Melissa Errico, Peggy Noonan and More are Coming to The Sheen Center This Spring
The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Center for Thought & Culture, the arts center of the Archdiocese of New York, has announced highlights of its 2020 Spring season, a rich mix of theater, film, music, author's nights, gallery exhibitions, and talk events featuring artists and thought leaders including Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist and author Peggy Noonan; New York Times columnist and bestselling author David Brooks, and Director of The Philanthropy Roundtable's Character Initiative and author Anne Snyder; Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ; a rousing evening of gospel music from Vy Higginsen's Sing Harlem choir; celebrated composer and big bandleader Darcy James Argue plus the New England Conservatory Alumni Big Band; Tony Award nominee Melissa Errico and multi-award winning New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik; singer, songwriter, and acclaimed clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn and genre-bending composer, guzheng virtuoso and vocalist from Beijing Wu Fei; and events tackling thought-provoking topical themes including justice in underserved communities, the protection of immigrants to America, and the inspiration of Sr. Thea Bowman and other Servants of God.
Tickets/reservations for all events at The Sheen Center (18 Bleecker Street, at the corner of Elizabeth Street) are available online at SheenCenter.org, by phone at 212-925-2812, in-person at The Sheen Center box office, or OvationTix.com.
EXCLUSIVE ADVANCE SCREENING OF BURDEN AND CONVERSATION WITH DIRECTOR
February 16 at 3:00PM, Loreto Theater
Explosive drama based on a true story of a former KKK member sheltered from the Klan by a black Baptist minister and his congregation. Directed by Andrew Heckler, the film stars Garrett Hedlund, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wilkinson, and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker. Burden won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. Amy Nicholson in Variety called Burden "emotionally complex...a big-hearted crowd-pleaser that inspires hope without letting its characters, even the heroes, off the hook." (Mature language and themes.)FREE with RSVP
THE HEART OF NUBA SCREENING AND CONVERSATION WITH DR. TOM CATENA
April 28 at 7:00PM in the Loreto Theater
A popular documentary at the 2018 Justice Film Festival, The Heart of Nuba returns to The Sheen Center with its star, Dr. Tom Catena, who will speak and answer questions after the screening. The documentary is set in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan where American doctor Tom Catena selflessly and courageously serves the needs of a forgotten people, while the region is bombed relentlessly by an indicted war criminal, Omar Al-Bashir. Two things remain constant: Dr. Tom's faith and his enduring love for the Nuba people. $20
THE LABYRINTH SCREENING CONVERSATION
May 7 at 7:00PM in the Studio Theater
Memory, art and hell collide as an Auschwitz survivor finally confronts the horrors of his past after 50 years of silence. Marian Kolodziej, prisoner number 432, was 17 and on one of the first transports to enter Auschwitz on June 14, 1940. Kolodziej, a Polish Catholic, survived five years imprisonment and never spoke of his experience until after a serious stroke in 1993. He began physical rehabilitation by doing pen and ink drawings depicting his memories of that horrific experience. Kolodziej's drawings and art installations, which he called The Labyrinth, fill the large basement of a church near Auschwitz. Through the blending of his testimony and graphic drawings, we explore the memories and nightmares that were buried for years. The documentary is eyewitness testimony to the horrors of Auschwitz that is unique in the annals of documenting the Holocaust. Marian Koldziej's story of survival and persistence, of life before, during, and after Auschwitz is a testament to courage, the power of faith and the resilience of the human spirit. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the film's producer, Fr. Ron Schmidt, SJ. $15
SKID ROW MARATHON SCREENING AND CONVERSATION WITH JUDGE Craig Mitchell
May 11 at 7:00PM in the Loreto Theater
A hit with audiences at last year's Justice Film Festival, Skid Row Marathon returns with a screening followed by a conversation with the star, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig J. Mitchell. Skid Row Marathon tells the story of a criminal court Judge Craig J. Mitchell who starts a running club on LA's notorious Skid Row. When he begins training a motley group of addicts and criminals to run marathons, lives begin to change. The film follows four runners as they rise from the mean streets of LA to run marathons around the world, fighting the pull of homelessness and addiction at every turn. Their story is one of hope, friendship, and dignity. $20
JAZZ50: DARCY JAMES ARGUE'S SECRET SOCIETY AND NEC ALUMNI BIG BAND
March 21 at 7:30PM in the Loreto Theater
New England Conservatory (NEC) celebrates the 50th anniversary of its internationally renowned Jazz Studies Department and first fully accredited jazz program at a music conservatory with Jazz50, a year-long series of concerts and events in Boston and New York City. Darcy James Argue is one of many prominent jazz composers to have studied at NEC, working with the legendary Bob Brookmeyer. Darcy's groundbreaking ensemble will perform, as will an all-star group of NEC alums including Dominique Eade, Marty Ehrlich, Brian Landrus, Tony Kadleck, Michael Thomas, Noah Preminger, Chris Washburne, Curtis Hasselbring, Josh Roseman, Jennifer Wharton, Frank Carlberg, Jerome Harris, Aaron Bahr, Rich Barshay, David Neves, Kai Sandoval, Kevin Sun and Kim Cass. $35/$45/$55
ON BLEECKER STREET - ABIGAIL WASHBURN & WU FEI
June 3 at 7:30PM in the Loreto Theater
