While it might seem impossible to chronicle New Haven’s rich cultural history in one 20-page publication, we have taken the opportunity, with this summer edition of The Arts Paper, to explore at least a bit of the city’s fascinating past.
First things first: You’ve likely noticed that this issue of The Arts Paper has a new look. For several months, in collaboration with our design consultant, Russell Shaddox, we’ve been working on a redesign of our publication. After several years with the same look, we thought it was time to incorporate some contemporary design elements, including more white space, intriguing pull quotes, and new layouts for the table of contents and the back page. What we’ve come up with is a magazine style that suits the “themed” editions we’ve been producing for nearly a year. See the new design here: JulyAug2013
For this issue of The Arts Paper, Hank Hoffman interviewed songwriter Dave Brooks about “Today I Died,” a reissued collection of songs about the Civil War that he originally wrote and recorded 20 years ago.
Hank tells us in his story that Brooks’ “songs are chiming, heartfelt, rocking,” and that in them, “one hears the sweat, the fear, the courage” of those who fought in that conflict.
Amanda May, the Arts Council’s communications manager, paid a visit to the Shubert Theater to share with our readers a bit of that venue’s extraordinary history.
“Touring the Shubert Theater’s backstage area,” Amanda writes, “is like getting a history lesson in American theater.”
Steve Scarpa, in an article about Thornton Wilder, points out that the writer “was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but spent a large portion of his life living in New Haven and Hamden.” In his piece, which focuses on Wilder’s iconic play Our Town, Steve quotes Long Wharf Theatre Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein as saying, “Our Town is, without a question, one of the three or four greatest plays ever written by an American.”
For this edition of The Arts Paper, we interviewed New Haven Museum Executive Director Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky about the organization’s extraordinary collections.
“I’m fascinated by the stories objects tell, or could potentially tell, which is even more important because they have been taken out of context,” she explains in her responses to our interview questions.
I took the opportunity, in this history focused edition of The Arts Paper, to “sound off” about how our favorite recordings and the performances thereon connect us to the sources of the orchestral repertoire, keeping composers and their works relevant no matter the passage of time.
Speaking of performances, the September edition of The Arts Paper will preview the fall season and all that New Haven’s many outstanding arts organizations will have to offer audiences in and from beyond the Greater New Haven area. n
David Brensilver, editor
The Arts Paper