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Alice with students at Cold Spring School

Alice with students at Cold Spring School

What does it mean to say, “I live in Indiana”?  What is distinctive about that, as opposed to saying, “I live in Colorado,” or, “I live in Florida”?  These questions came to my mind as I listened to chef, author and food revolutionary Alice Waters speak at The Toby on December 2 as part of the IMA’s Planet Indy series. Alice was describing the simple delights of eating local, seasonal food, as well as the simple genius of rebuilding local economies around sustainable practices. In Alice’s economy, producers of organic vegetables, fruits, dairy items and meats know that their products will supply local markets and restaurants instead of being shipped across the country. Organic producers make a decent living; their neighbors enjoy fresh, high quality food and improved health.

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Ghost Opera: The Toby Opening

Last night I attended the opening performance in The Toby. It was a memorable experience! The artistry of the musicians – Cho-Liang Lin, Susie Park, Sophie Shao, Atar Arad, and Min Xiao-Fen – was impressive.  More than impressive. It was moving. The passion and joy that each artist conveyed to the audience made the performance a gift. During the first half of the evening, four of the five demonstrated their love for the classical traditions of both China and the West. During the second half, all five performed composer Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera, a visual and sonic work that calls on the musicians to perform ritual-like actions involving water, paper, stones and to use their voices to make sounds not usually heard in a concert hall.

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African Affairs

Last week I helped host a speaker from West Africa at the IMA. Dr. Boureima Diamitani is the Executive Director of the West African Museums Programme. It’s currently based in Dakar Senegal, but will move during the next few months to Niger. During his short visit Boureima participated in meetings with IMA staff and local community leaders, and held a public conversation with IMA Director Maxwell Anderson on a range of issues.

Talking with Boureima during his short stay, I became conscious of the inherent contradictions that African museums represent. Contemporary African museums inherited their collections from the European colonial governments that established them. Colonial museums in Africa were originally created for the enjoyment of white visitors; black Africans were not admitted.

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How do you think? Confessions of a Nonverbal Thinker

The IMA Blog team welcomes new author, Linda Duke, Director of Education.

When I was very young, I had a special sense about written numbers. It’s hard for me to access that now, through all the years of education devoted to making sure I understood numbers in a standard way. But I still have a feeling about that early relationship, and sometimes I wonder how it might have developed if I hadn’t learned to be ashamed of it and to ignore it.

Here’s what I can recall: I knew the shapes of the numerals as indicators of the distinct characters of each. Though my sense for some of them has slipped out of reach, in the way dreams do, I can still feel the stronger personalities. The numeral five was intimidating in appearance, but in actuality quite sweet. Seven was both stern and judgmental. Eight had complexity and depth – and eight led to a painful collision with my first grade teacher, Miss Logan. She taught us to write eight with one continuous figure-eight line. Soon after, she exhorted us never to write it as one circle on top of the other – an idea that had, frankly, not occurred to me.

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About Linda Duke

Job Title: Director of Education & Community Affairs

Interests: Art, People, Animals

Favorite Movies: To Be And To Have (2002), Crash (2004), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), both Harold and Kumar movies (2004, 2008), Skins (2002)

Favorite Music: Classical chamber music

Favorite Food: Good tortilla chips, hot salsa and Asian stir fry

Pets: a dog named Lucy

Something you should know about me: I like to run

Linda has written 9 articles for us.