Compassion Arts Festival and the Culture & Animals Foundation present a weekend of song, artistry, discussion, and performances on our multifaceted relationships with the Earth and the animals with which we share it. All proceeds will go to the Culture & Animals Foundation, which provides grants for artists and scholars who wish to advance our understanding of and compassion for animals through intellectual and artistic expression.
10/21 Saturday Matinee
We open the festival with And the Hummingbird Says . . . , a five-part song-cycle about the late Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, composed by Mihoko Suzuki, with words by Martin Rowe and sound by Timothy Cramer, and sung by Elaine Lachica, Hai-Ting Chinn, Michael Steinberger, and Steven Moore.
10/21 Saturday Evening
Following an introductory talk about the late animal rights pioneer Tom Regan by environmental ethicist Dale Jamieson, artist and curator Jane O'Hara, singer-songwriter Joy Askew, and poet/author Gretchen Primack offer "Reflections on Beasts of Burden," a multi-arts reflection on animals in art, music, and speech. To round off the evening, Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur talks with publisher Martin Rowe about Captive, her compelling photographs of animals in zoos and aquaria.
10/22 Sunday Matinee
We begin with composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Harren and his string quartet offering a program on how we look more deeply at our relationships with other animals. Michael is followed by the showing of the 2017 award-winning documentary film, Kedi, about "stray" cats in Istanbul. Yanoula Athanassakis, cofounder of the NYU Environmental Humanities Series will then talk with exiled Turkish animal scholar Ayten Alkan about academic freedom, animals, and public space.
10/22 Sunday Evening
We begin with the live recording of Sanctuary, a radio play by John Yunker, and performed by John Frusciante, Michael Harren, Eric Milano, Jasmin Singer, and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House. Then, art curator Radhika Subramaniam presents "The Long and Curious Journey of Abu'l Abbas," the Asian elephant given to Emperor Charles the Great by Caliph Harun al-Rashid in the ninth century. Finally, we close the Festival with "Food Chain Re-Imagined," a multi-arts performance collage featuring songs from founder/director Ellie Sarty, with video, special guests and a presentation of readings by educator and poet-activist Donald Vincent, as well as other singers and performers.
For more information visit www.compassionartsfestival.com