Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Art · Art Guides, Docent Program
. . . .

Art Guides, Docent Program

Carina Hume - November 16th, 2006
Twenty excited third-graders gather near the stairs in the Crooked Tree Arts Center’s lower level.
“Do you know what you’re going to see today?” asks Susan Sheets, a six-year veteran of the art center’s docent program and current co-chair.
Five hands shoot into the air. “Paintings,” says one student.
“Drawings,” says another.
Petoskey teacher Lisa Penberthy’s class has obviously been here before.
This time, the students are taking a journey through other people’s “Secret Spaces of Childhood” – a blanket under a piano was Penberthy’s – and Sheets, as docent, is leading the way.

“A docent-led tour is guided by someone that has been trained in the techniques of the art that’s represented in the gallery or the philosophy or the psychology of the artist,” says Gail Hosner, CTAC’s Visual Arts and Education director. “(The docents) have a broader perspective of what brought that show together.”
To be a docent, a person must be willing to attend training several times a year, shadow an experienced docent to gain experience, sign up for at least one tour at each training session, and enjoy spending time with children.
“Our docent program is charged with professional educators and artists and writers that draw on their own life experience,” says Hosner.
Docents begin their training in September of each year with an overview of how the program runs, along with specifics about upcoming shows. New exhibits typically open on a Saturday and docents are then trained for two hours on the following Monday.
“At that time,” explains Hosner, “(docents) get a gallery talk, often meet the artist or someone with a level of expertise on the exhibition and then (docents) come down and do a hands-on project.”
Morning tours from 9:30-11 a.m., which include a hands-on project to reinforce the current exhibit’s theme, are most popular. Older students often take the afternoon tours, from 1-2 p.m., leaving the hands-on project to the younger ones.

Susan Sheets and Ruth Ann Hull have been co-chairs of CTAC’s Docent Program for the past three years. Now largely dependent on volunteers, the program began in the early 1980s utilizing CTAC’s small paid staff with just a few volunteers to help lead school groups through the gallery.
In 2000, arts center member Judy Knowles became chair of a newly formed Visual Arts Committee, bringing with her over 20 years experience from the Detroit Institute of the Arts. A Docent Program subcommittee was soon formed with Rhea Murray, a retired school librarian, serving as its first chair. She created the first docent handbook and the program began to evolve into what it is today.
Currently, the program trains nearly 30 volunteers to lead over 80 tours per year. More than 3,500 students in the past year have had the chance to visit, learn and express their creativity through hands-on projects using clay, paint, found objects and more.

Unlike other art galleries and museums in Northern Michigan, CTAC’s displays and docent programs are free. Current funding for the exhibits is provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, the Frey Foundation, the Bay Harbor Foundation and many anonymous individuals. Funds for transportation are also provided to any school in the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District as needed.
Anyone – from home-school students to senior centers – can make use of the docent program, but priority is given to students within the district first.
“We try to give top priority to the school kids,” says Hosner, “because that’s what it’s been funded for and that’s what we’re geared up toward.”

For Penberthy’s Petoskey Ottawa Elementary class, the arts center and its offerings are just a 20-minute walk away.
“It is important to me that my students have exposure to diverse educational experiences,” she says. “I feel privileged to have such a well-run art center within walking distance of our school to meet the goals I have for my students’ educations.”
Her class visits about three times a year and she always tries to select the morning tour with the hands-on project.
“I think an appreciation for the fine arts is a valuable trait to possess,” says Penberthy. “I also value the cultural awareness the arts cultivate. These are both attributes of well-rounded individuals.”
The school tour begins as hundreds of footsteps announce the students’ arrival at the main floor gallery. The first stop is “Jack’s Hideout,” a tiny grapevine hut fashioned by artists Justin Guarisco and Ceci Bauer in memory of their friend Jack Batstone. The children are allowed to go in and explore the hut decorated with rocks, a bug on a spring, a tiny chair and a table.
Then it’s into the gallery for more artists’ interpretations of the theme of the exhibit and Elizabeth Goodenough’s book (“Secret Spaces of Childhood”) of the same name. Sheets’ in-depth explanations of several art pieces come after a little quiet-time to give students a chance to form their own thoughts about each work. Several students jump at the opportunity to “Be the Docent” and share their interpretations of a favorite piece with the class.

“I think that in our area we have a unique gift to give to the people in this community,” says Hosner, noting that the Crooked Tree Arts Center was just awarded the top non-profit arts organization in the state.
She credits the strength of the arts center’s staff, the two museum-level galleries and generous funding as additional reasons for the center’s success.
“Every year Crooked Tree gets a little bit more well-known, a little bit more in the media,” Hosner continues. “People are coming to us from outside the area saying, ‘We don’t know how you’re doing what you’re doing, but keep doing it.’”
A fun-filled morning is about over for Penberthy’s class, as students hurry to finish their projects. The class will be back sometime next year, if not for a tour, then for the Crooked Tree Arts Center’s Youth Art Show they participate in each spring.
Clutching their own “secret spaces” in their hands, the students and Penberthy head out the door. “So many creative little secrets,” Sheets says to them with a smile. “Thanks for sharing.”

For more information about any of Crooked Tree Arts Center’s programs, call 231-347-4337 or visit www.crookedtree.org.

Secret Spaces Exhibit
The Secret Spaces of Childhood exhibit is inspired by a book of the same name full of essays, poems and stories, edited by Elizabeth Goodenough, a lecturer in comparative literature at the Residential College at the University of Michigan.
The book recounts authors’ memories about significant parts of their lives and what was meaningful about them. In 1998, “An Exhibition of Remembered Hide-Outs” was presented in the Residential College Art Gallery in Grosse Pointe Shores. The current CTAC exhibit was inspired by both the book and the 1998 exhibit and is sponsored in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Bay Harbor Foundation and the Triford Foundation. Local artist and CTAC member Susan Glass participated in both exhibitions and was instrumental in bringing the concept to the Crooked Tree Arts Center. Secret Spaces of Childhood is on display through Saturday, Nov. 25 in CTAC’s Edith Gilbert Gallery. Hours of operation are Mon.-Fri. 9-5, Sat. 10-4.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5