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Rhiannon Giddens and Yo-Yo Ma to Take Part in JUNETEENTH: FROM THE PAST TO THE LIVING PRESENT


Throughout the summer, audiences will have the opportunity to explore Artpark to the accompaniment of a variety of artistic worlds for free, right in their own pockets.

Rhiannon Giddens and Yo-Yo Ma to Take Part in JUNETEENTH: FROM THE PAST TO THE LIVING PRESENT

Artpark & Company will present Juneteenth: From the Past to the Living Present with Rhiannon Giddens featuring Yo-Yo Ma as part of the outdoor season of the SONIC TRAILS festival curated and co-produced by Sozo Creative, from May 15 - September 30, 2021. With a hyper-local and equally global perspective, Sozo Creative and Artpark have brought together some of the most influential BIPOC voices in music - the Holladay Brothers, Kronos Quartet, Indigenous artists curated by Michele-Elise Burnett, and DJ Spooky - to cultivate aural experiences exploring the unique geological and historic site of the Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park located on Niagara Gorge located just seven miles from the Niagara Falls.

Launching on June 19, Grammy Award-winning musician, historian and Silkroad Ensemble Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, in collaboration with celebrated Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma, will debut Juneteenth: From The Past To The Living Present. Weaving banjo, folk music, and storytelling, this guided walk centers the profound contributions of African Americans on American culture, music and history, seeking to imagine a society of inclusion, connection, empathy and justice.

Throughout the summer, audiences will have the opportunity to explore Artpark to the accompaniment of a variety of artistic worlds for free, right in their own pockets - an immersive choose-your-own-adventure. To make reservations or for further information, visit

Cover the Water Launched May 15, 2021 The Holladay Brothers, composers and multimedia artists, are pioneers of location-aware experiences: they create and map music to a physical landscape, released as mobile apps, using GPS to dynamically alter the music as the listener explores their surroundings. They will kick off SONIC TRAILS on May 15 with a reprisal of Cover The Water, an original music composition by The Holladay Brothers birthed out of the pandemic limitations and during their artistic residency at Artpark in 2020. The initial project evolved into a larger collaboration between The Holladay Brothers, Sozo and Artpark, who have partnered with the dynamic and inclusive group of artists to bring their compositions to life through the custom app.

Her Moccasins Talk: Honoring all our Relations Launched May 15, 2021 Beginning May 15, Her Moccasins Talk: Honoring all our Relations is an Indigenous journey exploring the Natural World with gratitude, based on the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. Curated by Indigenous bridge builder Michele-Elise Burnett, along with local First Nations Knowledge Keepers, Storytellers, and singers who will take visitors through a mindful journey led by a nurturing matriarch voice, songs, sounds and effects based on giving thanks to all our relations. Along the path, our older and wiser relatives will share teachings, Indigenous Consciousness and ways of knowing which emerges from a space within us that is informed and governed by our natural relationship with creation, they will experience the landscape from an Indigenous lens and embrace being one with the Natural World. The path along the Mighty Niagara will help guests to look inward, facing oneself, and using this time to reflect, think analytically and critically, and with the key goal of ensuring balance and harmony with all living things.

Later in midsummer on July 3, Paul Miller AKA DJ Spooky brings his unforgettable transcendental sound to Artpark trails with a high energy electronic music experience, premiering three news tracks for the park visitors to hear first. You can take these heart racing beats for a run or bike ride through Artpark to experience the trails in a whole new way.
The season closes with a collaboration with world-renowned Kronos Quartet and its series of global commissions, 50 for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. Original compositions from select women composers will weave together to transport you worldwide through an intricate musical legacy of tradition and innovation. The experience focuses optimism, beauty and discovery to compose a global story of interconnectedness.

"This project perfectly brings together art, nature, culture, and technology. It opens up entirely new opportunities for park visitors to experience the constant nature transform with new sound; for artists to expand ways in which they can reach an audience directly from anywhere in the world; and for Artpark's artistic program to expand to all seasons of the year," said Sonia Kozlova Clark, Artpark President.

"As this project was conceived, it was intrinsically clear to cultivate space for the original and current stewards of the land, while centering voices of color. The highly collaborative approach to this experience is also posed to support an awakening to a greater ecological consciousness of interspecies relations at the center of these teachings, inspiring us all to imagine a meaningful transformation in the ethos of Indigenous education, artistic practices and the potent power of imagination," said Chisa Yamaguchi (Creative Producer, Sozo Creative)

"Spring awakens at Artpark and we have come together in this circle to celebrate and honor Mother Earth," said Michele-Elise Burnett, Artpark's Indigenous Arts Producer. "We are in a critical time right now with the impacts of the pandemic continuing to reveal themselves with environmental challenges. With our upcoming season, we aim to show Mother Earth our love and gratitude for all the life sustaining gifts she provides us."

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