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The Old Vic Theatre in London
Arts and Culture:
Exploring Inspiration
More on This Story:
Exploring Inspiration

Over the past three years NOW has explored the world of the arts with many guests. One question reoccurred in many interviews: "Where do ideas come from?" Explore the notion of artistic creativity with the resources below.

Visual ArtsMythologyTheaterFictionMusicPoetryFilmPhotography

"Sometimes you are forced to become more creative because you have limitations. I know that from the theater that I've worked [in] and from my history, I've worked from $300 budgets and now I've worked on $20 million budgets. It doesn't really change. It's not about the technology. It's about the ideas behind it." — Director Julie Taymor

Tell us what inspires you on the NOW message boards.

Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo, courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Visual Arts: Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak retells BRUNDIBAR. Find out what inspired the art of Frida Kahlo. Take a quiz on women in the arts. Gullah artist Jonathan Green narrates a photo essay of his work.
Pre-Columbian statue
Mythology: Filmmaker Gregory Nava on pre-Colombian mythology. Take the quiz. Also, test your knowledge of the myths of Ovid. See what playwright Mary Zimmerman did with METAMORPHOSES.
Theater: The history of political theater. Actor and Twain enthusiast Hal Holbrook. Sarah Jones' one-woman politics. Pop quiz: Shakespeare knowledge. Exploring genius online with the NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI. Director Ping Chong bring the stories of child survivors of war the to the stage. Pulitzer Prize-winner Horton Foote. Bringing 1930s Harlem to life with George C. Wolfe.
Cover of Barbara Kingsolver's SMALL WONDER
Fiction: The trouble with Mark Twain and controversial children's literature. History and fiction with Colombian author Laura Restrepo. Read an excerpt of Barbara Kingsolver's SMALL WONDER. Author David Grossman on life in Israel. Azar Nafisi on READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN. And literary legends Doris Lessing, Alice Walker, and Walter Mosley.
Music: Conductor Benjamin Zander on THE ART OF POSSIBILITY. "Voice of the Century" Judy Collins on experience and inspiration. Los Lobos use tradition as a starting point. Singer Angelique Kidjo mixes cultures through music.
Cover of poet Naomi Shihab Nye's 19 VARIETIES OF GAZELLE
Poetry: Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Poet Profile: Linda McCarriston. The legacy of Langston Hughes. And, Shirley Geok-lin Lim reads "On Learning to Love America." Coleman Barks reads Persian poet Rumi. Erica Jong on the history of Sappho.
Scene of mermaids from John Sayles' SUNSHINE STATE
Film: CONTROL ROOM filmmaker Jehane Noujaim. The history of the Direct Cinema movement with Albert Maysles. John Sayles' personal take on the SUNSHINE STATE. Miguel Arteta on THE GOOD GIRL. The documentarian's eye with Bill Gentile.
Photo of an Afghan man by Siobhan Lynam
Photography: Explore the world with NOW's photo essays. Changing the Earth by Emmet Gowin. Plus, what makes a community? And, two women interpret the legacy of war in Afghanistan and around the world.
Photo of Black Mesa by Dan Budnik
Your Turn: Take a look at what other NOW viewers have written about our Photo of the Week images: Navajo Standoff; Invisible Women of Kandahar; Family Feelings and others.

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