Don’t Miss Lisa Cain in NYC

My good friend Lisa’s show opened this week in NYC at the Heath Gallery. She’ll be there for the official opening this Saturday 4/8 from 1pm-6pm. I’ll be there visiting for part of that time. Hope to see you there.

Viola Davis famously owns one of Lisa Cain’s paintings, similar to the one above, as featured in Architectural Digest. Two of her paintings are featured in the Denzel Washington-directed A Journal for Jordan and they appear on two Netflix shows.

Listen to Lisa’s interview on WNYC’s show All of It (hers is the first segment) at

I’m proud to own four of her paintings myself.

Heath Gallery presents a new show by Lisa Cain “Home”, at 24 West 120th Street, Harlem, New York, in association with Rafael Gallery.

The exhibition has been curated by Wade Bonds. The exhibit will be on view April 1- 23, 2023 with the opening artist’s reception set.

This is Lisa Cain’s first New York City exhibition. Lisa Cain, Ph.D., is a celebrated folk artist, neuroscientist, anatomy professor, and award-winning educator and administrator from Canton, Mississippi. 

The exhibit will feature a stunning collection of Cain’s figurative folk art and collage, highlighting Cain’s deep connection to the small-town African-American community in which she was raised. 

Cont’d at Harlem World magazine.

RRR is historically significant – and not because it smashed box office records

I’m grateful to have been offered an opportunity to write about the international Indian hit film RRR for Contingent Magazine, whose mission statement is “history is for everyone.” They purposely waited until 15th August (India time), India’s Independence Day, to publish the article as their lead story today.  What does RRR have to do with my Kolkata theatre research as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar?  You’ll see. And be sure to read those footnotes.

The article begins below:

Sure, George Washington was a good war strategist, but could he pick up a motorcycle by one wheel and swing it around in battle? Or how about if Martin Luther King Jr. had busted Malcolm X out of prison by carrying him on his shoulders and dodging gunfire while hopping across rooftops, and together they took out J. Edgar Hoover? These events could not, and never did happen, but would be pretty cool to see in a big-budget historical fantasy action flick.

Cont’d at

My Trip to Minning Town

This family docudrama TV series from China warmed my heart

Meet Mr.Bai, the headmaster of a one-room school in an impoverished, experimental farming community in China’s vast Gobi Desert.  His school needs many material improvements but he’s a devoted teacher, so he makes do with what little they’ve got. One thing he’d love to see is a new playground. He keeps applying for funds from the local district government, but his requests go ignored. 

Impassioned and frustrated, he finally takes the drastic step of going over the local politicians’ heads and complaining in person to the regional government. Before he knows it, he’s thrown into the shark tank of local politics. How much is he willing to compromise his ideals just to get a playground?

Yikes. All of this drama for a village playground could be the comedic makings of a wry satire a la Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People, but this story is set a lot further east, and treats its subject matter with a dignity and respect I found refreshing in our age of cynicism.

Mr. Bai’s passion for a playground is but one subplot among many in the 2021 Chinese TV series Minning (a close pronunciation in English would be Ming-Ning) Town, produced by Daylight Entertainment (Nirvana in Fire, Ode to Joy, Like a Flowing River, The Story of Ming Lan). The trials of the beleaguered Mr. Bai