Press Room

In Response to U.S. Election, National Sawdust Opens Its Doors Tomorrow For a Free Performance and Town Hall Discussion (Thursday, Nov 10)

Out of a desire to offer up a safe creative space for the community to discuss ideas, thoughts, and emotions stemming from yesterday’s presidential election, National Sawdust is offering free admission to tomorrow evening’s performance, celebrating the release of “Where Brooklyn At?”, a new book by National Sawdust’s author-in-residence, Roger Bonair-Agard. The poetry collection trains its sights on the impact of gentrification in Brookyln, as well as the author’s own origins and migrations. The performance will be followed by an open town hall discussion with artists and thinkers from the National Sawdust community, to reflect on and discuss the news of this week and the role and power of art. The panel is moderated by Paola Prestini, composer and Exective Director of National Sawdust; and includes Courtenay Casey, NS Director of Programming; Daniel Felsenfeld, composer and NS curator; Frances Lucerna, activist and founder of El Puente; Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President; and poet and activist Roger Bonair-Agard.

Paola Prestini released a statement about this special free event:

“This morning, we woke up to the news. I have always been proud to be a first generation American. This morning, as the confusion settled in, so did the resignation. For many of us, today is a hard day to wake up to. Whichever side you inhabit, divisiveness takes its toll on everyone. It is a tough thing to do, but in the light of this tremendous upset, we must reimagine our state. The place to do this begins at home.

“At National Sawdust, we have a home that can unite – that can make people feel like there is a place to come to during moments of despair.

“Let’s come together. This is a call to action to think of a way forward. We are all ears. Art can bring dignity to the darkest times.”

The release event will feature performances by the band Miyamoto is Black Enough (MiBE), with Bonair-Agard, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, drummer Sean Dixon, and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum (substituting for Andy Akiho for this event only). MiBE is a p(f)unk fusion band that builds on eclectic hard driving rhythms and the relentless energy of Bonair-Agard’s poems. Also on the program are performances by wordsmith and composer Abena Koomson and others.

About National Sawdust

Under the auspices of its Executive and Creative Director, composer Paola Prestini, National Sawdust offers comprehensive artistic support from commissioning to development, collaboration, performance, recording, and beyond. Since opening last fall, it has already established itself not only as a world-class performance and recording venue, but also as a premier destination for adventurous music lovers and performers of all genres. With programming “poised at the intersection of pop, jazz and classical, of America and the world” (New York Times), National Sawdust “already feels like an invaluable part of the New York music scene.” As the Village Voice put it: “Nothing quite like it exists in New York City, or anywhere else in the world. … Williamsburg’s bright new diamond National Sawdust will change the way modern music is made.”

To download high-resolution photos, click here.

#             #             #

© 21C Media Group, November 2016

Return to Press Room