Montalvo's 'Open Access' Brings Science, Poetry, And Music To Life

Montalvo's 'Open Access' Brings Science, Poetry, And Music To Life

In the coming months, the Sally & Don Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center will hosts three exciting Open Access events designed to provide a behind-the-scenes peek into how Lucas Artists Fellows and Guest Artists generate ideas, while also showcasing works in process and fully realized new works. Conversations with possible intelligent beings on other planets will be explored in Life Beyond Earth, to be held 7pm, February 16. Don't Look Away, an evening of poetry and musical performances with two-time Grammy winning musician and co-founding member of Living Colour, Will Calhoun, will be presented, 7pm, February 23. Open Air Electronica, the debut of a brand new experimental musical installation/performance, will play 7pm, March 22. All three events will be presented at Montalvo Arts Center, 15400 Rd., Saratoga Road. For tickets ($10 for each event, free for kids under 12 and Montalvo members) and more information, the public may visit or call 408-961-5858.

Dario Roberto will kick off the 2018 Open Access series with a two-part conversation series entitled Life Beyond Earth, exploring central questions about life in the universe. In part one of this series, Roberto will speak with Jamie Drew, Chief of Staff and Program Director of Breakthrough Initiatives, an international program of scientific and technological exploration founded in 2015 by Yuri and Julia Milner to explore the universe, seek scientific evidence of life beyond Earth, and encourage public debate from a planetary perspective. Roberto is part of a team heading up Breakthrough Message, a program designed to generate a public conversation about how and what to communicate with possible intelligent extraterrestrial beings. The initiative will fund an international competition to generate messages representing the planet and all of humanity, which might one day be shared with another civilization. In addition, Agustina Woodgate, Sebastian Bellver, and Stephanie Sherman will present their ongoing, nomadic, multilingual, online, event-based, radio broadcast project focused on human and machine mobility, They will discuss an upcoming 24-hour broadcast exploring self-driving vehicle technology and other automated mobilities.

Next in the Open Access lineup is Don't Look Away, a vibrant and inspiring evening of poetry and musical performances with two-time Grammy winning musician and co-founding member of the genre-busting rock band Living Colour, Will Calhoun. Joining Calhoun will be acclaimed poets and performers Danez Smith, Monica Sok, and Julian Talamantez Brolaski, and Julian's country band The Western Skyline. Guests will have a unique chance to experience how these artists use words and music to break boundaries and ease stereotypes, express painful histories and contemporary injustices, and shape new ways for us to see and be seen in the world.

Open Access continues in March with Nicole Lizée, Ben Reimer, and The Living Earth Show's debut of a brand new experimental musical installation/performance in a program entitled Open Air Electronica. Musical scientist and JUNO-nominated composer Lizée creates music from an eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, 1960s psychedelia, and 1960s modernism. Open Air Electronica will develop from Lizée's collaborative work with multi-instrumentalist Ben Reimer and the musical duo The Living Earth Show which has taken place at the Lucas Artists Residency. This project is mobile and site dependent; it is intended to be built quickly and is propelled by the immediacy of sights, sounds, and emotions experienced while gathering source material. In addition, Lizée will discuss her work on a multimedia opera based on Karel Capek Rossum's Universal Robots, and how this 1920 science fiction play relates to the current context of rapidly advancing technologies and recent developments in Artificial Intelligence.

The Sally and Don Lucas Artists Program (LAP) is a creative incubator and cultural producer dedicated to investing in artists and nurturing their development and growth. The LAP supports artists from all creative disciplines and geographical locations to create and present new and experimental work and undertake critical investigations of contemporary issues. The program welcomes over 100 artists a year into the program, active in a range of contemporary artistic disciplines-including but not limited to the visual arts, design, literary arts, film, choreography, performance art, and music-and provides them with time, space, and support to test out new ideas, take risks, forge new collaborative relationships, and cross-pollinate ideas. The LAP also commissions artists working in and across all disciplines to create new and innovative work, and generates opportunities for audiences to engage with artists and their creative processes through varied program offerings.

Montalvo Arts Center is a donor-supported nonprofit institution whose mission is to engage the public in the creative process, acting as a catalyst for exploring the arts, unleashing creativity, and advancing different cultural and cross-cultural perspectives. Located in Silicon Valley's Saratoga Hills, Montalvo occupies a Mediterranean-style Villa, built in 1912 by Senator James Duval Phelan and surrounded by 175 stunning acres. Senator Phelan bequeathed the Villa and grounds to the people of California for the encouragement of art, music, literature, and architecture, a mandate Montalvo has carried forward ever since its founding. The grounds include the campus of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program (LAP), the Claire Loftus Carriage House Theatre, and the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre. For more information about Montalvo Arts Center and its programs, the public can call 408-961-5858 or visit

Photo: Poet Monica Sok is featured in Don't Look Away, an "Open Access" event where artists use words and music to break boundaries and ease stereotypes, express painful histories and contemporary injustices, and shape new ways for audience members to see and be seen in the world. Don't Look Away will be presented 7pm, Feb. 23 at the Montalvo Arts Center. Courtesy of Monica Sok

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