Sinta Tantra: ‘People say my art makes them happy’

Next week the Folkestone Triennial begins with the unveiling of the latest artworks to transform this formerly rundown seaside town. Rather than rocking up every three years, dumping a load of contemporary art around and disappearing quickly and forgettably, as some similar events do, the organisers have ensured that much of the art remains and becomes part of the fabric of the town — works by Mark Wallinger, Cornelia Parker and Tracey Emin, among others, are now part of the Folkestone townscape.

Among the new permanent pieces in the fourth Folkestone Triennial is a work by Sinta Tantra, the London-based creator of colourful, geometric public art. She’s been tasked with transforming The Cube, an adult education centre that sits awkwardly and lumpenly at the top of Tontine Street, the much-regenerated road leading to the city’s harbour. The triennial’s curatorial team, led by Lewis Biggs, asked Tantra to turn The Cube “into the landmark building that its site at the top of Tontine Street deserves”.

I meet Tantra in her studio, a room in her flat in a 1930s apartment block in Hendon. She was born in New York 37 years ago to Balinese parents but grew up mainly in London, eventually studying at the Slade and Royal Academy schools. Her parents have since retired to Bali and while she travels there a few times a year, has a gallery there showing her work and is regarded as an Indonesian artist, she is “pretty much a Londoner”, she says. “I feel accepted here, and that I couldn’t do what I do anywhere else in the world.” 

It would make more sense financially for her to move to Indonesia she says, “but I wouldn’t get the same buzz as I do here. London has this amazing attraction — it can also be a poison, but the energy spurs me on, and the internationalism that you get in London is amazing.”

Sinta Tantra, 1947, commissioned by the Creative Foundation for Folkestone Triennial 2017 (Thierry Bal)

She feels that her Balinese heritage has affected her work less in its appearance than in the way that art is “embedded in life — which is what public art does — and the idea of working together with people which again public art does” she says. “And I guess that it is like a celebration. I don’t know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, but people say that my art makes them happy.”

I suspect that Folkestonians will agree that it is a good thing when they see her revamped Cube. Tantra describes it as “a challenging building”. It had already been altered once, from a boring brick-and-glass block to a trying-too-hard-not-to-be-boring magenta monstrosity. She says she “went through hundreds and hundreds of sketches” working out how to overhaul it and shows me a series of effervescent geometric compositions, full of colour and dynamic movement. 

Her final design is called 1947, named after the year of a painting by the French artist Sonia Delaunay, whose circles Tantra’s design echoes, and a poster advertising Folkestone made for the Southern Railway. “I wanted to have a retro feel, because I was thinking of Folkestone as a seaside town,” she says. “I was thinking about post-war Britain and what that meant, and the idea of holidays, because after the war it was obviously quite difficult.”

​Tantra is a student of colour — she shows me her “recipe book”, a colour-experiment diary — and knows that she can animate a static building just as one can the picture plane of a canvas. At different times of day parts of The Cube will recede or stand out, its edges softened, its form almost fading into space. “That’s why I wanted to have lots of black, to dissolve it,” she says. “I’m interested in how a space like this can look quite 3D, this pushing back and pulling forward.”

Her nod to Delaunay represents a fascination with “a woman who was able to overlap art and design”, she says. She’s conscious that artists using colour can quickly be dismissed as decorative and trivial and mentions a quote from Le Corbusier, the Swiss architect: “Colour is suited to simple races, peasants and savages.” But she adds: “I’m interested in how passionate people are about colour. That’s why I do public art, that’s why I work with colour: it engages people automatically, and they like it or don’t like it.”

She experienced the full force of public opinion, both good and bad, in Siena last week. She designed the drappellone, a silk banner given to the winner of the famous Palio di Siena, the bareback horse race around the city’s majestic Piazza del Campo. She describes the commission as “the ultimate public art experience for me, because I was creating something for the public — and they were waiting for it”.

The mayor of Siena invited a British artist to take on this prestigious commission in the wake of Brexit, speaking of “the desire to maintain strong ties between the UK and our city, reinforcing a historical and cultural link that must not weaken”. Tantra was already on a British School in Rome residency and was a natural choice given her public art record. But she’s never experienced anything like it. 

She had to follow certain strict rules relating to iconography, including an image of the Virgin of the Assumption, in whose honour the race is run, and of the coats of arms of the various contrade, the Sienese neighbourhoods that do battle in the race. It also had to reflect the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Sienese sculptor Giovanni Dupré. 

