Monday, November 26, 2007

Yes I Am Complaining

Now I'm angry. Now I'm really angry. (What I'm hearing in my head is the sound of an ineffectual comic anger, so don't take the anger too seriously.)

Some posts ago (like here) I wrote a very minor post on the LNR and the policy of requiring everyone who makes money to buy advertising before getting anything published. I questioned the policy, and mentioned that I thought it made more enemies than friends.

Now I'm angry.

I wrote, and Bethany's publications person sent, a press release on "A Christmas Carol," our new production for the Christmas season. There are lots of important things to say about the production, not the least of which is that this is the largest cast we've had on the stage in many moons. I've got folks from McPherson calling for reservations. We're bringing business to town and enhancing the theatre program at Bethany.

So what's the LNR's response - you have to buy an ad because you're selling tickets. Not only that - if we just meet the technical requirements that LNR has set - say by buying a classified ad - we get a minor two line announcement in News Briefs.

In order to get the LNR to publish what we wrote for them (i.e., what they didn't bother to report on), we have to buy a display ad. The smallest display ad is $64.

This is extortion! It is legal, I suppose, but it is a clear violation of journalistic ethics. The more you pay, the more coverage you get, and John Marshall doesn't have to actually hire anyone to report the news, it's all done for him by people to pay to play.

Good Grief! This is shoddy on so many levels.

Dan Carr took umbrage at an earlier post in which I pointed out the advantages of online reporting versus what the LNR does. I hope he reads this and writes a defense of a policy that can't be defended.

A Christmas Carol, by the way, is December 7 & 8, 7:30 pm, in the Burnett Center.

The young man at the top of this post plays Jacob Marley. It's going to be an unusual production. The Lindsborg Youth Choir will perform between the staves. Ya'll come.

For more details call the Bethany Theatre Hotline - 227-3311, ext. 7910.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Winter

It wasn't a lot of snow, it didn't last the day, but wasn't it a beautiful contrast to the seventy-five and eighty degree weather we had last week.

I know that those of you who are here in Lindsborg reading this blog already know what a surprise it was. I went to be late last night, not knowing that there was any snow on the way or falling. Around 1 am I woke and thought I'd forgotten to turn off the outside light. I'd remembered the light, but the snow had already covered our roof and the street lights reflecting off the snow made out of doors bright.

When I woke I immediately snapped on the Weather Channel to see if we could expect more. Too bad, this was all we were going to get.

Around noon I got outside and took a few snapshots, just to remind myself and show everyone up in Minnesota, off in Chicago, Florida and Japan, that we had snow!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chris Abercrombie's Hemslöjd Tour

Chris Abercrombie's done a short town and factory tour for Lindsborg Hemslöjd. Available at the shop for a mere six dollars, it is a great and positive view of the story of the store and a quick tour by quadracycle.

Narrated by Chris, at his mellifluous best, the piece is an enjoyable and quite striking six minutes. Chris's camera work makes the piece work, and his editing adds just the right pace to this quick tour around town.

My only objection is that Chris, like so many in Lindsborg, hasn't learned where to put the accent on Dalarna. Like most Lindsborgians he pronounces it with the accent on the second syllable. The accent belongs on the first syllable. But, that's a minor quibble. The one mis-mention doesn't detract from the quality of the whole.

The Great Announcement

It has been almost a week since President Leonard and board chair Tad Doering announced the major gifts totaling nearly two million dollars. Here's a video of most of the announcement.

What's most tantalizing about the announcement is the "Swedish Chapel." As soon as I heard it I wondered what Bud Pearson meant. My original idea was the kind of monument to Swedish pietism represented by the Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover, Illinois.

That chapel, the first place of worship for Swedish American Lutherans out on the Illinois prairie was constructed with a gift from the "Swedish Nightingale," Jenny Lind. Lind was quite generous toward the Swedish Americans. She gave a large sum of money to Saint Ansgarius, the Swedish Episcopal congregation in Chicago, for the purchase of a silver chalice. She gave a like sum to the congregation's priest, Gustavus Unonius. She also gave money for the construction of the Lutheran Chapel in Andover, about thirty miles west of the dissenter settlement at Bishop Hill.

Lind's money allowed the congregation to build the simple, pietist style chapel that remains in the midst of the cemetery. Her original gift included enough to build a steeple at the church. The cholera epidemic struck the small community, and the lumber that was to be used for a steeple was used for coffins.

That simple and spare style, common in the mid-nineteenth century Swedish church architecture, with a central pulpit, was what I thought might be intended by a "Swedish Chapel."

Talking to Noni Strand this week I discovered how mistaken I was.

The chapel is not a new idea, but one that Bud Pearson had proposed some years ago. The time was not right then for a chapel. Now, with the Bethany renaissance beginning, the time is right.

The chapel that was drawn originally featured lots of bright, light colored wood, flexible seating patterns, a plane floor (rather than the theatre seating we have today), open space. The design has a kind of airy lightness to it.

However, the Swedish architect who originally drew up the plans has passed away, and one of the tasks of this new fund raising effort is to find a new architect who can update (or draw new) the plans to include a "welcome center" and the offices of the Admissions people.

The idea of a bright and light place of worship and gathering is a welcome one, as is the idea that the theatre can have all of Burnett to work on plays - perhaps using the old chapel space as a black box theatre.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Way Too Long

It has been over a month since I last posted to this blog. I've been to Dallas (had fun at the fair, hated Dallas), danced for Hyllningsfest, heard two operas and video'd them for the department's records. Now I'm in the midst of rehearsals for "A Christmas Carol," opening December 7 at Burnett Center. So I'm trying to do way too much and accomplishing less than I hope for.

Ran into Chris Abercrombie at Scott's last night, which is partly why I'm posting tonight. Chris has just finished a new video for Hemslöjd and I'd love to see it. His creative products have been absolutely fascinating.

Speaking of Creative Products - on top of everything else we're supposed to have a film festival of student films this weekend. Right now we have no entries, so I don't think it is going to happen. But the two new miniature cameras will enable a quick and dirty documentary from the President's retreat this coming weekend. Watch this space on Sunday or Monday. We'll get back to posting this week!