Doing some chit-chatting…

April 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm (Reporting)

This week I had the opportunity to chit-chat with Catherine Pancake, the person behind the Transmodern Festival and get a little backstory and ambitions of the festival.

There is a lot of hope and good-will in the Festival’s “mission statement.” Initially it formed as a way to showcase the female avant-garde artists in the mid-Atlantic area.

Pancake was impressed by this year’s festival and many of the exhibits that were installed. Its attendance had grown from around 150 in its first year to around 2000 people this year. She mentioned the Human Foosball table, which was a huge success compared to the budget it was given.

As it continues to grow, she said she’d like to find more intellectual connections with the festival and its exhibits/performers. Overall, she looks forward to watching it unfold as it and trying to understand it herself as it continues to take on new forms and meanings.

I also asked one of the performers, Shana Moulton, some questions.

Moulton was one of the performers at the Transmodern Festival’s opening ceremony. She is a visual performer who examines different aspects of life and communication in a quirky way.

Her performance at the Transmodern Festival was about women, and showed her influences of hypochondria and negative body image. Even with its “heavy” content, Moulton’s performances are light and enjoyable – tending to one of the messages she tries to convey through her work: “Don’t take anything too seriously.”


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Reaction: Readings

April 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm (Reaction)

I decided to respond to the online reading Why Photojournalists Should Gather Audio by Brian Storm.

It’s a little outdated, being from 2005 and the current stock we’ve put into video, but it’s still relevant. As beginning journalists, we’ve begun to experiment with photography and other forms of electronic journalism (hello, blog).

The story was a good way of firing off benefits of adding sound to photos. In addition to enriching the the story, it’s a good financial benefit. Even though it takes a lot more energy to gather and organized video, the end result should be worth it. Audio gives the story a more personal and in-depth feel, while complementing the photo – which is necessary in the age of information. Even though pictures say a whole lot, we’ve gotten to the point that where even a picture needs rounding out.

What I enjoyed about the article was the different perspectives and effects that the combination of words, photo and audio can have. The inclusion of different outlets was a nice touch, too.

Interestingly enough, he provided a section on how this combination compares to shooting video. This makes a good argument for the still images – one being it works better for print, also.

From Briggs, I’m responding to Chapter 11. As we’re getting ready to work on our slideshows, one of the more prominent things I need to be paying attention to is the voice-over/narration. Unfortunately, the introduction to my chapter ruined my dreams. My dreams of being an improvisational master have just been crushed. Even so, I’ve already started “preparing” my narrative.

Unfortunately, much of my interviewing and such was done before this chapter happened, and I don’t believe that my slideshow will have audio interview. Even so, I’ve got some good advice for future audio stories. Of course, that’s what always got me nervous.

It’s kind of crazy how the voice-overs and interview sound clips are different. I’m baffled. It’s the completely the opposite of what I would have written a script as. But the voice-over is currently more applicable. I’ve never taken any sort of broadcasting courses, so this is my first introduction to anything of the sort.

The script from the hurricane family was helpful – and probably a slight model I’ll look to when I’m writing my script this week. What should be basic common knowledge would be the “operative words” but its definitely helpful knowledge for me to know.

Hopefully it helps enough.

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April 19, 2009 at 9:16 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve come across this blog before, actually. Aptly titled “The Scene” covers the scene as it spreads from Baltimore to the D.C. area.

In addition to its musically-based content, it has been updating on the city legislation and its work sessions. So far, there have been three updates as the City Council has held its Community Work Sessions. Richard – the maintainer of the blog, or at least the one who’s been writing the entries about the City Legislation – mentions that most of his news has been taken from the page of the Baltimore Live Arts Supporters (BLAS).

This latest entry focuses on the most recent revision of the Bill. The new version has taken into account a lot of the issues that the blog readers and those complaining have brought to the City Council’s attention. The blog puts things into some nice simple terms (although they’re also in the BLAS group page with more details).

What’s good, as it reports (and in general), is that the bill is moving in a more positive direction. By “positive” I mean more clear and more fitting of a compromise (despite the Baltimore Live Arts Business Association’s and BLAS wishes to completely abandon the bill). Even with the changes, the bill is still not completely solid. There are still some concerns with it – the main one being the impending date of the final vote.

As those affected see it, things are moving way too fast.

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April 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm (Reporting)

This week I talked to Derek Morrell from Rams Head Live! and Josh Atkins from the Hexagon. Both have their issues with running the venues and their current situation with City Bill 08-0163.

According to Morrell, the bill is just another attempt for the city to earn money. And Atkins also has money problems with the Hexagon. Granted, that’s a pretty obvious problem for everyone right now, a number of potential fees and taxes added on to the ones currently instated is a pretty terrible situation.

I also made my way to the Community Work Session held by the City Council in order to hear the complaints from the stablished performance space, restaurant and tavern owners.

What I found intersting was that the City Council claims to be working for the interest of the arts community, but the chairperson was unaware of Wham City. As I’ve mentioned many times, Wham City one of the main reasons Baltimore was named Best Scene by Rolling Stone. It was pretty clear that he did not know what it was when he asked Adam Endres, who represented the collective on Thursday’s meeting, what the group he was representing was called.

It was enriching to hear the interests of the community compared to the ones I’ve read on the internet. Aside from the licensing fees, moral character and the noise complaint radius, I begun to understand both sides of the argument of the bill. The venue owners were concerned about the safety of the venues and stationing uniformed policemen there, the wording of the bill, the status of the scene and the zoning, among other things. They also shared their appreciations.

There’s going to be one last meeting at the Federal Hill Preparatory School on April 23.

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Baltimore Live Arts Groups

April 12, 2009 at 11:55 pm (Research)

The Baltimore Live Arts Business Association (BLABA) is a group comprised of venue owners and employees. They’ve created a Google group, which collaborates with the Baltimore Live Arts Supporters (BLAS).

Their messages consist of suggestions, meeting minutes, coverage of the community work sessions, updates on the Live Entertainment bill and research similar to their cause.

In a post titled “Our Model City: Seattle“, member Josh Atkins provides links to a similar group called the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association (SNMA). The SNMA was created as a response to a law similar to Baltimore Council Bill 08-163. Seattle ended up passing the law which called for performance spaces to be licensed in order to maintain safety and concern for the residents living nearby the venues.

I think this is going to work well as a motivation for BLABA, BLAS and other groups who are concerned about Baltimore City Council Bill 08-163’s passing. If Baltimore were to defeat the bill, or at least manage to change it a bit in their favor (which apparently City Council failed to observe the changes they promised in their most recent revision), they could move one step in the positive direction for live arts associations that could potentially be facing the same issue.

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