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.

New York City’s City Parks Foundation Announces SUMMERSTAGE 2017 SEASON, Presented by Capital One Bank

Opening Night on June 3rd Featuring Mavis Staples

Season Highlights Include Digable Planets, BalletX, Khalid, Bob Moses, Slick Rick the Ruler, KRS-One, La India, Frankie Negrón, Valerie June, and many more

Benefit Concerts Featuring Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor, Gov’t Mule, and more

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary this Season

Season runs May 17 to September 28

More than 100 FREE and benefit shows across all 5 boroughs of NYC

The City Parks Foundation is excited to announce the 2017 season of SummerStage, New York City‘s largest free outdoor performing arts festival, bringing more than 100 performances to Central Park and 15 neighborhood parks throughout the five boroughs. This year’s festival, presented by Capital One Bank, will showcase over 150 unique artists performing shows from a plethora of genres and disciplines, including indie-rock, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, R&B, salsa, bhangra, poetry, opera, contemporary dance, and theater.summerstage-2017

The City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer programs in public parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The organization is dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community development and education programs for all New Yorkers. Its programs and community building initiatives — located in more than 350 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City — reach 425,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: we believe thriving parks reflect thriving communities.

SummerStage, a program of City Parks Foundation, is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents more than 100 performances in 16 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 32 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage.

This year, SummerStage will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, New York City’s annual salute to the eponymous late saxophonist. The festival, which each year coincides with Charlie Parker’s birthday, takes place uptown in Harlem’s historic Marcus Garvey Park and downtown in Tompkins Square Park, across the street from the apartment Parker called home. This year, the festival has been extended to four days and will include Emmy Award-winning tap dance virtuoso Jason Samuels Smith, world-renowned Anat Cohen Tentet, jazz master Lee Konitz Quartet, slow-funk Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, reverend drummer Louis Hayes, young American vocalist Charenee Wade, Grammy nominated Joshua Redman Quartet, modern jazz creative voice Lou Donaldson, saxophonist Tia Fuller of the all-female band touring with Beyoncé, vocalist Alicia Olatuja, and more.

SummerStage will also expand its family-friendly pre-show workshop offerings this season to include dance classes, beatboxing lessons, and introductions to DJing and Latin percussion. These interactive workshops will take place prior to select SummerStage shows throughout the season, and all ages are encouraged to come out to the park early to participate. To kick off the season, SummerStage will host a DJ lesson from Scratch DJ Academy and a beatboxing tutorial with renowned beatboxer Exacto before the Digable Planets performance in Coffey Park. Other workshops will include salsa dance lessons in St. Mary’s Park and a poetry class in Marcus Garvey Park.

City Parks Foundation is dedicated to providing every New Yorker with access to excellent, culturally relevant performing arts experiences in their home communities. Our SummerStage festival brings outstanding artists from genres across the globe directly to city parks across the five boroughs, all free of charge, making those parks community and cultural centers,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation.

SummerStage will kick off its first free show of the season with performances from the legendary Mavis Staples and contemporary blues artist Toshi Reagon in Central Park on June 3rd. Staples will lead a powerful vocal showcase of rock, blues, gospel and R&B. Digable Planets will reunite to open the citywide SummerStage run with a rare performance in Coffey Park in Brooklyn on June 21st. New York rap icon KRS-One and DJ Chuck Chillout will also perform in Coffey Park on June 25th and dynamic emcee Jadakiss will take the mic at Crotona Park on August 6th. Wu-Tang Clan founding member GZA “The Genius” will drop knowledge in Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island on July 23rd. Brasil Summerfest returns featuring iconic samba singer Elza Soares and rising star Liniker e os Carmelows on August 5th in Central Park. Jazz veteran Joshua Redman Quartet will pay tribute to Charlie Parker as part of the annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on August 27th in Manhattan’s Tompkins Square Park.

