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Thompson Arts Center at Park Avenue Armory Looking Back / Looking Forward: Culture in a Changing America

Screening Times and Location

Sat, February 17, 2018

643 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065

Collaboration with The Aspen Institute Arts Program & ArtChangeUS

Producer/Director Nancy BuirskiLoving (2016), By Sidney Lumet (2015), The Loving Story (2011)—and Susan Fales-Hill (television producer, author, screenwriter and arts education advocate) discuss the timeliness of her latest film, The Rape of Recy Taylor (2017).

Artists, thinkers, activists, academics, and community leaders gather for a symposium of conversations, performances, and open studios exploring artistic, social, and political perspectives on the extraordinary world-changing events of 1968, the fifty years that followed, and the promise of the next fifty years. Artistic interventions and multi-disciplinary conversations across visual and performing arts, activism, literature, film, and poetry will take place in the historic period rooms—including the Board of Officers Room, Veterans Room, and second-floor Company Rooms.

Admission to each conversation or performance is first come, first served. Space is limited.

SESSION ONE: 12:00–3:00 PM

12:00 PM–12:45 PM

Remembering 1968
David Levering-Lewis (Pulitzer Prize winner, biographer of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Professor of History, New York University), Beth Lew-Williams (Assistant Professor of Asian American History, Princeton University), and Cheryl Wall (Professor of English, Rutgers University) discuss 1968 as a pivotal year in our nation’s history with moderator Eric Foner (Pulitzer prize winner and Professor of History, Columbia University). Introductory reading by poet lê thi diem thúy.

The National Black Theatre presents The Peculiar Patriot
The National Black Theatre, established in 1968, presents excerpts of The Peculiar Patriot (National Black Theatre/Hi-ARTS, 2017), created and performed by Liza Jessie Peterson, which confronts the complex and critical issue of mass incarceration. The work follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross (played by Peterson), a self-proclaimed “peculiar patriot”, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love between barbed wire. The performance is followed by a conversation with Liza Jessie Peterson and Jonathan McCrory (Director of Theatre Arts Program, The National Black Theatre).

1:00 PM–1:45 PM

Salons
The audience is invited to visit our Salons and open studios on the first and second floor; first come, first served. Salon hosts include: Cannupa Hanska Luger (Missing and Murdered Indigenous WomenGirlsQueer and Trans People Bead Project), Beatrice Glow and Alecz Inca (Mannahatta VR), Camille Zamora & Monica Yunus (Le Dernier Sorcier), Dance Theatre of Harlem (Open Studio), and the Armory Arts Education Program (Art of the Future Salon). Screenings include: Nancy Buirski’s Rape of Recy Taylor and LaMont Hamilton’s This Da Good Part.

2:00 PM–2:45 PM

Memorable Movements
Virtuosic tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, bass-baritone singer Davóne Tines, and visual artist Teresita Fernandez join in a collaborative discussion about the energy of the arts coming out of the 1960s. The conversation will be moderated by Damian Woetzel (former Principal Dancer of the New York City Ballet, Director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program, and President-Designate of The Juilliard School).

1968 and Beyond
Harry Gamboa Jr. (essayist, photographer, co-founder of Asco) and Roger Harris (Founder & CEO, Urban School Specialists, LLC), and George Stonefish (First Nations activist, traditional dancer & singer) discuss 1968 as a pivotal year in our nation’s history with Jack Tchen (Founding Director of A/P/A Institute, NYU and co-founder Museum of Chinese in America). Introductory reading by poet lê thi diem thúy.

SESSION TWO: 3:00 PM–6:00 PM

3:00 PM–3:45 PM

The Cycle of History: The Rape of Recy Taylor
Producer/Director Nancy BuirskiLoving (2016), By Sidney Lumet (2015), The Loving Story (2011)—and Susan Fales-Hill (television producer, author, screenwriter and arts education advocate) discuss the timeliness of her latest film, The Rape of Recy Taylor (2017), the story of a 24-year-old black sharecropper, who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Her case was investigated by the NAACP’s rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice. The film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of black women, from sexual aggression on southern streets in 1940 to today’s college campuses, to #MeToo and the recent Women’s Marches.

