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Briefs: Square Pegged, Green Waters

Square Pegged, Green Waters

Square Pegged

The Museum of Art History (MAH) has been awarded $250,000 from ArtPlace America, a grant-giving organization based in Brooklyn, New York. With this new grant, the MAH has now attained over half of the $1 million in required funding for the redesign and construction of downtown’s Abbott Square.

“I’m psyched,” says MAH director Nina Simon. “I’m excited because [the grant] really takes us to a place where this is going to happen. The momentum is building and growing.”

The goal of redesigning Abbott Square—an unremarkable concrete outdoor seating area nestled between Lulu’s at the Octagon and the MAH off Cooper Street,—is to bridge the gap between the museum and the public, Simon says, and maybe even provide a cultural landmark downtown.

“It’s really important for a museum to be a community place. You have to have those connectors that are beyond your walls,” Simon says. “The ways we can share art history in an outdoor space really amplifies and expands the ways we celebrate creativity and culture, in a way that we could never do indoors.”

The MAH will host a prototype launch of the Abbott Square design, including a hoisting of red buoys up into the air, on Thursday July 10.

After three years of applying for the grant, along with over 1500 nationwide applicants, it’s a moment of validation to be one of the 50 grant recipients, says Elise Granata, the MAH’s marketing coordinator.

“To be among those people and to be one of the organizations in California who were picked is just super energizing and a really big confidence boost for all of us,” Granata said.

The design for Abbott Square is approximately halfway completed by the Oakland-based architecture firm Gyroscope, and is due to be finished by the end of summer 2014. Simon expects square reconstruction to be completed by end of summer 2015. DANIEL BECKER

Green Waters

Move over, Monterey Bay? As part of a huge environmental push by President Obama, he’s announced a new plan to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary. The unveiling came shortly after a biting commencement speech at UC Irvine, in which he berated congressional conservatives for dragging their feet on climate change issues. With the newly created Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud to oversee it, the plan bans commercial fishing, mining, and oil exploration in the expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument—a marine sanctuary established in 2009 that spans the Pacific between Papua New Guinea and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.

In another move that could get some buzz among environmentalists here, Obama also announced a separate plan to create a task force that will investigate the decline in bee populations across the nation. Recognizing the enormous role honeybees play in agriculture, the White House issued a memorandum which cited the loss of more than $15 billion in crops every year as a determining motivation for the task force. Regulators will assess the effects of pesticides and other chemicals on pollinators. They will then have 180 days to formulate a plan to prevent further bee loss.

The president’s announcements were met with threats of a lawsuit from House Speaker John Boehner, but he’s pledged to stand firm, saying “We know how fragile our blue planet can be. If we ignore these problems, we won’t just be squandering one of humanity’s greatest treasures, we’ll be cutting off one of our major sources of food and economic growth.” ANNE-MARIE HARRISON

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Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

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