"The good news is that it doesn't involve a Constitutional convention or a Mars invasion."
That's Jason Grumet, whose new book, City of Rivals, proposes some intuitive solutions, such as more time for Congress to hang out together. And some not-so-intuitive solutions, such as bringing back earmarks, which Congress banned five years ago.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has collected the works of hundreds of artists, but it wants to make sure the talent keeps coming. That’s why they’ve again awarded thousands of dollars in fellowships to 26 student and professional artists.
For 75 years, the VMFA has lent support to artists -- $4,000 for undergraduates, $6,000 for graduate students and $8,000 for professionals, and some people have won all three – among them, Lexington painter Cy Twombly and filmmaker Vince Gilligan who went on to make Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.
You might not expect Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to have anything in common with Angela Davis, a counterculture activist and radical in the1960s, but a unique program at the University of Virginia finds qualities that many black leaders share.
The arts have a unique ability to embrace complexity; to hold a variety of ideas at once. They can foster exploration not always possible through other routes. That’s the idea behind the Islamic Worlds Festival at Virginia Tech’s Center for the Arts, which opens next month.
"There’s such a cultural clinging to tradition that is both admirable and sometimes problematic, but that’s in every culture; if you hold too strongly to tradition."
The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton is known for being traditional, but you might be surprised by what constitutes tradition when it comes to the bard.
In Shakespeare’s time, the lights did not go down as the curtain came up. That’s why the Blackfriar Theater’s racy motto is, “We Do It with the Lights On.” And during the current five-show series, performers are taking just 48-hours to find costumes and rehearse. Theater spokeswoman, Cathy Bagwell Marsh, says for the Bard, it was all about business.
“Because the more you did, the more money you made.”