After a terrible fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the world is mourning damage to an architectural marvel and a holy space. This hour, we look at the interplay of religion and art. How can a physical structure like the cathedral carry such spiritual weight?
We also take you on a visit to an exhibit by a Connecticut artist with Down syndrome. His illustrations of the Ten Commandments explores one of the best-known stories from the Old Testament of the Bible in a new light.
And we hear from a master artist of Sephardic music, a Jewish cultural tradition that was nearly wiped out during the Holocaust.
Does art shape your religious experience, or the way you think about your cultural traditions?
- Camille Serchuk - Professor of Art History at Southern Connecticut State University
- Sam Goldenberg – Mentor to Bruce Gillespie, a Connecticut artist with Down Syndrome
- Susan Feltman Gaeta - Master Artist with Virginia Humanities, where she teaches and preserves Sephardic music; she is a member of Trio Sefardi
The national premiere of the documentary and performance piece “La Nona Kanta: The Remarkable Life of Flory Jagoda,” will take place at Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor on May 4, 2019 at 8 pm, with video footage of Flory Altarac Jagoda and music by Trio Sefardi.
New Haven Register: Artist Bruce Gillespie draws his way to an Ivy gig at Yale (April 2019) – “The Yale Divinity School will exhibit a dozen Bruce Gillespie drawings (depicting the 10 Commandments) in an exhibit from Thursday, April 18, through June. Gillespie, in his 60s, has Down syndrome and lives in Danbury, where Goldenberg noticed his passion for drawing so many years ago at the Danbury Regional Center.”
Connecticut Public Radio: Sephardic Musician, 92, Keeps Tradition Alive (December 2016) – “By the end of the war, the population of Sephardic Jews in the Balkans was nearly wiped out, and with it their unique culture. The pain of the Holocaust caused Flory Jagoda to set aside music and the memories of her childhood for decades. But in her 40s, she embarked on a mission to resurrect the Sephardic music of the Balkans, and to celebrate the lives of the people she lost in the Holocaust through her own compositions.”
NPR: How Notre Dame, 'Vast Symphony In Stone,' Weaves Its Way Through Parisian History (April 2019) – “On April 15, Notre Dame de Paris caught fire, and its interior was almost entirely destroyed. The wooden roof burned clean through, and the proud spire – actually added between 1845 and 1879 – toppled over like a child's toy set. Outside, thousands of horrified onlookers held up their phones. Some began to sing hymns.”
Chion Wolf contributed to this show.