The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of VMFA fellowships. Twenty-six students and professional artists were selected from more than 500 applicants to receive a total of $146,000 towards professional advancements in the arts. The VMFA Fellowship Program has awarded more than $5.8 million to over 1,395 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists serve as jurors to select fellowship recipients.
“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is proud to support student and professional artists working across the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director and CEO. “We offer one of the largest fellowship programs of its kind in the United States and recognize this effort as a core part of our mission.”
VMFA awarded ten professional fellowships of $8,000 each this year. Professional fellowship recipients are:
Paul Finch, New & Emerging Media, Richmond;
Emma Gould, Photography, Richmond;
Sterling Hundley, Drawing, Chesterfield;
Sue Johnson, Mixed Media, Richmond;
Abigail Lucien, Sculpture, Richmond;
Margaret Meehan, Sculpture, Richmond;
David Riley, Film/Video, Richmond;
Dash Shaw, Drawing, Richmond;
Jon-Philip Sheridan, New & Emerging Media, Richmond; and
Susan Worsham, Photography, Richmond.
Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, was the juror for the professional fellowship entries.
Undergraduate fellowships of $4,000 went to ten students this year. The recipients are:
Tatyana Bailey, Photography, Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy (VCU), Richmond;
Emma Carlson, Film/Video, VCU, Des Moines, IA;
Nicolas Fernandez, Photography, VCU, Fredericksburg;
Opening Night features a new Aida, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, and Piotr Beczała, in a new staging by Michael Mayer.
Maestro Nézet-Séguin, in his third season as Music Director, will conduct six operas, including new stagings of Aida, Don Giovanni, and Dead Man Walking, as well as three classic revivals and two Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.
The six operas conducted by Maestro Nézet-Séguin will all be featured in The Met: Live in HD series—the most transmissions ever led by a single conductor in an HD season.
Renowned directors Barrie Kosky (The Fiery Angel), Ivo van Hove (Don Giovanni and Dead Man Walking), and Simon McBurney (Die Zauberflöte) make notable Met debuts with new productions.
For the first time in recent decades, the Met season will extend into June and will include no performances in February.
There will be more weekend opera than ever before, with 22 Sunday matinee performances, plus onstage post-performance discussions with the stars of each Sunday matinee.
Notable debuts include conductors Hartmut Haenchen, Jakub Hrůša, Giacomo Sagripanti, Speranza Scappucci, and Lorenzo Viotti and singers Varduhi Abrahamyan, Benjamin Bernheim, Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Lucia Lucas, Thomas Oliemans, Svetlana Sozdateleva, and Okka von der Damerau.
Other notable conducting engagements include Harry Bicket (Giulio Cesare), Gustavo Dudamel (Die Zauberflöte), and Simone Young (Billy Budd), among others.
The 2020–21 season will be General Manager Peter Gelb’s 15th as the Met’s General Manager.
The Metropolitan Opera announced its 2020–21 season, the first in which Yannick Nézet-Séguin assumes his full breadth of musical duties as the company’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, conducting six productions. His schedule includes the Met premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, the first contemporary opera conducted by the maestro on the Met stage, as part of his ongoing commitment to opera of our time at the Met, which will expand in the seasons to come.
The season—which includes five new productions and 18 revivals—kicks off on September 21 with the first new staging of Verdi’s Aida in more than 30 years, directed by Michael Mayer, conducted by Nézet-Séguin, and starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, and Piotr Beczała. Australian director Barrie Kosky makes his company debut with the Met-premiere production of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, with Michail Jurowski leading an extraordinary cast in his Met debut. Two Mozart operas will also be seen in new stagings: an acclaimed production of Die Zauberflöte directed by Simon McBurney and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and a sophisticated new take on Don Giovanni,Ivo van Hove’s highly anticipated Met-debut production, conducted by Nézet-Séguin and starring Peter Mattei, Gerald Finley, Ailyn Pérez, and Isabel Leonard in the leading roles. And in April, Nézet-Séguin conducts the Met premiere of Jake Heggie’s 21st-century masterpiece Dead Man Walking, with a new staging by van Hove featuring Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Latonia Moore, and Etienne Dupuis.
Following the successful addition of 16 new Sunday matinee performances last season, the Met will offer even more weekend options in 2020–21, with 22 Sunday matinee performances. Each Sunday matinee will be followed by an onstage post-performance discussion with the stars.
For the first time, the Met season will include no performances in February, with the company instead extending its performance calendar into the month of June.
In his third season as Music Director, in addition to the three new stagings, Nézet-Séguin conducts revivals of Fidelio, Roméo et Juliette, and Die Frau ohne Schatten, as well as two of three Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall in June. (Semyon Bychkov will conduct the first concert in the Carnegie Hall series, on June 10.)
