Celebrating self-expression as a basic human right essential for the
healthy growth of youth, individuals and communities
COMMUNITY ARTS ADVOCATES, INC.
Stephen H. Baird, Founder and Executive Director
PO Box 300112, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030
Web site: www.CommunityArtsAdvocates.org
(Detailed site index at bottom of page)
For a deeper look at the opportunities and challenges for street performers and buskers read:
Recommended Books and References
- Passing the Hat - Street Performers in America (Delacorte Press 1981) by Patricia J. Campbell Passing the Hat is still the most comprehensive book on street performing in the United States. There are chapters on the history, legal issues and performance techniques as well as profiles and pictures of an array of artists-- jugglers, musicians, magicians, comedians and clowns in Boston, New York, New Orleans and San Francisco.
- Underground Harmonies - Music & Politics in the Subways of New York (Cornell University Press 1995) by Susie J. Tanenbaum The title describes the book well. It covers the ethical issues and conflicts between auditioned and scheduled artists by the MTA and the First Amendment rights of independent artists.
- Drawing a Circle in the Square-Street Performing in New York's Washington Square Park (University Press of Mississippi 1990), by Sally Harrison-Pepper A scholarly book based on a four-year study of street performances in Washington Square Park in New York City.
Sally Harrison-Pepper came to my office to conduct an interview while researching her book Drawing a Circle in the Square-Street Performing in New York's Washington Square Park
- Rediscovering the Center City (Doubleday 1988) by William H. Whyte The author, William H. Whyte, was an expert architect witness in favor of street performances in the Davenport v. Alexandria, Virginia and the Friedrich v. Chicago, Illinois federal court cases. He provided important testimony to rebut the exaggerated and bogus public safety issues often presented by city officials to suppress and ban street performances. Details of this issue can be found in the third chapter. William H. Whyte also wrote an earlier book titled The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces which documented street performances and pedestrian behavior (See: Project for Public Spaces, 700 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-9536 Fred Kent, President, Phone: 212 620-5660, Fax: 212 620-3821 Email: email@example.com. Web site: http://www.pps.org/).
- Chambers, Edmund K., The Mediaeval Stage, Oxford University Press, London, UK, 1903 A scholarly and erudite book with many references and foot notes in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, French, old English and old German dialects. Documents the history of the stage with references to street artists known as mimes, jongleurs, gleeman and minstrels. Includes details on the minstrel guilds of the 10th to 14th centuries.
- Cohen, David and Ben Greenwood, The Buskers: A History of Street Entertainment, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, England, 1981 The definitive book on contemporary England street entertainers and "Buskers." Traces the history of busking from the Roman era. The two highlights in this book are:
- the extensive buskers and street performers interviewed by Henry Mayhew in the 1860s (see the next book)
- the authors own interviews of street performers in the 1970s most notably Don Partridge and Alan Young (Alan Young became the philosophical voice of this book. I will include quotes and excerpts in the future)
- Mayhew, Henry, London Labour and the London Poor, 1864 The resource material for the previous book and the first major book on sociology in the the Victorian era.
- Colardelle, Michel, Musciens des Rues de Paris, Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires, 1997-1998 This is a scholarly book in French, by museum ethnologists that shows maps of Paris in 1694, 1847, 1872 and 1972 then traces street music history through paintings, prints and photographs (includes a recording). Wonderful prints of one man band in 1810 with pan pipes, lute, and drum on his back played with rope and pulley from his foot. Plus there is a photo of a one man band in 1877 followed by photos of the parents and children of this same family playing one band in 1977!
- Traditions, Stereotypes, and Tactics: A History of Musical Buskers in Toronto (Canada), Canadian Journal for Traditional Music (1996) by Murray Smith Scholarly article on history of buskers, street entertainers and subway performers in Toronto. Traces performance history from 1830s to 1996. Includes documentation of the Northern Italian immigration of violin and barrel organ players, both families and children, to Toronto in the 1860s plus the revival of street performances in the 1960s. http://cjtm.icaap.org/content/24/v24art3.html
- "Street Music" documentary film which focuses on NY street and subway artists by JD Marlow Completed in July 2003. Available online at http://www.streetmusicny.com Site and dvd film includes historical and legal references, interviews with Susie J. Tanenbaum (Underground Harmonies), Robert Turley (Street bass player who filed Federal law suit against NYC) a host of other street perfomers, Music under New York administrators, Fred Kent from Project for Public Spaces, historical film clips by Willim H. Whyte, film clip of arrests. Comprehensive documentary explores performances in public spaces.
- http://vimeo.com/11635678 Taking to the Streets by Lori Schmon A documentary chronicling the lives of women street musicians in Boston. Three women come to terms with their struggles and successes and best of all, their love for music. 2010
- Busker’s Holiday a novel by Adam Gussow http://www.modernbluesharmonica.com/buskers-holiday.html
From award-winning blues scholar and musician Adam Gussow, a taut, sexy first novel about the summer busking scene in Europe and a pair of wild-hearted young men who make a pitch for fame and glory, finding a girl or two along the way.
Set in the late 1980s, Busker’s Holiday is the story of McKay Chernoff, a Columbia University grad student with a harmonica in his pocket and a blues band in his background. Desolate and despairing after a disastrous romantic breakup, McKay decides to fly off to Paris and reinvent himself as a street performer.
What follows is an epic summer voyage into the busking life, propelled by the mad exploits of Billy Lee Grant, a fearless young guitar shredder whose Memphis-to-Mississippi pedigree and Dylanesque surrealism make him, when he explodes into view, precisely the partner McKay has been yearning for.
Burning like a latter-day Dean Moriarty, Bill goads McKay into a sun-drenched, all-night bender, stoked by wine, women, mushrooms, and trains, that careens down out of Avignon and across the French Riviera. What happens next—in Florence, Solingen, Amsterdam, Paris—is a story of purgatory, redemption, and love regained. Hope, in a word, as a modern troubadour returns from his wanderings, reborn.
- The Pavement Stage is an exploration of outdoor performance in all of its different forms and provides an in depth overview to a world and lifestyle unlike any other.
From 1979 through to the present, David Cassel has travelled around the world to over 40 countries creating, presenting and experiencing a wide range of solo and ensemble street performances. His voyages have revealed some fascinating insight into the techniques and performance styles used by himself and some of the other personalities that have populated this extremely vital and satisfying form of public interaction and community development.
As street performance has grown in popularity internationally so has the civic policy that governs the public space in almost every city on the globe. While some cities celebrate the form through festival, others outlaw it. Why does street performance create such an extreme reaction, are street performers anarchists? http://www.davidcassel.com/thepavementstage.html
- Streetwise-A guide to Magical Street Performing by Gary McKibben. How To Book on street performing for magicians with practical information about location, dress, police, pictures, pitches, hat lines, heckler stoppers and more. Price $20 details at http://blackbeltmagician.com
- Papa, did we break it? Sketches From A Street Performer's Journal by Leonard Solomon
The crazed inventor and performer of the Majestic Bellowphone presents an intriguing collection of personal vignettes...From dinosaurs and pipe-bombs in the rural New Jersey of hisboyhood, to chasing down a burglar on the midnight streets of Cambridge...From street performing in New Orleans to the joys and sorrows of raising his two young sons...
These stories are as varied as they are engaging...Humorous, irreverant and thoughtful, this is the chronicle of a truly unique character.
Send $15 per book which includes postage to Leonard Solomon, 498 Old Bedford Rd. Concord, MA 01742
- Crowhurst Lennard, Suzanne and Henry L. Lennard,; Public life in urban places. social and architectural characteristics conducive to public life in European cities.; Gondolier Press, Southampton, N.Y. 1984
- A.K.A. DOC: The Oral History of a New Orleans Street Musician--James May (a.k.a. "Doc Saxtrum:"), by Geoffrey Edwards and Ryan Edwards, Cadence Jazz Books, The Cadence building, Redwood, NY 13679 www.cadencebuilding.com See review: http://www.jazzreview.com/articleprint.cfm?ID=557 Oral history interview of New Orleans street sax player James May. Describes battles with police and turf wars with other street artists and performers.
- Streets for People (Van Nostrand Reinhold 1982) by Bernard Rudofsky A passionate exultation to make America's street pedestrian friendly. City planners and architects often make an urban environment hostile to street performers and pedestrians. This book explores the great public spaces and architecture in cities around the world.
- Boyle, Wickham, On the Streets: A Guide to New York City's Buskers, NY, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, 1978 A delightful guide that was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State and City Arts Councils. The historical notes by Richard Bruno is a great review of street artists from 400 B.C. to 1978 parts of which are quoted in Passing the Hat. Includes a humorous tale of a street magician who fought off two muggers with a handkerchief that was transformed into a magic wand.
- Punch and Judy: The tragical comedy or comical tragedy of Punch and Judy. set down in 1828 by John Payne Collier. now edited with an introduction by Paul McPharlin. The Limited Editions Club. New York. 1937 (Collier. J. Payne. John Payne. 1789-1883) Book on the classic street and market Punch and Judy puppet shows
- Sheridan, Jeff, and Claflin, Edward, Street Magic, Doubleday, NY, NY, 1977 This book by New York City street magician Jeff Sheridan has tips, anecdotes and historical references of street magicians in India and China.
