Bourgeon Book Blurbs

Jonathan Katz, Executive Director, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies:

“The quality of this fifty-essay collection that drew me in and kept me engaged is that the performing, visual, literary and media artists – as well as the inventive designers, costumers, archivists and others who collaborate to produce what audiences experience – are actually describing their work – not only the artistic product, but the occasion, the problem, their motivation, and their individually distinctive processes of exploration and decision making. The book is full of revelations about works of art, about how artists work, and about the cultural richness of Washington, DC. Kudos to Robert Bettmann for giving us the fifty-first work of art, this well conceived and edited book.“

Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times:

“When it comes to supporting artists and arts writers, Robert Bettmann is a force of nature. Lucky the creators and annotators who meet his standards, and lucky the audiences and readers who can appreciate the results.”

Mike Panetta, Shadow Representative for the District of Columbia in the U.S. House of Representatives, and founder Beekeeper Group:

“With this anthology Robert Bettmann has put the world on notice that Washington makes things more beautiful than legislation. He shines a well-deserved spotlight on the Districts’s vibrant and energetic local arts scene with this well-curated collection. It shows a side of DC many people may not be familiar with, and is highly recommended.”

Michael Kaiser, President, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

“Bourgeon does more than take you on a tour of the arts landscape of the Washington, DC area. It takes you on a fascinating journey through the minds of dozens of artists and answers the question: what were they thinking? I highly recommend it for any arts library.“

Debbie Weil, founder and CEO, Voxie Media:

“As a longtime fan of the “other” Washington DC – cultural, tech and entrepreneurial – I can’t say enough good things about Bourgeon. Beautifully curated and a fascinating read.“

Robin Gilmore, author of What Every Dancer Needs to Know About the Body and Director, Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies:

“Contributors range from ‘Who’s Who’ to ‘Who’s That?’ Perusing the entries in random order is like meandering through a cocktail party filled with great conversationalists.”

Norton Owen, Director of Preservation, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival:

“The refreshingly succinct pieces in this anthology provide a remarkable look into distinct yet overlapping worlds. It’s a delight to peer directly into the hearts and minds of the diverse artists represented here, and an inspiration to contemplate how much they add to the world we live in.”

Tommy Usrey, Advocacy Chairman of the Louisiana Partnership for the Arts and Executive Director, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council:

“As one of those typical cold-blooded, bottom-line focused arts administrators, I immediately, although surprisingly, formed an intensely personal connection with each of the writers’ thoughts that provided a fascinating look into the creative psyche. In each essay, the overarching commonality of an entry point into the project, coupled with the desire to communicate a point of view through the art forms of the contributors, brought the well-selected collection together, making for an interesting afternoon’s read.”

Philip Szporer, Montreal-based writer, lecturer and filmmaker:

“The Bourgeon compendium of essays generously reflects the wondrous diversity of the Washington, D.C., community of arts practitioners. The first person accounts of creativity and process captures the zeitgeist and the lively pulse of an expanding arts scene.”

Roxanne Goldberg, ArtSee blog:

“The captivating and insightful anthology, edited by Robert Bettmann, takes the reader on a powerful journey through the intensely unique creativity and dedication that is the DC art scene… Bourgeon depicts the DC arts community in a way similar to how Coyle creates her collages, with an ever evolving, yet always astonishingly imaginative and expressive work process and methodology.”

Robbie Kinter, Dancer and Musician and Music Director for VCU Department of Dance and Choreography:

“Bourgeon is a wonderful treasury of articles, sure to educate and interest not only the performing artist but the visual artist as well. Bourgeon offers a look into the minds of working artists as they ponder the dilemma of making art. This is essential reading for the dancer and choreographer. Slipped along with the articles are a handful of poems, worthwhile diversions. I commend general editor Robert Bettmann for this creation.”

Peter Rosenstein, The Georgetown Dish:

“Bourgeon is in a way a self-portrait by the fifty artists that have written about their art and it makes for fascinating reading for those of us not able to produce art by ourselves but rather now can live vicariously through the art of others. In some cases the articles are a window into the artist’s soul… The range of articles included in this book cover a large sphere of the art world from performance art to painting to poetry… Each article by an individual artist tells a story and some talk of what their art means to them and how they share that with the world.”

Lenny Campello, DCArtNews:

“For those of us who have fantasized about hanging out with artists at one of those smoky 19th century fin de seicle cafes in Montmarte or Barcelona, and talking about art for hours, this book is a fantasy come true in the 21st century as fifty talented artists open up and converse with the reader. A must have book to kindle artistic creative energy!”

E. Ethelbert Miller, Board Chair, Institute for Policy Studies:

“This is a useful book. It’s an arts manual of ideas. Dancers spin into the arms of painters and writers; musicians are present too. There is color and motion provided by those who thirst and hunger in search of the miraculous. Bourgeon is community. Everyone in this book is committed to doing “the work.” Here are the words of 50 who have begun to do the heavy lifting.”

Richard Kamenitzer, Executive Director, International Center for the Management of Arts, George Mason University:

“The diversity in this collection provides a palate for all who wish to learn from the creative messaging of this delightful array of artists. Every expression of the imagination through the use of the senses is captured and as one who treasures an opportunity to expand the horizon – I applaud this effort.”

Dr. Naima Prevots, Chair Emerita, Performing Arts Department, American University:

“This is an important and beautifully produced anthology and should be on the ‘must read’ list for all who think of Washington, D.C. as a limited, embattled political arena. The focus is on the voices of artists in dance, visual art, theatre, poetry, creative writing, and the pieces are provocative and thoughtful. I don’t know of any other collection similar to this, and applaud the work of all the contributors, and the vision of Robert Bettmann, General Editor.”