Abigail Washburn's and Wu Fei's unique performances weave together the threads of two traditions. Wu Fei's background in Chinese classical, folk and opera, as well as free improvisation, combines with Abigail's background in Chinese traditional song, American bluegrass and traditional Appalachian folk music. A singing, songwriting, Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player, Abigail Washburn pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody's ever heard before. Washburn speaks Chinese and has profound connections to the culture and people of China. She is a two-time Grammy nominee and, with her husband Bela Fleck, won the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Wu Fei, a native of Beijing and a current Nashville resident, is a master of the guzheng or zheng, a 21-string Chinese zither. Wu plays the zheng beautifully in the instrument's vernacular - a musical language which is 2,000 to 3,000 years old - and has collaborated with many artists of different disciplines and genres ranging from Washburn to avant-garde composer John Zorn, Fred Frith, and more. Together, this banjo-guzheng duo sing and play a selection of songs rooted in traditional Appalachian and Chinese music. $40/$50/$65
Vy Higginsen'S SING HARLEM CHOIR GOSPEL CONCERT
April 17 at 7:30PM in the Loreto Theater
Legendary radio personality, producer and writer Vy Higginsen brings her Sing Harlem Choir to The Sheen Center for a rousing, inspiring evening of gospel music. Sing Harlem Choir was formed out of the Gospel for Teens program founded in 2006 by Vy Higginsen to be the breakout choir for The Mama Foundation for the Arts school. Over the years under the direction of Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson and Elijah Ahmad Lewis, the choir has grown to be a highly respected and influential force in the New York gospel scene, producing not only great vocalists, but topnotch global citizens. At its core, Sing Harlem serves as both a social impact initiative for young people that have graduated from Mama Foundation's music training program, and as a commercial choir delivering acclaimed entertainment nationwideSing Harlem Choir has performed at The Congressional Black Caucus, New York Fashion Week, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, Concerts Across America and the Grammy Awards. They have performed with artists such as Ariana Grande, Chance the Rapper, Madonna, Pharrell, Cissy Houston, Shirley Caesar, Jessye Norman, Moby and more. $35/$45/$55
PAGE MEETS STAGE: BILLY COLLINS & Taylor Mali
Presented by Page Meets Stage
May 14 at 7:30PM in the Loreto Theater
Page Meets Stage is where the Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam. For 15 years they have been pairing poets to read back and forth at venues all over the country starting at the Bowery Poetry Club just down the street. The very first pairing back in 2005 featured Billy Collins and Taylor Mali. Therefore this reading, while not a poetry slam or a competition in any way, is still considered a "rematch." Billy Collins, the former United States Poet Laureate, is a beloved and widely read American poet and scholar. Taylor Mali is a four-time National Poetry Slam champion and the inventor of Metaphor Dice. $45 Students with valid ID $25
POETRY IN AMERICA LIVE: "FINISHING THE HAT"
June 3 at 7:00PM in the Loreto Theater
The Sheen Center brings the "Poetry in America" experience from PBS to the stage of the Loreto Theater. Focusing on Stephen Sondheim's song "Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George, this event will celebrate the work of Sondheim through performance of his songs and discussion of the lyrics to this one song. Host of the PBS series "Poetry in America," Elisa New welcomes Tony Award nominee Melissa Errico and New Yorker staff writer and author Adam Gopnik. Errico, who has starred in Sunday in the Park, will perform accompanied by musical director Tedd Firth. "Poetry in America" is produced by Verse Video Education and presented by WGBH and will soon be airing its second season nationally on PBS. $30/$40/$50. Student rush tickets $20
JESUITS & JEDI EPISODE III: THE RETURN OF THE JEBBIES
WITH BR. GUY CONSOLMAGNO, SJ
April 6 at7:30PM in the Loreto Theater
Blast off for the return of "The Pope's astronomer," popular author Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ, Director of the Vatican Observatory (co-author of Would you Baptize an Extraterrestrial?) in a conversation about faith, science and imagination. Br. Guy will take us on a tour through some of his favorite (and not-so-favorite) science fiction stories and movies, exploring the spiritual themes they contain. This is sure to be an out of this world event! $20
A CONVERSATION WITH David Brooks & ANNE SNYDER
Presented by The Sheen Center and the National Review Institute
April 25 at 7:00PM in the Loreto Theater
What is the state of character in our country today? How healthy is our sense of community? How do we search for meaning? What role does religion have to play? These questions and many more are the topics that will be discussed with David Brooks and Anne Snyder. David is the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of books including The Death of Character and The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. Anne Snyder is the editor-in-chief of Comment magazine. Since 2016 Anne has directed The Philanthropy Roundtable's Character Initiative and is author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver's Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape. Anne and David Are married and live in Washington, D.C. The conversation will be moderated by Kathryn Jean Lopez, senior fellow, at the National Review Institute, where she directs the Center for Religion, Culture & Civil Society, and editor-at-large of National Review magazine. $50
PEGGY NOONAN ON ST. John Paul II
Presented by The Sheen Center and the National Review Institute
April 30 at 7:00PM in the Loreto Theater
