Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Catch Motown Legends Mary Wilson and The Four Tops at the Harris Theater until Jan 5 2014!

© copyright Linda Matlow/PixIntl 

The holiday season this year will have a special Motown shine as two of America’s performing royalty will take to the stage at Chicago’s Harris Theater.  Original Supreme, Mary Wilson and The Four Tops will be singing, dancing and leading audiences in a fantastic journey of memories and holiday fun.

Mary will treat us with stirring renditions of hit songs, including “Stop In The Name of Love," “Baby Love," “I Hear A Symphony," and “Come See About Me," while The Four Tops will take audiences down a Motown memory lane as they share the nostalgia and warmth of “Baby I Need Your Lovin," “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch," “Reach Out, I’ll Be There," and many more – along with audiences’ favorite holiday standards.

I caught the opening night of the show and
 the crowds were standing up dancing to their favorite hits.They performed a
couple of holiday standard Christmas songs and fashioned them to their
own unique style.

Mary Wilson looks stunning and she and the Four Tops sounded amazing individually and collectively!

Catch this fun performance while it's at the Harris Theater on East Randolph in Millennium Park.
It closes January 5,2014!

More info:http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/2013-2014-season/mary-wilson


above photo of Mary Wilson and The Four Tops © copyright Linda Matlow/PixIntl 

All rights reserved

Friday, December 20, 2013



Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres (January 4-February 6) reflects the fact that Chicago is a powerhouse city of documentary filmmaking as more than half of the movies in the series have ties to the city, including Chicago as a subject or a location or is by a local director. Chicago premieres are of The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, centering on young women who boldly worked as waitresses for the chain of Harvey restaurants along the transcontinental railroad long before the feminist movement came into existence; Kiss the Water, a look at the exquisite artistry of Scottish fly fisher spinster Megan Boyd; Mortified Nation, live stage shows featuring people reading teenage-angst-filled diaries; mockumentary Propaganda, a satirical treatise on the consumerist and moral excesses of Western culture; I Am Breathing, the story of Scottish architect Neil Platt and how he maintains his sense of humor, intellect, and resolve while facing a declining body wracked by ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease; and Fire in the Blood which exposes how Big Pharma protects its patents and profits as an estimated 10 million in Africa alone are left to die of HIV/AIDS for lack of treatment. World premieres of Spilled Water, May May Tchao’s journey back to Chicago to chart the progress of hard-won gender equality in her native China; A Song for You by co-directors Silvia Malagrino and Sharon Karp, the latter of whom with her sisters trace their parents 1943 trek to safety from the Nazis across multiple European borders and through the Pyrénées; An Honest Living profiles four Chicago-based artists with day jobs and after-hours careers, including fine arts painter George Soto and drummer Rick Neuhaus. Also presented will be a sneak preview of Be Known, the complicated life of Chicago musician Kahil El’Zabar, often called modern jazz’s “best-kept secret.” http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/strangerthanfiction2014

The American New Wave (January 24-May 6), the winter/spring film/lecture series examines how the “American New Wave” or “Off-Hollywood” resulted from the French, Czech, Polish, and Japanese New Wave cinema of the 1950s and 1960s as artists and filmmakers like John Cassavetes and Shirley Clarke paved the way and laid the groundwork for the next generation of “New Hollywood” of the 1970s and the American independents of the 1980s. Lectures will presented on Tuesdays. Films kicking off the series will be Lionel Rogosin’s quasi-documentary On the Bowery, about three days in the life of a man on skid row, and Cassavetes’ Shadows, the director’s landmark feature about interracial relations. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/american-new-wave

One- and two-week runs
Spinning Plates (January 3-16) profiles three completely different restaurants that all share a passion for food which serves as a vehicle for dreams: Grant Achatz’s innovative molecular menu at Chicago’s Alinea; Cindy Breitbach’s pies at Breitbach’s Country Dining in Dubuque, Iowa; and Gabby Martinez’s Mexican family fare at Cocina de Gabby in Tucson, AZ. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/spinningplates

First Chicago run! Frederick Wiseman’s 39th film At Berkeley (January 3-9; January 15, 22, 29; February 5) looks at the noted institution that finds itself in the midst of massive budget cuts in the face of multicultural expansion and economic downsizing. Slices of life on all levels of university life are provided from policy meetings to the school’s lawnmower to debates on diversity to the analysis of a John Donne poem to student protests to football rallies. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/berkeley

Chicago premiere! Whimsical coming-of-age tale Breakfast with Curtis (January 3-9) brings to life one idyllic summer in a rambling Victorian house in Providence where Syd, a cranky blowhard bookseller, lords over an equally eccentric clutch of tenants and holds a bizarre grudge against reclusive 14-year-old Curtis. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/breakfast-with-curtis

