly adjust to an evolving world, to transformation and innovation. But for many thousands of creative artists, a torrent of recent changes has made it all but impossible to earn a living.

A persistent economic recession, social shifts, and technological change have combined to put our artists—from graphic designers to indie-rock musicians, from architects to booksellers—out of work. Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class looks deeply and broadly into the roots of the crisis of the creative class in America and tells us why it matters. Scott Timberg considers the human cost as well as the unintended consequences of shuttered record stores, decimated newspapers, music piracy, and a general attitude of indifference.

Yaddo Open Tours

Sep 16, 2014
yaddo.org

  Yaddo – the National Historic Landmark and privates artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs - will open this weekend for guided public tours for the first time in 3 years and only the 6th time in their history. Artists who have worked at Yaddo have won 71 Pulitzer Prizes, 29 MacArthur Fellowships, 68 National Book Awards, 42 National Book Critics Circle Awards and even a Nobel Prize to Saul Bellow.

This weekend you can see the very walls they stared at while waiting to create and the spaces that surrounded them while they ultimately did write, compose, choreograph, paint, print, sculpt and film.

  As a professor at Yale, Bill Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively, and how to find a sense of purpose.

His new book, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation Of The American Elite And The Way To A Meaningful Life, takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee.

    Since well before his epic 1974 walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Philippe Petit had become an artist who answered first and foremost to the demands of his craft—not only on the high wire, but also as a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, and writer.

A born rebel like many creative people, he was from an early age a voracious learner who taught himself, cultivating the attitudes, resources, and techniques to tackle even seemingly impossible feats. His outlaw sensibility spawned a unique approach to the creative process—an approach he shares, with characteristic enthusiasm, irreverence, and originality in Creativity: The Perfect Crime.

Philippe Petit will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, NY tonight.

      Furniture making, practiced as a craft in the twenty-first century, is a decidedly marginal occupation. Yet the view from the periphery can be illuminating. For woodworker Peter Korn, the challenging work of bringing something new and meaningful into the world through one's own volition .

In Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice.

Sir Ken Robinson

May 22, 2013

    Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader and advisor in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and business. His 2006 TED Talk about schools killing creativity is the most viewed in TED’s history. In 2011, he was listed as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine.

Two days ago, this ninety-year-old and extremely unhappy American combat veteran discovered the one irreplaceable loss, he and thousands of fellow sufferers tragically could not afford.  For me, the catalyst was a simple yet vitally necessary pair of shoes.  Having problem feet created my necessity.  Creating the shoes is the proud tradition of the SAS Shoe Makers, of San Antonio, Texas.  Actually, they were organized on the Siesta Valley Ranch, outside of San Antonio, inspired by a time when pride in craftsmanship was the vital asset that fuelled the human condition.  That craftsmanship (

from janusadams.com

For five days, August 6th through the 10th, Janus Adams will host a Writer’s Retreat in the Catskills.

The hands-on workshop intensive is for new and seasoned writers with a work-in-progress. With space limited to 8 attendees, the program affords each participant time to write, read, reflect, share positive criticism, and grow in a supportive environment.