Culinary Literacy Center, The Poetry Man, A Concert for Elephants

Culinary Literacy Center

Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

As part of the ongoing major renovations of the Parkway Central Library, a new demonstration kitchen has been created to provide culinary literacy classes for children, teens, families, and adults. The Culinary Literacy Center’s mission is two-fold: The first part is teaching literacy skills through cooking, and the second part is exploring culinary literacy. They teach literacy skills by creating a curriculum that will be used as the basis of teaching not just reading, but also the math and even chemistry that is involved in using recipes and bringing them to life in the kitchen. They support culinary literacy through nutrition education, understanding how cooking can support disease prevention and healthy lifestyles, and offering “edutainment” cooking classes and demonstrations. The center’s staff and guest chefs and educators encourage a love of food and cooking. They provide literacy training and foster the development of problem-solving skills through cooking. They support healthy lifestyles for people of all ages and seek to improve the health of the planet and to know where our food comes from.


The Poetry Man

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Frank Sherlock is Philadelphia’s second Poet Laureate, succeeding the well-known Sonia Sanchez. He was appointed to the position in 2014 and will serve in the role for 2 years. The Poet Laureate position was the idea of Mayor Nutter’s and was created to serve as an ambassador for poetry. Responsibilities include performing readings, workshops and a variety of community services and programs, to bring a greater awareness of poetry to people of all ages.

Sherlock is a native Philadelphian and an accomplished poet, having received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2013, and is the author of five poetry books. He also created a collaborative project with CA Conrad, another Pew Fellow, titled The City Real and Imagined. The book is based on the conversations they had while wandering through the city of Philadelphia.

Art of Life sits down with Sherlock to learn what inspires his work and why his hometown is such a central focus of it. He also introduces us to Soledad Alfaro-Allah, current Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate, and shares why he was so happy to have played a part in appointing her to that position.

Finally, we talk with the founders of Apiary Magazine, Lillian Dunn and Tamara Oakman. Apiary is a free print publication, featuring the work of poets of all ages and genres, published here in Philadelphia. The magazine is just another example of why Philadelphia is becoming known as a city of poets.


A Concert for Elephants

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

In the gallery at the Perelman Building, there is a film of a man as he walks among large and wide shelves, like in a Home Depot. But the shelves in this building are filled with taxidermied animals, seals and walruses, which truthfully, look a little old and worn out. The man is seemingly intoning in a private language system, using deep guttural sounds that are not typically heard coming out of a human mouth. He reaches a shelf with what appear to be elephant bones, and he pauses to lay hands on the bones. As he begins to touch the bones, despite the low, almost sub sonic frequency, several words of french can be made out. It is as if he is singing to the bones in what would be the tone that elephants could best register, and for a second there is the distinct impression that this man is singing through time and death to make contact with these long-dead elephants, to convey comfort and an apology.

This film is only the beginning of the installation A CONCERT FOR ELEPHANTS, and only one small part of the “Allora & Calzadilla: Intervals” show that runs through April 5, 2015 at both the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), in conjunction with the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM), both in Philadelphia. Jennifer Allora (Born in Philadelphia) and Guillermo Calzadilla (Born in Havana) are partners in life as well as art, and now based in Puerto Rico. Between the PMA and FWM locations, this is the artists’ largest solo exhibition in the United States to date, with close to a dozen existing or new works created specifically for the show itself. Through an intersection of live performance (by Relâche, The Crossing and flautist Bernadette Käfer, among others) with already existing elements (elephant bones, the oldest stone, the oldest known musical instrument, among many) this show explores that the expression of music is what it means to be human. And interestingly enough, when interviewed, both Allora & Calzadilla expressed more comfort with the creation of the conceptual (bringing these elements together) than the actual creation of the music. Wanting, instead, to be the conductors of this symphony and aggregators of objects of this moving media manifestation.

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