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NYC OPEN CHOIR MOVEMENT 2017 – WILL BE HEARD

Dear friends,

The Workcenter is coming back to New York in order to realise a new artistic project, “Will Be Heard”, and continue the “NYC Open Choir Movement”!
Mario Biagini and the members of the Open Program will be at the Andrew Freedman Home, in the South Bronx, for a 6 weeks residency, from September 28th till November 19th.

For a start, we would like to invite you to our opening event – A Get Together with Song and Food – on the 1st of October, at 5pm at the Andrew Freedman Home. Many other events will follow and we attached a detailed schedule below.

This time in NYC, we continue our journey into territories that call us with growing urgency. We are coming to meet you again, or for the first time, to re-catch the threads of all our valuable connections in the Bronx and in New York, and to take further steps in our shared investigation of an encounter through art.

This Fall we will focus on the creation and performance of “Will Be Heard” – a performative event created in collaboration with individuals from the Bronx and its surroundings. Art, carried out with competence, artisanal quality, and an intelligent heart, has the potential to create new contexts and extraordinary moments – especially when undertaken as a group enterprise. That’s why we are looking for you. For your voice to sing with us. For your story to be told on the notes of a song that carries you. You and all your life experience to stand up and create something that has never been seen before. We have 6 weeks to create a performance and we invite you to develop material with us together and perform it at the end of this period.

If you are interested to join us, please write to nycprojects@theworkcenter.org or come and talk to us at one of our events.

We see theatre art as a way to create contexts of interaction. We propose an artwork that embraces individuals, their lives and cultural heritage, fostering a community and a concrete sense of mutual recognition and belonging, while at the same time reaching out and inviting perfect strangers into a shared space – to be together, to get to know, to meet without fear.

We are able to realise this project thanks to the support of the Andrew Freedman Home, the Mid-Bronx Senior Council, Stella Adler School of Acting, the NYC Seed Group, the One World Foundation, the Great Globe Foundation, and Incarcerated Nation.

This new phase of our work in New York will be done once again together with the NYC Seed Group which has accompanied the Open Program in our New York visits since 2014 and who is essential to the Open Choir Movement in NYC. As many of you know, the Open Choir, a free for all encounter through singing, is a fluid art form we are investigating these years: a simple participatory encounter, where everybody is welcome to take part.

For years we have been working on investigating borders: invisible and yet palpable barriers dividing individuals, peoples, cultures, classes, countries. We have extensively worked in the United States, and we still do, especially in the Bronx – across communities, with people from different walks of life, different origins, different communities. In the United States, we witness a new, or rather renewed, attack on the progress that has been made against discrimination and oppression, in a society that is still racially structured and divided by class and exploitation, ranging from prejudice to blunt racism, to racial profiling, police brutality and mass incarceration.

We know that music has the power to touch layers of the human being that are relatively unaffected by society, that are innocent and free, and which can help us to perceive directly ourselves and the others. We are looking for an immediate experience that has the power to transcend prejudice and hatred, giving space to a new and simple mutual perception, and to a new capacity of action.

Once again, we warmly invite you to join us for opening event – A Get Together with Song and Food – on the 1st of October, at 5pm. If you are interested in supporting us in the development of “Will be heard”, please write to us and share your desires and ideas, tell us in which way you could help us make this project alive.

The Andrew Freedman Home address is 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, and it is just outside the subway station 167St. on the B, D Lines.

Looking forward to meeting you soon! Inform your friends and neighbours, please, and bring them with you!

With our best wishes,

Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards.

 


FULL PROGRAM of ‘Will be Heard’


NYC OPEN CHOIR MOVEMENT 2017
OPEN PROGRAM AT THE ANDREW FREEDMAN HOME:
“Will Be Heard”
SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2017

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS DURING THE FALL RESIDENCY:

A GET-TOGETHER A Potluck Dinner accompanied by songs
at the Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx
October 1st, 5-7PM

OPEN CHOIRS
at the Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx
October 8th, 5-7PM;
October 29th, 5-7PM

at West-Park Presbyterian Church, 165 West 86th Street, 

October 17th, 7:30PM (Glitz & Grits Benefit Night)

October 18th, 7-9PM

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

The Hidden Sayings
at the Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx
October 7th, 7PM