Chicago premiere! Liv & Ingmar (January 4–8) looks at the long personal and working relationship that Liv Ullmann had with Ingmar Bergman, from their intense love affair during the filming of Persona through break-up, reconciliation, and hard-won friendship illustrated by in-depth interviews with Ullmann, excerpts, and on-set footage. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/liv-and-ingmar

The Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Color (January 10-16) concerns the tumultuous relationship of young working class Adèle and twenty-something artist Emma by positioning the camera to focus on on the eyes and mouths of the two protagonists, enhancing the intensity of their intimate relationship. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/blue-is-the-warmest-color

Chicago premiere! Dominating Italy’s Oscar-equivalent Donatello Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, The Best Offer (January 17-30) has been hailed as Giuseppe Tornatore’s best film since Cinema Paradiso. This grandly stylized romance-cum-mystery features a powerful performance by Geoffrey Rush as a fastidious art auctioneer who prefers to keep life and love at an aesthetic distance. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/best-offer

Chicago premiere! Shortlisted for an Oscar nomination and winner of the audience award at both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, The Square (January 17-23) is a uniquely immersive experience that sizzles with the energy and danger of history in the making as it was filmed at street level in Tahrir Square, thrillingly chronicling the chaos of the Egyptian revolution. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/the-square

Chicago premiere! Maidentrip (January 24-30) is the first-person documentary account of New Zealand-born, Dutch-raised Laura Dekker, who at age 16 became the youngest person to sail around the world solo. Not only does the photogenic Dekker hold the screen well in the making of her video diary, she also faces down storms, loneliness, the struggles of self-discovery, and issues with her divorced parents, as well as changes her nationality and makes time for her boyfriend. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/maidentrip

2 Autumns, 3 Winters (January 31-February 6) is a dazzlingly prismatic dramedy shifting among the points of view of some half-a-dozen characters, all hovering around the big three-oh. The focus is primarily on the relationship of Arman and Amélie, as they experience the highs and lows of a romance which brings best friends, siblings, and ex-lovers into the fold, all the while navigating the path from youth to maturity. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/2-autumns-3-winters

Called “a beautifully eloquent panorama of modern China” by Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, A Touch of Sin (January 31-February 6) finds director Jia Zhangke (24 City, Still Life) fashioning four brutal stories of over-the-top payback for real and imagined wrongs, set in the provincial hinterlands where the gap between the working poor and the newly rich yawns wide.


Bergman & Ullmann: Persona (January 12 & 13) stars Liv Ullmann in a tour-de-force performance as an stage actress left mute and her symbiotic relationship with her nurse while Cries and Whispers (January 12 & 15), nominated for five Oscars, centers on three sisters, one of whom is dying, and their devoted woman servant.

Extreme Adjani: Isabelle Adjani stars in cult film Possession (January 19 & 23), a mind-bending art film, a political parable, and a ferocious account of a disintegrating marriage, while The Story of Adele H. (January 19 & 20) is the true story of Adèle, the younger daughter of Victor Hugo, and her pursuit of a British lieutenant, and the folly and magnificence of her obsession with the man.

Kids on the Run: The Night of the Hunter (January 26 & 30) stars Robert Mitchum as a murderous preacher in this extraordinary fusion of fairy tale, Gothic horror film, and Huckleberry Finn while Ken Loach’s uncharacteristic 18th century adventure Black Jack (January 26 & 27) finds a 12-year-old boy who falls in with a hulking, recently hanged thief and a fugitive girl whose upwardly mobile parents want to stash her in an insane asylum.

Dawn of Wong: This pairing of Wong Kar-wai films are director’s the debut gangster saga As Tears Go By (February 2 & 3), in which a country girl is sent to stay with her big-city cousin, a small-time hood fatally bonded to his loose-cannon protégé, and Days of Being Wild (February 2 & 6,) the director’s first full-fledged example of atmospheric romanticism in which a homme fatal seduces two women but ditches them both to search for his mother in the Philippines.  

Special events
Celebrating the upcoming Academy Awards® celebration at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Hollywood on State: A Red Carpet Celebration (March 2), is the happy hour Oscar® Nominations Panel Discussion (January 16, 4:30-5:30 pm), featuring a panel of Chicago film critics: Alison Cuddy (WBEZ 91.5), J.R. Jones (Chicago Reader), Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune), Steve Prokopy (Ain’t It Cool News), and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (MUBI and Rogerebert.com), who will discuss this year’s nominees, led by moderator Betsy Steinberg of the Illinois Film Office. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/hollywoodonstate2014

Papadopoulos & Sons (January 16), the Opening Night movie of the Greek Film Fest Chicago, is a riches-to-rag tale centering on London high-roller entrepreneur and seasoned jerk George Papadopoulos (Stephen Dillane of Game of Thrones). When he loses it all in a bank crash, he has to reconcile with estranged brother Spiros in order to make a go of the family’s long-abandoned fish-and-chips shop.

