Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Youngest Female Playwright in America Comes to Hollywood

zkZK Lowenfels is a 20 year-old female, and this summer when her play stages at the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival, she will be the youngest female playwright in America.

Making her playwriting debut with Sewer Rats at Sea – a daring genre-bending production that is a playfully crooked cross between clever bar banter and a JD Salinger novel, Lowenfels will be showcasing an even more important issue in American theatre:

Female playwrights represent less than 17% of all staged plays and staged productions in this country.

This will make her premiere a whopping triumph for herself and young women everywhere, along with The Hollywood Fringe’s decision to “break from the ordinary” and present her play.

Hollywood Fringe 2013“The Fringe Festival is a great opportunity to showcase ZK’s brilliance,” commented Aaron Lyons, a veteran director of the festival, to be held this June, who initially surprised by the age of the playwright, also commented “It’s a fantastic script with such a strong base. It hits you on so many levels.”

The drama plays out at sea as characters trapped on a yacht find their secrets slipping out. The tension mounts as one final, all-important secret looms ahead like an enormous iceberg in the fog, a truth that will shipwreck the status quo and cast preconceptions into freezing water.

Writing has always had a place of high importance in Lowenfels life at a very young age.  And it could also be said that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.  Ms. Lowenfels had great influences starting with her great-grandfather, avant-garde poet Walter Lowenfels, fueled by the works of some of his friends and fellow troublemakers (Beckett and Henry Miller, among others). She’s been writing since age 5 and published since age 7.

Z was also encouraged by the rave reviews of her readers, and the help of her closest friend, young producer Gia Vangieri. Assisted by the muscle of Mr. Lyons (Pulp Shakespeare, Rise) this summer her words will come to life  in Los Angeles.

Tickets go on sale May 1

sewer rats at sea

Show dates are:

Theatre Asylum 

presented by Combined Artform · 6320 Santa Monica Blvd · 3239621632
Theatre Asylum map

Barbara Mandrell Speaks About Her Friend George Jones

Barbara Mandrell issued the following statement in response to the recent news of the passing of her dear friend, American Country Music singer George Jones, known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing and his marriage to Tammy Wynette:
bmandrell“I believe if you ask any singer who was the greatest country music singer of all time, they would say ‘George Jones’.
He was without  question and by far the BEST! I first met and worked with him when I was 13 years old; I am so very grateful that he was my friend.” – Barbara Mandrell

RIP George Jones. You Will Be Missed!

Below is George appearing on  “The Ronnie Prophet Show”…

Number one country hits

  1. “White Lightning” (1959)
  2. “Tender Years” (1961)
  3. “She Thinks I Still Care” (1962)
  4. “Walk Through This World with Me” (1967)
  5. “We’re Gonna Hold On” (with Tammy Wynette) (1973)
  6. “The Grand Tour” (1974)
  7. “The Door” (1975)
  8. “Golden Ring” (with Tammy Wynette) (1976)
  9. “Near You” (with Tammy Wynette) (1977)
  10. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (1980)
  11. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (with Barbara Mandrell) (1981)
  12. “Still Doin’ Time” (1981)
  13. “Yesterday’s Wine” (with Merle Haggard) (1982)
  14. “I Always Get Lucky with You” (1983)

We Fall Down – We Get Up – May 17th and 18th


RG Dance Projects presents We Fall Down, We Get Up featuring three pieces from choreographer and Artistic Director Rubén Graciani on May 17, 2013 at 8pm and May 18, 2013 at 3pm and 8pm at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance’s Studio Theater at Westbeth, 55 Bethune Street, 11th Floor, NYC.  Tickets are $20 ($15 for students, seniors, and artists) and can be purchased here: buy-tickets-now


The evening will include two works from the repertory – Swing and a Miss set to music by Richard Danielpour and Rapture, a multi-media duet to the music of Debussy. The program culminates with the new work, We Fall Down, We Get Up – a larger work with 5 dancers, 24 singers from the Broadway Community Chorus, and a “living” set by Philip Treviño.

We Fall DownWe Fall Down, We Get Up is an extension of a work begun at Skidmore College about the boundaries of identity. The new work is an exploration of one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit. The work questions how much control we have over the “performance” of our identity if some of those identifying markers are more or less inherited and permanent. The singers will be part of a “living” set to which they are tethered, demarking the stage space with tangible boundaries for the dancers to either work through or be constrained by. The singers are not only performing with the dancers, but also creating and changing the dynamics of the performance space as a living, breathing set piece.

