Aradia @ Grano Aug. 7 2009

Have you heard Toronto’s other early music orchestra? I have and they are great. Here’s a neat invitation from them.

Enjoy Toronto’s Award Winning Italian Cusine at GRANO resturant while listening the ARADIA Ensemble.

ARADIA ensemble at grano
2035 yonge street, toronto
Concerto Italiano
Friday August 7

6.30 aperitivi all’aperto
7.30 concerto
8.30 optional dinner with wine with the

$ 20.00 (suggested donation) for L’orto del popolo / The People’s Garden; a project of The Stop Community Food Centre at Wychwood Barns to celebrate the cultural/social significance of the backyard garden in all communities

$ 50.00 above plus dinner with wine

RSVP 416 440 1986 or

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

A Barbie Opera for the 21st Century

I love the zany minds at Toca Loca, not to mention their prodigious talent. Perhaps it is only because I am so active in Second Life that I draw parallels between the Barbie dolls of their upcoming “marionette opera” production and the Barbie doll-like avatars that are so prevalent in the current Metaverse.

Just as the press release for Toca Loca’s upcoming production states, there can be a dark side to the beautiful perfection and cheerleader smiles of avatars. The cruel side of human nature seems to feel free to be expressed at a safe remove from the real.

XXX Live Nude Girls


August 6th 4:30pm
August 8th 8:30pm
August 10th 6:30pm
August 12th 10:30pm
August 15th 6:30pm
August 16th 12:30pm

A Barbie Opera for the 21st Century!
Though partly inspired by the marionette operas of Mozart and Haydn, Jennifer Walshe’s XXX Live Nude Girls will never be seen at the Four Seasons Centre. Her gritty, lo-fi score drives this exposé into the shiny plastic world of Barbie.

Produced by Toca Loca and directed by Graham Cozzubbo in conjuction with the Summerworks Festival, XXX dispels the stereotype of boys making war while girls host garden parties. Truth is, when playing with Barbies, cruel abuses are often closer to the rule than the exception. Sometimes the sweet girls just ain’t that sweet.

Starring Patricia O’Callaghan, Christine Duncan, Ginette Mohr and Kate Fenton.

The Company
Graham Cozzubbo – Stage Director
Gregory Oh – Music Director
Jennifer Walshe – Composer
Lina Marquez – Costume Design
Yesim Tosuner – Graphic Design
Daryl Banks – Photographer
Ginette Mohr – Puppets
Kate Fenton – Puppets
Christine Duncan – Vocals
Patricia O’Callaghan – Vocals
Max Christie – Clarinets
Mary-Katherine Finch – Cello
John Lettieri – Accordion
Steve Ward – Trombone
Derick Greenly – Video/Tech
Callan Burgess – Video

Festival Info:

Warning: Crude Language, Explicit Sexual Content, Sexual Violence and Doll Nudity. This show is not suitable for children.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Will technology provide the means to a renewal of participatory democracy?

Forwarding on a press release that I got in my email today about an interesting presentation in virtual reality. I have been thinking a lot lately about the almost religious fervor people have for social media and their belief that it is going to change the world. There are some powerful communication tools out there. One only needs to look at tweets (twitter posts) with the hashtag #iranelection to see how ineffective shutting down news is these days when anyone with a cellphone, a blackberry, or a laptop can get news out. That’s the encouraging news.

On the discouraging front, this past week my husband asked his online group of teachers. (These are all practicing teachers already engaged in teaching our kids) to use a wiki to do some collaborative writing for a group projects. He set up the wiki in the very user-friendly Wikispaces platform. All four of the project groups rebelled. They found using a wiki too complicated and no one had “trained” them on this tool. Sigh. I wondered aloud if they needed someone to train them on the use of a pencil since wiki’s are almost as common a writing tool in our current era.

But that is the dilemma. We have these great tools but only the technologically literate are truly using them. While I intend to write more on this, here’s the information on this Monday’s talk. It’s worth dropping into Second Life for.

Beth Noveck talks about Wiki Government in Second Life on July 20th!

