WNYC Unveils The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space

Greene Space

New State-of-the-Art, Street-Level Studio and Performance Space in Hudson Square to Open Tuesday, April 28 with 10-Day Festival

Special Guests include SARAH JESSICA PARKER, PAUL KRUGMAN, LOU REED, CORNEL WEST, IRA GLASS, SONIA SANCHEZ, ETHEL STRING QUARTET, ROSIE PEREZ, JOY BEHAR, JASON MORAN, RICHARD GOODE, SIMONE DINNERSTEIN, and ELMO, among others. The Greene Space will present live radio shows, exclusive commissioned works, political and cultural conversations, audio theater productions, musical performances.

On Tuesday, April 28th, WNYC Radio will open the doors of its new street-level public space, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.

A multipurpose, multiplatform street-level studio and performance venue, THE GREENE SPACE represents a new dimension for WNYC, transforming the public radio station from an on-air and online destination into a cultural destination as well.

THE GREENE SPACE invites audiences to experience a range of presentations and productions – from live radio shows with WNYC hosts to exclusive commissioned works by emerging and established visual artists, writers and composers; from innovative audio theater to intimate musical performances; from conversations about the top political and social issues of the day to newsmaker interviews.

With the capacity to present works on multiple platforms – live and in person, on terrestrial radio, through webcasting and podcasting, via telecasting – THE GREENE SPACE will challenge radio hosts, commissioned artists and producers to break down barriers and create experimental and innovative works that blend audio, visual and digital programming.

Here are a couple more events of note from the opening festival (they are listed in detail after the jump):

Wednesday, April 29, 2-3pm
Soundcheck featuring Lou Reed, electro-rap singer Santigold, and the string quartet ETHEL

Tuesday, April 30, 7-11pm
Evening Music LIVE with Terrance McKnight and David Garland featuring performances by Simone Dinnerstein, Renè Pape, Gabriella Montero, John Zorn, Nico Muhly, Elliott Sharp, Jason Moran, Don Byron and Ute Lemper, among others.

Press release continued after the jump.

“The Greene Space perfectly expresses WNYC’s impulse to continue to innovate public radio and inspire people in new ways,” said Laura Walker, WNYC President and CEO. “As we produce live events and audio and video programming streetside on Varick Street, we love the fact New Yorkers will be able to see our hosts in action, participate in political dialogues, and enjoy cultural performances. We become a part of the New York City and Hudson Square community in a tangible, visible way. WNYC has tremendous assets: its people, its ethos, its technology, its listeners and the city itself. Finally we have a way to combine them all.”

“It is perhaps not a coincidence that ‘The Greene Space’ sounds like a place of growth,” said Indira Etwaroo, Executive Producer for The Greene Space, “because that’s just what it will be: a kind of hothouse for artists, thinkers, and newsmakers to reimagine and cultivate new ways to relay information, report news, and tell stories. Politics, culture, ideas””everything listeners associate with WNYC’s radio programming – will benefit from an environment designed to reflect the exquisite diversity of New York City and to reach through and amplify the collision of terrestrial radio, digital technology and live content.”

The Green Space will feature a number of signature initiatives, including

“¢ Live Radio Shows – Audiences will experience live radio in the making when they join beloved WNYC hosts including Brian Lehrer, Leonard Lopate, John Schaefer, Jonathan Schwartz, Terrance McKnight, and David Garland.

“¢ GreeneWorks Commissioning Series – The Greene Space invites the city’s poets, writers, musicians, and performing and visual artists to use the space as a unique multimedia laboratory, inspiring works that create an innovative mix of sounds, sights, and experiences.
GreeneWorks is supported, in part, by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

“¢ A New Theater of Sound – The Greene Space welcomes theater groups to use the multiplatform space to provoke a reimagining of audio theater for the 21st century. The initiative also includes “The Sound,” a high school residency that introduces teenagers to this century-old storytelling form and invites them to create their own audio plays.
New Theater of Sound is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

“¢ The NEXT New York Conversation – A conversation series with key tastemakers, newsmakers, and changemakers.