This season will also feature benefit shows in Central Park to help support City Parks Foundation‘s free programs for all New Yorkers. American rock band Gov’t Mule, the Grammy award-winning Elvis Costello & The Imposters, progressive rock multi-stylists Umphrey’s McGee, avant-rocker PJ Harvey, indie pop singer Regina Spektor, energetic rockers All Time Low, anthemic artists The Revivalists, and indie rock trailblazers Young the Giant with special guests Cold War Kids have been confirmed with many more to be announced. All benefit concerts are produced by The Bowery Presents.

Other highlights include:

  • George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic along with Main Source, DJ Marley Marl and host Roxanne Shante will bring the funk to Flushing Meadows Corona Park as part of the Only In Queens Summer Festival on June 11
  • Indie-folk pop singer and indie-folk singer rising star Margaret Glaspy performs on June 22nd in Coffey Park
  • Classic hip-hop innovators Slick Rick the Ruler and GrandWizzard Theodore will team up in Queens’ Springfield Park on July 7th
  • Timeless architect of alternative-rock PJ Harvey will host a benefit show in Central Park on July 19th
  • Contemporary ballet company BalletX will perform their acclaimed piece “Big Ones” set to the music of Amy Winehouse in Central Park on July 26th
  • Latin Grammy Award-winning princess of salsa La India will perform in St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx on July 28th
  • Salsa’s next definitive voice Frankie Negrón will perform in St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx on July 29th
  • Rock Steady Crew will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Bronx-conceived b-boy crew in Central Park with a who’s who of classic hip-hop performances including the legendary MC Lyte on July 30th
  • Taj Mo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band, two generations of blues giants, will take over Central Park on Aug 13th
  • A performance from the cast of Broadway’s new hit musical A Bronx Tale, based on the critically acclaimed play that inspired the classic film, will make its way to Crotona Park in the Bronx on Aug 3rd
  • Alternative rock band and one of Rolling Stone‘s “10 Bands You Need to Know,” The Revivalists will perform a benefit concert in Central Park on Aug 10th
  • SummerStage Family Day, featuring performances from They Might Be Giants and Bill Childs of Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child Radio, comes to Central Park on Aug 12th
  • The Russell Simmons / Mos Def-backed series Def Poetry Jam will host a reunion in Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan on Aug 20th

Continue reading

New-York Historical Society Exhibition To Tell The Remarkable Story Of Early Jewish Participation In The Cultural, Social, And Political Development Of The New World

Exhibit Includes Recently Recovered Manuscripts Relating to Mexican Inquisition Victim Luis de Carvajal to be on Public Display for the First Time

The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World, On View October 28, 2016 – February 26, 2017

This fall, a path-breaking exhibition at the New-York Historical Society (170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024. Phone (212) 873-3400. TTY (212) 873-7489) will examine the story of newcomers to the New World, both Jewish and of Jewish ancestry, who made their way to colonial America and engaged fully in the cultural, social, and political life of the young nation. On view now through to February 26, 2017, The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World will feature more than 170 objects, including rare early portraits, drawings, maps, books, documents, and ritual objects primarily drawn from the Princeton University Jewish American Collection, gift of Mr. Leonard L. Milberg, Class of 1953; and Mr. Leonard L. Milberg’s personal collection.

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Luis de Carvajal the Younger (ca. 1567-1596) Memorias autobiographical manuscripts , ca. 1595, with devotional manuscripts Manuscript leaves, 3 volumes, each stitched into plain wrappers. Courtesy of the Government of Mexico.

In addition to objects from the New-York Historical Society, the exhibition will showcase loans from museums nationwide and abroad. Highlights include two landscape paintings by Sephardic Jew Camille Pissarro, on loan from the National Gallery of Art, depicting St. Thomas—the Caribbean island where the artist was born in 1830—and an important group of six portraits depicting members of the Levy-Franks family, prominent figures in New York City’s 18th-century Jewish community, from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Establishing vibrant communities in American port cities including New York, Philadelphia, Newport, Savannah, and Charleston, early Jewish settlers adopted American ideals while remaining a distinctive and socially cohesive group, giving birth to a new Jewish American tradition with the stamp of both cultures. This groundbreaking exhibition reveals the extraordinary contributions of 18th- and 19th-century Jewish artists, writers, activists, and others to the development of American culture and politics.

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Suriname map, 1718. Nieuwe Kaart van Suriname vertonende de stromen en land-streken van Suriname, Comowini, Cottica, en Marawini, Amsterdam, 1718. Collection of Leonard L. Milberg.

The First Jewish Americans explores the paths taken by Jews who for centuries fled persecution in Europe—beginning with the little-known but remarkable stories of their experience in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Brazil during the colonial period, and following their journey toward finding freedom and tolerance in the early American Republic,” said Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “We are grateful for the extraordinary collections of Leonard L. Milberg and the partnership of the Princeton University Library, which will allow us to convey to the New York public the fundamental importance of the Jewish people to early American history. We are deeply grateful to Mr. Milberg for his tenacity and hard work in securing the loan of recently recovered Jewish writings from Spanish Colonial Mexico, the earliest extant Jewish manuscripts from that time period.

The First Jewish Americans will showcase, for the first time on public display, the manuscripts relating to Mexican Inquisition victim Luis de Carvajal—considered the earliest extant Jewish books in the New World. These exceptional documents and other materials in the exhibition underscore the long reach of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, which followed settlers of Jewish ancestry into the New World, forcing confessions and burning suspected “Judaizers” at the stake in horrific autos-de-fé.

(The New-York Historical Society is grateful to the Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, and the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, for the loan of Luis de Carvajal‘s manuscripts.)

Exhibition Highlights

The First Jewish Americans will explore the origins of the Jewish diaspora and paths to the New World, Jewish life in American port cities, and the birth of American Judaism in the 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as profile prominent Jewish Americans who made an impact on early American life.

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Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Locket with photo. The Historic New Orleans Collection.

European Jews fleeing persecution and seeking ports of refuge were propelled westward to the distant shores of New World colonies, which offered hope for a new beginning until the infamous Holy Inquisition followed them across the ocean. The exhibition powerfully illustrates this experience through the 1595 autobiography of Luis de Carvajal, a “converso” Jew in Mexico and the nephew of a prominent governor, who was tried by the Inquisition and denounced more than 120 other secretly practicing Jews before he was burned at the stake in 1596.

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Isaac N. Cardozo (1792–1855), A Discourse, Delivered in Charleston, (S.C.) on the 21st of Nov. 1827, before the Reformed Society of Israelites, for Promoting True Principles of Judaism according to Its Purity and Spirit, on Their Third Anniversary. Charleston, 1827. Princeton University Library. Gift of Leonard L. Milberg, Class of 1953, in honor of his grandchildren: Beverly Allison Milberg, Ava Miriam Milberg, Emmett Nathaniel Milberg, William Nathan Milberg, Charles Bennett Milberg, Samantha Eve Shapiro, and Nathan Busky Shapiro.

The recently rediscovered documents, which had gone missing from the National Archives of Mexico more than 75 years ago, will be on view at New-York Historical by special arrangement with the Mexican government before returning to Mexico. Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Explore The Battle Of Brooklyn, A Pivotal Moment In The American Revolution

This fall, to commemorate the 240th Anniversary of the largest single battle of the American Revolution, the New-York Historical Society will present The Battle of Brooklyn, on view from September 23, 2016 to January 8, 2017. A story of American defeat in the first major armed campaign after the Declaration of Independence, the Battle of Brooklyn took place in August 1776, but does not occupy the same place in history as the more victorious engagements at Bunker Hill or Yorktown. Also known as the Battle of Long Island, the event is seen by some as the biggest missed opportunity for Britain to end the American rebellion and marks a pivotal moment when the fight for American independence teetered on the edge of failure.