In a rather critical review of her banner, the former mayor of Siena, Roberto Barzanti, acknowledged that it was a thorny mantle to take on. “There are few works of public art that have such a solid and controversial relationship with popular feeling,” he said, and suggested the banner must “find prudent compositional balance and trigger a true emotional hold”. 

But Tantra clearly moved many people. “I had a lot of women coming up to me saying how much they liked it,” she says. “The women used this word — they talk about feelings all the time — emozionata. At every step of the way they would say, ‘Emozionata! emozionata!’ Three or four women came up to me crying, saying how much they loved it, because it was more feminine. I was trying to do that — to show the women behind the scenes.” 

This may have been among the reasons for adverse reactions: Tantra quietly undermined the Palio’s macho aspect, which she saw in Cosima Spender’s 2015 documentary about the race. It’s no coincidence that to commemorate Dupré she chose an image of the ancient Greek poet Sappho. “She represents a lot of things to people,” Tantra says. But to her, this ancient heroine represents “being a strong woman”. 

Photographs in the Sienese newspaper that Tantra shows me reveal how the community embraced her — quite literally, as she is being hugged and held aloft by the winning contrada, Onda. 

The sculptor Dupré had lived in that district and, as Tantra says, “there’s a lot of superstition in what the flag symbolises”: Dupré’s work’s prominence on the banner was seen by the contrada as a premonition of triumph. “There is this real magic element in the artist, the artist is seen as somebody that can see things that other people can’t,” says Tantra, clearly bewildered and delighted. 

She was heartened that art could have such an impact, she says, “because here sometimes it can be quite jaded, especially public art, considering that now a lot of projects are mainly  for developers with the money. This has really opened my eyes to what art can do.”

It would seem unlikely that the people of Folkestone will be holding Tantra aloft on their shoulders in Tontine Street when her revamped Cube is unveiled next week. But she’s an artist intent on bringing colour and pleasure to the people, something deserving of acclaim.

Folkestone Triennial 2017(folkestone triennial.org.uk) runs from Sept 2-Nov 5

Are you a budding artist? Enter the Evening Standard Contemporary Art Prize in association with Hiscox and you could win £10,000. Visit standard.co.uk/artprize

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Aug. 28 is an extraordinary date for black Americans

… country to the horrors of racism. In 1963, more than 250 … unveil a statue of an African-American hero on the grounds of … 39;s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. "In … – the youngest person and first African-American poet to do so. … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

Often missing in the repeal-and-replace health care debate: The voices of women


Women, in particular, have a lot at stake in the fight over the future of health care.

Not only do many depend on insurance coverage for maternity care and contraception, they are struck more often by such diseases as autoimmune conditions, osteoporosis, breast cancer and depression. They are more likely to be poor and depend on Medicaid — and to live longer and depend on Medicare. And it commonly falls to them to plan health care and coverage for the whole family.

Yet in recent months, as leaders in Washington discussed the future of American health care, women were not always allowed in the room. To hammer out (behind closed doors) the Senate’s initial version of a bill to replace Obamacare, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed 12 colleagues, all male. Some Congress members made clear they don’t see issues like childbirth as a male concern. Why, two GOP representatives wondered aloud during the House debate this spring, should men pay for maternity or prenatal coverage?

It is telling, perhaps, that two of the three GOP senators to kill the Republican’s repeal bill were women. Though Arizona Sen. John McCain’s vote was most heralded by the bill’s opponents, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voiced objections all along, including to plans to suspend Planned Parenthood funding. And for their opposition they were pilloried — even threatened — by members of their own party.

Republican repeal efforts are stalled, for now, but the fate of America’s health care system remains highly uncertain.

Many of the programs women depend on are still targets, most especially Medicaid, which pays for about half of U.S. births. Some programs are already shrinking under the Republican-controlled government — federal funding for teen pregnancy prevention and research, for example. In addition, states have been empowered to cut Title X family planning programs.

Discussion over health reform shows some signs of becoming more open and bipartisan, perhaps bringing more women’s perspectives to the debate.

But women are hardly speaking in unison when it comes to overhauling health care. “Women’s health” means very different things to different people, based on their backgrounds and ages. A 20-year-old may care more about how to get free contraception, while a 30-year-old may be more concerned about maternity coverage. Women in their 50s might be worried about access to mammograms, and those in their 60s may fear not being able to afford insurance before Medicare kicks in at 65.

Many older women vividly recall when abortion in the U.S. was performed dangerously and illicitly; some fought hard for the right to choose termination that was affirmed in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Still, nearly 45 years later, the nation remains at war over abortion, and women are on both sides of that battle. More than a third say it should be illegal in most or all cases.

To get a richer sense of women’s viewpoints on health care as the national debate continues, we asked several in California and around the country and across generations to share their thoughts and personal experiences.


Advertisement

Terrisa Bukovinac, 36, San Francisco

Bukovinac calls herself a passionate pro-lifer. As president of Pro-Life Future of San Francisco, she participates in marches and protests to demonstrate her opposition to abortion.

“Our preliminary goal is defunding Planned Parenthood,” she said. “That is crucial to our mission.”

As much as the organization touts itself as being a place where people get primary care and contraception, “abortion is their primary business model,” Bukovinac said.

She said the vast majority of abortions are not justifiable and that she supports a woman’s right to an abortion only in cases that threaten the patient’s life. “We are opposed to what we consider elective abortions,” she said.

Bukovinac said she also tries to help women in crisis get financial assistance so they don’t end their pregnancies just because they can’t afford to have a baby. “We have to help women obtain the resources necessary to sustain their pre-born children’s lives,” she said.

She supports women’s access to health insurance and health care, both of which are costly for many. “Certainly the more people who are covered, the better it is” for both the mother and baby.

Bukovinac, however, is uninsured because she said the premiums cost more than she would typically pay for care. Self-employed in e-commerce, Bukovinac has a disorder that causes vertigo and ringing in the ear and spends about $300 per month on medication for that and for anxiety.

She doesn’t know if the Affordable Care Act is to blame, but she said that before the law “I was able to afford health insurance and now I’m not.”

Irma Castaneda, 49, Huntington Beach

Castaneda is a breast cancer survivor. She’s been in remission for several years but still sees her oncologist annually and undergoes mammograms, ultrasounds and blood tests.

The married mom of three, a teacher’s aide to special-education students, is worried that Republicans may make insurance more expensive for people like her, with preexisting conditions. “They could make our premiums go sky-high,” she said. “I didn’t ask to get cancer.”

Her family previously purchased a plan on Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange. But Castaneda said the plan had a high deductible, so she had to come up with a lot out-of-pocket before insurance kicked in. “I was paying medical bills up the yin-yang,” she said. “I felt like I was paying so much for this crappy plan.”

Then, about a year ago, Castaneda’s husband got injured at work and the family’s income dropped in half. Now they are relying on Medicaid, the government program for low-income people, until he starts working again. Becoming eligible for Medicaid was a “blessing in disguise,” she said, because it meant fewer out-of-pocket expenses for health care.

Whatever the coverage, Castaneda said, she needs high-quality health care. “God forbid I get sick again,” she said. It’s essential for her teenage daughter, too, she said. Her daughter is transgender and receives specialized physical and mental health care.

“Right now she is pretty lucky because there is coverage for her,” Castaneda said. “With the Trump stuff, what’s going to happen then?”

Patricia Loftman, 68, New York City

Loftman spent 30 years as a certified nurse-midwife at Harlem Hospital Center and remembers treating women coming in after having botched abortions.

Some didn’t survive.

“It was a really bad time,” Loftman said. “Women should not have to die just because they don’t want to have a child.”

When the Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to an abortion, Loftman remembers feeling relieved. Now she’s angry and scared about the prospect of stricter controls. “Those of us who lived through it just cannot imagine going back,” she said.

A mother and grandmother, Loftman also recalls clearly when the birth control pill became legal in the 1960s. She was in nursing school in upstate New York and glad to have another, more convenient option for contraception. Already, women were gaining more independence, and the Pill “just added to that sense of increased freedom and choice.”

To her, conservatives’ attack on Planned Parenthood, which already has closed many clinics in several states, is frustrating because the organization also provides primary and reproductive health care to many poor women who wouldn’t be able to get it otherwise.

Now retired, Loftman sits on the board of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and advocates for better care for minority women. “There continues to be a dramatic racial and ethnic disparity in the outcome of pregnancy and health for African-American women and women of color,” she said.

Celene Wong, 39, Boston

The choice was agonizing for Wong. A few months into her pregnancy, she and her husband learned that her fetus had chromosomal abnormalities. The baby would have had severe special needs, she said.

“We always said we couldn’t handle that,” Wong said. “We had to make a tough decision, and it is not a decision that most people ever have to face.”

