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Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:52

The Public Theater Announces Line-Up Announced For The Culture Capital Public Forum

The Public Theater
The Public Theater


The Culture Capital:
Is New York City Still A Home For Artists?

Monday, May 7

New York Magazine’s Kurt Andersen,
Justin Davidson, Amy Larocca, and Jerry Saltz
Discuss NYC’s Changing Arts Scene with
The Aspen Institute’s Damian Woetzel

Up-and-Coming Artists Gabriel Kahane,
Young Jean Lee, Kalup Linzy, and Emma Straub
Describe Living and Working in the City Now

This Public Forum Event Will Also Include a Performance
From the New Musical February House

April 4, 2012 – The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) will continue the 2011-2012 Public Forum season in May with The Culture Capital: Is New York City Still A Home For Artists? Presented in association with New York Magazine and the Aspen Institute Arts Program, this fascinating evening will feature a roundtable discussion with culture writers from New York Magazine about the changes they’ve seen in the city’s creative life. The second part of the evening will include a dynamic conversation about living and working in New York today with four of the city’s leading young artists. Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley will also talk about their new musical February House and perform a song from the show, which premieres at The Public in May.

{module ad_left_body}The Public Forum will take place on Monday, May 7 at 8 p.m. in the Newman Theater. Member tickets, priced at $20, are on sale now. Single tickets, priced at $25, go on sale Tuesday, April 17.

In their new musical, February House, Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley tell the story of a Brooklyn rowhouse shared in the 1940s by an extraordinary array of artists: W.H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Carson McCullers, and Gypsy Rose Lee. On May 7, the Public Forum will consider how the creative life of New York City has changed since then. Does the city continue to attract strange collections of artists that way? Have changes to the city under Mayor Bloomberg affected the work that gets produced, or the collaborations that occur? How does the city's creative life affect the rest of us?

To answer those questions, culture writers from New York Magazine (The Public Theater's media sponsor) will hold a provocative roundtable discussion. Novelist and Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen (contributing editor), Justin Davidson (classical music/architecture critic), Amy Larocca (fashion director), and Jerry Saltz (art critic) will exchange views on how the creative life of the city has changed. Damian Woetzel, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and now the Director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program, will moderate.

Then, four up-and-coming New York artists will talk about the pleasures and perils of living and working in the city's arts scene right now – and give us a glimpse of its future. The conversation will feature the celebrated young composer Gabriel Kahane; the writer/director Young Jean Lee, who was recently hailed as "the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation" by The New York Times; the visual and video artist Kalup Linzy, who was recently named a “Young Master” by New York Magazine; and the Brooklyn-based novelist and story writer Emma Straub, the author of the breakout story collection Other People We Married. The discussion will be led by Jeremy McCarter, the director of the Public Forum.

The evening will also feature a discussion about The Public’s upcoming musical, February House,with composer Gabriel Kahane and book writer Seth Bockley, as well as a special preview performance by Kahane.

KURT ANDERSEN is author of three novels – the critically acclaimed bestsellers Heyday and Turn of the Century, and True Believers, which will be published in July – as well as short stories, screenplays and work for the theater. He's also host of Studio 360, the Peabody Award-winning public radio program on culture and the arts, and a contributing editor for New York, Vanity Fair and Time magazines. He co-founded Spy magazine and served as editor-in-chief of New York.

SETH BOCKLEY wrote the book for February House. His plays include Ask Aunt Susan (featured at the Goodman’s New Stages Amplified series in November 2011); The Twins Would Like To Say (Dog & Pony); and Laika’s Coffin, Winter Pageant 2010, and Boneyard Prayer (Redmoon). His adaptations include Jon and CommComm (from shortstories by George Saunders) and directing credits include The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (SideshowTheater); Civilization (all you can eat) by JasonGrote (Clubbed Thumb); 1001 by Jason Grote;and Jon, winner of the 2008 Jeff Award for Best NewAdaptation (Collaboraction). He is a recipient ofTheater Communication Group’s “New Generations”and “On The Road” grants, and teaches at theUniversity of Chicago.

JUSTIN DAVIDSON has been the classical music and architecture critic at New York Magazine since 2007. Before that, he spent 12 years as classical music critic at Newsday, where he also wrote about architecture and was a regular commentator on cultural issues. He won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2002, and an American Society of Newspaper Editors criticism (ASNE) award. He has contributed to The New Yorker, W, Travel and Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and Salon, and is a regular columnist for the website emusic. He is a member of the faculty of the Design Criticism program at the School of Visual Arts and has also taught in the Goldring Arts Journalism Program of Syracuse University and the NEA’s annual Arts Journalism Institutes.

GABRIEL KAHANE wrote the music and lyrics for February House. His most recent recording as a singer-songwriter is Where are the Arms, which was released in 2011. As a composer of concert works, he has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, the Caramoor Festival, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, for whom he serves as Composer-in-Residence from 2011-2013 through a Music Alive! grant from Meet-the-Composer. He has performed and/or recorded with, among others, Sufjan Stevens, Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau, and composer/conductor John Adams. In October, he makes his Carnegie Hall solo debut in a concert devoted to his music. He was also a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2010 and 2011.