* * *

All screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.

Tickets to each screening--unless stated otherwise--are $11/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago faculty, staff, and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through Ticketmaster, 800-982-2787, www.ticketmaster.com
, and all Ticketmaster outlets. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm Sunday.

Please note the following special admission prices and discounts:
Lecture series discount! Gene Siskel Film Center members pay discounted admission of $5 to any screening in the series The American New Wave.

Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres Saturday Double-Bill Discount! Buy at ticket at our regular prices for the first Stranger Than Fiction film on any Saturday this month, and get a ticket for the second Stranger Than Fiction film that day at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): $7/general admission; $5/students; $4/Film Center members. (This discount rate applies to the second film only. Discount rate available only at the Film Center box office.)

Liv & Ingmar Discount! Buy a ticket at our regular prices for any screening of Liv & Ingmar, and get a ticket to any screening of Persona and/or Cries and Whispers at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): $7/general admission; $5/students; $4/Film Center members. (This discount rate applies to the second film only. Discount rate available only at the Film Center box office.)

Repertory Double-Bill Discount! Buy a ticket at our regular prices for the first Repertory film on any Saturday in January or February, and get a ticket for the second Repertory film that day at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): $7/general admission; $5/students; $4/Film Center members. (This discount rate applies to the second film only. Discount rate available only at the Film Center box office.)

* * *

A Gene Siskel Film Center membership is a year-round ticket to great movies for only $6 per screening. Memberships are $50 (Individual) and $80 (Dual). For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/membership

Discounted parking is available for $16 for 10 hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.

The Film Center is located near CTA trains and buses. Nearest CTA L stations are Lake (Red line); State/Lake (Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple lines); and Washington (Blue line). CTA bus lines serving State St.: 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, and 146. 
For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org

* * *

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates 42 years of presenting cutting edge programs, independent and international cinema, premieres, retrospectives, and classic films. Internationally recognized for its original film programming, the Film Center is a vibrant cultural destination in Chicago that attracts a diverse and creative annual audience of over 80,000. www.siskelfilmcenter.org

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit www.saic.edu

Discounted Registration for CAA's 102nd Annual Conference in Chicago

Save 10% on conference registration with code: CACAC14

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Chicago Artists Coalition
Dedicated Message from Our Sponsor

Click for discounted registration to CAA's 102nd Annual Conference in Chicago!

The College Art Association’s 102nd Annual Conference
is coming to Chicago this February 12–15, 2014! This annual meeting—the largest international gathering of visual-arts professionals—offers an unparalleled opportunity to expand your professional network, participate in fascinating sessions covering the full range of art history and visual culture, and hone your skills in a professional-development workshop, mentoring session, or portfolio review.
Use code CACAC14 by January 10, 2014, to save 10% on your conference registration!
Register Online
Download Registration Form
Choose from more than 200 stimulating sessions, panel discussions, roundtables, and meetings on a plethora of topics in art scholarship and practice.
Here are just a few of the special events we have in store:
  • Four full days of sessions in all areas of studio art and art history, led by distinguished artists, critics, and scholars
  • Career Services including an Interview Hall, professional-development workshops, mentoring sessions, portfolio reviews, and a Students and Emerging Professionals Lounge
  • The Book and Trade Fair, featuring the latest books, catalogues, and art journals; paints, inks, and brushes; educational services and teaching tools—and more
  • Opening Night Reception at the Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Annual Distinguished Artists’ Interviews honoring William Pope.L and Kay Rosen
  • The thirteenth annual Distinguished Scholar session honoring Wanda Corn
  • The CAA Awards for Distinction, including the Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, and the Frank Jewett Mather Award
Learn more about CAA’s 102nd Annual Conference and browse a list of sessions and events at conference.collegeart.org
. Want to know more? Download the Conference Information and Registration booklet or contact CAA Member Services at membership@collegeart.org and 212-691-1051, ext. 1.
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Chicago Artists Coalition: Building a Creative Marketplace.

217 N. Carpenter Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Mrs.Prindlable's gourmet Triple Chocolate Jumbo Caramel Apple is this years,'Best of The Best!'

After receiving a Mrs.Prindlable's gourmet Triple Chocolate Jumbo Caramel Apple we decided unanimously to have our first annual,'Best of the Best' awards for various categories of items that we found to be outstanding.
This year that honor goes to Mrs.Prindlable's for the above delicacy on a stick that we just could not get enough of.