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John Trumbull (1756–1843) George Washington (1732–1799), 1780 Metropolitan Museum of Art Bequest of Charles Allen Munn, 1924

The Battle of Brooklyn was a major part of American history that happened right here in our backyards but is often overlooked in stories of the founding of our nation,” said Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “On the surface it could be seen as a moment of defeat, but this exhibition will show the resilience and strength of New Yorkers, who fought bravely and endured occupation of their city before finally becoming independent and free citizens.”

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Bernard Ratzer (active 1756–1776), engraved by Thomas Kitchin (1718–1784), Plan of the City of New York, 1770 New-York Historical Society Library

The Battle of Brooklyn will capture the volatile time when the Continental Congress and the American colonists turned ideas into action and broke their ties with Britain. The year 1776 opened with the publication of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, sparking the call for separation across the colonies; it closed with the publication of his American Crisis, marking the sense of despair among supporters of independence. With more than 100 objects documenting major political and military figures, the dynamic debates over independence, and the artifacts of combat and British occupation, the exhibition will convey the atmosphere of New York City as it faced invasion by a British force that exceeded its own population.

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Thomas Paine (1737–1809) Common Sense, 1776 New-York Historical Society Library

Focusing on the year 1776, The Battle of Brooklyn will be organized chronologically to explore the political and ideological context leading up to the battle, the timeline of the battle itself, and the consequences of its immediate aftermath. The exhibition will open with large portraits of iconic figures George Washington and King George III, followed by profiles of American and British politicians and thinkers on both sides of the conflict. A copy of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, published in early 1776, which drew many to the revolutionary cause, will illustrate the arguments made for separation.

The first section of the exhibition will also examine why the British targeted New York, the second largest colonial city at the time. Maps by John Montresor and Bernard Ratzer will show the city’s geographical advantages, including a deep water port that provided the British navy access to the city and lush farms on Staten Island and Long Island that could keep an army fed. As John Adams explains in his January 1776 letter to George Washington that will be on view, “New York is…a kind of key” that would allow the British to divide the colonies by taking control of the Hudson River.

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United States Continental Congress In Congress, July 4, 1776. A declaration by the representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled. [Declaration of Independence] New York: Printed by Hugh Gaine New-York Historical Society Library

Tensions rose as American forces poured into the city in spring 1776. Documents on view relating to this time will include Washington’s broadside warning residents to evacuate, Solomon Nash’s manuscript diary noting a plot to kill General Washington, and Hugh Gaine’s printing of the Declaration of Independence, all illustrating the mood and consciousness of what was at stake. While some New Yorkers cheered independence, others predicted years of turmoil, shown through drawings, broadsides, almanacs, and orderly books that provide a fuller picture of how the city was affected.

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United States Continental Congress In Congress, July 4, 1776. A declaration by the representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled. [Declaration of Independence] New York: Printed by Hugh Gaine New-York Historical Society Library

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Camp Bed, 1777–1785. Gift of Ernest Livingston McCrackan. New-York Historical Society

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Ridgeway after Alonzo Chappel Lord Stirling at the Battle of Long Island, c.1858 New-York Historical Society Library

The second section of the exhibition will center on the week of the battle itself. An animated media piece on a projection table will dynamically show the order of events, depicting troop movements, the passage of time, and the skillful British maneuver that upended the American defenses and could have finished them for good. A custom-built model of the Vechte farmhouse (today’s Old Stone House in Gowanus) hidden within the projection table will illustrate one of the battle’s most dramatic moments: the outnumbered Maryland regiment fighting on to allow their fellow soldiers time to retreat across Gowanus Creek.

