what we're reading

What We're Reading

Stories of interest from other publications about arts and culture in Marin and beyond, curated by the MarinArts staff. 9.27.20: Marin IJPandemic takes toll on Tiburon Playhouse, a shuttered gemCartoon by George RussellThe Tiburon Playhouse,…

Stories of interest from other publications about arts and culture in Marin and beyond, curated by the MarinArts staff.

9.27.20: Marin IJ
Pandemic takes toll on Tiburon Playhouse, a shuttered gem
Cartoon by George Russell
The Tiburon Playhouse, a cornerstone of downtown for more than 60 years, is closing its doors permanently due to the pandemic. Read the story. Read more >

9.25.20: Washington Post
Relief from Zoom sometimes comes in a box. A play in a box.
By Peter Marks
In just six months, “zoom” has gone from signifying something moving fast to something you can’t get away from fast enough. Which is why I was tickled when the box arrived in the mail from Baltimore’s sharp little experimental company the Acme Corporation. Read more >

9.24.2020: Marin IJ
Marin band’s music video and rock ‘n’ roll doc tell the tales of two presidents
By Paul Liberatore
With the presidential election less than six weeks away, a powerful new music video by a Marin band sends a message to the current occupant of the White House, and a fascinating new documentary available from the Smith Rafael Film Center makes the case that rock ‘n’ roll powered our 39th president into office. It just couldn’t keep him there. Read more >

9.15.2020: SF Chronicle
Bob Weir joins call to urge Congress to give independent venues a lifeline
By Aidin Vaziri
Bob Weir is joining music industry leaders to urge members of Congress to pass legislation that supports small and independent venues during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >

September 15, 2020

9.11.2020: NY Times
How to Birth a New American Theater
By Jesse Green, Maya Phillips, Laura Collins-Hughes, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Alexis Soloski
Six months dark. Thousands of artists out of work. Could this disaster have a surprise ending? Five critics on what must change, onstage and off. Read more >

9.10.2020: Business Insider
Fauci: We won’t be able to sit in theaters without masks until a year after an effective coronavirus vaccine is created
By Canela Lopez
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s leading expert on COVID-19, said theaters and cinemas likely won’t be back to normal, welcoming a mask-less public, for at least another year. Read more >

9.5.2020: Marin IJ
Mill Valley art project tackles racism through storytelling
By Lorenzo Morotti
Community artists and social activists in Mill Valley have installed three free-standing doors in the Depot Plaza as a way to promote racial justice. Read more >

August 31, 2020

8.30.2020: Marin IJ
Joan Baez artwork to benefit Marin nonprofit
By Keri Brenner
Baez and her Mill Valley gallery representatives are offering 100 prints of her portrait of her sister Mimi Fariña, a well-known musician and singer-songwriter, to the public. Proceeds will go toward bolstering pandemic-hampered operations at the Corte Madera nonprofit Fariña founded, Bread & Roses Presents. Read more >

8.27.2020: Marin IJ
Even before the Summer of Love, Marin was making rock history
By Paul Liberatore
MarinMOCA exhibit “Marin’s Rock Art Scene” opening Sep. 12 celebrates the county’s long musical history, featuring 60 pieces by 17 contributors.

8.12.2020: SF Chronicle
A faux pas at in-person theater might be just what internet plays need
By Lily Janiak
Perhaps inviting a friend to make a watch party of a Zoom play or Twitch performance, and then planning to text each other throughout the show, would be the best way to experience digital theater.
Read more >

August 14, 2020

8.13.2020: Marin IJ
Live music is back — in a Marin backyard
By Paul Liberatore
Danny Click and the Hell Yeahs! are the latest Marin band to be featured in The Backyard Sessions, a series of livestream concerts produced and directed by John Olmstead, a 51-year-old software engineer and musician, who has been presenting online shows from his home since the coronavirus pandemic laid waste to the live music scene. Read more >

