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SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT 

Lancaster PA

ARTS. EDUCATION. COMMUNITY. CROWS. LOTS OF CROWS...

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT heralds the return of the migrating Crows to Lancaster PA each winter.


The annual event is comprised of Arts, Education, and Community tie-ins with “Crows” as the theme.


Events/activties take place mid-Jan to mid-Feb in Lancaster PA.

Hail Canuck!!  Vancouver Crow stars in his own movie...

THINGS IN THE WINGS FOR 2018...
ATTENTION ARTISTS and MUSICIANS!
Help us honor poet Wallace Stevens. Take the Great Blackbird Challenge! 
Reimagine the Poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" With Your Art and Music!

CAWING ALL CREATIVES!

1) Pick a stanza (or stanzas) of the poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens

2) Transform it into a painting, drawing, collage, film, song, or whatever you feel inspired to create!

3) Win Black Ribbon prizes like "Best in Crow," "Feather in Yer Cap," and a chance to be nominated to the Caw of Fame..

Artist submission guidelines under "Forums" section. For more info contact Team Crow: [email protected]

In Lancaster PA, the artwork will be exhibited at the "All-Crow" Art Show at Manheim Twp Public Library. In Reading PA (the poet's hometown), The Grandview Gallery will feature Berks Co. artists. Deadline to enter is Dec 19, 2017.

#blackbirdart #art #artist #painting #drawing #lancaster #lancasterpa #gallery #greatblackbirdchallenge #birdart

(above: Mimi Shapiro's vision of "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" stanza VIII)

Here's the poem that inspired the Great Blackbird Challenge. What do you think it means?

Artists - We challenge you to reinterpret a stanza of the poem with your artwork. Or are you afraid of the black bird?

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

                                         -- Wallace Stevens

I

Among twenty snowy mountains,   

The only moving thing   

Was the eye of the blackbird.   


II

I was of three minds,   

Like a tree   

In which there are three blackbirds.   


II

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.   

It was a small part of the pantomime.   


IV

A man and a woman   

Are one.   

A man and a woman and a blackbird   

Are one.   


V

I do not know which to prefer,   

The beauty of inflections   

Or the beauty of innuendoes,   

The blackbird whistling   

Or just after.   


VI

Icicles filled the long window   

With barbaric glass.   

The shadow of the blackbird   

Crossed it, to and fro.   

The mood   

Traced in the shadow   

An indecipherable cause.   


VII

O thin men of Haddam,   

Why do you imagine golden birds?   

Do you not see how the blackbird   

Walks around the feet   

Of the women about you?   


VIII

I know noble accents   

And lucid, inescapable rhythms;   

But I know, too,   

That the blackbird is involved   

In what I know.   


IX

When the blackbird flew out of sight,   

It marked the edge   

Of one of many circles.   


X

At the sight of blackbirds   

Flying in a green light,   

Even the bawds of euphony   

Would cry out sharply.   


XI

He rode over Connecticut   

In a glass coach.   

Once, a fear pierced him,   

In that he mistook   

The shadow of his equipage   

For blackbirds.   


XII

The river is moving.   

The blackbird must be flying.   


XIII

It was evening all afternoon.   

It was snowing   

And it was going to snow.   

The blackbird sat   

In the cedar-limbs.

A Tail of 2 Cities

Lancaster and Reading PA are collaborating on a joint city art project! 

"The Great Blackbird Challenge" is a tribute to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Wallace Stevens (who hails from Reading). 

Both cities will feature art exhibits "reimagining" Stevens' poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" as a painting, drawing, sculpture, or collage. Artists from the 2 counties, as well as from around the world, are taking part in the tribute. 

#blackbirdart #art #artist #painting #drawing #lancaster #lancasterpa #gallery #greatblackbirdchallenge #birdart

JACK BRUBAKER|The SCRIBBLER

Blackbirds and Crows

With apologies to Wallace Stevens and a nod to Something to Crow About, the winter event that welcomes crows returning to Lancaster, here are six slightly modified lines from the poet’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”:


He rode over Lancaster

In a glass coach.

Once, a fear pierced him,

In that he mistook

The shadow of his equipage

For Something to Crow About!


Actually, the coach-riding character in Stevens’ poem — who was riding through Connecticut, not Lancaster — mistook a shadow for a blackbird.


But crows are, indeed, black birds, and this year’s Something to Crow About program will pay homage to Stevens while attempting to re-imagine his poem with art and music.


“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” consists of 13 brief stanzas. Each contains a “blackbird.’’ The poem is one of Steven’s most famous, and part of the lifetime of work that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.


