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NYU Washington DC hosting events with artists from the DC Jazz Festival

Edmar CastañedaJack DeJohnette
Summer is here! Washington, DC starts rocking this month with the DC Jazz Festival. NYU has partnered with the festival to host Meet the Artist, a dialogue open to the public, where festival musicians talk about their craft.
Since 2005, the DC Jazz Festival organization has provided enriching and entertaining jazz performances and programs that introduce students and adults from all walks of life to jazz, our nation’s singular original art form. The festival presents a selection of the jazz genre’s most acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists, and provides enhanced exposure for the rich treasure trove of musicians from the Washington, DC area. Throughout the year, the DC Jazz Festival nourishes the community with free educational programs that extend our reach into underserved communities and enhance the quality of life for DC public and charter school students.
NYU Washington DC’s first Meet the Artist event will be Friday, June 12 at 12 noon with Edmar Castañeda. On Saturday, June 13 at 12 noon NYU Washington DC will host Jack DeJohnette. For more details on the artists and to register, please visit the NYU Washington DC events page: http://www.nyu.edu/global/global-academic-centers/washington-dc/nyu-washington–dc-events.html

NYU Florence conference and art exhibition on Black Portraiture(s)

Resignifications poster
Starting on May 28, 2015, NYU Florence hosted a unique cultural event, involving both an academic conference and a art exhibition – Black Portraitures II – Imaging the Black Body and Re-staging Histories and ReSignifications. Academics and artists from all around the world gathered in Florence for the opening weekend, and international media covered the event.
The conference and exhibition offer comparative perspectives on the historical and contemporary role played by photography, art, film, literature, and music in referencing the image of the black body in the West. It was held in Florence, Italy, in May 28-31, 2015—as a sequel to five conferences held over the past six years. The most recent conference in the series was held in Paris, France in January 2013, where it attracted over 400 attendees. As on those occasions, the sixth conference will bring together artists and scholars from an assortment of disciplines and practices, including art history, fashion, dance, theater, and studio art, in wide-ranging conversations about imaging the black body. In this context, “Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-staging Histories,” explores the impulses, ideas, and techniques undergirding the production of self-representation and desire, and the exchange of the gaze from the 19th century to the present day in fashion, film, art, and the archives.
In conjunction with the conference, the exhibition, ReSignifications, curated by New York University Professor Awam Amkpa, will be open May 30th to August 29th 2015. The exhibition is an inter-artistic re-staging of European 17-19th century objects of decorative arts loosely termed ‘Blackamoors’, through works that foreground African and African Diasporic bodies as heterogeneous subjects of history and culture. It includes the blackamoors alongside contemporary re-stagings of black African bodies as subjects of varieties of contemporary art by artists working in Europe, Africa and the Americas. ‘ReSignifications’ brings together these artists in a critical dialogue with artifacts that objectify black bodies, as well as those that portray black subjectivity. The exhibition will intersect with the conference papers in order to enhance the discussion among scholars, visual and performing artists, writers, historians, arts administrators, curators, legal scholars, students and the general public.
The First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, traveled to Florence to deliver remarks at the opening of the conference. As she spoke considered the intersection “of blackness and beauty” and the value of bolstering diversity in the media and at cultural institutions, a priority of her husband’s administration. The New York Times covered her participation:
In addition to coverage in the arts press, The Guardian published a piece about the event: