New-York Historical Society Presents Artwork By Betye Saar in Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean

Exhibition Explores The Enduring Legacy Of Slavery And The Representation Of African American Women

The New-York Historical Society presents Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean, a solo exhibition of work by the key figure of the Black Arts Movement and feminist art movement of the 1960-70s, on view now through May 27, 2019. The exhibition features 22 works created between 1997 and 2017, from the artist’s ongoing series of washboard assemblages utilizing the washboard as a symbol of the unresolved legacy of slavery and oppression that black Americans, particularly black women, continue to face.

1 Saar_Supreme Quality

Betye Saar (b. 1926), Supreme Quality, 1998. Mixed media on vintage washboard, metal washtub, wood stand. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Tim Lanterman, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean, which fuses the historical and collective memory of race and gender in the United States with personal autobiography, joins Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (September 7, 2018 – March 3, 2019) as part of New-York Historical’s new initiative to address topics of freedom, equality, and civil rights in America. Presented in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, part of the recently inaugurated Center for Women’s History, the exhibition is organized by the Craft &Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles and coordinated at New-York Historical by Wendy N. E. Ikemoto, Ph.D., associate curator of American Art.

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Betye Saar (b. 1926), Liberation, 2011. Mixed media on vintage washboard Collection of Sheila Silber. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

The washboards of Betye Saar’s Keepin’ It Clean series transcend the traditional boundaries of material culture and art to shed light on persistent gender stereotypes,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “The exhibition furthers the efforts we at the New-York Historical Society have made over the past decade and a half to educate the public on the enduring legacy of slavery and African Americans’ struggle for full rights as citizens. Saar’s art accomplishes what we always try to achieve: to challenge conventional wisdom, provoke new thought and action, and ensure that visitors make important connections between the past and the present and are inspired to action.”

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Betye Saar (b. 1926), Dark Times, 2015. Mixed media on vintage washboard, clock. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

Saar first encountered assemblage with her grandmother in the Depression-era neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles, where she witnessed Simon Rodia creating his iconic “Watts Towers” from found and recycled objects. Further influenced by the assemblages of Joseph Cornell, Saar began in the 1960s to collect and recycle everyday items featuring racist caricatures. Her breakout piece, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972), re-imagined the well-known “mammy” figure with visual references to the art and iconography of Black Power and the Black Panther Party. In this piece and many others, Saar depicts black women in revolt against enslavement, segregation, and servitude. Continue reading

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Names Ken-David Masur as its Seventh Music Director

Four-Year Contract Runs through 2022-2023 Season1819_MSO--MusDir--web--hmPromo_1250x410

Following a 36-month international search, Ken-David Masur has been named the seventh Music Director and Polly and Bill Van Dyke Music Director Chair for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO). Masur is currently the associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Munich Symphony. He will begin immediately as Music Director Designate and join the MSO as Music Director for the 2019-2020 season as it builds towards the much anticipated grand opening of the Milwaukee Symphony Center in fall 2020. Masur made his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut on May 19, 2018, and was immediately invited back to open the MSO’s current season in September 2018.

Ken-David_Masur_Credit_Chris_Lee

Ken-David Masur. Photo Credit: Chris Lee

The relationship between the conductor, musicians, and the audience is a magical alchemy,” said Mark Niehaus, president & executive director of the MSO. “Both on and off the podium, Ken-David leads and provokes, but also builds and inspires to create experiences that go beyond the notes on a page. His energy, passion and collaborative nature are the very right fit for the MSO, and also for Milwaukee as its reputation as a culturally vibrant destination continues to Printgrow.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. The MSO’s musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee and its standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 40,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, Family Series, and Meet the Music pre-concert talks.

Through a committee composed of board members, donors, and orchestra musicians, the search for the MSO’s seventh Music Director was deliberate and diverse, encompassing candidates from around the globe,” said Doug Hagerman, chairman of the MSO’s Music Director Search Committee. “Ken-David is a once-in-a-generation musician, conductor, and innovator who boasts an impressive resume of accomplishments yet is friendly and approachable. He was unanimously voted to serve as the next Music Director given his artistic brilliance and genuine passion for how the arts can unify people and communities. We are thrilled to welcome Ken-David and his family to Milwaukee.