Something to Crow About “caws”' on artists and musicians to reinterpret one or more stanzas of the poem. Details: SomethingToCrowAbout.net


Promoters say “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” is a perfect fit for Lancaster’s annual All Crow Art Show, as well as an unusual way to pay tribute to Wallace Stevens.


Something to Crow About will be staged in January and February 2018 as migrating crows arrive here. It will feature crow-themed events such as an Open Beak Night. Prizes include Best in Crow.’


This year, Reading artists and musicians are joining Lancastrians in paying homage to Stevens, who was born in Reading in 1879. In his youth, the poet summered in Ephrata.


One of his other well-known poems maintains that “the only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.’’ Wallace Stevens knew what he was crowing about.

Lancaster's 2018 "All-Crow" Art Show Jan 12, 2018

Artist Nick McCarthy will display his illustrations used in the book "Crow Party" written by London Maddison. The California artist is also creating new work for the Great Blackbird Challenge, reimagining a stanza of the poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" with his art.

2018 CROW HAIKU CONTEST 

What's a Crow Haiku you say? A haiku is a 3-line poem. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the last line 5 syllables. It also contains a "seasonal" word. We take it one step further, and ask the writer to include a reference to corvids -- crows, ravens, magpies, or jays. 

Here's a few examples...

Crows gave you away --

that spring we played hide and seek

I saw you hiding.

She used to feed crows.

When snow got too deep for her

they ate from her hand.

Crows roost at the mall.

Canons on the roof scare them

into swirling snow

OPEN BEAK NITE RETURNS

Cawing all Writers, Poets, Playwrights, Musicians, Storytellers! It's CROW TIME!!

Rabbit and Dragonfly will once again host Open Beak Nite. Salute the Crow with your Crow-themed Haiku, Poe-try, Stories, and Songs. Win a free cup of caw-fee and honors like 'Best in Crow" and "Feather In Yer Cap."

SO WHAT'S UP WITH ALL THOSE CROWS?

Each year, app. 40,000 Crows migrate to Lancaster PA to roost for the winter. They like to roost in the city because it offers warmth and light and protection from predators. 
Residents and businesses, however, don’t always cotton to the crows company. Walk the city streets and you might think you hear gunshots (it’s possible), but more likely, its pyrotechnics – bottle rockets, screamers – used to scare the crows away from downtown.
The crows usually end up on the outskirts of town, at shopping malls like Park City and Red Rose Commons, where they mass in great numbers. The sight is somewhat surreal...
At Christmastime, the real battle begins -- anti-crow cannons at shopping centers herald the coming of Christ and crows with thunderous booms, sending crows skyward, and shoppers in a panic. Its fun to watch, and provides a little comic relief from the stress of the shopping season (if you aren’t a shopper or a crow).
By March the crows return to their summer homes in upstate NY, New England, and Canada. And we forget about them until next winter until it starts all over again.

CROWS ARE COOL!

That's why we created "Something To Crow About." We figured if you know a little more about crows, you might think they are cool too. Or at least look at them a little differently...

A LOOK BACK AT THE YEAR IN CROW  2017... 


STCA's 2017 "ALL-CROW" COMMUNITY ART SHOW / Jan-Feb 2017

POE WINS "BEST IN CROW" 

Lancaster artist Robert Haldeman captured 2017 "Best in Crow" award for visual artists. His colorful "torn paper" collage pays homage to Edgar Allan Poe -- patron saint of crows and ravens. Congratulations Bob. You are Something To Crow About!

CROW TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS

Caw Out to art teacher Lisa Wolf and her talented flock at McCaskey HS. You guys are Something To Crow About! Below, some Crow-d favorites...

MAKING A CASE FOR CERAMIC CROW ART

This is the 3rd year Manheim Township HS artists cooked crows in a kiln. Ceramics Art Teacher Dave Bear said he and his students learn something new each year by taking part in the "All-Crow" art show. Hey Dave. The pleasure is ours. You guys are Something To Crow About!

OPEN BEAK NITES: "BIRD IS THE WORD"

They came. They cawed. They conquered. Read crow-themed haiku and poetry. Told crow stories. Dillweed, a bluegrass trio, cawed out "Crow and Mermaid." Crow-gospel quartet Ripple earned a "Best in Crow" nomination for "The Carol of Crows." A reading of the play "Crow-drophenia" closed Open Beak Nites.

"This is the beginning of the neo-crow movement," said one writer. "We're creating our own crow mythology here..." 