Rubén GracianiRubén Graciani has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group (1994-1999), been a company member of the Kevin Wynn Collection, Company Stefanie Batten Bland, and the Joe Goode Performance Group, and has been a Guest Artist with the City Dance Ensemble and the Brian Brooks Moving Company, among many others. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase, and an MFA from University of Maryland-College Park. His work in dance film was profiled in the November 2012 issue of Dance Magazine. He is currently an Associate Professor at Skidmore College, and a Dance Panelist for the New York Council on the Arts.

RG Dance Projects was loosely formed in 2009, and was formalized with debut performances in the DanceNow Raw Materials show in April of 2012. The company performed at the International Woodwind Festival in July of 2012 – cementing our commitment to collaborating with other artists on performance projects. The company performed in the DanceNow Joe’s Pub Festival in September of 2012, winning the Audience Favorite Award for our evening. In February 2013, the company debuted at the CoolNY Festival, and in March, the Current Sessions Festival premiered a dance film project. The company had a residency at DanceNow SILO in Pennsylvania as a result of our Joe’s Pub performance. RG Dance Projects is ecstatic to be able to begin work on a spring season with such a prestigious award. They have also been invited to perform their season at Saratoga ArtsFest in June of 2013.

For more information, please visit

Art and Scandal: The Naked Truth

4157-art_minute-cover-1536x2459-r71-308x494by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move


It was an excuse to buy a Kindle. kpw_logo._V389395764_

Why was I finding it so difficult to pick up a book and read…a seemingly simple task…and meant to be pleasurable…yet draining in the mere thought.

My weekly schedule is filled with invitations, visits to galleries, requests for theatre and food reviews, interviews, art openings, fashion events, and writing about them or curating the material.  You’d think I’d have nothing to complain about with that sort of daily variety.  But, in truth, I don’t always get the full “personal” enjoyment of the moment. I have to cram my learning into the audience at large experience. And everything has to end up in small bites.  Studying fine art?  “Who has THAT kind of time?” [I laughed]  That’s what I told myself as I read the email offering a view of a new book, Art and Scandal.

But the “scandal” really piqued my curiosity and I was suddenly dying to know the juicy details behind that story.  So I took the full plunge and dived into the new eBook Art and Scandal: The Naked Truth by author Sally Whitman Coleman, Ph.D., a specialist in Renaissance art, the recipient of a Fulbright grant, and the author of The ArtMinute: Short Lessons in Art History, as she illuminated the intriguing and salacious stories behind the masterful artworks that we all know and love.

Dedicated reading time: 1.5 hours!!! (and I’m pretty slow about it…) flew by as I swiped page by page, blazing through each vignette that gave me a better understanding and some very juicy insights from international thefts to mere heated disagreements and more, that prompted the fame of some of the greatest paintings in history from artists such as Michaelangelo, Van Gogh and Jackson Pollack. Reaching the end of the book almost put me into a state of shock…it wasn’t just scandalous…it was incredibly fun, easy to read – the time flew by – and I learned… a lot!

A highly recommended 5 star experience.

Art and Scandal is available on: 
(click on anyone of these titles to purchase your own copy) [$6.99]

To make things juicier, I asked Sally to give us a sample of a really salacious piece of art in ancient history, just to see what she’d come up with.  The lady has a sense of humor to be sure along with a brilliant mind:

Prehistoric Porn


Venus of Willendorf, c. 28,000 – 25,000 BCE, limestone, 4⅓” high, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Photo by Matthias Kabel via Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License.

Look at this hot momma!  This is the Venus of Willendorf and she is one of the oldest artifacts in existence, having been carved from limestone around 25,000 BCE.   That is seriously old.  In fact, she’s so old that we really don’t know why she exists.  We know so little about the circumstances of her production and the culture from which she derives, we are forced to rely simply upon our powers of observations if we want to know more about her, and that is actually a very good thing.  When thinking about art, it’s always best to look first and ask questions later.

Artists from the Paleolithic era knew how to make sculptures of animals that were realistic (or naturalistic), but for some reason they chose to exaggerate certain forms when carving women.  In this sculpture, the woman’s breasts, stomach, and thighs are quite large and her genitals are somewhat exaggerated.  Given this, we can hypothesize that this small artifact is a charm for fertility or childbirth.  It’s also possible she represents the concept of fertility itself.  Or perhaps there are erotic connotations here.  She’s well fed and her naughty bits are exaggerated – there is no reason not to put her in a centerfold context.