Please join a Second Life simulcast, from the Markle Foundation, of Beth Simone Noveck, now the deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House responsible for Open Government, presenting her new book, WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A, in which participants from both Second Life and in person can ask questions of the author.
In the digital age our lives are constantly being transformed by the way in which we connect and collaborate with one another, affecting the way we make decisions – on a personal level, an institutional level, and a national level. Drawing on her expertise, and more directly her experience in creating Peer-to-Patent, the federal government’s first social networking initiative, Ms. Noveck’s Wiki Government insightfully demonstrates how technology, along with citizen participation, can help the government become more open and effective at solving the complex social and economic problems we face today.
The event will begin at 12:00pm EST/9:00am PST on Monday, July 20, 2009 and will take place in Second Life on MacArthur Island (click here to teleport
Further information
WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful
In the digital age our lives are constantly being transformed by the way in which we connect and collaborate with one another, affecting the way we make decisions – on a personal level, an institutional level, and a national level.
Beth Simone Noveck’s book provides a coherent and compelling “new vision of governance in the digital age – collaborative democracy – government with the people.”
Drawing on her expertise, and more directly her experience in creating Peer-to-Patent, the federal government’s first social networking initiative, Ms. Noveck’s Wiki Government insightfully demonstrates how technology, along with citizen participation, can help the government become more open and effective at solving the complex social and economic problems we face today.
About the Author:
Beth Simone Noveck is the United States deputy chief technology officer for open government and leads President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. Based at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, she is an expert on technology and institutional innovation. Previously, Noveck directed the Institute for Information Law & Policy and the Democracy Design Workshop at New York Law School. She is founder of the “Do Tank,” and the State of Play Conferences, and launched the first of its kind Peer-to-Patent Community Patent Review project in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trade Office. As a professor of Law at New York Law School, she has taught in the areas of intellectual property, innovation, and constitutional law, as well as courses on electronic democracy and electronic government.
Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Will more public engagment or more electronic media be the future of the arts

While recently the Met was reported to be contemplating replacing its’ summer programming with filmed performances shown on the big screen, the public was more engaged in filming and tweeting about the 30 public pianos that the city of London had placed on the streets.

“They’re out there to get people talking to one another and to claim ownership and activate the public space,” said the creator of the project, Luke Jerram, an artist who lives in Bristol.

Using obvious search terms in Twitter I found no one chatting in the public commons about the possibility of the Met replacing summer opera with its big screen version. It would seem that news was a big snore, while by contrast I immediately found 140 recent tweets on London’s street pianos. Does this simply mean that in a day of social media viral news that anything you can capture on your cellphone, digitally broadcast to blogs, YouTube, and tweet about is going to have the edge?

Or does it mean something more important about our culture’s relationship to art at this moment in history?

I think the signs are there that people want to take back art from the star system, from corporate control, big record systems, film studios and corporations. From the popularity of shows like American Idol to the rise of YouTube videos to the “do-it-yourself” atmosphere of the Arts in the virtual world of Second Life, more people are spending their entertainment hours watching the little guy and more people are engaging in making art instead of being passive observers.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Toronto Bubble Battle July 11 @ 3 pm

Never has a Smart Mob had so much fun as blowing Bubbles at the annual Bubble Battle organized by the street art group NewMindSpace. The people who brought you the Union Station pillow fight, street car parties, and city wide Capture the Flag games are sending out the news by email, facebook and cellphone to be at King and University tomorrow at 3 pm …. and bring your bubble gear!

Here are my own snaps from 2007

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Alain Trudel reaches out to young Canadian composers

I have thought for a long time that Alain Trudel is one of Canada’s greatest musical assets. He can conduct, he can sure play trombone, and he has great programming ideas. Isn’t it great that he also is concerned about the future of Canadian music? I just had to post this newsrelease that just came into my inbox.

The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) and TSYO Conductor Alain Trudel announce two opportunities for young Canadian musicians. Composers aged 30 or younger can submit their orchestral composition to the TSYO Open Call for Canadian Works, and musicians between the age of 12 and 22 can apply to audition for the 2009.2010 Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra season.

TSYO Conductor Alain Trudel started the TSYO Open Call for Canadian Work as an opportunity for young composers to have their work performed by a full orchestra. “Winning this competition invites young composers to take the next step with their work,” says Alain Trudel. “Hearing your composition with full orchestration brings the work to life and allows the winner to receive feedback from professional conductors and coaches.”

