Cultural Reset

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Cultural Reset

By Lori Hope Baumel

Illustration by Rollin McGrail.

The kids are back in school. It’s time to shut off CNN and give yourself a cultural reset. Some families need a vacation from all the effort they put into their summer travels. Whether it be the amount of energy you put into a trip you planned or packing the kids up for camp and unpacking them upon their return, it can be exhausting. Personally, I can’t keep up with the news cycle and I’ve shut it off for now. Netflix, Amazon Prime and video home streaming services let me choose how I want to stare at my screen.

 

No matter the size of your family, it takes a little while to transition from summer to fall. In Florida, it’s still stifling hot and our “two season” climate (season 1: very hot, season 2: tolerable) will continue until the temperature drops in mid-November. Therefore, participating in cultural activities can cool the mind.

 

There’s much to look forward to this month. The newly expanded Norton Museum is offering a wonderful selection of exhibits and the newly announced Kravis Center lineup is the most impressive in years. The Kravis Center happens to be presenting my favorite musicals of the past decade. Peruse their websites and try to make time in your schedule far in advance. In addition, Audible.com and Kindle offer some newly released books that range from light subjects to the importance of addressing global poverty. If you prefer to have a book in hand, support our local Barnes and Noble (perhaps grab a cup ‘o’ joe) and chill while looking through their new or classic selections. If we don’t support our local bookstore, we may not have the opportunity to enjoy walking around a bookstore by the end of this decade.

Yes, our responsibilities never end. There are bills to pay, errands to run, chauffeuring to do and long work days ahead. But the cultural arts are always there to enhance your “ME TIME.” It’s up to you to make the best of the little free time you may have. Perhaps my suggestions will help you choose a direction. Good luck with the plethora of opportunities offered locally.

 

Live… Go… Do!

 

Top 5 for September

(And… some planning ahead)

 

1) Go to Kravis.org

 I’ve lived in Wellington for over 20 years and I can easily say that this year’s lineup of Broadway musicals is the best the Kravis Center has ever had. To see Hamilton, Beautiful, Once and Come From Away offered in one season is extraordinary. Do your best to get tickets to any of those shows as soon as possible. In addition, there are some fan favorites: Fiddler on The Roof, Miss Saigon, Man of La Mancha, Cabaret, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and, if you’re into disco, The Donna Summer Musical. You can Google the NY Times reviews of these musicals and see if they suit your taste. The venue is also offering single night runs of The Color Purple and An American in Paris. The single night shows offer minimal props and scenery but are entertaining, nonetheless. The only show I would not recommend is The Play That Goes Wrong. Google the NY Times review for further information on that play.

 

Seriously, if you’ve never heard of the musical, Once, give it a try – it’s one of my all-time favorites. The music is extraordinary, and the storyline is not typical of the average template musical. If you can land a ticket to Hamilton, you’ve hit the jackpot!

 

Finally, the 2019 – 2020 season includes a terrific jazz vocal and comedy lineup including vocalist Jane Monheit and funnyman Jim Gaffigan. Lectures, Lunch and Learn programming, classical and dance performances are scheduled throughout the season. There’s also a nice variety of children’s programming. As I mentioned previously, go to Kravis.org and plan ahead. This is the best Kravis Center season yet!

 

 

2)Read:

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

by Melinda Gates

 

How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity. – Melinda Gates

 

It’s no secret that the Gates family have become part of the Wellington Community. Jennifer Gates has become an accomplished equestrian in our town. But are you aware of the extensive philanthropic work her parents, Bill and Melinda Gates, are doing with their foundation? Melinda Gates’ compelling book gives us a global perspective on how empowering women can save lives and educate both men and women of all cultures.

 

For the last 20 years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: if you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down. 

Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. Melinda’s narrative is backed by astounding data. With emotion and grace, she shares issues that need our attention – from child marriage to lack of access to birth control and gender inequity in the work force. In addition, she confides about her personal life and equality in her own marriage. She seeks to change the world and ourselves. Gates emphasizes the importance of connection with extraordinary women advocating for change.

As the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, states “Melinda Gates has spent many years working with women around the world. This book is an urgent manifesto for an equal society where women are valued and recognized in all spheres of life. Most of all, it is a call for unity, inclusion and connection. We need this message more than ever.”

 

3) Let’s go to the Movies!

 

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

 With a cast that includes Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Bruce Dern, Lena Dunham, and many cameos, this tour de force of a film is sure to grab Oscar attention.

