Access Restricted: Speaker Bios
About the Speakers
The Sacred and the Secular: Arts and Community at Trinity Wall Street
Wednesday, March 21, 7PM
St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway at Fulton Street
Julian Wachner (Director of Music and Arts, Trinity Wall Street)
Du Yun (Composer)
George Steel (General Manager and Artistic Director, New York City Opera)
Moderated by: Lara Pellegrinelli (Music journalist, regular contributor to NPR and visiting lecturer at Princeton University)
The American conductor and composer, Julian Wachner, began his musical studies with Gerre Hancock at the Choir School of St. Thomas Church in New York City. He attended Boston University's School for the Arts where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition and orchestral conducting.
Since his debut with the Boston Bach Ensemble in 1995, Julian Wachner has risen to become one of New England's leading musical personalities. Names "one of the most admired conductors of the year" by the Boston Globe in 1999, Wachner is currently musical director of The Back Bay Chorale, artistic director of The Providence Singers, and founding music director of the Boston Bach Ensemble, a period-instrument baroque orchestra and professional vocal ensemble.
A prolific composer, as well, Julian Wachner's original compositions have been praised for their "unabashed emotionalism and showy orchestration" by the Boston Globe. As a composer whose idiom clearly lies within the post modern school, Wachner's music manages to be accessible; and despite the kaleidoscopic qualitity of its tonality, the listener is always engaged by the narrative drive of the music and the rhetorical devices that sustain it.
Julian Wachner is also the Director of Music and the Arts for Trinity Wall Street, an active concert organists, award-winning improvisateur, and Fellow of the American Guild of Organists.
Born and raised in Shanghai, China, currently based in NYC, Du Yun is a composer, multi-instrumentalists and performance artist. Hailed by the New York Times as “cutting-edge… to whom the term ‘young composer’ could hardly do justice;” “heralds a significant voice” (Financial Times); “…the strongest impression made yet,;” (by De Rode Leeuw, Amsterdam), and “…one senses the exceptional ear, exploration and the results are impeccably powerful” (by Le Devoir, Montreal), her music exists at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, opera, theatre, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise.
Commissions include those from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the Whitney Museum Live, the Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, Festivals für Neue Musik & aktuelle Kultur (Switzerland), San Francisco Contemporary Ensemble Players, the violinist Hillary Hahn, cellist Matt Haimovitz, flutist Claire Chase and many more. Her works have been presented by a roaster of leading ensembles and international festivals.
As an avid performer, her onstage persona has been described by the New York Times as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge,” and “flamboyant” by the Chicago Tribune. She has also been invited as a featured performance artist for the 2012 Guangzhou Art Triennial (China), Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, and the Today Art Museum (Beijing) in 2013. Du Yun is an alumni of Shanghai Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, and Harvard University. She is currently on the composition faculty at SUNY-Purchase.
One of the most exciting forces on the classical music scene, George Steel was appointed General Manager and Artistic Director of the New York City Opera in February 2009. He has been acclaimed as an impresario of opera and dance and as a conductor of music from the Renaissance to the present day. He is the founder and conductor of the Vox Vocal Ensemble and the Gotham City Orchestra. His appearances as a singer, composer, pianist, educator, and conductor have been televised, recorded, webcast, and broadcast live on radio.
Before coming to New York City Opera in 2009, Steel ran the Miller Theatre in New York from 1997–2008, where Time Out New York called him NY's “impresario of the improbable.” He has made it his mission to reinvent the concert-going experience, and attracts large, young audiences. Steel received the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music in 2004-05 and 2001-02.
Dr. Lara Pellegrinelli
Dr. Lara Pellegrinelli is an arts journalist and scholar. She received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Harvard University in 2005, focusing on jazz studies. She currently teaches at Princeton University. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, and Time Out New York. She currently contributes arts & culture pieces on a wide variety of topics to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. Her long list of interview subjects includes Edward James Almos, Jo Boobs, Asha Bhosle, Wafaa Bilal, Vince Clarke, Eileen Fulton, James Galway, Ed Koch, Wynton Marsalis, Sara McLachlan, Meredith Monk, Michael Musto, Bobbie Lee Nelson, Anita O’Day, Penny Palfrey, Angie Pontani, and Jacques Pépin.