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Hunting shirt, ca. 1776. Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

An American encampment scene filled with weapons, uniforms, and accessories will feature George Washington’s camp cot, a bass drum, and a rare hunting shirt worn by the Pennsylvania riflemen, a style which later became a de facto uniform. A loyalist coat, a British Grenadier’s cap, and a Hessian helmet provide examples of what residents of Staten Island might have seen as the island’s population of approximately 2,000 exploded with the arrival of 34,000 British soldiers and sailors. Maps will also be on view, as topography influenced military strategy tremendously during the battle. Continue reading

Extraordinary People Seek New Beginnings in the 2015 season of PBS’s POV

Down But Not Out: Extraordinary People Seek New Beginnings In the 28th Season of POV, Beginning Monday, June 22, 2015 on PBS

Documentaries Spotlight Passionate Individuals Who Transform Themselves And Their Communities

Vince Lombardi famously said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” The 15 compelling films in the new season of PBS’s award-winning documentary series POV (Point of View) introduce extraordinarily strong and determined individuals. Subjects including an artist jailed for speaking freely and members of the Syrian resistance willing to lose their lives exhibit incredible resilience when, time and again, they fight to get back on their feet.

The 28th season of POV begins on Monday, June 22, 2015 at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on PBS and continues through the fall. POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary showcase and the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit: American Documentary, Inc.

This summer, POV films take viewers into the lives of characters on the front lines of current events. The season launches with Out in the Night, a powerful documentary about four African-American lesbians who stand their ground as they face law enforcement, the criminal justice system and media bias after being accused of gang assault. The Tribeca award-winner Point and Shoot tracks a young man from Baltimore as he drops into the middle of the Libyan Revolution, while the Sundance award-winning Return to Homs witnesses the transformation of peaceful Syrian protesters into armed insurgents. In Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, the Chinese government’s attempt to silence the titular artist only serves to give him a stronger voice.

Closer to home, The Overnighters reveals the toll taken on a small town at the center of a modern-day gold rush, where thousands of workers seek a fresh start in the North Dakota oil fields. The theme of new beginnings continues in Tough Love, where persistent parents navigate the legal system and Child Protective Services, battling to regain custody of their children.

This year’s films feature strong individuals viewers won’t easily forget,” said POV Executive Producer Chris White. “Intimate and urgent, these are the stories of our times. We are proud to present a slate of films that challenge, enlighten and inspire.

Three special presentations slated for the fall explore how art shapes identity, and will be paired with other arts-related PBS programs. In the Oscar®-nominated Cutie and the Boxer, two visual artists depict themselves, each other and their embattled 40-year marriage in their work, and in Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, the Chinese government’s attempt to silence the titular artist only serves to give him a stronger voice. In Art and Craft, an art forger is so expert that he blurs the line between original and copy–and perhaps between himself and the masters whose work he reproduces.

“This year’s films feature strong individuals viewers won’t easily forget,” said POV Executive Producer Chris White. “Intimate and urgent, these are the stories of our times. We are proud to present a slate of films that challenge, enlighten and inspire.”

POV 2015 Schedule (All programs air Mondays at 10 p.m. unless otherwise indicated; check local listings):

June 22: Out in the Night by blair dorosh-walther

In 2006, under the neon lights of a gay-friendly neighborhood in New York City, a group of African-American lesbians were violently threatened by a man on the street. The women fought back and were later charged with gang assault and attempted murder. The tabloids quickly dubbed them a gang of “Killer Lesbians” and a “Wolf Pack.” Three pleaded guilty to avoid a trial, but the remaining four–Renata, Patreese, Venice and Terrain–maintained their innocence. The award-winning Out in the Night examines the sensational case and the women’s uphill battle, revealing the role that race, gender identity and sexuality play in our criminal justice system. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC).