This is not your average grocery store taffy apple.
Imagine a 1.5 to 2 pound perfect Granny Smith Apple, hand dipped in caramel and triple coated in dark chocolate streaked with white chocolate.Then carefully wrapped in cellophane with a pretty red box and boxed and delivered to your door!

See for yourself!

both photos: © 2013 Linda Matlow
all rights reserved

Introducing iCoffee – New Coffee Brewer With SteamBrew Technology For Smoothest Tasting Coffee!

Introducing iCoffee – New Coffee Brewer With SteamBrew Technology For Smoothest Tasting Coffee

iCoffee by Remington Revolutionizes the Coffee Industry
With the First New Coffee Brewing Technology in 50 Years
iCoffee uses SteamBrew™ technology to create “impossibly smooth” tasting coffee

Remington introduces iCoffee, the first new coffee brewing technology in over 50 years.

According to inventor Bruce Burrows, iCoffee took seven years and over 1,257 prototypes to perfect. iCoffee's patented SteamBrew™ technology makes it the first coffee brewer ever to utilize steam jets inside the coffee brew basket. The SteamBrew™ jets first pre-steam the coffee and then stir the coffee throughout the brewing process so each of the coffee grounds is completely suspended and surrounded by hot water at the perfect brewing temperature. Next, a rich coffee crema forms, indicating the elimination of bitter and acidic aftertastes.
“What we’ve done is redefine coffeemaking,” said Burrows. “The ‘i’ in iCoffee stands for innovation, which is what we strive for in all our products. With iCoffee, we’ve found a way to use all the goodness of steam to release the locked-in flavors of your favorite coffee grounds, just like steaming rice and vegetables. This eliminates any bitterness and the result is impossibly smooth tasting coffee. There’s never been a machine in coffee brewing history that uses this technology. The difference in taste is unprecedented.”
iCoffee also features an exclusive brew viewing window, which allows coffee lovers to watch the SteamBrew™ process in action, including the formation of rich coffee crema.
According to Burrows, because SteamBrew™ technology enables maximum flavor extraction, users should experiment to determine the optimal ratio of water to coffee they prefer. “For the first pot, we suggest using the amount of coffee you normally add per cup when brewing. After the first pot, you can adjust the amount of coffee used by adding more or using less coffee in the SteamBrew™ basket to achieve the strength and flavor you prefer. Many people find they need less coffee than they did when using other coffee brewers.”
Burrows also notes that with iCoffee, finely extracted coffee essence, or sediment, may be visible after brewing. “This is normal and a result of our patented SteamBrew™ extraction technology,” he says. “Presently, coffee drinkers have a choice of using a reusable goldtone filter or disposable paper filters. Goldtone allows more coffee essence, paper allows less. It’s a matter of personal preference. If you prefer less finely extracted coffee essence, we have included an optional filter that provides a paper filter experience.”
iCoffee is available in more than 800 retail locations in the U.S., including major national chain stores, local independent retailers, Home Shopping Network and online via www.icoffee.com.
About iCoffee and Remington:
iCoffee is the first coffee brewer to use new technology in over 50 years and is a product of Remington. iCoffee took seven years and over 1,257 prototypes to perfect. iCoffee's patented SteamBrew™ technology makes it the first coffee brewer ever to utilize steam jets inside the coffee brew basket. To learn more about iCoffee, visit the website at www.icoffee.com.
The Remington name has been associated with coffee brewing since 1843, when John R. Remington first filed a patent for his “cowboy” coffee percolator. Over the years, Remington branded percolators and drip brewers have been marketed. In 2005, Remington Designs was formed to develop patented technologies and appliances for the kitchen and home.

How To Be Like Walt - Capturing The Disney Magic Every Day Of Your Life

How To Be Like Walt - Capturing The Disney Magic Every Day Of Your Life
Pat Williams with Jim Denney - Foreword by Art Linkletter

Around the world, the hearts and minds of children and parents alike have been impacted by the magic of Walt Disney. How To Be Like Walt by Pat Williams (basketball Hall-of-Famer and senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic) tells the extraordinary story of the man behind the myth, from humble beginnings until his death in 1966, and includes stories like the one behind Saving Mr. Banks – a movie that many believe will prove to be one of the most endearing films ever made.

"Think beyond your lifetime, if you want to do something truly great. Make a fifty-year master plan. A fifty-year master plan will change how you look at the opportunities in the present.”                    

"Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reaches of time.” Walt Disney 
These are but two of the Walt Disney-isms that pepper the pages of the latest book on the man, How To Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life (HCI Books - $13.95 – August 2004) by Pat Williams with Jim Denney. The authors conducted over 1000 interviews to present the man behind the myth. To tie them all together, Williams and Denney share lessons they gleaned from their in-depth study of this icon of American family entertainment.

Williams, whose personal fascination with Disney began when he relocated to Orlando, Florida in 1989 to build a new NBAA basketball team, considers Walt Disney to be one of his mentors. In fact, his team, the Magic, was named in honor of one of Disney's most famous creations, the Magic Kingdom. The name was chosen not only because the team's proximity to Disney World, but also as a tribute to how Walt Disney's "magical personality” touched his community.

To help readers make their own dreams come true, the authors have assembled the following lessons learned by observing Walt Disney's extraordinary life:

•    Lesson 1:  Live the Adventure
•    Lesson 2:  Be a Salesman
•    Lesson 3:  Dare to do the Impossible
•    Lesson 4:  Unleash Your Imagination
•    Lesson 5:  Become an Animated Leader
•    Lesson 6:  Take a Risk
•    Lesson 7:  Deal with Loss
•    Lesson 8:  Plus Every Experience
•    Lesson 9:  Be a Person of Stick-To-It-Ivity
•    Lesson 10: Be a Sponge for Ideas
•    Lesson 11: Ask Yourself – "How About Tomorrow”
•    Lesson 12: Live for the Next Generation
•    Lesson 13: Build Complementary Partnerships
•    Lesson 14: Stay Focused
•    Lesson 15: Accept Your Mortality
•    Lesson 16: Make Family Your Top Priority

How To Be Like Walt follows Disney from his humble childhood years on a farm outside of Kansas City until his death in December of 1966. What is clear throughout the book is a life of imagination, perseverance and optimism. And, although some controversy accompanied Disney's legacy, his impact lives on in the hearts and minds of people all around the globe.

As friend and colleague, Art Linkletter, says: "Of all the books written about Walt Disney, this may be the most important.”

About The Authors:

Pat Williams is senior vice president of the Orlando Magic and author of more than 30 successful books, including 4 books in the How to Be Like series.

Jim Denney is a professional writer who has collaborated with Pat Williams on several books, including How to Be Like Jesus and the upcoming Three Success Secrets of Shamgar.

Available in bookstores, or to order directly from the publisher, contact:
HCI Books
(800) 441-5569 or www.hcibooks.com
How To Be Like Walt
Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life
Pat Williams with Jim Denney
ISBN: 0-7573-0231-9  
$13.95 Trade paperback – August 2004


Author Interview:

1.    Walt Disney is one of the most enduring icons of the 20th century and there are already a number of books about him. What in particular made you want to undertake a project this big—to write about the life and lessons of Walt Disney?

Walt has always been an inspiration to me, but after I arrived in Orlando back in 1989, I was amazed at the obvious influence this man had on an entire community—and one he'd never even lived in! What kind of personality today has that much power? Just the thought of it made me want to know more about Walt. What was he like as a man? How was he regarded by those who knew him and worked for him? What was his imprint on people's hearts that make them love him still? Those were the questions I wanted answered.

2.    What did you expect to learn as you started this project in 2001?

I expected to discover memories and stories about a man who lived 40 years ago. I knew there was much to learn from his leadership style and his drive to succeed. What surprised me was the living presence I saw in so many lives—both those who knew him and those who just loved him from a distance. To these people, Walt is still alive! And as I dug deeper into his leadership techniques, developed on his own long before we had books written by leadership gurus like John Maxwell and Ken Blanchard, I was blown away that Walt was already doing all that leadership stuff. This man was decades ahead of his time! We still have a long way to go in order to catch up to him. We need his skills today. This world needs more leaders who care like Walt, who love like Walt, who dream like Walt and inspire like Walt. My book shows you how you can be like Walt, no matter who you are or what your leadership influence is.

3.    How did you conduct your research?

Thanks to my years in Orlando, I've come to know a few people here at Walt Disney World who actually knew and worked with Walt. So that's where I started. One person would lead me to another and another and the list just grew. Everywhere I looked, every event I traveled to, I discovered another link. And of course there are the other books on Disney. I used virtually every book of record, along with the videos and DVDs that include interviews with people who knew Walt. I was fortunate to meet some folks who work for Disney or who had worked for Disney and who loved Walt enough to want to help me with this project.
On the same day, when I traveled to Anaheim for a book conference, I met two people who "plussed” this book immeasurably – Tim O'Day and Peggy Matthews Rose. Walt, who invented the term "plussing” for making something the best it could be and then making it just a little better, would be proud. Without the help of people like these two Walt historians, this book wouldn't be half what it is. Thanks to all of them and my writing partner Jim Denney, we've put together a book we believe will touch the hearts and inspire the imaginations of everyone who reads it.

