Round up 3 (Delightful in Dorchester and...)
Stuff I Did:
Attended Social Media Workshop sponsored by the Dorchester Artists Collaborative at the recently opened Erick Jean Center for the Arts. The newly built 1,200-square-foot space has a kitchen and gallery space and plenty of room to host classes, performances, etc. Located at 157A Washington Street near Erie Street, the building was rehabbed by the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, and has newly constructed housing as well as storefront space.
Given the numerous artists and crafters in the Four Corners neighborhood where the center is located (and throughout Dorchester) and the fact that Dorchester is rich in children who will surely benefit from the center's offerings, the center is sure to be a success.
The workshops were informative (covering using Facebook, Twitter, and doing Kickstart campaigns) and attracted artists at a broad range of familiarity with and use of social media to market. Of special note were:
The Keynote presentation on Social Media Basics by Chris Taylor of PricePiston.com. While he is not an artist, he did a great job of showing how he uses social media to get free marketing and build his business. All of his tips were applicable to artists.
The Art of Being Social by Sandy Coleman who shared tips for Facebook, Pintrest, Wordpress, and Red Bubble. Her savvy in using social media has helped her sell her art work and jewelry and gotten her mentioned in O magazine!
The Twitter Tutorial by Roseanne Foley was helpful as well although her workshop was rushed because of the morning’s late start (can’t have a workshop without some equipment glitch), the arrival of lunch, and over-zealous host.Do visit the DAC website to learn about other workshops and activities.
Saw Django Unchained – a Quentin Tarentino riff on a spaghetti western using the parts of Black culture he pays homage to in all of his films. Entertaining, caricatured violence, villanous villains, heroic heroes, humor, and a love story with lots of blood and use of the N-word. I enjoyed because I didn’t expect it to accurate, authentic or a documentary about slavery. It was entertaining.
Made three presentations to groups signing up for the Community Membership Program I coordinate for the Huntington Theatre Company.
Co-hosted Community Membership Program reception before Raisin in the Sun production at Huntington Theatre Company. I highly recommend this strong production, directed by Liesl Tommy, it ends on April 7.
Had a wonderful lunch with children’s book author Irene Smalls, where she introduced me to the wonderful peanut tea at Lucy’s Ethiopian Cafe, located above Symphony T stop, in the Fenway.
Attended the Homegoing Celebration for my best friend's mother. (RIP, Bar.)
Shoveled snow – twice on the same day (blowing wind and snow plow trucks be damned!).
Stuff I Read:
Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting – Pamela Druckerman
I enjoyed a lot of this book although I found the author's voice and recurring self-doubt a bit annoying. The differences in French and American parenting are noticeable. I recommend although I was surprised by how much of it was conjecture rather than fact-based. It could have been more tightly edited. (Note to author: You can't bear and rear children in another country and worry that they'll be more French than American or English (like their father). You consistent mewling about this made you seem shallow.)
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
Poignant, engaging and quick novel about a lonely man on the frontier doing backbreaking work including building his own house. He catches only the briefest bit of breaks - could it be because of a wrong he supports near the beginning of his life? Begs the question - can you be more when you have so little to start out with, not even the knowledge of your parents.
Arcadia by Lauren Groff – Narrated by a young boy whose nickname is Bit, this novel chronicles his time growing up in an intentional hippy commune in upstate New York into his adulthood later. I enjoyed and recommend. It brought back those times to me.
The Piano Tuner’s Wives by William Trevor (short story). It’s the first work I’ve read by this Irish writer but it won’t be the last.
Stuff I didn’t Do (Foiled by the snow storm)
Attend Mildred Fierce by Ryan Landry and the Golddust Twins or go to dinner at Café Laura for delicious Cape Verdean food with a friend, or attend a fundraiser for Marty Walsh hosted by the incomparable Dorchester delight also known as Joyce Linehan. This meant I missed meeting two writers whose memoirs I loved and whom I’ve always wanted to meet, Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City) and Michael Patrick MacDonald (All Souls: A Family Story from Southie).
Stuff I Cooked:
Q: Candelaria, don’t you think we’ve heard enough?
A: Yes, Yes I do.