June 29: The Overnighters by Jesse Moss

Chasing the American dream, thousands of workers flock to a North Dakota town where the oil business is booming. But instead of well-paying jobs, many find slim work prospects and a severe housing shortage. Pastor Jay Reinke converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, allowing hundreds of men, some with checkered pasts, to stay despite the congregation’s objections and neighbors’ fears. When opposition to the “overnighters” reaches a boiling point, Pastor Jay makes a decision with shattering consequences. A modern-day Grapes of Wrath, The Overnighters tells an electrifying story about the promise of redemption and the limits of compassion. Winner, Special Jury Award for Intuitive Filmmaking: Documentary, 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

July 6: Tough Love by Stephanie Wang-Breal

What makes a good parent? How do you prove you are responsible after you’ve been deemed unfit? Having lost custody of their children to Child Protective Services, two parents–one in New York City and one in Seattle–fight to win back the trust of the courts and reunite their families in Stephanie Wang-Breal‘s moving film. Acknowledging their past parenting mistakes due to poverty, poor choices and addiction, both Hannah and Patrick contend with a complex bureaucracy to prove they deserve a second chance. A co-production of ITVS.A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

July 13: Web Junkie by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia

Internet addiction has been declared a national health crisis in China, the first country in the world to classify this evolving diagnosis. Web Junkie follows the treatment of three Chinese teenagers, obsessive gamers whose preference for the virtual world over the real one is summed up in one jarring statement: “Reality is too fake.” Israeli filmmakers Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia gained extraordinary access to a three-month military-style rehab program in Beijing, illuminating a process that, while stern, may help set a standard as the wider world comes to grips with the devastating consequences of excessive Internet use. Official Selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

July 20: Return to Homs by Talal Derki

War changes people, including 19-year-old Basset Saroot, who went from star goalkeeper for the Syrian national soccer team to peaceful advocate for Arab Spring reforms to armed insurgent. Return to Homs, which focuses on Basset and his ragtag group’s transformation and struggles, is a heart-stopping, often wrenching study of the brutal war President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has waged against the Syrian people–a war fought mostly out of camera range that has produced epic heroism and tragedy. Winner of Sundance’s 2014 World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, this is an unprecedented view inside a conflict that many accuse the world of overlooking. Winner of the first George Polk Documentary Film Award.

July 27: Tea Time by Maite Alberdi

Ritual is often associated with powerful and impersonal institutions, but for five Chilean women, ritual centers on a monthly gathering that has sustained them through 60 years of personal and societal change. Tea Time is a charming and poignant look at how a seemingly mundane routine of tea and pastries has helped the well-heeled participants commemorate life’s joys and cope with infidelity, illness and death. A celebration of the small things that help us endure, Tea Time, filmed over five years, illuminates a beautiful paradox: As familiar worlds slip away, friendships grow ever stronger and more profound. A co-production of ITVS International. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.Official Selection of the 2014 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Aug. 3: Beats of the Antonov by hajooj kuka

Sudan has been in an almost constant state of civil war since it achieved independence in 1956, and it split into a pair of sovereign states in 2011. On the border between the two, Russian-made Antonov planes indiscriminately drop bombs on settlements in the Nuba Mountains below. Yet, incredibly, the people of the Blue Nile respond to adversity with music, singing and dancing to celebrate their survival. Beats of the Antonov explores how music binds a community together, offering hope and a common identity for refugees engaged in a fierce battle to protect cultural traditions and heritage from those trying to obliterate them. Winner, Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award, 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

Aug. 10: Encore Presentation — When I Walk by Jason DaSilva

Jason DaSilva was 25 and a rising filmmaker when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and inspired to film this forthright–and surprisingly uplifting–look at his new life. He searches for a cure, yet a different miracle comes his way. Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with CAAM. Continue reading

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s at The Museum at FIT

February 7, 2014 – April 19, 2014

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) presents Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s, an exhibition that celebrates the most innovative and beautifully designed clothing made in the 20th century. This is the first exhibition to concurrently examine both men’s and women’s fashion of the 1930s, specifically objects made by the era’s finest dressmakers and men’s clothiers. Haute couture and bespoke tailoring are equally represented by the approximately 80 ensembles and 30 accessories that are arranged thematically in an exhibition environment designed to evoke the restrained style of the era.

Dusty apricot silk chiffon evening dress; front of dress bodice is cowl draped with pleated chiffon used horizontally; pleats are caught at waist seam draping up either side and caught into piped armhole; panel of pleats hang from drape to floor at center front; plain underarm panel of chiffon on either side; pleated panel of chiffon hangs from wide piped neck to back dipping hem; 3/4 inch self sash from front ties around waist to back bow. Dusty apricot silk chiffon bolero entirely pleated; pleats swirl from horizontal in front to vertical at back and are held by rows of stitching; flaring sleeves vertically pleated with five rows of stay stitching from elbow to cuffs; lined in sheer silk. Apricot silk crepe slip with fitted bust yoke edged at top with nude marquisette; narrow marquisette straps; long fitted darts on either side front; elasticized panel across back at waist; slit on either side at hem has scallops which continue around hem; scalloped chiffon addition 2.5 inches wide around crepe hem; zipper closing at left side. HélèneYrande, Negligee ensemble, Coral and peach pleated, Silk chiffon, 1932, France                                                                                                      The Museum at FIT, 75.69.9, Gift of Sophie Gimbel

HélèneYrande, Negligee ensemble, Coral and peach pleated, Silk chiffon, 1932, France The Museum at FIT, 75.69.9, Gift of Sophie Gimbel

The 1930s was a time of grand transformations, when fashion truly began to reflect the streamlined art moderne aesthetic. Garments were softer, minimally ornamented, elegantly proportioned, and markedly different from the preceding periods: the Edwardian era with its stiff, structured clothing, and the shapeless, boxy styles of the 1920s.

Knize, Evening jacket, Blue wool herringbone twill, 1937, Austria, The Museum at FIT, 2000.14.2, Gift of Francis Knize

Knize, Evening jacket, Blue wool herringbone twill, 1937, Austria, The Museum at FIT, 2000.14.2, Gift of Francis Knize

Anderson & Sheppard, Man’s suit, Wool, 1935, London, Collection of Steven Hitchcock

Anderson & Sheppard, Man’s suit, Wool, 1935, London, Collection of Steven Hitchcock

Gardner and Wooley LTD, Smoking jacket, Green velvet, satin  1936, London, Collection of Alan Bennett, Davies and Son

Gardner and Wooley LTD, Smoking jacket, Green velvet, satin
1936, London, Collection of Alan Bennett, Davies and Son

Elegance in an Age of Crisis investigates how clothing creators of the 1930s, despite the crippling financial crisis and dire political environment, spearheaded new stylistic ideas and wed them to emerging technologies. Technical innovations in textile production transformed what was possible for couturiers: looms were wider, dyeing vats were larger, and fibers were more tightly twisted. These expansive and flexible new materials gave dressmakers larger “canvases” upon which to rethink and refine draping techniques, while featherweight textiles lent their garments new suppleness and flexibility. Tailors in both Northern and Southern Europe simultaneously began to deconstruct the jacket and to create a garment that was shapely, yet pliant. Lighter materials, such as linen, were used to make softer jackets.

A synthesis of cutting-edge technology and the finest handcraftsmanship was necessary to forge a truly modern aesthetic in clothing. But these were not the only driving forces of the new look of the 1930s. Artistic influence—mainly the revival and full embrace of classicism across all the plastic arts—spurred a lean, elegantly proportioned aesthetic. It inspired master dressmakers and tailors to experiment with new techniques in order to achieve clothing that enhanced movement and highlighted the “natural,” well-proportioned, and classically idealized body.

The look of the 1930s was an international phenomenon. Menswear tailoring innovations in London and Naples paralleled breakthroughs in haute couture draping in Paris as well as custom design in New York, Havana, and Shanghai. Hollywood, too, played a role in defining and popularizing the glamorous new look. On view in the exhibition is clothing made in these cities for clients from the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Although most of the objects in the exhibition come from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection Elegance in an Age of Crisis has been richly enhanced thanks to the generosity of key lenders. They include rare examples of Neapolitan tailoring from the archives of the Rubinacci Museum; a range of period menswear made in Savile Row and collected by contemporary tailors such as Mr. Alan Bennett of Davies & Sons, and Mr. Steven Hitchcock; and examples of bespoke footwear made by George J. Cleverley, loaned by George Glasgow of G. J. Cleverley. Exquisite haute couture was lent by collector Beverley Birks of New York and fashion editor Hamish Bowles. Patricia Koo Tsien is lending rare qipaos worn by the legendary woman of style Mrs. Wellington Koo. Continue reading

The Film Society of Lincoln Center names Director/Writer ANDREA ARNOLD as the 2013 FILMMAKER IN RESIDENCE during 51st New York Film Festival

THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER names Director/Writer ANDREA ARNOLD as the 2013 FILMMAKER IN RESIDENCE during THE 51ST NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold

The Film Society of Lincoln Center (www.filmlinc.com) has named director/writer, Andrea Arnold, as the 2013 Filmmaker in Residence, to take place during the 51st New York Film Festival. The initiative is in partnership with luxury brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, to further the goals of filmmakers at an earlier stage in the creative process. Arnold will have the opportunity to focus on developing or refining new work, and participate in master classes, mentorships or cultural exchange and enrichment film programs with the Film Society of Lincoln members, the film community and the public.

We are thrilled to announce Andrea Arnold as the 2013 Filmmaker in Residence during the 51st New York Film Festival.  Our b-3757_film_society_of_lincoln_center_partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre on this cornerstone program fosters excellence in the filmmaking community, and reflects our shared belief in the universal power of film to inspire and engage the global community.” states Rose Kuo, Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Andrea Arnold is an English director and writer who made her debut with two short films, MILK in 1998 and DOG in 2001. In 2005, Arnold won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for WASP and her first feature film, RED ROAD won the Jury Prize in Cannes in 2006 and also played during New Directors/New Films. Her 2009 film FISH TANK starring Kate Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, once again won the Jury Prize and in 2011, she directed an adaptation of Emily Bronte¹s Wuthering Heights. The film was shown at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Osella for Best Cinematography.

The Filmmaker in Residence initiative also consists of Advisory Board members, announced in June, who will be participating. These include: Henry Bean, Brady Corbet, Charles Finch, Naomi Foner, Larry Gross, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Danny Huston, Tamara Jenkins, Ed Lachman, Bennett Miller, Matthew Modine, Ed Pressman, Ira Sachs, Paul Schrader and Marisa Tomei. Their involvement may include nominating potential candidates, mentoring the filmmaker once selected, panel participation during the 51st New York Film Festival and/or attending/hosting events in support of the initiative.

The Film Society and Jaeger-LeCoultre recently announced their multi-year partnership, which kicked off at the 40th Anniversary Chaplin Award Gala in April, honoring Barbra Streisand, and extending through the New York Film Festival as well as a series of events throughout the year, including the annual Film Comment Luncheon in January. The new festival_logo_596884471_largepartnership allows for both organizations to further support the film community, and support for the arts.

A major player in watchmaking history since 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the first Manufacture to have been established in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. It played a pioneering role by uniting the full range of technical and artistic professions under one roof and made an indelible imprint on the watchmaking development of the entire region. Guided by time-honored know-how and a constant quest for technical enhancements, the master-watchmakers, engineers and technicians craft each watch in harmony with the same passion. Each masterpiece, heir to 180 years of expertise, benefits from cutting-edge technologies while being crafted in harmony with the noblest traditions. Building on a vast heritage encompassing 1,231 calibres and 398 registered patents, Jaeger-LeCoultre remains the reference in high-end watchmaking. Continue reading