Local Artists to Join Taylor Mac in Providence Residency

Taylor Mac (Photo: Little Fang)

Artist Residency Co-Presented by FirstWorks and Brown Arts Initiative Offers Opportunities to Engage with Acclaimed Performer and Playwright Taylor Mac

FirstWorks and the Brown Arts Initiative at Brown University (BAI) co-present MacArthur Fellow and Tony-nominated performer and playwright Taylor Mac in an artist residency taking place on the Brown campus September 12-15, 2019.

The residency is built around a performance of Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music(Abridged) on September 14 at The VETS. The New England premiere of A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged) launches with pre-show FirstWorks “JumpStart” performances by local artists to welcome audience members to the venue.

The sounds and revelry of The Extraordinary Rendition Band (ERB), an open band of brass, reeds and drums will fill the air outside the VETS lobby as audience members arrive. ERB, Providence’s own award-winning activist street band, features over 30 musicians and dancers. The nonprofit choral group RPM Voices of Rhode Island will also perform starting at 7:15 PM in The VETS Gallery. Committed to the preservation of African American folk traditions and cultural expressions through choral music, this statewide chorus brings together unique voices that embody the state’s diverse population.

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 A highlight of the Taylor Mac performance will feature local vocalist Victoria Ruiz, a self-described “Chicana Punk Rocker”, who will join Mac on stage. Ruiz is the vocalist for Providence-based bands Downtown Boys and Malportado Kids. The singer, writer and activist’s work has been featured in Rolling StoneThe New YorkerSPIN and The New York Times. Ruiz sings in both English and Spanish, and her energy and activism are apparent in lyrics reflecting on societal borders that exist in the form of white privilege and institutionalized racism.  

FirstWorks and BAI have added an opportunity to learn about the creative process behind A 24-Decade History of Popular Music from Mac’s costume designerMachine Dazzle. In a free talk on his collaboration with Mac entitled “Artist in the Role of Costume Designer”, Dazzle will reveal how he found inspiration in forgotten, dismissed or buried details of America’s past which led to the creation of the wearable works of art donned by Mac in his acclaimed performances. A component of the artist’s residency, the talk will take place on September 13 at 3:00 p.m. at Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts in the Martinos Auditorium (154 Angell Street)..

The event is free and open to the public but registration is required and can be made at arts.brown.edu. The Taylor Mac residency kicks off a season-long FirstWorks initiative titled “Raise Your Voice”, designed to amplify diverse voices and celebrate differences through the performing arts. The initiative will bring world-class artists to Rhode Island for in-depth residencies featuring K-12 educational matinees, artist-led workshops for students and older adults, film screenings and community engagement programming designed to generate empathy through the arts.

Taylor Mac: In Residence September 12-15
Keynote Lecture | September 12, 5:30 PM | Brown University Granoff Center for the Arts Martinos Auditorium | 154 Angell St. Providence | FREE | Registration Required
Artist Talk with Machine Dazzle | September 13, 3:00 PM | Brown University Granoff Center for the Arts Martinos Auditorium | 154 Angell St. Providence | FREE | Registration Required
Performance | September 14, 8:00 PM | The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence | $29-69 | Get Tickets
Panel | September 15, 10:30 AM | Brown University Granoff Center for the Arts Fishman Studio | 154 Angell St. Providence | FREE | Sold Out – Request Wait List

For further details, click here.

NOTE: Audience participation occurs during the Taylor Mac performance. Additionally, performance and residency events may include mature content and are intended for adult audiences.