- Lesnick, Henry, Guerrilla Theater, Avon, 1973 Book on the street theater movements of the 1960s.
- Towsen, John H., Clowns, Hawthorne, 1976 Book on the history of clowning.
- Finnigan, Dave, The Complete Juggler, Vintage Books, Random House, NY 1987 How To Guide on juggling scarves to juggling multiple clubs to juggling people. See page 509 for tips on how to develop a street performance routine.
- Cohen-Cruz. Jan, Radical street performance. an international anthology. London. Routledge. 1998
- "The Regulation of Street Music," by J. C. Hadden, The Nineteenth Century, June 1896, pp. 950-956
- Hashmi. Safdar, The right to perform. selected writings of Safdar Hashmi, Sahmat. Delhi, India 1989
- Si te quieres por el pico divertir--. historia del pregón musical latinoamericano by Cristóbal Díaz Ayala. Cubanacán. San Juan, Puerto Rico. 1988 Book on Latin-American street music and street musicians.
- Sous les pavés, la scène. l'émergence du théâtre indépendant en Suisse romande à la fin des années 60. by Anne-Catherine Sutermeister. Editions d'En bas. Basel. Theaterkultur. Lausanne. 2000 Switzerland street theater
- Srampickal. Jacob, Voice to the voiceless. the power of people's theatre in India. Hurst & Company. London. 1994
- Teatro y animación de base en Chile, by Carlos Ochsenius, CENECA. Santiago-Chile. 1987 Book on amature and street theater in Chile.
- Wirklichkeitstheater, Strassentheater, Freies Theater. Entstehung und Entwicklung freier Gruppen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1968-1976. by Barbara BüscherP. Lang. Frankfurt am Main. New York.1987 Street theater in Germany
- Zucchi, John E., Little slaves of the harp. Italian child street musicians in nineteenth-century Paris, London and New York; McGill-Queen's University Press 1992
- "Comic and Queer and Old Ordinances of NYC," New York Times, July 1, 1923, section VII Article states 1,600 licensed street performers in 1923
- "Are Silly Laws Taking the Fun Out of Your City," John Woytash, American Bar Association Journal, March 1977, p. 298.
- "The Bands of Summer," Time, August 27, 1979, Vol. 114, No. 9, page 66
- "The Sidewalk Vaudevillians," Newsweek, September, 24, 1984, page 83
- "Stars of the Summer Streets," People Magazine, July 22, 1985 This was an eight page photo-journal review and story of street performers in Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angles.
- Symbolic Cymbalom by D. Patrick Miller, East Bay Express, Feb 17, 1995 http://www.idiom.com/~mmasley/tonehenge/express_review.html Article on arrest of artists on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA
- "On the Corner" by Margit Detweiler. Philadelphia City Paper, April 18&endash;25, 1996 earshot http://www.citypaper.net/articles/041896/article012.shtml Article on Philadelphia street music scene.
- Austin Chronicle Letter to the editor on recent arrest in March 2003 reported at http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2003-03-07/cols_postmarks.html
- "Licensed To Entertain: New Scheme Gives Tokyo Street Performers Green Light" October 25, 2002 Japan Information Network http://www.jinjapan.org/trends/article/021025fas_index.html New audition and license, musicians, mimes, and other artists can now perform in specially designated public locations without first receiving permission from the police and local government. This new license system was put into effect in Tokyo in September 2002
- "Busker Told To Pay His Way" by Clare Cruise and Sarah Rothwell http://www.oxfordstudent.com/2000-11-02/news/14 Article on street busker who plays the flute and sells his own music recordings without a permit in Oxford, England.
- BUSKING WITH THE STARS Posted by mrG, February 28, 2003 09:29 AM http://www.teledyn.com/mt/archives/000615.html Article on lack of ethics of BCC anchor Damon Gough who tried busking for a day.
- The Sweet Sound of Street Music, Eugenia E. Gratto, July 24, 2001 http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/6146/74885 Article on Washington DC street music scene.
- Juggling busker up to new tricks by Robin Mindt, September 19, 2002 http://www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/juggler.html Article on juggler in Milwaukee
- "From busker to bestseller: Strummer's musical journey" by Sally James Gregory, Tuesday December 24, 2002 http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,865020,00.html Article on Clash founders death in the Guardian, London
- Victorian London - Professions and Trades - Service Industry - Street Entertainers: web iste with book references on street entertainers and buskers in London mid to late 1800s http://www.victorianlondon.org/professions/streetentertainers.htm
- Street performers give a little, get a little--A closer look at the lives and livelihoods of the sidewalk serenader: The busker By TERI TIBBETT FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE http://www.juneauempire.com/entertainment/stories/081607/spo_20070816005.shtml
Below are some sample links to articles featuring Stepehn Baird's arts advocacy work. See the entire web site for additiona references.
