THE JEROME L. GREENE PERFORMANCE SPACE
In its sixth season, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space continued to distinguish itself as an intimate setting where audiences could experience New York Public Radio’s award-winning shows, performances from world-renowned artists, and conversations covering a wide array of cultural topics. Average live attendance was at a high of 97% capacity this season, and The Greene Space’s online audience grew by 60% over the fiscal year.
In September 2014, The Greene Space offered a behind-the-scenes look at the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Disgraced before its opening on Broadway. Leonard Lopate, host of WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, led a conversation with author Ayad Akhtar and cast members Josh Radnor, Karen Pittman, and Hari Dhillon that explored the play’s exposition of race and identity in contemporary New York City. Watch here.
In November 2014, WQXR host Terrance McKnight led an evening of discussion previewing the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2014–2015 season at New York City Center. McKnight was joined by Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle and choreographer Matthew Rushing to explore the upcoming season, in particular the world premiere of Rushing’s Odetta. Watch here.
In February, ahead of the opening at the Palace Theatre of An American in Paris, The Greene Space presented an exclusive preview of the musical. Elliott Forrest hosted a conversation with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon; Rob Fisher, the production’s musical score adapter; and lead producer Stuart Oken. The event also featured songs from the musical performed live by cast members. Watch here.
The Greene Space inspired the WNYC newsroom series “Micropolis” with Arun Venugopal to bring its explorations of race and culture in New York City to live audiences in innovative ways. “Micropolis Live: Race and Culture in New York” included a seated family-style Indian dinner and discussion about the cultural significance of eating with one’s hands; a conversation about race, poverty and policy with leading African-American academics and journalists; a debate about racial humor featuring a diverse panel of young comedians; a talk about African-American men as style icons; and an exploration of the ways white people engage with race. “Micropolis Live” was presented as part of “The NEXT New York Conversation” signature series in The Greene Space.
New York City is home to over 600,000 Muslims, many with strong family ties to cultures rooted in Southeast Asia, North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. In the spring, “Muslim/American,” a series of interactive multimedia programs and intimate live performances in The Greene Space, explored intersections of and conflicts between religious, ethnic and cultural identities. The first event in the series was a conversation with The Daily Show’s “Senior Muslim Correspondent” Aasif Mandvi and a preview screening of his new web series, “Halal in the Family.” Other events included a halal dinner and discussion, a panel of Muslim fashion designers, and a night of performances and storytelling by local writers. The program included a diverse group of young artists, writers, chefs, comedians and journalists sharing experiences and expressions, in person and online.
Visit the WQXR section to see the robust roster of live musical events hosted in The Greene Space in Fiscal Year 2015.
MLK'S MARCH CONTINUES
WNYC marked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with two events in Fiscal Year 2015. On January 15, WNYC hosted an evening of music, poetry and dance in The Greene Space called “Movement: A Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” The event explored the role of movement in activism and featured dancer, choreographer, and visual artist Dister; poet and actress Liza Jessie Peterson; singer and activist Maya Azucena; and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, along with other artists.
On Sunday, January 18, The Apollo Theater was sold out for an exploration of life in America after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. As part of “Hear Our Voice, Count Our Votes: MLK’s March Continues,” WNYC’s Brian Lehrer and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry led engaging conversations featuring community leaders, commentators, campaigners and elected representatives. Featured guests included Congressman Charles Rangel, comedian and author Baratunde Thurston, activist Rita Bender, and urban revitalization strategist Majora Carter. The program also featured special performances by Alyson Williams and Refining Faith. This was WNYC’s ninth annual community event celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From May 5 to May 10, WNYC was back on stage at BAM for the second year of RadioLoveFest, a multiday festival featuring live tapings of shows such as Radiolab; Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me; Snap Judgment; and Death, Sex & Money. Fresh Air’s Terry Gross hosted a conversation with WTF’s Marc Maron and WNYC’s Brian Lehrer led a conversation on “Islamophobia.” WNYC’s John Schaefer hosted “Mexrrissey: Mexico Loves Morrissey,” and WQXR hosted a one-day Beethoven marathon with performances of all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. More than 14,000 tickets were sold to 22 events during the course of the festival.