Visualizing Change
Melissa Calderón (multi-media artist), Jasmine Murrell (visual artist), and Cannupa Hanska Luger(multi-disciplinary artist) discuss the power of visual art to unearth hidden histories and expose societal issues with moderator Kalia Brooks Nelson (independent curator and educator).

4:00 PM–4:45 PM

Salons
The audience is invited to visit our Salons and open studios on the first and second floor; first come, first served. Salon hosts include: Beatrice Glow and Alecz Inca (Manahatta VR), OlaRonke Akinmowo(Free Black Women’s Library), Joseph Cuillier (The Black School), Dance Theatre of Harlem (Open Studio), and the Armory Arts Education Program (Art of the Future Salon). Screenings include: Nancy Buirski’s Rape of Recy Taylor and LaMont Hamilton’s This Da Good Part. Performance of selections from Pauline García Viardot’s opera Le Dernier Sorcier (1868) presented by Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus.

5:00 PM–5:45 PM

The Power of the Word
Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán (author and poet), Kamilah Forbes (Executive Producer, Apollo Theater), Ebony Noelle Golden (Founder/CEO, Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative), and lê thi diem thúy (poet) discuss the impact of history on literary and artistic practices with moderator Roberta Uno (theatre director and Director, Arts in a Changing America). Discussion is followed by a performance of selections from 125th & FREEdom by Ebony Noelle Golden and ensemble

Art, Music & the Movement
Dick Griffin (painter and trombonist) joins his friend of over fifty years Walter C. Jackson (sculptor) to tell stories of growing up in 1960s Mississippi, the untimely assassination of their friend and neighbor activist Medgar Evers, and the impact of those formative years on their artistic development. Soprano Camille Zamora moderates.

SESSION THREE: 6:00 PM–8:15 PM

6:00 PM–6:45 PM

Salons
6:00–6:45 PM
The audience is invited to visit our Salons and open studios on the first and second floor; first come, first served. Salon hosts include: Beatrice Glow and Alecz Inca (Mannahatta VR), OlaRonke Akinmowo(Free Black Women’s Library), Lizania Cruz (We the News Project), Joseph Cuillier (The Black School), Camille Zamora & Monica Yunus (Le Dernier Sorcier), and the Armory Arts Education Program (Art of the Future Salon). Screening of Nancy Buirski’s Rape of Recy Taylor. Conversation with LaMont Hamilton and Greg Tate, following a screening of This Da Good Part.

6:45 PM–7:30 PM

Looking Back, Looking Forward
Thelma Golden (Director and Chief Curator, Studio Museum of Harlem), Sade Lythcott (Chief Executive Officer, National Black Theatre) and Virginia Johnson (Founding member, Principal Dancer and Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem) discuss the creation (in 1968/1969) of four of New York City’s most enduring cultural institutions and the shaping of the city’s cultural agenda over the last fifty years with Tom Finkelpearl (New York City Commissioner of Cultural Affairs).

Looking Forward, Looking Back Johanna Fernández (Professor of Black and Latino Studies, Baruch College, CUNY), Charon Hribar (Director of Cultural Strategy for the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and Co-coordinator of Theomusicology and Movement Arts for the Poor People’s Campaign: National Call for Moral Revival), and Paola Mendoza (filmmaker and Artistic Director, Women’s March) address the impact of the protest movements of the 1960s, in particular the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968, on current movements that challenge systemic racism, poverty, and gender inequality in American society. Invocation by George Stonefish (First Nations activist, traditional dancer & singer).

7:30 PM–8:15 PM

Special Performance of No More Water / The Fire Next Time
7:30–8:15 PM
Legendary bassist, vocalist, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, in collaboration with director Charlotte Brathwaite, presents selections from No More Water | The Fire Next Time: The Gospel According to James Baldwin, an ever-evolving multi-disciplinary performance of artistic and activist responses to James Baldwin, featuring Jebin Bruni (keyboards), Justin Hicks (singer-songwriter) with special participation by LaToya Ruby Frazier (photographer), Staceyann Chin (performance artist), Jadele McPherson (interdisciplinary performer), Paul Thompson (Principal, Urban Assembly School of Music and Art, Brooklyn), and others.

Earlier Event: February 14
Toronto Black Film Festival
Later Event: February 19
Portland International Film Festival