CELEBRATING DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

marigolds-flor-de-muerto-copyright-kim-smithThis morning when I stopped by to say hello to ELise and Tucker at Cedar Rock Gardens they were hard at work planting a humongous field of tulips, planned to bloom for next Mother’s Day. Elise generously shared pots of fresh marigolds dug from their fields, not in good enough shape to sell, but perfect for our first ever Day of the Dead altar, Ofrenda de Muertos.

The vibrant colors and fresh citrusy scent of marigolds lure the spirits–marigolds are strewn about and placed around the altar so the souls can find their way. There is a wild version of marigolds that blooms in October and the Spanish name for the flower is flor de muerto, or flower of death.

The altar, or “offering to the dead,” is a sacred Mexican tradition where those who have passed away are honored by the living. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, on the 1st to honor the souls of children and on the 2nd, to honor adults. I became fascinated with the tradition after learning that Monarchs arrive in Mexico about the same time as Dia de los Muertos is celebrated. In Mexican folklore, butterflies represent the returning souls of departed loved ones. In the native language of the PurĂ©pecha, the name for the Monarch is the “harvester” butterfly. The PurĂ©pecha are a group of indigenous people centered in the northwestern region of the Mexican state of Michoacán, the very region to where the Monarchs return every year! 

There is a beautiful ofrenda at the Peabody Museum, which is where I learned about the “Harvester” butterfly. The altar is part of the Museum’s permanent collection and is on display year round. Here is a link to the exhibit.

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 716cca8662eab19228a8cb0bd3060dc3Images courtesy google image search

This Weekend in the Arts

Annual Charles Olson Lecture Featuring Hettie Jones

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (October 13, 2016) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present a talk by poet Hettie Jones, in collaboration with the Gloucester Writers Center and the Charles Olson Society on Saturday, October 29 at 1:00 p.m. in the Museum’s auditorium.

Hettie Jones will discuss her first meeting with Charles Olson, her impressions of Gloucester, a few recent unpublished poems and a selection from Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones, her recently published book of correspondence with painter and sculptor, Helene Dorn. (Duke University Press Books, October 18, 2016) Love, H is available for purchase in the Museum’s gift shop.

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Image: Cover of Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones by Hettie Jones. Source: http://www.beatdom.com

Jones’ first collection of poems, Drive (Hanging Loose Press, 1997), was selected by Naomi Shihab Nye to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is also the author of How I Became Hettie Jones (1990) and several books for children. The former Chair of PEN’s Prison Writing Committee, she currently teaches graduate writing at The New School and workshops at 92Y and the Lower Eastside Girls Club Center for Community.

$10 donation suggested. For more information please call (978)283-0455 x10 or email info@capeannmuseum.org.

This program is accessible.

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Calling All Music Venues: Turn OFF your TVs until AFTER the Election

David Brooks’ interesting opinion piece in the New York Times points to several sources showing that this election is causing unusual anxiety and I’ll bet two major contributor to this anxiety are all these nasty campaign ads and endless, fear-inducing news coverage that we’re seeing. We’ll we’ve got a cure for that: DON’T WATCH THE NEWS OR THE ADS. Instead of spending the weekend on your couch, go out to experience some LIVE MUSIC and let the music take you away!  You’ve got over a dozen choices on Cape Ann for excellent music and Halloween Parties.  Check out the schedule here.

If you own or manage a restaurant or bar, may we suggest that you turn OFF your TVs — or at least set them to a commercial free NON-NEWS channel so your guests won’t see any of dreadful campaign coverage or obnoxious ads.  Everyone on Cape Ann will thank you for reducing the stress among the population.

Here’s a little bit of fun from 1985 to get you in the mood:

 

Get her while you can…Julie Rhodes Band Tonight! Katrina’s 9pm with Ben Vosk of These Wild Plains to open…10.28.2016

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http://www.julierhodesmusic.com/

Julie Rhodes has just been nominated in 4 Boston Music categories
Album of the year
New Artist of the year
Female Vocalist of the year
Americana Artist of the year

The Julie Rhodes Band is about to rock the Boston Music Awards! December 8th, House of Blues Boston. ďż˝!! Ps. don’t forget to vote at bostonmusicawards.com

Check out these reviews…
Fred Knittal review
“Julie Rhodes is without a doubt one of the striking voices we’ve heard during a Folkadelphia Session. Sure, call her a powerhouse because there is certainly power – a brute, earthly force that jolts you up when she chooses to wield it. But let’s talk about the magnificent character of her voice, which is immediately charming, ear-catching, and totally malleable. Let Julie soothe your aching heart with a voice as smooth as butter, let her exfoliate the hurt away with that pumice stone singing, then let her drive you back the bottle with a voice that can get as gritty and raw as a gravel road swept up in a hurricane. Let us praise her passionate vocalizing and her soulful singing, which fit perfectly for songs that sit in the intersection between blues, R&B, rock, and folk. In less words, Julie Rhodes is a vocalist that makes you pay attention – are you listening yet?
Julie Rhodes’ Bound to Meet the Devil is her debut album and released this year, a true blues-rock affair, and well worth your time and money. For her in-studio session at WXPN, Julie, along with her band, stripped the song back just a little bit to reveal that dynamic and emotional core.”

