Arts, Culture & Entertainment - on ballet, books and baton twirlers

Dumbo feather, the magazine that makes conversations with real, live people its focus, has a new edition out, ripe for the picking. Word is that the front section of Issue 33 is devoted to "Going Local". "Many great things can happen in your backyard, your balcony, your street, your neighbourhood, and we explore some of the ways you can make a change in your immediate universe." How fitting!

The 2013 Illustrators Australia Awards are open (deadline November 13). The third Australian and New Zealand Illustration Awards aim to present the very best of regional illustration and will be judged by top professionals in the fields of advertising, design, publishing and illustration. The competition is open to all Australian and New Zealand illustrators. Categories include: Advertising, Book, Editorial, Fashion, Institutional (organisation), Self-Promotional and Unpublished.  
How's this for a colourful collaborative idea... Tour Mail by The Sketchbook Project sees visitors to the exhibitions across America take to a table to create something unique that will be sent on to another person in a different locale, thereby sharing the love between Sketchbook stations. "Whether they came to look at Sketchbooks or were just passing by, visitors are inevitably lured over to the Drawing Table by the bright Prismacolor materials and the possibility of making a piece of art," say the Project's proponents. Sadly, The Sketchbook Project 2012 is not coming to Melbourne this year as planned... perhaps next year? Entries for the 2013 Sketchbook Project are now open.

Frank Cottrell Boyce’s The Unforgotten Coat has been announced as the winner of the 2012 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. The "inventive and magical" story – originally penned to promote the charity The Reader Organisation, and given away on ferries, buses, through schools, prisons and hospitals – is about two Mongolian refugee brothers living in Liverpool, and examines the effects of the British immigration system on children. Guardian Books Editor Julia Eccleshare said readers "will be left wiser when they have finished the story".

Children's books as part of the drive to win the presidency? Yes, indeed. Non-profit organisation Authors and Illustrators for Children are supporting Obama 2012. The campaign includes children's author names such as Judy Bloom. Kids' books 'n' politics... I'll be!

The New Yorker asks, 'What happened to movies for grown-ups?'

I ask, how does one become a baton twirler like this girl?

The creative Beci Orpin will be hosting will be hosting a Harvest Workroom workshop around three fun projects to create from her new book, Find & Keep. The best bit? Your goodies will be bundled up at the end of your session in a Harvest Textiles Christmas backsack and accompanies by a signed copy of Beci's book. The small and intimate session held in East Brunswick on Friday November 30 or Saturday December 1 is $180 (a pre-Christmas gift for the crafty one you love?).

Katie Noonan recently melted audiences with her supremely lovely vocals at the Brisbane Powerhouse, accompanied by acoustic guitarist Karin Schaupp. They are working on an album together called Songs of the Southern Skies which features a reimagining of some classic Australian music.

What a sweet book video... meet Peggy, peeps. 

This neat little video of two Toowoomba snappers, who go by the Dickensian name of Matt and Katie Ebenezer (they are very un-Scroogey), taking the world by storm care of Nikon, is recommended by Sophie. I feel A Christmas Carol coming on.

The fledgling filmmaker finalists in the ACMI "Screen It" competition have been announced. This year's theme is "belonging" (in family, cultural groups and communities), and called on the school-aged entrants to explore topical issues while flexing their film-making muscle. This year's competition also incorporated an anti-bullying element in partnership with Bullying. No Way!, an initiative of Australian education authorities.

East Timor’s first locally produced feature film, A Guerra Da Beatriz. "East Timor hit the big screen in the 2009 movie Balibo, about the execution of five Australian journalists in 1975, but  that was essentially an Australian production. By contrast, this film is  conceived, performed and directed by young Timorese, with support from volunteer  Melbourne filmmakers," reported Natalie Craig for The Age.
Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson in The Year of Living Dangerously
Hobart-born Christopher Koch, the "warm and charming" author of 1978's The Year of Living Dangerously, which was made into a film by Peter Weir, starring Mel Gibson as a journalist and set in the time that led up to the overthrow of Indonesian president Sukarno, told Stephen Romei in The Australian recently:

"If a book is made into a film, they hang it around your neck forever. I've written other books since that I thin might be better, but people always come back to that one and it's because it was a film. That's how much film dominates our culture." No doubt, J.K. Rowling could relate. His new novel is Lost Voices. He is not a fan of Fifty Shades of Gray.

Recently, husband and I welcomed a new addition into our home... a piano! How timely, then, this lovely new edition of Anthology magazine. Right up our alley. Though we don't do dogs on mats indoors.

Stop whinging, fight cynicism and channel the creativity positively, says Relevant magazine.

Have you ever driven around town to the tune of Schubert's "Ava Maria" or Tchaicovsky's "Nutcracker Suite"? It's an experience in which I delight, as everything around appears to come to life like a ballet accompanied by a symphony; a Fantasia of sorts but steeped in reality. In Brisbane, we enjoy the station 4MBS, which recently had a fundraiser to keep up with digital technology. It's still on the air. Yippee!

The big buzz in Brisbane of late has been the Queensland Ballet's appointment of new artistic director Li Cunxin. In 2013 the author of Mao's Last Dancer and former stockbroker will be bringing audiences classic ballets, including Cinderella, Giselle and The Nutcracker, beginning a new annual company tradition each December

"I am very excited to share these beautiful ballets with Queensland in 2013," he said. "I have chosen works that will not only inspire a love of ballet in everyone who experiences them, but will showcase our exceptionally talented ensemble of dancers."

Opera Queensland will also be presenting a dark, "Dickensian" version of Cinderella in the new year. 

Even the classics need an update occasionally. And that goes for the Bible. The Bible Society's online 'Live Light in 25 words' campaign is in full swing. The latest edition? God's Library, an e-book by Greg Clarke. It's a goodie.

Girl With a Satchel