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Robert Giannetti and Cynthia Pegado lead a `Sensing Resonance` workshop at Artpark.
Robert Giannetti and Cynthia Pegado lead a "Sensing Resonance" workshop at Artpark.

Artpark Bridges Festival to celebrate community connections


Tue, Aug 8th 2023 11:15 am

Artpark & Company has announced a new, free festival celebrating its connections to the Western New York community and visiting artists from around the world.

Set for Aug. 19, the Artpark Bridges Festival will highlight ongoing collaboration with community groups and organizations including People Inc., Empower WNY, Buffalo Parkinson’s, Artisans Edge and Buffalo Workplace Literacy Center, in collaboration with regional and international artists in residence at Artpark. The festival will present new work in progress by Jon Lehrer Dance Company (New York City), David Glass (U.K.), Sketchbook Theater (NYC), Kateřina Šedá (Czech Republic), Plasticiens Volants (France), local and regional poets and writers. It is designed to engage the public in the creative practice through informal conversations.

Artpark & Company President Sonia Clark said, “Artpark was founded on the principle that public art is a public good, and the belief that our natural surroundings in Western New York power experiences that could only happen here. We’re proud to welcome everyone to experience and celebrate the Artpark Bridges program, which reaches out into the community and ensures that all have access to our extraordinary setting and the art created and performed here every day.”

Residents Present New Work in Progress, Discuss Their Practice

Many of the performances on Aug. 19 will include work that resident artists and groups developed in partnership with Artpark Bridges and participating organizations. 

Jon Lehrer Dance Company, now in its sixth annual creative residency at Artpark, will present a new work developed in partnership with the local Parkinson’s community initiated through Artpark Bridges’ ongoing relationship with the Parkinson’s Foundation. Performed on the outdoor Emerald Grove Stage, this performance will also include favorites from JLDC’s world-renowned repertory.

Glass, a U.K.-based theater artist and founder of the David Glass ensemble, in collaboration with New York City-based Sketchbook Theatre, will present work resulting from “Alchemy of the Extraordinary,” a devised theater and creative practice workshop for professional and community actors.

A press release noted, “Since 1979, David Glass has been performing and creating across the world, and then in 1990 he established the David Glass Ensemble as a pioneering physical, devised and applied theater company. Creative learning and engagement with artists and audiences around the world is central to the company's ethos, while vivid, celebratory storytelling sits at the heart of the company's values and process.”

This is the second residency of Glass with Artpark and the first for the Sketchbook Theater, whose mission is “rooted in the spirit of artists coming together to make work that values uncompromising honesty, an enthusiastic commitment to prod and question, and a shared respect for the power of thought and the complicated beauty of the human heart.”

Anyone who wishes to join the week-long workshop with Glass is invited to email [email protected] to get more information and/or sign up.

Poet and literary resident Robert Giannetti and Artpark Bridges Director Cynthia Pegado and Artpark Bridges workshop participants will present new work based on “Sensing Resonance.” The series of outdoor poetry workshops and performances is open to the general public and members of the community, and features writing from perspectives of sight impairment, progressive neurological disease, or mental health wellness challenges. It is in collaboration with local human service agencies.

Julianne Neely, a poet from Artpark’s inaugural literary residency, will debut an audiovisual installation, “Deepfake Translation Poems,” inspired by Katie Holten’s “Language of Trees” and tree workshop, created this summer to be performed at Artpark.

Plasticiens Volants, a 47-year-old performance troupe based in Tolouse, France, presented three North American premieres at Artpark to date, and is now in residence at Artpark during this week in partnership with the Seneca Art and Cultural Center of the Ganondagan, Artpark and Rochester Fringe Festival, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Join the artistic leadership team – Marc Beaureau, Jean-Philippe Hemery, Marc Etieve and Fanny Anger Abadie – in a conversation about the French company’s history, work and creative process.

Šedá, a social practice artist from the Czech Republic in residence at Artpark funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, is working on a project that involves engaging people of Lewiston and the area about their experiences at Artpark. The work is curated by Claire Schneider’s CS1 Cultural Projects.

The press release explained, “Šedá designs experiences for communities that create and foster connections. Šedá begins with research that explores relationships between people, places and issues within a community. Šedá then devises collaborative actions (such as games, activities or competitions) that alter how individuals within the community perceive social constructs; these can range from synchronizing the routines of local people, asking neighbors to draw views from their front doors; or inventing a holiday for a small village to celebrate together. Join Kateřina in a conversation to create a Lewiston project!”

Schedule of Performances

√ 4-5:30 p.m., Robert Giannetti and Cynthia Pegado present “Sensing Resonance”

4-5 p.m., Kateřina Šedá will lead a conversation with community at the picnic table by Murmuration (facing the Niagara River)

√ 4-5 p.m., Plasticiens Volants will discuss their creation process in a conversation at the picnic table by the Mainstage Theater

√ 4-5 p.m., Resident Poet Julianne Neely will present “DeepfakeTranslation Poems” at a location TBD

√ 5:30-6:30 p.m., David Glass/Artpark Bridges will perform with Sketchbook Theater at the Emerald Grove Stage

√ 6:45-8 p.m., Lehrer Dance Company with Artpark Bridges

Light snacks and beverages will be available at the ArtBar.

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