On The Waterfront: Re-Imagining the East River Esplanade
Wednesday, March 28, 7PM
Two Bridges Community Room, 82 Rutgers Slip (enter at 253 South Street)
Julieanne Herskowitz (NYCEDC) and Jamie Chan (Senior Planner/Urban Designer, NYC Department of City Planning)
Cathy E. Jones and Dana Getman (SHoP Architects)
Dylan House (Program Manager, Hester Street Collaborative)
Victor J. Papa (President, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council)
Moderated by: Cassim Shepard (Editor, Urban Omnibus, The Architectural League of New York)
Julieanne Herskowitz is a native New Yorker and grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She graduated from Haverford College in 2006 where she majored in Romance Languages and minored in Growth and Structure of Cities. She recently completed her Master of City and Regional Planning with a Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania in Spring of 2011. She currently works as a Project Manager in the Development Department at the NYCEDC, where she works on a variety of projects including the design, development, and management of the East River Waterfront Esplanade, industrial policy initiatives, the development and launch of an incubator in Harlem, and the development of two municipal waterfront properties in St. George, Staten Island. From 2006 to 2009, Julieanne worked at AKRF, Inc. as a Planner and Architectural Historian where she worked on large scale public-private development projects such as the Rezoning of Coney Island and Development of the Western Rail Yard. She also served as the Deputy Project Manager of numerous institutional expansion and residential conversion projects in NYC. She has previously interned at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.
Jamie Chan is a senior urban designer and city planner working at the NYC Department of City Planning for the past seven years. Trained in architecture, she currently manages interagency redevelopment projects for DCP, with focus in Lower Manhattan. Beyond her main projects such as the East River Waterfront Esplanade, the WTC redevelopment, and Seward Park, she is also involved in planning studies that promote strategic growth and sustainable communities in the rest of the city.
Catherine Jones joined SHoP Architects in 2003. While she has worked on several projects at SHoP the majority of her time has been managing the East River Waterfront Project in New York's Lower Manhattan from the Master Planning stage in 2004 to Design and Construction which began in 2006. The project entails over water construction, working with existing infrastructure, coordinating with a variety of City agencies and bringing additional components to the project including a DOS grant to develop oyster habitat as part of the East River's redevelopment.
Dana Getman received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 2004. After graduation from Cornell she worked for Richard Meier & Partners NY on design projects in Italy, China, and New York City. In 2008 she received a Master of Architecture II from Yale University. During her time at Yale she received the William Wirt Winchester Fellowship and the H.I. Feldman Award for the best solution to an architectural problem. In 2008 Ms. Getman joined SHoP Architects where she is the Project Architect for the East River Waterfront Esplanade, managing various phases of the master plan through design and construction. Ms. Getman is a registered architect in the state of New York and a member of the New York AIA.
As Program Manager, Dylan House coordinates Hester Street Collaborative’s education programs and community design initiatives. He is currently supporting the development of the People Make Parks initiative, a joint project with Partnerships for Parks that seeks to actively engage New Yorkers in the design of their parks, and HSC’s community projects. Dylan is a graduate of Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture, and is also an avid cyclist and advocate for livable streets in New York City.
Victor Papa is currently the Executive Director of Immigrant Social Services (ISS), Inc., a social service organization dedicated to serving Asian immigrants settling in Manhattan’s Chinatown community. ISS operates an after-school program for over 750 children in four Lower East Side public schools and a youth recreational, cultural and athletic arts program.
Victor also serves as the President/Director of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council. This organization is the proud sponsor of over 1500 units of affordable housing of the Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area. He has been part of the organization since the early 1980's, and as a board member since then, help guide the development of the site, which also includes Pathmark Supermarket, a senior residence, major mental health clinic operated by Hamilton-Madison House and a senior rehab center sponsored by Cabrini Medical Center. He also spearheaded the official designation of the Two Bridges and Chinatown Little Italy Historic Districts.
Cassim Shepard is the editor of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York. He produces non-fiction media about the design, planning and experience of cities, buildings and places. He has lectured at New York University; Parsons, the New School for Design; the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India; and the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics. And he has exhibited work at the Musee de la civilisation, Quebec; the Cineteca di Bologna; the Salone del Mobile, Milan; the Venice Architecture Biennale 2006; and his most recent piece, "Informal Urbanisms," a video installation commissioned by the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum for the exhibition Design with the Other 90%: Cities, screened at the United Nations. Shepard studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography at the University of London and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor of architecture at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservartion and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.
At the Intersection: Art, Money and Politics
Wednesday, April 11, 7PM
Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, 41 Broad Street
Jan Cohen-Cruz (Professor; Director, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life)
Randy Martin (Chair, Art and Public Policy at NYU)
Morgan Jenness (Creative Consultant, Abrams Artists Agency)
Rachel Chavkin (Artistic Director, The TEAM)
Moderated by: Amy Whitaker (Art Business Faculty, Sotheby’s Institute; LMCC Writer in Residence; author, Museum Legs)
Dr. Jan Cohen-Cruz
Dr. Jan Cohen-Cruz is director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a national consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the cultural disciplines. Cohen-Cruz wrote Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response and Local Acts: Community‑Based Performance in the U S; edited Radical Street Performance; and, with Mady Schutzman, co‑edited Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism and A Boal Companion. As a longtime professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Cohen‑Cruz also produced community‑based arts projects: one on community gardens, directed by Cornerstone Theater’s Sabrina Peck, another on gentrification, co‑directed by Urban Bush Woman’s Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and NYU Experimental Theatre Wing’s Rosemary Quinn. Post-Hurricane Katrina, Jan co‑initiated HOME, New Orleans, with local universities, artists, and residents exploring art’s role in New Orleans’ recovery. Cohen‑Cruz is a longtime practitioner of Augusto Boal’s “theatre of the oppressed” and a University Professor at Syracuse University. Her current research involves evaluating 15 US artists carrying out community-engaged projects in 15 countries, administered by the Bronx Museum and sponsored by the State Department.
Randy Martin is professor and chair of art and public policy and director of the graduate program in arts politics at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is the author of Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self; Socialist Ensembles:Theater and State in Cuba and Nicaragua; Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics; On Your Marx: Relinking Socialism and the Left; Financialization of Daily Life; and Empire of Indifference: American War and the Financial Logic of Risk Management and Under New Management: Universities, Administrative Labor and the Professional Turn. He has edited collections on U.S. Communism, sport and academic labor and, most recently, Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts (with Mary Schmidt Campbell) and The Returns of Alwin Nikolais: Bodies, Boundaries, and the Dance Canon (with Claudia Gitelman).
Dr. Martin holds degrees in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the City University of New York. He has studied, taught, and performed in dance, theater, and clowning in the United States and abroad. Previously, he served as professor and chair of social science at Pratt Institute, associate dean of faculty at Tisch School of the Arts, President of the Cultural Studies Association and as an editor of the journal Social Text. He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Imagining America.
Morgan Jenness spent over a decade at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, with both Joseph Papp and George C. Wolfe, in various capacities ranging from literary manager to Director of Play Development to Associate Producer. She was also Associate Artistic Director at the New York Theater Workshop, and an Associate Director at the Los Angeles Theater Center in charge of new projects. She has worked as a dramaturg, workshop director, and/or artistic consultant at theaters and new play programs across the country, including the Young Playwrights Festival, the Mark Taper Forum, The Playwrights Center/Playlabs, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Double Image/New York Stage and Film, CSC, Victory Gardens, Hartford Stage, and Center Stage. She has participated as a visiting artist and adjunct in playwriting programs at the University of Iowa, Brown University, Breadloaf, Columbia and NYU and is currently on the adjunct faculty at Fordham University. She has served on peer panels for various funding institutions, including NYSCA and the NEA, with whom she served as a site evaluator for almost a decade. In 1998 Ms. Jenness joined Helen Merrill Ltd., an agency representing writers, directors, composers and designers, as Creative Director. She now holds a position in the Literary Department at Abrams Artists Agency. In 2003, Ms. Jenness was presented with an Obie Award Special Citation for Longtime Support of Playwrights. She is also a proud member of the ensemble Universes.
Rachel Chavkin is an Obie Award-winning director, educator, and the founding Artistic Director of the TEAM, a New York-based collaborative ensemble whose mission is to create work that dissects and celebrates the experience of living in America today. With the TEAM Rachel has directed/co-authored 7 works, including Mission Drift, a new musical that pursues the soul of American capitalism through 400 years of history, created in the blazing heat of a Las Vegas June and co-produced by New York’s P.S.122, Lisbon’s Culturgest, and London’s Almeida Theatre, with music composed by Heather Christian (Winner 2011 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel, Best of 2011 The Guardian), and Architecting (co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, Winner 2008 Scotsman Fringe First, Top Ten 2009 Portugal's Publico) Founded in 2004, the TEAM's work has been seen all over New York (incl the Public Theater and PS122), nationally (incl the Walker Art Center), internationally (incl the Barbican Centre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, and the Salzburg Festival's Young Directors Program). The TEAM Mission Drift will tour to the National Theatre in 2013. Outside of the TEAM: Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy and Dave Malloy’s Three Pianos (A.R.T., NYTW, Ontological Incubator Series, 2010 Obie Award); the Agee/Evans Project (working title) about seminal social justice work, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, created with playwright Molly Rice and composer Stephanie Johnstone (Pace U and Montclair State U residencies); collaborations with playwright/performer/activist Taylor Mac including his extravaganza The Lily’s Revenge (Act II) (HERE, 2010 Obie Award) and Peace, co-written by Mac and Chavkin (Workshop, HERE).
