The Cosby Show

The Cosby Show is an American sitcom television series co-created by and starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984, until April 30, 1992. The show focuses on an upper middle-class African-American family living in New York; the Cosby Show spent five consecutive seasons as the number-one rated show on television. The Cosby Show and All in the Family are the only sitcoms in the history of the Nielsen ratings to be the number-one show for five seasons, it spent all eight of its seasons in the top 20. According to TV Guide, the show "was TV's biggest hit in the 1980s, single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC's ratings fortunes." TV Guide ranked it 28th on their list of 50 Greatest Shows. In addition, Cliff Huxtable was named as the "Greatest Television Dad". In May 1992, Entertainment Weekly stated that The Cosby Show helped to make possible a larger variety of shows with a predominantly black cast, from In Living Color to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

The Cosby Show was based on comedy routines in Cosby's stand-up act, which in turn were based on his family life. The show led to the spinoff A Different World, which ran for six seasons from 1987 to 1993; the show focuses on the Huxtable family, an upper middle-class African-American family, living in a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, New York, at 10 Stigwood Avenue. The patriarch is an obstetrician and son of a prominent jazz trombonist; the matriarch is attorney Clair Huxtable. They have four daughters and one son: Sondra, Theo and Rudy. Despite its comedic tone, the show sometimes involves serious subjects, like Theo's experiences dealing with dyslexia, inspired by Cosby's dyslexic son, Ennis; the show deals with teen pregnancy when Denise's friend, becomes pregnant. The Cosby Show pilot episode uses the same title sequence as the rest of the first season, is regarded as the first episode. However, it contains a number of differences from the remainder of the series. In the pilot, the Huxtables have only four children.

Following the pilot, the Huxtables have five children, with the addition of their eldest daughter, mentioned in episode four and appears first in episode 11. The character was created when Bill Cosby wanted the show to express the accomplishment of raising a child. Bill Cosby wanted Vanessa L. Williams to play the part of "Sondra" due to her college education and background in theater arts. However, Williams was crowned the first black Miss America and pageant officials would not permit her to play the role while she was representing the Miss America pageant. Whitney Houston was considered for the role of Sondra Huxtable, but was unable to commit to the full-time television production schedule in the NBC contract, as she was intending to be a full-time music recording artist. Most of the story in the pilot presentation is taken from Bill Cosby's classic comedy film Bill Cosby: Himself. Cosby's character is called "Clifford" in the early episodes of the first season, his name was switched to "Heathcliff".

Although, in one episode, Clair calls him "Heathclifford". Additionally, Vanessa refers to Theo as "Teddy" twice in the dining room scene; the interior of the Huxtables' home features an different living room from subsequent episodes, different color schemes in the dining room and the master bedroom. Throughout the remainder of the series, the dining room is reserved for more formal occasions. In the early 1980s, Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, two former executives at ABC, left the network to start their own production company. At ABC, they had overseen sitcoms such as Mork & Mindy, Three's Company, Welcome Back, Kotter; the two partners decided that to get a sitcom to sell for their fledgling company, they needed a big name behind it. The career of Bill Cosby, who starred in two failed sitcoms during the 1970s, produced award-winning stand-up comedy albums, had roles in several different films, was static during the early 1980s. According to a Chicago Tribune article from July 1985, despite Carsey and Werner's connection to the network, Lewis Erlicht, president of ABC Entertainment, passed on the show, prompting a pitch to rival network, NBC.

Outside of his work on his cartoon series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Cosby was doing little in film or television, but Carsey and Werner were fans of Cosby's stand-up comedy and thought it would be the perfect material for a family sitcom. Cosby proposed that the couple should both have blue-collar jobs, with the father a limousine driver, who owned his own car, the mother an electrician. With advice from his wife Camille Cosby, the concept was changed so that the family was well-off financially, with the mother a lawyer and the father a physician. Cosby wanted the program to be educational, he insisted that the program be taped in New York City instead of Los Angeles, where most television programs were taped. The Huxtable home exterior was filmed at 10 St. Luke's Place near 7th Avenue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village; the earliest episodes of the series were videotaped at NBC's Brooklyn studios. The network sold that building, production moved to the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. Though the show was set to take place in Brooklyn, the exterior façade was of a brownstone townhouse located in Manhattan's Greenwich Village at 10 Leroy Street/ 10 St. Luke's Place.

The pilot was filmed in May 1984, with season one's production commenci

Roberta Crenshaw

Roberta P. "Bobbie" Crenshaw was an American civic leader philanthropist and philanthropist. Crenshaw campaigned for over 60 years to preserve parkland in Austin and supported Austin-area cultural institutions. Roberta Purvis was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 17, 1914, she came to Texas in 1932 to attend the University of Texas. She served the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority as president, she married oilman Malcolm Hiram Reed, with whom she had two daughters. After his unexpected death in 1945, she married attorney Fagan Dickson, who she divorced in 1974. In 1975, she married lawyer Charles Edward Crenshaw. Crenshaw was appointed by Austin City Council to the Parks Board in 1952, at that time under the Public Works Department. Crenshaw helped push for the parks department to be joined with the recreation department, in 1963, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department was formed. Crenshaw served 12 years on the Parks Board, serving as chair from 1964-1969. In 1954, Crenshaw donated six acres of land to create Reed Park in Tarrytown.

