This past Saturday was something called Swan Day which is a celebration of women artists. The long term goal of Swan Day is “to inspire communities around the world to find new ways to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning.” I am doing my part by lauding the efforts of Virlana Tkacz who is our guest writer. She is the founding director of the Yara Arts Group creating theater pieces based on contemporary poetry and traditional myth and legend, much of it focused on women and many pieces about Ukraine. Her work is incandescent and I cannot wait to see “Scythian Stones” at La MaMa in April.
Also on my agenda: going to see the Whitney Biennial which showcases 20 women artists. And if I ever get back to Moscow anytime soon: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Russian socialite and billionaire Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend, Dasha Zhukova’s, art space which is meant to rival London’s Tate.
I am also impressed with Ann Ziff who recently announced a $30 million gift to the Metropolitan Opera which turns out to be the largest single gift from an individual in the company’s history. Under the direction of Peter Gelb, the Met has been trying to dust off its staid image, and its new production of Shostakovich’s The Nose is a great example. I didn’t like all the visual projections – I thought they took away from Valery Gergiev’s beautiful orchestra direction, and Paul Szot’s amazing performance – but they were an interesting experiment and I was excited to be a part of it.
We can’t all be Ann Ziff, but we can do our small part by attending arts events and giving our time to promote the arts.