Podcasts

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Jnennifer Pickering

Photo courtesy of LEAF

Founder and director of LEAF Community Arts

For Jennifer Pickering, all art is both local and global and LEAF is that philosophy in action.

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Brandon Gryde, photo by Arthur Espinza and Peter Szep

This week is a bit different: the podcast is divided into two parts with one subject-- Festivals. We begin by taking a broad look at festivals, their place in the cultural landscape, and their adjustments to the shut-downs caused by the pandemic. Our guide to this is Brandon Gryde our new director of Presenting and Multidisciplinary Works. Having come from Opera America and Dance USA, he’s extremely knowledgeable about the many types of festivals and their various responses to the uncertainty caused by Covid 19.

In part 2, we look at single festival—the New York Opera Fest which is hosted by New York Opera Alliance a community-based consortium of independent opera companies and producers. Fairly early on, New York Opera Fest moved their eight week festival online and reinvented itself as New York Virtual Opera Fest. Founding director of NY Opera Fest and co-founder of NY Opera Alliance Peter Szep explains the transformation of the five-year old festival and the range of work the festival is offering (including a discussion of Heartbeat Opera’s incandescent virtual performance of “ Make Our Garden Grow” featuring over 30 Heartbeat alumni including singers, dancers, instrumentalists, and a gardener.) And because it’s impossible to talk about an opera festival without talking about the innovative work being done by independent opera companies in NY, (and there are over 80 companies in NY!), you’ll hear about the exciting music that continues to be created!

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headshots of two men.

Photo courtesy of Armed Services Arts Partnership

Founding Director and current Executive Director of Armed Services Arts Partnership

In 2013, when Sam Pressler was an undergraduate, he came to a profound understanding of the civilian/military divide and the sobering realities many veterans face when they return to civilian life. Based on his own experiences of coping with loss, he thought comedy might be a way to help returning veterans cope. Since there weren’t any comedy classes for veterans, he started one—partnering with an existing writing group. From that one class, the idea of Armed Services Arts Partnership (or ASAP) grew and flourished. Located in Hampton Roads Virginia and the Washington, DC area, ASAP has reached close to 1,000 veterans, service members, and their families through over 200 workshops and classes. It’s also produced 150 performances of its graduates—including shows at the White House—and reached some 15,000 audience members. Sam Pressler—who recently stepped down as executive director and now sits on the board of ASAP—and the current executive director Brian Jenkins tell us how ASAP came together and grew into a thriving and beloved organization and what they’ve learned about community, veterans, and the arts. It’s a great story.

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Photo by Maike Schulz

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus co-founder, artistic director and performer

Circus arts by way of the East Village performance scene

Founder of the Big Apple Circus

Finding artistry in intimacy

Executive Artistic Director of Story District

Everyone has a story; Story District helps tell it.

Author of The Artist’s Compass and President and CEO of The Music Center in Los Angeles

In her new book, Rachel Moore gives practical advice and strategic insight for creating a career in the performing arts.

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George Wein

Photo by Vance Jacobs/vancejacobs.com

Impresario, 2005 NEA Jazz Master

A conversation with George Wein, the man who launched the first outdoor jazz festival in the US--the legendary Newport Jazz Festival. [29:54]

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Caron Atlas

Photo courtesy of the Arts and Democracy Project

Director, Arts and Democracy Project

Bread and Roses in a Brooklyn shelter: Caron Atlas demonstrates how the arts can be a critical component of disaster relief. [31:45]

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Clive Gillinson

Photo by Peter Murphy

Executive and Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall

Clive Gillinson on bringing Carnegie Hall to all New Yorkers. [34:36]

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