“Yeah, it’s sexy.”

It looks like those prehistoric fellas loved their ladies full-figured, rolling and swelling with reproductive power.  Fantastic.

Currently on view at the LACMA, is an exhibition entitled, “Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation,” that features works of art produced in the 1980s that were the seeds of the Contemporary art movement that would come to be known as the Pictures Generation.  Among the works of art in the exhibition is Barbara Kruger’s powerful, Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground) from 1989.

Kruger, who once was a magazine editor, uses preexisting images upon which she superimposed text that brings attention to constructions of gender and sexism in society and so her art and the Venus of Willendorf don’t appear to have anything at all in common; nevertheless, Kruger’s work of art and the ancient sculpture do come together in my mind in the constant public attacks and media scrutiny of women’s weight – especially those who are either pregnant or who have recently given birth.

What’s sexy?  What’s beautiful?  Consider a stroll around your local museum to find out.

Sally Whitman Coleman is the creator and author of The Art Minute ( and Art & Scandal: The Naked Truth, an eBook available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Catwalk for Kids: The Anti-Honey Boo Boo

Pale Cloudby Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move~

There’s no turning back the tide.  The Pale Cloud featured styles at the Vogue bambini show held during the 2013 New York Kids Fashion Week (I didn’t even know there was a fashion week for kids!) has now proved once and for all that trend is for everyone at every age and child star fashion fantasy fulfillment is not merely subject to baby beauty pageants anymore.  I decided to post this because personally, I find it a bit controversial.  In this sort of venue we are in the realm of sophisticated adulthood ideals and shopping… and yet none of these little girls “strutting down the runway” could be more than age 10.  Not being a parent, I wondered if this was a Mommy and Me moment or has the perfection of style now become part of our independence and awareness of ourselves at the youngest of ages.  The Autumn/Winter collection is nevertheless beautifully tailored and elegant, so right for darling little “ladies” (sans heavy cosmetics), and everyone in attendance including the girls seems to love the petite Parade of Children’s Daily Couture.

13 Ways To Help The Planet: Earth Day 2013

Brian Wiling and Steve Galdo co-founders of the Waste Not ProgramU.S. universities are adopting policies that reduce campus food waste and divert surplus waste for composting or food banks.  Brian Wilking and Steve Galdo co-founders of the Waste Not program at Pennsylvania State University which delivers food to the Erie City Mission (Behrend Magazine)
As the world celebrates Earth Day, sustainable food and agriculture systems can play a big role in preserving the environment by helping to improve soil health, protecting biodiversity, and mitigating climate change.
 As eaters, from breakfast to lunch and dinner, we all can do our part to support systems that protect both human health and the planet.
This year Food Tank: The Food Think Tank is celebrating the ways everyone can protect the planet, on Earth Day, and every day this year.

1. Eat more colors

The colors of fruits and vegetables are signs of nutritional content. A richly-colored red tomato has high levels of carotenoids such as lycopene, which the American Cancer Society reports can help prevent cancer, as well as heart disease. The relationship between nutrients and color is also true for other foods. Eggs that have brightly orange-colored yolks are also high in cancer-fighting carotenoids, and are more likely to be produced by healthier chickens.

2. Buy food with less packaging

Discarded packaging makes up around one-third of non-industrial solid waste in industrialized countries, with negative impacts on the climate, and air and water quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s analysis of different packaging for tomatoes found that polyethylene terephthalate (PET) clamshell packaging increases tomatoes’ associated carbon emissions by 10 percent. The most effective way to limit the impact of packaging waste is to prevent it. Choosing foods with less packaging can also be better for our waistlines, since highly processed foods that are low in nutrients generally use more packaging than more healthful, less processed options.

3. Choose seasonal produce

Earth Day offers a great opportunity to bring more seasonal fruits and vegetables into diets. Many farmers markets, including the New York City Greenmarkets, offer guides about which products are in season. Locally sourced, seasonal products can also be found at major grocery stores. Another way to get seasonal foods is to sign up for a weekly CSA, which provides a mix of fresh, seasonal produce throughout the year. Other programs, such as Siren Fish Co.’s SeaSA in San Francisco, offer seasonal meats and seafood.  Here is Los Angeles, we have plenty of Farmers Markets that also support local business and farmers who “grow in season.”

