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Containers to the World. It's an international festival happening for several years now and currently going on in 7 cities in the Czech Republic. The container. Shipping containers placed in public spaces and used as a platform to symbolize everything that city is or could be. What does it contain? The Cultural Compass Institute partnered this year with the young Czech non-profit To the World! (k svetu) to bring you this festival for the first time in Prague . This fest is in full swing now with hundred of events in 6 locations around the city. Come for concerts, performance art, circus acts, lectures, film, round table discussions and much much more. Follow the fest goings on on Facebook and here on our CC website as the HOT PROJECT. The Cultural Compass Institute is also making a ducumentary film about the fest and our work. We're showcasing two of our new programs: Gift of Music, with a concert by CCI partner Mike McNulty & music workshops + Good News, Good Neighbors; Meet & Greet and round table discussion about the neighborhood all happening on three consecutive Sundays in May. check out the program info also here on our website.
Gogol Bordello - A gypsy punk bank from USA is an international phenomenom that could have only possibly have been made in America. Front man Eugene Hutz was born in the Ukraine, grew up with Roma gypsies and emigrated to the US with his family to escape the totalitarian regime. He listened to rock and roll music on the sly on the Voice of America with his father growing up there and for this they were constantly in big trouble. After coming to America and discovering his new found freedom he quickly made music the centerpiece of his life. This is not your average rock n roll. I attended a New Year's Eve show in Philadelphia in 2009 and to date it's the only show by a big name band that put out a spread to ring in the new year. Oh yeah, and that included pickled herring! Prepared to be surprised. This is intelligent, thoughtful, international music that is absolutely impossible to stay still for. The band is an long standing example of a cross cultural success story like no other. It includes Sergey Ryabtse from Russia on violin, Yuri Lemstev from Ukraine on accordian, Pedro from Ecuador on backup vocals & extra percussion instruments, Michale Bernard Ward from Germany on guitar, Tommy T from Ethiopia on bass, Elizabeth Chi-Wei Sun as back-up singer and a bonifide American, Oliver Francis Charles on drums. Established in the early 1990's in small Russian NYC clubs, this band just may be one of the hardest working bands around with a tour schedule circling the globe several times over every year with more than 100 dates. They're different. that's an understatement. They've got a mission statement for the band. Band member profiles on the website ( www.GogolBordello.com ) include family ethnicity, recommended books, LPs & films. Check them out live, read their lyrics. Worthy of special mention are our favorite tunes 'Supertheory of SuperEverything'; 'Ultimate'; Wunderlust King' & the song 'Dub the Frequency of Love' about reggae music and how it's become so beloved the world over as a force of positive vibration. Join the Tribal Connection. . .
"A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?" or Why not pay attention to the children? They know . . .or . . .Take the time to smell the flowers and listen to the music. Sometimes it's an extra special gift to yourself.
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The Key to Happiness
In love with Florida, one couple headed south and discovered a fresh island cottage under a mango tree.|
Text by Elizabeth Raines Beeler
In Key West, some houses brighten the landscape as much as the lime trees and vibrant sunsets the island is known for. Take Casa Mango, the vivid cottage tucked beneath the oldest mango tree in town. Originally a two-room bungalow, the 1928 structure gained a rambling, imaginative feel thanks to several additions and renovations, but retained just enough of the authentic shotgun plan to allow tropical breezes to blow straight through.
West Virginians Don and Betsy Harrold spent years vacationing in Florida and searching for a home there. "We just slowly moved farther and farther down the coast, scratching the rest of the state off the list," Don says. Then they reached Key West.
On this island, any style goes. Don and Betsy walked through enough homes to realize that some locals saw beauty in Hemingway-esque dark wood interiors. But that look wasn't for them. "We wanted a house with a lighter atmosphere," Betsy says. "A fun, happy house that would really feel like a vacation home when our three children and five grandchildren visit." After looking at about 30 homes, they finally found what they wanted. The cottage with the turquoise floors was the one they couldn't pass up.
With a soothing hue already underfoot, the Harrolds enlisted Suzanne Brown of Gordon Alvarado to further the effect. "We went through several palettes, but I just loved the bright ones," Betsy says. Drawing inspiration from the tree out back, they coated the home's exterior in vibrant mango. "Traditionally, homes in the tropics have blue ceilings to give the illusion of sky and to deter bees and hornets," Suzanne says. "You can sit on the sofa and feel like you're outside."
The interiors came together in a spectrum of ocean blues. White walls, upholstery, and architectural accents allow the sea-inspired hues to pop. In the living area, an Akari paper lantern by 20th-century artist Isamu Noguchi hangs overhead, lending a modern edge. Below, sea glass shades swirl in a custom coffee table. Functional curtains with velvet trim and tiebacks soften the look and provide a visual divide between the living and dining areas. "It's a bit of island, a hint of Bohemia, and a touch of tradition all at once," Suzanne says. "That's what I love about island design. You can create a room in any style and still have it read as tropical."
At the Harrolds', the line between indoors and out is blurry. "Pop open any window and you can smell a variety of fragrances," Betsy says. In the living area, a wall of doors extends the space onto a courtyard, where the soothing palette continues. Turquoise decking surrounds an aqua-tiled pool and leads to two small bedrooms. While the home has two conventional baths, the Harrolds usually opt for the outdoor shower shaded by the mango tree's sinuous branches.
"We spend six or more months a year here in Key West―never enough," Don says. In a town full of color, on an island that punctuates Florida's vibrant Keys, they've found their own bright spot.
From the July/August 2008 Issue
C.Most, Founder of the Cultural Compass Institute
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