Edgar Alan Crow reacts after several of his Crow Haiku poems were selected "Best in Crow" in STCA's annual Crow Haiku contest.

Lord of Gnome Countryside, Storyteller Rich Humphries tells a tall tale of crows in a tall tree. Thanks Rich! You are Something To Crow About!


Mark Ammerman and Ripple rip into "The Carol of the Crows." The song was nominated for "Best Crow Gospel" at Open Beak Night at Rabbit and Dragonfly Cafe.


Kesse Krow, who appeared in the movie "Black Crow-santhymum," reads the part of Junior, a teenage crow in Edgar Alan Crow's play "Crow-drophenia."

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT'S VISUAL ARTS CAW OF FAME

DEBORAH DIANA WINS "ALL-CROW"

Celebrated avian artist Deborah Diana earned "All-Crow" honors in this year's "All-Crow" art show.


She was also the first artist to be inducted into STCA's 

Visual Arts Caw of Fame.


Hey Deb, you know what? YOU are Something To Crow About!


Below, a few of Deborah's colorful corvids...

MIMI SHAPIRO EARNS "FEATHER IN YER CAP"

"I made use of a rainy day," said Mimi. "Hope you like it." 

We do Mimi. That's why we pray for rain. Mimi's "Crow Art" earned her a "Feather in Yer Cap" award. It is now hanging in the Caw of Fame Museum. Thank you Mimi! You are Something To Crow About!

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT'S MUSIC CAW OF FAME

REGIONAL BANDS NOMINATED TO THE ROCK AND ROLL CAW OF FAME:

All Mighty Senators; Crack The Sky; DC & Co; Gleason's Drift; Halestorm; Live; Medusa’s Disco; The Districts; The Maybabies; The Mysteries; Second Sky; Total Quality Institute; The Stray Birds; Vinegar Creek Crowstituancy


MEDUSA'S DISCO

The Lancaster PA band earned a "Best in Crow" award for their song "Ask the Bird." They were also nominated twice to the Rock 'n Roll Caw of Fame: "Best Use of Bird in Song" and "Most Exciting Band To Watch" in the region. If you have to ask why, ask their fast-growing flock of followers.

THE MYSTERIES

Where this young Philly-based band gets their bluesy bubblegum 60's psychedelic sound is a mystery. But that don't matter. Just turn on. Tune in. Turn out for these guys. It's a great trip...


ALL MIGHTY SENATORS

Baltimore's Kung Fu Funk Masters were nominated to the Rock 'n Roll Caw of Fame because, well they are Something To Crow About! Plus, they got that song about Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan.


TOTAL QUALITY INSTITUTE

Bringing cred to Kutztown PA, Blind Pigeon Recording Artitst "TQI" earned a Something To Crow About nomination for their quirky brand of pop rock, bringing to mind the best of the Clash, Talking Heads, and Television. In short, the funkiest bunch of nerds you never heard of.

NATIONAL ACTS NOMINATED TO THE ROCK AND ROLL CAW OF FAME:

AC/DC; Aerosmith; Blur; Brave Combo; David Bowie; Donnie Iris; Live; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Moodie Blues; Police; Ozzie Osbourne; Pretenders; Red Elvises, Rush; Santana; Sheryl Crow; Steppenwolf; Talking Heads; Tears for Fears; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; Van Halen; XTC; Yes; Neil Young, and ZZ Top.

STEPPENWOLF

The rock 'n roll rebels first burned rubber on the "Easy Rider" soundtrack and gave us radio classics like "Born to Be Wild," "Magic Carpet Ride," and "Rock Me." Of the handful of rock giants still standing, John Kay and Steppenwolf are without a doubt Something To Crow About! Hey, they still tour and sound better than ever. Go see em! On your chopper.




RUSH

OK, we secretly hope Alex will come to the Caw of Fame and give the same speech he did at the Hall of Fame. You know the one where he said blah, blah, blah, blah for like 10 minutes. Except for us he'd go caw, caw, caw, caw, for like ten minutes.

Rush gets our vote for best 3-piece rock band in the world. Blah, blah, blah...

AC/DC

How is it possible 2 brothers from Australia could dominate American rock and roll for so many years? Inspire thousands of high school kids to pick up the electric guitar?

"Sometimes I think we just don't know any better," said Angus.

Our favorite album?

"Back in Black" of course.

DONNIE IRIS AND THE CRUISERS


Ah! Leah, Love is Like a Rock...

Pittsburgh's adopted son has gone from 80's nerd rocker to 2000's biker rocker. Did you know the band still performs select venues on PA's west coast? Hey Dawnie, you know what? You are Something To Crow About!