8.13.2020: NY Times
‘We Are the Guinea Pigs’: Hollywood Restarts Its Blockbuster Machine
By Nicole Sperling and Brooks Barnes
“Jurassic World: Dominion,” filming in England, is a chance for the movie industry to see if it can move past the financial woes caused by the pandemic. Read more >

8.13.2020: Marin IJ
Marin resident embarks on American Indian oral history project
By Adrian Rodriguez
Victoria Canby, interim director of the Museum of the American Indian, is sad her son will never hear his grandmother’s firsthand accounts of her Native American lineage. The next best thing is to embark on an oral history project where she interviews tribal elders with ties to Marin. Read more>

8.12.2020: NY Times
These Shows Are Made for Walking
By Michael Paulson
The pandemic has darkened theaters around the country. So this summer, some are staging scenes in parks and fields for masked patrons. Read more >

8.11.2020: Hyperallergic
How the Pandemic Has Highlighted a Crisis in Contemporary Museums
By Michael Press
In researching three Indiana institutions, it is clear that the lockdown has exacerbated trends in the museum field such as a lack of relevance to the general public and increasing reliance on private philanthropy. Read more >

8.10.2020: Slate
Indigenous Activists Are Reimagining Language Preservation Under Quarantine
By Erica X. Eisen
As is the case for so many during the pandemic, language activists, linguists, and others who work on revitalization campaigns are reimagining their work at a time when coronavirus has made in-person meetings impossible. Read more >

August 7, 2020

8.6.2020: NY Times
‘Godspell’ in 2020: Masks, Partitions and a Contactless Crucifixion
By Michael Paulson
The first professional musical staged in the United States since theater shut down is also a de facto public health experiment. Read more >

8.4.2020: NY Times
Will Superblue Be the ‘Infinity Room’ Writ Large?
By Frank Rose
Art objects are a bore. People want multisensory “experiences,” the more immersive the better. With JR, James Turrell, teamLab and more, a new business venture funded by Marc Glimcher and Laurene Powell Jobs hopes to deliver. Read more >

8.3.2020: Inverse
One Type Of Art Can Help You See The Bigger Picture In Life – Study
By Emma Betuel
Staring into the soothing lines of an image that you can’t quite describe is one of the joys of looking at abstract art. It turns out that it’s also one of the style’s major benefits. New research suggests that abstract art has qualities that can literally change our mindsets, and prompt us to let the minutia of day-to-day life fall away. Read more >

8.1.2020: SF Chronicle
De Young Open to showcase works of hundreds of artists at critical time for creativity
By Tony Bravo 
Some 6,190 artists from the nine Bay Area counties applied to be part of the exhibition and sent images of 11,518 artworks spanning painting, drawing, print-making, digital art, photography, sculpture, fiber art and video. After being evaluated by curators and artist judges Hung Liu, Mildred Howard and Enrique Chagoya, 881 works created by 763 artists were selected. Read more >

7.29.2020: UCLA Hammer Museum
Reimagining the Museum — Open Letters and a Decolonial Framework
Panelists: Erin Christovale, Jasmine Gregory, LaStarsha McGarity, Yesomi Umolu
The first in a series of conversations responding to the national call for equitable, just, and anti-racist practices within museums and art institutions. In order to examine the questions and demands that seek to provide a decolonial framework for the future of art spaces, this video conversation examines three texts that were recently crafted and signed specifically by Black artworkers. Read more>

July 31, 2020

7.30.2020: Marin IJ
Musicians are playing for live audiences again – floating ones
By Paul Liberatore
Since the coronavirus has shut down traditional music venues, drive-ins are making a comeback. In Sausalito’s storied houseboat community, the pandemic has given rise to the “float-in.” Read more >

7.29.2020: NY Times
The Black Book Club Takes It to the Next Level
By Iman Stevenson
Noname and other Black thought leaders have taken what Oprah built and made something new. If you enjoyed our UPTAKE story about Marin’s own Well Read Black Girl Book Club, then you’ll enjoy learning more about other book clubs in this story. Read more >

7.21.2020: NY Times
Erykah Badu Is Blazing a New Trail (From Badubotron)
By Melena Ryzik
When the Covid-19 shutdown hit the music industry, an artist who has never taken the conventional route started rethinking how she’d produce, play and interact with fans at concerts. Read more >

July 27, 2020

7.24.2020: Slate
How Long Can New Orleans Survive Without Live Music?
By Henry Grabar
New Orleans isn’t just famous for its music—it banks on it. Musicians are part of a culture industry, from restaurants to festivals to parades, that draws in tourists. They, in turn, support a host of other jobs—hotel workers, airport baggage handlers, cab drivers. Read more >

7.24.2020: SF Chronicle
Ed Gilbert, SF gallerist who championed experimental artists, dies at 67
By Tony Bravo
Gilbert was known in the international art scene for championing the work of California Beat artists, Bay Area conceptualists and other experimental artists from the region. Read more >

7.23.2020: Pac Sun
Pandemic forces a radical re-imagining of theater
By Wallace Baine
Way back in the mid-1970s, when pop star Billy Joel was compelled to write a song about the approaching collapse of the American empire, he began his lurid tale of ruin and destruction with a nod to theater … he chose as the song’s first line: “I’ve seen the lights go out on Broadway.” … it turns out Joel undershot the moment by only a few years. Read more >

7.22.2020: SF Chronicle
Ways the pandemic might permanently change the arts
By Joshua Kosman
One day, all of this will be behind us. … But what will the cultural landscape look like then? Will the artistic institutions and traditions we take for granted today be transformed beyond recognition? Will they even exist at all? Read more >

July 20, 2020

7.20.2020: NY Times
The Japanese-American sculptor who, despite persecution, made her
By Thessaly La Force
Seven years after her death, [San Francisco artist] Ruth Asawa is finally being recognized as an American master. What can we learn from this overdue reappraisal? … This past April, the United States Postal Service announced that 10 different works of Asawa’s would be featured on a series of postage stamps, out next month.
Read more >

7.17.2020: Marin IJ
Marin Art and Garden Center celebrates 75th anniversary with focus on longevity
By Adrian Rodriguez
It’s a celebration that’s been three-quarters of a century in the making, but as the coronavirus crisis turns lives upside down, the occasion won’t be commemorated as planned. … Antonia Adezio, executive director, said with social distancing in place, their team has big, short- and long-term plans to mark the 75th, aiming to propel the storied site into the future. Read more >

7.16.2020: NY Times
Black artists on how to change classical music
Interviews by Zachary Woolfe and Joshua Barone
Nine performers describe the steps they recommend to begin transforming a white-dominated field. With their major institutions founded on white European models and obstinately focused on the distant past, classical music and opera have been even slower than American society at large to confront racial inequity. Read more >

7.14.2020: Hyperallergic
The enduring allure of pencils
By Julie Schneider
I hadn’t thought of pencils as objects to be obsessed over or really noticed at all, even though I’d found refuge in writing and drawing since childhood. My parents were teachers and pencils were just always there, like air. I certainly never expected to have a crush on a pencil … Read more >

July 16, 2020

7.15.2020: Marin IJ
Creativity shines in MarinMOCA’s altered book show
By Colleen Bidwell
Novato artist Julia Ross is among those participating in MarinMOCA altered book exhibit … Aptly titled “Moonrise,” her piece is one of the 150 book art objects that will be auctioned off as part of the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art’s Altered Book Exhibit and Fundraiser. Read more >

7.13.2020: SF Chronicle
Here’s what — and who — you won’t get at a big-box book retailer
By Barbara Lane
I had intended to write about how Bay Area indies [independent bookstores] are doing during the cautious reopenings that are under way. In doing some research, however, I found a bookseller who is the personification of why indies are essential. … I decided to focus on Patty Norman, children’s specialist for Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma. Read more >

