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Arts News Digest – April 2019

A levitation performance by artist Josephine Wister Faure was among scores of compelling installations at the Bombay Beach Biennale. Photograph by Steven Biller.

 

FILM

Lili Rodriguez discusses new role as Palm Springs film fest artistic director (The Desert Sun)
Palm Springs International Film Festival recently announced that Lili Rodriguez, who has been in charge of the Palm Springs International ShortFest in June, will become the first year-round artistic director in the nonprofit organization’s history.

AmDocs features window into Native American culture (The Desert Sun)
The American Documentary Film Festival screened six Native American films and honored Sacheen Littlefeather, 72, who gained her greatest fame by representing Marlon Brando at the 1973 Academy Awards and rejecting his Best Actor Oscar to protest Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans.

 

ISSUES & IDEAS

Palm Springs Art Museum names new CEO/executive director (The Desert Sun)
Louis Grachos, the executive director of The Contemporary Austin museum in Austin, Texas, will assume the role of CEO and executive director of the Palm Springs Art Museum on June 1.

Mobius Conference hopes to draw artists, leaders, activists, youth (The Desert Sun)
The one-day summit on April 18 will take advantage of the thousands of artists and notables in town for the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival and spark a conversation organizers hope will lead to lasting dialogue.

Has Instagram become a ticket to becoming a creative director? (Fast Company)
After a more traditional start to her career, working at ad agencies and in-house marketing departments, Vickie Segar launched an agency that specializes in social influencers.

A Museum Hires a Full-time Therapist (Hyperallergic)
Is a museum visit just what the doctor ordered? In Montreal, medical professionals can prescribe you a museum visit. There’s also a full-time art therapist on staff.

Why we’re fascinated by ruins (Fast Company)
On the eve of the Bombay Beach Biennale on Salton Sea comes Phaidon’s latest book, which collects demolished, forgotten, and transformed architectural ruins — a topic that has obsessed popular imagination for centuries.

 

MUSIC

These six bands give the desert its distinctive vibe (Palm Springs Life)
The artists have garnered brand sponsorships, spots on major festival lineups, and gigs supporting bigger names at local venues. Their songs are thoughtful, multidimensional, and unsullied by meddling producers — and they’re drawing fans way beyond the desert.

The undisputed champion of the local musician (Palm Springs Life)
Tracy Dietlin — publisher (with her husband, Phil Lacombe) of the entertainment newspaper CV Weekly, producer of the annual CV Music Awards, and founder of the CV Music Showcase competition for local bands — is constantly on the phone, connecting performers with venues, and scouting new talent to feature.

Goldenvoice leans into surge of local Latino music (CV Independent)
Latin music has always been a vital part of Coachella Valley culture, but Goldenvoice, the mega-promoter that puts on Coachella and Stagecoach each year, has added the event known as Chella in between Coachella weekends.

Scott Smith plays it forward (Palm Springs Life)
An industry pro teaches students at College of the Desert all he has learned about jazz, digital audio, and musical theater.

 

THEATER & STAGE

John Barrowman to perform One Night Only (Palm Springs Life)
The actor-singer, who calls the Coachella Valley home, will finally share his talent with the community April 24 in Michael Childers’ production, One Night Only: Broadway Showstoppers, at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.

A journalist tours the new home of the Coachella Valley Repertory (Palm Springs Life)
It took a year to convert the former IMAX movie theater in Cathedral City into a state-of-the-art playhouse, and the results are stunning.

 

VISUAL ART

Building Coachella’s giant art (The New York Times)
At the desert’s enduring cultural juggernaut, the visual art is as big and bright as the acts on stage and the celebs in the VIP sections. And this year a local artist, Sofia Enriquez, created one of the most colorful installations.

At the Bombay Beach Biennale, an opera greets the sunrise over a toxic Salton Sea (Los Angeles Times)
Art writer Carolina A. Miranda attends the “sort-of-secret three-day spring arts festival” and finds art installations, music, performance, lectures, dance parties, and high weirdness in crumbling houses that function as impromptu music venues and galleries.

Cat Chiu Phillips Opens ‘Power Plants’ at College of the Desert (California Desert Arts Council)
California Desert Arts Council welcomes Cat Chiu Phillips, an ArtsTank Greater Palm Springs grant winner, to the Coachella Valley this April to debut her art installation, Power Plants, presented in partnership with College of the Desert in Palm Desert. An artist talk and reception is set for Earth Day, April 22.

Ode to the smoke tree (Palm Springs Life)
Photographer Millicent Harvey and plein-air painter Terry Masters reveal their reverence in A Celebration of the Smoke Tree, a soulful new exhibition running throughout April at Desertpainter Studio Gallery in Palm Springs.

Community-created yarn mural depicts iconic preservationist (The Desert Sun)
Apostle of the Cacti, a new mural created by artist Olek with local volunteers, depicts the image of Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, the activist widely credited with the preservation of Joshua Tree National Park. Installed at Palm Desert City Hall, facing Fred Waring Drive, the mural is a Desert X Parallel Project produced by the CREATE Center for the Arts in Palm Desert.

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