Pet Portraits; Angelo Merendino; Fate & Freedom

First up, a story about an artist and his dog. James Ruby and "Smooch" are best friends. They've been through a lot together - ups and downs, good times, and bad. In fact, at one point, things got so bad that James nearly gave up on being an artist. And at the very moment where he needed inspiration the most, he got it - thanks to man's best friend.

It's often said that great art has the ability to inspire, motivate and move us. Since 1972, Great Performances, a showcase of music, theater and dance, seen on PBS affiliates, has been doing just that. On their 40th anniversary, we present a conversation with the Executive Producer of Great Performances, David Horn, who talks about the show's beginning, and discovering some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Losing loved ones is a part of life - there's no avoiding it. For Angelo Merendino, that dark time in his life happened in December 2011 when he lost the love of his life. His wife Jennifer passed away at the age of 40 after a long battle with cancer. As a way to cope with the tragedy unfolding before him, he did the only thing that he knew how to do: take pictures. The images can be seen in a book called, The Battle We Didn't Choose, My Wife's Battle With Breast Cancer.

And we turn to music! Two of the world's most profound composers, Beethoven and Shostakovich, voiced their sentiments about politics and personal freedoms through their music. An exploration into these themes takes place during an upcoming series of concerts and films sponsored by the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cinematheque and The Cleveland Museum of Art, called Fate and Freedom: The Music of Beethoven and Stostakovich. The festival runs from October 22nd through the 26th. It begins with the screening of films A Clockwork Orange and The New Babylon that feature music by the two composers. John Ewing from the Cleveland Cinematheque tells us about this collaboration.


James Ruby, Artist
David Horn, Executive Producer of "Great Performances"
Angelo Merendino, Photographer/Author, "The Battle We Didn't Choose, My Wife's Battle With Breast Cancer"
John Ewing, Director, The Cleveland Cinematheque

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