To curate:

1. Select, organize, and look after items in a collection or exhibition.

2. Select acts to perform at a music festival.

See, now, I didn’t know that second definition until last December when a local hip-hop group, Doomtree, had a seven-night “blow-out” at Minneapolis’s famed First Ave. The first five nights, Sunday to Thursday, were devoted to one specific member of the group and his or her guests; the final two nights displayed Doomtree all together. I’m a Facebook fan of Doomtree’s sole female, Dessa, and thus was especially excited to see her announcement of which guests she was bringing in on Tuesday, the night she would be curating. Since Dessa is an extremely intelligent woman with highly creative diction, I thought her usage of the world was wonderfully fitting and inventive. Fitting yes, inventive no.

The origin of the word curator comes from the Latin curare, which means “to care for,” especially in the spiritual sense. I love this etymological clue as to the job of the curator: ushering forth art and music which is both of the spirit and to care for the spirit. In this sense, what else could a curator do? Perhaps curate ingredients in an exquisite dish? (A curry, of course). Curate a highly engaging lecture?

I’ll give Dessa the last word on this one:

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