A 70th Birthday Night of Performances
Tuesday November 19, 6-11pm
107 Suffolk St, NYC 10002
The community to which Patricia Nicholson has devoted her life is rallying together in celebration. After an hour of food, wine, and conviviality, the event will feature musical performances by her long-time partner in art and life William Parker, as well as Cooper-Moore, Dave Burrell, Oliver Lake, John Zorn, Fay Victor, Matthew Shipp, Ingrid Laubrock, Darius Jones, Rob Brown, James Brandon Lewis, William Hooker, Ava Mendoza, Lisa Sokolov, Val Jeanty, Daniel Carter, Ellen Christi and many more. Dancers performing include K.J. Holmes, Yoshiko Chuma, Jason Jordan, Douglas Dunn, Miriam Parker. Poets reading include Bob Holman, Patricia Spears Jones, and Tracie Morris. Visual artists displaying their work include William Mazza, Jo Wood Brown, Jeff Schlanger, and Katy Martin.
At the heart of the evening will be honoree Patricia Nicholson, performing with her projects Revolution/Resurrection, What It Is, and BLUE, plus a grand finale featuring a multi-disciplinary performance by over 20 members of the AFA community.
This celebration will raise funds to support Arts for Art’s programs, artist fees, and staff growth; the evening also kicks off the annual Artists and Friends fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise the funds to keep AFA going and make it stronger. For Patricia Nicholson, the uncompromised creative arts are essential to creating a world worth living in.
Patricia Nicholson’s dance is steeped in the free jazz aesthetic and an attention to spiritual and social responsibility. Beginning with the belief that dance is the visual manifestation of sound and energy, Nicholson has developed a singular practice, drawing from both traditional and unconventional techniques to create an eclectic yet intuitive approach to movement and composition.
Nicholson's dance and poetry are featured through her active projects: What It Is, co-led with William Parker and featuring James Brandon Lewis, Melanie Dyer, Devin Waldman, and Gerald Cleaver; Revolution/Resurrection, with TA Thompson, Jason Hwang, and William Mazza; BLUE with William Mazza, and Val Jeanty; and Hope Cries for Justice, duos and trios with William Parker and Hamid Drake.
Patricia Nicholson has been writing and publicly sharing her poetry since childhood. Though she gives occasional readings, Nicholson's poems are most often tied to performance, whether serving as a written score for dancers or accompanying, rather than guiding, creative movement.
There is choreography to Nicholson's approach to programming as well. She curates evenings with a deliberate arc, while also emphasizing a dynamic flow and messaging. Her goal is to design nights that create a complete experience and engage audiences in active, and creative, witnessing.
Nicholson's widest-reaching influence has perhaps been in her capacity as an artistic and community organizer. In 1981, Ms. Nicholson choreographed and organized A Thousand Cranes Peace Opera, with 1,000 children performing in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza for the opening of the Special Sessions on Disarmament; in the mid and late-1980s, she responded to a lack of visibility for free jazz by helping to organize the Sound Unity Festivals. In 1994, Nicholson brought together fifty artists to form The Improvisors Collective, whose highlights over the next two years included weekly events at Context Studios, 28 Ave A. Following that success, Nicholson founded Arts For Art and the Vision Festival in 1996 to promote and advocate for free jazz, raising awareness through this notable and uncommonly visible platform. Since, AFA has grown to be a movement annually supporting hundreds of artists working with the free jazz aesthetic.
After decades of creative production, programming, and organization, Nicholson’s focus is on developing strategies for the future: how to better the world in which we live; how to inspire, grow, and build a diverse community of uncompromising artists and audiences; and, most immediately, how to build a sustainable structure for AFA that will outlive her service and serve as a fitting legacy, one steeped in the ideals of artistic excellence and community responsibility she holds most dear. In her own words, “This is my 70th birthday; there is both a community to sustain, and the creative expression of my own art, yet to be shared. I am humbled by the collective creativity waiting to be expressed.”
About Arts for Art
Founded in 1996, Arts For Art (AFA) is a New York City based tax-exempt organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of FreeJazz - an American indigenous art form in which improvisation is principle. FreeJazz embodies music, dance, poetry, and visual arts. It is recognized for its variety of highly developed and personalized improvisational languages. AFA works not only to preserve the legacy of FreeJazz, but also to ensure a vital future through its re-imagination by new generations of artists. Spearheaded by the internationally renowned Vision Festival, AFA's programming brings together multiple generations of vibrant, diverse and highly skilled artists. To further our goals of diversity and accessibility, we foster education initiatives and produce events that build community amongst artists and audiences.
For more information please contact Sean Madigan at firstname.lastname@example.org