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Pygmalion Festival Makes A Huge Pivot For 2020 Programming

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Due to the constraints of COVID-19, PYGMALION has moved all programming to the virtual space.

Due to the constraints of COVID-19, PYGMALION has moved all programming to the virtual space.

Setting themselves apart from other festivals, and being in the unique position to move forward with this year's event, in lieu of streaming live performances, the organizers of PYGMALION has made a major pivot to a diverse set of discussions, interactions, and activations that intends to delight and engage as many people as they possibly can.

Attendees will find a lot to explore, but with nary a live stream of a band performing in the virtual space.

The lineup includes Ilana Glazer (of Broad City) hosting a GENERATOR live, NPR's Ari Shapiro, National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes, Booker Prize award winner Bernardine Evaristo, Dan Savage discussing documentary film Jimmy in Saigon, inventor and YouTube star Simone Giertz, the cast of Napoleon Dynamite (ft. Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, and Jon Gries), "Friday Beers" with Sparta's Jim Ward (ft. Nate Mendel of Foo Fighters), two-time Pushcart Prize winner Kaveh Akbar, a podcast from Yo, Is This Racist? featuring Tawny Newsome and Andrew Ti, special appearance by writer and producer Jonathan Ames, and many, many more. The full lineup is below. Additions will be made as the event draws near.

Activiations include:

  • a virtual escape room that is also an immersive theater where surprise guests and easter eggs await featuring Sudan Archives
  • an engagement through Minecraft with Open Pit, building a twisted version of Max Abramovitz's "Assembly Hall"
  • a virtual hackathon, hosted by the University of Illinois (whose students and researchers brought the world... well, everything in the digital realm: from the web browser and social media, to digital payments and YouTube, to the LED and the MRI, and more)
  • a Literary Marathon! - 18 hours over three days of authors, poets, journalists, essayists and more featuring Kaveh Akbar, Nabil Ayers, Marcus Moore, Rachel Yoder, Andre Perry, and many more
  • a "Human Library" where you don't check out books, but rather, fellow humans to tell you a story in an intimate space
  • a charity poker tournament supporting NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) which will feature world renown poker players along with surprise guests and artists from across the creative spectrum
  • a wide array of featured speakers in dialogue about their own work and the work of others; discussions about the current political climate, the worst show an artist has ever played, the nature of music versus optics, alternative filmmaking, and more

PYGMALION is seeking to unpack as much humanity as possible right now, inside of a pandemic, at a time when no one really appears to know what is happening or what is to come. By inviting participation from great artists, authors, thinkers, musicians, and more - and presenting a wide variety of opportunities and activations for both patrons and performers to participate, the goal right now is simply to engage. With one another. With ourselves. With ideas.

More information here:

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