World-Renowned Author Manis Friedman Turns to Technology to Help People Rediscover Balance, Becomes YouTube’s Favorite Rabbi
Way before anyone has even thought about the concept of social media, Rabbi Manis Friedman was already helping people rediscover balance, purpose and spirituality. A well-loved author, philosopher, counselor and lecturer, he is best known for his ability to clearly explain and combine age-old Torah wisdom with modern wit to captivate audiences around the world.
For those unfamiliar with him, Rabbi Friedman received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbinical College of Canada in 1969, he also a Biblical scholar and the author behind the acclaimed books “Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore?” and “The Joy of Intimacy”. He founded Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in Minnesota, the world’s first yeshiva exclusively for women back in 1971, and continues to serve the institution as its dean.
As times changed, he recognized that he also needed to change the way he reaches people. His first foray into the world wide web happened in 2005 when he created his website, It’s Good to Know, which provides sound solutions to everyday problems stemming from relationships, marriage, intimacy, and grief among many others. As social media gained popularity and became more central in people’s lives, he saw the potential that YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and podcasts hold in helping him bring everyone the wealth of wisdom that he has acquired from years of studying the scriptures.
Today, Rabbi Manis Friedman is known as “YouTube’s Most Popular Rabbi.” His channel, which has already surpassed 100,000 subscribers, allows him to bring the wisdom of Kabbalah closer to people and counsel them regardless of their religious affiliation.
“Ultimately, the goal is to reach the billions of people on the web and bring them closer to God; to bring healing and help people rediscover morality and balance,” he shares. “With everything that is happening in the world right now, it’s easy to find yourself feeling loss and losing balance, and along with it, losing your cherished relationships. You have the power to fix that, but you need to be open to learning.
Rabbi Friedman has made it his mission to help people improve their relationships and deepen their connection with God. He thanks technology for allowing him to do this despite the pandemic and even giving him a bigger platform to reach a wider audience.
The Untitled Space is pleased to present “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” group show opening on April 17 and on view through May 28, 2021. Curated by Indira Cesarine, the exhibition will feature textile and fiber-based artworks by 40 contemporary women artists. “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” explores in depth the themes and techniques of the medium through the works of female-identifying artists working with natural and synthetic fiber, fabric, and yarn. The exhibition presents figurative and abstract works that address our lived experience and history through the lens of women weaving, knotting, twining, plaiting, coiling, pleating, lashing, and interlacing. Narratives of self-identification, race, religion, gender, sexuality, our shared experience, as well as protest and the patriarchy are literally “unraveled” through embroidery, felt, woven and hooked rugs, braided and sewn hair, sewn fabrics, discarded clothing, cross-stitching, repurposed materials and more.
Exhibiting Artists: Amber Doe, Carol Scavotto, Caroline Wayne, Christy O’Connor, Daniela Puliti, Delaney Conner, Dominique Vitali, Elise Drake, Elizabeth Miller, Hera Haesoo Kim, Indira Cesarine, Jamia Weir, Jody MacDonald, Julia Brandão, Kathy Sirico, Katie Cercone, Katie Commodore, Katrina Majkut, Katy Itter, Kelly Boehmer, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Lisa Federici, Marianne Fairbanks, Mary Tooley Parker, Melanie Fischer, Melissa Zexter, Mychaelyn Michalec, Mz Icar, Orly Cogan, Robin Kang, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Ruta Naujalyte, Sally Hewett, Sarah Blanchette, Sooo-z Mastopietro, Sophie Boggis-Rolfe, Stacy Isenbarger, Stephanie Eche, Victoria Selbach, and Winnie van der Rijn.
unravel [ uhn-rav-uhl ] to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.). to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.
“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” investigates the narratives of contemporary fiber artists. The exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who each address through their own personal vision, materials, and methods, works that are deeply rooted in the history of feminism, in the intersection of art and craft, addressing our living experiences and personal languages. We live in a world of extremes – on one hand, the pandemic has brought forth an intensity on digital and online programming peaking with the emergence of NFT art, and on the opposite end of the spectrum we are seeing a return to the comforts of the home and along with it a renaissance of organic and handmade artworks that embody that spirit. The laborious and repetitive methods required to create one work of fiber art can take hundreds of hours, yet equally the creation process is often referred to as a mediative act of healing, allowing for an expressive personal and cultural interrogation.
Fibers have been an integral part of human civilization for thousands of years. Textile art is one of the oldest art forms, dating back to prehistoric times. Despite early works of textiles such as embroideries and tapestries having been made by both men and women, the tradition of textiles and needlework evolved into that of “women’s work” and was not only dismissed as not “important” but was literally banned from the high art world by the Royal Academy in the 18th century (circa 1769). With the rise of the women’s movement as well as technological advances, women reclaimed the medium, subverted its history as a lesser art form, and transformed it into a tool of expression, of protest, of personality. From early suffrage movement embroidered banners to the groundbreaking exhibitions and works of female pioneers such as Bauhaus weaver Anni Alber’s momentous solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949, Lenore Tawney’s exhibition at the Staten Island Museum in 1961 to Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking 1979 work “The Dinner Party”, we have seen the medium evolve and inspire new generations of fiber artists.