This May 18 marks 100 years since the birth of the man we now know as Saint John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla. To celebrate and reflect, Noonan, Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist and author of John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father, will join The Sheen Center in marking the occasion. Former special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan, Noonan is also author of The Time of Our Lives: Collected Writings, What I Saw at the Revolution, When Character Was King, and Simply Speaking. In conversation with Kathryn Jean Lopez, senior fellow, at the National Review Institute, Noonan will reflect on the life and legacy of "John Paul the Great" and his relevance in the world today. $30/$40/$50
MADE 4 MORE
Presented by The Sheen Center and Young Adult Outreach of the Archdiocese of New York
May 28 at 7:00PM in the Loreto Theater
Where do we come from and where are we going? These questions are decisive for understanding what it means to be human and how to orient our lives and our actions toward authentic fulfillment. Join Christopher West and Mike Mangione as they creatively weave together dynamic presentations with live music, movie clips, YouTube videos, and sacred art for an evening of beauty and reflection on the meaning of life, love, and human destiny. You will come away with a faith-filled vision of hope that will instill in you the sheer wonder and joy of being alive. $15
THEATERWORKSUSA'S CHARLOTTE'S WEB
Presented by The Sheen Center
May 8 at 11:00AM, May 9 at 11:00AM & 2:00PM in the Loreto Theater
Charlotte's Web is a musical based on E.B. White's loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman: She will create a "miracle." Spinning the words "Some Pig" in her web, Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig but also ensures his place on the farm forever. This treasured tale, featuring madcap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love and the true meaning of friendship. Adapted by Joseph Robinette, design and original direction by Andrew Rasmussen, costume design by Tristan Raines, original music composition and orchestration by "Sheriff" Bob Saidenberg, Kat Minogue, Robert Abrahams, and Michael Donovan. Approximate running time: 60 minutes. Recommended for Grades K through 5. $15/20. Student and group discount tickets are available.
SHEEN CENTER THEATER FESTIVAL
June 22 - 28 in the Black Box Theater
Now in its fourth year, The Sheen Center Theater Festival celebrates the Catholic voices, themes and stories of emerging and established playwrights. The Festival operates from the premise that the works selected all share a common affinity for the Catholic vision of the world and the human person, no matter what their subject. FREE with RSVP
All exhibitions are in The Gallery (in the Elizabeth Street lobby), from 9:00AM to 10:00PM daily. FREE
SERVANTS OF GOD AND PROPHETS OF JOY: THE ART OF BROTHER MICKEY O'NEILL MCGRATH, O.S.F.S.
Now through March 11
The paintings in this exhibit represent the work and spiritual journey of Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS over the last 28 years. Beginning with a truly transformative experience as an artist through the inspiration of Servant of God, Sr. Thea Bowman, the paintings in the Thea Bowman series each have the tile of a spiritual, as African-American music was at the very heart of Thea's spirit and legacy. Thea helped him grow more sensitive to many different voices and faces of Christ in the margins. The exhibition includes painting of other Servants of God; Dorothy Day, co-founder of Catholic Worker movement, who worked tirelessly to radically change what it means to be a Catholic Christian in the modern world by leading us back to Christ; Venerable Augustine Tolton, the first recognized African-American priest and Servant of God; and Nicholas Black Elk, a Lakota visionary. Each of them has "risen up to bright glory" by breaking the boundaries of racial prejudice and cultural division.
THE IRISH MISSION AT WATSON HOUSE:
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE HOME FOR IRISH IMMIGRANT GIRLS IN LOWER MANHATTAN, 1883 - 1954
March 12 - April 11
On December 4, 1885, the Rev. John J. Riordan purchased Watson House, at 7 State Street in Manhattan, and formally established the Home of the Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary for the Protection of Irish Immigrant Girls. Through the pioneering efforts of emigration reformer Charlotte Grace O'Brien, Fr. Riordan, and all the Catholic priests that came after him, the Mission helped over 100,000 women immigrants. This exhibit examines the work of the Mission and those who created it.
CARL SCHMITT: THE UNKNOWN MASTER
April 14 - May 17
Carl Schmitt: The Unknown Master is a retrospective exhibit of American painter Carl Schmitt (1889-1989) of whom The Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout wrote, "Even if you knew nothing about Schmitt, I don't think you could possibly look at his paintings, especially those extraordinary late still lives, without feeling the visceral excitement of having discovered an unknown master, a modern Chardin. I was stunned, there's no other word for it...He had a profound comprehension of the religious and intellectual basis for his art. Imagine a painter with the eye of a Cézanne and the mind of a Maritain - and what you get is Carl Schmitt." Carl Schmitt's unique philosophy of life and of art places him amongst the greatest painters and thinkers of the 20th century. As poet and former NEA director Dana Gioia says, "He is not only an artist who deserves your attention, but one who will reward it."
Tickets/reservations for all events at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture are available online at SheenCenter.org, by phone at 212-925-2812, or in-person at The Sheen Center box office Monday to Friday.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski