Cathedral of St. John the Divine Blog

This Day in History: Plague Mass REBECCA MERRILL OCTOBER 12, 2017

On October 12 & 13, 1990, Diamanda Galas performed the first of two shows of the Plague Mass live at the Cathedral. The 70-minute long work drew attention to and mourned the physical suffering caused by AIDS and was later released as a full album that you can still purchase online.

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How to Help Victims of Recent Natural Disasters REBECCA MERRILL SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

We've been feeling heartsick at the string of recent natural disasters that have struck across the world. From Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and now Maria to the Monsoons in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, to the mudslides in Sierra Leone, to the multiple earthquakes in Mexico, there is an overwhelming need for support to help in the rescue and rebuild.

Here are some organizations doing the work in these areas.

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Social Justice and Immigration Events at the Cathedral REBECCA MERRILL SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

The Episcopal Church has taken a song stand against the immigration policies proposed by the current presidential administration. Recently, in a statement supporting DREAMers, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said, “Humane and loving care for the stranger, the alien, and the foreigner is considered a sacred duty and moral value for those who would follow the way of God.”

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Last Chance to Visit A Summer of Sculpture! REBECCA MERRILL SEPTEMBER 6, 2017

We’ve loved having our summer filled with sculpture at the Cathedral, but as we ease into the fall season, it’s time to bid adieu to the much loved creatures that have graced our space for the past three months.

Sunday, September 10 will be the last day the exhibition will be on display after which the animals will migrate to another location. Make sure to stop by sometime this week to get your last look at this amazing exhibition!

A Summer of Sculpture - Circle of Friends REBECCA MERRILL AUGUST 30, 2017

Gary Lee Price's Circle of Friends sits at the center of the National Sculpture Society's Blessing of Animals. This video shows what it took to get just one of the dozens of monumental bronze sculptures that make up the exhibition into the Cathedral!

Staff Spotlight: Dana Settles REBECCA MERRILL AUGUST 28, 2017

Name: Dana Settles
Title: Manager, Group Tours and School Programs
Neighborhood/Town you live in: Washington Heights/Inwood
Length of time you’ve worked at the Cathedral: This is my fifth year.

What is your Cathedral origin story?
My background is in Art History and Museum Education. A friend of mine told me about a part-time Educator opportunity at the Cathedral teaching student and adult groups. Luckily I was hired, and eventually became the Manager of Group Tours and School Programs.

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Harlem/Havana Festival at the Cathedral REBECCA MERRILL AUGUST 15, 2017

This past Saturday, the Cathedral was honored to kick off the 2nd Annual Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural festival with a concert featuring Cesar Lopez y Habana Ensemble and the Obini Bata dancers. The festival, which takes place during the month-long Harlem Week celebration, highlights the connection between the two cities and facilitates an arts, culinary, and education exchange. (Harlem artists, chefs, and educators will travel to Havana in February 2018.)

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A Summer of Sculpture - Animals of Freedom REBECCA MERRILL AUGUST 10, 2017

As we celebrate Artist in Residence Greg Wyatt’s Peace Fountain with a retrospective exhibit as a part of A Summer of Sculpture, we also celebrate the Animals of Freedom Children’s Sculpture Garden that surrounds the Fountain.

Goat

The Peace Fountain is dedicated to the creativity of children and to commemorate that, Wyatt invited school children from the Tri-State area to sculpt animals to be bronzed and placed around the sculpture. The current 120 sculptures were crafted over a five year period starting in 1985 and are meant to illustrate how the candid spontaneity of children can show us the way towards peace.

Learn more about Wyatt and his work by visiting the exhibition up through September 10.

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A Summer of Sculpture - Ursus REBECCA MERRILL AUGUST 3, 2017

Ursus, Dan Ostermiller’s 8 foot tall bronze bear, was a natural choice to live in front of the Cathedral’s Great Bronze Doors because of the bear’s oversized scale and larger than life personality.

Ursus bear statue in front of Cathedral bronze doors

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Cathedral Red-tailed Hawks REBECCA MERRILL JULY 31, 2017

There are many creatures that call the Cathedral Close home, including a pair of Red-tailed Hawks who return to the Cathedral every summer to nest. In early June, a few weeks after other notable Red-tailed Hawk duos in Central Park and Tompkins Square Park, our pair hatched three babies. The adolescent hawks, now in a period of development called fledgling, are in the processes of learning to hunt on their own in order to eventually leave the safe confines of the Close. Once they fly off, these hawks won't return to the Close but we'll see their parents next summer as the process begins again.

Pictures from Susan Kirby.

