Morning briefing – Jan. 22


OSU NETWORK DOCS HONORED – New Orleans, Louisiana, is rolling out the red carpet for students from The Ohio State University at Newark. The students’ documentaries on the city’s African-American Carnival traditions will premiere on a New Orleans PBS affiliate during Mardi Gras season. The documentaries tell the stories of the legendary Mardi Gras Indians, African-Americans who parade in the city’s backstreets in intricate costumes—or suits—of beads and feathers that they sew painstakingly by hand anew each year. The suits are said to have originated as homages to Native Americans who helped blacks escape slavery.

“We are thrilled that the New Orleans station is providing our students the opportunity to share what they have learned about this extraordinary tradition and the artists who maintain it,” said Ohio State Newark Associate Dean Virginia Cope, who initiated the project in 2012.

WYES, the PBS affiliate in New Orleans, will premiere the two films January 30 and 31. The documentaries will run on the station through February, the Carnival season. Spirit Leads My Needle: The Big Chiefs of Carnival captures the artistry and strength of the Big Chiefs as they fight to preserve the African-American parading tradition. It’s Your Glory: The Big Queens of Carnival tells the often overlooked story of the women who are integral to the tribes’ and community’s survival during Carnival season and throughout the year.

FOUNDATION LOOKING FOR NEW MEMBERS – Anyone from Ohio who joins the Foundation in February 2016 will receive 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees to plant when the weather turns warm.

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

“The blue-green hue and distinctive shape of Colorado blue spruce trees will help beautify Ohio for many years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees will also add to the proud heritage of Ohio’s existing Tree City USA communities.”

The Tree City USA program has supported community forestry throughout the country for the past 40 years.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow, or they will be replaced free of charge.

Members also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which contains information about planting and care.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by February 29, 2016, or visit

OTTERBEIN PLANS FACULTY RECITAL – Nicholas Ross, director of keyboard studies at Otterbein University, will perform a faculty recital at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. The performance is free and open to the public.

The program, entitled “Excursions,” will feature works for solo piano with a common theme of travel. Specific pieces will include Liszt’s Les jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este, D’un cahier d’esquisses and L’isle joyeuse by Debussy, Busoni’s Indian Diaries, book 1, Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, op. 20 by Bartók, and Samuel Barber’s Excursions.

Ross performs as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. He has performed recitals and concertos at such venues as St. Martin’s-in-the-Field and St. John’s Smith Square, London; the Field Room, Dublin; and the Engelse Kerk, Amsterdam. He is active as a recording artist and has released four solo piano recordings and two collaborative discs of Arthur Honegger’s music. Ross’ scholarly research has focused in recent years on proportional structures and the golden ratio in the music of Mozart, Debussy, Bartók and others.

Staff report

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