Who said white guys can't dance? Here's The Trashmen doing "Surfin' Bird." The clip was nominated 'Bbbest in Crow" for music video.

Captain Beefheart's "Ice Cream for Crow" was nominated "Most Chill" video.

SINGER SONGWRITERS NOMINATED TO THE CAW OF FAME: 

Beck, Bruce Cockburn; Julian Cope; Sheryl Crow; John Fogerty; Steve Forbert; Colin Hay; Jimmie Dale Gilmore; Ray Davies; Richard Thompson; William Elliot Whitmore


ACTS NOMINATED FOR "BEST USE OF BIRD IN SONG" CATEGORY:

Captain Beefheart "Ice Cream For Crow"; Eels "I Like Birds"; Guided By Voices "Know Me As Heavy"; Paul McCartney "Blackbird"; Alan Parsons Project "The Raven"; Brian Eno "Put a Straw Under Baby"; Gleason's Drift "Crowes"; The Holy Modal Rounders "If You Want To Be a Bird"; The Waterboys "Sweet Thing"; Trashmen "Surfin' Bird"; William Elliot Whitmore "Song of the Blackbird"; Medusa's Disco 'Ask the Bird"

ALASH ENSEMBLE NOMINATED "BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT'

Tuvan throatsingers are known for the remarkable technique of singing multiple pitches at the same time. Master singers, as well as master musicians, Alash have astounded audiences around the world with their "otherworldly folk music."

See them LIVE to fully appreciate the experience. Only then will you really know these guys are Something To Crow About! Alash returns to the Ware Center in Lancaster PA Oct 10, 2017.

LAST CAW...

CAW-TURAL ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Steve Aberdeen, Rene "Gift" Horst, Jen Palcrow

FILM / CROWS ON FILM


WHY WE LOVE TO HATE HITCHCOCK

Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds" may have set the neo-Crow Movement back 100 years. And the re-issue didn't help. But gosh darn it's still one of our favorite films of all time. Hitch. You genius. 

TRAILER FOR "THE BIRDS"

THE LEGEND OF THE SCARECROW

MAGPIE and PUPPY PLAY...

BOOK / CROW-PRASTINATOR


ALBERT CAWLINS: IN PRAISE OF LAZY

Albert Cawlins has written a book! The former Team Crow alum (Flock of 2010) has actually been writing the book for the last 30 years. 

"Believe me, I'm amazed as anyone it ever got done,"  said Cawlins.  This is his first book (and probably last). 

"CROW-PRASTINATOR - How I Learned to Put Things Off and Become a Lazy Person and Succeed in Business and Life" is more than a "how-to" in the art of doing nothing. It offers useful advice on how to let things "take care of themselves..." and the joy one finds in "putting things off for another day." 

The author is planning a book tour to promote the book, as soon as he gets around to it.


David felt ill, so he stayed home from school. Then he noticed a flock of crows in the yard. He discovers they are fascinating creatures. Twenty years later he creates an event about crows. We made that part up.

CONTEST / DO YOU HAIKU?

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT'S ANNUAL "CROW HAIKU" CHALLENGE

2017 Crow Haiku finalists....


an icy sidewalk,

the boy who dropped his french-fries

                     -- crows at McDonalds


She used to feed crows.

When snow got too deep for her

they ate from her hand.


a gold ginko tree

lures crows this frosty morning -- 

THEY WON'T LET ME SLEEP!


Fed hungry magpies.

-- Cache La Poudre Canyon.

                    April Eighty-six


the season’s first snow --

atop the telephone pole

 crow caws out to all


Both winter and spring

        fight over yellow crow-cus

               buried in the snow.


at dusk by the creek

crows fill bare limbs like lost leaves

--the family tree


Crows gave you away --

that spring we played hide and seek

I saw you hiding.


After three days snow

two Stellar Jays befriend me

-- and steal all my food!


empty caw-fee cup

left outside overnight,

filled with fresh snow


Winter-whipped magpie

       edges closer to cheese curls

                in my open hand.


After the blizzard

a full moon buries the dead

crow-santhymums.

MOUNT JOY ISN'T FAR - AS THE CROW FLIES

As The Crow Flies is a neat Crow-themed Primitives Boutique in Mount Joy PA. Nominated "Best In Crow" among businesses in 2015,2016, and 2017, the Crow-centric shoppe adds a little joy to Mount Joy. Just minutes from York, Lancaster, or Harrisburg -- As The Crow Flies. 62 East Main Street, Mount Joy, PA.