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The 12th Annual CCC Health Fair REBECCA MERRILL JUNE 27, 2017

This past Saturday, our social services arm, Cathedral Community Cares, hosted their 12th Annual Health Fair offering free health screenings, Zumba, Yoga, and much more. One of the biggest hits was the table from The Honeybee Conservancy, which takes care of the 15,000 honeybees that have lived on the Close since 2012. These residents help pollinate the lush grounds of the Cathedral and keep nature's natural cycles in place.

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The Barberini Tapestries: Live Weaving Demonstrations MIKE WU MAY 12, 2017

In celebration of The Barnerini Tapestries, we're hosting live weaving demonstrations on select dates through the end of June! You can get an inside glimpse into the craft behind our priceless tapestries and chat with weavers about their work.

Click here to view more pictures and see the full list of times and dates >

St. John in the News: The Blessing of the Bikes REBECCA MERRILL MAY 9, 2017

This past Saturday, we hosted the 19th Annual Blessing of the Bikes. We host the event every year, usually before the five-borough bike tour, to kick off the riding season.

Bikes being blessed
The Rev. Canon Patrick Malloy sprays holy water as he walks past the cyclists. Credit: Gregg Vigliotti/New York Daily News

Read more from The New York Daily News.

Divine Bees on the Move! REBECCA MERRILL MAY 8, 2017

Due to upcoming construction on the Cathedral School, last week our Divine Bees moved from their current home near the school to a secluded area behind Diocesan House. Our volunteer beekeepers and facilities staff made sure the whole operation went off without a hitch!

Beekeepers pack bees

Beekeepers move bees

St. John in the News: The Sebastians REBECCA MERRILL MAY 1, 2017

Last Monday night, The Sebastians, musical ensemble specializing in music of the baroque and classical eras, performed all of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. Six musicians performed simultaniously throughout the Cathedral in an event that could only be executed in the Cathedral's massive space.


Beth Wenstrom performs. Credit: Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

Read more about it from the New York Times.

Peacocks Get Clean Bill of Health REBECCA MERRILL APRIL 27, 2017

Just like your pets, the three peacocks that call the Cathedral Close their home need regular checkups! On Wednesday, April 26, Lorelei Tibbetts and a team from The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine stopped by to check in on Jim, Harry, and Phil. Everything checked out with our favorite feathered residents, and they are back to patrolling the Close!

vet outside hutch

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The Barberini Tapestries: Missa Cantata & Jephte REBECCA MERRILL APRIL 20, 2017

We installed The Barberini Tapestries in the style of the 17th century—on the walls at eye level—in order to transform the Chapel of St. James into a Baroque Chapel. On Wednesday, April 19th, we took the transformation a step further by celebrating a Latin Mass with Baroque music in the chapel.

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History of Textiles REBECCA MERRILL APRIL 3, 2017

Textile manufacturing, along with pottery and metalwork, is one of the foundational human industries. Clothing appeared somewhere between 100,000 and 500,00 years ago; possible sewing needles have been found dating back 40,000 years. Spinning, weaving, dying and the many other textile techniques spread quickly, though it is impossible to pinpoint the origin of most developments. Trade in cloth was of great importance in the ancient world-the famed Silk Road being one of the major trade routes—and tapestries were in use in Hellenistic times, and perhaps before.

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An Interview with Guest Curator Robin Kahn! VALERIA JARA MARCH 31, 2016

Robin Kahn, guest co-curator for The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet, was interviewed on Sandi Klein's radio show Conversations with Creative Women. In this interview, Kahn speaks about her introduction to food and food justice, as well as what led her to curate an exhibition grounded in themes of food security and accessibility at the Cathedral.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet is on view at the Cathedral until April 3, 2016. Click here for a full list of our closing programs.

Creations Throughout the Cathedral Close MIA MICHELSON-BARTLETT MARCH 28, 2016

The final days of The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet are also the final days to view student artwork on the Value of Food Youth Art Walls. These two walls, located at the southwest end of the Cathedral ambulatory, have displayed a rotating selection of food-themed artwork by local students throughout the exhibition.

Through April 3rd, visitors can see The Cathedral School fourth graders’ food faces, based on the art of Guiseppe Arcimboldo. Students traced their own profiles, then filled in their features using food motifs.


The Cathedral School's food faces (detail).

On the opposite wall are spring flowers, planters, and shakers made from recycled materials by the after school students at Adults and Children in Trust (ACT). They saved recyclable materials from their daily snacks and repurposed them into a colorful wall of art that illustrates an important theme: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

More information about both of these projects is displayed on the walls alongside the artwork. Catch these beautiful creations before they expire—along with the rest of The Value of Food—on April 3rd.