Sunday June 23, 6 PM
Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC
reservations suggested 212-989-9319
Prepare to experience multicultural rites of passage from our Egyptian, Black-Italian, Jewish, Black, and White all women EarSay presenters. They will intersect social and economic identities with fine wine and collard greens by way of the Nile. Sit back, receive and redeem!
Judith Sloan, performing from new work “Anecdotal Evidence: Notes From an Evolutionary Activist”
Aisha Sabatini Sloan, reading from her book “The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White”
Arianne Zwartjes reading from her book “Detailing Trauma; A Poetic Anatomy”
Catherine Hanna along with her sister Laura Hanna, performing from “Second Star to the Right”, an autobiographical performance.
Cyd Charisse Fulton, performing new poems
Live musical accompaniment by Miwi LaLupa
June 26th, 2013 – 6:30 PM, New Haven, New Haven Museum, Connecticut Humanities Council Event
Monday, July 15, 7 PM, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Manhattan BUY TICKETS
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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
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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.
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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
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Coming this October: Warren Lehrer’s 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. The 380 page, 4 color novel will be published this fall by Goff Books, a new imprint ORO Editions that will feature works of Visual Literature and books on Art, Design, and Popular Culture.
Read about the book and project in The Atlantic
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Stay tuned for updates on the NY book launch/performance, tour dates, exhibition, and enhanced e-book edition.
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