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WQXR Announces 2021 STAR (Salutes The ARts) Initiative

STAR (Salutes The ARts) is a multi-pronged effort to support New York City's cultural landscape.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep New York City's performance stages dark, WQXR, New York City's classical music station, has announced STAR (Salutes The ARts), a multi-pronged effort to support New York City's cultural landscape.

STAR kicks off with four projects aimed at helping individual artists and organizations: grants for NYC-area musical talent, complimentary radio airtime for New York cultural nonprofits, a weekly radio series featuring performances recorded live at New York City and regional performing arts organizations, and several ongoing partnerships with New York City institutions.

STAR is the first initiative under the guidance of WQXR's new Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President, Ed Yim, who joined the organization in late 2020. Yim says of the project: "In times of crisis and uncertainty, the arts are a powerful reminder of what is timeless and enduring. WQXR is honored to work with so many of our partners in the classical and performing arts community to provide audiences with meaningful and uplifting programming as the city's stages remain dark."

"Like the rest of our city, New York Public Radio has faced challenges due to the prolonged shutdown of our city and its economy," said Goli Sheikholeslami, President and CEO, New York Public Radio, which includes WQXR. "But we are grateful to be able to respond to this moment by using our airwaves to support the organizations who have supported us. WQXR STAR beautifully aligns with our mission to bring artists, audiences, and cultural organizations together, to keep our cultural community strong."

STAR consists of four initiatives: the Artist Propulsion Lab, Project Airlift, New York in Concert, and Programming Partnerships with New York City cultural institutions. Find more details on each program below.

WQXR recognizes that individual artists have been the hardest hit by the pandemic as it has inhibited their ability to make art and an income. As a leading cultural institution and a mission-driven organization, WQXR will support six New York metropolitan area-based performers through the Artist Propulsion Lab. Each artist will receive an honorarium of $15,000 as well as a budget of up to $5,000 to engage collaborators and commission works. They will engage in a range of activities that could include: a performance in The Jerome L. Greene Space for digital and on-air distribution; on-air host and curation opportunities; an interview and chance to share their music on WNYC's Morning Edition; community engagement through family-oriented digital content; an interview on WQXR.org about the future of classical music; and public masterclasses.

The 2021 Artist Propulsion Lab artists are as follows:

Jordan Bak, viola
Brandon Patrick George, flute
The Junction Trio with Conrad Tao, piano; Stefan Jackiw, violin; Jay Campbell, cello
Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin
Orion Weiss, piano
Kara Dugan, Mezzo-Soprano

Through Project Airlift, WQXR will be providing complimentary, on-air promotion spots to New York City cultural nonprofits who have suffered in the absence of live performances and have been forced to cut their marketing budgets. These radio spots will allow these organizations to stay in front of WQXR listeners. This effort will include partners such as Carnegie Hall, New York Philharmonic, The Apollo Theater, 92nd Street Y, Harlem Chamber Players, Playwright's Horizons, Primary Stages, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Flushing Town Hall, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Orchestra of St. Luke's, among others. Applications are still open for additional New York-area nonprofit organizations, especially those which are BIPOC-led and/or with small and mid-size budgets.

As soon as stages went dark in 2020, WQXR introduced New York in Concert, a program that brings audiences performances captured live from New York City and regional performing arts venues. In a second season beginning in April, listeners will hear performances and recordings from partners such as The Harlem Chamber Players, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, 92nd Street Y, Gateways Music Festival, The Morgan Library and Museum, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

In partnership with The Metropolitan Opera, WQXR is excited to announce the third season of their acclaimed podcast Aria Code. The Grammy-winning artist and MacArthur Fellow Rhiannon Giddens will return as host to guide listeners through an 18-episode season exploring some of the greatest moments in opera, including arias from Giacomo Puccini's Turandot, Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, and Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. As in the first two seasons, every episode will feature an internationally renowned opera singer, a music and drama expert, and guests from beyond the world of opera whose stories and insights connect these timeless works of art to our world today. The new season begins March 10.

In partnership with Carnegie Hall, WQXR is excited to bring back their annual broadcast series Carnegie Hall Live in April. This 10th anniversary season will look back at highlights from the past decade, including performances from world famous orchestras, star soloists, and pioneering chamber ensembles plus new content from the upcoming Voices of Hope festival.

Building on the success of Richard II last summer, NYPR and The Public Theater join forces again to bring a bilingual adaptation of Romeo and Juliet - Romeo y Julieta - to international audiences as a podcast on March 18, 2021.

A special collaboration on February 21 between WNYC's New Sounds and Bang on A Can will feature a special edition of their ongoing online Marathons. Spotlighting a series of commissioned works, New Sounds' John Schaefer will co-host with the three founders of Bang on a Can: Julia Wolfe, David Lang and Michael Gordon.

And of course, WQXR will continue to broadcast the New York Philharmonic This Week and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, presenting its hometown orchestra and chamber music presenter on the air to its listeners.


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