My family and I are humbled and grateful to join such a fantastic team of orchestra musicians, chorus, staff, and board members who are working in harmony for our audience and community,” said Masur. “In particular, I am inspired by the incredible community-wide collaboration to create the new performance home for the MSO. Having seen the plans and having visited the Warner Grand Theatre myself, it is clear it will become a destination as well as a point of departure for great programming befitting a city and region of this caliber. I’m eager to begin planning the next few seasons, which includes Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, as well as the much-anticipated opening of Milwaukee Symphony Center in the fall of 2020.

Born in Leipzig into a family of musicians, Ken-David Masur first studied violin and piano at the Mendelssohn Bartholdy Conservatory and was a member of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Children’s Chorus. After moving to New York City, he received further training in composition, trumpet, and percussion. He then went on to graduate from Columbia University, where he served as the first Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus from 1999-2002. He returned to Germany for post-graduate studies at the Detmold Academy and the Hanns Eisler Conservatory in Berlin. Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, are co-founders and Artistic Directors of the Chelsea Music Festival in New York City, an annual summer festival of music, visual art, and food lauded by The New York Times as a “gem of a series.” He received a Grammy nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category Best Classical Album of the Year for his work as a producer of composer Miguel Del Aguila’s album, Salon Buenos Aires.

Music allows us to feel what is essential, and through its expression begins a conversation about who we are and where we want to go” continued Masur. “This is why I’m so very excited to start with the MSO and communicate the music that will speak to each listener in personal ways. This is a great American city filled with creativity, imagination, and ideas, and the music we will reveal will spark continued dialogue.

Critics from around the world have hailed Masur as “fearless, bold, and a life-force” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and “a brilliant and commanding conductor with unmistakable charisma” (Leipzig Volkszeitung). Masur began the 2018-19 season making his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, then returned to Tanglewood to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Over his career, Masur has made many successful debuts with the likes of the Los Angeles, Dresden, Israel, and Japan Philharmonics; the Hiroshima, San Diego, San Antonio, and Memphis Symphonies; and the Orchestre National de France in Paris. His guest engagements during the 2018-19 season include weeks with the Louisville Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and the Chicago Civic orchestra plus concerts abroad with the National Philharmonic of Russia, Collegium Musicum Basel, the Stavanger Symphony, and the Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in France.

The MSO acquired the former Warner Grand Theater building on West Wisconsin Avenue in December 2017, which, once renovated, will serve as the MSO’s dedicated performance center. The grand opening of the future Milwaukee Symphony Center is expected in the Fall of 2020.

With control over its own venue, along with new revenue streams from facility rental fees, catering and concessions, a dedicated MSO performance space would help drive increases in annual earned revenue by as much as 60 percent. The MSO would also have greater flexibility to schedule marquee guest performers and conductors who typically require substantial multi-year lead notice for performance requests. Once complete, the Milwaukee Symphony Center will deliver a one-of-a-kind, first class patron experience that will create magical, memorable experiences for patrons. Its size, accessible location, outstanding acoustics and more make an ideal canvas to reclaim this historical venue as a modern-day community asset. In addition to restoring its former grandeur, plans for the Milwaukee Symphony Center include a number of community, education and collaboration spaces, ample lit and accessible parking options, onsite catering, easy curb-side drop off/pick up, and more.

More people than ever before are choosing to attend our inspiring performances and there is tremendous community interest in fostering a thriving MSO. Closing on the acquisition of the Warner Grand Theater is a significant step in both our artistic and financial future,” said Niehaus. “We remain humbled and grateful to our donors and the greater Milwaukee community, whose response to this effort to date has been amazing. Together, we are investing in both the MSO and Milwaukee’s reputation as a vibrant, culturally-significant home and destination.”

CRITICAL PRAISE FOR KEN-DAVID MASUR

“…Masur led the [Boston Symphony] orchestra through a neat mix of excerpts from Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet”. Each was given a transparent, eloquent reading…

– Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe, Oct 19, 2018

Masur and the BSO fully embodied the tension, scampering, scampering, playful fast passagework, and luxuriating unbridled passion; we are the richer for the experience.