“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” explores this new wave of female-identifying artists who are using materials ranging from thread and yarn to human hair, fabrics, and discarded clothing, among a range of other components to unravel the “language of thread” with works that provoke and interrogate. Whether drawn from a deeply personal narrative, or rooted in political motivation, each artist weaves, spins, sews, and hooks the viewer with their detailed and intricate textures that communicate and empower. The exhibition presents two and three-dimensional pieces that explore with gravity and humor our contemporary culture, its beauty, flaws, and idiosyncrasies through murals, assemblages, fragile and gestural threads, meditative, and metaphorical fibers. “UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” pushes the boundaries, investigates ancient as well as new materials and techniques, and presents a contemporary universe of the language of women and their interwoven, progressive vocabulary.”– Curator Indira Cesarine
“To know the history of embroidery is to know the history of women.” – Rozsika Parker author of “The Subversive Stitch” (1984)
“I am a multimedia artist who uses sculpture and performance to bear witness to the experiences of black women even as American society aims to render us and our lives as invisible and meaningless. Despite the prevalent “urban black” narrative, my experience is tied to the natural world, and I use materials that reference my desert environment and my lived experience as a black woman with Indigenous roots.” – Artist Amber Doe
“I mix subversion with flirtation, humor with power, and intimacy with frivolity. My subject matter is frank and provocative, dealing with issues of fertility, sexuality, self-image, isolation, vulnerability, indulgence, and beauty in the mundane, which are designed to challenge social stereotypes embedded within childhood fairytales. My work explores the many flavors of feminism.” – Artist Orly Cogan
“I pull from my autobiography to illustrate stories of trauma, sexuality, intimacy, and growth. Detailed beading and cyclical patterning emphasize the consistent labor in the repetitive motion of handsewing, that which mirrors the emotional and psychic labor expended in order to manage the suffering a body can accumulate over time. My sculptures translate the life experience of a survivor of complex trauma through the lens of glittering beadwork in order to recount deeply traumatic stories for the same cultural collective that due to repression, denial, censorship and deliberate silencing…” –Artist Caroline Wayne
“This body of work scrutinizes the amalgamation of victim shaming tropes that men and women are taught throughout their lives, both passively and actively, through social norms, pop culture, our educational and legal systems, religious establishments, and familial influences and upbringing.” – Artist Christy O’Connor
“My work focuses on my personal experience living within the confines of a female body, exploring sexuality, religion, and body image. The shared narratives of childbirth, menstruation, dysmorphia, sexual violation, and societal scrutiny all come into play and find connections with the viewers in their shared commonality.” – Artist Dominique Vitali
“My textile works are hand-sewn, fabric based sculptural pieces made from recycled materials that have multiple uses as ritual talismans, wearables, ecstatic birth blankets, dreamcatchers and traveling altars”. – Artist Katie Cercone
“Discarded clothing is my paint. I give second chances to the worn, the damaged, the mistreated, the abandoned, the unwanted, and to myself. My emotional narrative portraits and figurative artworks examine the human condition through my own lived experience. The violence of cutting and deconstruction make way for the reconstruction and refashioning of a broken past.” – Artist Linda Friedman Schmidt
“We are drawn to the grand gesture, the loud assured voice, the bold move, the aggressive brush stroke. I celebrate the opposite: the small moments in our lives – the unremarkable… as Covid-19 took over, some of the things I was celebrating became even more pertinent; toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer. These objects became signs of hope, of safety, of comfort.” – Artist Melanie Fischer
ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE
The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2015 by artist Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary-pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of women in art. Since launching The Untitled Space gallery, Cesarine has curated over 40 exhibitions and has exhibited artwork by more than 450 artists. Her curatorial for The Untitled Space includes solo shows for artists Sarah Maple, Rebecca Leveille, Alison Jackson, Fahren Feingold, Jessica Lichtenstein, Tom Smith, Loren Erdrich, Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface, Katie Commodore, and Jeanette Hayes among many others. Notable group shows include “Art4Equality x Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness” public art exhibition and group show presented in collaboration with Save Art Space, “IRL: Investigating Reality,” “BODY BEAUTIFUL,” “SHE INSPIRES,” Special Projects “EDEN” and “(HOTEL) XX” at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and internationally celebrated group shows “UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN,” and “ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE” responding to the political climate in America, as well as numerous other critically-acclaimed exhibitions. Recent press on Indira Cesarine & The Untitled Space includes Vogue (US), Vogue Italia, CNN, Forbes, Newsweek, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, i-D Magazine, Dazed and Confused, and The New York Times among many others.
*Featured image artwork by Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.
Artwork by Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.
Artwork by Mary Tooley Parker, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.
United Methodist Church leaders will launch a plan of action to galvanize church members and others to actively stand against racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd and protests across the U.S.
