Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play recordings by musicians educated at the Berklee School of Music...
Answer a question about the Easter holiday...
And visit a museum show honoring three female artists.
Three Women Artists
A show honoring three North American women artists is now at a museum in Washington, D.C. The artists are Emily Carr of Canada, Georgia O’Keefe of the United States and Frida Kahlo of Mexico. Shep O’Neal has more.
The show at the National Museum of Women in the Arts is called “Places of Their Own: Emily Carr, Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo.” The three women are considered the greatest women painters of their countries in the Twentieth Century. The show examines the artistic and personal links among them.
Emily Carr of Canada is the first in the show because she was the oldest. She was born in Eighteen-Seventy-One. She did not become known for her paintings until she was more than fifty years old. Today, Emily Carr is one of Canada’s most celebrated artists. Many of her paintings show the trees and natural surroundings she loved in her home province of British Columbia. She also developed a picture record of Northwest Coast Indian villages.
Georgia O’Keefe is considered by many experts to be the most popular female American artist. Her paintings sometimes are shown along with the pictures taken by her husband, the famous photographer Alfred Steiglitz. Georgia O’Keefe lived in Texas and New York before moving to New Mexico. The striking land in the southwestern United States provided many subjects for her paintings. Many of her pictures show nature at its simplest, with few details.
The final artist honored in the museum show is Frida Kahlo. Nearly all of her paintings are pictures of herself. Frida Kahlo was almost killed in an accident when she was a young girl. Her injuries remained a problem most of her life. Frida Kahlo’s work was affected by her pain and suffering. It also showed her love for her husband, the artist Diego Rivera. The colors and shapes of her paintings were influenced by Mexico’s many cultures.
All three of these women included ideas of themselves in their paintings. They also searched for meaning in their native lands and cultures. Experts say their work is important because it greatly changed the art of North America in the Twentieth Century.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Mongolia. Amarkhuu Ayulguisaikhan asks how Americans celebrate the Easter holiday.
Christians in the United States celebrated Easter last Sunday, March thirty-first. Christians believe Easter is the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead about two thousand years ago. Most Christians believe Jesus was sent to Earth to save humans from wrongdoing, and to give them everlasting life.
Thousands of American churches held services outside on Easter morning. This tradition is very old. It probably was started by Moravian Christians in the eastern state of Pennsylvania in Seventeen-Forty-Three. This Moravian service of praise is still held today.
Sunrise services in the United States are usually planned to include members of many Christian religious groups. One of the most famous takes place at the Hollywood Bowl, an outdoor center in Los Angeles, California. People arrive the night before to try to attend this event.
Many Americans also observe Easter customs not directly linked to religious tradition. People in many cities walk through the streets on Easter morning after attending church. Each year, thousands of people in New York City wear new clothes to take part in this Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue.
Some families color eggs and hide them for their children to find. Parents say a rabbit leaves the Easter eggs. The rabbit is known as the Easter Bunny.
Here in Washington, a big celebration takes place each year on the Monday after Easter. The President of the United States invites children to play a game rolling colored Easter eggs on the grounds behind the White House. President Rutherford Hayes and his wife Lucy started this American tradition in Eighteen-Seventy-Eight.
This year, about forty-thousand children took part. President Bush and his wife Laura welcomed the children and their families to the White House grounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy the sunny day filled with music and games.
Shekinah Thirteen Artists
The world famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, has trained many successful singers such as Melissa Etheridge and Diana Krall. A record has been recently released of some music by Berklee students who are not as well known. Mary Tillotson explains.
Berklee College has its own recording company to provide its students with experiences in the recording business. Earlier this year, the college’s small recording company and a major recording company, Epic/Sony Records, jointly released a record.
The project began when students in one Berklee class decided to produce a record and try to sell it nationally. They listened to tapes and chose which songs and artists to include. All the artists were educated at Berklee. The Epic record company agreed to market the recording.
The name of the record is “Shekinah (shuh-KEE-nah) Thirteen Artists.” Berklee says the word honors the creative power of females.
One artist on the record is Polina, the daughter of Russian singer Anka. She recorded her song in her father’s studio in Moscow. It is called “Out of My Mind.”
((CUT 1: OUT OF MY MIND))
Another former Berklee student on the record is German artist Antje Zumbansen. She has already won the Vince Gill Award for Songwriting and Outstanding Musicianship. Here she sings “Without An End.”
((CUT 2: WITHOUT AN END))
The last song on the Shekinah record was written and performed by Amanda Williams. She graduated from the Berklee School of Music in Nineteen-Ninety-Nine. She wrote the song “Beer Run,” which Garth Brooks and George Jones recorded. We leave you now with Amanda Williams singing her song, “Low.”
((CUT 3: LOW))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC—VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
Remember to write us with your questions about American life. We will try to answer them on future programs. Listeners whose questions are chosen will receive a Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.
Send your questions to American Mosaic, Special English, Voice of America, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, USA. Or use a computer to e-mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and postal address. This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Jill Moss and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. And our producer was Paul Thompson.