Open Spectrum : Commissioning and Presenting in Confusing Times


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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.

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Open Spectrum