I spent three years researching this book. I consulted over a thousand sources and conducted over 200 interviews. I talked to most of the people now living who knew Walt Disney, from members of the Disney family to actors, animators, and Disney songwriters.  In the process of researching and writing this book, I've come to feel as if I've known Walt all my life.

4.    What about some of those legends we're always hearing? Like the one about Walt being frozen, for instance. What did you learn about that?

I run into that old urban legend all the time. People keep asking me, "Was Walt really frozen?” As magical as he was, it's tempting to want to believe he's suspended in time—that he'll come back and pick up right where he left off. The truth is very simply this: Walt died on December 15, 1966 and was cremated shortly afterwards. He won't be back.

But that doesn't stop you and me from learning from Walt's life. He was a vibrant, vital man with a profoundly intense personality. We can't bring Walt back, but I believe we can learn to be like Walt. There is so much of Walt still with us, after all. We have his movies—what parent alive today doesn't thank God for Walt Disney's movies? And there are his theme parks like Disneyland and Walt Disney World. We have the music he inspired and the work being done even today by people whose lives were forever touched by Walt's Disney magic.

5.    How do you think readers can learn to be "like Walt”?

As you know, this is the fifth How to Be Like… book I've written—and I've got a few more to come. If I didn't believe people could learn from each other, I wouldn't bother doing this. But greatness happens for a reason, and all of us want to know how we can live successful, effective lives. So we study the lives of people who have done great things and left a big mark on the world.

Walt had so many qualities that we can build into our own lives: His boundless imagination and creativity. His courage and his willingness to take a risk in order to make his dreams come true. His remarkable ability as the leader of an organization. His absolute commitment to excellence. His ability to focus and persevere. These traits in Walt's life are all learnable skills. My own three-year journey of writing this book has helped me to grow in all of these areas. I can't help feeling that I'm a lot more like Walt—more creative, more bold, more of a leader—because of all I have learned by studying his life.

6.    Tell us about some of the adventures you had in creating this book.

Oh, that would be a book in itself. The stories range from people who told me I was crazy to write a book called How to Be Like Walt, to those who willingly gave their time to help me research it. Some couldn't talk about him enough; a few wouldn't talk at all. Still others were suspicious or felt their own book ideas were being threatened. I even got a tour of Walt's studio and had lunch at his favorite restaurant with a great group of people, including Kathryn Beaumont who did the voice for Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan. Some of them had known Walt and some had just loved him—but all were eager to talk about him.

I had the opportunity to talk with Fess Parker, the actor who played Davy Crockett, and sing the theme song with him on the phone. What a personal fantasy moment that was! And when I spoke with Richard Sherman, he told me about how Walt loved the song, "Feed the Birds,” from Mary Poppins. They would play it for Walt every Friday afternoon, and continued to do so long after Walt died. What an amazing story. When I interviewed Richard on the phone, we sang that song together and ended up in tears. It was like Walt was in the room with us.

The stories and opportunities ran the gamut from an hour on the phone with Art Linkletter, one of Walt's closest personal friends, to seven seconds with Julie Andrews at a book show in Chicago. We took what we could get. I even went to Kansas City and visited Walt's boyhood home and his first cartoon studio. I wanted to soak up as much of a feel for the man as I could get.

I think my favorite story, though, and one I share in the book, is the day Walt's daughter Diane called me and gave me permission to write about her "daddy.” I love it that she still calls him Daddy. And I think readers of this book will get to meet Diane's daddy in a special way.

7.    How can someone learn to be creative if they aren't naturally gifted?

One way to become more creative ourselves is by studying creative people, like Walt Disney. As I examined Walt's life I discovered ten simple, powerful ways that all of us can become more creative than we ever imagined. We explore all ten in the book, but let me just share three of the ten principles:

First, Walt drew on all of his life experiences to become more creative. He never wasted a memory or an experience. He used his boyhood and his adult experiences to inspire him when he made his movies and built his theme parks.

One time, he got stopped by a traffic cop and he arrived at the studio boiling mad about getting a ticket. He reenacted the whole scene with his staff, and as he told it and re-told it, he realized that it was actually pretty funny. Soon, he embellished that incident into a funny storyline that became a Mickey Mouse cartoon called "Traffic Troubles.” Turning experiences into creativity is something we can all learn from Walt.

Second, silence your inner critic. We all have a little voice inside us that says, "Don't take chances! Don't color outside the lines!” That inner critic is the enemy of our creativity.