The deadline to submit compositions to the TSYO Open Call for Canadian Works is September 18, 2009. For details on how to apply, visit

The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra is also now accepting applications for the 2009.2010 season. Musicians aged 12-22 are invited to apply to this high level training programme using the application form at Application forms are due by August 7, 2009. Juried auditions for the TSYO 2009.2010 season will be held on September 11-13, 2009. The TSYO selection jury includes Alain Trudel (TSYO conductor) and TSO musicians Keith Atkinson (TSYO Woodwind Coach), Harcus Hennigar (TSYO Brass Coach), Young-Dae Park (TSYO Violin Coach), Daniel Blackman (TSYO Viola Coach) David Hetherington (TSYO Cello Coach), Paul Rogers (TSYO Double Bass Coach) and David Kent (TSYO Percussion Coach).

To learn more about the TSYO, please visit

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Michael Kaiser's "The Art of the Turnaround"

Yesterday I was reading a post by Jodi Schoenbrun Carter on Michael Kaiser’s “Arts in Crisis” program that is a follow-up to his book, “The Art of the Turnaround”. I agree one-hundred percent with the sentiment that Kaiser has great ideas, but they are hardly original ideas to most experienced arts managers. You’d be hard-pressed to find any who didn’t agree with him, hadn’t advocated his main principals to their Boards and hadn’t gone away shaking their heads in dismay as Boards failed to listen.

Kaiser says that the quality of art matters, be bold, be brave be revolutionary. Know your Mission and stay on Mission, and spend the money it takes to do it right and market it correctly. You cannot save your way to financial health. He says that the arts are remarkably efficiently run and do not have a spending problem, the arts instead have a revenue problem. Nor can arts organizations win by compromising the art by trying to vie with popular entertainment biz by watering down their season with pop and shlock. Any pickup at the box office will be equalled by loss of donations and funder support.

It makes me tired –as it did Jodi– to hear this touted as new advice. The question in my mind is, “why does arts management common-sense so often fail to be implemented?” And the answer, I believe, is that there is a flaw in a structure which gives governance of our cultural assets to mostly untrained groups of volunteers, with little or no oversight or accountability. I have seen Boards do amazing things from time to time–saving and revitalizing arts organizations. But too often competent arts managers stagger and fail under the weight of dysfunctional boards that– while perhaps composed of well-educated and competent individuals— cannot seem as a group to acquire the knowledge or retain the organizational memory to plan well for their organization’s success, or to carry good plans forward into future years of implementation.

If public funds were invested in building a bridge, and the bridge collapsed, people would ask questions, folks would be held accountable, fault would be found and those at fault would pay real costs. I wonder why we are prepared to invest dollars in arts organizations (and non-profits in general) and yet feel we don’t have the right to hold Boards accountable?

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Canadian Corporations vow to continue charitable support

The big news in the recently released Trends report on philanthropic giving from Ketchum Canada, is that Canadian corporations intend to hold the line on their charitable giving this year. For the past 20 years, Canadian corporate giving as a share of profits has been slightly on the increase. Each year Canadian corporations have put more actual dollars into philanthropic giving and also dug deeper into their pockets. This year they going to have to dig much deeper just to keep the dollar amount at the same level in the companies surveyed in the quarterly report.

Many companies suggested that their multi-year commitments meant that they had an inability to do much to respond to new requests for funding. At the same time companies report many more new requests coming across their desks as charities feel the pinch.

Austere times have meant a shift in priorities for corporations. Galas are going to find it more difficult to sell corporate tables as company heads find it difficult to justify thousands for black tie dinners when they are laying off staff and the charitable needs of healthcare, housing and poverty relief are in the news daily. Many charities are responding with changing their fundraising events or radically scaling them back.

Arts, culture and sports will be the losers as corporations continue to migrate funding to education, healthcare, and community programs.

Accountability is a key word in corporate funding these days. Corporations are selecting priority areas for their charitable dollars and now more than ever, projects seeking funding need to demonstrate how their activities are a fit with corporate goals. Reporting back to the funders on the reach of their corporate dollars–while always an important step in fundraising–is not an absolute requirement for ever being funded again by the corporation.

The 7 tips for non-profits in tough times is well worth reading this small quarterly.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers