EarSay is an artist-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying stories of the uncelebrated. Founded by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan in 1999, our projects bridge the divide between documentary and expressive forms in books, exhibitions, on stage, in sound & electronic media. We are committed to fostering understanding across cultures, generations, gender and class, through artistic productions and education. We bring our work to theatres, museums, schools, prisons, festivals and universities. Scroll over the top menu to view projects, get information, shop, etc.
Wednesday May 29, door opens at 6:30 PM
Show starts 7 PM
The Little Theatre, Laguardia Performing Arts Center
31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101
Tickets $10 in advance CLICK here $20 at the door.
Building Bridges Through the Arts
Photo credit Robert Winn.
Opening remarks from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer
Excerpts from the play DREAM ACTS: a play about undocumented immigrant youth.
Performed by EarSay Youth Theatre Workshop: Transforming Trauma Into Art a project in collaboration with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College with student actors from International High School and LaGuardia Community College.
HOUSE BAND: Miwi LaLupa on Bass, Lynn Ligammari on Sax, Rich Stein on Percussion, Adam Hill on Viola, Chesney Snow Beatboxer, Luke Santy Live Engineer. Special guest on trumpet: Frank London.
And performance excerpts from YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide with Judith Sloan and musicians. Special Guest Performer: IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, Viper Records.
Honoring: Sarah Gil, International High School School Leader and Steven Hitt, Managing Director of LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and the Staff. Special Recognition to Katherine Tabares from Make the Road.
100% of Profits from this event and sale of merchandise at this event go to Support the Youth Program.
June 26th, 2013 – 6:30 PM, New Haven, Connecticut Humanities Council Event (stay tuned for details or join the mailing list to get monthly newsletters)
Monday, July 15, 7 PM, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Manhattan
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As immigration policy is hotly debated around the country, “Crossing the BLVD” presents the very human stories of why immigrants and refugees have migrated to the US and their experiences once here. It is based on the critically-acclaimed book by Warren Lehrer, internationally known pioneer in visual literature and design authorship and Judith Sloan, award-winning actor, writer and human rights activist. In this electrifying collage, Judith portrays immigrants and others the couple interviewed on their three-year journey through the richly diverse borough of Queens; two additional actors, including Chesney Snow join her in performing some of the monologues. Illuminated by projections of Warren Lehrer’s stunning photographs and an original soundtrack including Judith’s audio mixes and music by Scott Johnson and Gogol Bordello, the production is a project of EarSay, a non-profit organization dedicated to portraying voices often ignored by the mass media. A conversation follows the performance on national debates and laws that shape attitudes toward diversity, and immigration policy.
“Crossing the BLVD is a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. In the tradition of the playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Ms. Sloan performs “Crossing the BLVD” adopting the personae (and respectfully mimicking the accents) of the varied immigrants whose stories are in the book… The New York Times, City Room Blog, Sewell Chan
Please consider making even a small donation.
Transforming Trauma Into Art is an EarSay initiative, created and directed by Judith Sloan, born out of our partnership with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College where many teenagers have emigrated to the U.S. from war-zones and conflict-zones. The premise of this workshop is based on healing through artistic expression using a combination of music, movement, theatre and storytelling. This process helps release the stories and stressors that prevent people—who have been traumatized by war, economic or natural disasters—from moving forward. This program brings an understanding of confronting obstacles through artistic expression to communities that are poor, displaced, or don’t have access to artistic training, serving approximately 450 students. The project grows out of our commitment to creating artistic works that evolve out of individual experience and community. In this case, the community is immigrant and refugee teenagers attending school in New York City. At a time of war, global tension, and polarization, our program encourages a depth of scholarship and storytelling that shapes the experience of the participants, giving them tools to make connections between cultures, shed light on the complexity and humanity of each individual, and deepen what it means or could mean to be part of a global community.
Thanks for your support.
New Video: Mother of the World
Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom (NY Quarterly)
A powerful and moving new book of poems by Dennis Bernstein.
Designed and edited by Warren Lehrer
Already the winner of The Literary Achievement Award from Artist Embassy International, Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom takes place in the special ed classroom, where the kids who don’t fit in anywhere else spend their day. For these kids—real kids Dennis J. Bernstein taught in the New York City public schools before he became an internationally known investigative journalist—pistols, switchblades, police cars and hunger are more instructive than textbooks. Special Ed is about daily life under the siege of poverty, racism, and class warfare. We come to know these kids intimately: Gloria, whose mother was disappeared in Guatemala and whose friendship with Marilyn rescues her from trauma-induced silence; Paulie, who “finds tears in the mirror’s eyes” but thinks of himself as tough and defi es the gang-guys who threaten to drop him from the roof of the projects; Regina, who sells nickel bags before class and gets high alone in the gym before giving a heart-wrenching performance of a poem by Langston Hughes. Dennis Bernstein loves these kids fiercely, and we come to love them too as the collection unfolds.
