The Park Avenue Armory has joined forces with National Black Theatre to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the 19th amendment in a big way.
The organizations have tapped ten major institutions—The Apollo Theater; TheJuilliard School; La MaMa Experimental Theatre Company; The Laundromat Project; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of the Moving Image; National Sawdust; New York University (Department of Photography and Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts; Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity and Strategic Innovation; and Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture); and Urban Bush Women—to each commission 10 self-identified women to create works to mark the centennial of women’s suffrage.
The initiative, 100 Years |100 Women, will consist of two events: one on February 15th, part of the Armory’s annual “Culture in a Changing America” symposium, and the second on May 16th. The events are part of “SOUL JOURNEY: NBT Beyond Walls,” the historic theater’s 51st anniversary season.
“Bringing together some of our city’s most vibrant cultural organizations for this exciting initiative amplifies the Armory’s history of commissioning artists and convening creatives and thought leaders to engage around topical and challenging issues. Through the Interrogations of Form series and other institutional programs like 100 Years | 100 Women, the Armory continues to shine a light on a diversity of narratives and to provide a space for artists and thinkers to explore pressing issues shaping our society,” said Rebecca Robertson, Founding President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory. “As we look back upon this critical moment in our nation’s history, supporting the creation of new work by some of the most innovative women artists working today allows us to creatively explore where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and the work that remains to be done.”
“We are honored to work with the Park Avenue Armory to present these events which stand at the nexus of gender, identity, and representation as it helps us continue a conversation our founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, and her contemporaries were part of more than fifty years ago,” said Sade Lythcott, CEO of National Black Theatre.
Part I of 100 Years | 100 Women in February will include conversations, performances across artistic genres, and intimate salons reflecting on womanhood, citizenship, intersectional feminism, and the myriad ways in which artists navigate these issues. The event will feature notable participants across a spectrum of artistic, cultural, scholarly, and political disciplines including Tomie Arai, co-founder of The Chinatown Art Brigade; visual artists Vinnie Bagwell, Zoë Buckman, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Makeba Rainey; former Director of Engagement for the Hillary for America campaign De’Ara Balenger; writer, activist, and filmmaker Jennifer Baumgardner; Gracie Mansion and Baltimore Museum of Art curator Jessica Bell Brown; spoken word artist Caridad “La Bruja” de la Luz; Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Urban Science and Planning at MIT; performance artist Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi; Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Executive Director, Elisa Monte Dance; Kaiama L. Glover, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of French & Africana Studies at Barnard College; Professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Founding Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College; ACLU President Susan N. Herman; Andrea Jenkins, Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council; Anjali Kumar, co-founder of The Justice Dept; Kate Lemay, historian at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC; Sade Lythcott, CEO, National Black Theatre; Carol Lynn Maillard, a founding member of Sweet Honey and the Rock a cappella group; Premilla Nadasen, Professor of History at Barnard College; musician and composer Martha Redbone; Samantha Speis and Chanon Judson, co-Artistic Directors, Urban Bush Women; feminist critic and Columbia University professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective founder Murielle Borst Tarrant; interdisciplinary theatre/film-maker and community organizer Mei Ann Teo; actresses Kathleen Turner, Laila Robins, Michelle Hurst, and Sofiya Cheyenne; theater artist Jillian Walker; Theara J. Ward, Program Associate, Dance Theater of Harlem; Standing Rock activist Eryn Wise; and many more to be announced.
Part I of 100 Years | 100 Women will conclude with the announcement of the one hundred commissioned artists, whose work will be presented at Part II, a day-long celebration in May. The commissioned projects—spanning visual arts, music, dance, film, photography, and performance—will be showcased in the Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall and historic rooms. More details on Part II will be announced at a later date.
100 Years | 100 Women is part of the Armory’s Interrogations of Form conversation series, which unites artists, thought leaders, and social trailblazers for creative, multidimensional explorations of today’s social and cultural landscape. Other recent Armory-hosted convenings have included Theaster Gates’ “Black Artists Retreat 2019: Sonic Imagination”, which brought together over 300 black artists and allies for a weekend of conversations, performances, and reflections; a Lenape Pow Wow in 2018, the first gathering of Lenape leaders on Manhattan Island since the 1700s; and 2017’s “The Shape of Things,” a day-long creative reflection on the political and social climate in America, curated by former Armory Artist-in-Residence Carrie Mae Weems.
Tickets for the February symposium. Tickets for the May celebration will go on sale at a later date.