The “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” initiative is a multi-level effort throughout the church to initiate a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice. The church-wide effort will kick off on June 19, 2020, to coincide with Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. An announcement from members of the United Methodist Council of Bishops will be broadcast at 11:00 am CT on UMC.org/EndRacism and Facebook.
Participating in the event will be Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Episcopal Area, president of the Council of Bishops and the first Hispanic woman to hold that post, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Pittsburgh Episcopal Area, Bishop Bruce Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area, Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Ohio West Episcopal Area, and Bishop Thomas Bickerton of the New York Episcopal Area.
“Words are great, words are important – but action is really important,” said Bishop Harvey. “Pick up your pen, pick up your voice, pick up your feet, and do something.”
A day of prayer and worship will follow on June 24, 2020, with an online service to be broadcast at noon CT on UMC.org/EndRacism and Facebook. There will also be a denominational virtual town hall event on July 1.
Regional and local worship events and town hall meetings involving community partners will subsequently take place, either online or in keeping with social distancing protocols.
United Methodist Communications has launched a national advertising campaign on social media and news websites across the U.S., as well as digital billboards in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, and Louisville. The ads direct viewers to a website, UMC.org/EndRacism, where they can find resources to help them learn more and take action.
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has asked all United Methodists to join in prayer at 8:46 a.m. and p.m. for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time the officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, for at least the next 30 days.
Advocacy and worship resources will seek to equip leaders, members, and the public to join in this important racial relations work. To encourage wide participation, a variety of materials will be made available in English, Korean, Spanish, French, and Portuguese translations.
The denomination has a long-standing history of advocating for justice. The Social Principlesof The United Methodist Church recognize racism as a sin and commit to challenging unjust systems of power and access. Additional information and resources are available online at UMC.org/EndRacism.
About The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church has more than 13 million members globally in 45,000+ local churches and is in mission in more than 136 countries. Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our tagline “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” embraces who we are and how we seek to put our faith in action. Learn more at UMC.org.
On June 20th Poor People’s Campaign digital mass assembly, people from more than 40 states suffering from poverty, COVID-19 & police brutality to tell their stories & demand moral agenda.
Poor and low-income people of every race, creed, color and sexuality from more than 40 states will demand change as they share stories of struggling through poverty and protests for racial justice at a historic digital assembly and march sponsored by The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
Hundreds of mobilizing partners — including 14 national unions, 16 national religious denominations and dozens civil rights organizations — will join the campaign for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington.
The assembly and march will be aired at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, June 20, and at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, June 21. It can be viewed at june2020.org, and MSNBC will livestream the entire event, as will other local and national media.
“When we began organizing the poor people’s assembly and march two years ago, we knew 140 million people — 43% of the nation were poor or low-income and that 700 people died each day — or 250,000 a year — from poverty,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“We knew racist voter suppression was blocking voters from casting their ballot and blocking progressive policy decisions. We knew over 80 million people were uninsured or underinsured and millions were homeless and without clean water. And we knew that we had a war economy with a gross and unnecessary budget. We knew all of these realities are morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent and economically insane, undermining our national health. And then a pandemic hit and exposed the wounds of racism and poverty, and a lynching by police of a black man on camera poured salt in the wound, which makes our call for a moral fusion coalition of all people to address five interlocking injustices even the more relevant,” said Rev. Barber, a bishop and pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Former Vice President Al Gore and other young climate activists will introduce those testifying about the effect of ecological devastation on their lives.
Actors and activists such as Erika Alexander, Danny Glover, David Oyelowo, Jane Fonda, Wanda Sykes and Debra Messing will introduce testifiers and invite Americans and people around the world to tune in.
“The numbers of people suffering in this the richest nation in the world is already increasing and deepening as the effects of the pandemic, recession and racist and anti-poor policies continue to hurt poor and low-income people the hardest,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“On June 20th, poor and impacted people will come together to tell the nation what it means to not have enough food to eat, to wonder how to keep a roof over your family’s head, and to have to choose between risking your life by going to work or staying at home and not getting paid. We will share the bold and visionary demands people are putting forth that can solve these grave injustices and the powerful and creative resistance of people organizing across the country. History shows that when those most impacted by injustice come together in a powerful movement, that this country can indeed change for the better. Those whose backs are against the wall are pushing this whole nation towards justice today.”
The campaign notes that the day’s focus will be on poor and low-income people who demand that their voices be heard. These people from 43 states — white farmers and coal miners standing with black women Latino meat packers, First Nation Apaches and Asian people — will tell the pain of their stories and demand a specific policy, moral budget and political agenda. That agenda includes a demand that the nation address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
Among the impacted people who will speak are service workers from the Midwest who have worked through the pandemic without PP; families hurt by police brutality; a coal miner from Appalachia; mothers who have lost children due to lack of health care, residents of Cancer Alley in Louisiana, and an Apache elder who is petitioning the federal government to stop a corporation from destroying a sacred site in Arizona.
