We are pleased to announce Vocalist Alicia Waller and Writer/Performer Judith Sloan have been RECOGNIZED WITH $5,000 CITY ARTISTS CORPS GRANT FROM NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS (NYFA) AND THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS (DCLA). In addition EarSay received funding from the THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS (DCLA) and by the New York State Council on the Arts NYSCA Restart NY: Rapid Live Performance Grant with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Please join us SUNDAY OCTOBER 3 @3pm for a free concert on the OUTDOOR STAGE AT the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica AvenueJamaica NY 11432. RSVP LINK BELOW!
The anthem from 1001 Voices – A Symphony for a New America (music Frank London text Judith Sloan) closes out the concert for Queens College Choral Society. Thanks to everyone involved, especially conductor James John and co-creator Warren Lehrer.
To see the full symphony excerpt go here:
To see the choir from Dec. 9, 2020 go here:
Exhibition now on view at Center for Book Arts January 16 through March 28, 2020
Center for Book Arts Foyer Gallery: 28 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
This exhibition explores Warren Lehrer’s approach to visualizing poetry and prose in multi-branched projects through books, typography, animation, performance, and collaboration.
Warren Lehrer: Books, Animation, Performance, Collaboration explores Lehrer’s approach to visualizing poetry and prose in multi-branched projects through books, typography, animation, performance, and collaboration. The centerpiece is Lehrer’s newest book/project, Five Oceans in a Teaspoon, a collaboration with poet/investigative journalist Dennis J Bernstein (Paper Crown Press, 2019). In addition to the Five Oceans in a Teaspoon book, the exhibit includes 27 prints of individual poems and a reel of a dozen animations. The exhibit also features some of Lehrer’s previous books and animations/films/performances that branch from them, including: Globalization: Preventing the Sameness of the World and clips from 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America—offshoots of Crossing the BLVD (W.W. Norton) co-authored with Judith Sloan; and animations and films used in Lehrer’s performances of his illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley (Goff Books). Lehrer and Bernstein’s first book/play FRENCH FRIES (1984, VSW), and other solo and collaborative bookworks provide further context.
Read about it in Art & Object:
When Word and Image are One: Warren Lehrer’s Visual Literature
2018 Indigo Design Award for 1001 Voices
Warren Lehrer wins a 2018 Indigo Design Award in Mix Media/Moving Image for 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America. It was one of four recipients given by the prestigious international design competition in the Motion Graphics category. The motion graphics runs throughout the 38 minute work and is an integral component of the multimedia symphony.
1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America
Composed by Frank London Libretto by Judith Sloan Projections by Warren Lehrer
1001 Voices: a Symphony for a New America is a three-movement symphony/oratorio scored for orchestra, chorus and visual projections. The multimedia work is about migration, transformation, and the search for home. It is a 21st century, musical/poetic expression of the challenges and aspirations of so many of today’s American cities and their inhabitants who hail from many different parts of the globe. It is inspired by stories of immigrants and refugees in Queens, NY—the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States. 1001 Voices serves as an antidote to the poisonous and flattening rhetoric about immigrants and refugees currently dividing the United States and the globe. 1001 Voices is a collaboration between Grammy-Award-winning composer, trumpeter, and Klezmatics band member Frank London, EarSay’s Judith Sloan and the animated projections designed by EarSay’s Warren Lehrer.
Originally commissioned and premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra, this work can performed by full orchestras and choirs as well as by smaller orchestras and contemporary music ensembles and as few as four vocalists. Scores are available upon request. If you’re interested in the possibility of performing this work or want more information, contact: [email protected]rsay.org.
Cast includes Sasha Boykin, Yael Reich, Bianca Vitale, Judith Sloan and Gabrielle Flores.Director Alexandra Aron. Music collaboration with Emily Wexler and Josh Valleau.
