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Our Lives, Our Democracy

During this presidential election cycle, BPL invites you to participate in three new civic engagement initiatives combining art and direct action—the 28th Amendment Project, I Wish to Say and Voters’ Broadcast—so that you can amplify your voice and activate the democracy you want to see in the world.

Voters’ Broadcast is a transformative Election Year musical work for flexible ensembles of musicians which is directed, conceived, and composed by composer and 2020-21 Kaufman Music Center Artist In Residence Lisa Bielawa, with text excerpted from celebrated artist Sheryl Oring’s ongoing participatory art project I Wish to Say

Lisa Bielawa’s mission with the project is to stimulate voter engagement, political awareness, and community participation in challenging lockdown conditions, through the act of giving voice to the concerns of fellow citizens, during the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential election.

On Saturday, October 24 at 11 am, 12:30 pm and 2 pm, Kaufman Music Center and Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza will present the live world premiere of Voters' Broadcast in a day of socially distanced outdoor performances at the library’s main entrance featuring performers from Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School.


About the Composer:

Composer, producer, and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition and takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Her music has been described as “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart,” by The New York Times. She is the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and a 2020 Discovery Grant from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers. She was named a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Artist Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society for 2018 and is Artist-in-Residence at Kaufman Music Center in New York for the 2020-2021 season. Bielawa began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992 and in 2019 she became the inaugural Composer-in-Residence and Chief Curator of the Philip Glass Institute at The New School. In 1997 Bielawa co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers, and for five years she was the artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus. .

Voters’ Broadcast is commissioned as part of the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with support from its School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and developed in partnership with Kaufman Music Center in New York, where Bielawa is a 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence. The October 24th performances are co-presented by Kaufman Music Center and Brooklyn Public Library.

Kaufman Music Center transforms lives through music education and performance.  

Founded in 1952 as a community music school, today’s Kaufman Music Center is leveling the playing field for kids all over NYC and beyond with innovative programs making music education accessible for 4,000 students of all ages and backgrounds each year at Special Music School; Lucy Moses School, a community arts school for all ages; and groundbreaking teen new music programs like Face the Music and Luna Composition Lab. At Merkin Hall, more than 50,000 audience members each year connect with music at performances ranging from classical to cutting-edge

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