When Walt was a boy in school, he drew a picture of a flower with a smiling face. His teacher told him sternly, "Flowers do not have faces!” When Walt grew up, he made a lot of cartoons in which flowers not only had faces, but they talked and sang, too! We all need to silence that voice inside us that says, "You can't do it that way!” Creative people like Walt say, "I can do it any way I want!”

Third, ask yourself, "What if—?” Walt was always saying, "What if we tried this?” One time an artist came to him with a drawing for the movie Fantasia. The drawing showed Mickey Mouse standing on a cliff like an orchestra conductor, conducting the ocean. Walt said, "That's nice—but why have Mickey conduct an ocean? He has magic powers! What if we have him conduct the whole universe? What if we have him conducting while the stars and comets whoosh around him?”

We can always become more creative if we draw upon our own experiences, silence our inner critic, and ask ourselves "What if--?” Those are just three of the ten ways Walt taught me how to be a more creative person, and I use these principles in my own life every day.

8.    Do you believe there will ever be another Walt Disney?

I believe God has made many extraordinarily gifted people, but I believe he has created each one of us to be exactly who we are. So no, there will never be another Walt Disney. But there are and will be more people like Walt Disney. In fact, it was Walt himself who once said, "As long as there is creativity left in the world, Disneyland will never be complete.” Well, that goes for all the Disneylands that exist in people's imaginations. All it takes is the right spark to ignite the creative fires. It's my hope How to Be Like Walt will be one of those sparks.

9.    As a man who's lived most of his life in the world of professional sports, what do you say to those in the limelight who believe they are not accountable to others for their public or private behavior? What do you think Walt would say to them?

That's a great question. I believe that all of us are leaders in one way or another. Some of us are CEOs, some run theme parks and animation studios, some are professional athletes and others are parents or teachers. We all influence the lives of at least one other person, for good or for bad. Those in the spotlight have a special responsibility to live in ways that inspire those watching to live better lives. Too many don't see that responsibility. It's my desire that more of them will learn from and want to be like those they admire—like the Micheal Jordans, the Rich DeVos's and the Walt Disneys—so that those who admire them will be challenged to be even better. I believe Walt was always looking for the next goal, the next thing he could do to make the world a better place. And I believe he inspired others to do the same. Walt believed he had a responsibility to the next generation, and we point that out in the book. So yes, I believe he would tell those in today's spotlight to think about who they're impacting and how.

10.    So much of Walt Disney's life has been shrouded in myth and mystery. After writing this book, what do you think Walt was really like? Will your book help readers to know the truth about Walt?

I've interviewed over 200 people for this book, including Diane Disney Miller, Roy E. Disney and many who were close to or loved Walt. Through these interviews and the extensive research we've done, I believe we've de-mystified Walt without diminishing his magic in any way. In fact, I believe those who read How to Be Like Walt will discover a Walt more magical than they ever imagined…because they'll get to know the real Walt. They'll read about how he made it through the tough times and kept on going. His dreams kept him moving forward, no matter how many times life knocked him down. And his personality inspired others to be more than they ever knew they could be. That's the Walt people will get to know in this book.

11.    Walt's life has touched almost everyone living today in some way, even those who never knew him or saw him on TV. Why do you think that is so, and how can we live like Walt, in a way that makes a difference?

Walt touched people because he loved people. I believe if you begin with love and compassion for others as the basis for everything you do, you can't help changing the world around you. You may not make as dramatic a difference as Walt, or maybe the full extent of your influence will not be known in your lifetime. But I believe that with love for others—the kind of compelling love that made him want to change lives and change the world he lived in—we can all be like Walt. Walt didn't let the failures get him down or convince him to quit. When he was knocked down, he just got up again and kept on moving forward. That's the kind of attitude that makes a difference, and we can all learn how to have that determination.

12.    We live in a world very different from the one in which Walt dreamed his dreams and built his Magic Kingdom. What do you think we can learn today from studying Walt's life?

Great leadership doesn't get old. We may be able to rediscover it and put it in books, but there's nothing like studying the life of a genuinely influential leader. No one in our recent history has influenced his close circle, his community, his country and the world like Walt Disney. Who wouldn't want to learn how to leave a legacy like that?

13.    How was Walt Disney different from most business leaders?

Too many leaders today are more interested in pleasing stock holders and making sure the bottom line looks good. They do that at the expense of their workers. Walt was different. He believed that if you inspire your workers to be the best they can be, the bottom line will take care of itself. Walt invested himself in his employees. That definitely comes out in this book. How many leaders today do you think will inspire people to talk about them, write books about them and sing songs to them every Friday afternoon—40 years after they're gone—like Walt Disney?

14.    As a leader, what can we learn from Walt about teamwork? How did he motivate his employees to create all those magical Disney worlds?