In the 1960s, as chair of the Parks Board, she spearheaded the effort to create parkland and a trail surrounding Town Lake. Crenshaw, who purchased nearly 400 shrubs and trees to spur development of parks along the lakefront, helped recruit Lady Bird Johnson to boost funding and support for the lake's beautification projects. Crenshaw formed a coalition to prevent private developers to bring amusement parks to the lake. Crenshaw, while married to Fagan Dickson, owned a cattle farm in the East Riverside area called "Faro Farm". In 1973, the couple partnered with developers to redevelop the property into a large planned unit development called "The Crossing". Much of the development was not realized, in 1984, Crenshaw donated more than 30 acres of the land to the City of Austin to create the Colorado River Park renamed Roy G. Guerrero Park. In 1976, Crenshaw joined the board of a nonprofit group formed to save the Paramount Theatre, a building that she owned 50% of through a trust in her late husband's estate.

Crenshaw donated her share to the nonprofit, who were able to secure funding to renovate the deteriorated theater. Crenshaw raised funds to create the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, which opened in 1991. In the 1990s, Crenshaw fought to convince the Texas Department of Transportation to fund and construct a pedestrian walkway under the MoPac Expressway bridge across the Colorado River, which opened in 2004. Up until her death, Crenshaw fought a 20-year battle to prevent private development on the site of the Seaholm Power Plant, redeveloped. Crenshaw was the first President of the Austin Ballet Society, she served as a trustee of the National Recreation and Park Association and was a member of the Heritage Society of Austin, Austin History Center, Symphony Orchestra Society, Women’s Symphony League, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, the Texas Nature Conservancy. Crenshaw served on the advisory board for the UT School of Architecture and was an honorary member of the Austin AIA chapter. On July 18, 2004, the Austin City Council voted to designate the MoPac pedestrian bridge the "Roberta Crenshaw Pedestrian Walkway", dedicated on April 18, 2005.

A plaque at the north entrance to the bridge notes her contributions to culture. In 2016, the Paramount Theatre installed a life-size portrait of Crenshaw painted by Wayman Elbridge Adams, which hung in her home

Alexandra Bell

Alexandra Bell is an American multidisciplinary artist. Bell is best known for her series Counternarratives, large scale paste-ups of New York Times articles edited to challenge the presumption of “objectivity” in news media. Using marginalia, annotation and revisions to layout and images, Bell exposes the pervasive racial and gender biases embedded in print news media. Bell was raised in Chicago, she cites visual artists such as Glenn Ligon, Jenny Holzer, Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar as inspirations. Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from the The University of Chicago, she received her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2013. The works comprising Counternarratives represent Bell's debut as a visual artist. Though works from the series have since been shown in galleries, on college campuses, Bell began by pasting her work onto walls in public space on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in the spirit of paste-up advertisements and graffiti.

The first work in the series, A Teenager With Promise, consists of two panels: one shows the New York Times’s front-page profiles of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed him. The second panel--Bell's proposal for how the Times should have reported Brown's murder--simply shows a portrait of Michael Brown in his graduation cap and gown. Works in the series include inline edits and annotations to New York Times articles about the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, which resulted in the death of protestor Heather Heyer. Bell's work has appeared in major group and solo exhibitions across the United States, including the 2019 Whitney Biennial, which featured a newly commissioned series of prints titled No Humans Involved: After Sylvia Wynter, which looks at the New York Daily News’ reporting of the Central Park Five case. Among other accolades, Bell received the 2018 International Center of Photography Infinity Award in the applied category and was a 2018 Open Society Soros Equality Fellow.

Atlanta Contemporary, Georgia, August 26 – December 17, 2017 Bennington College, Vermont, October 10 – December 15, 2017 MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York, November 9 – December 11, 2017 Pomona College, California, March 2 – May 13, 2018 Spencer Museum of Art University of Kansas, Kansas, March 5 – April 8, 2018 Allen Memorial Art Museum and Oberlin College Libraries, Ohio, October 30 – December 21, 2018 An unassailable and monumental dignity, CONTACT Gallery, Ontario, September 21 – November 18, 2017 Lack of Location Is My Location, Koenig & Clinton Gallery, New York, November 3, 2017 – January 14, 2018, 2017 Hold These Truths, The Nathan Cummings Foundation New York City, November 13, 2017 – March 14, 2018 Original Language, Cue Foundation, New York City, September 6 – October 11, 2018 Punch, Jeffrey Deitch, New York, September 15 – October 27, 2018 The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror In America, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, October 26, 2018 – December 16, 2018 2019 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 17 – September 22, 2019 Direct Message: Art and Power, MCA Chicago, Illinois, October 26, 2019 – January 26, 2020 Official website