Will Be Heard
at the Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx
November 3rd, 10th, 17th, 7PM

at West-Park Presbyterian Church, 165 West 86th Street,
November 11th, 4PM

at Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council, 900 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
November 4th, 7PM
November 18th, 6PM

at the BronxArtSpace, 305 E 140th St, Bronx, NY 10454
November 5th, 12th, 6PM

SINGING ENCOUNTERS
at St. Augustine Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 1512 Webster Ave., Bronx, NY 10457
October 8th, 9.15AM

at the Mott Haven Reformed Church
October 15th, 10AM

FREE SEMINARS
at the Andrew Freedman Home
October 15th, 5-7PM

CONFERENCE ON MASS INCARCERATION AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
at West-Park Presbyterian Church, 165 West 86th Street
November 11th, 6-8PM

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
www.theworkcenter.org and www.facebook.com/openprogram

CONTACT US:
nycprojects@theworkcenter.org


MORE ABOUT OUR PERFORMATIVE EVENTS OF THIS FALL:

OPEN CHOIRS

Open Choir is a free, public event, and everyone is welcome to participate. A core of artists leads participants and guests, both new and returning, through a flow of songs, looking for the possibility of a simple and alive kind of experience and interaction. Everyone is invited to join through dance and song, or to find his or her own way to support what happens. During these non-sectarian encounters through songs of the African diaspora participants of different backgrounds become co-authors of the meeting and together create an artwork that embraces all guests.
Open Program, together with many friends, collaborators and colleagues, follow the thread of a research on human contact as a way to mutual transformation. Singing, dancing and interacting are among the most fundamental elements of human behavior. They are at the core of a living culture.
We see culture not only as an item subject to the laws of markets but as a dynamic force adapting itself creatively in order to respond to specific historical circumstances. Open Program explores practically this potential of contact, action and transformation through the participatory event we call Open Choir.
Open Choir is a search for meaning, engaging questions about community, belonging, identity, diversity, culture, performance, interaction. Who are we when we could be together without fear?
Open Choir catalyzes a shared space of recognition. Even if only for a moment, across the boundaries masking us, who are we when we enter a moment of possible relatedness?
Open Choir challenges the habitual tendency to be inwardly passive in interactions. It is a simple opportunity to recognize each other without calculation. Who are we when we see each other?

THE HIDDEN SAYINGS AT THE ANDREW FREEDMAN HOME:

The Hidden Sayings is a work by the Open Program, in constant development, a creative exploration of the interaction between songs from the South of the United States, which belong to the tradition of the people deported from Africa and enslaved in a foreign land, and texts related to the very origins of Christianity, mainly translated from Coptic and originating in the region embracing Egypt, the Middle East, and Greece. The liturgical songs of the black tradition of the American South have qualities that open the possibility for re-discovering paths of transformation and contact. The Hidden Sayings interrogates texts and songs. What can be for us be nowadays the function of these songs and these texts, which are both, in different ways, at the roots of the civilization in which we live? What can be for us the nature of the processes that they stir and ignite? And what can be the sense of the event to which they give birth? The potential explored by The Hidden Sayings manifests through basic, simple and yet complex elements – action, contact, word, singing, dance. We have the intuition that the nature of this work may create conditions for an encounter to take place.


PROGRAM LOCATIONS

Andrew Freedman Home
1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452
D train to 167th Street

West-Park Presbyterian Church
165 W 86th St, New York, NY 10024

MID-BRONX SENIOR CITIZENS COUNCIL
900 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

BRONXARTSPACE
305 E 140th St, Bronx, NY 10454

St. Augustine Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church
1512 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10457

Mott Haven Reformed Church
350 E 146th St, Bronx, NY


OUR PARTNERS

Our research and creative endeavors in NYC are supported by a number of generous friends and colleagues throughout the world. We would like to thank to and highlighting the support of some of our major partners helping us bring forward the projects in New York:

The Andrew Freedman Home,
Mid-Bronx Senior Council,
Stella Adler School of Acting,
The NYC Seed Group,
One World Foundation,
Great Globe Foundation,
Incarcerated Nation,
West Park Presbyterian Church.

 www.theworkcenter.org
http://www.teatrodellatoscana.it/
https://andrewfreedmanhome.org/
http://greatglobefoundation.org/
http://www.westparkpresbyterian.org/
https://theseedgroupny.wordpress.com/
http://incarceratednation.org/
http://www.midbronx.org/
http://www.stellaadler.com/

 


 

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