Performer, multicultural specialist Marty Pottenger to be first guest in Hyphenated Artist Series
Performer, multicultural specialist Marty Pottenger to be first guest in Hyphenated Artist SeriesFebruary 13, 2008Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Award-winning solo performance artist, playwright and union activist Marty Pottenger will host a public discussion and performance of her work on Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at Syracuse University’s Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St., as part of the new Hyphenated Artist Series, sponsored by Partners for Art Education (PAE) and Imagining America.
This free event at The Warehouse features excerpts from her solo performances, as well as a discussion of her current work, which uses art to address longstanding issues of discrimination and perceived prejudice within the city government and school system of Portland, Me. Pottenger currently works out of Portland City Hall, where she uses theater, media and oral histories to encourage people to think about issues, ask questions and engage in dialogue with others in their communities.
In partnership with the Portland School District’s Multicultural Affairs Department and the city’s Department of Equal Opportunity & Multicultural Affairs, Pottenger also works with local arts programs, such as one that trains area artists for long-term residencies in city, school and community agencies. Recent examples include incorporating a poet into the fire department; a painter into the school board; a photographer into the teachers union and into the Department of Public Health; a musician into the mayor’s office and a storyteller into the state Christian Coalition.
Pottenger’s other community-engaged performances include “home land security,” a post-9/11 community arts project with political, civic and religious leaders of Portland; “Abundance,” a multimedia theater work focusing on how different classes, races and ages negotiate economics, and based on in-depth interviews with people ranging from minimum wage workers to billionaires; “Just War,” based on interviews with Yugoslavian veteran soldiers/paramilitary and their families, and directed by Ana Miljanic, director of the Center for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade; and “City Water Tunnel #3,” an Obie Award-winning multimedia performance and visual arts exhibit about New York City’s 60-year-long public works project, as told through the collected stories of the people building the tunnel.
While in Syracuse, Pottenger will also facilitate an arts workshop with members of the SEIU union. They will create a performance about SU workers’ lives for the 2008 Ray Smith Symposium for the Humanities that will take place April 22-24. The theme of this year’s Symposium is “Art Works: The Role of the Arts in Workers Struggles.”
Supported by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Hyphenated Artist Series is a collaboration between PAE — a Syracuse-based organization that provides funding and support to deepen and enrich educational experiences in and through the arts for students, teachers and artists — and Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a national consortium of colleges and universities based at SU committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities and design. The series will enhance and promote the region’s cultural activity by exploring expanded opportunities for artists in combinations such as artist-educator and artist-organizer.
For more information, call 443-8590.