Friday, June 5, 2009

Grand Achievement

Teen Pianist From Southeast Orchestrates an Unlikely Rise

D.C. Teen to Perform Piano Piece on NPR
Clifton Williams, a junior at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, plays "Diabolical Suggestion" by Prokofiev. Williams will be performing the piece on the NPR show "From the Top."

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By DeNeen L. BrownWashington Post Staff Writer Thursday, April 30, 2009
He didn't start playing classical piano until three years ago, when he was 14, much later than other classical students his age, who had already been playing for years. He doesn't have a piano at home and the one he practices on at church is slightly out of tune. Clifton Williams doesn't come from a moneyed family that lavishes him with private lessons and trips abroad, and yet there he is at the top, competing, winning classical competitions. Quietly driven.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poor? Pay Up.

Having Little Money Often Means No Car, No Washing Machine, No Checking Account And No Break From Fees and High Prices

With White House Poetry Jam, a New Era Is Spoken For

Perhaps for the first time ever, the White House jammed and slammed last night.
Poets and playwrights, actors and musicians packed the ornate East Room, delivering cool jazz and glorious spoken-word poetry, sprinkling a bit of hip-hop and a bit of the heroic couplet. And through it all, the president and the first lady watched -- and applauded.
"We're here to celebrate the power of words," President Obama said. Words "help us appreciate beauty and also understand pain. They inspire us to action." He introduced the first lady as his poet.
Michelle Obama told the gathering that the event was a way to open up the White House and invite in diverse voices. "I have wanted to do this from day one," Mrs. Obama said. "The notion of standing in this room and hearing some poetry."

Of Bricks and Beauty

Of Bricks and Beauty
Murals feed the urban soul