-Chasman Kerr Prince, Boston Musical Intelligencer, Oct 19, 2018

Masur and the [Milwaukee Symphony] orchestra filled the program’s second half with a beautifully rendered performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, using perfectly placed tempos shifts, artfully layered textures, and meaningful dynamic changes to bring a fresh energy to the four movements, along with musical urgency and momentum.” – Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept 16, 2018

Under Masur, the music emerged with refined subtleties with only rare and selective moments of heat. What seemed to be a bond of trust between [Milwaukee Symphony] musicians and conductor, and vice versa, created especially sensitive playing.” – Rick Walters, The Shepherd Express, Sep 18, 2018

Masur… steered the [Boston Symphony] orchestra through a piquant journey through those magical, dreamlike passages…

– Clarence Fanto, The Berkshire Eagle, Aug 6, 2018

Conducting without a baton, Masur used a score but hardly looked at it. He showed an impressive structural grasp both in his warm and perfectly paced Andante and in his supple shaping of the score’s wraith-like transition from the Scherzo into the bracing Allegro finale. Masur also highlighted the riveting virtuosity of the [Los Angeles] Phil’s cellos and basses in the Scherzo’s trio section.” – Rick Schultz, Los Angeles Times, Aug 24, 2016

Denver Art Museum To Debut First Major U.S. Retrospective Of The House Of Dior

Dior: From Paris to the World will celebrate more than 70 years of the French house’s enduring legacy

Soon to open to the public, The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will be home to the U.S. presentation of Dior: From Paris to the World, an exhibition surveying more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s enduring legacy and its global influence. A selection of more than 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos, and other archival material, will trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house. The DAM’s presentation of Dior: From Paris to the World will be on view in the Anschutz and Martin and McCormick galleries on level two of the Hamilton Building.DAM-logo-horizontal-green

Christian Dior generated a revolution in Paris and around the globe after World War II in 1947 with his New Look collection. Dior, the art gallerist who became a celebrated couturier, completely shed the masculine silhouette that had been established during the war, expressing modern femininity with his debut collection. Dior’s sophisticated designs, featuring soft shoulders, accentuated busts, and nipped waists, drew on his inspirations of art, antiques, fashion illustration and his passion for gardening. The result was elegant feminine contours that brought a breath of fresh air to the fashion world through luxurious swaths of fabrics, revolutionary design, and lavish embroidery. This marked the beginning of an epic movement in fashion history that would eventually lead to Dior successfully becoming the first worldwide couture house.

Christian Dior with models, about 1955. Photo André Gandner. © Clémence Gandner

Christian Dior with models, about 1955. Photo André Gandner. © Clémence Gandner

The museum will mount this major exhibition with loans from the esteemed Dior Héritage Collection, many of which have rarely been seen outside of Europe, with additional loans from major institutions. The chronological presentation, showcasing pivotal themes in the House of Dior’s global history, will focus on how Christian Dior cemented his fashion house’s reputation within a decade and established the house on five continents—Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Dior: From Paris to the World also will highlight how his successors adeptly incorporated their own design aesthetic.

Christian Dior, Bobby suit, Autumn-Winter 1956 Haute Couture collection. Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Archives.

Christian Dior, Bobby suit, Autumn-Winter 1956 Haute Couture collection. Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Archives.

Dior: From Paris to the World also will profile its founder, Christian Dior, and subsequent artistic directors, including Yves-Saint Laurent (1958–1960), Marc Bohan (1961–1989), Gianfranco Ferré (1989–1996), John Galliano (1997–2011), Raf Simons (2012–2015) and Maria Grazia Chiuri (2016–present), who have carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

P. Roversi_Gianfranco Ferré_s Robe Hellébore websize

Gianfranco Ferré, Robe Hellébore, Dior Collection Haute Couture, Spring 1995. Photo ©Paolo Roversi/Art + Commerce.

Image 4 - Christian Dior, Bar suit

Christian Dior, Bar suit. Afternoon ensemble in shantung and pleated wool, Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1947, Corolle line. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. ©Laziz Hamani.

Image 5 - Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior

Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior, Banco. Haute couture Spring-Summer 1958, Trapèze line. Smock dress in faille with a peony print. Dior Héritage Collection, Paris; Inv. 1998.2. ©Laziz Hamani.

Image 6 - Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Pollock dress

Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Pollock dress. Long printed faille evening gown. Haute Couture Fall-Winter 1986. Dior Héritage collection, Paris Inv. 2015.450 ©Laziz Hamani.

Continue reading

Legendary Bootmaker Of The American West, Lucchese, Announces New Collaborations And Retail Partnership With Neiman Marcus

Ralph Lauren, Brandon Maxwell, King Ranch, and Erin Wasson Help Mark the Brand’s 135th Year in Business

Lucchese Bootmaker, headquartered in El Paso Texas, is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year with a variety of partnerships and capsule collections. Known for making the finest cowboys boots on the planet, Lucchese has always balanced rugged, frontier traditions with an appeal to those focused on aesthetic.

Lucchese-Fall-News-Press-Release-Image

Lucchese Fall News Press Release Image

Below are a few of the highlights of how Lucchese is marking its anniversary this year:

Erin Wasson

Erin Wasson in the Jacqueline Boot: Designed with Texas native Erin Wasson, the Jacqueline boot ($1,595 with free ground shipping) is a traditional western silhouette for the modern woman. The smooth black goat is accented by white stitch pull holes and piping. Single stitch welt construction. Leather sole. Handmade in Texas.

  • ERIN WASSON: Continuing their presence in the style arena, Lucchese just released a limited collection of fashion-focused boots with model/designer Erin Wasson. The brand has partnered with another iconic Texas brand — Neiman Marcus – to provide wider access to both traditional boots and fashion boots alike. This move signifies a shift in consumer demand, as exotic cowboy boots are now becoming a staple in consumer wardrobes, available at a wider range of retailers ranging from Western-focused to luxury fashion.

    The King Ranch Barn Boot

    The King Ranch Barn Boot

  • KING RANCH: Lucchese has partnered with another legendary Texas brand, the King Ranch, to produce a limited edition collection of boots that are rugged enough for the harsh environment of South Texas. In addition to this partnership, Lucchese has released a well-reviewed technical product called the Barn Boot, its first foray into the “work boot” category. The mud and grime releasing outsole and cushioned insole was an immediate hit with both new and long-time Lucchese loyalists.
  • RALPH LAUREN: In addition to staying true to its roots with traditional products, Lucchese was in the spotlight during New York Fashion Week in September. Ralph Lauren, who has worn Lucchese boots for many years, selected them as his favorite bootmaker. Lucchese worked with Mr. Lauren to create co-branded boots which debuted in Central Park at the legendary designer’s 50th-anniversary collection show.
  • BRANDON MAXWELL: Fashion designer and fellow Texan Brandon Maxwell used custom boots as the invite for guests at his Spring/Summer 2019 New York Fashion Week show.”It was a dream to work with Lucchese on our invitations,” said Brandon. “Lucchese is a quintessential Texas brand so to share this bit of my home state with our guests immediately showcased hospitality. Seeing videos of friends and guests receive this big Texas dose of generosity made it all the more special.

Texas-based Lucchese is a legendary bootmaker and iconic brand of the American West. Applying the same craftsmanship principles and techniques since 1883, Lucchese artisans use only the finest leathers, preeminent materials and a proprietary twisted cone last to construct boots of unrivaled quality, fit, comfort and style.

Frist Art Museum Presents “Life, Love & Marriage Chests in Renaissance Italy”

Exhibition of Marriage Ritual Objects from the Italian Renaissance Opens November 16, 2018

The Frist Art Museum presents Life, Love & Marriage Chests in Renaissance Italy, an exhibition (organized by Contemporanea Progetti with the Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy) that offers an intimate view of life in the Renaissance through art commissioned to celebrate marriage and family. Drawing on a selection of outstanding marriage chests, panels, and a variety of domestic objects belonging to the Museo Stibbert, the exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from November 16, 2018, through February 18, 2019.

1. Marriage-Chests-012_Assault-on-a-Maritime-City_Museo-Stibbert_298-513x450

Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso (b. 1415/17, Florence; d. 1465, Florence) and Workshop. Panel from a Marriage Chest (cassone) with Story of an Assault on a Maritime City, ca. 1460. Tempera and gold on panel, 17 3/4 x 20 1/2 in. Collection of Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy

This exhibition is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Beginning in the late 1300s, cassoni—elaborately painted and gilded marriage chests—were an important part of marriage rituals and among the most prestigious furnishings in the house or palace of the newlyweds. Usually commissioned in pairs and shaped like ancient sarcophagi, the chests were an expression of the family’s wealth and position in society. They were conspicuously paraded through the streets from the bride’s family home to her husband’s home—a clear statement of a new economic and political alliance between elite families—and then later used in the home for seating and storage. Cassoni is considered antecedents to the hope chests popular in America until the middle of the last century.

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Artist unknown (Urbino). Fruit Bowl, 16th century. Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica), 2 3/4 in. height, 4 3/8 in. diameter. Collection of Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy

The chests’ function, craftsmanship, and decorative techniques, and the significance and sources of the imagery are at the heart of the exhibition,” says Frist Art Museum curator Trinita Kennedy. “We are excited to present several rare complete cassoni, as well as fragments, which include lavish wood panels that usually depict themes of fidelity and love as well as narrative scenes drawn from history and mythology.”

