BETSY! (New York, NY) April 11, 2015
“How can we produce works of art that probe beyond clichés into the frayed ends of American pluralism? What kind of love-making work does it take to engender an artistic product that aspires to tell the story of us today – skeletons out of the closet and all?”
The Imagining America Institute will take up these questions articulated by folklorist and anthropologist Dr. Maribel Álvarez. Participants probed these questions in the context of the 21-year artistic collaboration between Pregones Theater and Appalshop’s Roadside Theater and their latest co-creation, BETSY!. The two ensembles are building bridges between two vast geographies and cultures, Puerto Rican and Appalachian, and between two distinct aesthetics. (Read more about themes in the HowlRound Blog Series, “Beyond Cliché: Dramatizing Our American Identity.”)
The institute is organized by Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, the only national coalition working at the intersection of publicly engaged scholarship and the arts, humanities, and design. Sixty faculty and staff, high school and college students, and community artists will be attending from institutions and communities including: Ohio State, thanks to support from the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise; Cornell University, thanks to support from the Engaged Learning + Research Center; Oregon State; University of Wisconsin; and Loisaida Center.