Middletown, CT —Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts announces the highlights of their 2020 fall season, including virtual performances, artist talks, workshops, video screenings, a sculpture, film, and virtual studio tour.

“We are proud to share a preview of our fall season, and announce that all virtual activities open to the general public are free of charge,” said Jennifer Calienes, Interim Director of the Center for the Arts. “We look forward to the day we can all return together in person on the Wesleyan campus.”

“We are thrilled to present a robust virtual performing arts season that centers around visionary artists whose work engages necessary and urgent conversation around civic activism, racial and social justice, labor and class, the upcoming election, the pandemic, and Black Lives Matter,” said Fiona Coffey, Associate Director for Programming and Performing Arts. “Coming from music, dance, theater, and interdisciplinary creative practices, these artists offer intimate and powerful entry points for our students and wider audiences to explore the historic and rapidly changing environment we find ourselves in today.”

“We’re excited to share the upcoming exhibition, ‘A SCULPTURE, A FILM & SIX VIDEOS,’ which has been in the works for some time,” said Benjamin Chaffee, Associate Director of Visual Arts. “The show feels even more relevant today as our experience of ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us is increasingly mediated by projections and through screens. In the era of a global pandemic and the global response to racial uprisings in the U.S., these artists present possibilities for how to organize time–from broadening the scope of the present to collapsing it with the past. This includes encountering death, and the beliefs we engage to build an image of the future.”

Reservations for fall events at the Center for the Arts will be available starting Friday, August 28, 2020 online at https://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice. Programs, artists, and dates are subject to change without notice.

The Era Footwork Crew: Dance Workshop/Lab Session and Conversation with 860MVMNT
Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 7pm
FREE! RSVP required for access to virtual event.

“The Era has taken footwork back for Chicago.”
–Chicago Tribune

Pioneers of the battle dance known as Chicago footwork since 2014, The Era Footwork Crew will teach the basics of the style to dancers of all backgrounds and experience levels. This virtual lab session includes introductions to the cultural history and meaning of the style with a focus on improvisation and teaching students to use the basics to find their own style within the form.

The dance workshop will be followed by a conversation with Hartford-based street dance collective 860MVMNT directed by Jolet Creary, an alumna of The School at Jacob’s Pillow, exploring differences in regional styles of dance and how a community’s culture gives rise to dance forms. Other panel participants will include Pete Boggie and Tyler Brown.

860MVMNT is the fall Dance Artist in Residence at the University of Saint Joseph, where they are developing a work in response to COVID-19/Black Lives Matter which will premiere in December 2020 at the Autorino Center for the Arts in West Hartford.

Noontime Talk with Kristina Wong: Identity, Politics, Comedy, and Activism
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at Noon
FREE! For Wesleyan students. RSVP required for access to virtual event.

Wesleyan students join performance artist and writer Kristina Wong for a discussion about making solo work and addressing social and racial justice issues through the use of comedy and parody.

Asian American and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students will talk candidly with Wong about her experience as a Chinese American female artist who makes work squarely at the intersection of identity and politics–all with an eye towards fixing what’s broken in our country.

Using scathing wit, raunchy humor, and fierce commentary, Wong’s two-decade career has spanned fringe performance art (the fake mail order bride site www.bigbadchinesemama.com that launched her career) to major social activism. She focuses on issues and realities specific to the Asian American population, particularly women within that community.