“Dennis Bernstein is a hero to me because of his dedicated, unflinching reporting of real news on Flashpoints, at KPFA in Berkeley, California. But his fearless pursuit of the truth about what is happening in our rapidly transforming world did not prepare me for the beauty, depth, not-one- word-mislaid perception of this amazing book. Each word, each line, each thought has a weight, a texture, a surprise all its own. With its moving preface, in which Dennis shares his own struggles as a young child with special needs, Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom is that unusual gift literature can be: We are connected to humanity in ways we might never have even considered or imagined before. Above all it is art turned to us through the eyes of love.
Alice Walker Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, author of The Color Purple
BUY NOW NY QUARTERLY
Over 800 people of all ages and backgrounds attended the world premier on April 29th, 2012
Music composed by Frank London
Libretto by Judith Sloan
Visuals by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell
Premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, Queens Symphony Orchestra music director
Performed by full orchestra and a 190-voice chorus comprised of the Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir, James John, Music Director
Featured Tabla Soloist Deep Singh
Spoken word performed by Judith Sloan in English with additional translations in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic by Dailyn Despradel, Krussia, Haojie Huang, and Catherine Hanna.
Watch Video Excerpt on Vimeo CLICK ON IMAGE or CLICK HERE
After seven years of loving toil, Warren Lehrer is just now putting the final touches on A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written and designed by Lehrer’s protagonist, who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all his books. Each book is represented by its first edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the author’s confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (but ethically challenged) visionary.
Warren was just awarded a NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts) grant in ‘Electronic Media and Film’ to complete and program the enhanced ebook edition of A Life In Books, which will include animations, video and audio performances, annotations, break out galleries, and other interactive components. He also received a LAB residency—at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in LIC—to workshop and produce the multimedia performance presentation of A Life in Books, which will culminate in a performance in Fall 2013 to coincide with the publication of the book. Stay tuned for more information on the book, Warren’s reading and performance tour, and the traveling exhibition.
Read about the book and project in The Atlantic
March 15, Crossing the BLVD at Puffin Forum
February 19, 6:30 PM Crossing the BLVD at Lower East Side Tenement Museum
January 18, 6:30 PM Yo Miss! at Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC
Monday November 5, 6 PM Crossing the BLVD performance at Fairfield University focus on the cities.
Saturday October 20, 8 PM Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! at the JCC Manhattan as part of the REPAIR festival of new performance.
Monday July 16 @ 7:00 pm, 2012 Crossing the BLVD performance at New York Institute of Technology
June 13 Judith Sloan and Friends with EarSay Voices! at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre
June 7, Judith Sloan presented Crossing the BLVD at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, International Conference on Justice, Security and Human Rights.
April 29, 1001 Voices: a Symphony for Queens – Premiered by Queens Symphony Orchestra, Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir. Music composed by Frank London. Libretto by Judith Sloan. Animated visuals by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell.
February 16, Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre.
February 13, Warren Lehrer – guest lecture, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
November 22, Crossing the BLVD lecture and performance at Peace and Conflict Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
November 3, 4, 5, 6 Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC
September 14 and 15 Crossing the BLVD performances at Waterman Theatre, Tyler Hall, SUNY Oswego.
August 29 Crossing the BLVD exhibition opens at Tyler Art Gallery, SUNY Oswego.
July 11 Crossing the BLVD performance, with Judith Sloan at the New York Institute of Technology.
June 10 and 11 Performances at the Spanish Repertory Theater. NY, NY.
April 9- Benefit Performance hosted by Brian Lehrer at New York Society for Ethical Culture, to support EarSay’s Transforming Trauma Into Art Youth program for immigrant teenagers. Performances by Judith Sloan, Carl Hancock Rux, Universes, Warren Lehrer, honoring Deb Margolin and Ninotchka Rosca.
March 26 and April 6- Crossing the BLVD exhibition closes at Ohio State University, Urban Arts Space, and Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark NJ.
March 19: Judith Sloan and EarSay team for Transforming Trauma Into Art at CCNY Immigration and Education Conference. Panel with Judith Sloan, Robert Winn, Jen Blier, and Percy Lujan.
