In what one arts advocate called the "ritual mating dance" that starts off months of fiscal back-and-forth, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recommended slashing 6.2 percent from the Department of Cultural Affairs, a decrease that arts advocates calculate will translate into much larger cuts for some institutions and groups. Gov. George Pataki recently proposed slashing 15 percent from the New York State Council on the Arts, while New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has proposed a temporary freeze on all grants to arts groups.
Smoked fish and klezmer are two sure signs of a happy Jewish occasion. But as author Thane Rosenbaum discovered, klezmer provides more than a soundtrack for simchas.
In his 2002 novel "Golems of Gotham," a ninth-grade violin prodigy named Ariel raises the spirits of the dead with her impassioned playing of rarely heard klezmer tunes to spellbound crowds outside of Zabar's, the smoked-fish mecca on Upper Broadway.
The Times Square tower where Conde Nast pumps out titles like The New Yorker and Vogue is a river away from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where Jennifer Bleyer lives. It's a boundary that Bleyer is making very clear.
The third issue of Heeb, Bleyer's year-old magazine, hits the streets later this month with a striking disclaimer: "Please note that this is not a f-ing Conde Nast publication. It is a tiny independent venture, publishing by the skin of its teeth about twice a year on nothing that even resembles a schedule. Thank you for your patience."
The lineup for New York's newest blockbuster art exhibition begins this week as lucky ticket holders for "Matisse Picasso" make their way to the Museum of Modern Art's temporary digs in Long Island City. The retrospective exhibition promises to reward long waits in chilly winds with works that shaped modern art and a thrilling tale of one of the most creative rivalries in art history. Elsewhere in Queens, a different kind of thrill awaits viewers in an exhibition that offers a glimpse of art's future.
Nearly eight minutes into our first date, I still didn't know Steve's last name. But fueled by orange-flavored vodka and the promise of fresh romance, he had disclosed other significant bits of information: He's a self-styled entrepreneur, 40, in therapy, and just coming out of a string of relationships with "inappropriate women," he said, meaning, in part, not Jewish. "I figured it was time to start making responsible choices."
Its creative ranks include recluses, the insane and former prison inmates, but "Outsider Art" is hardly the exclusive domain of social misfits.
A tour through the American Museum of Folk Art or any number of galleries specializing in what is also known as "self-taught art" exposes viewers to a rich field of artists - including a notable number of Jewish painters - who, while untrained, display a talent for visual expression appreciated by connoisseurs and common folk alike.
The Jewish Folk Gallery is a modest space that can barely contain the artistic output of the emigre artists and artisans who rely on it as a showplace for their work.
The walls and the shelves of the 300-square-foot gallery - formerly the first-floor library at Bnai Zion House - overflow with scenes of shtetl life and people at prayer, landscapes of Russia and Israel, engraved copper plaques and carved wooden ritual objects. There is just enough room for a tea-service cart to fit behind the door.
The New Jersey state Senate last week took a step toward ousting embattled state poet laureate Amiri Baraka when it voted to eliminate the post. The vote was 21-0, with 19 abstentions. The measure now goes to the state Assembly, but it is not clear when or if that body will take action.
As a backup plan, senators are considering a resolution to censure Baraka, who caused an uproar last year when he read his 9-11 themed poem "Somebody Blew Up America" at a poetry festival.
The cover illustration of Etgar Keret's first book in English shows a smiley-faced figure in the act of blowing its brains out. Inside, suicide, murder and other forms of mutilation are featured in a good portion of the "other stories" in "The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories."
Far from turning off readers, Keret's combination of bittersweet prose and morose subject matter has hit a nerve among Israelis born in an age of political and moral uncertainty.