Community Dialogues

An intimate conversational platform founded on the belief that cultural institutions can and should be a catalyst for societal transformation by participating in a world of ideas. Open Spectrum provides a space for community dialogue on the most vital issues facing our community today, engaging participants in active listening, constructive discourse and action planning.

Bill Chats-The man and the music

Bill T. Jones in conversation with Ashley Kahn and Reggie Workman about the lasting influence of John Coltrane and A Love Supreme. Ashley Kahn is an American music historian, journalist, producer, and author of the book A Love Supreme/The Creation of John Coltrane’s Classic Album. Reggie Workman is a legendary bassist, composer and ardent advocate for arts education. He has performed and recorded with the giants of jazz including John Coltrane.

Commissioning and Presenting in Confusing Times

In these confusing times, why and how do performing arts presenters and curators decide what work to present in their season? What is the interplay of determining factors – sociopolitical climate, curatorial vision, audience trends, diversity, the bottom line? To what extent do risks drive budgets? How is success measured? Join us for a candid and lively conversation with some of New York City’s most adventurous performing arts presenters and curators:

Judy Hussie-Taylor (Moderator)
Ms. Hussie-Taylor is Executive Director Danspace Project where she has developed a critically-acclaimed series, featured in The Sunday New York Times (Arts & Leisure Section, April 11, 2010), entitled the PLATFORMS which features artist curators and contexts for dance presenting. As part of this program she has developed a series of catalogues published by Danspace Project. She has recently been a participant at the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center’s Making Time symposium (April, 2012); was invited to give a series of three lectures on performance curation at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (spring, 2012); and was the curator of the acclaimed PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now celebrating the 50th anniversary of Judson Dance Theater. From 2008 – 2014 she participated in public presentations at the APAP, Dance USA, and NYS Dance Force convenings. She is currently advisor and faculty for the new Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, a program of Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University. In 2013 she was featured as one of New York’s “Movers and Shapers” by the New York Times (Arts & Leisure, September 20, 2013) and was conferred with a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.

Lili Chopra
Lili Chopra has been the Artistic Director of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) since 2006 and Executive Vice-President since 2016. She is the founder and co-curator of Crossing the Line, FIAF’s international arts festival, as well as Tilt Kids Festival, FIAF’s festival of new art for imaginative families. In addition to working with various festivals and independent artists as a curator and producer, she spent four years at New York Live Arts (formerly known as Dance Theater Workshop) as Associate Producer. She received her Master’s in Theater and Performing Arts History at Paris X University and her M.A. in Arts Administration at Columbia University.

Tim Griffin
Tim Griffin is executive director and chief curator of The Kitchen in New York, where he has organized exhibitions and performances by artists such as Chantal Akerman, Ed Atkins, Gretchen Bender, Joan Jonas, Ralph Lemon, Aki Sasamoto, and Danh Vo, among many others. He was editor of Artforum from 2003 to 2010. His writing has also appeared in Bomb and October, and he was awarded the Insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2015 for his essays on art. Griffin is also completing a volume on algorithms and culture.

Kamilah Forbes
Kamilah Forbes is a director/producer and the historic Apollo Theater’s executive producer. She was associate director of Raisin in the Sun (2014) among other Broadway shows, and is the recipient of an NAACP image Award and a Tony. Forbes is a co-founder of the urban arts non-profit Hi-Arts.

Jay Wegman
Jay Wegman is the Senior Director of NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. He previously served as Director of the Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement from 2006-2016. During his tenure, Abrons was awarded a 2014 OBIE Award for Innovative Excellence and a 2015 Bessie Award for Best Production. He also served as Canon for Liturgy and the Arts at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine from 1993-2003 and was a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. from 2003-2004. He was awarded the 2015 Franky Award for “making a long-term, extraordinary impact on contemporary theatre and performance in New York City.” Jay is a graduate of Yale University.


The Open Spectrum Community Dialogue Series provides space for reflection on the most vital issues facing communities today. Co-curated with Brian Tate|The Tate Group.

CREATIVE SUSTAINABILITY - How Do We Invest In Ourselves as Artists and Human Beings?

Do you take time to invest in yourself?  Do you have access to the resources, tools and advice you need to plan a sustainable life as an individual?

We live in ecosystem of interrelated platforms that support the creative process, but how is the artist considered beyond the production of art? Working from  a framework that honors the diversity and complexity of the field, we look to bring together a group of artists and shareholders involved in this ecosystem to discuss questions and ideas of sustainability.  We are looking to reevaluate the needs of artists as individuals. What does it mean to support artists (not just the art they make) with a system based in care? This is part of a series of discussions to identify the tools and resources available and missing that can help artists build more stable lives. This is part of a research process to gather and share information from artists with other stakeholders to help develop a new model that is flexible, adaptable, and at its core in service of artists as people, not just the product they make.

Discussion topics include: What does sustainability mean to you: financially, emotionally, artistically, otherwise? What are you lacking?  Do you consider long-term planning a possibility?

Co-presented by New York Live Arts, The Sustainability Project and Dance/NYC. Co-curated by Brian Tate|The Tate Group. Discussion moderated by David Thomson & Kate Watson-Wallace with panelists Kimberley Bartosik, artist, former arts administrator, Yanira Castro, artist, Walter Dundervill, artist, Annie-B Parson, artist, Sarah A.O. Rosner, artist, producer and manager, David Sheingold, Arts Consultant, and Kay Takeda, LMCC, VP Grants & Services.

BILL CHATS: Salman Rushdie
The second Bill Chats will feature Bill T. Jones in conversation with British Indian author and essayist Salman Rushdie.
What Is Our Moral Response to Mass Deportation?

What is our ethical responsibility in this crisis, as people who are committed to civil rights, human justice, and equal opportunity for all, not just a few? What is our response as New Yorkers who support the values of our Sanctuary City? And as Americans, who believe that clearing moral pathways for immigrants to reach and remain in our country is essential to America itself?

A talk featuring activists Amy Gottlieb and the Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz  who are linked by their relationship to activist Ravi Ragbir (Co-Founder/Executive Director, New Sanctuary Coalition) – a long-time permanent U.S. resident, husband, and father who was held for deportation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and recently released by a judge who called his detention “unnecessarily cruel.” 

Moderated by: Kavitha Rajagopalan
Musical Guest: Sandra Lilia Velasquez
Opening Remarks: Jessica L. Rofé

Co-curated with culture creator Brian Tate of The Tate Group, the Open Spectrum Community Dialogue series provides space for reflection on the most vital issues facing communities today. Open Spectrum offers an intimate conversational platform founded on the belief that cultural institutions can and should be a catalyst for societal transformation by participating in a world of ideas. 

Amy Gottlieb | Associate Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee  | ICE Detained My Husband for Being an Activist

Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz | Co-Founder, New Sanctuary Coalition

BILL CHATS - Rescheduled

Please check back here for updates.

New York Live Arts popular series, Bill Chats returns, featuring Bill T. Jones in dialogue with writers, scholars, visual artists and activists.

BILL CHATS: Wynton Marsalis

New York Live Arts popular series, Bill Chats returns, featuring Bill T. Jones in dialogue with writers, scholars, visual artists and activists.