“This is the season in which the Yannick era hits its stride,” said General Manager Peter Gelb. “In conducting six operas, he will be present throughout the entire season, raising the artistic bar for the orchestra, the chorus, and the entire company.”
“The artistic excellence we achieve each season is due to the invaluable contributions in the pit and on stage by the great Met Orchestra and Chorus,” Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said. “This is an exciting time for opera, and I’m thrilled to be sharing my passion for it with the Met’s discerning and loyal audience, while deepening my relationship with this great institution. As we look forward to future seasons, we will not only continue to expand our repertoire with new commissions by living composers but will also be adding to our artistic ranks with more women on the podium and a greater emphasis on artistic diversity.”
Dozens of the world’s leading opera stars bring their artistry to 18 repertory revivals throughout the season, including Marcelo Álvarez, Jamie Barton, Piotr Beczała, Angel Blue, Stephanie Blythe, J’Nai Bridges, Lawrence Brownlee, Javier Camarena, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Stephen Costello, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Gerald Finley, Angela Gheorghiu, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Greer Grimsley, Günther Groissböck, Ekaterina Gubanova, Anita Hartig, Evelyn Herlitzius, Quinn Kelsey, Tomasz Konieczny, Isabel Leonard, Peter Mattei, Angela Meade, Latonia Moore, Erin Morley, Anna Netrebko, Lisette Oropesa, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani, Anita Rachvelishvili, Brenda Rae, Golda Schultz, Nadine Sierra, Stuart Skelton, Nina Stemme, Krassimira Stoyanova, Elza van den Heever, Christian Van Horn, Klaus Florian Vogt, Michael Volle, Pretty Yende, and Sonya Yoncheva. They perform alongside a number of significant newcomers to the Met stage, including Benjamin Bernheim, Okka von der Damerau, and Varduhi Abrahamyan. This is also a remarkable season for new conductors, with Hartmut Haenchen, Jakub Hrůša, Michail Jurowski, Nimrod David Pfeffer, Giacomo Sagripanti, Speranza Scappucci, Lorenzo Viotti, and Kensho Watanabe all appearing for the first time on the podium.
OPENING NIGHT: Aida — Giuseppe Verdi
Opening: September 21, 2020
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Production: Michael Mayer
Set Designer: Christine Jones
Costume Designer: Susan Hilferty
Lighting Designer: Kevin Adams
Projection Designer: 59 Productions
Choreographer: Oleg Glushkov
Live in HD: October 10, 2020
Verdi’s opera receives its first new staging at the Met in more than three decades, with a season-opening premiere production directed by Michael Mayer, whose dazzling vision of ancient Egypt comes alive with intricate projections and eye-catching animations. Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili portray archrivals Aida and Amneris on Opening Night—reprising their acclaimed partnership in the same roles from the 2018–19 season—and Piotr Beczała completes the triumvirate as Radamès. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a benchmark cast that also includes Ludovic Tézier as Aida’s father, Amonasro, and Krzysztof Bączyk in his Met debut as the King of Egypt. A co-production with the Bolshoi Theatre, this Aida also features Latonia Moore and Hibla Gerzmava in later performances of the title role, as well as Ekaterina Semenchuk and Marcelo Álvarez as Amneris and Radamès.
MET PREMIERE: The Fiery Angel — Sergei Prokofiev
Opening: November 12, 2020
Conductor: Michail Jurowski
Production: Barrie Kosky
Set Designer: Rebecca Ringst
Costume Designer: Klaus Bruns
Lighting Designer: Joachim Klein
Choreographer: Otto Pichler
Australian director Barrie Kosky, a bright and bold force in the opera world, makes his long-awaited company debut with the Met premiere production of Prokofiev’s devilish masterwork, conducted by Michail Jurowski, also in his Met debut. Portraying the vagabond knight Ruprecht, Evgeny Nikitin stars opposite Svetlana Sozdateleva, who makes her Met debut in the role of Renata, the pious young woman obsessed with a mysterious angelic lover. Kosky’s visually stunning production was hailed by the Financial Times as “a gripping evening” when it premiered in Munich in 2015.
Mack Lecture Series April 8–29, 7 pm$15 ($12 Walker members, students, and seniors)Walker Cinema
Hear directly from explorers of our culture and contemporary moment during the Mack Lecture Series. Throughout the month of April, artists, writers, and other great thinkers at the forefront of diverse fields share their vision on topics ranging from artificial intelligence in performance art to gender politics and gonzo journalism.
Writer-director Annie Dorsen tries “to make perceptible how ideas change over time: where they come from, how they influence and are influenced by politics and culture, and how they take root in the body, physically and emotionally.” For this conversation, she explores the intersection of algorithms and live performance with artificial intelligence researcher and computational linguist Catherine Havasi, moderated by Simon Adler, a producer for WNYC’s Radiolab.