Displayed alongside the chests is an array of other art objects also made for the home, including devotional paintings, pottery, and textiles.

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Bernardo di Stefano Roselli (?) (b. 1450, Florence; d. 1526, Florence). Panel from a Marriage Chest (cassone) with Trojan Horse Scene, ca. 1470. Tempera and gold on panel, 19 1/4 x 50 3/8 in. Collection of Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy

Public Programs

Friday, November 16, 6:30 p.m., Frist Art Museum Auditorium, Free

Opening Night Lecture for Life, Love & Marriage Chests in Renaissance Italy: Art, Marriage, and Family in the Florentine Renaissance Palace, presented by Jacqueline Marie Musacchio. Continue reading

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party

Honorary Chairs are Iconic Screen Stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson

Evening Features a Piece d’Occasion by Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations Sung by Ledisi, Erica Campbell, Norm Lewis, and Brandie Sutton, and the Premiere of Becoming Ailey – a Multimedia Work that Returns Alvin Ailey’s Presence to the Stage

Celebration Honors Prudential Financial and Launches Ailey’s Five-Week New York City Center Season

As a centerpiece to its yearlong Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary celebration and a kickoff to its five-week holiday season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will host a star-studded gala benefit on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm, complete with a performance for the ages at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The Honorary Chairs for the evening are screen icons, Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson.

Alvin-Ailey-American-Dance-Theater's-Samantha-Figgins-and-Jeroboam-Bozeman. CREDIT_ Photo by-Andrew-Eccles_logo_Email

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Samantha Figgins and Jeroboam Bozeman. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Bassett, a Golden Globe Award winner, stars in the hit television series 9-1-1, and was most recently featured in the 2018 blockbusters Black Panther and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Tyson – known for a myriad of roles across television and film, including Roots, Fried Green Tomatoes, and most recently How to Get Away With Murder – has received three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on November 18th will make history as the first black woman to receive an Honorary Academy Award.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now-fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011.

(The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.)

CREDIT_ Photo by Christopher Duggan. CAPTION_ AAADT with live onstage music in Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with live onstage music in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Christopher Duggan

The once-in-a-lifetime program features selections of classic Ailey works including a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion by Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminates with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (Grammy-nominated jazz and R&B artist), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning singer from the gospel duo Mary Mary), Norm Lewis (Tony-nominated baritone known for Broadway’s Porgy and Bess and NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar live), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano). The program also features the premiere of Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece celebrating the continual gift of Alvin Ailey’s presence in our hearts, minds, and stages. Created in collaboration with the award-winning artists Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc., it will bring the voice and likeness of Alvin Ailey back to the stage at the start of each performance during the New York City Center season.

Cicely Tyson. CREDIT_ Photo courtesy of Ailey, DCP.

Cicely Tyson. Photo courtesy of Ailey, DCP.

On this historic night we will mark 60 groundbreaking years and carry Alvin Ailey’s pioneering legacy onward and upward with a performance featuring renowned guest performers, cutting-edge innovation, and the artistry and inspiration that has made Ailey one of the world’s most beloved dance companies,” said Artistic Director Robert Battle. “It is also fitting that we take this occasion to honor Prudential Financial, a company that has helped Ailey reach so many milestones and was instrumental in creating the New Jersey Performing Arts Center where Ailey is the Principal Resident Affiliate and has performed annually for two decades. We welcome everyone to join the celebration and share in the joy during this milestone season.”

Ailey’s 60th Anniversary Holiday Season of premieres by renowned choreographers Rennie Harris, Ronald K. Brown, and Wayne McGregor, and returning favorites also features special programs, including “Timeless Ailey,” “All New,” “Three Visionaries,” “All Ailey,” and “All Battle,” plus a sparkling Season Finale on Sunday, December 30th. Click here for more information.

This historic evening also honors Prudential Financial for its generous support and commitment to Ailey for over three decades, especially its educational and community programs.

As one of our longest-standing corporate benefactors, Prudential Financial has played a vital role in Ailey’s success for more than half of the Company’s lifetime,” said Executive Director Bennett Rink. “Prudential has been indispensable in funding our outreach programs in Newark, AileyDance Kids and AileyCamp – a free summer program in Newark and 10 cities nationwide that helps guide inner city youth to their full potential. We thank them for their strategic planning and leadership support, as well as their commitment to advancing young people through education, and we applaud them for the tremendous work they’ve done to elevate the city of Newark.”