AMY LAROCCA was named Fashion Director at New York in July 2010, having previously been a contributing editor at the magazine, where she has worked since 2000, writing primarily on fashion. Larocca is the fashion authority of the magazine, overseeing the magazine’s two annual fashion issues, editing the biweekly Fashionables trend pieces in the Strategist section, and appearing as a regular voice on’s fashion blog, The Cut. She also continues to write for the magazine—on fashion and other subjects. During her time at the magazine Larocca has written memorable stories on Marc Jacobs (winning an award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York), Isabella Blow, Carine Roitfeld and Christian Lacroix, among many others.  She is the original author of the magazine’s internationally known “Look Book” street fashion feature (published as a book in 2007). Larocca graduated from Brown in 1997 and moved to Paris to assist the writer Francine du Plessix Gray on her biography of the Marquis de Sade. Back in New York the next year, she got a job as a writer at the New York Observer, covering everything from young politicos to Madonna's English accent and eventually taking over the fashion beat. She then moved to a fashion writing position at Vogue. Her work has also appeared in Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, Allure, Glamour, Esquire (UK), The Times of London, and The London Review of Books, among others.

YOUNG JEAN LEE is an OBIE award-winning playwright and director. She has toured her work over twenty cities around the world with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company. She is a member of New Dramatists and 13P and has an MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at Brooklyn College. She is currently under commission from Plan B/Paramount Pictures, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She was awarded a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2011 Guggenheim fellowship.

KALUP LINZY is a video and performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Linzy has been the recipient of numerous awards including a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, Creative Capital Foundation grant, a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, and an Art Matters Grant. Linzy's best-known work is a series of politically charged videos that satirize the conventions of the television soap opera. His work has been included in exhibitions at Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Prospect.1 New Orleans, 30 Americans, Rubell Family Collection, MoMA PS1 Greater New York, At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Hessel Museum of Art, and Bard College. His work is in the public collections at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art. In summer 2010, Linzy appeared on the long running ABC soap opera “General Hospital” alongside James Franco in a storyline that incorporated performance art.  In 2011, he was featured in the production Four Saints in Three Acts: An Opera Installation presented by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center.

JEREMY McCARTER is the director of the Public Forum. He edited the collection Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Essays and Provocations by Henry Fairlie (Yale, 2009) and previously wrote about culture and politics for Newsweek, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and other publications. He is at work on a book about World War I, to be published by Random House next year.

JERRY SALTZ has been the Senior Art Critic for New York Magazine since 2007. 
Before that, starting in 1998, he was Senior Art Critic for the Village Voice. He is a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and has had two volumes of criticism published. The 2007 winner of the Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism from the College Art Association, he has lectured widely including at Harvard, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and many others. He has taught at Columbia University, Yale, RISD, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among many others. In addition to having written for Frieze, Parkett, Art in America, and many other publications, he was recently ranked # 57 “Most Powerful Person in the Art World” by ArtReview Magazine – one ahead of Jasper Johns.

EMMA STRAUB is the author of the short story collection Other People We Married and the forthcoming novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Salon, The Paris Review Daily, and many other places. She also works as a bookseller at Brooklyn’s BookCourt.

DAMIAN WOETZEL has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership since retiring in 2008 from a 20-year career as Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. He is the director of Arts Programs for the Aspen Institute; the artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival; and the founding director of the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program. Woetzel holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and in 2010-11 he was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. In November of 2009, President Obama appointed Woetzel to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

THE ASPEN INSTITUTE ARTS PROGRAM was established to support and invigorate the arts in America, and to return the arts to the center of the Aspen Institute's "Great Conversation." Directed by Damian Woetzel, it brings together leading artists, arts managers, sponsors, government officials and patrons to generate, exchange, and develop ideas and policies to encourage vibrancy and dynamism in all artistic realms, and to enrich civic culture in ways only the arts can do.

NEW YORK MEDIA LLC is the parent company of the ground-breaking weekly New York Magazine, founded in 1968; the up-to-the-minute news and service website; the Grub Street network of food blogs; the entertainment and culture news site Vulture; and the twice-yearly New York Weddings magazine.

THE PUBLIC FORUM is a high-profile series of lectures, debates, and conversations, now in its second season. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, the Forum features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Waterston, and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of Kurt Andersen, Carl Bernstein, David Brooks, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Arianna Huffington, Bill Irwin, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Francine Prose, Stephen Sondheim, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan – plus performances by Anne Hathaway and Michael Cerveris, among others.

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 42 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.

TICKET INFORMATION Member tickets for The Culture Capital: Is New York City Still A Home For Artists? on Monday, May 7 at 8 p.m. are $20 and on sale now. Single tickets, priced at $25, go on sale Tuesday, April 17. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street and the box office number is (212) 967-7555. For more information, visit