The assembly and march are being held in the wake of protests spurred by the death of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. His cry of “I can’t breathe” echoed that of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 when a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold. It followed those of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by officers who invaded her apartment in Kentucky with a battering ram, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white joggers who weren’t charged until a video emerged.
The campaign’s leaders decided at the end of March to hold a digital assembly and march because of the pandemic rather than gathering in person in Washington, D.C. Amidst protests that are happening in every state, this digital mass assembly presents an opportunity for all Americans to join together in a united call for justice from wherever they are.
FPWA’s chief executive officer and executive director, Jennifer Jones Austin, and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of Repairers of the Breach and national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, will hold a virtual rally on June 9 to bring attention to the campaign’s Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, to be held online on June 20.
Rev. Barber and Ms. Austin will lead a conversation about why every American should participate in the assembly and march, which will be the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in United States history. This gathering will bring together and raise the voices of the 140 million poor and low-income Americans.
Ms. Austin leads FPWA, whose mission it is to advocate for just public policies that promote the social and economic well-being of all New Yorkers. She is one of eight members on Mayor de Blasio’s Fair Policy Task Force to rebuild a fairer New York as the city restarts its economy by confronting the deep inequities that reach into every neighborhood.
FPWA is linking arms with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to ensure that as we emerge from the global pandemic, which is exposing even more of the already existing crisis of systemic racism and poverty, we rebuild with the aim of no longer managing poverty but instead, ending poverty across the nation. They will also address the current state of social unrest and political disenfranchisement in the wake of incidents across the country impacting the most vulnerable.
Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and ED of FPWA Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and national co-chair of Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
Virtual rally and conversation in support of the Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington
Bishop William J. Barber II, campaign co-chair and president of Repairers of the Breach, said the campaign seeks not merely a fasting from food, but also a national fasting from systemic racism, systemic poverty, the denial of health care and from other death-dealing policies.
“We must dedicate ourselves to breathing life into our Constitution and its promises and refuse to accept a civility that covers up injustice,” Bishop Barber said. “The very life of our democracy is at stake. Not the democracy that is, but the democracy that could be.”
The upheaval in the country has shown the power of social justice movements, said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“People across race, across geography, across age have seen that we cannot be silent anymore,” she said. “It is only when the people organize in radical and bold ways that we can build a society that actually takes care of the needs of the people.”
The campaign is asking people to stand still wherever they are at 5 p.m. , Monday, June 7, and be still and focus for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that an officer held his knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing him on Memorial Day. They will then be asked to read a litany that the campaign will share on social media.
After that, Rev. Barber will speak to the nation from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he is the minister.
People should also remember Ahmaud Abery, who was shot and killed by armed white men as he jogged in Georgia in February and Breonna Taylor, who died in March after she was shot eight times by police who used a battering ram to invade her apartment. As a sign that our collective repentance is real, people will also be invited to dedicate themselves to stay engaged, to vote, to hold elected officials accountable and to work for a moral agenda that addresses historic wrongs and policies that perpetuate inequality.
On Sunday, June 6, the campaign will hold a national interfaith service to recognize the more than 100,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, especially poor and low-income workers. While President Trump wants to divert attention away from the pandemic and to his misinterpretation of protests in the streets, the Poor People’s Campaign will insist that the country doesn’t forget those who died.
The service will be co-led by Revs. Barber and Theoharis and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Imam Omar Suleiman and Valerie Kaur.
Amazon‘s board of directors pushed investors at today’s annual shareholder meeting to reject a Free Enterprise Project (FEP) proposal that sought to end the company’s practice of viewpoint discrimination against conservative and Christian organizations within the Amazon Smile charitable giving program.
The shareholder resolution specifically called into question Amazon’s reliance on the widely-discredited left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the gatekeeper for AmazonSmile charitable recipients.
“Amazon consistently brags about its commitment to ‘diversity and inclusion,’ but I don’t think its board of directors knows what that means. By relying on the SPLC to decide which charities are eligible to receive donations through AmazonSmile, the company is expressing public and open hostility toward conservative and religious organizations,” said Justin Danhof, Esq., General Counsel and FEP Director at the National Center for Public Policy Research, who submitted the proposal. “That’s viewpoint discrimination and it’s abhorrent.”
In the proposal, Danhof noted: We are also concerned that the Company’s failure to respect diverse social, political, and religious viewpoints in the Smile program is symptomatic of a tendency to discriminate against such views more broadly. For example, although Amazon’s policies state “we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable,” it has recently begun removing books based on customer objections. And, while Amazon publicly affirms its commitment to different perspectives, it officially opposed a shareholder proposal to gauge progress in ideological diversity on the Board of Directors in its 2019 proxy materials.
The shareholders should be aware of the extent to which discrimination against social, political, or religious views by Amazon in its partnerships, content policies, and options for customer-selected charitable donations may jeopardize Amazon’s current market-dominance and may negatively affect important social dynamics beyond Amazon’s immediate business impact.