 

If you were a fan of late ‘60s pop culture, the music of The Mamas and the Papas, Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen and silly spaghetti westerns then you’ll really love this collage of a film. If you’re unfamiliar with the era, you’ll still enjoy the movie’s homage to classic films, television and radio. This is a movie-lovers movie and, if possible, should be seen on the big screen.

 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not your typical Quentin Tarantino flick. It is a fantasy tale that occurs in an alternative universe. With the director’s reputation in mind, I expected a very different experience. Instead, I was entertained and intrigued. It kept me thinking for weeks. I would easily see it again to catch more of the subtle nuances of historic film trivia and nostalgia. Try not to read any spoilers prior to seeing the picture. Just go for the ride.

 

This film is rated R and not suitable for young children. Check Fandango or your local listings for theaters and showtimes.

 

4) Speaking of Movies…

The Norton Museum

Presents

A movie poster exhibit and special programming.

Jailhouse Rock Movie Poster                   Dwight M. Cleveland Collection

 In conjunction with their latest exhibit, Coming Soon: Film Posters from the Dwight M. Cleveland Collection, the Norton Museum presents exhibition-related programs during the month of September:

Defining Marilyn, September 6, 2019 at 6 p.m.: Assistant Curator J. Rachel Gustafson explores the problematic ways Hollywood’s female leads, from Marilyn Monroe to Jane Fonda, were portrayed, and examines the cultural effect of film posters.

How Posters Work, September 20, 2019 at 6 PM: Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, examines how designers use images, typography, color, and layout to convey the narrative magic of movies. Lupton is the author of How Posters Work and Design Is Storytelling.

Drew Tucker Concert, September 27 at 7 p.m.: Musician, educator, and activist Drew Tucker performs an original score to accompany Charlie Chaplin’s Caught in the Cabaret, a silent film with a poster featured in the Coming Soon exhibition.

In addition, the Norton Museum will show the film Jailhouse Rock on September 6th as well as additional programming in combination with this exhibit. To see all there is to offer go to: Norton.org

 

5) Tired of the news Cycle?

Real Information = Positive Change!

 The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County Invites Residents to Three Informative Events in September 2019   

Hot Topic Luncheon

The State of Palm Beach County Schools with Dr. Donald Fennoy

Superintendent, The School District of Palm Beach County

Wednesday, September 18 at 11 am to 1 pm

The cost to attend is $25 before September 11, and $35 afterwards.

This Hot Topic Luncheon will be held at the Atlantis Country Club, 190 South Atlantis Blvd., south of Lake Worth and west of I-95. The doors open at 11 am, and lunch is served at 11:30. RSVPs are requested either online at www.lwvpbc.org or by calling Esther Friedman at 561-968-4123.

Cool Topic Discussion

Spotlight on the School District of Palm Beach County with Dr. Jeraline M. Johnson

Director, Department of Choice and Career Options

The School District of Palm Beach County

Saturday, September 7 at 9:45 am to 11:30 am

There is no charge to attend this Cool Topic Discussion that will be held at The STEM Education Center, 4802 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach (across from the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium). A large crowd is expected for this FREE event, so please RSVP in advance online at www.lwvpbc.org.

Orientation Meeting for New Members & Anyone Interested in Joining LWV

Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth

Center for Bachelors Programs Building – Room CBP-103

Saturday, September 21 at 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

This is a great opportunity to learn about immigration, the environment, the census, health care, voting rights, national popular vote, gun safety, affordable housing and other issues. Registration opens at 9 am. RSVP to Darlene Kostrub at dkostrub@aol.com or 561-852-0496.

About the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County:

The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County is a nonpartisan political organization of women and men of all ages and backgrounds, encouraging informed and active participation in government through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed. For more information, please visit www.lwvpbc.org or www.facebook.com/lwvpbc

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Lori Hope Baumel and her husband Eric live both in Wellington and the DC area. They have three children. Their eldest, Sam, is a media producer who currently resides with his wife, Julie, in (extremely hipster) Brooklyn, NY. Her younger children, Evan and Rachel, wrote the Around Wellington “Teen Talk” column in previous years. Evan graduated from American University in Washington D.C. and is a research analyst for General Dynamics Corporation. Rachel works for Apple, Inc. in the Metro DC area. Eric has practiced radiology in Wellington since 1991. His many talents include photographer, cook, app developer and is a pioneer in the areas of medical 3D printing and AI. You can learn more about Lori at www.loribaumel.com or follow her on twitter @LiveGoDoNow.