Copyright Carrie Mae Weems, courtesy the artist and The Watermill Center
The Watermill Center Presents CROSSROADS, a summer festival led by Carrie Mae Weems and Robert Wilson. Saturday, July 31 - Sunday, August 8, 2021
WATER MILL, NY (July 2021) - The Watermill Center is pleased to present CROSSROADS: The Watermill Center Summer Festival, a week-long gathering to consider the meaning of ritual, healing, and hope at this moment in time, led by Carrie Mae Weems, in collaboration with Robert Wilson. The festival, running from July 31 through August 8, assembles vital voices and viewpoints to mark a pivotal moment in history, together. CROSSROADS is presented by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Central to the Summer Festival is Minneapolis Protest Murals, an expansive outdoor exhibition of public art created organically in Minneapolis following the May 25 murder of George Floyd last year. Plywood murals, created by artists and community members during the Minneapolis uprising of 2020, were collected from businesses and preserved by Memorialize the Movement, an organization founded by Minneapolis-based activist Leesa Kelly. Featuring 150 of the nearly 900 boards collected, Minneapolis Protest Murals — presented in commemoration of George Floyd and support of Black Lives Matter — is the most extensive presentation of these artworks outside of Minneapolis to date. The exhibition is curated by Leesa Kelly and Noah Khoshbin in collaboration with House of Trees.
In speaking about preserving the protest murals, Leesa Kelly says, “It's very much a form of healing. There's this process of physically carrying the burden of the boards that helps to relieve some of that pain. Some of that tension you're feeling in your body. You’re not just carrying this wood around; you are literally carrying George Floyd.”
On Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8, artists, poets, and writers will gather for a series of staged readings, presentations, and performances. Participating artists at the Summer Festival include Kenyon Adams, Arooj Aftab, Laura Anderson Barbata, Laurie Anderson, Kyle Bass, Brooklyn United Marching Band, Hoesy Corona, Marcelle Davies-Lashley, Vinson Fraley, Francesca Harper, Craig Harris, Nona Hendryx, Stewart Hurwood, Vijay Iyer, Daryl Johns, Laurie Lambrecht, David Lang and So Percussion, Memorialize the Movement, Moor Mother, Jason Moran, Kimberly Nichole, Vernon Reid, Resistance Revival Chorus, Carl Hancock Rux, Tyshawn Sorey, Paul Thek, Basil Twist, Shane Weeks and Members of the Shinnecock Nation, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Wilson.
Robert Wilson comments, “This summer is about building community. Engaging the community is vital to The Watermill Center, and CROSSROADS is a new and exciting chance to continue doing so. It will be nothing like what we have done before.”
“The Watermill Center has always been a space to not only create art but to create community,” says The Center’s Managing Director, Elise Herget. “After a year of reduced activity and inevitable programming shifts, our focus is on The Watermill Center a laboratory for the arts and humanities Artistic Director, Robert Wilson www.watermillcenter.org bringing the creative community together again. Our highly anticipated annual summer benefit was without exception a major success, yet it has not always told our full story. The Summer Festival and our summer residencies reinforce The Watermill Center as a laboratory for artists. The programs echo what we do throughout the year: inviting the public into the creative process.“
CROSSROADS will include a series of performances, concerts, film screenings, and installations throughout The Center’s 10-acre property. Proceeds from ticket sales go towards The Center’s year-round Artist Residency and Education Programs. Tickets will be available to purchase on The Watermill Center’s website. Limited quantities are available.