The full proposal and Amazon’s response to it are available on pages 41-43 of company’s proxy statement.
In presenting the proposal, Danhof stated: Amazon allows the SPLC to pick and choose which charities are eligible for the Smile program. Why? The extreme leftists at the SPLC use this power to exclude groups that it disagrees with ideologically, while it, in turn, reaps tremendous windfall from the Smile program. This is wildly hypocritical and calls into question Amazon’s poor governance controls.
Audio of Danhof’s presentation can be heard here. A written, annotated version of Danhof’s statement can be found here.
During the meeting, Danhof and other conservative shareholders repeatedly questioned Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as to why the company engages in such blatant viewpoint discrimination. Bezos refused to address their questions.
“If Bezos can defend Amazon’s outright bigotry, then we invite him to do so,” said Danhof. “It’s pathetic that one of the most powerful men in the world can’t answer a simple question. Yet it is also telling that Bezos seems to have zero defense for this deplorable behavior.”
Earlier this month, Danhof penned an article published by Breitbart in which he noted: Today the SPLC is known mostly for publishing an annual “hate map,” which it claims is a census of the hate groups operating within the United States. In reality, this cynical yearly exercise is little more than a public listing of SPLC’s political enemies.
How else can one explain SPLC categorizing groups such as the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) with the Ku Klux Klan? ADF is the nation’s preeminent legal advocate for religious liberty. Litigating to advance the principles espoused by America’s founders and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, ADF has scored 10 victories at the United States Supreme Court since 2011. What exactly have the racists at the Ku Klux Klan done in that timeframe?
Everyone knows the Klan is a hate group. What the SPLC is trying to do is convince gullible leftists that conservative and religious organizations are morally equivalent to the KKK. It’s reprehensible and it’s fake news. And Amazon’s partnership lends a corporate veneer of credibility that only perpetuates this false narrative.
Conservative investors can learn how to support proposals that align with their values and how to vote down leftist resolutions by downloading FEP’s Investor Value Voter Guide. A thorough discussion of the resolution presented today to Amazon starts on page 52 of the guide.
Today’s Amazon meeting marks the 21st time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2020.
Why call this new museum show Beyond the Cape? Compared to so many other exhibitions around the world about comic books, this original and unconventional take soars beyond just superheroes.
Beyond the Cape! Comics and Contemporary Art shows how some of the most currently sought-after contemporary artists are influenced by graphic novels and comic books.
The artworks in this pioneering show making its world premiere at the Boca Raton Museum of Art take viewers on a deeper dive into adult realms, tackling some of today’s thorniest issues: politics, divisiveness, immigration, racial prejudice, planetary climate armageddon, feminism, LGBTQ rights, religion, gender, and more.
Grouped together for the first time in this new way, the exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art features prominent artworld superstars, including:
Kumasi J. Barnett, George Condo, Renee Cox, Liz Craft, Kota Ezawa, Chitra Ganesh, Mark Thomas Gibson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Christian Marclay, Kerry James Marshall, Takahasi Murakami, Elizabeth Murray, Yoshitomo Nara, Joyce Pensato, Raymond Pettibon, Peter Saul, Kenny Scharf, William T. Wiley, David Wojnarowicz, and Michael Zansky.
Some of the most acclaimed underground comic book artists are also front-and-center, including: R. Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and Mimi Pond.
Also featured in the exhibition are artists from The Hairy Who: Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum.
The show features more than 80 works by 40 artists: paintings, video, photography, sculpture, prints, drawings, and tapestries.
Rare comics will also be shown, plus contemporary animation and rarely seen historic cartoons from the early 1900s on vintage TVs.
This exhibition is curated by Kathleen Goncharov, Senior Curator at the museum. She recruited as her ‘muse’ for this exhibition Calvin Reid, the Senior News Editor at Publishers Weekly and a leading expert in the field of comics.
Reid was one of the first critics to recognize comics as a literary form for adults, and selected the comic books and graphic novels in the reading room where the public can comfortably lounge and enjoy reading (many from Reid’s own private library).
“Beyond the Cape delves into the world of comics and graphic novels and their influence on contemporary artists. Their work defies commonalities, but come together to present a boldly visual, eye-opening mirror of our contemporary world and present issues,” said Irvin Lippman, the executive director of Boca Raton Museum of Art.
Some of the surprising twists and turns visitors can see at Beyond the Cape!
Elizabeth Murray began working with comic imagery in the 1970s, when minimalism dominated the art scene. Her personal, colorful work proved that painting was still relevant and ripe for innovation, and set the stage for a return to figurative work in the 1980s. As a child she drew from newspaper comic strips, and even sent a sketchbook to Walt Disney.
Kerry James Marshall’s work is currently at the very top of the art market. Known for his flat, colorful paintings of contemporary Black America, for the past 20 years he has been working on his comic series Rythm Mastr (set in the Black community where his Chicago studio is located).