MBTA Legal Battle November-December 2003 (See the MBTA Media Campaign section for expanded list of Television, Radio and Print coverage here)
- Boston Globe published two articles Nov 26th by Michael S. Rosenwald
- The first talked about the partial delay of implementation at: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2003/11/26/mbta_delays_subway_music_rules/
- The second was an interview with Tracy Chapman and former Governor Michael Dukakis: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2003/11/26/to_chapman_underground_music_is_pure_performance
- The Boston Herald published and article Nov 26th by Aiden Fitzgerald on the delay:
- The Cambridge Chronicle published an article and very supportive editorial last week and new article by Mike Fisher this week on City Council unanimous vote to support the subway artists:
- Associated Press articles that have been nationally distributed -
- Christian Science Monitor interviews by Seth Stern 11/17 and archieve article from 1999:
- Washington Post story written by Jonathan Finer on the MBTA and Subway Performers conflict published on Monday December 8, 2003. See this link for the full story:
- Two Boston Globe article on September 5, 2004 with update on subway performances:
Boston Legal Battle June 2004-June 2005 ... on
- Boston Globe July 24, 2004, article by Shelley Murphy: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/07/24/singers_sue_city_say_theyre_harassed/
- Boston Phoenix September 3, 2004, article "Killjoy was here" - Boston has long relied on onerous regulations to kick street performance to the curb. Now itinerant artists are fighting back in the courts. BY HARVEY A. SILVERGLATE AND DAN POULSON "Given the legal and cultural importance of public artistic expression, as well as the applicable judicial precedents, it is not difficult to predict that unless Boston cleans up its act voluntarily - and quickly - the city will undoubtedly lose this lawsuit." http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/04097841.asp
- Cambridge Chronicle story August 12, 2004, By Amanda McGregor http://www2.townonline.com/cambridge/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=66429
- Associated Press AP picked up story in late July and was published around the country in various publications including the Metro West Daily News and in Burlington, Vermont, cities in Florida. http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=73977
- Boston Globe September 9, 2004 "Musicians, T singing two-part harmony" by Jason Nielsen. Article on subway performers with update on the Boston legal case. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/09/05/musicians_t_singing_two_part_harmony/
- Boston Herald, Thursday, December 23, 2004 "Sidewalk shows must go on: Hub gives street performers a pass - for now." by J.M. Lawrence. http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=60211
- Boston Globe, December 24, 2004 "In court, city makes promise to let its sidewalks be stages." by Shelley Murphy, -- Strike up the band, pull out the magic tricks, and practice that mime routine: The shows will go on on the streets of Boston. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/12/24/in_court_city_makes_promise_to_let_its_sidewalks_be_stages/
- WB 56 News, Fox 25 News, and New England Cable News all covered the story on December 24, 2004.
- Boston Metro Newspaper, December 27, 2004 "Judge rules for performers: Federal judge nixes rules prohibiting street performances" by Christina Wallace http://www.metropoint.com/
Click image for larger readable version
- Boston Phoenix, January 7 - 13, 2005: FREEDOM WATCH Street musicians, one; Boston Police, zero BY HARVEY A. SILVERGLATE AND DAN POULSON VICTORY SONG: Community Arts Advocates founder Stephen H. Baird prevailed in his suit to overturn city restrictions on street performers. But he worries that beat cops might not get the message. http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/this_just_in/documents/04383305.asp
- The National Law Journal, January 10, 2005, "Let the band play on, in public -- Judge overturns 1878 ban on street performers." By Lindsay Fortado http://www.law.com/
- Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, May 15, 2005, cover story "Let the Music Play," by James Sullivan with photos by Laurie Swope. Profiles of street and subway performers with references to Federal Court case: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2005/05/15/let_the_music_play/
NOTE: This is the short reference list. It does not include the hundreds of articles written for newspapers and magazines. I am currently transferring my hand written card file list to a computer data base which will become available upon request. The first three books recommended here included some of these references I have researched and collected in their foot notes and appendixes. Most major city newspapers publish annual stories on street performances either in the spring or during other traditional street performance peak times (Key West and New Orleans in February). Local libraries can help find these references.
A UCLA Department of Urban Planning research book chapter summary on the use of public space can be found on this web site at: Sidewalk Democracy: Municipalities and the Regulation of Public Space
Many juggling, magic, mime, vaudeville organizations and shops have extensive book lists for reference and sale, such as http://www.dube.com/book/bookindex.html, http:// www.juggling.org, http:// www.magicians.org, http:// www.mimes.com
Street Arts and Buskers Advocates
Copyright © 1999-2016 by Stephen Baird