His organization worked because of synergy. He knew how to pull talents together, but he was not a great praiser. His greatest line of praise was, "It'll work.” But people he touched are still emotional about him today because Walt brought out the best in them. They may not have seen it at the time, but they realize it now and that's why they still love Walt.

15.    Walt faced a number of obstacles in his life, challenges that might have made others give up. What made him keep going? How can we persevere like Walt in the face of opposition?

We never should have heard of Walt Disney. He came from poverty, illness and failure. He had a nervous breakdown and went bankrupt twice. His first major successes were ripped away from him by two hucksters—but he just wouldn't quit! He had stick-to-it-ivity. Today we would call that bulldog tenacity. Walt's life proves the adage that quitting is the only way to assure you won't succeed. Walt refused to quit, and that's why he succeeded.

16.    Walt was often referred to as a visionary, and you discuss this quality in your book. What makes someone a visionary? Do you think that's a gift, or can anyone learn to be visionary?

Walt was always looking to the future, ten to twenty years ahead of everyone else. At the same time he was maxing out today. Walt lived life to the fullest while always looking down the road. That's a wonderful combination. We can all learn from Walt, no matter who we are, where we live, or what our background or age—young or old, student or businessman, entrepreneur or full-time mom.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Garis & Hahn Celebrate 1 Year Anniversary on the Bowery (New York)

On the Bowery, A Triumphant First Year for Two Young Dealers

 On January 11, 2014 Garis & Hahn will celebrate its one-year anniversary. Founded and co-directed by fellow Christie’s grads Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn, the Bowery gallery-cum-Kunsthalle opened in January 2013 with the goal of creating an experimental and education based program that would benefit artists and collectors alike. The young art dealers envisioned a model for a project based gallery that would emphasize collaboration and experimentation, giving greater context to work presented in new and innovative ways. During its first year, Garis & Hahn created a fresh program that invited proposals by guest curators and featured group rather than solo exhibitions with emerging and mid-career artists unrepresented by the gallery.

The Contemporary Art market is seeing enormous growth with global auction sales doubling in the last decade, thus redefining traditional paradigms (according to Director of The Armory Show, Noah Horowitz, in his recent lecture at the Talking Galleries conference). With Post-War & Contemporary sales dominated by just a few collectors and dealers, production and overhead costs eating up more profits, and a hyper-competitive environment of dealers securing emerging artists, new galleries must evolve to keep pace in these flush, yet uncertain times.

Garis & Hahn launched their emerging contemporary program with the exhibition, After the Fall—a survey of international artists working with the medium of photography in new ways. The gallery’s sixth project brought a special focus to Australia, Ms. Hahn’s country of origin, with the multi-media exhibition Peripheral Visions: Contemporary Art from Australia. The curatorial debut of New York art writer Kyle Chayka, Dying on Stage: New Painting in New York, achieved much notoriety and firmly placed Garis & Hahn and the work of the “New Casualist” artists within the New York Contemporary Art conversation.

The success of Garis & Hahn’s first-year program was punctuated by their invitation to participate in the 2013 edition of UNTITLED., the Art Basel Miami Beach fair curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud. The gallery’s first year also included a curatorial partnership between Garis & Hahn and fashion label rag & bone for the retailer’s Meatpacking location.

Garis & Hahn’s final project for 2013, Suddenly, There: Discovery of the Find, closes January 11th, followed by a solo presentation of Jomar Statkun opening January 19th.

For more information, visit www.garisandhahn.com

About Mary Garis

Prior to co-founding Garis & Hahn, Mary Garis gained extensive experience in the international art market at Sotheby’s London and Christie’s New York, in addition to her years working in New York at contemporary art galleries, such as Zach Feuer Gallery, Mary Boone Gallery, Haunch of Venison, The Ed Ruscha Catalogue Raisonné Project, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She holds a Master of Arts in Modern Art from Christie’s Education, New York. Mary is also a resident of the LES, living in a Modernist style apartment with her collection inspired by the Rauschenberg aesthetic she grew to love during her time researching the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange.

About Sophie Hahn

Prior to co-founding Garis & Hahn, Sophie Hahn worked for AXA Art Insurance as a Fine Art Expert, where she approved the policies of a wide range of private collections and institutions. A native of Sydney, Australia, where she previously acquired expertise in the international art industry at Shapiro Auctioneers and gained contacts within the international, and specifically Australian, arts community that are invaluable to the curatorial program of the gallery. She holds a Master of Arts in Modern Art from Christie’s Education, New York. Sophie lives Downtown with her fiancé in an apartment decorated by antique textiles from Rajasthan, reflective of her childhood living in India, and her own hand-made furniture.

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