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An absolute pleasure it was to spend time with her and confirm her participation in mid-August's show "Abstract Women" at the gallery's Jamesport location. Details to follow. Her work is mixed-media layered in acrylics and textiles; each piece holds endless possibilities for interpretation. At one time playful, contemplative, colorful, thought provoking. So much too consider in each painting.

William Ris Gallery's photo.

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William Ris Gallery

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Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
* 1291 Main Road (PO Box #969)
Jamesport, NY 11947 

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by Allen Frances, M.D.

It seems like someone I know gets sick almost every week. At my age, this is expectable and acceptable. What is completely unexpected and unacceptable is how often doctors and hospitals make serious mistakes.

I have written about this in three previous blogs, each describing or explaining one or another aspect of outrageously incompetent medical care.

"Why Are Medical Mistakes Our Third Leading Cause of Death?"

"High Tech Medicine Can Be Bad for Your Health"

"We Have Too Many Specialists and Too Few General Practitioners"

In this blog, we benefit from the unique perspectives of Donna Helen Crisp- a patient-victim who also happens to be a nurse, lawyer, and author of the important book "Anatomy of Medical Errors: The Patient in Room 2".

Donna Helen writes: "The Center for Disease Control (CDC) compiles data on the leading causes of death. Heart disease and cancer are the top two. This list is important because it influences public health priorities, including research and funding allocation.

Unfortunately, medical errors are not on this list even though they would rank at least third. Precise numbers aren't available, and estimates are controversial, but medical errors probably cause the deaths of between 250,000-440,000 patients a year- astounding and terrifying numbers.

Many more patients, like me, survive their medical errors, to suffer untold complications, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Why are medical errors nowhere on the CDC's list?  Because human or system factors are not considered when doctors, coroners, and funeral directors fill out death certificates. They use only categories of disease, morbid condition, and injury for coding.

I know about this because I experienced horrific medical errors and adverse events after entering a hospital for a simple surgery. Instead of going home the next morning, I ended up in a coma in an ICU for weeks- after my surgeons had unknowingly torn my intestine in two places.

I was slowly dying and no one knew it. Residents were busy writing orders for me to eat breakfast and be discharged.  With no one supervising the new doctors or coordinating my care, it took about forty hours before anyone realized how sick I was.

Things got worse in my emergency repair surgery.  A student placed a tube incorrectly, causing me to aspirate barium dye into my lungs. In addition to the infection I had from my leaking bowel, I developed new raging infections, including sepsis.

I endured three more surgeries as doctors tried to save my life. After a month, I finally went home, unable to move, with a huge hole in my abdomen, connected to a wound vac draining machine. I had no idea how to put my life back together.

While most people know someone who has suffered with or died from heart disease or cancer, few people realize the risks patients face from injury or death due to medical errors in hospitals.  Physicians and hospitals seldom disclose the truth. Patients get worse or die without knowing what went wrong.

It is possible to lower or avoid some risk factors for cancer or heart disease.  Alas, there is little a patient can do to prevent medical errors. Patients cannot diagnose themselves, prescribe correct medications, observe their surgery, or coordinate their own care.

It took years for me to learn what went wrong in my specific case. Here are some of what I learned about why things go wrong:

• Corporate profit is often protected at the expense of patient safety.
Health insurance companies are complicit with hospitals, both of which need patients to produce income.

•Training new doctors is often valued more than patient safety. Patients are seldom told the extent to which they will be practiced on by new doctors or fellows. A famous teaching hospital may be the most dangerous place to be a patient.

•When things go wrong in hospitals, silence is the common response. Doctors and surgeons often deny or cover up errors, or pretend they never occurred.

•Patients and families often wrongly believe a tragic outcome is due to bad luck, or fate.

Here are some of my proposed solutions:

•Healthcare systems and insurance companies need to value patient safety more than profit.

•Hospitals and other healthcare facilities need to operate with transparency so errors can be identified, understood, and eliminated.

•Consumers (and providers) of health care need to learn the truth so they can advocate for safety and prevent medical errors and adverse events.

•Hospitals need to provide leadership and training to encourage and support doctors and other staff to be accountable for their actions.

•The public must become aware of the risks they face in medical settings from preventable errors.

•Consumers of health care need to become their own change agents.

Here is what patients can do:

• Ask question about every procedure every step of the way and expect clear answers about risks and benefits.

• Maintain current advance directives - living will and health care power of attorney. Keep originals and provide copies when entering a health system.

• Ask who will participate in your procedure or surgery.  Will students, residents, fellows, or observers be present?  If so, what will they be doing to your body?

• The "informed consent" you are required to sign is usually minimal and generic. Much of what you are consenting to is not written on the form or discussed with you. You have the right to add or delete certain items before you sign the consent form, even if a doctor or nurse says otherwise.

• Keep a list of your medications and know the purpose, risks, side effects, and interactions. On average, there is one medication error per patient per day in hospitals.

• Have someone act as your advocate and stay with you at all times, or at least during the day and evening.  Staffing shortages are common.  Once, I sat in a chair for more than two hours waiting for someone to help me back to bed.  It was after midnight and my family had gone home.

• Know the chain of command.  If there is a problem, speak with your nurse, the nursing supervisor, the unit manager, the doctor, doctor on call, or the doctor's supervisor.  Never assume a new nurse or resident is an authority on your problem.

•If no one can help you, dial zero and ask the hospital operator to connect you with the administrator on call.  If this fails, consider dialing "911."  I know a nurse who worked at a major medical center.  One night, when she could not get anyone to help her patient, she called "911" and it worked."

Thanks, Donna Helen. Hospitals are now competing for patients in all the wrong ways- trying to be the fanciest hotel, not the safest and best deliverer of care. Instead of spending fortunes on new lobbies and ritzier rooms, hospitals should be doing much more to perfect quality assurance programs that can prevent errors.

Doctors no longer have time to know their patients and instead are often treating lab tests, not people. We need fewer high tech specialists and many more primary care doctors to organize care and ensure it makes sense and is done well.

Health providers must admit mistakes and learn from them. This actually reduces the risk of malpractice suits and results in fewer future mistakes.

Patients and families can't be passive. You really have to become fully informed and fight for safe care. Unfortunately, your basic assumption must be that things will go wrong unless you take some responsibility for monitoring them.

People should become much less afraid of disease and much more afraid of treatments.

To learn more about medical mistakes, everyone should see one of the best movies ever made, the hilarious
black comedy, 'The Hospital'.

In a climate of racial violence and unrest, much of the conversation focuses on how to fix the country-at-large's issues with racism. But the President of the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, wants to redirect the conversation to focus on some of the most vulnerable members of society: our children. The letter in its entirety is posted below.

Dear friend,

In the wake of last week's racially charged violence, our dismay and distress have reached a fever pitch. These tragic shootings -- of black men by police and policemen by a sniper -- add fuel to a burning conversation in this country, and I think it's important for all of us to take part. The conversation is about the relationship between police and black communities, about violence, racism and divisiveness. 

To be honest, part of me wants to ignore it and keep my head down. Can a white child psychiatrist have a role in addressing this crisis? If I did not want to raise eyebrows or potentially offend anyone, I'd stop writing now.

But my job is to speak for children, who too often get short shrift because it is "inconvenient" to put their interests first. And here is the truth: the outbursts and the arguments, the anxiety and enmity, the killings and memorials are out there in full view of our kids -- black or white, documented or undocumented, immigrants or native born.

Our children need help. They need the adults in their lives to step up and comfort them and also to be honest with them. And though the conversation is different from community to community, parents need to talk to their children about the way things are and the way we think they should be.

Last week's violence was particularly painful because it threatens to turn even our mourning into something that divides, rather than uniting us. Our children look to us not only to keep them safe but also to help them think about upsetting information, including injustice, violence and division.

Many people have published helpful guidelines for talking to children about these very American issues of race, racism, equality and responsibility. I offer just a few:

  • Acknowledge injustice in our society. Children know when adults are hiding things from them, and it makes them feel unsafe.
  • Talk about the power of positive action. It helps children to know that adults are working together to make our communities and our country more fair.
  • Communicate hope to children. Feeling powerless or passive in the face of bad things makes them more painful.
  • Focus on togetherness and our common welfare. We need to stress that if some Americans are vulnerable, none of us should be comfortable.
  • Affirm the value of peaceful dissent. Passionate differences of opinion are the lifeblood of this country, but disagreements are never an excuse for violence.
  • E pluribus unum. When the conversation turns ugly, our children should know that uniting rather than dividing is the course that gets results.

Speaking these words to our children is very hard when we feel strongly that we are right, and the other side is wrong. The conversation devolves into fearful stereotypes, unkind words and hurtful shouting. Too often it is punctuated with gunfire. Let us remember that this violence and these words and this free-floating anxiety are not lost on our children.

Luckily, we have examples that we can aspire to. Three of them spoke at Tuesday'smemorial for the fallen Dallas police officers. Rabbi Andrew Marc Paley connected the anxiety so many of us live with to its unfortunate outcome. "Those of us who are scared and afraid, angry and confused," he said, are suffering with an "illness of violence, hatred, xenophobia and indifference that plagues us every day."

President Obama spoke movingly about the challenges we face in confronting that illness. "I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," he said. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been." But examples like the people of Dallas are strong. "All of you," he told the mo­urners, "out of great suffering have shown us the meaning of perseverance, of compassion, of hope."

The best gift we can give our children, and the best way to make them feel safe, is to let them hear and see our efforts to work towards change. "There is no greater love than this," Dallas police chief David Brown said in memorializing the five officers killed while protecting a protest. "These five men gave their lives for all of us."

In moments when hope eludes us, let us remember the power of constructive action and of investing in our children -- all our children, not just yours or mine. If we help our children, if we nurture and protect their childhoods, if we spare them from our prejudices and misunderstandings, they have a chance to be better than we are. And in turn they will create a better country and lead us to a more perfect union.

With my warmest regards,    

Harold S. Koplewicz, MD
Child Mind Institute

Summer at the Guggenheim


From new exhibitions to free admission to multimedia architecture guides for children, the Guggenheim is one New York City cultural institution that can't be missed this summer.

Two exciting new exhibitions are running throughout the summer. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present is a retrospective of László Moholy-Nagy organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Moholy-Nagy is known for his "radical innovations...with cameraless photographs (which he dubbed 'photograms'); his unconventional use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; experiments with light, transparency, space, and motion across mediums; and his work at the forefront of abstraction." It runs until September 7th. But A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, which explores artistic practices within both the region and its diaspora. Curated by Sara Raza, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, this exhibition "will feature installations, photographs, sculptures, videos, and works on paper from a broad selection of artists." After the exhibition closes on October 5th, it will travel to Istanbul's Pera Museum in 2017.

The Guggenheim is also offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families until Labor Day, September 5th. The admission includes active-duty Reserve and National Guard. Each serviceperson will be able to bring up to five family members. The Guggenheim is working with Blue Star Museums, a collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 U.S. museums. For more information, and to find out other participating museums, visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

The Guggenheim is housed in an iconic building by Frank Lloyd Wright. In order to connect musem-goers with the building, a multimedia guide was created--and now that guide has been made available in a format for children. The guide "explores the landmark structure from various points of view and helps kids discover special locations and architectural features, including the exact center of the rotunda, a staircase shaped like a football, and the Aye Simon Reading Room, tucked away behind its distinctive, keyhole-shaped entry."

Anxiety disorders can lead to disruptions in children's lives, especially in the classroom. For those children struggling with anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, has allowed them to retake control of their lives. Standard CBT treatments range from three-to-four months, but an accelerated program is allowing students to complete the course within "a few weeks," according to the Child Mind Institute, which this week published an in-depth look at the process.

The intensive CBT courses allow students access to the relief they need as soon as possible. "As kids learn the skills faster and get results faster," says Dr. Jerry Bubrick, "they get more and more empowered."

The post from the Child Mind Institute covers a range of topics from the nature of OCD and anxiety to the importance of children spending time in nature. The complete list of topics is below:

Caroline Miller is Editorial Director of the Child Mind Institut, an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders. For more information, see childmind.org.

A History Lesson


By Dr. Stephen Spahn,
Chancellor of Dwight School

As seniors graduate and educators take stock of another academic year, I am inclined to take a longer look in the rearview mirror -- well beyond the last few semesters to the beginning of my career in education for a perspective on how far we have all traveled and a primer on what has stood the test of time.

When I became a young headmaster in the 1960s, it was a particularly tumultuous time -- a counterculture decade marked by activism and the Vietnam War. Students reflected this era fully; they were front and center in anti-war and civil rights movements and also the ones who were drafted. Against this backdrop, I dove head first into my work and learned a fundamental lesson that has shaped my educational philosophy ever since: When you help a young person discover his/her passion or talent and nurture that uniquely personal interest or set of skills, you unlock the door to all other learning. Oftentimes during the 60s, what drove students was a call to move away from the conformity that characterized the 1950s. As we encouraged students to find their own passions, we saw how they were transformed into great learners and leaders.

During the 1970s and 80s, as the global economy continued to grow and markets became more interdependent, education had to adapt to the new order. The International Baccalaureate answered the call. The IB, which was born in 1968, began to grow and take hold, offering a vigorous academic curriculum designed to cross -- and transcend -- national boundaries. IB schools envisioned a world in which students everywhere were equipped with the communication and critical thinking skills needed to bridge cultures and countries to collaborate and solve problems on a global scale. The IB has since expanded to meet this objective and today includes 4,335 public, private, and parochial schools worldwide.

The Digital Age rapidly accelerated the need for educators to prepare students to be global citizens and succeed in the competitive global marketplace, reinforcing the benefits of an IB education. Technology also transformed our markets: The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that while merchandise trade added approximately $2.7 trillion to the global economy in 2014, international data flow added $2.8 trillion that same year.

What does this mean for educators? We have to equip students with the ability to gather, assess, and interpret big data across disciplines -- skills that we could never have envisioned 50 years ago. Yesterday's art studios, science labs, and classrooms have been digitized. Today's learning spaces must continue to evolve into collaborative information-sharing hubs.

As educational infrastructures and facilities keep pace with new media and we build ever-higher-tech schools of the future, we must remind ourselves of the second fundamental lesson that I learned at the beginning of my career: There is simply no substitute for great teachers. Excellent, caring teachers who put the student first are the bedrock of an excellent education.#

Chancellor Stephen Spahn is the longest-serving head of school in New York City. Dwight School is a founding International Baccalaureate Prek-12 school in the United States and the first to offer the comprehensive IB curriculum in the Americas. Visit the Dwight School at https://www.dwight.edu/.


"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

The nature/nurture debate on the causes of mental disorder generates no end of silly controversy by proponents on both sides.

The biological reductionists act like the secret of psychiatric disorders is written in the genetic code. They are "mindless"- dismissing the crucial role of  environment in how our brain develops and of psychology and social context in how it functions.

The environmental reductionists go to the opposite "brainless" extreme-  argueing that a psychiatric disorder is a direct reflection of life stresses and dismissing the crucial role of biological vulnerability, particularly for the severe mental disorders.

Both sides fail to appreciate the complexity of interaction among biology, psychology, and social setting. The brain is the most complicated thing in the known universe. It contains more than 100 billion neurons (equal to the number of stars in our galaxy), each firing dozens to hundreds of times a second, and connected to each other by 240 trillion synapses. There is no way that our 20,000 genes could in any simple top/down fashion instruct the intricate wiring and firing of so many connections. The miracle is that this complex system usually works as well as it does.

Experience must play the crucial mediating role in facilitating appropriate adaptation. Neurons that fire together, wire together. It is equally silly to deny the role of biology in providing the hardware as it is to deny the role of experience in helping to shape the software.

Having a close relative with a psychiatric disorder is usually the most predictable risk factor for developing that disorder yourself, but the relationship is not inevitable. Even identical twins (who have identical genes) as often as not do not develop the same psychiatric disorder.

The intense fifty year search to figure out how heredity works has produced many hyped claims, false starts, blind alleys, and failed replications. This is a confusing minefield of contradictory findings, difficult for the non-expert to interpret.

Luckily we have the perfect guide. Steve Dubovsky MD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Adjoint Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Colorado.

Dr Dubovsky writes: "You can hardly watch TV or open a magazine these days without coming across advertisements for practitioners with the latest scientific and most 'personalized' methods to diagnose and treat whatever might ail you. Among these modern wonders is the claim that genetic testing, can tell you exactly which medication will work best for your condition. Such promises are encouraged by an escalating number of studies demonstrating associations between versions (alleles) of various genes and illness subtypes, as well as increased availability of genetic testing.

Some of the information emerging from genetic studies currently has clinical applications in limited areas of medicine, a certain amount is deceptive, and most, while promising, is not yet ready for prime time. How can we tell these categories apart?

First some basic principles. Genes do not cause illnesses; they make proteins, usually by making messenger RNA. Because proteins have discrete functions, different proteins coded by different genes frequently interact with each other to produce complex manifestations called phenotypes.

Different genotypes (patterns of genes) produce different phenotypes. A few medical illnesses are phenotypes that are the downstream result of an aberrant allele of a single gene that produces a malfunctioning protein. For example, Huntington's disease is caused by an abnormal protein called huntingtin produced by a single defective gene. If you have the gene, you will get the illness. Not one of all the psychiatric disorders is in this category of simple gene causation.

Even though you are born with all the genes you will ever have, their expression varies over the lifetime and under different circumstances.

Many different interacting processes- environmental factors, experience, inner states, illnesses and medications- vary whether a gene does or does not get expressed. Because of 'epigenetics', the person's genotype (summary of alleles of various genes) does not inevitably predict phenotype.

This brings us to risk assessment based on genetics. About 10% of cases of breast cancer have a familial pattern that suggests the influence of a mutation of one of two genes, called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Although defective versions of these tumor suppressor genes (which produce proteins that block proliferation of cancer cells) convey a significantly increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, only a small minority of women who have breast cancer have these genes. The breast is the simplest organ in the body, but we still don't understand much about the diseases associated with it.

It is therefore no surprise that is so difficult to sort out any consistent pattern for psychiatric disorders that are based on the most complicated interaction between a ridiculously complicated organ and a ridiculously complicated environment.

Every time a new study reports that a particular gene is found more frequently in people with a particular psychiatric disorder than normal subjects, it seems that the gene must be the cause of that disorder, or at least a reliable marker. And then another disorder turns out to have the same marker. And another. Or the study doesn't replicate at all.

What happened? For one thing, even though most major psychiatric disorders have a genetic component, that component is the sum of hundreds if not thousands of genes, each with a small effect, not to mention epigenetic influences on the expression of those genes.

It would take comparisons of millions of subjects with different diagnoses to show that a particular subtype is associated with a particular constellation of genes. And the finding would likely apply only to a very small percentage of people with the disorder.

In addition, there is a great deal of symptomatic overlap between psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, delusional disorder, personality disorders and dementia can all experience psychosis). The genetic factors may be more related to discrete symptoms than to overall disorders.

The conclusion? There is not yet any genetic test for any of the  psychiatric disorders.

The next question is whether genetics can predict the effects of psychiatric meds.

The body's metabolic machinery for handling, breaking down, and eliminating xenobiotics (foreign material, usually from plants) consists of enzymes. These are proteins that move material in and out of cells (transporters) and receptors. Medications, many of which resemble plants, are affected by these enzymes, some of which have different levels of activity depending on the genes that code for them.

For example, one of the best studied metabolizing enzyme, cytochrome P450 2D6, has 4 major phenotypes depending on whether the genes inherited from mother and father convey great activity, moderate activity, or no activity. Even this apparent simple situation is complicated by the fact that it is possible to have multiple copies of the same functional or nonfunctional gene. The situation is complicated even further by the fact that most medications are metabolized by multiple enzymes, so if activity of one pathway is low, another pathway will hypertrophy to eliminate its substrate normally. Even if genotypes could predict the actual level of a medication in the blood, there is no clearly demonstrated relationship between blood level and clinical effect or side effects for most psychiatric medications.