About the play: The title, It Can Happen Here, refers to the Sinclair Lewis novel, It Can’t Happen Here, which chronicled the fictitious election of a power-hungry politician who stirred up fear by promising a return to patriotism. For nine months, Sloan — award-winning playwright/actor and longtime chronicler of Queens (Crossing the BLVD, 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America) — talked with residents of Southeastern Queens about our hopes, fears, and aspirations. “What struck me over and over were stories of love and support that often fly under the radar in times of extreme duress. I decided to zoom in on conversations between women. Like the novel, It Can’t Happen Here, my play is inspired by real events,” says Sloan. In the play, Riva and Serena, two hairdressers from different generations and races, embark on a dream and create a sound studio in the basement of their hair salon in a Queens neighborhood. We hear humorous stories about their families, customers, and neighbors, as well as discussions of gentrification and our current political climate. Then, when a family member of one of their clients faces deportation, the women are confronted with a moral dilemma. BUY THE SINGLE HERE 99 cents
Alicia Waller works with EarSay on several projects. She is a New York City-based soprano, vocalist, and songwriter seeking to integrate a range of diverse musical traditions through a performance practice that centers around the female voice. To hear her is to encounter an incredibly versatile musician with a seemingly insatiable appetite for artistic exploration. She is, for example, a classically trained opera singer as well as an avid interpreter of a number of Latin and vernacular forms from around the world. (more…)
It Can Happen Here: Stories from “Imperfect Allies”
Hosted by writer/audio artist/actor Judith Sloan, with guest artists singer/actress Meah Pace, musician/performer Emily Wexler, choreographer/manager of Jamaica Performing Arts Center Courtney Ffrench, singer Priya Darshini, musician and artist Claire Marie Lim.
In a time of xenophobic national policies and a heightened discussion among progressives about issues of race, class, gender and ethnicity, this event aims to elicit and listen to stories that reveal ways that multi-ethnic, multi-racial collaborations address these issues with nuance and accountability. This live event reveals the behind-the scenes process of creating a play that deals with difficult dialogues. Audience members are encouraged to bring stories about dialogues that they have had that were able to bridge a conflict or address misunderstandings. How do we have open conversations in a climate of cancel culture?
Five Oceans in a Teaspoon – Release Date September 19, 2019
EarSay is delighted to announce the publication of Warren Lehrer and Dennis J Bernstein’s new book Five Oceans in a Teaspoon(Paper Crown Press, September 2019). Place your preorder now and reserve a seat for the Sept 27th NY Book Launch event at the Chelsea (Market) Wine Vault, 410 West 16th Street at Ninth Avenue. 7 pm. Free with a reservation:
“Brilliant and beautiful! Thank you for bringing in the new.”Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, author of The Color Purple.
“Bernstein and Lehrer—the Lennon and McCartney of viz-lit—have reunited at the height of their creative powers. Five Oceans in a Teaspoon speaks to the madness, vulnerability, aspiration and language of our time. The gutsiness and raw emotion of the writing, revelatory appeal of the visual compositions, and brevity of the form creates an intensely moving experiential journey.” Steven Heller, Design and Visual Culture Historian, author New York Times Book Review Visuals column
“In the long history of graphic word works, few, if any, have this range and repleteness…A completely virtuosic work.” Johanna Drucker Foremost Vis Lit scholar, Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies, UCLA
“Five Oceans in a Teaspoon re-envisions a poetry memoir via a textual kaleidoscope… Bernstein and Lehrer are the Rodgers and Hart of Visual Poetry.” Bob Holman Poet, poetry activist chronicler, founder: Bowery Poetry Club
Book Launch on September 27th. If you’re in the New York Area, please come celebrate the publication of Five Oceans in a Teaspoon at the NY Book Launch Performance/Reading Bash at Chelsea (Market) Wine Vault Event Space. Seating is Limited.
Hosted by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, with Warren Lehrer & Dennis J Bernstein and Special Guests Judith Sloan, J-Ha Hasegawa, Andrew Griffin, Alicia Waller & others.
New York Institute of Technology, School of Interdisciplinary Studies & Education
presents a multimedia theatrical performance of Crossing the BLVD followed by short excerpts from Sloan’s new work IT CAN HAPPEN HERE. Judith Sloan and guest actors in an evening of stories about migration, refuge and finding home.
Featured performers include:
Judith Sloan, Vick Krishna, Bianca Vitali, Sasha Boykin, Maria Sofia Hernandez, Meah Pace and Prince Jones
“…a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. The New York Times
Winner 2004 Brendan Gill Prize Municipal Art Society of NY
“Immigrant life as told in the intimate, rich, comic, ironic and sad stories so often seen but not heard in America’s big cities.” The Washington Post
“Crossing boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century. Electrifying!” Eve Ensler, author The Vagina Monologues
As immigration policy is hotly debated around the country, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America presents the human stories of why immigrants and refugees have migrated to the US and what their experiences have been since they came here pre- and post-9/11.