Annie Dorsen’s performance work Yesterday Tomorrow, takes place in the Walker’s McGuire Theater March 27–28.
Genderqueer political activist, visual artist, and musician JD Samson is perhaps best known as leader of the band MEN and one-third of the electronic-feminist-punk band Le Tigre. As a self-defined “gender outlaw,” she will investigate the precarious masculinity of the butch/masculine-of-center body, play with traditional concepts of ownership and destruction, and break down the charged heteronormative history of queer sex dynamics.
“If I say ‘thank you for coming,’ it implies that you are already there.” —Faye Driscoll
One of dance/performance’s most astonishing experimental voices, Faye Driscoll wraps up her Walker-supported trilogy—Thank You For Coming—with a moving requiem on art, the body, loss, and human connectivity. Space builds on and diverges from Driscoll’s earlier works, beloved by audiences across the country, with “an exhilaratingly personal culmination of the series” (Artforum). The intimate new performance piece, presented within an immersive installation on the McGuire stage, is informed by art-historical imagery and emerges as a collaborative creation between the artist, her astute design collaborators, and the audience. Contains mature content.
Through an alchemy of bodies and voices, objects and live sound, choreographer Faye Driscoll (US, b. 1975) conjures worlds that are, like ourselves, alive and forever changeable. The artist poses performance as one of the last secular social spaces, where the vulnerability, necessity, and complexities of our everyday relationships are heightened and made palpable. Driscoll’s projects draw on our shared power to question and shape the structures that govern our behavior. Characterizing her work as “dances that are mistaken for plays,” she creates sets designed to break apart; musical scores made from the performers’ stomps and vocalizations; and props that are worn, used, and reused.
Faye Driscoll is a Bessie Award-winning performance maker who has been hailed as a “startlingly original talent” (Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times) and “a postmillenium postmodern wild woman” (Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice). Her work has been presented nationally at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, MCA/Chicago and BAM/Brooklyn Academy of Music and internationally at La Biennale di Venezia, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Melbourne Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and Centro de Arte Experimental (Universidad Nacional de San Martín) in Buenos Aires. Driscoll has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital award, a NEFA National Dance Project Award,MAP Fund Grant, a French-US Exchange in Dance Grant, Jerome Foundation Grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a US Artists Doris Duke Fellowship and she is the recipient of the 2018 Jacob’s PIllow Dance Award. She recently choreographed for Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men on Broadway and for Madeline’s Madeline, a film by Josephine Decker.
February, March Public Programming Begins With Discussion on Interim Director Spencer Crew’s Latest Book “Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History”
“Proud Shoes: The Story Of An American Family” Exhibition Opens In Family History Center
A discussion with Spencer Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, on his new book Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American Historywill lead the winter programming at the museum. Crew will join in conversation with Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz College about the newly released biography, detailing the life of America’s first black Supreme Court justice and his cultural and historic significance. Several programs will celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month, including a musical performance and discussion on African American women in jazz, an interactive program on food accessibility and a discussion about African American women’s contributions in World War I at home and abroad. All programs held in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater will stream live on the museum’s Ustream channel at ustream.tv
Historically Speaking: Thurgood Marshall—A Conversation Between Spencer Crew and Paul Finkelman
Spencer Crew, interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will discuss his recently published biography of America’s first black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, with moderator Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz college and a specialist on American constitutional and legal history. Crew’s latest publication, Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History, chronicles the justice’s legendary career as a civil rights litigator and founder of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion, courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
Special Guests Brittany Howard, Manu Dibango, Baaba Maal, and Yemi Alade Announced for Daughter of Independence Concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Saturday, March 14
Celebratory Program Marks Kidjo’s 60th Birthday an the Anniversary of Independence for Benin and 16 other West African Nations
On the heels of winning her fourth Grammy Award, Angélique Kidjo concludes her Perspectives series with Daughter of Independence on Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage. The concert marks both her 60th birthday and the anniversary of independence of her native Benin in addition to sixteen other West African nations. For this momentous occasion, Kidjo is joined by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes), legendary Cameroonian singer Manu Dibango, Senegalese singer and guitarist Baaba Maal, and Nigerian Afropop singer-songwriter Yemi Alade, to celebrate her remarkable musical career. Major support for the Angélique Kidjo Perspectives series has been provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.
“When I look back at 60 years of independence for my country, I feel that my life and career have been shaped in many ways by the postcolonial history of West Africa: I consider myself a true daughter of African independence,” says Kidjo. “I hope the audience leaves the March performance understanding that it doesn’t matter where you come from; it doesn’t matter your skin color or which language you speak. Music reduces it all to the fundamental element that speaks to us all as human beings.”
Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 8:00 PM
Angélique Kidjo, Daughter Of Independence, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
With special guests
About the Artists
Angélique Kidjo’s performances over the past two decades have thrilled audiences and left an indelible mark on the history of Carnegie Hall. In 2014, she closed Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU festival with a tribute to singer Miriam Makeba that inspired concertgoers—including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu—to rise to their feet and sing along. In 2017, Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne joined Kidjo on stage for her cover of the band’s hit “Once in a Lifetime” before she led a conga line that made its way throughout Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The upcoming series is sure to give audiences more unforgettable moments with performances featuring outstanding guest artists joining together to celebrate one of music’s most vibrant voices.
Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today. A creative force with 14 albums to her name, Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva.” The BBC has included her in its list of the continents’ 50 most iconic figures, and, in 2011, The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes magazine has ranked Angélique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award.
INDIgenesis: GEN 3, A Showcase of Indigenous Filmmakers and Storytellers, March 19–28
Presented over two weeks, the series INDIgenesis: GEN 3, guest curated by Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo Nations), opens with an evening of expanded cinema and includes several shorts programs in the Walker Cinema and Bentson Mediatheque, an afternoon of virtual reality, and a closing-night feature film.
The ongoing showcase of works by Native filmmakers and artists is rooted in Indigenous principles that consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. GEN 3 connects perspectives and stories from the past, present, and future to convey Indigenous truths, teachings, and values.
“Indigenous artists use the creative process of filmmaking for revitalization and narrative sovereignty,” says Whiteman. “Our stories tell us where we came from, re-create our truths, affirm our languages and culture, and inspire us to imagine our Indigenous future. We come from the stars. How far will we take this medium?”
Throughout the program, join conversations with artists and community members centered on themes of Indigenous Futurism, revitalization, and artistic creation.
Opening Night: Remembering the Future Expanded Cinema Screening/Performance Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm Free, Walker Cinema
Combining film, a live score, hoop dancing, hip-hop, and spoken word, a collective of Indigenous artists led by curator Missy Whiteman creates an immersive environment that transcends time and place. Guided by ancestral knowledge systems, traditional stories, and contemporary forms of expression, the expanded cinema program features performances by DJ AO (Hopi/Mdewakatonwan Dakota), Sacramento Knoxx (Ojibwe/Chicano), Lumhe “Micco” Sampson (Mvskoke Creek/Seneca), and Michael Wilson (Ojibwe). Archival found footage and Whiteman’s sci-fi docu-narrative The Coyote Way: Going Back Home(2016), filmed in the community of Little Earth in South Minneapolis, illuminate the space.
Indigenous Lens: Our RealityShort films by multiple directors Friday, March 20, 7 pm, $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors), Walker Cinema
This evening of short films showcases a collection of contemporary stories about what it means to be Indigenous today, portraying identity and adaptability in a colonialist system. The program spans a spectrum of themes, including two-spirit transgender love, coming of age, reflections on friends and fathers, “indigenizing” pop art, and creative investigations into acts of repatriation. Digital video, 85 mins
Copresented with Hud Oberly (Comanche/Osage/Caddo), Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute (in attendance).
Lore Directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)
Images of friends and landscapes are fragmented and reassembled as a voice tells stories, composing elements of nostalgia in terms of lore. 2019, 10 min. View excerpt.
Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition Directed by New Red Order: Adam Khalil (Ojibway), Zack Khalil (Ojibway), Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Bayley Sweitzer
The latest video by the public secret society known as the New Red Order is an incendiary indictment of the norms of European settler colonialism. Examining institutionalized racism through a mix of 3D photographic scans and vivid dramatizations, this work questions the contemporary act of disposing historical artifacts as quick fixes, proposing the political potential of adding rather than removing. 2019, 7 min. View excerpt.
Mino Bimaadiziwin Directed by Shane McSauby (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
A trans Anishinaabe man meets a young Anishinaabe woman who pushes him to reconnect with their culture. 2017, 10 min. View excerpt.
The Moon and the Night Directed by Erin Lau (Kanaka Maoli)
Set in rural Hawaii, a Native Hawaiian teenage girl must confront her father after he enters her beloved pet in a dogfight. 2018, 19 min. View excerpt.
Shinaab II Directed by Lyle Michell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
A young man seeks to honor the memory of his late father in a film that looks at Ojibwe ideas surrounding death and mourning. 2019, 6 min.
Viva Diva Directed by Daniel Flores (Yaqui)
This road trip movie follows Rozene and Diva as they make their way down to Guadalajara for their gender affirmation surgeries. 2017, 15 min. View excerpt.
Dig It If You Can Directed by Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town)
An insightful portrait of the self-taught artist and designer Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa), whose satirical manipulations of pop culture for an Indigenous audience are gaining a passionate, mass following as he realizes his youthful dreams. 2016, 18 min. View excerpt.