Rachel is a NYTW Usual Suspect, an International Associate at the Gate Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Classic Stage Company, for whom she has directed a number of readings/workshops and served as Mandy Patinkin’s Shakespeare Coach, an alum of Soho Rep's Writer/Director Lab, the Drama League Directors Project, the Women’s Project Director’s Lab, and a New Georges Affiliate Artist. She teaches directing & performance at Playwrights Horizons Theater School within NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. B.F.A. NYU, M.F.A. Columbia.
Amy Whitaker teaches and writes about the intersection of art, business, and everyday life. She is a member of the Art Business Faculty at the Sotheby's Institute and a writer-in-residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has taught and lectured widely on business as a creative practice including at: RISD, Williams College, Yale, the Warhol Museum, and IBM. Her first book Museum Legs was selected by the Authors@Google program, recommended by the Association of Art Museum Directors, and assigned as the first year summer reading book at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. She is currently at work on a book about the idea of the creative generalist. Amy holds an MBA from Yale and an MFA in painting from the University College London, and a BA in political science from Williams College.
From Radio Row to the Freedom Tower: Arts and the Evolution of Lower Manhattan
Wednesday, April 18, 7PM
National September 11 Memorial & Museum Preview Site, 20 Vesey Street
Anita Contini (Arts and Culture Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies)
Linda Shelton (Executive Director, The Joyce Theater)
Eiko and Koma Otake (Artists)
Liz Thompson (Former Executive Director, LMCC; Founder, ArtfulAction Advisors/ArtfulAction Leadership Coaching)
Moderated By: Clifford Chanin (Director of Education and Programs, National September 11 Memorial & Museum)
Anita Contini joined Bloomberg Philanthropies in October of 2010 to develop its arts and culture program. The current program is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Art Advancement Initiative, an invitational program designed to support small and mid-size NYC arts organizations to engage them around activities that broaden audience outreach and strengthen long-term organizational capacity. From 2002 to 2005, Contini served as Vice President and Director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. She developed a process and implementation plan for the Memorial, Cultural, and Civic Programs for the World Trade Center site and was also responsible for managing the jury process that selected the designer for the World Trade Center memorial. Prior, she served as VP and Artistic Director, World Financial Center Arts and Events/Marketing for Brookfield Properties. She established the World Financial Center as an internationally acclaimed destination through an award winning cultural and civic program for its public spaces and galleries.
Contini was the founder and President of the not-for-profit award-winning arts organization Creative Time. She organized a number of major exhibitions and performances including Art On the Beach, Red Grooms’ Ruckus Manhattan, and Arts in the Anchorage.
She has received a number of awards for distinguished public service from the Municipal Arts Society Hofstra University Distinguished Achievement; New York City Opera Women in the Arts; AIA New York Chapter; ArtTable, and the Downtown Lower Manhattan Business Association.
Contini serves on the boards of The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, The Drawing Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. She is a member of the Financial Women's Association, Art Table, American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter. She is advisor to the Mayor’s Fund Greater NY Program and of the Alliance for Downtown NY Water Street Development project.
Linda Shelton has served NYC's dance scene as Executive Director of The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. since 1993, presenting a broad range of movements and dance styles from across the globe. Working directly with The Joyce's Director of Programming, Martin Wechsler, Linda and her staff at The Joyce Theater have provided a home for Doug Varone and Dancers since 1990, helping the Company develop and grow a loyal NYC audience. Under her leadership, The Joyce Theater has become one of the nation's leading venues for dance, introducing numerous international companies to American audiences and nurturing many American companies. In 1986 she led The Joyce Theater Foundation in saving and refurbishing a performance space and dance studios in downtown Manhattan, establishing Joyce SoHo -- a vital venue for emerging dance artists. The Joyce will soon add a third locale to its roster of premier theaters, developing a new dance center at the World Trade Center site, with a 1,000-seat theater to present engagements by approximately 30 different dance companies.
