On May 4, 2011, the Ford Foundation hosted "Fresh Angle on the Arts: Reimagining Culture in a Time of Transformation," a full day of discussion and performances to explore the next frontlines of innovation and free expression in a revolutionary moment. This is the first of three foundation forums focusing on a range of social justice issues to mark Ford's 75th anniversary.


View highlights from the 75th anniversary forum--from Rocco Landesman to Aisha Al-Khater, Michael Moore to Ariel Dorfman. Scroll down for more videos from the day.


About the Event

Session One: Artists on the Frontlines of Social Change
Popular revolutions are redrawing our worldview; technology is reinventing how we communicate; and the global economy is reshaping how we live. In this era of deep social transformation, what role are artists playing? This curtain-raising conversation brings together artists from around the world to explore the relationship between their art and our times.

Khalid Abdalla Actor and Producer
Teddy Cruz Architect and Founder, Center for Urban Ecologies
Ariel Dorfman Playwright and Author
Joy Mboya Executive Director, The Godown Arts Centre
Edward Norton Actor and Activist
Charlie Rose (Moderator) Television Host and Journalist, The Charlie Rose Show

Live Performance: Sissoko and Segal – Excerpts from "Chamber Music"
One of Europe's most buzzed-about world music recordings, "Chamber Music" is a collaboration between French cellist Vincent Segal and Ballaké Sissoko, who plays the traditional kora, a lute harp from Mali.

Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal Musicians

Session Two: Sharing the Stage: Globalization and Cultural Might
For most of the last century, the United States and Europe dominated global arts taste and talk. Today, a 21st-century economic order is emerging with new centers of capital in Asia, India and the Middle East. This lively debate grapples with the fundamental question of how art and culture are promulgated, and the role of wealth and economic power in shaping a broader mix of voices, ideas and traditions.

Aisha Al-Khater Acting Director, Museum of Islamic Art
Michael Kaiser President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Victor Menezes Former Senior Vice Chairman, Citigroup
Phloeun Prim Director, Cambodian Living Arts
Vishakha Desai (Moderator) President and CEO, Asia Society

Live Performance: Reggie Watts on Fresh Angle
Singer, performance artist and rising star of the new comedy scene, multi-platform artist Reggie Watts brings his sly wit and improvisation to Fresh Angle, sharing his take on art and culture in revolutionary times.

Reggie Watts Singer and Performance Artist

Lunch Conversation: Roccing Out
Rocco Landesman is not your mother’s NEA chairman. Landesman has been a passionate advocate for the arts—trumpeting its impact on education, the economy and communities. In a conversation with former New York Times columnist Frank Rich, who will be joining New York magazine in June, Landesman will share his vision and expand on the perspectives delivered on Art Works, the popular and controversial official blog of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rocco Landesman Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Frank Rich Editor-at-Large, New York Magazine

Live Performance: Artistic Re-Growth Rate with Danny Hoch
In an excerpt from his play, "Taking Over," acclaimed playwright and actor Danny Hoch alternates between Spanish and English as "El Dispatcher," the manager of a Brooklyn taxi service navigating the social divide in gentrifying Williamsburg.

Danny Hoch Playwright and Actor

Session Three: White Marble Metamorphosis
A handful of courageous arts leaders are upending the conventions of their institutions and defining a different kind of engagement with their audiences, their surroundings and creative movements. Whether in museums, orchestras like the New World Symphony, libraries like Seattle’s stunning new central branch, or theaters, the risk-takers are creating the next generation of organizations. We explore what arts leaders are doing to build on successful pasts while embracing a different future.

Peter Gelb General Manager, The Metropolitan Opera
Clive Gillinson Executive and Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall
Arnold Lehman Director, Brooklyn Museum of Art
Elsie McCabe Thompson President, Museum for African Art
Deborah Solomon (Moderator) Journalist and Author

Session Four: Entertaining Justice – A Vision for Documentary Film
Documentary is the fastest-growing film genre in the United States and is regarded as an effective way to raise awareness and create debate. And yet how much impact can documentaries have when they are seen by so few people? In a forum featuring an irreverent group of filmmakers, we throw open the question of whether documentarians must change their ways or face irrelevance.

Ian Inaba Filmmaker and Co-Executive Director, Citizen Engagement Lab
Spike Lee Filmmaker
Michael Moore Filmmaker
Laura Poitras Documentary Film Director and Producer
Lisa Cortés (Moderator) Film Producer

Follow the conversation at #freshangle

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