The couple terminated the pregnancy in January 2016, when she was about 18 weeks pregnant. “At the end of the day, everybody is going to go away except for your husband and you and this little baby,” she said. “We did our research. We knew what we would’ve been getting into.”

Wong, who works to improve the experience for patients at a local hospital, said she is fortunate to have been able to make the choice that was right for her family. “If the [abortion] law changes, what is going to happen with that next generation?” she said.

Most of Wong’s care was covered by insurance from her job but she worries about those who rely on Planned Parenthood for reproductive health care. She said the organization should change its name to “Women’s Health.”

“If you are saying you want to end funding for women’s health, people are going to be more up in arms about it,” she said.

Lorin Ditzler, 33, Des Moines, Iowa

Ditzler is frustrated that her insurance coverage may be a deciding factor in her family planning. She quit her job last year to take care of her 2-year-old son and was able to get on her husband’s plan, which doesn’t cover maternity care.

If she gets pregnant accidentally, she says, they would be in a real bind. “To me it seems very obvious that our system isn’t set up in a way to support giving birth and raising very small children.”

While maternity benefits are required under the Affordable Care Act, her husband’s plan is grandfathered under the old rules, not uncommon among employers that offer coverage. Skirting maternity coverage might become more common if Republicans in Congress succeed in passing a replacement proposal that allows states to no longer consider maternity coverage an “essential benefit.”

Ditzler looked into switching to an Obamacare plan that they could buy through the exchange, but the rates were much higher, and she has only a short window to sign up each year on the exchange.

“It’s already this big decision where we don’t know if we’re going to have another kid or when,” says Ditzler. “When Jan. 1 came around, we had to decide if we were going to try to get pregnant this year. And if we changed our mind, well too bad.”

If she went back to work, she could get on a better insurance plan that covers maternity care. But that makes little sense to her. “I would go back to a full-time job so I could have a second child, but if I do that, it will be less appealing and less feasible to have a second child because I’d be working full time.”

Ashley Bennett, 34, Spartanburg, S.C.

Bennett, who is devoutly Christian, is grateful that she was able to plan her family the way she wanted, with the help of birth control. She had her daughter at 22 and her son two years later.

“I felt free to make that choice, which I think is an awesome thing,” she said. She’s advised her 12-year-old daughter to wait for sex until marriage but has also been open with her about birth control within the context of marriage.

But she draws the line at abortion. “I just feel like we’re playing God. If that conception happens, then I feel like it was meant to be.”

Bennett had apprehensions about Trump but voted for him because he was the anti-abortion candidate. “That was the deciding factor for me, [more than] him yelling about how he’s going to build a wall.”

She added that opposition to abortion must be coupled with support for babies once they are born — something she says not all Christians emphasize enough. She supports adoption and is planning to become a foster parent.

She also is concerned about the mental and physical well-being of young women. Bennett teaches seventh-grade math and coaches the school’s cheerleading and dance teams.

She watches the girls take dozens of photos of themselves to get the perfect shot, then add filters to add makeup or slim them down.

“There’s going to be an aftermath that we haven’t even thought about,” she said. “I worry we’re going to have more and more kids suffering from depression, eating disorders and even suicide because of the effects of the social media.”

Maya Guillén, 24, El Paso, Texas

When Guillén was growing up, her family spent years without health insurance. They crossed the border into Juárez, Mexico, for dental care, doctor appointments and optometry visits. “I remember feeling safe, because it was so cheap.”

Guillén is now on her parents’ insurance plan, under a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows children to stay on until they turn 26. She’s been disheartened by Republicans’ proposed changes to contraception and abortion coverage, she said.

In high school, Guillén received abstinence-only sex education. She watched her friends get pregnant before they had graduated.

When it came time to consider sex, she thought she’d be able to count on Planned Parenthood, but the clinic in El Paso has closed, as have 20 other women’s health clinics in Texas. She worries that if Republicans defund Planned Parenthood, more young girls, especially those in predominantly Hispanic communities like hers, will not get access to, or education about, contraceptives.

Guillén is also dismayed by the way Trump talks about women, particularly in the “Access Hollywood” tapes that emerged in October.

“I feel like men could now do anything to me and dispose of my body because the president had made those comments, because he condones it.

“I feel like a lot of young people try to voice their opinions, but we’re not being taken into consideration. We’re so much more open-minded, but our president and all the people in power are trying to send us back.”