A Dance USA Board member for over ten years, Linda served as Chair of the Board from 2000-2002. In 1999, she was appointed Chevalier of France's Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to the arts. In 2004, she received the Documents of Dance Award from the Dance Library of Israel honoring her contributions to the New York dance community. Prior to her tenure at The Joyce Theater, Linda served as General Manager of The Joffrey Ballet, Manager of the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation and worked in administrative jobs at International Production Associates and Entertainment Corporation USA.
Eiko & Koma
Eiko (female) and Koma (male) were law and political science students in Japan when, in 1971, they each joined the Tatsumi Hijikata company in Tokyo. Their initially experimental collaboration soon developed into an exclusive partnership. The following year, Eiko and Koma started working as independent artists in Tokyo. At the same time, they began to study with Kazuo Ohno, who along with Hijikata was the central figure in the Japanese avant-garde theatrical movement of the 1960s. Neither Eiko nor Koma have studied traditional Japanese dance or theater forms; they have preferred to choreograph and perform only their own works.
Eiko & Koma were named John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellows for 1984. They were awarded one of the first "Bessies" (the New York Dance and Performance Awards) in 1984 for Grain and Night Tide, and were honored again in 1990 for Passage. They were named MacArthur Fellows in June of 1996. This was the first time in the program’s history that the foundation awarded a so-called "genius" fellowship to be shared by collaborators. In 2004, they received the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for “lifetime contributions to the field of modern dance.” They received the 2006 Dance Magazine Award and were awarded one of the first fifty United States Artists fellowships. In 2007 and again in 2009, Eiko & Koma were awarded an ALASKA AIR Fellowship administrated by United States Artists with support from the Rasmuson Foundation.
Eiko & Koma have been permanent residents of the United States since 1976. They currently live in New York City, where they perform regularly and offer occasional Delicious Movement Workshops. Eiko & Koma are currently working on constructing a retrospective of their work. This project will include new commissions of a living installation and a stage work, reworking of older pieces, outdoor performances, photo exhibitions, video installations, showings of their media dances and documentaries, the publication of a retrospective catalog, workshops and other educational activities such as panel discussions and lectures.
The hallmark of Liz Thompson's leadership has been her ability to combine strong fiscal and organizational leadership with both innovative and popular programming. As Executive Director of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) from 1997 to 2003 she balanced, and then quadrupled, the operating budget while vastly expanding the Council's offerings.The events of September 11, 2001 severely affected LMCC: scarring the city, the attack also destroyed the World Trade Center-based group's offices, studio and exhibition spaces, numerous irreplaceable works of art, and three decades worth of archives tracing New York City's downtown cultural history. In the aftermath, Liz skillfully led the organization through its most challenging period — relocating twice to temporary offices, re-establishing the performing and visual arts programs in new venues including the free outdoor performance festival she created Evening Stars, all the while expanding both the council's programming and its advocacy for the arts. Liz worked tirelessly throughout these years to ensure that arts and cultural resources would be included in the redevelopment process.
Liz has worked with Olympia & York, the World Financial Center, the Harkness Dance Foundation, and CBS Cable network along with international clients based in Bali, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. She served as President of First Night Boston, Inc., overseeing the growth of the event's diversity and popularity. She served as Vice-President of Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, and was a pivotal Executive Producer and Director of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts. Liz also worked closely with architects to design two new performance spaces: the experimental, and now regularly sold-out Studio Theatre, and an outdoor space with a magnificent mountain backdrop, the popular Inside-Out.
She is currently Chair of Five Myles, a fledgling cutting-edge art space situated in and dedicated to serving as an important part of its New York City community, and she is on the board of Flying Cloud Institute devoted to the children of Western MA with the single purpose of providing interdisciplinary experiences in art and science that stretch their minds and excite their curiosity.
The Legacy Project (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) was started by Clifford Chanin, who served for ten years as the Associate Director of Arts and Humanities at The Rockefeller Foundation. During his tenure, he encountered numerous artworks from around the world, addressing the absence and losses experienced by societies as a result of past tragedies, including war, genocide, ethnic conflict, and population displacement. The discovery of common themes linking these works of art raised the possibility of creating a new global dialogue based on the common language of society's shared inheritance of loss, or "legacy of absence". The Legacy Project was created to explore and foster this global dialogue through exhibitions, publications, programs, and an extensive website. We welcome a general audience concerned with shaping global values of exchange and mutual recognition, including communities of memory of 20th century traumas, human rights and global value activists, scholars, educators, students, and art audiences.