Prudential Financial is honored to have worked alongside Alvin Ailey to help achieve his vision to bring dance to all people,” said Lata Reddy, senior vice president, Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact at Prudential Financial. “His belief that the arts give voice to our shared humanity is one that we share. It’s with great joy that we at Prudential congratulate the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on their 60th Anniversary.

Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural AileyCamp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, will join Artistic Director Robert Battle in presenting Prudential Financial with the Ailey Legacy Honor.

Prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy, and politics will join Robert Battle and the Company for dinner and dancing to live music in the New York Hilton Midtown’s Grand Ballroom following the performance. The Gala benefits the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey’s educational programs for young people. Emily & Len Blavatnik, Paulette & Howard Bradnock, Mellody Hobson & George Lucas, Debra L. Lee, Stephen Meringoff & Kim Charlton, Lata N. Reddy, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, and Joan & Sandy Weill serve as Co-Chairs for the Gala. (Call 212-405-9031 or visit alvinailey.org/support/60th-anniversary-gala for tickets.)

(Opening Night Gala Benefit Sponsors are Emily & Len Blavatnik, BNY Mellon, Debra L. Lee, The Meringoff Family Foundation, Prudential Financial, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, The Weill Family Foundation.)

Ailey is also proud to announce the Ailey Ascending Honorary Committee, a distinguished group of individuals across industries who will join the organization in celebrating 60 years of artistry and excellence: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Christiane Amanpour, Jon Batiste, Harry Belafonte, Colman Domingo, André Holland, LaTanya & Samuel L. Jackson, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Naturi Naughton, Yvonne Orji, Robin Roberts, Anika Noni Rose, Jussie Smollett, Lorraine Toussaint, and Fredricka Whitfield.

Tickets for season performances start at $29, and are now on sale at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org.

Lead support for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater‘s 60th Anniversary is provided by Emily and Len Blavatnik. Major support for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary is provided by the  Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary Season in New York. American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo North America during the 60th Anniversary Season. The 60th Anniversary Season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms – promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours.

Gap Celebrates Spreading Love with the ‘Meet Me in the Gap’ Holiday Campaign starring Leon Bridges

Bridges lead Gap into the holiday season to create an uplifting moment with his rendition of “Now That We Found Love”

Gap, the iconic American clothing brand, today announces the holiday ‘Meet Me in the Gap’ campaign starring Grammy Award-nominated R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges doing what he does best by capturing the holiday spirit in song and dance alongside a group of individuals drawn to his magnetic energy. The Gap Holiday 2018 campaign is meant to transcend the edgy climate of today by spreading love and driving positive change to demonstrate that feeling good and doing good go together.

Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap: Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good (with Leon Bridges (center)

The hero campaign video features Bridges moving to the rhythm in a blank space that is brought to life with oversized Gap crazy stripes that come together to form a path, leading him and the rest of the cast on a journey of good and generosity. Directed by accomplished music video director Emil Nava, the video embraces the magic of the holidays with the entire cast outfitted in classic Gap denim paired with colorful knits and bright stripes. Through a soulful rendition of Heavy D & The Boy’s original version of “Now That We Found Love,” Bridges creates a feel-good moment that is perfectly accompanied by choreographed moves of the entire cast.

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Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap: Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap: Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

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Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap: Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

Music, dance, fashion, and personal style are my big passions in life, so getting to work with Gap on this campaign that ties all of those elements together is epic,” said Bridges. “I grew up watching all of their diverse, music based commercials, and they were just the coolest. Getting to be in one myself is wild and it’s a dream to lead the brand into the season, especially with a song that has a message of love.”

Launching on November 1, the campaign spans television, mobile, social, in-store and digital. The television spots will air on major networks and be incorporated into high impact moments, including digital takeovers on Vevo, Hulu, and Spotify with priority on live viewing moments within the NFL and the season’s top-rated programs.

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Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap: Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

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Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap

Gap Holiday 2018 Meet Me in the Gap: Meet Me In The Gap, See The Good

For Gap, holiday is all about the feeling of giving and coming together to celebrate the season with loved ones. This year especially, we want everyone to feel the love by lifting spirits with Leon’s harmonious take on this ’90s anthem,” said Gap chief marketing officer Craig Brommers. “Leon’s soulful voice and charismatic rhythm, styled in Gap’s signature crazy stripes, created an undeniable energy brought to life in this moment of positivity and cheer, bound to spread love.

For more information on ‘Meet Me in the Gap,’ visit gap.com.