Jaimie Kelton, 39, New York City

When Kelton’s wife gave birth to their baby 3½ years ago, she thought the country was finally becoming more open-minded toward gays and lesbians.

Kelton said she was lucky to live in New York City, where she said it doesn’t matter that her children have two moms. She thought that was how the majority of the country felt, especially after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2015.

“Now I am coming to realize that we are the bubble and they are the majority and that’s really scary,” said Kelton, now pregnant with her second child.

Kelton said it seems as though Republicans have launched a war against women in general, with reproductive rights and maternity care at risk.

“It is crazy to think that most of the people making these laws are men,” she said. “Why do they feel the need to take away health care rights from women?”

Phyllis Sandel, 89, Bothell, Wash.

Sandel, who lives in a retirement community outside Seattle, meets regularly with other residents to talk about current events, including the push to repeal Obamacare. She’s concerned about the Republican proposals and their potential effects on women. “I think it’s going to be devastating,” she said.

Sandel has been advocating for women’s rights for decades, since she volunteered for Planned Parenthood in Denver in the 1960s. She signed up for phone banks in the ’70s, and walked door-to-door and got signatures for petitions — all in support of the women’s movement and the Equal Rights Amendment. “I was one of a few people in my coffee klatch group who became active,” she said.

A former health care administrator and nursing home consultant, Sandel said legislators are in the “wrong territory” in their push to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict access to abortion.

“Because we have such conservative control in our legislature, this is going to be a hard fight. But we have to stand up for it,” she said.

She attended a caucus for Hillary Clinton during the election and said she was among a few “grayhairs” in the room.

“I am encouraged by the number of young women who are active and participating in affecting change,” she said. “That wasn’t true when I was growing up.”

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Filmmakers Look At The Myths Of Racism

… is “the new Mississippi.” Translation: Racism isn’t a thing of … make a strong argument about black Americans being treated as a disposable … the systemic neglect that ravages African-American communities around the country, how … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

Going Global 2017 Panels and Workshops Announced

Going Global 2017
Panels and
Workshops

Announced!

Going
Global 2017 welcomes its largest gathering and greatest
assortment of international and New Zealand-based delegates
to date, hosting 21 seminars and workshops over
Sept. 1st
& 2nd at the gorgeous Roundhead Studios.

Going
Global 2017 brings to Auckland experts from Spotify,
Paradigm Talent Agency, Bandcamp, 4AD, Sugaroo!, Secretly
Canadian, BIGSOUND, Billboard, Subpop, ICHILE, Slate
Entertainment, States of Sound

and so many
more!!

Presenters from Chile, the
United Kingdom, Australia,
the United
States
,Singapore, and New
Zealand
will speak on topics as diverse as touring,
booking, public speaking, digital sales – crucial
information and knowledge that will jump start an
international career.

The full list of activities is
available at goingglobal.co.nz.
Coming soon is the Going Global Conference
app
, putting all the information about speakers,
panels, venues, artists and hobnobbing activities in the
palm of your hand. Available on 29th August for both Android
and iPhone, you will find the information you need to make
the most of the opportunities that Going Global is bringing
to you! Search
‘Going Global Music Summit’
in the
Apple App Store and
the Google Play Store.

“Over
the years I’ve made some great connections at Going Global
with international industry folks. Because of the ratio of
speakers to delegates, the heavy hitters are really
accessible, much more so than at the big conferences
overseas. Personally it’s been most helpful for licensing my
music internationally, and also touring.
On top of the
international side of things, I find it’s a great place to
catch up and touch base with the local industry and fellow
Kiwi artists.”
Mel Parsons

Joining
previously announced international speakers are 2 additional
Chilean music ambassadors
and 21 New Zealand music
professionals:

NATE
SPRAGUE
(Owner/Music Producer/Engineer, Tinta
Negra)
Nathaniel “Nate” Sprague is a musician, music
producer and recording engineer with more than 10 years of
experience in the production field. As a musician and
entrepreneur, he has identified music’s capacity to add
enormous value to products, services and audiovisual
productions offered around the world. His goal is to bring
clients’ propositions to life and help them communicate
their message in an effective and memorable fashion to reach
their target market.www.tintanegraproducciones.com

VICTOR
BUTRON
(Executive Producer, Agencia Nacional de
Eventos)
Victor has more than 15 years’ experience in
events as executive producer, artistic general producer, and
cultural manager with extensive knowledge of the music and
entertainment industry. He specialises in the creation of
innovative and strategic marketing, event production,
product development and creation of trademarks. Victor holds
higher degrees in Protocol Management, Institutional
Relations and Event Organization; Social Communication;
Strategic Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility;
and Pedagogy in Higher Education.https://www.producciongeneral.cl/

