Susan Saccocia is an independent writer whose essays, features, profiles and reviews explore theater, visual arts, jazz and dance in the U.S. and overseas. A regular contributor to the Bay State Banner, Susan has also been published in Art New England ,The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and other regional and nationwide media. An award-winning arts writer, Susan is also the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in arts journalism among other honors.
Museum traces path toward justice and freedom for African Americans
The largest institution dedicated to African American history and culture, the National Museum of African American History and Culture starts its story in the 1400s, when African peoples took part in transatlantic trade with countries on other continents. Displays and wall texts follow the money, and the gradual growth of the fiction that Africans were not equals and could themselves be traded as commodities.
Company to perform ‘Obsidian Tear’ and ‘Fifth Symphony of Jean Sibelius’
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence from the giant at its border, Russia, the program presents the North American premiere of Wayne McGregor’s “Obsidian Tear” and the world premiere of Jorma Elo’s “Fifth Symphony of Jean Sibelius.”
Irma Thomas, Blind Boys of Alabama perform
The Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet wasted no time getting down to business Friday night at Berklee Performance Center as the first of three powerhouse acts in a concert presented by World Music/CRASHarts. The program also showcased another homegrown New Orleans icon, Irma Thomas, and a revered gospel group, the Blind Boys of Alabama. What these musicians have in common are African-American musical traditions rooted in their communities—its churches, celebrations, and clubs; fluency in this tradition’s many musical veins, including blues, soul, jazz, gospel and R&B; and decades of experience, awards and industry accolades.
Black and white dominate the palette of Kara Walker, an artist whose room-size murals, sculptures, videos and works on paper focus on the still-corrosive legacy of slavery in American life.
At its best, viewing art is an absorbing experience. The work slows you down and draws you in and distractions fall away. The art of paying attention is the subject of a beguiling new exhibition, “Seeking Stillness,” and its companion show, “Mark Rothko: Reflection,” both on view at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston through July 1.
The word “friend” comes up often in the dialogue between Jeremy and Teddy, the main characters in “A Guide for the Homesick,” on stage through November 4 in a world premier production by Huntington Theatre Company at the Calderwood Pavilion of the Boston Center for the Arts. Yet friendship eludes these men, despite what they have in common: Both were raised in Boston and both are on the run from painful memories. Each believes he has betrayed a close friend in a time of dire need.
South End exhibit explores immigrant, refugee experience
Long a haven of thoughtful shows, the Samsøñ Gallery is now presenting its final exhibition after 14 years in Boston’s South End. On view through Nov. 11, the show, titled “Immigrancy,” offers a compelling sampling of works by more than 20 renowned and emerging artists who explore the experience of an outsider, newcomer, immigrant, asylum seeker or refugee.
The largest gathering of jugglers in the region, JuggleMIT offers a weekend of family-friendly events, including more than 30 workshops for all, from novices to pros, as well as two evening shows showcasing top local and international performers.
Utopias, dreams, losses, memories and hard truths all have a place in the carnival midway that is the Venice Biennale, which every two years for more than a century has turned its host city on the Adriatic into a showcase of both the state of contemporary art and the state of the world.
The fast-moving production delivers the simple plot with a touch of nuance and a bit of wisdom, along with a gleeful comic punch. A strong cast and terrific staging bring forth the story of two roommates locked in combat over turf.