Mayor Taveras Announces "6th Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture On Arts + Humanities" March 5th @ RISD Museum Of Art

Mayor Taveras Announces "6th Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture On Arts + Humanities" March 5th @ RISD Museum Of Art

PROVIDENCE, RI - Mayor Angel Taveras and the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism presented the 6th Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities on Wednesday, March 5th at the RISD Museum of Art, Metcalf Auditorium in the Chace Center.
Arlene Goldbard, activist and author of books including The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future and The Wave, imagined the possibilities for Providence in 20 years if its citizens understand how art and culture are essential to a sustainable future, and if they have the foresight to weave art's transformative power into every aspect of public and private life. Her talk included interludes with Providence artists Holly Ewald (visual arts), Sokeo Ros (dance/choreography), and Erik Ehn (playwriting/directing) telling their own stories of past inspiration and future vision, culminating in a conversation with audience members.

Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts + Humanities
The City of Providence's annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts & Humanities honors the late Claiborne Pell (1918-2009), who represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate from 1961-1997. He is best remembered for being a champion of education, the arts and humanities. Senator Pell was the main sponsor of the Pell Grant, a financial aid program for U.S. college students, and he played a major role in the establishment of both the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. Established in 2009, the event localizes Senator Pell's vision for our nation and invites the community to come together to celebrate the role of art, culture and creativity in the capital city's development.

The 6th Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts & Humanities was presented by the City of Providence in partnership with Community MusicWorks, Providence Youth Arts Collaborative, The Providence Athenaeum, with support from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and The Rhode Island Foundation.

Featured Speaker:

Arlene Goldbard
Activist, Speaker, Author

Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, consultant and cultural activist whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Find her blog, talks, and writings at. Her two newest books on art's public purpose--The Wave and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future were published in spring 2013. Prior books include New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, an anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been widely published. She has addressed academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe and provided advice to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers. She is President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center.


Holly Ewald
Visual Artist, Founder & Director of Urban Pond Procession

Holly Ewald increasingly merges her studio practice with facilitating community engagement. Ewald's work reexamines place-based histories and environmental legacies with an emphasis on social understanding and social justice. Her projects are designed to promote awareness of a site's history and environmental health, as well as residents' and visitors' current and future impact. Hands-on workshops with effected and interested groups and collaboration are key components of the projects. She often invites other artists as well as scholars and technicians to share in the planning and presentation of workshops or final exhibits. Her projects are designed to meet the interests and needs of a specific site and community. Ewald founded The Urban Pond Procession (UPP) to promote the health of urban ponds in Providence and Cranston. A revolving group of volunteer artists, scientists, educators, and concerned citizens facilitate workshops for all ages in which participants learn about the ponds' environmental and health issues while making creative props for an annual celebratory procession to raise further awareness and advocate for the ponds' clean-up, both building community and improving the environment.

Sokeo Ros
Dancer, Choreographer, Director of Hip-Hop at Everett Company Stage School

Sokeo Ros was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand, arriving in the United States at the age of three. As a sophomore in high school he began performing with the Carriage House Performers, a Providence-based hip-hop group. In 1998, Ros joined Everett as a creator and performer and has taught many master classes in universities throughout his touring experience. Ros also tours throughout New England in Everett's educational shows. He is the director of the hip-hop program at Everett's School and has taught at many Rhode Island institutions including Central Falls High School, Highlander School, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Ros also directs the hip-hop based troupe, Case Closed!, which he founded in 2004. Case Closed! has performed at venues across New England including the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Brown University and the Providence Performing Arts Center. Ros received a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts grant to develop a hip-hop theater piece, Culture Shock. Currently, he is a performer and creator of Everett's new work, BRAIN STORM, and developing the Case Closed! piece called "A Daydream in the Ghetto."

Erik Ehn
Playwright, Director, Head Of Playwriting & Professor at Brown University, Artistic Director of Tenderloin Opera Company

Erik Ehn's work includes The Saint Plays, No Time Like the Present, Wolf at the Door, Tailings, Beginner, and Ideas of Good and Evil. The Soulographie project is a series of 17 plays written over 20 years on the history of the US in the 20th Century from the point of view of its genocides (produced at La MaMa, NY, in November 2012). His works have been produced in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, New York, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Belgrade, and elsewhere. He conducts annual trips to Rwanda/Uganda, taking students and professionals in the field to study the history of these countries, and to explore the ways art is participating in recovery from violence. Ehn is the Artistic Director of Providence's Tenderloin Opera Company which generates new works of music-theater by, for, and about people who are homeless/homeless advocates. He is Artistic Associate of San Francisco's Theatre of Yugen, a graduate of New Dramatists, and former Dean of the CalArts School of Theater. Ehn currently serves as the Chair and Director of Writing for Performance, Brown University.

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