“¢ Partnerships with Cultural Institutions – The Greene Space will serve as a “home away from home” for curators, artists and visionaries from all five boroughs, inviting new audiences to experience WNYC.

The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space was made possible by a generous contribution from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Tuesday, April 28 – Friday, May 8

The Opening Festival will run from Tuesday, April 28 – Friday, May 8 and will feature a range of programming representative of The Greene Space’s mission and values. Information about ticketing is forthcoming.

OPENING NIGHT- “A Night of World Premieres”
Tuesday, April 28, 7pm
By invitation only

The Greene Space bursts onto the New York landscape with an explosion of experimentation and innovation as three platforms collide – radio, digital and live – to create a synergistic evening of sight, sound and experience. The concert, in its entirety, will be webcast on www.wnyc.org/thegreenespace.

The program will consist of the following:

“¢ Osvaldo Golijov will use the city of New York, and WNYC’s place in the city’s history, as inspiration for an original composition. Sounds from WNYC’s extensive archives, which date back to the station’s inception in 1924, will generate the rhythms of this world premiere. Performing the work will be a group of rising young artists, including Jay Flower, an avant-garde composer who uses laptop technology to create his unique pieces; Michael Ward-Bergeman, a hyper-accordionist (an accordion that also serves as a MIDI electronic controller); and ETHEL, the genre-bending NY string quartet renowned for questioning the boundaries between performer, audience, technology, and tradition.
The WNYC Radio commission by Osvaldo Golijov is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Cheswatyr Foundation.

“¢ Writer/activist Sonia Sanchez, recipient of the National Book Award, will perform an original poem, created specifically to inaugurate the space.

“¢ In partnership with Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts, Sarah Jessica Parker will be joined by other New York actors to read New York-centric literature by Helen Keller, Colum McCann, and a WNYC commission by Samantha Hunt in collaboration with A Public Space cultural journal.

“¢ Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Musical Director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will perform a work for solo violin.

“¢ Ayodele Casel, hailed by Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world today,” and electro-jazz cellist/composer Dana Leong, often referred to as “a hi-def Yo-Yo Ma,” will create a duet of tap and cello, rooted in the music of the classical canon.

“The Invisible Man”
Wednesday, April 29, 7-9pm

In 1897, H.G. Wells wrote about a man who believed he was on the cutting edge of science, and yet through science doomed himself to an existence of invisibility and madness. Now, in our technological age, the existential task of having one’s voice heard is ironically made all the more difficult by the ease through which so many voices can be heard. In a time of almost total “exposure,” perhaps a personal part of us has been lost.

Arthur Yorinks has re-imagined Wells’ masterpiece, presented here as the premiere work of A New Theater of Sound, a collaborative effort between The Greene Space and Yorinks Theater Group. While Yorinks’ adaptation sets the story in a 21st century New York City homeless shelter, the narrative retains its focus on the eternal human need to be not only seen, but to be heard. Michael Riesman, Director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, will give a rare live musical performance on piano, blending music from multiple Philip Glass compositions and live improvisation into a never-before-heard piece. Lighting design will be provided by Mark Stanley, resident lighting designer for the New York City Ballet. This evening’s performance is a preview; The Invisible Man will receive a full run in fall 2009.

“Fall of the City” Sunday, May 3, 4:30pm (dress rehearsal and behind-the-scenes tour)
Monday, May 4, 7pm (live broadcast and post-performance reception)

The Fall of the City, a 1937 CBS radio drama by Archibald MacLeish that starred Orson Welles and Burgess Meredith, is considered one of the most socially significant – and boldly experimental – works in the history of radio. Written in response to the rising tide of fascism in Europe, the production innovated key sound effects, some of which were ironically later employed by Joseph Goebbels in rallies he orchestrated for Adolph Hitler.

Time hailed the play as “the most ambitious radio play ever attempted in the US.” It went on to say, “Aside from the beauty of its speech and the power of its story, The Fall of the City proved to most listeners that the radio, which conveys only sound, is science’s gift to poetry and poetic drama.”

