Mindful resistance

Books-Chapman-Mare-02162017Mare Chapman’s “Unshakeable Confidence” lays out a plan for female empowerment

Madison psychotherapist and meditation instructor Mare Chapman believes mindfulness is an important step toward empowerment.

Chapman has distilled the nine-week course she’s taught for 20 years into a new self-published book, Unshakeable Confidence: The Freedom to Be Our Authentic Selves. Chapman’s class teaches women how to dismantle the damaging thought patterns instilled by a male-dominated society while helping them learn to be at home in their own skin. Read the article at http://isthmus.com/arts/books/mare-chapman-unshakeable-confidence/

From Athens, of Montreal, and digging Madison

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The psychedelic glam-pop act is pumped for the Majestic

The weird, sexy glitter circus known as of Montreal is rolling into Madison, a place where the band feels right at home.

“I like Madison. It’s a progressive town with a big college,” similar to the band’s native Athens, Georgia, says Kevin Barnes, of Montreal’s androgynous founder and driving force. “The Halloween show we had in Madison [in 2013] was epic.”

That’s quite a compliment coming from the the offbeat, artsy, psychedelic glam-pop act, famous for frenetic, rainbow-colored performances. The band plays the Majestic Theater on Sept. 20.

This year marks of Montreal’s 20th anniversary. The band’s had at least that many rotating members in those two decades, with Barnes being the sole constant. The band’s 13th record, Innocence Reaches, released in June, is an upbeat, rhythmic infusion of electronic dance music.

– See more at: http://isthmus.com/music/from-athens-of-montreal-and-digging-madison/#sthash.ehbe3oyk.dpuf

Incubating artists and writers

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Arts + Literature Laboratory has found its niche as a creative hub

At the Arts + Literature Laboratory, last night’s art show swiftly becomes the backdrop for tomorrow night’s reading series and next week’s concert.

For these reasons and more, Rita Mae Reese and Jolynne Roorda founded Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL). The experimental, collaborative space opened in January and has since been packed to the gills with people attending multimedia exhibitions, theater and musical performances.

The nonprofit was recently awarded two local grants to further its mission: $2,885 from the Madison Arts Commission to fund ALL’s Professional Development Series for Writers, which includes monthly craft talks and write-ins, and a $960 grant from Dane Arts to help support a series of exhibitions by emerging Dane County artists and related professional development programs for visual artists.

– See more at: http://isthmus.com/arts/arts-literature-laboratory-incubating-artists/#sthash.KYEBdEcK.dpuf

Soaring past obstacles

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Violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea headlines Disability Pride Festival

Gaelynn Lea is a rising music star who happens to have a disability.

Ushered into the national spotlight in March, the Duluth resident beat out 6,100 entrants, including several from Madison, to win NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest. The energetic 32-year-old is a classically trained violinist who, with the help of a middle school teacher, learned to hold her instrument like a cello to accommodate for effects of brittle bone disease, a congenital disorder that requires her to use a wheelchair.

– See more at: http://isthmus.com/music/gaelynn-lea-disability-pride-festival/#sthash.2rxS9Yvp.dpuf

From trauma to joy

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An exhibit at the Chazen Museum highlights experiences of people of color

Jay Katelansky was walking home from her Frances Street art studio about three years ago when she noticed a police officer trailing her. Newly arrived in Madison from New Jersey, with iPhone in one hand and groceries in the other, she stopped to ask why. The officer said she matched the description of a woman who was reportedly begging for money in the area. She said it was a case of mistaken identity, but the officer did not believe her. He offered to drive her to a women’s shelter.

“I had to explain my existence, and that’s something that will always happen,” says Katelanksy, who recently won the 2016 Chazen Museum Prize for an Outstanding MFA Student. “I don’t know one person of color that isn’t depressed here.”

– See more at: http://isthmus.com/arts/jay-katelansky-hoodwinked-chazen-museum-art/#sthash.1jCkEUag.dpuf

A musical love triangle

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Fresco Opera’s Clara looks at an unsung heroine — and a scandal

By Holly Henschen

Clara Schumann shattered gender norms and may have broken hearts in 19th-century Germany.

In Clara, Fresco Opera Theatre tackles the scandalous tale of one of history’s finest yet most frequently overlooked musicians. Performances run April 1-3 at Overture Center’s Promenade Hall.

“It’s a true, tragic love story straight from a soap opera. You can’t make this stuff up,” says Frank Cain, Fresco Opera Theatre’s executive director, co-founder and co-writer of the libretto.

Not only was Clara Schumann a child prodigy and groundbreaking female performer and composer, she was also at the center of a Romantic-era love triangle with Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. She battled for emancipation from her stage father in order to marry Schumann. Robert, supposedly envious of her renowned talent, later attempted suicide, went mad and died in an asylum. Meanwhile, superstar Clara developed an intriguing and intimate relationship with the Schumanns’ student, Johannes Brahms. Supposedly, the two lovers actually burned their letters at one point to avoid detection. Rumor has it that Clara’s eighth child, born when Robert was institutionalized, was actually Brahms’ son.

– See more at: http://isthmus.com/arts/stage/fresco-opera-clara-schumann-play/#sthash.DNvxisvg.dpuf

Designed to Inspire

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Lynda Barry’s Visionary Exhibit at Madison Children’s Museum

By Holly Henschen

“Why do kids like making marks that make shapes that make stories? Adults are scared to do this. Why?”

This is the central thesis of “Drawing Fast and Slow: The Compbook Art of Lynda Barry,” on display at the Madison Children’s Museum through the end of March. The exhibit provides a glimpse into the imagination and artistic process of Wisconsin’s premier cartoonist-turned-creativity coach.

The eclectic display, located on the ground floor of a museum dedicated to free-form creativity, dissects societal attitudes and behaviors toward art. It is bursting with visionary yet kitschy paintings, drawings and collages paired with inspiring koans like, “Do kids need to draw? Do adults? Why?”

– See more at: http://isthmus.com/arts/lynda-barry-exhibit-madison-childrens-museum/