Singer Vivian Green Forsakes Pop; The New York Film Festival to Screen A Chick Webb Documentary
At some stage in the careers of arts professionals there is a point where they reach the crossroads of art and commerce. For singer-songwriter Vivian Green, that moment came following the lackluster response from fans of her previous album Beautiful. After receiving some backlash for its more “pop” sound she is now returning with a decidedly more R&B/soul affair on the forthcoming release, Green Room.
“I think ideally you want the audience to love whatever you do but that’s not the reality,” she notes. “The sound of Beautiful was very pop and this album is not at all ‘cause my fans do not like that. This one is very R&B and soulful.”
Green adds that getting to that point involved learning to accept what her fans expect of her without comprising her creative freedom. “It took me a minute to get there ‘cause creatively I feel like I should do whatever I want. I am an artist and not in a box. But I think there is a way to do it where I am satisfied and the audience is satisfied.”
Engaging patrons of the arts was on the minds of several artists throughout Brooklyn for GO. The community-curated project features Brooklyn-based artists opening their studios to the community for a chance to see who garners enough nominations for inclusion in a group exhibition to open at the Brooklyn Museum on Target First Saturday, December 1, 2012. Those vying for an opportunity include Harlem Arts Alliance member Leon Nicholas Kalas, Grace Markman, Bahar Behbahani, Alberte Bernier and the fascinating work of Isabelle Garbani.
Exploring the outer limits of the subconscious is the goal of the exhibition Onirism, curated by Hugues Asdrubal. On display at the newest addition to the Harlem Arts Alliance, La Masion d’Art, the work features artists including Mira Gandy, Karen Fitzgerald, Gloria Adams and more. According to the press release the show is “An examination of the creative process in painting and sculpture from the perspective of the artist and his/her subject matter as accessed through the subconscious rather than the conscious level.”
Finally, the New York Film Festival has announced that the documentary The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America will be screened at the 50th Anniversary of the New York Film Festival. The film, co-executive produced by Harlem Arts Alliance chairman Voza Rivers and Jamal Joseph, presents the musical and social impact of Chick Webb, who established one of the most celebrated jazz orchestras in America based at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. He is also credited with discovering and mentoring the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. The documentary includes the voices of Bill Cosby, Janet Jackson, John Legend, Billy Crystal and more along with period footage, interviews with those who close to Webb and a focus on the power of art. To coincide with the film screenings are a series of events including a panel discussion at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture which you can learn about here.
Hopefully one of the panel topics will address the relationship between art and commerce all the way from Webb to Green.
The Harlem Arts Alliance is a not for profit arts service organization celebrating 10 years of service to a prestigious list of members such as the Apollo Theater, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, Harlem Stage (Aaron Davis Hall) and over 850 more cultural/arts institutions and individuals. The weekly column, Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture and entertainment scene in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.