The ArtsCenter Photoblog

November 8, 2010

Backstage at The ArtsCenter: Transactors

Friday night, the Transactors came back to The ArtsCenter for “Gratitude,” an improv show involving characters they created out of three random adjectives. I went backstage to see what exactly goes on before one of their shows. Check it out below, and check back later for photos of the show!


Steven Warnock and Nancy Pekar sit in The ArtsCenter's green room just before going onstage Saturday night.


January 6, 2010

Backstage at The ArtsCenter: Lhasa de Sela

Filed under: Backstage at The ArtsCenter — Tags: , , , , , — Lisa Pepin @ 12:41 pm

We’re back, with another update from Tess. Happy New Year!

Lhasa de Sela: what I’m listening to this week.  If you like Feist and add some Lila Downs, go listen to any of Lhasa de Sela’s music and search for live clips and videos on YouTube.  The daughter of a Mexican father and American mother, she’s recorded albums in both English and Spanish, but this isn’t Shakira.  I like her rich, emotional alto.  She died of breast cancer New Years Day.  If you’ve never listened to Feist or Lila Downs, check them out as well.  Downs was featured on the Frida soundtrack.

November 30, 2009

Backstage at the ArtsCenter: Guilty Pleasure Songs I Secretly Love That Will Ruin My Reputation

Filed under: Backstage at The ArtsCenter, Music — Tags: , , , — ArtsCenter @ 8:51 am

Guilty Pleasure Songs I Secretly Love That Will Ruin My Reputation
by Tess Mangum Ocana

These are not songs I’m secretly listening to during commutes these days—I really did get that Ray Lamontagne record out of my collection, but these very commercial songs make me happy and if they do come on the radio, I won’t change the channel:

Don’t Cha’-The Pussycat Dolls (you know the one…”don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me…”)
I Need To Know-Marc Anthony
SexyBack-Justin Timberlake

November 24, 2009

Backstage at The Arts Center: The CD Playing In My Car 30 Minutes To Work And Back This Week, by Tess Mangum Ocana (Concerts & Facility Director)

Tess circa 1978!

We’re starting something new! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Backstage at The ArtsCenter, a new series of posts written by members of the ArtsCenter staff, talking about things they see at The ArtsCenter, why they do what they do, and what that whole “arts” thing means, anyway.

Our very first post is by Tess Mangum Ocana, the concerts and facility director at The ArtsCenter. You may have seen Tess introducing a band at a concert or heard her on 1360 WCHL’s The Arts Spot.

Let us know what you want to hear about the ArtsCenter by commenting on this post!


The CD Playing In My Car 30 Minutes To Work And Back This Week
Tess Mangum Ocana

I live in Durham, so the drive to Carrboro takes a while.  I’ve discovered a new “back way” that seems to not zap my soul as much as the chain stores, car dealerships and construction on 15-501 but I’m not going to give away the secret because it will become like 15-501.  Anyway, what I’m listening to this week is Ray Lamontagne’s debut album, Trouble.  He played here back in ’05 and I still remember the energy in the air as people took their seats in the Earl & Rhoda Wynn Theater.  Women were especially excited to see their bearded, beautiful lumberjack-looking Montagne.  I was running back and forth between my office, the gallery and backstage but remember listening to Van Morrison’s Veedon Fleece as my own mood music.  Music critics were going nuts about Montagne, saying how brilliant his first release was, and that it sounded like Neil Young and Van Morrison.  It does, but only musically.  Vocals are his own.  Some tracks sound like The Band, which ain’t a bad thing either.  Listen carefully for Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins (who played this year’s American roots Series) on fiddle and vocals.

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