The
impressive flock of New Zealand speakers at
Going Global 2017 includes musician Anthonie
Tonnon
; Artist Manager Ashley
Page
, Page One Management; Caroline
Stone
, Caroline Stone Law; A Low Hum
founder,Ian Jorgensen; musician
Marlon Gerbes, Six60; IMNZ Co-Chair and
Flying Nun Records, Matthew Davis;
Mel Parsons, songwriter; Mikee
Tucker
, founder Loop Recordings and Co-Chair IMNZ;
Nicky¬ Harrop, AudioCulture and Massey
University; Nicole Duckworth, Managing
Director of The Drop; NicNak Media owner, Nicole
Thomas
; Olivia Young, manager of
The Maple; Pennie Black, Pennie Black
Artist Services; Openside singerPossum
Plows
; Roberto Mukai, founder of
Mucho Aroha Music; Sarah Pearce, NZ on Air;
Sophie Burbery, Little Bark; Artist
Manager, CRS Management Teresa Patterson;
NZ Music Commission Chairperson, Vicky
Blood
; and Victoria Kelly, Member
Services Manager APRA AMCOS.

GOING GLOBAL MUSIC
SUMMIT 2017

Roundhead Studios
151 Newton Rd,
Eden Terrace, Auckland
Friday, 1st September
Saturday,
2nd September
Tickets from Eventbrite.co.nz

GOING GLOBAL
PRESENTS

Whammy Bar, Whammy Backroom and Wine
Cellar
St. Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Road,
Auckland
Saturday, 2nd September
Doors open at
6:30pm
First artist on at 7:00pm. Each artist will
perform a 20-minute set!

Tickets are limited, open to the
public, and only $20 from UndertheRadar.co.nz

**Free entry with
your GOING GLOBAL WEEKEND PASS**
(Tickets for the GOING GLOBAL SUMMIT &
Weekend Pass available from Eventbrite.co.nz)

More
information about the Going Global Music Summit and
the
Going Global Presents showcase is available at goingglobal.co.nz

© Scoop Media

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Corker’s careful balancing act on Trump knocked off kilter

By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Despite Sen. Bob Corker’s refusal to say whether he’ll seek a third term, the Tennessee Republican had spent months carefully saying and doing the right things to avoid provoking a spirited primary challenge next year.

He limited public appearances back home largely to friendly civic clubs and chambers of commerce meetings, where he could regale members with tales of his pro-business agenda and blunt assessments of congressional dysfunction, all while steering clear of direct criticism of President Donald Trump.

Until last week.

Trump’s defense of white nationalists following a violent rally in Virginia that left a protester dead caused Corker to issue a blistering rebuke, raising questions about the president’s stability and competence and demanding “radical changes” in the White House.

“If I’m going be a respectable public official, it had to be spoken to,” Corker told Rotarians and Kiwanians a day after making those comments. “I’m an American first.”

Corker’s remarks last week got a smattering of applause from the crowd and put him in the vanguard of Republican lawmakers uneasy with Trump. The White House fired back Thursday, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling Corker’s statement about the president’s competence “a ridiculous and outrageous claim.”

How it will play back in Tennessee is another question. Already there are indications that the populist wing of the Republican party in Tennessee – which includes the most ardent Trump supporters – doesn’t like it one bit.

“It is time Tennessee had a senator who believes in the virtues of what makes America great and is willing to fight for it,” former state Rep. Joe Carr said in a Facebook post. “We need a senator who will fight alongside President Trump not fight against him.”

Like Trump’s initial remarks, Carr said both sides were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, describing the clashes as “hate on hate.”

Carr’s tea party-styled primary challenge of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander came within a surprising 9 percentage points of toppling the state’s senior statesman in 2014, and he has been making noise about running against Corker next year.

Should he choose to run – and many expect he will – Corker would likely emulate the tactics of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who went on a merciless offensive against Carr when she beat him by a 2-to-1 margin in last year’s GOP House primary.

Corker is a former businessman – his construction company got its big break with a contract to install drive-thru windows at Krystal restaurants – and served as Chattanooga mayor before his election to the Senate in 2006. That campaign was tinged by its own racial undercurrent, especially when an ad produced by the Republican National Committee hit the airwaves attacking his African-American opponent, former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis.

