ANNENBERG CENTER @ HOME / By / Madeline Bell

Reflection: Art Is How We Justify Our Existence

Madeline Bell  ·  Posted June 16, 2020

Special Features


Photo by Emilio Parra Doiztua / The New York Times
One of the most beautiful things about art is how it brings people together. Whether we see a concert, visit the museum or take a dance class, we expect to interact with people at every one of those experiences. But what happens when the communal element of art is taken away from us due to a global health crisis? And what role does art play when issues of systemic racism and social justice leave us feeling even more distanced and divided as people?

As international art dealer David Zwirner puts it, “While art can reach into the darkest places of the human psyche, it does so to help us understand and hopefully transcend. Art lifts us up. In the end, I think its mission is simply to make us better people.” In other words, the messages and meaning behind art are how we appreciate our differences as humans. Art is both literally and figuratively our canvas for expression and contemplation. We use visuals, music, dance or whatever art form speaks to us most to depict what words alone cannot. In doing so, we make art that can be poignant, controversial, insightful or whatever we want it to be. Read more...

The Crossing's new album CARTHAGE features music by James Primosch

Madeline Bell  ·  Posted May 26, 2020

New Music Annenberg Center Recommends


The Crossing @ Christmas at the Church of the Holy Trinity
Photo by Ryan Collerd
We were thrilled to partner with The Crossing this season as our choir-in-residence, and deeply disappointed when their residency was cut short due to COVID-19. We presented The Crossing @ Christmas in December, followed by the unforgettable Knee Plays in February as part of our three-week #GLASSFEST honoring Philip Glass. We then closed our doors just days before the choir’s final residency performance of the season, the world premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua with cellist Maya Beiser. While we had hoped to reschedule the performance, we ultimately had to cancel it as the pandemic continued to unfold.

Nevertheless, The Crossing, like many performing ensembles, has carried on in the virtual landscape. Every morning since March 16, Rising with The Crossing has provided us with daily selections from the choir’s best performances and recordings. Read more...

Artists lead a national conversation in the Abbey Theatre's Dear Ireland video series

Madeline Bell  ·  Posted May 20, 2020

Theatre Annenberg Center Recommends


The Abbey Theatre's Two Pints sold out the Blarney Stone last season.
Dublin’s historic Abbey Theatre is an Annenberg Center favorite that we have welcomed to our stages on multiple occasions. Most recently we presented the sold-out Philadelphia premiere of the Abbey’s hilarious Two Pints at our local pub, the Blarney Stone. Now, in spite of theatre closures and cancelled performances across the globe, the Abbey stands fast by its mission to tell the Irish story through art with its candid new video series, Dear Ireland.

The Abbey is widely recognized for its transformative artistry, creating works that are provocative and reflect many different facets of Irish society. Dear Ireland was created with the Irish theatre arts community in mind, employing 50 Irish playwrights to each write a monologue and then nominate an actor to video-record it at home in social isolation. Read more...

Stream Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers' Faith Project/The Door for a limited time

Madeline Bell  ·  Posted May 13, 2020

Dance Annenberg Center Recommends

This weekend, we recommend streaming Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers’ (KYL/D) 2018 original dance work Faith Project/The Door. From Saturday at 9 AM to Sunday at 11:30 PM, enjoy free access to KYL/D’s full-length performance that took place at the Esperanza Arts Center on Mar 6 of this year.

We chose to recommend Faith Project this week for several reasons. First, we had the pleasure of presenting KYL/D just last season as part of our dance series. The company performed an exciting mix of past and present favorites as well as the world premiere of Spring 101, a piece celebrating Kun-Yang Lin’s 101st choreographic work. Lin’s signature hybrid of Asian philosophies and Western culture was truly an 18/19 season highlight and we can always count on KYL/D for performances of beauty and grace. Read more...


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