The genesis of Rythm Mastr began with the demolition of public housing and the spike of violence in Chicago in the 1990s. He grew up in the Watts area of South-Central Los Angeles, and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements impacted this artist’s work.
Most assume comics are primarily intended for children, usually featuring super heroes as evidenced by today’s popular films – but this exhibition is decidedly for adults.
The only references to superheroes in this show are by Renee Cox (whose Jamaican anti-racist avenger Raje does not wear a cape), and Luca Buvoli’s animation Not-a-Superhero.
Art that is flat, graphic and colorful (like the art in graphic novels and comics), is taking center stage in the Instagram age. Artists, galleries and collectors are turning to social media as the place to promote their art and find art to purchase.
Looking beyond the 1960s Pop Art movement led by big name New York artists, this show features the “other” art movements from the 60s and 70s such as Bay Area Funk Art and the Chicago Imagists (who called themselves Hairy Who).
These artists rebelled against the formalist New York style, and during their youth, they were belittled as ‘provincial regionalists’ by the New York-centric art world of the time.
The Chicago artists in Hairy Who (Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum) have greatly influenced younger artists of today.
A nod to Japanese Manga comics and graphic novels features two major artists: Takashi Murakami and Yositomo Nara.
Almost all of the artists in this exhibition are living artists, except for three: Elizabeth Murray, H.C. Westermann and David Wojnarowicz.
Two works by the Indian-American artist Chitra Ganesh. One is titled City Inside Her, (2014), and another is Manuscript, (2018),
a giant 3-D hand with projected henna designs used by women in India and the Middle East
Chitra Ganesh is an Indian-American artist who combines the iconography of Hinduism, Buddhists and South Asia pictorial traditions with the contemporary popular visual language of comics, illustration and science fiction.
Her work will include a giant 3-D hand with projected henna designs used by women in India and the Middle East. She will also show a series of work loosely based on the comic book series Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Illustrated Stories).
Ganesh’s original comic book premiered in India in 1967 and was intended to teach children traditional historical and religious stories. Unfortunately, the original series reinforced the caste system with its attendant issues of race and gender. In her work, Ganesh flips the script by highlighting alternative feminist narratives.
California artist Peter Saul, 85, was not taken seriously outside of California until relatively recently. Today his work is in great demand and is a major influence on young artists. Similar to comics, his work is irreverent, idiosyncratic, colorful and political.
Koto Ezawa’s comics-inspired animation tells the story of the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum art heist.
Michael Zansky, the son of Louis Zansky who drew the early “Classic Comics” in the 1940s, is a painter and multi-media artist whose monumental large cut, burnt and carved wood panels feature mysterious hybrid creatures inspired by comics, ancient art and works from the Western art canon.
Another family connection is Jody Culkin who is a descendant of Harriet Hosmer, a prominent neo-sculptor who lived in Rome in the 19th century. Hosmer was a scholar, an inventor, writer and feminist. She wrote a play set in London and in the then-future (1977) in which mummies come to life in the British Museum. Featured in this exhibition is the rarely seen animated comic Culkin made about this play.
Kumasi Barnett uses actual comic books in his work to create new characters such as The Amazing Black-Man. His nine works featured in this show will be encased in plastic, the way rare comics are sold.
Moreover, there’s an emerging artist community within Mississauga, Ontario. Hopefully, these types of installations and many more will come with the assistance of Precondo.
THE IKEA READING ROOM
An extensive reading room designed by IKEA features hundreds of graphic novels and comics for the public to comfortably peruse in a relaxed setting.
Selected by Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor at Publishers Weekly, the 200+ comic books and graphic novels include many from his own personal library.
The public can enjoy reading works by Lynda Barry, Allison Bechdel, Roz Chast, R. Crumb, Aline-Kominsky Crumb, Mimi Pond, Trina Robbins, Art Spiegelman, George Takei and Ronald Wimberly, and many others.
Reid began writing in the 1980s, about the same time Art Spiegelman and R. Crumb, alumni of the underground RAW comics, emerged as serious figures in the comic world. Spiegelman’s MAUS is probably the first graphic novel to reach a wide audience.
A goal in providing the reading room is to inspire fans of graphic novels who may not be prone to visit a museum to take the leap, walk into a museum and experience works of art in person. Rare comics and a series of contemporary and historic animation works will also be on view.
Support for this exhibition is generously provided by the Museum’s Leadership Fund, with major funding from: Estate of Ardele L. Garrod, Isadore & Kelly Friedman Foundation, PNC Bank, Jody H. & Martin Grass, Anne & Scott P. Schlesinger, Jennifer & Marc Bell, Dalia & Duane Stiller, Susan & Eric Kane and Laurence W. Levine Foundation, Angela & John DesPrez III, El Ad National Properties and Alina Properties, Joy & Richard Blakeman and Lisette Model Foundation, Karen Mashkin, Patricia Savides, Schmidt Family Foundation, the Museum’s Friends Auxiliary, and those who wish to remain anonymous.
In-kind corporate support for the exhibition is generously provided by IKEA.