The ad included a white woman with blonde hair and bare shoulders looking into the camera and whispering, “Harold, call me.” Critics said it made an implicit appeal to deep-seated racial fears about black men and white women. Corker called the ad tacky and said it should stop running, but it took the RNC nearly a week to pull it off the air.

Corker won that race by fewer than 3 percentage points. His advisers still insist the ad hurt the Republican more than it helped him.

Corker has since risen to the post of Senate foreign relations chairman, striking a bipartisan tone while relishing fights with former President Barack Obama. The senator reminded reporters at a stop last week that he was in the mix to become Trump’s running mate and also his secretary of state. He was also photographed on a golf outing with the president and University of Tennessee football legend Peyton Manning.

“It’s just an unusual relationship,” Corker said. “I don’t know that there’s probably anybody in the United States Senate that talks to him more about issues that matter, not only to our nation but to the world. And that’s a privilege.

“You know, we don’t always agree, but to be in a position where you can affect outcomes like that is unusual,” he said.

A moment of disagreement came earlier this summer, when Corker led the charge in the Senate on a bill to restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions against Russia despite Trump’s misgivings.

And on Thursday, Corker spoke out against Trump’s threat to force a federal government shutdown unless Congress provides funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, saying such a move would hurt confidence in the economy.

“We need to do what we can do to solve our problems and keep government functioning the way it should,” Corker said.

Larry Waters, the longtime mayor of Sevier County on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said Corker has performed a deft balancing act with the president.

“Folks appreciate him having a little bit of independence and being able to speak his mind and being able to say, ‘I don’t agree with the president 100 percent of the time – I agree with him on so many issues,'” Waters said. “But there are things that I think any rational person would say I wish he hadn’t said this or done that.”

Scott Cepicky, the chairman of the Maury County Republican Party, said the GOP-controlled Congress will have to start delivering in the aftermath of the failed efforts to repeal Obama’s signature health care law, or it could blow back on Corker’s re-election effort next year.

“If we’re sitting here and we’re still hashing out in 2018 about tax reform and corporate tax reform, I think he’s going to have some problems,” Cepicky said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A Great New Book – Fables of a Deep Fried Southerner

Book Cover

Book Cover

Fables of a Deep Fried Southerner is collection of six short stories. These delightful and wonderful tales, that will spur the imagination of your children.

This is a very enjoyable read for all ages”

— M. Peirce

TRIBUNE , KS, UNITED STATES, August 25, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Fables of a Deep Fried Southerner, By Charles M. Day III it’s a collection of six unique short stories. These six delightful and wonderful tales, that will spur the imagination of your children and grandchildren. Each enchanting story will keep you and the little ones captivated and teach the lessons of life. Charles Day lends his own distinctive artistic style through the illustrations in each story. The illustrations bring the stories to life and feature alligators a leaping bullfrog, bulls, knights, and dragons. This is a great bedtime book and a must-have for your bookshelf if you have young children.

About the book

Fables of a Deep Fried Southerner is a Captivating book of six short stories. These lighthearted tales will please and delight all those who read them. The stories, “Two Bulls” and “The Toad and the Frog” are olden-days sage-style stories. “The Day of Turmoil” takes place sometime in the early 1900s in the Deep South, and “The Wedding Armor” is a tale of medieval times. Both are written in a fairy tale style. “A Knight of Honor” is a medieval-era fable of wisdom and loyalty and is dedicated to the honorable soldiers of our country. “The Obedient Surf” is a story of faith in God and the rewards given to the faithful. Most of the stories have a moral statement that ends the tale.

About the Author

Born, Charles Monroe Day III, to Charles Monroe Day Junior and Edna Cornelia {Mabry} Day on October 12, in 1950, at Methodist Hospital, Memphis Tennessee. Before his 3th birthday, he moved to the Durant Mississippi where his grandfather and grandmother lived. His grandfather Rev. C. M. Day was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Durant Mississippi until his retirement when the entire family moved to Clinton Mississippi. He was raised the majority of his life in Clinton Mississippi where he attended elementary, junior high and high school with a one-year attendance, (seventh grade) at Chamberlain Hunt Military Academy in Port Gibson Mississippi.