7.8.2020: NY Times
This is theater in 2020. Will it last? Should it?
By Ben Brantley, Jesse Green and Maya Phillips
The coronavirus shut down almost all productions … Adapting to the epidemic, artists immediately began to explore the possibilities of “distributed” theater on Zoom … and other social media. Soon, entire plays — yes, plays — were being written or adapted for the hybrid medium. Read more >

July 6, 2020

7.6.2020: NPR
Britain announces a $2 billion rescue package for the arts
By Frank Langfitt
The British government has announced it would provide a major monetary lifeline to theaters, arts and music venues, independent cinemas, and heritage sites hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >

7.1.2020: The Nation
What Are Art Galleries For?
By Barry Schwabsky
Three artists on the future of the gallery system after Covid-19. … There’s no reason why the art gallery as we know it, a 19th century invention, should last forever. But there’s also no sign of an alternative on the horizon. Read more >

6.30.2020: Marin Magazine
5 Marin Musical History Sites You Might Not Have Known About
By George Thelen
Marin County, California has a storied music history. Here are five places of note to add to your Sunday drive by list, including The Plant, Rancho Olompali, and others. Read more >

6.28.2020: SF Chronicle
As liberation struggles endure, so does Chicano protest art
By Montse Reyes
Chicano protest art is experiencing a new wave in the Bay Area, where the movement has deep roots. While its elders used industrial prints as a loudspeaker to call for strengthening labor rights and ending the Vietnam War, the next generation is responding to causes such as Black Lives Matter. Read more >

6.26.2020: SF Chronicle
Joel Bernstein’s rock ‘n’ roll photos highlight Sonoma Valley Museum of Art reopening
By Sam Whiting
In the winter of 1967, Joni Mitchell was an unknown artist on the bill at the Second Fret Coffee House in Philadelphia. But Joel Bernstein was less than unknown. He was a 14-year-old folkie … the kid with braces on his teeth was able to raise his small Pentax and get a picture of Mitchell and deliver it a few days later to her dressing room upstairs. Read more >

6.23.2020: SF Chronicle
Arson suspected in fire that damaged ‘Spire’ sculpture in San Francisco’s Presidio
By Brett Simpson, Emily Fancher and Sam Whiting
A suspected arson damaged the famous “Spire” sculpture in San Francisco’s Presidio early Tuesday morning. … British artist Andy Goldsworthy created the sculpture in 2008 from 37 cypress trees felled as part of the park’s reforestation efforts. Read more >

6.21.2020: Hyperallergic
How do we photograph freedom? A conversation with Leigh Raiford
By Hrag Vartanian
The relationship between Black liberation and photography reveals many things about our notions of freedom and the limitations of image making as a form of common truth … I reached out to Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Read more >

music venues

6.18.2020: Marin IJ
Marin’s quiet return of live music
By Paul Liberatore
I feel like I should be whispering this bit of local entertainment news. That’s because at this stage in the coronavirus crisis it’s been pretty much kept on the down low. But here it is. Three months after all our clubs and bars and theaters went dark, live music has made a quiet comeback. Read more >

6.17.2020: SF Chronicle
Marin County entrepreneur elevates local black artists with community efforts
By Beth Spotswood
Oshalla D. Marcus, performer, entrepreneur and community leader, has managed to carve out a space for Marin County’s black artists to give form to their feelings, and she has managed to do so at one of the most vital times in recent history. Read more >

6/13/2020: SF Chronicle
UCSF New Deal murals could be destroyed
By J.K. Dineen
A series of celebrated New Deal-era murals [by Bernard Zakheim] on the UCSF Parnassus campus could be destroyed unless someone comes up with as much as $8 million that the school says would be needed to safely move and preserve the artwork. Read more >