Chris Martin review
Julie Rhodes – Bound to Meet the Devil
“From ice cream scooper to blues singer, Julie Rhodes’ music career is an incredible story. In a short amount of time she has taken the music world by storm with her debut album Bound to Meet the Devil recorded at historic FAME studios. With a big bold voice this New Englander has captured the sound, feel and soul of traditional Southern Blues music like few others. As she sings about bad relationships (“Your Key Won’t Unlock My Door”), untrustworthy people (“Grinnin at Your Face”) and heartbreak (“Hurricane”) you get the sense as if Julie has had experience in all. Songs like “Holes” and “Faith” are brought to life by her voluminous voice as she reaches into the depths of her soul. The song “In Your Garden” is the perfect cross section of Bound to Meet the Devil. Sultry guitar riffs meander through steady rhythms as Rhodes uses weeds in a garden as a metaphor for a relationship going bad. This is what the blues is all about. Bound to Meet the Devil is a solid album from start to finish. As Rhodes delivers tunes steeped in classic blues sounds her passion towards the music oozes from each word that leaves her mouth. You will be hooked from the first play and it just gets better with each listen.”

Building in Gloucester, MSBA School Committee consolidation update, and MAPC City Housing forum

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Three meetings with some items in common were held at the same time this past Wednesday, October 26, 2016: the standing School Committee meeting (including updates on new building) which include members Mayor Romeo Theken and Councilor Favazza; the Housing Building/Production Plan Public Forum #2 at City Hall which includes Councilor Lundberg; and a Forum to Focus on Building in the City held at the Magnolia library and community center with 3 Councilors LeBlanc, Orlando and Nolan.

Cape Ann TV filmed the first two.  (I will add them into the post.)

 

School Committee Meeting

“We’re on a path right now.”  “Nobody said we can’t pay.”   “We’re in Phase II of a 3-phase plan. We may need to convince the community to vote for a debt exclusion to pay for it.”

The MSBA toured East Gloucester Elementary School earlier in the week to corroborate the condition related to the School Committee Statement of Interest to consolidate East Gloucester Elementary and Veterans Memorial. The School Committee relayed that the community is united in expressing a need for new schools, moving forward and not changing course. The MSBA ascertains the community’s readiness and ability to pay. Gloucester is still in the running for MSBA aid. The pool of applicants was whittled down to 30 from 89 and sometime December or January, Gloucester will learn if MSBA accepts the plan, rejects it or places it on hold. “Up, down, maybe the plan is for the East Gloucester/Veterans only.”

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Housing Production Forum at City Hall (I’ll add links to the presentation and feedback from the Magnolia forum):

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Citizens waiting in line to vote just after 6pm

Fine artist Loren Doucette: Great teacher announces fall/winter classes

Loren Doucette Studio and Teaching, (978)-879-6588, 1 Center Street (between Passports and Pastaio Via Corta), Gloucester, MA, www.lorendoucetteart.com

All classes to be held on the 3rd Floor at 1 Center Street @TenPoundStudio space, silk painting studio

Loren Doucette’s DRAWING THURSDAYS, 9-11:30AM, beginning November 3rd

Loren Doucette’s EXPRESSIVE PAINTING THURSDAYS, WATERCOLOR & ACRYLIC,  2-4:30PM, beginning November 3rd

Loren Doucette’s SATURDAY WORKSHOP & PRIVATE OFFERINGS, monthly 2nd Saturdays, starting November 12, 9AM-noon

 

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Announcing Loren Doucette’s 2014 new space at 1 Center Street 

 

 

 

“Jimmy Tingle for President” at Gloucester Stage On Saturday, October 29

unnamedThe Funniest Campaign in History

Gloucester Stage Company and Cape Ann Community Cinema and Stage present Jimmy Tingle for President at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 29 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester MA. Tickets are $25. For tickets and further information, visit www.gloucesterstage.com or call 978-281-4433. From 60 Minutes II and MSNBC, comedian and commentator Jimmy Tingle captures the sweet spot between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. His unique brand of topical yet timeless comedy is as insightful as it is hilarious. Jimmy Tingle will make you laugh, make you think, and make you feel better with his clean, funny intelligent humor for audiences of all ages.

As the upcoming 2016 Presidential election season unfolds against the backdrop of Donald Trump and the Republican candidates on the right and Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the left, Jimmy Tingle has constructed another hilarious, thought provoking and politically charged one-man show based on his 2016 run for the presidency. As the founder of Humor for Humanity, Tingle is running on his comedic record. The campaign underlines his passion and creative thinking on every issue the next president must grapple with from money in politics and free speech to climate change, immigration, gun safety and technology. Despite the seriousness of the issues confronting America and the world, Jimmy Tingle for President is the Funniest Campaign in History.

jimmy-hi-res Continue reading ““Jimmy Tingle for President” at Gloucester Stage On Saturday, October 29”

KIDS HALLOWEEN PARTY The Building Center, 1 Harbor Loop SATURDAY OCTOBER 29th from 10-1

KIDS HALLOWEEN PARTY

The Building Center, 1 Harbor Loop

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29th from 10-1

Pumpkin Painting

Refreshments

Goodie Bags

Prizes for best costume

Free cloth Building Center bags, great for trick-or-treat

Join us for fun, food and a craft. Our employees will be dressed in costume.

Spirituality. Politics. Activism. Options.

More Cape Ann Wellness News-
http://www.capeannwellness.com

Cape Ann Wellness

mysticismartmv2Reverend Art McDonald, of the UU Essex, has years of experience with social activism and personal peace.  Please join him for a brief presentation and group discussion.  It’s ok to bring your questions, hopes and fears. Art has been involved in community organizing work with Essex County Community Organization – faith-based group from Lynn to Rockport. Ballot initiative on taxing millionaires in Mass., Immigration work, Black Lives Matter campaign, minimum wage and earned sick time victories in Mass.  Also, work with North Shore Peace and Justice Group, education and witnessing to anti-war issues and sponsorship of Buddhist march for peace every year.  Service projects with Open Door Pantry, Grace Center, Family Promise, Beverly (Harborlight) low income housing.

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