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New York Live Arts Announces LIVE IDEAS Festival 2014 Schedule - 'The Year of James Baldwin'

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New York Live Arts Announces LIVE IDEAS Festival 2014 Schedule - 'The Year of James Baldwin'New York Live Arts today announced the schedule of its second annual Live Ideas festival, James Baldwin, This Time! taking place April 23 - 27, 2014.

Inaugurating "The Year of James Baldwin," a city-wide celebration in 2014 - 15 of the continuing artistic, intellectual and moral presence of James Baldwin, on the occasion of what would have been his 90th year, James Baldwin, This Time! will present no fewer than 18 events in an array of theater, visual art, dance, video, and literature featuring such artists as Suzan-Lori Parks, STEW, Carl Hancock Rux, Colman Domingo, Fran Lebowitz, Colm Tóibín, Charles O. Anderson, Patricia McGregor, and Hilton Als.

"New York Live Arts is proud to launch the monumental city-wide multidisciplinary festival The Year of James Baldwin with James Baldwin, This Time! and collaborate with such illustrious partners as Harlem Stage and the Columbia University School of the Arts," stated Jean Davidson, Executive Director and CEO of New York Live Arts. "Bringing people, resources and big ideas together to examine the past and reimagine the future is important to New York Live Arts and we are incredibly thankful to the Ford Foundation and our colleagues at the Richard Avedon Foundation, The James Baldwin Estate and the New School's Vera List Center for Art and Politics for their support of our second annual Live Ideas festival."

"After the success of New York Live Arts' inaugural Live Ideas festival, The Worlds of Oliver Sacks, we are thrilled to shift the focus to another multifaceted generator of and magnet for ideas, James Baldwin," said Bill T. Jones, Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts. "James Baldwin is a unique and indispensable voice in twentieth-century art and ideas. He continues to shed light on the painful truths of our society, engaging us as almost no other figure does in the intractable conversation at the intersection of class, race, sex and violence. There were other powerful artists and social justice thinkers in his era, but what set James Baldwin apart was his ability to address, in terms at once poetic and visceral, what we can only call 'Americanism.'"

Among the highlights of the festival are the world premiere of the theater work Nothing Personal, based on the 1964 collaborative book by James Baldwin and Richard Avedon, directed by Patricia McGregor and starring Colman Domingo; a preview of Carl Hancock Rux's play Stranger on Earth, featuring vocalist Marcelle Davies Lashley; a preview of award-winning composer STEW's Notes of a Native Song; the New York premiere of choreographer Charles O. Anderson's Restless Natives; and the world premiere of choreographer Dianne McIntyre's Time is Time. Also featured during the festival are an original video installation, inspired by the writings of Baldwin, by contemporary visual artist Hank Willis Thomas; and the speaking program "Jimmy at High Noon," featuring poet Yusef Komunyakaa, critic, essayist and memoirist Hilton Als, playwright and actor Tarell McCraney and others reading Baldwin's work and discussing its impact.

James Baldwin, This Time! is curated by celebrated non-fiction writer Lawrence Weschler in conjunction with Bill T. Jones. "For all his time in exile, and for all of the time he spent dwelling on the agonies of difference, Baldwin always spoke in a radical, cleansing and prophetic voice from the standpoint of an American - his own word, endlessly repeated - reclaiming and reconceiving that term in a way that seemed especially relevant to the poisoned discourses of our own era," stated Weschler. "That's part of what we were trying to get at in titling our festival James Baldwin, This Time! We can't wait to see the sorts of discourses it will spark."

The 2014 Live Ideas festival James Baldwin, This Time! is being presented by New York Live Arts as part of "The Year of James Baldwin" in partnership with Harlem Stage and Columbia University School of the Arts and its Office of Community Outreach and Education. Other collaborators include the Richard Avedon Foundation; The New School and its Vera List Center for Art and Politics and the School of Writing; and others to be announced as the year progresses.

Please see the descriptions and schedule below for complete program details. *Schedule in formation and subject to change.*

Live Ideas
James Baldwin, This Time!

April 23 - 27, 2014

Single tickets and festival passes ($175) will go on sale to New York Live Arts members on January 27, 2014 and the general public on February 3, 2014.