WNYC will present this still highly relevant work by revisiting it in its original context and re-presenting it in a production for our time.

Both evenings will begin with a short audio documentary, narrated by Radio Lab host Jad Abumrad, recounting the original broadcast, featuring interviews with film director Peter Bogdanovich, film and television critic Leonard Maltin, and Oxford Book of American Poetry editor David Lehman. Archival audio of MacLeish discussing his work as “a play about the way people lose their freedom” and clips from the original production are included as well. Directed and produced by Sarah Montague.

A dramatic restaging of this searing work will follow. As in the original broadcast, approximately 100 students from throughout New York City, including students from Brooklyn International High School who have participated in WNYC’s audio theater residency program, will serve as the play’s Greek chorus. Wendy and Lisa, the dynamic musical duo formerly of Prince and the Revolution, have composed an original soundscore. Play directed by Sarah Montague; Chorus directed by Arthur Yorinks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2-3pm

Downtown Manhattan has long been a hotbed for experimentation in music, from punk to classical minimalism. But some say that is less true today, and that the best New York music is coming out of Brooklyn. As WNYC opens a new performance space in Lower Manhattan, Soundcheck asks: What is the current sound of Downtown? Guests are the iconic downtown rocker and Grammy Award winner Lou Reed, electro-rap singer Santigold, and the string quartet ETHEL, which returns to present the radio premiere of the Golijov commission from Opening Night.

Evening Music LIVE with Terrance McKnight and David Garland
Tuesday, April 30, 7-11pm

Terrance McKnight and David Garland bring Evening Music to the stage, featuring live performances by some of the brightest lights of the classical, contemporary and new music scene today. Simone Dinnerstein will lead off the evening, followed by Renè Pape, Gabriella Montero, John Zorn, Nico Muhly, Elliott Sharp, Jason Moran, Don Byron and Ute Lemper, among others. The line-up reflects WNYC’s classical canon, featuring brilliant live performances of music from Adams, Bach, Carter, Debussy, all the way to Zorn.

The Brian Lehrer Show
Tuesday, May 5, 10am-Noon

In his inaugural Greene Space broadcast, Brian Lehrer will convene a conversation on the day’s biggest stories with both his in-studio and on-air audience. Lehrer will open with the story of our time – the economy — with Nobel Prize-winning Princeton University economist and columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman. Then, Lehrer will bring together artists, journalists, politicians, and economists for a Cinco de Mayo conversation about the state of Mexican-American relations and life for Mexicans and Mexican Americans in New York City. Maria Hinojosa, senior correspondent for NOW on PBS and anchor and managing editor of NPR’s Latino USA, will be on the panel; others TBD.

The Leonard Lopate Show
Wednesday, May 6, Noon-2pm

Leonard Lopate will be joined by some of his favorite New York luminaries. Actress Jill Clayburgh and Tony Award-winning playwright David Rabe will discuss the balancing act of being a creative couple, and the different kinds of support and feedback that are required; Joy Behar will dish on co-hosting The View, guest-hosting Larry King Live, and her recent turn to writing fiction; and Grammy Award-winning pianist Richard Goode, who has just released a recording of Beethoven’s complete piano concertos, will perform live

Radio Lab’s Audio-Visual Smackdown
Wednesday, May 6, 7pm

Radio Lab hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich will face off over which medium is superior — television or radio — with Ira Glass, whose program This American Life is both a radio show and TV show, acting as referee. In TV’s corner, ABC’s Robert Krulwich will hit hard with stunning video images that may have his opponent up against the ropes. But audio-savant Jad Abumrad won’t go down without a fight as he champions the power of sound with shining examples from radio’s longer, and arguably more innovative, history. Special guests from the worlds of film and music will tag team in with some examples of the things that the ears can do that the eyes only dream of (and vice versa), illustrating just how complicated the relationship between the two senses can be.