Hosted by Judith Sloan featuring performances by Alicia Waller, Bianca Vitale, Emily Wexler, Raffi Marhaba, Salomé Egas, Kimberly Morales, and excerpts from writing by youth from the International High School at LaGuardia Community College.
An evening of stories, songs, monologues about migration, refuge and finding home. (more…)
Judith Sloan one of 6 Women Honored at Jamaica Performing Arts Center
Join us on Saturday March 23rd at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.
Come at 4:30 for Cocktails and Conversation with some of the actors from It Can Happen Here to support the future of the work. Stay to see the concert at 7pm.
Vissi Dance Theater is honoring 6 recipients for outstanding service to our community in recognition of Women’s History Month: Petula Beckles, Kerri Edge, Tajuana Hamm, Maria James, Malikka Karteron and Judith Sloan.
In “It Can Happen Here,” two hairdressers-one black, one white-in an ever-changing neighborhood in Queens, embark on a new dream from their two-chair hair salon. They follow their passion for singing and nurturing a community in the midst of a national political climate of chaos, division and autocracy. These two women from different generations have lived next door to each other for 34 years and have worked together for over a decade. They confront the repressive political climate and gentrification with idiosyncrasies and humor, until one of their clients, facing a deportation crisis, presents them with a moral dilemma.
Thank you for coming to this event! Please sign up on the mailing list to find out about the future of the project. Join the mailing list
Queens Council on the Arts presented the first iteration of It Can Happen Here, a new play in development written by Artist Commissioning Program Awardee Judith Sloan.
Judith Sloan’s Artist Commissioning Program project, It Can Happen Here, is a reference to the Sinclair Lewis novel It Can’t Happen Here, which chronicled the fictitious election of a power-hungry politician who stirred up fear by promising a return to patriotism. For nine months Sloan — playwright/actor and longtime chronicler of Queens (Crossing the BLVD, 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America) — talked with residents of Southeastern Queens about our hopes, fears, and aspirations.
“What struck me over and over were stories of love and support that often fly under the radar in times of extreme duress. I decided to zoom in on conversations between women. Like the novel It Can’t Happen Here, my play is inspired by real events,” says Sloan.
In It Can Happen Here, two hairdressers—one black, one white— in an ever-changing neighborhood in Queens, embark on a new dream. They follow their passion for singing and nurturing a community in the midst of a national political climate of chaos, division and autocracy. Through their journey they reveal stories of their customers, family members and neighbors, including a DACA recipient, an immigration lawyer, and an elder who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.
Warren Lehrer help launch new Pratt Institute Book Arts Minor
On Wednesday April 18, 2018, Warren Lehrer presented a performance of A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley at Pratt Institute as the launch event for their new Book Arts Program.
In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading based on his illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Warren presents an overview of his protagonist’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s controversial author protagonist who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading, Lehrer presents an overview of Mobley’s life in books via many of his book covers, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of book excerpts.
Poetry in Windows Public Art Installation: 1001 Voices: An Anthem for a New America
This Window Exhibition was on view at CUNY School of Law from May 2017 through February 2018. We are currently seeking a new home for the installation.
ONE NIGHT performance of 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America
On Saturday December 16 at 8pm, Colden Auditorium Queens College
in collaboration with the Queens Choral Society and the Aaron Copland School of Music, 900 people came to see the full performance of 1001 Voices. Video excerpts coming soon.
Queens College Choral Society 77th Annual Winter Concert
Judith Sloan Awarded Commissioning Grant
Queens Council on the Arts announces four selected artists for the Inaugural Year of the Artist Commission Program. Judith Sloan hosts an event for her commission of a new work “IT CAN HAPPEN HERE” a new theatrical performance developed from gathering stories of anguish and defiance in the face of xenophobia and repression.
3 pm Saturday December 2nd Performance & Storytelling WorkshopYork College, Jamaica Queens. Free and Open to the Public. RSVP HERE
Sloan will present excerpts of the work in progress accompanied by Andrew Griffin on Viola.
