“Seeing 2020” takes on new meaning when Colorado College’s 2020 Cornerstone Arts Week kicks off Monday, Jan. 27. The theme of this year’s collaborative, interdisciplinary arts week is “Seeing 2020: Mind the Gap,” and brings into focus various modes of creativity across divergent and convergent experiences. Over the course of the week the events invite all to consider the lenses through which art is viewed and those who make it.
Now in its 19th year, the keynote presenters for the upcoming Cornerstone Arts Week are poet, author, and poetry editor for New Yorker magazine Kevin Young, and Canadian Inuk improvisational singer, avant-garde composer, and bestselling author Tanya Tagaq. The keynote presenters, along with a series of performances, concerts, and exhibitions by other artists will inspire dialogue around questions such as:
- Who decides what “art” is, who gets to make it, and who it is for?
- What space exists between dominant and marginalized communities with regard to what art is seen, heard, published or produced?
- How does art navigate the gap between people, confront the inequalities that emerge, and the power structures that drive them?
CC students in music, English and theatre classes will meet with Young in a convergence class the day after his keynote address, titled “Lift Every Voice.” Convergence classes, a hallmark feature of Colorado College’s Cornerstone Arts Week, allow students to interact with thought-provoking leaders in a variety of fields. Students also will meet in a convergence class later in the week with Layli Long Soldier, an Oglala Lakota poet, writer, feminist, artist, and activist whose work will be included in a concert highlighting four Colorado College composers, including two students.
Additionally, the CC Composer Concert will feature the world premiere of three compositions: “breathwatersoundcannon” by Assistant Professor of Music Iddo Aharony featuring poetry by Long Soldier; “Thorne Miniatures” by Grace Hale ’20; and “Arc of the Lunar Pedigree” by Jordan Schrage ’20. A Judeo-Spanish song-cycle by CC Professor of Music Ofer Ben-Amots, “Songs from the Pomegranate Garden,” also will be performed. A panel discussion will be held directly prior to the concert and will include a Q&A session with the composers and other creative artists involved.
Other 2020 Cornerstone Arts Week events include a panel discussion titled “Finding the Foothold: Artists in Conversation on Art and Inclusion”; Tagaq reading from her novel “Split Tooth,” a shamanic coming-of-age journey through a haunted and mystical Arctic landscape; and a vocal master class for CC students with visiting musicians. Additionally, there will be ongoing exhibitions by Diné (Navajo) printmaker, painter, and sculptor Melanie Yazzie at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.
This year’s keynote presenters join a long line of renowned Cornerstone Arts Week speakers, including last year’s Roxane Gay, as well as previous speakers Robert Sapolsky and Lynda Barry, Camille Paglia, Sandra Bernhard, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jane Krakowski, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, Maz Jobrani, and Art Spiegelman.