— Jellyfish Eyes, by Takashi Murakami, (2003), collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody
The Untitled Spacegallery is pleased to present “Thoughts and Prayers”a solo exhibition of works by artist Sarah Maple, curated by gallery director Indira Cesarine, opening January 22, 2019, and on view through February 3, 2019. Sarah Maple is an award-winning visual artist known for her bold, brave, mischievous and occasionally controversial artworks that challenge notions of identity, religion and the status quo. Hailing from Britain, this will be the first solo exhibition of the artist in the United States. Much of Maple’s inspiration originates from being raised Muslim, with parents of mixed religious and cultural backgrounds. “Thoughts and Prayers” will feature many new works, as well as a selection of some of her most notable past works, exploring a wide variety of media including performance, painting, photography, sculpture, collage, installation, and video. Maple’s pro-feminist artwork provokes a dialogue with her sharp humor and satirical eye. She fearlessly addresses what it means to be a Muslim in the Western world. Her taboo-breaking artwork fights against censorship as she investigates themes of politics, violence, freedom, feminism, and the ironies of pop culture. She often employs self-portraiture as a vehicle for her narrative, or engages guerrilla-style performance as a means to convey her message.
“Using her own image, and drawing on her experience as a Muslim woman, Sarah tackles society’s many taboos, elevating those previously oppressed, and giving voice to those long since silenced.” i-D Vice
“Maple has made a name for herself over the years for pushing the boundaries of femininity, and for publicly discussing the convergence of her dual-Muslim heritage with feminism. Rather than crumble, Maple has an impressive resolve in the face of cyber adversity: she tries to laugh instead of cry… Maple hopes to examine where freedom of speech ends and abuse begins.” – Dazed Digital
“Maple could well be the only artist to take on the Kardashians (with her ‘Keeping Up With The Kapulets’ show), stereotypes around Islam (with her ‘I Love Orgasms’ acrylic), and the taboos around menstruation (with her ‘Menstruate With Pride’ triptych). She has received a flurry of glowing reviews – and even more death threats.” – Good Trouble
“I think we need to be challenged, we need to hear challenging, radical, provocative things, even if we don’t agree with them, as it’s those things that make us react and make us want to bring about change…” Sarah Maple for TEDx
Sarah Maple graduated with BA in Fine Art from Kingston University London in 2007 and in the same year won The Saatchi Gallery’s “4 New Sensations” award for emerging artists. Maple’s artwork, film, and performances have been exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including Tate Britain, The Barbican, AIR Gallery, and The New Art Exchange, among many others. Maple’s work has been the subject of documentaries including for ARTE and VPRO. In 2015 she released her first book “You Could Have Done This,” a hardback of selected works. The same year she was awarded a Sky Academy Arts scholarship from Sky Arts, which included funding, mentoring and a Sky Arts documentary. In 2017 she gave a TEDx talk in Birmingham, UK on the importance of free speech, titled “The Freedom To Be Challenged.”
Her work has been featured in numerous international publications, including Vogue, The Guardian, i-D Magazine, The Sunday Times UK, The Independent, People Magazine, Dazed, and the Huffington Post among many others. In 2018 she was invited to make a limited edition cover for Harper’s Bazaar’s art issue alongside artists including Yayoi Kusama, Barbara Kruger, and Linder Sterling. Her artwork is in collections including Soho House, The Hyman Collection and the Ned. Sarah lives and works in Sussex, England.
“My work is largely motivated by my upbringing as well as my interest in activism and gender politics. Citing current affairs I create works that provoke the viewer through satirical, tongue-in-cheek commentary. My mother is a Muslim from Kenya, who married my British father in the 1970s. She raised me as a Muslim in the UK and sent my siblings and I to a Catholic school. Much of my work examines the duality of my multicultural upbringing and the conflict of identity among young Muslims living in the western world. I began to explore these themes after reflecting on Muslim identity in Britain post 9/11and7/7 and the impact of the Iraq war. Motivated by the current political climate and being from an immigrant background, these subjects are close to my heart as I question notions of identity, belonging, and “otherness” in my works.
I see many parallels between the UK and the US, especially with Brexit and the Trump election. The gun debate is something especially intriguing to the British. The threat of terror is continually focused on and yet nothing is done about gun laws. When officials offer up “Thoughts And Prayers,” it appears hollow and insincere. I am interested in how a lack of action directly and/or indirectly inflicts suffering and potential violence on its citizens.
Also inspired by feminism and gender politics, my work aims to challenge deep-seated ideas about what it means to be a woman. I am interested in the role shame plays in women’s lives – how we take up space in the world, our physical appearance, bodily functions and “blame culture.” I explore the ways we can change the visual narrative for women as a form of empowerment. The medium I choose is determined by the strongest way to deliver my message; hence it is constantly evolving across a wide variety of media. Self-portraiture, for example, offers the possibility of taking ownership of our image. When we photograph ourselves, we have complete control over how we want our selves, our gender, our femininity, and our sexuality to be perceived by others. Humor is also an important element in my work. I often use a “Trojan horse” to get my message across and sometimes I just like to point out the obvious as this can be the most direct way to highlight how ridiculous something is. I used to accept a lot at face value but when I discovered feminism it motivated me not only to question the role of women, but also the preconceived ideas relating to all things in society.” – Artist Sarah Maple
ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE:
The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2014 by Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of “Women in Art” as well as special events aligned with our creative vision.
