Archive for the ‘Smithsonian’ Category

Dr. Johnnetta Cole to Lead National Museum of African Art

February 10, 2009

Dr. Johnnetta Cole to Lead National Museum of African Art

The Smithsonian Institution has announced that Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole will become director of the National Museum of African Art.

The former president of Bennett and Spelman Colleges is an anthoropogist (she studied with Paul Bohannan and Melville Herskovits), conducted fieldwork in Liberia and diaspora communities, and has been a highly-regarded university professor and administrator. Dr. Cole has been a Smithsonian scholarly advisor for two decades.

Congratulations to Dr. Cole, the Smithsonian Board, NMAA, American citizens (Dr. Cole’s new bosses), and those who value the beauty of African culture.


Hat Tip: Tracey at blackgivesback.

Image of the National Museum of African Art: Office of Motion Picture and TV Development


Entertainment Exploiters, February 6 — 12, 2009

February 9, 2009

Entertainment Exploiters, February 6 -- 12, 2009

NotionsCapital presents this week’s Roll of Shame, Washington, DC area music venues that advertise “Live Music” but do not include the names of bands in their ads. You may think this is a mere quibble. Think again.


Uh-Oh. Smithsonian 2.0

January 31, 2009

Uh-Oh-Smithsonian 2.0

Put the Smithsonian on the Web and everyone can help curate the collections. What could be wrong with that?


The Institution held a “gathering” recently, Smithsonian 2.0. It was an updated cabaret version of a bigger production staged eight years ago at the museum’s 150th birthday party. There seem to have been no Smithsonian 2.0 speakers who would not personally benefit if the Smithsonian bestowed its blessing on “Web 2.0” measures.

Sadly, most models proposed at the meeting were antithetical to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,”  the Smithsonian’s mission. Unless, that is, the Smithsonian now interprets “diffuse”  in its adjectival sense, “being at once verbose and ill-organized” (Merriam-Webster).


Entertainment Exploiters, December 19 — 25, 2008

December 23, 2008

Entertainment Exploiters, December 19 — 25, 2008

NotionsCapital presents this week’s Roll of Shame, Washington, DC area music venues that advertise “Live Music” but do not include the names of bands in their ads. You may think this is a mere quibble. Think again.


Art is Afoot in Washington, DC

September 12, 2008

Art is Afoot in Washington, DC






Penn Quarter is a walkable downtown neighborhood packed with art, so be careful where you step. Seriously, Arts on Foot is a great event, not for DC tourists only. You get to visit artists’ studios, the Bead Museum, backstage at the Warner Theatre, and other unique art attractions.

The event starts Friday, September 12th with an Art Market; on Saturday September 13th things there is a self-guided tour of downtown DC arts sites which have special events and features, activities for the kiddies, films, videos, paintings, photography, sculpture, crafts, readings, drama, and live music by  Alternative Soul, Maruicio Alexander, Ash Lovely & Friends, Cara Cara, The Jet Age, Kirk Lampkin & Pulse Level, Minefields of Washington, Phaze II, Ra Ra Rasputin, Lisa Said, Ronald Stolk, Unchartered Waters, and We Were Pirates.

See the web site

See the Schedule of Events

See the map


Full disclosure: NotionsCapital’s editor produced Stables Art Center events at the first Arts on Foot festival back in the last century. 

Smithsonian Misses Another Opportunity

August 14, 2008

Smithsonian Misses Another Opportunity
Artist’s concept

After 25 years, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame is leaving St. Louis, Missouri. Is it moving to the vacant Smithsonian museum on the National Mall, the Arts and Industry Building? No. It is going to Arlington, Texas, just like the Washington Senators baseball team did.


Washington, DC Gun Stores

June 28, 2008

Washington, DC Gun Stores

Gary Fields and Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal rightly observe that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia vs Heller doesn’t help American citizens in Washington, DC exercise their God-given right to spend their cash.  Washingtonians can’t buy legal handguns when there aren’t any gun stores in town.


Pick o’ Texas Free in DC

June 25, 2008

Pick \'o Texas Free in DC

If you live in the DC area, mosey on down to the National Mall and hear some fine Texas music at the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. For free. The cowpokes here at the NotionsCapital Ranch have a few quick-drawn notes:

Thursday, June 26
Texas Dancehall Stage 6:00 pm
Los Texmaniacs with Mingo Saldivar, Augie Meyers, and Fiddlin’ Frenchie Burke
This is an all-star aggregation of the San Antonio-Austin metroplex. Mingo Saldivar is the legendary “Dancing Cowboy,” singer-accordionist of Conjunto music. Frenchie Burke is the “Cajun Gentleman Fiddler.” Children of Texan refugees: ask Mom and Dad about Augie Myers in the Sir Douglas Quintet, the Texas Tornadoes, and Augie Meyers and his Western Head Band. You’ll be amazed.


Folklife Festival 2008

June 25, 2008

 Folklife Festival 2008

The 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival begins on the National Mall today. There will be speechifying at 11AM and the festival itself opens at Noon.

The exhibits, music and food featured are from:


Tony Schwartz, 1923 — 2008

June 17, 2008

Tony Schwartz 1923 -- 2008

Media pioneer. There is no other term for him. Tony Schwartz lugged an audiotape recorder around New York City documenting mid-20th century street life.

He invented many of the audiovisual techniques we now take for granted in the digital age, such as compressed speech, but he produced it by shortening the pauses between recorded words by cutting the tape hundreds of times with a razor blade and taping it back together.