It’s Friday I’m in Love (with Lucian Msamati)

Our Social Media Manager, Abbie, falls in love with Lucian Msamati, chortles with John Cleese, and is seduced by the cast of Hadestown.
O, for a muse of fire, that would foam the finest milk into a latte.

Each Week, Abigail Grimstad,’s Social Media Manager looks at the posts on social media that caught her attention.

Hello Everyone!

Well it’s been a whirlwind of a week. There’s a lot to celebrate, but still a lot of work to do. (Sure, we like a challenge, right?) Let me share with you what’s been keeping me motivated this week.

It’s Friday I’m in Love (with Lucian Msamati)

After I posted my blog last week, I popped right into a ‘coffee morning’ with theatre maker Lucian Msamati (and about 170 other makers), courtesy of The MonoBox.

My set up for my coffee morning. Complete with the largest cup of coffee I could find.

It was the perfect infusion of inspiration, challenge, and introspection, and it put me into a completely different head space as I moved into my weekend. Among other things, Lucian talked about time, legacy, standards of work and performance, and the ways he is personally challenging his creative process. When asked about the expectation of artists to be creating during this time, Lucian simply responded, “Don’t let these tyrannical ideas of ‘time’ limit you.”

We can often feel like we’re running to catch up, and we’re left stuck, searching for ways to express our impulses and create the work we’re inspired to create. This need to follow the same calendar, structure, or example of other artists can leave us stifled and blocked.

It was such a breathe of fresh air to speak (well, actually just listen) to other artists speaking frankly about the struggles they are facing. Even more so as the world seems to be slowly opening up around us, and we start to feel the need to present our wares, the products of our isolation, and prove to the world we made the best of the time we were given.  Lucian’s words of wisdom reminded me that it’s a long game. It’s not easy, and it never has been. But if we’re BOLD within ourselves, constantly pursuing growth and challenge, and trusting our instincts, it will lead us to great places. So great, we can’t begin to fathom it yet.

Weekend Woes in an Autonomous Zone

It was tough this weekend. I kept seeing article after article after (badly photoshopped) article covering the new “CHAZ” in Seattle, and if I didn’t know better I could’ve believed them.  For those who aren’t hip on the new lingo in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle (which I’m sure not many of you are), this is the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), which I believe is now the CHOP (Capitol Hill Ongoing Protest). This zone, formed out of the Black Lives Matter protests, has been the target of some FAKE NEWS! recently, and if I didn’t know people on the ground, it would be easy enough to believe that the rumors were true.  But this took the cake:

Breaking News!

BREAKING: No one Fox News has ever seen Monty Python & The Holy Grail. 😂 #runit #goodjournalism #factchecking

Posted by John Cleese on Monday, June 15, 2020

As a major Python fan myself (read: I watched the entirety of the Flying Circus collection multiple times over the course of a lengthy and exhausting case of mono many years back) I couldn’t hold back the giggles when I saw the legend, Mr. Cleese had posted this. Leave it to the old white British guys to create lasting jokes, which fly straight over the heads of the mostly old white guys at Fox News. Who saw that coming?

(I should mention here that the views expressed and bad jokes made in this blog post are strictly my own.)

A Bloomsday to Remember

From one legend to another. To say that this Tuesday was the best out of the entirety of lock-down might be an overstatement, but heck, I’m just going to say it anyway. Best Tuesday of the lock-down. You could feel the release of breath, the collective sigh as we heard the incredible news of an additional 20 million in support for Arts Council Ireland this week.

With the wave of Bloomsday celebrations, much more subdued than in previous years, I’m sure most of us wanted to go singing through the streets, feeling like at last, perhaps, the government was starting to understand the value of the arts sector.

Although this is great news, we all know there is much more to be done, and as the NCFA team reminded us all in their meeting Thursday afternoon, it’s not the time for us to stop our work. But it is a ray of light in the last few months of difficult times.

From tiny desk to BIG BROADWAY

Many thanks to our Beyond the Pale Associate Producer Janice de Broithe for this final sparkle from NPR’s TIny Desk Concert. When Janice sent me this gorgeous clip of the Hadestown cast, it sent me down a wormhole of jazz, blues, and soul. Now if only Broadway could reopen so we could see this production in person, that’d be great. Thanks.

Music soothes my soul. If you liked Hadestown, you might like this Tiny Desk Concert, with St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

Now what I want to know is:

If we set up an autonomous zone in Dublin, where would we set it up and what would it be called?

Take care of yourselves and each other.



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