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The 2020 Prelude Festival, Sites of Revolution, explores the many ways in which revolutions are taking place today. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life while at the same time there has been a rise in protests challenging centuries-old white supremacy, white fragility and settler colonialism. In response to the rise of revolution and the changing of daily life, artists have adapted their work in innovative ways, redrawing the boundaries of their art forms and rethinking previously fundamental concepts such as “theatre,” “performance,” “live,” and “time-based.”
Prelude 2020, running October 20 to 30, will bring together artists, critics, activists, and producers from New York City and beyond to analyze how revolution has upended the world of art and creation. The festival will feature a wide array of new multimedia works, as well as a series of panels and other events that put artistic practice in conversation with critical discourse.
Since 2003, the annual Prelude Festival has given audiences a first look at new work and ideas by groundbreaking theatre and performance artists based in New York City, and this year’s installment continues that tradition.
To learn more, go to: https://preludenyc2020.com/schedule/ or https://www.facebook.com/PRELUDENYC/
Prelude 2020October 20 - 30, 2020
For the first time ever, the prestigious New Yorker Festival is going virtual. Running October 5 to 11, the festival features a slate of speakers from the worlds of art, science, politics, and culture.
Viewers in New York City can participate in the Dining In with The New Yorker Festival portion of the show, in which a curated dinner, created specially for the Festival by the Harlem-based chefs Pierre Thiam, of Teranga, and JJ Johnson, of FIELDTRIP, along with access to a streaming conversation about the collaboration, featuring the chefs and moderated by Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker’s food critic.
For those of you interested in film, The Queens Drive-In (47-01 111th St, Queens, NY 11368) will be showing the U.S. première of Regina King’s directorial début, One Night in Miami. One Night in Miami recounts a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights, involving Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. Followed by a virtual conversation with Regina King, the screenwriter Kemp Powers, and David Remnick. Tickets are available on the festival website.
The New Yorker Festival is ticketed so be sure to get your spot.
To learn more, go to: https://festival.newyorker.com/
The New Yorker FestivalOctober 5 - 11, 2020
NYC’s outdoor photo exhibition, Photoville, returns this fall. Running September 17 to November 29, exhibitions and events are spread across New York’s five boroughs. Also included are online sessions that feature panel discussions and informative workshops.
Online sessions include:
Themed photo collections on display include Constructing Equality from documentary photographer Roshni Khatri which looks at women employed in construction jobs. Sources of Self-Regard: Self-Portraits From Black Photographers Reflecting on America features self portraits from more than two dozen Black photographers. We Are Present: Portraits from the Pandemic and the Uprising from Laylah Amatullah Barrayn chronicles the seismic shifts in the America in the wake of Covid and the murder of George Floyd through portraits of Black Americans facing the double crisis of the pandemic, and the uprisings against injustice.
To learn more, go to: https://photoville.nyc/
September 17 - November 29, 2020Various Locations Across NYC
Pete Hamill Jr.
When I was a mere whippersnapper of a teen, I started writing — thinking it was a good way to bide my time until I figured out what I really want to do. Well, I’m still writing and still wondering whether I would ever get my answer.
Although I toyed with fiction, it was the real stuff that mattered to me. I consumed magazines and newspapers, so on one level, the hard boiled reporter became the epitome of a kind of writer I admired. There was a Broadway comedy, “The Front Page,” about tabloid newspaper reporters on the police beat. Written by former Chicago reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, it was first produced in 1928 and has been adapted for film several times. One of those films, "His Girl Friday” (directed by Howard Hawks), stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell as two quip-laden reporters who are clever and full of snappy patter. And this movie really established a journalist archetype.
When American journalist, novelist, essayist and editor Pete Hamill Jr. died on August 5, 2020, I really thought about that classic hard-boiled journalist that he was and I had admired. During his career as a New York City scribe, he captured the gritty side of NYC's politics and street life that only a writer who was there on the scene could do. He was an on-point columnist and editor for both the New York Post and The New York Daily News. Even though I hadn’t read all his books, he still exemplified that journalist archetype to me.
When I began my career, my first serious job — besides a little freelancing for publications such as Rolling Stone — I got a job at one of those traditional journalistic centers, the daily newspaper through my mentor Dale Stevens, one of those hard-boiled journalists I admired. I became the Pop Music Critic of the Cincinnati Post in the mid ‘70s. But really, I was its rock writer. My role models were not the more sedate Rolling Stone writer types, but rather the crazed, hard-charged gonzo crew who spewed the words on the pages of the Detroit-based Creem Magazine, which made fun of stars and supported the un-commercial cutting edge of the music scene: glam, punk, new wave, grunge and more.
So there I was, torn between the serious nature of journalism and the irreverence of being a rock critic. Coming out at the end of this August is “Creem: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine,” new documentary which traces the rise and fall of this mag, described by The New York Times as “the boundary-smashing music publication where [its greatest writer] Lester Bangs did some of his most famous work.”
The magazine’s convoluted arc and its lasting cultural impact is there, so it seems. As of yet, I haven’t seen the film and, in some ways, dread doing so because my time as a Creem editor was well after its Midwest glory days. When I was its Senior Editor, it was after it had been moved to NYC by errant money guys and was slicked up. My team tried to express the original gang’s irreverence and personalized story-telling. For our version of the zine, we even had Tim Leary write a piece for us and I worked with him on the story. But I miss those times and will eventually stare at a screen to relive them by seeing this movie.
But all these self-involved musings have a point beyond my crusty recollections. With us all hidden away, hunkered down, where will we find the next newsroom or collective crew who will dig into some kind of cultural investigation or social incitement? Maybe what sustains all these BLM protests going on throughout the country is not only the common political issues, but also the chance to reconnect with those who share the feelings of outrage and import. It once again is charged with a sense of community.
Whatever power there is in cyberspace, we still need the chance to get together, to drive forward common cultural concerns. Maybe when all this is over, we will build new communities that we all hunger to connect with — through both a journalist’s sense of mission and a Creem-style rock critic’s sense of crankiness.
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