JEWS ARRIVED IN INDIA PRIOR TO THE CHANUKAH STORY: EXPLORE INDIA THROUGH JEWISH EYESTM WITH PACIFIC DELIGHT TOURS
Pacific Delight Tours continues its kosher “Jewish eyes” tours in conjunction with the Foundation for Remote Jewish Communities featuring its annual INDIA: My Second Home program, Jan. 16-29, 2019.
Few people know that the pepper found on your kitchen table comes from a pepper exchange in Southern India located in a place called Jewtown. While this label might be deemed offensive in modern Western society, to a 2,000-year-old Jewish community in India, the name Jewtown is a source of pride that honors the long history of Jews in India and the great contributions Jews have made to Indian society.
Tour participants will learn how this isolated Diaspora community has evolved in its own unique way. For example, Jews in India celebrate every Jewish holiday except Chanukah because their society pre-dates Chanukah. This and many more fascinating, little known stories of the Jewish experience in India will be discussed by Prof. Nathan Katz, one of the world’s foremost scholars on Jews in India.
Participants will have opportunities to meet and interact with India’s diverse Jewish communities in Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and
New Delhi and join Shabbat at the Judah Hyam synagogue in New Delhi as well as at Kenesseth Eliyahoo, also known as the Fort Synagogue, in Mumbai (pictured right), which dates back to 1884. Other historic synagogues include Kolkata’s 19th century Italian Renaissance-style Magen David synagogue and the historic Paradesi synagogue in Jewtown, constructed during the Mughal era in the 16th century.
The program visits the “must-see” sights of India such as the iconic Taj Mahal and Elephanta Caves, cruises Kerala’s scenic backwaters, peddles through Old Delhi and other UNESCO World Heritage sites via rickshaw, and features a private recital featuring traditional Indian music and dance.
India is known for its antiquity and spirituality, its cultural export dubbed “Bollywood”, and its contrast of bustling cities and pristine nature-a fascinating kaleidoscope that is the world’s largest democracy. “What is typically not known is India’s long history as one of the most hospitable homes in the Diaspora, without a trace of anti-Semitism,” said Prof. Katz.
“A Jew, Sarmad Kashani, was the most celebrated patron saint of 17th century Indian poetry. So too, Jews have been among India’s great mystics, taken center stage in Bollywood, served as mayor of major cities, and produced the country’s greatest military hero, General J. F. R. ‘Jack’ Jacob,” explained Prof. Katz.
India My 2nd Home features deluxe hotels such as Mumbai’s five-star Taj Mahal Tower overlooking the Arabian Sea. Other accommodations include the Taj Vivanta Malabar in Kochi, the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata, Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi and ITC Mughal Hotel in Agra.
The fully-escorted tour cost is $7,195 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes deluxe accommodations, all intra-India flights and transportation, the services of an English-speaking escort and local guides including acclaimed scholar Prof. Nathan Katz, most meals (kosher or strictly vegetarian) including memorable lunches and dinners with the Jewish communities in India, fascinating sightseeing and excursions, and exclusive cultural events not open to the general public. All gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff, as well as hotel taxes and service charges, are included in the package. International airfare, as well as passport and visa fees, are not included.
The tour cost includes a tax-deductible donation of $900 per person to FRJC, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational charity that is devoted to preserving and promoting the endangered Jewish communities on the periphery of the Diaspora, including India. Since its inception in 2003, FRJC has distributed more than $1.1 million for Jewish libraries, scholarships, and even sustainable farming projects. Learn more at www.frjc.org
Prof. Nathan Katz is distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Florida International University where he was director of Jewish Studies and founding director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality. He has written 15 books, including The Last Jews of Cochin and Who Are the Jews of India? A Fulbright scholar who has spent more than eight years in South Asia, Prof. Katz was delegate to the ground-breaking 1990 Tibetan-Jewish dialogue, hosted by the Dalai Lama, which was chronicled in the bestselling book, The Jew in the Lotus.
About Pacific Delight Tours
For 47 years, Pacific Delight Tours has been one of America’s leading tour operators to China and Asia. Among numerous industry awards, Pacific Delight is the proud recipient of theTravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2016, the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the Travvy Award from travAlliancemedia for Best Vacation Packager, Asia for 2016 and 2017. The company is also a proud member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and its industry-leading $1 Million Bond.
Pacific Delight is dedicated to providing unparalleled vacation experiences for discerning travelers. Its long-standing reputation within the travel agent community is a testament to its unrivaled quality assurance, extensive expertise and customer service.
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