A number of studies have attempted to take into consideration the actions of networks of enzymes and other proteins coded by multiple genes in predicting which medications will be best tolerated and/or most effective for a given patient. Of the independently funded studies, the Genome-Based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression (GENDEP), the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study, and the Munich Antidepressant Response Study, which involved a total of 2641 depressed patients, as well as the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study involving 738 schizophrenia patients, found no combination of genetic markers that predicted treatment response.

In not surprising contrast, two studies supported by the manufacturer of a composite report of genotypes done on a total of only 271 patients found a positive result. Unlike the independently funded studies, patients were not assigned to receive genetic monitoring or no monitoring, and treatment and assessments were not blinded to the use of monitoring to guide treatment. As a result, the finding that patients whose antidepressant treatment was guided by genetic testing seemed to have a better outcome could well be due to patients with monitoring feeling better about getting a new approach or evaluators knowing whether monitoring was used. The company did a third study of 51 depressed patients who were randomly assigned to monitoring or no monitoring and had blinded assessments, but there were not significant differences between patients whose medications were or were not chosen according to genotype. In a fourth study from the same company, only 97 patients were studied with equally inconclusive results.

The Bottom Line: The rush to apply each new genetic finding to the clinic before it can be examined critically in studies that take into account the complexity of human neurobiology and experience is an example of the aphorism that the faster you go, the longer it takes to get where you are going. Right now, genetic studies give us an early insight into interacting dimensions of illness that are influenced not just by genes, but by interactions of genes with regulatory components, experience, and the actual illness and its treatment.

The fact that we cannot yet directly translate the influence of genetic factors into practice does not mean that this research is not helpful. When we learn how to consider specific features that are more closely tied to genetic influences, and how to assess the expression and interactions of multiple genes, and when studies are conducted that are designed to compare outcomes in different and very large populations, we will be better able to start to apply gene network findings to predicting aspects of treatment outcome.

But no matter what emerges in further research, we will never be able to do without the expertise and experience of clinicians and the depth of human experience. Anything less than that would be demeaning for patients and boring for clinicians."

Thanks so much, Dr Dubovsky, for clarifying the murk that surrounds genetic testing.

Decoding the genome has been one of mankind's greatest intellectual achievements- an affirmation of all that is best in human nature. Selling the genome before its time for greedy commercial gain is an example of intellectual dishonesty that reflects a less exalted part of human nature.

The work of understanding psychiatric disorder will require decades, not years. Most seeming break-throughs will turn out to be busts. There will be no home runs, no walks, many strike-outs, and only occasional singles. Progress will be steady, but frustratingly slow. In the meantime, the good news is that we already have very effective treatments, if only they were much more accessible and applied more specifically to those who really need them.

The Juilliard School will confer honorary doctorates on five remarkable artists during its 111th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2016, at 11am in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center (Broadway at 65th Street, New York City). Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, actress and alumna Christine Baranski, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, actress Cicely Tyson, and former dancer and Alvin Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters, an alumna of Juilliard, will be honored at the May 2016 Commencement Ceremony. Christine Baranski will give Juilliard's Commencement Address. Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi will read special citations and present degrees to all five honorees, who will be garbed in Juilliard's traditional academic robes and velvet caps, and will receive their ceremonial doctoral hoods onstage. The ceremony will be live streamed at live.juilliard.edu.

Receiving Juilliard's Honorary Doctor of Music:

Leif Ove Andsnes: Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes's commanding technique and searching interpretations have won him acclaim worldwide. This past fall, Concerto - A Beethoven Journey, a documentary by award-winning British director and filmmaker Phil Grabsky was released. The film chronicles Mr. Andsnes's epic four-season focus on the master composer's music for piano and orchestra, which took him to 108 cities in 27 countries for more than 230 live performances. Highlights of this current season include major European and North American solo recital tours with a program of Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, and Sibelius, as well as Schumann and Mozart concerto collaborations with the Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia symphony orchestras, Bergen Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He is also touring Brahms's three piano quartets with his frequent musical partner, Christian Tetzlaff, together with Tabea Zimmermann and Clemens Hagen.

