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Monday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 14 May 2012 8:00 AM

Today in the roundup: A grueling art project, reconsidering opera categories and budding biographers.


SHE MADE IT: Oak Cliff conceptual artist Erica Felicella made news by announcing she would spend all of this past weekend inside an acrylic box behind the Kessler Theater. For 48 hours she would write one sentence on pieces of paper in a project called Visible Shell. Sounds tough, right? Well, if you were wondering if she’d make it the whole time, you’ll be happy to know she did. About 75 well wishers exploded into applause Sunday at 5 p.m. when Felicella emerged from her shell. I’ll have a lot more on the entire project in an upcoming radio story for KERA.

BEST OF THE BIOS: The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference – held every year in Denton – sponsors a National Biography Writing Contest. And part of that contest is a competition for budding biographers still in high school and community college. The winners of that contest feature writing on Barack Obama, soccer player Didier Drogba and missionary Mary Slessor. You can read each of the essays on

BEYOND THE CLASSICS: In Dallas Opera general director Keith Cerny’s latest Off the Cuff column for, he writes about how the categorization of musical compositions is evolving. Rather than breaking works up into time periods, Cerny feels that a more sophisticated approach to grouping similar music is upon us. And that it’s high time we embrace some of these more daring compositions. “I’m convinced that it is critical for us, as musical programmers and artistic leaders, to continue to edge away from the concept of a unilateral flow of musical time, and to move towards selecting and presenting works of the greatest artistic merit, period,” he writes.