news from Americans for the Arts
Lebanon: Beirut Arts Center Aims to Bring Contemporary Art to Wider Audience
"In this new millennium, artists from the Arab world are starting to assert a stronger presence on the international arts scene. Lebanese artists in particular have made a name for themselves with complex conceptual works. And Beirut has come to the fore as a regional art hub, attracting art experts from all over the world. Nevertheless, the number of actual art exhibition venues is limited compared with other cities of similar standing. Beirut suffers in particular from a lack of exhibition spaces for non-commercial art. Even though the city's galleries occasionally show experimental art, such as Agial in the central district of Hamra, or the well-known Sfeir Semmler Gallery, a bit more out of the way in the industrial area of Quarantina, Beirut has up to now not had a space dedicated exclusively to this area of artistic endeavor."
United Kingdom: Acting Technique Used to Help Students Learn Shakespeare
The Guardian, 3/10/10
"Eleven-year-olds are to learn Shakespeare using techniques employed by Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) actors, and English teachers will be encouraged to let pupils walk around the classroom rather than reading the plays while sitting at their desks. Exercises devised by the RSC and the Globe Theatre in London will see children aged 11–14 mirror the methods of professional actors at rehearsal. Written and oral assessments developed alongside the lessons will show how well students have understood the texts. Following the government's announcement of the new teaching initiative, the RSC's director of education, Jacqui O'Hanlon, said focusing on how actors came to understand the playwright's language had been a vital inspiration. She said: 'Actors have the same nervousness around Shakespeare's language as young people in schools do. We looked at how they get from that to a place of utter conviction, confidence and eloquence in six to eight weeks.'"