A Conversation with Artist Activists @ U of U (Jan 17)

U of U College of Fine Arts brings artists together for public lecture and conversation on arts and activism moderated by RadioWest’s Doug Fabrizio
Salt Lake City, UT – Dec. 20, 2016 - As part of the University of Utah’s David P. Gardner Lecture in the Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Fine Arts is bringing world-renowned artists Bill T. Jones, Taylor Mac and Niegel Smith to campus for a free and public lecture on January 17, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Kingsbury Hall (free but tickets required).
The conversation, facilitated by KUER RadioWest’s Doug Fabrizio, will be centered around the intersection of art and activism, as these artists have, in their own ways, used their art to catalyze and inform conversations about issues including race, AIDS, gender identity, sexuality, and others. 
“These artists exemplify the ways in which the arts manifest and reflect social change,” said Raymond Tymas-Jones, associate vice president for the arts and dean of the College of Fine Arts. “We are so fortunate to go beyond the stage with them and hear what inspires and shapes their work that we so admire.”
This event follows Taylor Mac’s public performance on Jan. 14, 2017 as part of UtahPresents’ annual season. Drawing from his current project, “A 24 Decade History of Popular Music” which was developed in part at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and includes an epic performance over 24 continuous hours, this show will kick off the U’s MLK Week and feature songs from 1946-1976, from the Civil Rights Movement to the Stonewall Riots.
Bill T. Jones
Bill T. Jones, one of twelve children from migrant farmworker parents, is a celebrated dancer, choreographer and artistic director who used movement often coupled with other mixed media to raise consciousness about issues like AIDS and racism. He has received a Tony Award, a MacArthur fellowship, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a Kennedy Center Honor among others. He’s the co-author of “Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane” with his late partner, his memoir, “Last Night on Earth” which he wrote with Peggy Gillespie, and “Story/Time: The Life of an Idea”. Jones was the co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Taylor Mac
Taylor Mac, whose preferred gender pronoun is judy, is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance-artist, director and producer who presumably used all those skills and identities for his recent 24-hour concert called “A 24 Decade History of Popular Music” Mac refers to as judy’s “radical faerie realness ritual”. Mac has written 17 full-length plays and performance pieces and the recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Award, an Obie and others. Equal parts community organizer, Elizabethan fool and bedazzled bon vivant, Mac has created internationally award-winning performance events that at once provoke and embrace his diverse audience.
Niegel Smith 
Niegel Smith, who grew up in North Carolina, is a theater director and performance artist and is currently working as the Artistic Director of New York City’s theater, The Flea, Associate Director of Elastic City, and the “ringleader” of Willing Participant. His work aim’s to “engage, provoke, and expand the limits of self-expression” and uses his art to investigate issues where national and cultural identities intersect. He has worked with Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Flea, HERE Arts Center, The New Museum, Visual AIDS and often works with playwright/performer, Taylor Mac. Smith is an alumnus of Dartmouth College, and has been awarded by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Sundance Theatre Lab, the Tucker Foundation, among many others.
Established in 1983, the David P. Gardner Graduate Lecture is a free, annual event open to the public that brings distinguished scholars and artists to campus to enhance the educational experience of our students, catalyze conversation on our campus and in our community, and to honor the invaluable contributions former president David P. Gardner made to the University of Utah. See past David P. Gardner Lecturers
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The University of Utah College of Fine Arts faculty and programs challenge, immerse and ultimately prepare the committed student for a rewarding career in the arts. The College is home to the Schools of Dance and Music, the Departments of Art & Art History, Film & Media Arts, and Theatre.
Marina Gomberg
Associate Director of Communications + Marketing
The University of Utah College of Fine Arts
375 S. 1530 E. Rm 250  
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

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