June 1, 2012
Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski
Chapter 1 — Wendy Smith Born and James Barrett, while working as the manager and pastry chef of The White Dog Cafe, would frequently discuss how much they missed the quality artisanal breads they enjoyed in Paris. This sparked the beginnings of what is now the cherished Philadelphia institution known as Metropolitan Bakery. Barrett’s years of culinary training and knowledge of Old World bread-making, combined with the business know-how from Smith Born, churned out a Philadelphia bakery unlike any other before it. Their European-style crusty breads and pastries are the result of quality ingredients, perfected techniques, and above all, patience. “Friday Arts” also looks into Metropolitan’s charitable side, such as how they give back to the city with their training and employment of underprivileged citizens to work in their production facility.
Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina
Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles
Chapter 2 — Joan Myers Brown, founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, has made enormous contributions to dance, both locally and around the world. In a recently published book, dance scholar, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, shows us how. Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina explores the personal hardships Brown experienced in her quest to become a black ballerina in an era of racism and her continuing struggle to bring young black dancers to the forefront of the professional dance world. Gottschild provides a thorough history of the black dance scene beginning with Brown’s predecessors in the 1920’s, and introduces us to many of the most successful dancers and choreographers of today. Many of whom can attribute some portion of their success directly to Joan Myers Brown.
This month Art of Life talks to both Brown and Gottschild and sits in on a book chat and signing at The African American Museum here in Philadelphia. We also get a behind-the scenes look at Philadanco company members in rehearsal and talk with former principal dancer and current Assistant Artistic Director, Kim Bears-Bailey.
Brenda Dixon Gottschild is professor emerita of Dance Studies at Temple University and a former senior consultant/writer for Dance Magazine. She has also authored Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance, Waltzing in the Dark, and The Black Dancing Body.
Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly
Chapter 3 — Dennis Beach works out of a nondescript studio next to an auto glass repair shop in an industrial park in Newport, DE, a suburb of Wilmington. The Metroliner on the North East rail corridor rushes by, seemingly at his doorstep, bound for Philadelphia and New York City. Dennis’ work has also been shown in these cities, and purchased for the permanent art collection in the executive offices of the Comcast building and for installation in a new wing of New York’s Bellevue Hospital. FRIDAY ARTS visits with Dennis in his studio to see how he fashions his high-flying minimalist art, and to find out how he makes industrial materials bend to his will, to resemble not only a wave or a current of air but to evoke the fin or wing that beats upon it.