Last season brought the conclusion of "The Beethoven Journey," his most ambitious achievement to date. With the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, he led complete Beethoven concerto cycles from the keyboard in high-profile residencies in Hamburg, Bonn, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Bodø, and London. The partnership was captured on disc by Sony Classical with both The New York Times and Suddeutsche Zeitung hailing the final box set release as the "Best of 2014."

Mr. Andsnes now records exclusively for Sony Classical. His previous discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics spanning repertoire from the time of Bach to the present day. He has been nominated for eight Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Mr. Andsnes has received Norway's distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Other awards include the Peer Gynt Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist Award, and the Gilmore Artist Award; Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the "Best of the Best" in 2005.

Wayne Shorter: The music of Wayne Shorter has left an indelible mark on the development of music for the last half-century. He first rose to prominence in the late 1950s as the primary composer for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He next joined the Miles Davis Quintet becoming what that bandleader referred to as the ensemble's "intellectual musical catalyst" before co-founding the pioneering group Weather Report. Since 2001, he has led his own highly acclaimed quartet.

"Mr. Shorter's mastery is in knocking down the wall between jazz and classical" (New York Times) and the Chicago Symphony, Lyon Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are among the orchestras that have performed his symphonic compositions. Acclaimed artists and ensembles such as Renée Fleming and the Imani Winds have also performed his works.

He has received commissions from the St. Louis, Nashville, Detroit and National Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the La Jolla Music Society. In all, Mr. Shorter has realized over 200 compositions, works that are performed around the world by premiere artists and studied by students and scholars alike.

Mr. Shorter's outstanding record of professional achievement includes 11 Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2015. He has received Honorary Doctorates from New York University, New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. In 1997, the National Endowment for the Arts presented Wayne Shorter with the Jazz Master Award.

In his current symphonic work, Mr. Shorter continues to evolve the dynamic between fully realized score and improvisation creating, in his words, a "flashlight into the unknown." "I want to inspire the audience to feel what might be necessary in order to continue their journey in this life in a way that has never been done before," says Mr. Shorter, "so that we can have a new way of dialoguing based on being comfort zone free, and summoning the courage to fearlessly face the unknown and negotiate the

Receiving Juilliard's Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts:

Christine Baranski: One of the industry's most honored actresses, Christine Baranski, has achieved acclaim in every medium in which she has performed. She is an Emmy, two-time Tony, Screen Actors Guild, Drama Desk, and American Comedy Award winner.

A native of Buffalo, Ms. Baranski attended Juilliard. She received her big break being cast in Tom Stoppard's hit Broadway comedy, The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols for which she won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award. She went on to earn a second Tony Award for her performance in Neil Simon's Rumors. She also appeared in Boeing-Boeing; Hurlyburly; The House of Blue Leaves; The Loman Family Picnic; Regrets Only; Encores! productions of Follies; Promises, Promises; and On Your Toes; and the Kennedy Center productions of Sweeney Todd and Mame. Off Broadway, she appeared in five plays at the Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as in productions at Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, and the Public Theater. Regionally, she performed in works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Molière, Shaw, Sam Shepard, and Jules Feiffer.

In addition to the Emmy for hit CBS comedy, Cybill, Ms. Baranski received an American Comedy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy." She also received three additional Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations. She was also seen as a guest on Frasier, for which she received a fifth Emmy nomination. She has appeared on multiple episodes of the CBS series, The Big Bang Theory, and received three Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" twice. She is currently starring in the hit CBS series, The Good Wife, for which she received six Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" and two Critics' Choice Television Award

Her film credits include Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bowfinger, Bulworth, Cruel Intentions, The Birdcage, Reversal of Fortune, Legal Eagles, The Ref, Addams Family Values, Welcome to Mooseport, The Guru, 9 1⁄2 Weeks, and Jeffrey.

Cicely Tyson: Actress, advocate, and humanitarian, Cicely Tyson is renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen, and television, from her stunning initial stage appearance as Barbara Allen in Dark of the Moon to her triumphant 2013 return to Broadway after a 30-year hiatus when she appeared as Mother Carrie Watts in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful for which she received rave reviews and the triple crown of theater awards: The Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Play. Ms. Tyson appeared on the Broadway stage in September 2015 in The Gin Game, co-starring James Earl Jones.

