Anna Deveare Smith and Julia Wolfe spoke at the CultureTalk at Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday, February 19th. Anna is an accomplished playwright and actress and Julia is a renown composer. Both are also well-known educators in the artist community.
Written by Weon Taek Na
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, and a professor at New York University. In the past, Anna founded and directed the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, which supports the development of artistic works that deal with social issues. Prior to that, Anna was an Ann O’Day Maples Professor of the Arts at Stanford University where she taught from 1990–2000.
Julia Wolfe is a composer and professor of music at New York University. Julia’s work Anthracite Fields, was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Julia is also the winner of Herp Alpert Award and has been named a MacArthur Fellow in 2016. She has written a extended body of work for strings, from quartets to full orchestra.
At University of Illinois, a unique event called the CultureTalk is held periodically. During the CultureTalk, a Q&A session about arts and its relation to society occurs. Anna and Julia with the amazing moderator, Lisa Gaye Dixon, gave an CultureTalk tonight, covering topics ranging from the emotions, to the experience they gain as they create their field of art. Anna and Julia, not only answered pre-written questions from Lisa, but furthermore individual questions from the audience.
Overall, great talk by amazing artists! I came out much smarter than before entering, and I would recommend the CultureTalk to anyone in the Champaign-Urbana region.