The Places That Bind: Examining Preservation and Culture in a Changing City
Thursday, May 7, 10am (tentative)

As part of an ongoing effort to deepen our engagement with New York’s diverse communities, WNYC is hosting a hyper-local, audience-driven discussion about the spaces that matter to neighborhoods and communities. Rosie Perez will moderate a conversation featuring Landmark Preservation Commission Chair Bob Tierney, along with other voices from the preservation, arts and architecture community, on how to honor the past while promoting progress, especially in turbulent times. Audience members will have the opportunity to “visit” some of the special places under discussion through video, photography and conversation with people who use these spaces every day.

Jazz Loft Live: A Preview Performance Chat
Thursday, May 7, 7pm

In a loft at 821 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, during the late “˜50s and early “˜60s, jazz musicians gathered for nightly jam sessions. WNYC, in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, is at work on the Jazz Loft Radio Project, a 10-part series using a treasure trove of tapes made in the loft by photographer and loft resident W. Eugene Smith.

“Jazz Loft Live” will bring together musicians from that magical time — who haven’t performed together in decades — including pianist Dick Katz, vibraphonist Teddy Charles, bass player Bill Crow and drummer Ron Free, to play in the exciting, spontaneous and free-wheeling style that characterized the Jazz Loft era. Project Director Sam Stephenson of CDS at Duke and Senior Producer Sara Fishko of WNYC, will also preview the upcoming Jazz Loft Project, sharing Smith’s photographs and excerpts of the audio tapes. A Q & A with the musicians will round out the evening.

“The Inaugural Talk”
Tuesday, May 5, 7-8:30pm

Dr. Cornel West, recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees and an American Book Award, and Dr. Eddie Glaude, hailed by West as “the towering public intellectual of his generation,” launch The Next New York Conversation Series, which identifies and furthers the dialogues that are reshaping, redefining, and re-imagining our world in the 21st century? These two luminaries will engage the audience in a candid exchange surrounding the ideals of democracy, the dynamics of race, and the historic Presidency of Barack Obama.

“Voices from the Boroughs”
May 8-May 23

The Greene Space’s first visual arts exhibition celebrates New York City’s artistic diversity with works by emerging and experienced artists from all five boroughs.

Curated and produced by Danny Simmons and Brian Tate. Simmons is a painter, poet, novelist, philanthropist, and gallery owner, as well as creator of HBO’s Def Poetry, and co-founder/Vice Chair of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Tate is a marketing strategist, singer-songwriter, and event producer, as well as creator/co-founder of the Brooklyn New Music Festival, the Dark Harvest Film Festival, the Postmillennial Black Madonna exhibition, and the Full Spectrum panel discussion series.

The First ‘First Friday’
Friday, May 1

The Greene Space kicks off its monthly series of First Fridays mixers. It’s Friday, so WNYC will invite listeners to drop in, let down their hair, sip a complimentary drink, and mingle with WNYC hosts and fellow listeners.

5:30pm: The Greene Space kicks off Cinco de Mayo on El Primero de Mayo in the tradition of the holiday with food, music and dancing. WNYC’s Hudson Square neighbor Sounds of Brazil (SOBs) joins us to celebrate!

9pm: Richard Hake, local anchor of The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji, and Patrik Henry Bass, Essence magazine Senior Editor and The Takeaway contributor, will emcee, while award-winning vocalist Maya Azucena provides the dancetrack. Azucena has developed a dedicated international following with her classic soul voice and her progressive music, which bridges soul, hip-hop, world and dance music.

Community Day
Saturday, May 2, time TBD

WNYC is hosting a housewarming party, and all are invited! Meet WNYC on air talent, check out The Greene Space and surrounding Hudson Square neighborhood, and enjoy a performance by our favorite fuzzy friend, Elmo.

***Additional programming notes forthcoming***

One Comment

  1. Looking forward to visiting another Urban Oasis. See you there!

    Kenneth R.S.T. Vick
    Tel: 646.418.0993
    740 West End Ave.,#53a
    NY, NY 10025

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