March 3: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan at SUNY Oswego. Sneak preview of Crossing the BLVD exhibition and workshops schedules for fall 2011. As part of campus-wide Telling Tales project.
February 14: Opening of selected images of Crossing the BLVD, at Rutgers University, Paul Robeson Galleries, Gallery talk with Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan.
February 11 and 12: Crossing the Cultural Divide. Performance featuring Parul Shah, NYCSubway Girl, and Aronic at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Curated and hosted by Judith Sloan.
January 28 and 29: Judith Sloan performance at Ohio State University, Urban Arts Center opening and reception for Crossing the BLVD traveling exhibition. Saturday Jan 29: Sloan conducted workshop on storytelling and art of the interview.
January 24: Warren Lehrer – guest lecture, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
December 1 and 2: Judith Sloan, performance of Yo Miss! at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
October 22 and 23: Warren Lehrer lectures and presents at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
October 14: Judith Sloan Crossing the BLVD presentation at New York Foundation for the Arts panel on Art, Social Justice, and Engaging Immigrant Communities.
October 3: Judith Sloan Crossing the BLVD presentation at The Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, NY
Sept. 29: Crossing the BLVD/Crossing the Cultural Divide, Performance with Judith Sloan, Lemon Andersen, Mahina Movement, AKIR, Hasan Salaam, Elise Knudson. LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LIC Queens, NY.
July 12: Judith Sloan performs Crossing the BLVD at New York Institute of Technology
July 11: Judith Sloan, keynote speaker at New York Society for Ethical Culture
April 30: Work-in-progress of Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide Vol 1, Nuyorican Poets Café. Directed by Michael Dinwiddie, Music Director Frank London.
April 16 and 23: Crossing the BLVD performance at Nuyorican Poets Café
April 7: Warren Lehrer, Keynote Speaker, The Morristown and Morris Township Library’s Third Annual Book Arts Series
March 25th: Judith Sloan on panel for Full Spectrum series, The Griots, Powerhouse Arena Books.
March 4, 5, 6: Work-in-progress of Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, Vol. 1, Nuyorican Poets Café. Directed by Michael Dinwiddie, Music Director Frank London.
February 23: Crossing the Cultural Divide, dialogue on prison and art with Anthony Papa and Immortal Technique. International High School at LaGuardia Community College.
February 8: Warren Lehrer – guest lecture, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
January 11: Judith Sloan’s documentary on Immortal Technique aired on WGBH/BBC/PRI’s THE WORLD, host Marco Werman. Click here: From Harlem to Kabul
December 6: Crossing the Cultural Divide event at Nuyorican Poets Café NYC with Kahlil Almustafa, Judith Sloan, Chenits Pettigrew, Warren Lehrer, Vanessa Hidary and more.
November 13: Warren Lehrer Guest Lecture, College of Arts and Humanities, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah
Warren Lehrer, 2009-2010 The Dean W. and Carol W. Hurst Artist/Scholar in Residence, College of Arts and Humanities, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah
October 24: Judith Sloan, work-in-progress Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, Vol. 1, Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY
October 12 through November 22: Crossing the BLVD Exhibition, Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah.
October 1-3: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan present lectures and conduct workshops, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
October 2: Judith Sloan performs Crossing the BLVD. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
September 28: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan, Featured Speakers, I and Thou: The Book as Community: The 15th Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, Rutgers University
September 15: EarSay benefit with guest artists including Frank London, Deb Margolin, Immortal Technique, Ken White, Judith Sloan, Warren Lehrer, honoring Tony Papa, 13th Street Theatre, New York City.
September 12: Work-in-progress of Judith Sloan’s Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, Vol. 1, Danny Simmons Gallery, Brooklyn NY. Directed by Michael Dinwiddie, performed live with Ken White and Luke Santy sound engineer.
August 11: Judith Sloan and Chen Lo and the Liberation Family, double bill at Bowery Poetry Club, NYC
May: Judith Sloan wins first place and first runner up in Missouri Review National Audio Competition. First Place, Dayenu written, produced and performed by Judith Sloan, music by Frank London and Judith Sloan. First Runner Up, What’s Your Status, written, produced and performed by Judith Sloan, music produced and performed by Taylor Rivelli.
April 24: Performance of Crossing the BLVD, Bennington College
April 13: Feature in New York Times on EarSay’s project with youth directed by Judith Sloan, Click to read Pain Into Performance
April 5: Crossing the BLVD/Crossing the Cultural Divide event at Queens Museum of Art, Queens NY. Multiple artists including Basya Schecter, Chenits Pettigrew, Editha Rosario, hosted by Judith Sloan.