Best known for her double Emmy performance (Best Lead Actress in a Drama, as well as a special, unprecedented Emmy Award for Actress of the Year) as Jane in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Ms. Tyson was also nominated for an Academy Award for Sounder and received the third Emmy Award for The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and was nominated for her performances in Roots, King, Sweet Justice, The Marva Collins Story, and A Lesson before Dying. Her film credits include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Fried Green Tomatoes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Hoodlum, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married Too?, The Help, and Alex Cross.

In March 2014, Ms. Tyson served as executive producer of the film version of The Trip to Bountiful, presented on Lifetime television network. In 1977, as a student of the American Film Institute, Ms. Tyson directed the one-act play, Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn.

In recognition of her talent, dedication, and contributions, Ms. Tyson has been the recipient of countless awards, including numerous honorary doctorates, most recently by Columbia University in 2014, as well as an unprecedented number of NAACP Image Awards. Other notable honors have been bestowed on her by the Princess Grace Foundation, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, National Civil Rights Museum, and organizations: PUSH, CORE, SCLC, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Ms. Tyson is among the elite number of entertainers honored with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and is the recipient of the NAACP's highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Award.

Since 1996, Ms. Tyson has served as the guiding force of the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. This $143 million institution of academic and creative expression, in East Orange, New Jersey, serves 1,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Ms. Tyson continues to develop her art as she takes on new roles and opportunities.

Sylvia Waters: Since Alvin Ailey II's inception over 40 years ago, Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia B. Waters has been responsible for the growth and expansion of one of the country's most vibrant young dance companies.

Ms. Waters received her Bachelor of Science degree in dance from Juilliard, where she studied with Antony Tudor, Martha Graham, Alfredo Corvino, and Mary Hinkson.

She toured in the European company of Black Nativity and while living in Paris, she worked with Michel Descombey, then director of the Paris Opera Ballet, as well as Milko Sparembleck. She also performed in Donald McKayle's European production of Black New World and worked with Maurice Béjart's company performing in Brussels and at the summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Upon returning to the United States in 1968, Ms. Waters joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 1975, Mr. Ailey personally chose her to become artistic director of Ailey II until she stepped down in 2012. Ms. Waters is the recipient of many awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Oswego, a "Bessie" Award, the Legacy Award as part of the 20th annual IABD Festival, Syracuse University's Women of Distinction Award, and the prestigious Dance Magazine Award.

She has served on a number of panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

In the spring of 2010, she was a visiting professor at Harvard University. Currently, she leads The Ailey Legacy Residency, a lecture, technique, and repertory program for college-level students that looks definitely into the history and creative heritage of Alvin Ailey. Ms. Waters is a consultant to the Ailey Archives and is interviewing former Ailey personnel - dancers and choreographers - for an oral history project. #

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards


He-student-winner.jpgRecently, Karen He, grade 12 at The Child School in NYC, was one of the winners at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her painting, called Sad Man, won a Gold Key for drawing and illustration. Her educator was Yang Zhao.

This exhibition features more than six hundred works of art and writing by New York City teens who received the highest regional recognition in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards--the Gold Key Award. Presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the United States. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is honored to host this year's exhibition and celebrate the creativity of these young artists.

This year as many as 3,500 students in grades seven through twelve submitted more than 13,000 works to the New York City region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, encompassing more than 300 schools in all five boroughs. In addition, 150 literary and visual-arts professionals served as judges, selecting works based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers' mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent, and present their visionary work to the world through exhibition, publication, recognition, and scholarship. Established in 1923, the Alliance's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards brings the work of young people to regional and national audiences. Former recipients include artists Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, and John Baldessari--all represented in the Met's collection--and writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Myla Goldberg, and Joyce Carol Oates.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partners with Parsons The New School for Design and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts to present the New York City regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, with additional program support provided by Pratt Institute.#

Paintings by Linda Sirow


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Lemonade Stand Gallery
2016 Small Works

March 18 - April 18

318 Petronia Street 
Key West, Florida

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