Judith Sloan Performances
Saturday December 16 at 8pm
1001 Voices: A Symphony for a new America. A collaboration between EarSay and the Queens Choral Society and the Aaron Copland School of Music with 120 voice choir. Composed by Frank London, Libretto by Judith Sloan, Animations by Warren Lehrer. Saturday December 16, 2017 at Colden Auditorium.
Come celebrate fifteen years of EarSay’s Youth program in theatre and radio in an evening of performances featuring stories of immigrant youth from Queens New York! Performances about dreams, hopes, fears, risks and living in the most ethnically diverse county in the United States through poetry, music, monologues and song created and performed in collaboration with NYU students from Gallatin School of Inidividualized Study and students from the International High School at LaGuardia Community College.
Featuring singer Alicia Waller and musicians EarSay Youth Voices project includes Emily Wexler- assistant director. NYU students include Salome Egas, Cheryle Chong, Clayton Fejes, Eugenie Thompson and Chloe Troast. International High School students include: Luis Miguel Acero, Sarmistha Das, Gabriela Cruz, Milagros Duran Baez, Trneem Esmail, Juan Gutierrez Perez, Julio Hernandez, Mukarrambon Kasimova, Kenya Lopez, Bianlamar Marquez, Jermain Mercado, Tamara Morales, Masud Rana, David Reyeg, Iosifina Rutledge, Gabriela Snitko.
Tuesday November 1, at CUNY Law School Thursday September 29, 7pm Yo Miss! at WNYC’s The Greene Space, accompanied by Andrew Griffin. This event kicks off Brian Lehrer’s live event Election 2016 series. For four consecutive weeks, he’ll lead the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives. watch the video of the talkback here!
Warren Lehrer was honored by the Center for Book Arts in NYC “for his contribution to book arts and its connection to the broader world of contemporary art.”
“Every year The Center for Book Arts honors three important people who have and continue to inform the book arts field, such as curators, librarians, collectors, organizations, and, of course, artists.” Lehrer was recognized as one of the 2016 honorees at this year’s Center for Book Arts Gala Benefit on April 4th at the National Arts Club in NYC. The other honorees this year were May Castleberry, librarian at MoMA, and Peter Kraus, proprietor of Ursus Books.
Lehrer’s Center for Book Arts award describes him as a “Pioneer in visual literature and design authorship” and honors him for his “commitment to furthering the mission of The Center for Book Arts and championing the Art of the Book.”
On March 24 Warren Lehrer premiered the A LIFE IN BOOKS: Bleu Mobley Retrospective Exhibition at the O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston, Downtown. Based on Lehrer’s award-winning illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS, the exhibition presents itself as a retrospective of Bleu Mobley’s life work. It encompasses over 250 pieces, including all 101+ Bleu Mobley book jackets, accompanied by “original” catalogue descriptions, select interior pages, book-like objects, animations and video performances of book excerpts, and facsimiles of letters, articles, notebooks, and other artifacts that help tell the Bleu Mobley story.
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist—Bleu Mobley—a controversial author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books, each represented by its first-edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (if ethically challenged) visionary. A LIFE IN BOOKS explores the creative process of a writer/artist, as it reflects upon a half century of American/global events, and grapples with the future of the book as a medium, and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction.
A LIFE IN BOOKS is the winner of 9 Awards including: The 2015 International Book Award – Best New Fiction, The 2014 IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award for “Most Original Concept” (Independent Publisher), The 2014 Best New Fiction Award (USA Best Books), a Next Generation Indie Book Award, a National Indie Book Award, a CBAA Exhibition Prize, and a Print Magazine Regional Design Award
In his funny, thought provoking performance/readings, Warren Lehrer presents an overview of Bleu Mobley’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.
To inquire about booking the exhibition and/or Warren Lehrer’s performances and lectures contact [email protected]
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Lehrer recently completed a book of visual poetry in collaboration with the investigative journalist and poet Dennis Bernstein titled The Bullet That Pierced His Son’s Skull. Bernstein’s poems, Lehrer’s visualization. The book contains 254 poems, eight chapters, and runs 340 pages. To be published sometime next year. Stay tuned!
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