Charles spent four years in the United States Navy from 1969 to 1973 in active duty. And from 1973 to 1975 as a member of the Naval reserves. During his military service he was an original crew member of the USS Coronado LPD 11. After graduating from aviation electrician school, located at Jacksonville Florida, Charles finished his active duty service attached to the “Knight Riders” Squadron VA 52 which served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk CV – 63. After his service, Charles worked many fields in the family owned building operation as a “jack of all trades”. Learning foundation, plumbing, air conditioning and heating, framing, insulation, landscaping, tree service, and all other factions of what it takes to build a house.

Charles, from early on, loved the classics and teen mystery novels such as “Hardy Boys Mysteries”. The desire to write stories and publish, his own, works developed from this love of literature. It was not until his 40s that he decided to put pen to paper with his first self-published effort, “Thoughts of the Transplanted Mississippian” a book of poetry and “Done Right” (2005) a do-it-yourself and save money book (2007). “Fables of a Deep Fried Southerner” is his first effort published by a mainstream publisher, Apollo Publications.

BISAC: JUV022000, YAF030000
Pages: 110
Size: 8.5×5.5
ISBN: 978-1-64084-094-2 ePub
ISBN: 978-1-64084-096-6 Paper Back

Stephanie Timmer
Apollo Publications
5172569294
email us here

Evansville African American Museum develops plan for future

The Evansville African American Museum board is introducing a plan for its future that focuses on education, business/development and access.

Museum officials developed the plan with input from small group meetings. It includes a new set of goals and expectations that the museum says will help it better serve and educate the community.  

“The purpose of the visioning session was to get the community engaged in the museum and to hear their thoughts about our organization,” said Museum Board President Lana Burton. “We also wanted to use that information as we develop our strategic plan for the future.” 

The museum worked with consultant Maura Robinson to narrow the feedback to three high-level categories: 

  • Education will include programming, arts, youth, tours, technology, outreach and marketing  
  • Business and Development will include branding, innovation, programming and activities  
  • Access will include a welcoming layout, tours, partnership, collaborations and raising funds 

The museum has been open for 10 years now, and Executive Director Lu Porter has been there for the last six. She said the museum’s finances have improved during that time, but like other museums in the city, the African American Museum is having to adjust to the reduction of city government support.

“People want to know what we’re doing with the visioning, and this is what we are going to do moving forward,’ Porter said. “We want to make sure it’s done.”

Many current museum programs already fall in line with the three goals, but the museum has identified several actions to start immediately.

Those include improving museum curb appeal, working on new education resources and finalizing plans for the Evansville Heritage Trail Tours.  

Other actions include work on the museum’s annual Colour of Humanity Gala on Oct. 28. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Past – Shaping the Future.” 

Porter and Brittney Westbrook, the museum’s curator, were recognized at the National African-American Museum Conference on Aug. 2, where they spoke about grants awarded to the local museum from the Institute Museum Library and Services from 2012-17 for Strategic Planning, Outreach Programming and Museum Sustainability.

The museum’s mission is to develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities. For more information, contact 812-423-5188. 

Read or Share this story: http://www.courierpress.com/story/news/2017/08/22/evansville-african-american-museum-developing-strategic-plan/104857092/

Collins Chapel Hospital to once again provide quality care in Memphis

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Collins Chapel Hospital has a rich history in Memphis.

Found by the Martin brothers in 1910, it was once the only hospital for African Americans in the city. For years it served the community but was eventually closed in 1980 due to declining patients and staff.

Now it’s being renovated for a grand reopening.

“We trust in the next three to six months we will have a completed quality health care institution,” said Bishop Henry M. Williamson.

The new Collins Chapel Health and Rehabilitation Center will continue the hospital’s legacy of training and preparing young African Americans interested in careers in medicine.

“The only place that black doctors and nurses and health care professionals could practice was all black hospitals around the nation.”

Bishop Williamson said the facility will serve those who have been treated in larger facilities but still need ongoing care.

“They’ll need a place for long term care and our 28 bed facility with excellent occupational and rehab services will be available.”

It will also be a place for people to learn about and receive preventative care for diseases like diabetes.

“We know that Memphis is the most obese city in the nation. What can we do in preventative measures?”

Money is still  being raised for the project. Already, organizers said they are halfway to their goal.

“We hope to, with the help of government, public and private sector and people who care, to reach our $5 million goal in the next six months.”

And it’s none too soon, as Bishop Williamson said there’s a health care crisis in the country.

“That’s why the Collins Chapel Hospital project being renovated is so much needed. Quality, affordable health care that is accessible to all people.”

The rehab center is located on the hospital’s original site in the growing medical district and in a community that is ready for transformation.

35.149534 -90.048980