4. Get in touch with agriculture

This time of year, many people are starting to plan vacations. A great way to skip the crowds, save money, and get both children and adults in touch with agriculture is to book a farm-stay through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). WWOOF runs networks in most countries around the world, offering individuals and families the opportunity to directly support small-scale family farmers. Participants spend a few days or weeks living with a host family and helping with tasks around the farm in exchange for free food and lodging.

5. Get creative in the kitchen

Shopping at farmers markets, which often have a wide selection of less-ordinary produce such as celeriac, sunchokes, or kohlrabi, can prevent “food ruts” by helping consumers try new foods. When looking for inspiration, many popular recipe blogs, such as smitten kitchen, allow users to search by ingredient, as well as season. Publications such as Diet for a Small Planet and The Boston Globe‘s new Sunday Supper and More e-cookbook series also offer tips on reusing leftovers to reduce food waste.

6. Invest in perennial crops

Perennial plants — plants that grow back every year — tend to hold water in soil more effectively than annuals and help prevent erosion. Their extensive roots also allow them to better access nutrients and water, reducing the need for artificial fertilizer. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that perennial prairie grasses are up to four times as water efficient as row crops such as corn and wheat.

7. Reclaim abandoned spaces

As populations continue to expand, especially in cities, reclaiming unused land and buildings for food production can help meet growing demand. One new model is The Plant, a former meatpacking plant in Chicago that has been converted into an indoor vertical farm. The Plant currently runs an aquaponics farm, growing plants without soil using waste from its manmade tilapia pools. It also offers shared kitchen space for small businesses, and other services.

8. Build local and global food communities

A great way to get involved in food and agriculture issues is with Slow Food International, an organization with more than 1,300 groups around the world called convivia. These groups support healthy, sustainable diets and traditional food cultures. In addition to local initiatives, Slow Food convivia also arrange regional and international events on important food and agriculture issues, such as Slow Food València’s recent conference on the influence of food in health and disease.

9. DIY

Many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) food projects are easy and fun. Turning old t-shirts into produce bags to save plastic, starting seeds in eggshells, which can then be crushed for transplanting into the soil, and DIY foods such as homemade oat or almond milk can all add a creative twist to healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. Plus, they are lots of fun for families.

10. Cook in batches and freeze for later

Planning meals in advance can help reduce stress around cooking. It also helps reduce food waste, which is a big problem in industrialized countries A great way to reduce waste and make planning easy is to cook large batches of a single meal, such as soups or curries, which can be frozen and reused on short notice later in the week. Preparing large amounts of food at once saves energy during cooking, while freezing helps prevent nutrient loss in fruits and vegetables. For those days when there is more time to cook, tools such as Love Food Hate Waste menu planner shopping list can help organize grocery trips.

11. Brighten your outlook

At the recent Warwick Economics Summit in February, Warwick University Economics Professor Dr. Andrew Oswald presented his research on health and happiness, focusing on the link between happiness and consumption of fruits and vegetables. His team of researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables directly improves a person’s mental well-being, separate from other variables such as income level and how much meat a person ate. This research is supported by a similar study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found a link between patients’ blood-level of carotenoids, compounds commonly found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and their feelings of optimism.

12. Use crop rotation

Crop rotation is an important way to preserve soil nutrients, prevent erosion, and protect against crop diseases and pests. In the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, agronomists at Agronorte have developed new varieties of rice and dry beans that are well suited to the region’s tropical climate. By incorporating rice and beans into their yearly harvests, local soybean farmers can reduce the spread of soybean rust and nematodes, two of the biggest threats to their crops. The system also improves soil quality and provides jobs at times when soy and corn are not harvested.

13. Embrace conviviality around the table

Talking and laughing while sharing food is a uniquely human experience. Conviviality, joyful and friendly interaction, is found at markets and around the dinner table, and it supports healthy relationships and healthy bodies. The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition considers convivial food culture one of the most critical aspects of food and agriculture, alongside health, hunger alleviation, and sustainable development. Researchers from Cornell University and the University of Minnesota agree, reporting that the reported benefits of family dinners on children’s mental health and achievement levels depend on engagement with their parents at these meals.

Standing up for the future of people and the planet is important on Earth Day and every day.