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The Creative Economy

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      The word “creative” used to belong predominantly to the right-brain arts community. Lately however, the word has wandered into the left-brain analytical zone.  Phrases such as “creative economy,” “creative industries” and “creative class” have crept into the business vernacular. So what’s going on here? Have the economists hijacked creativity? Not at all. […]

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COVID and Me and the Flu of 1918

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    The flu epidemic of 1918 was not a story that was taught in every classroom in America. But for me, it was personal. I was named Janet Frances after my father’s mother Frances, my grandmother whom I never met because she died tragically in the flu epidemic of 1918, long before I was born. Perhaps that […]

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Downsizing During COVID

I have been trying to downsize. Not an easy thing to do. When you own a house, there’s always a place to squirrel away more stuff than you need. For years and years, I have surrounded myself with cherished objects, saved old birthday cards, photos, and stuff that I just couldn’t bear to throw away. […]

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A Lot of Talk About Strong Women…


Recently there’s been a lot of talk about strong women. It keeps coming up—in conversation, on TV, in the news. Some of this chatter may be due to one man’s search for a competent woman who is “ready to take the reins on day one.“ The operative word here being “competent.“ As we celebrate the […]

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One by One—Artists Changing the World


For most artists, a grant is simply an opportunity to create a work of art. Ah, but once in awhile, it’s a chance to change the world. Yardena Youner wrote to me from Israel to remind me of a grant she received from ArtsWestchester (at the time Westchester Arts Council) some 23 years ago for […]

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Soaking Up Sun at the Museum

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    Two extraordinary exhibitions will stick around in Westchester just a little longer than planned. These are one-person shows by two brilliant African American artists that opened just shortly before the coronavirus changed our world. At the Katonah Museum of Art, the vivid portrait quilts of Bisa Butler reign in the galleries until October 4th, […]

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The New Cultural Reality

Much of government funding for the arts over the past 50 years has been built on the premise that “matching funds” were the mark of a successful project. If an organization could come up with a match, it seemed to assure funders that the project would be viable.  For agencies like the National Endowment for […]

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Art on the Bridge


There’s something magical about a work of art that sends me an inaudible message from the artist. Usually, it’s a clue that allows me to perceive the work in a totally unexpected way. That is how I felt about the eight artists who won ten coveted commissions for artworks on the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo […]

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