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Posts Tagged ‘cambridge center for adult education’

Community-supported agriculture has been working well for some years now. A person who likes local produce and wants to support local agriculture will buy a “share” that can help support a farmer (recently, even a fisherman) while giving the “investor” a guaranteed amount of food. The “dividend” could be a dozen eggs a week, a basket of produce, a partial catch of fish. Often a group of friends will band together on a share, especially if they don’t think they can use all the zucchini they expect come midsummer.

Now some artists are trying this approach. A $300 share in “Community Supported Art will get [a person] three monthly assortments of locally created artworks — nine pieces in all. … CSArt, a new project of the Cambridge [MA] Center for Adult Education, is modeled on a wildly popular Minnesota art CSA, which has inspired groups in Chicago and Frederick, Maryland, to create their versions. And some glassmakers in Burlington, Vermont., independently adopted the CSA form last year.

” ‘The success of the Minnesota program is due in part to the fact that it’s based on something people understand,’ said Laura Zabel, executive director. … CSArt aims to nurture artists as small business owners and to tap into the burgeoning enthusiasm for the local and the handmade.” Read the Boston Globe article.

 

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When I told my husband that playwriting teacher Peter Littlefield wanted class members to base a scene on an early moment when we first looked objectively at the adult world, he volunteered memories of his own.

Last weekend, Suzanne, John, and their spouses got to hear about a Philadelphia childhood and the horse that delivered milk, going reliably to the next house while the deliveryman placed bottles at the last one. They learned about an elementary school visit to a dairy company, and how it hit my husband so young that some men spend their whole lives lifting bottles into crates. He also remembered catching the tail end of the street lamplighter age. He has since mentioned ice delivery at the Jersey Shore and how you would put a special sign in the window indicating how many pounds of ice you wanted for that week.

There was also coal delivery in large canvas bags. Believe it or not, my husband is not that old.

Even Suzanne and John should remember that coal was delivered next door for several years after we moved to town. And clearly coal is still being delivered somewhere, as in this video a guy put on YouTube. I especially like the speech balloons he added.

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Playwriting teacher Peter Littlefield had the class do an exercise. First, we each drew pictures of two different people on two pieces of paper and decorated them a little (stick figures were OK). Then we shuffled the pictures, and we each pulled out two that were not our own, invented names for the characters, and wrote the names on the papers. Then we shuffled them again and chose two other drawings. About these two final characters, we each wrote a little scene, read it aloud, and discussed.

It was almost like an inkblot test, because the stories we saw in these crude drawings came from inside us. People were very supportive of one another’s writing efforts, some of which entailed far-out themes, and the teacher pointed to what was unique about our voices and what aspects he himself found most intriguing.

The previous weekend I had had time to write a short monologue about someone I know, a rather obsessive person with whom I had recently had a strange conversation. I wanted to capture the bubbly surface and the sadness beneath. What was really nice was that everyone in the class totally got what I was doing.

We also did a Meisner acting exercise, which involved one person saying the same word over and over as another person repeats the word in between as if responding. I have just wasted a lot of time trying to find a good example of this Meisner exercise on YouTube. Although there was a lot of blah-blah-blah about Sanford Meisner and “the Group,” I think I better ask my class to make its own video. It would fill a YouTube vacuum for sure.

Instead, I am showing you, by means of the photo below, that the theater bug runs in our family. This is John as Grumpy in 1983  (lower right, green shirt).

And sometime you should ask Suzanne to sing “Turn Back, Oh, Man” from her performance in Godspell as a teenager.

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