New York Live Arts
Tickets: FREE - $60
T: 212-924-0077 | www.newyorklivearts.org
219 W 19th Street, New York, NY 10011
Box Office hours: Monday-Friday 1 - 9pm | Saturday-Sunday 12 - 8pm

OVERVIEW OF EVENTS:

VISUAL ART INSTALLATIONS

HANK WILLIS THOMAS (Video installation)
This project is an innovative approach to the act of re-reading and participating in Baldwin's work, applying the idea of creating art with Baldwin's words. The project is enhanced by inviting key figures to read some of his letters, such as "An Open Letter to My Sister Angela Davis" (November 19, 1970) where he writes about solidarity. The project and participants are diverse, and will feature mixed media including photographs, video and new technology. The content will be digitally woven together in a stream-of-conscious, fluid-moving digital mosaic, connected by themes to create a continuously changing digital tapestry.

Dates: Ongoing throughout the festival
Times: Ongoing throughout the festival
Tickets: FREE

PORTRAITS OF BALDWIN
Renowned American fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon photographed Baldwin over the 40 years of their friendship. (They met while collaborating as fellow students on the literary magazine of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.) Select images chosen by the Richard Avedon Foundation will be digitized, projected and shown on screens throughout the Live Arts building.

Dates: Ongoing throughout the festival
Tickets: FREE

WALL MURAL OF NEW YORKER "LETTER FROM A REGION OF MY MIND"
Over 88 pages from the November 1962 New Yorker magazine where Baldwin's piece "Letter from a Region of My Mind" (the basis for what was to become his great book The Fire Next Time) first appeared will be reproduced in its entirety and mounted at Live Arts. The text is flanked by advertisements from the era, incongruously depicting luxury goods.

Dates: Ongoing throughout the festival
Tickets: FREE

READINGS, LECTURES, PANELS & CONVERSATIONS

"JIMMY AT HIGH NOON" (A Series of Five Daily Readings)
Presented in partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts, this noon-time series features poets, actors, musicians, essayists, and scholars reading from a range of James Baldwin's classics, as well as discussing his impact on their lives and thinking. Speakers include poets Nikki Finney and Yusef Komunyakaa; writers Hilton Als and Darryl Pinckney; actors Jesse L. Martin and André Deshields; musicians Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran; and playwrights Suzan-Lori Parks and Marcus Gardley, among others to be announced at a later date. "Jimmy at High Noon" will be overseen by director, Patricia McGregor, with dramaturgy by Columbia Faculty and Baldwin scholar, Rich Blint.

Dates: Every day, Wednesday April 23 - Sunday, April 27
Time: 12:00pm
Tickets: FREE
Location: New York Live Arts Studios

BALDWIN AS PLAYWRIGHT AND INFLUENCE
MacArthur Award winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who studied with Baldwin at Mount Holyoke in the early 80s and considers him a crucial mentor and influence in her own development, discusses her years there with Roberta Uno, Senior Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, who staged a groundbreaking Baldwin production during those same years. Additional participants to be announced.

Date: Wednesday, April 23
Time: 2:30pm
Tickets: $15
Location: New York Live Arts Studios

OPENING PLENARY CONVERSATION
The Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts, choreographer Bill T. Jones, in conversation with a distinguished guest to be announced at a later date.

Date: Wednesday, April 23
Time: 8:00pm
Tickets: $60
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

BALDWIN, AVEDON & DELANEY
Rachel Cohen reads from her critically acclaimed debut book A Chance Meeting, which describes seminal encounters across American cultural history. Chapters chosen will feature two key encounters in Baldwin's early life, with photographer-to-be Richard Avedon at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, and soon thereafter with the sublime painter Beauford Delaney, in Greenwich Village.

Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 2:00pm
Tickets: $10
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

WHAT WOULD BALDWIN SAY ABOUT AMERICA TODAY?
Festival Curator Lawrence Weschler moderates a conversation on what Baldwin might have made of everything from the burgeoning prison-industrial complex and the recent gutting of the Voter Rights Bill through the Barack Obama presidency. Distinguished panelists to be announced.

Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 5:30pm
Tickets: $15
Location: New York Live Arts Studios

BALDWIN'S NEW YORK
Baldwin's niece Aisha Karefa-Smart discusses his New York roots with Patricia Cruz, executive director of Harlem Stage, among others.

Date: Friday, April 25
Time: 5:30pm
Tickets: $15
Location: New York Live Arts Studios

AFTER GIOVANNI'S ROOM: BALDWIN and QUEER FUTURITY
Alongside Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Baldwin is considered one of the first prominent black intellectuals to offer a blueprint for a utopian American ideology regardless of race and class; but Baldwin also addressed sexual preference. Well before the general public was ready to seriously entertain revolutionary ideas of racial and gender equality, we locate Baldwin as a pioneer in the advocacy of civil rights. This panel situates Baldwin as a trailblazer proposing groundbreaking concepts which served as a foundation for Contemporary Black queer intellectual life. Panelists include Kyle Abraham, Rich Blint, Bill T. Jones and others.

Date: Friday, April 25
Time: 2:00pm
Tickets: $10
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

JIMMY'S BLUES: DISCUSSING THE POETRY OF James Baldwin
Curated by Alice Quinn, Poetry Editor at The Dish, this poetry event will feature prominent poets and scholars reading from Jimmy's Blues.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 5:30pm
Tickets: $15
Location: New York Live Arts Studios

A CONCLUDING CONVERSATION: LEBOWITZ & TÓIBÍN
Writer, sardonic provocateur, and New Jersey émigré Fran Lebowitz (Metropolitan Life, Social Studies, etc.) and award-winning Irish novelist and essayist, Columbia Professor Colm Tóibín (The Master; The Testament of Mary; New Ways to Kill Your Mother, among many others) discuss Baldwin's legacy and his remarkable and enduring impact on their own lives and vantages.

Date: Sunday, April 27
Time: 6:00pm
Tickets: $15, $40
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

DANCE & THEATER EVENTS

"NOTHING PERSONAL"
Director Patricia McGregor, working with Colman Domingo (Passing Strange and The Butler), and with the cooperation of the Richard Avedon Foundation, brings the wrenching 1964 Avedon/Baldwin book collaboration to life in a world premiere theatrical production.

Date: Wednesday, April 23 at 5:00pm, Thursday, April 24 at 8:00pm
Tickets: $15, $40
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

Carl Hancock Rux: STRANGER ON EARTH
A preview of a new work commissioned and produced by Harlem Stage, Stranger on Earth imagines a chance meeting between writer James Baldwin and singer Dinah Washington at a Harlem jazz club in 1963. Drawing from Baldwin's essays including Notes of a Native Son; Nobody Knows My Name; and The Fire Next Time -- combined with Rux's original dialogue and performed by Rux and Marcelle Davies Lashley -- the work addresses issues regarding race, identity, music and the future of a world both are struggling to understand.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 2:00pm
Tickets: $15, $35
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

STEW ON BALDWIN: AN INTIMATE LOOK
A preview of Notes of a Native Song, a new work by award-winning composer STEW commissioned and produced by Harlem Stage. This work features songs, poems, sermons and projections, using the work of James Baldwin and the locale of Harlem as filters through which to view the role of black artists in America, as well as springboards from which to leap into future questions of black art. Via Baldwin's work, Notes of a Native Song questions the relationship between art and the black community, and asks what exactly a black American artist owes to this notion of community.

Date: Friday, April 25
Time: 8:00pm
Tickets: $15, $35
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

BALDWIN THROUGH DANCE: Charles O. Anderson and Dianne McIntyre
Charles O. Anderson will present the NYC premiere of Restless Natives, immediately following the work's world premiere as part of the 2014 Fusebox Festival in Austin, TX. Infused with a stunning sound score and original texts by poet Ursula Rucker, this work is inspired by James Baldwin's seminal work Another Country.

One of the First Ladies of Dance, Dianne McIntyre will present the world premiere of Time is Time, bringing her soulfully embodied presence to the stage alongside live original music and two additional dancers.

Date: Saturday, April 26 at 8:00pm; Sunday, April 27 at 2:00pm
Tickets: $15, $40
Location: New York Live Arts Theater

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