In the shape of a festival - Come Make with Us was, as the title hints, an invitation to the audience to experience and participate in the works created during Summer at ALN. Through multiple stages, multiple artists and as obviously at ALN a wide range of different medias, the emergent works created during Summer Residency and Revolution:Thesis at ALN created a platform for interactions between audience, the works, the artists, the spaces and the continuous unfolding of the questions.
Revolution: Thesis at ALN together with the Summer Residency created the framework for Summer at ALN 2019. Revolution: Thesis at ALN was led by David Gersten, structured as a four week program and included a regular schedule of studio time, one-on-one studio visits with David, ALN Fellows and Visiting Artists, as well as, weekly seminars and listening critiques. The Summer Residency was a 2-4 weeks focused residency for artists interested in the opportunity to interact with ALN’s other ongoing programs and overlapping events. The Residency was structured to provide creative opportunities while developing meaningful relationships with other artists. While each of these programs had its own unique character, they both offered space for people to pursue their questions in conversation with others and create emergent works within a creative community.
Each year, Big Picture Learning holds ‘Big Bang’ an international conference on Student-Centered Learning. This conference is an intergenerational collaboration, where students and educators come together to learn from one another and from the community. This year Big Bang took place in Detroit, MI., in late July.
This year, Director David Gersten was invited to join Education Reimagine’ national working group for Learner Centered Education. The group is holding multiple meetings, bringing together diverse voices from across the country, to work towards expanding Learner Centered opportunities for more children. For the June, meeting held in Denver, Colorado, Associate Director Frida Foberg, was invited to challenge the norms of communication with new modes of expression.
We express gratitude to the following artists who presented along with visitors and supporters;
Frida Braide, Hyunbae Chang, Isabella Chydenius, Liao Dean, Frida Foberg, Hana Falconer, Kyle Giacomo, Colleen Keough, Marie Claire Macadar, Robin McLauglin, Natalie Jauregui Ortiz, Joe Poon, Christina Rosati, Julia Rosen, Josephine Nørtoft Saabye, Rachel Van Wylen
Since 2016 we have been fortunate to work with AHS’s theater ensemble, the amazing students and their highly dedicated directors and staff. This years musical Sweet Charity explored issues of sexism misogyny and especially how young people are impacted in the systems we live in. Ward Dales, Gregory Theodore Marsh, Noelle Gentile and NCBI, are true masters of creating safe space for the students to share their own stories and experiences around the topics. Creating a performance that is not only about the story itself - it’s about everyone who has every been in a situation of toxic societal norms and for everyone else learning how to be an ally.
This Fall we had the great honor of contributing to the ‘Future Unknown’ Chancellor’s Summit held at The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, China. The project grew from careful consideration of the mission and vision of CAFA and the principles driving the “Future Unknown” initiative to move art and innovation forward by building linkages to many educational and cultural locations around the globe.
This year brought with it our 3rd annual Festival, where we once again celebrated and shared the works created over the course of our 2018 Summer Workshop, Hinges, Mirrors & Eclipses. With 45 participants, representing an incredible range of fields and nationalities, it was the largest workshop in the history of Arts Letters & Numbers, resulting in a truly memorable festival.
Hinges, Mirrors & Eclipses is grounded in the idea that the spatial, poetic and material imaginations provide a unique means of registering and creating transformation, of engaging the world and making a contribution. Working from the principle that our capacity to act in the world is rooted in our capacity to recognize and comprehend transformation, the workshop covers a large arc of content, asking questions of our world, our disciplines and our humanity.
Over the years we have been fortunate to experience the transformative work of AHS Theater Ensemble and NCBI, bringing students stories, experiences and observations to the stage. The production of 2018, Blaq Boi is a truly deeply moving, pure and honest student written performance about the young black male experiences in this country today.
On February 24th, 2018 the artists in residence at the House on the Hill opened up their spaces of work - To experiment with a process - A way of sharing their thoughts. Each artist had found a way to occupy the place. To build their own spaces of intimacy in which they were able to create their work.
Led by Michael Harrison, Sam Torres, Sophia Subbayya Vastek, the Creative Music Intensive at Arts Letters & Numbers was a week-long session dedicated to discovering and developing individual voices as creative artists. The participants and faculty presented a culminating concert in the House on the Hill, February 10, 2018 which included new works, group and solo performances, and improvisations.
On Saturday October 28th we welcomed a number of leaders from the many arts and cultural organizations in the Capital Region to Arts Letters & Numbers Tasting. With this event, we opened our doors to the extended creative community around us: to share our experiences and spaces, and to begin and continue the conversation about how we can best foster collaboration and contribute to the vibrant arts and cultural communities growing in the region.
SAUCE was a 3-day celebration of Soul, Motown, Funk, Swing, and Blues organized by our friends Joshua Fialkoff and Bryan Brundige. Arts Letters & Numbers hosted the late night dance on Saturday September 30th, where the tunes were accompanied by an edible installation made by Frida Foberg, Merethe Bahn Trolle, Josephine Saabye & Zubin Singh.
On August 3rd we opened our doors for the second Arts Letters & Numbers festival: this year titled Constitution. The 3-day festival presented works created during our annual four-week summer workshop, bringing together participants from a wide range of disciplines including architecture, photography, dance, music, literature, film, theatre, painting and drawing.
With CONSTITUTION, Arts Letters & Numbers proposed a dynamic crucible of free thought, a space where the widest spectrum of who we are could ask the questions of our time and create works that would bring us forward. A space where many elements could come together to create the alchemy of transforming how we experience today into how we will experience tomorrow.
Based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Lionel Bart’s frothy musical adaptation boasts some on the most classic tunes in all of Broadway history. And as with all of AHS Theatre Ensemble's productions, the audience got to experience a “twist on Twist,” as they explored the show’s deeper themes of lost innocence, corruption, classism, and social decay.