About MTA Arts for Transit
MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design (AFT) commissions and presents public art in subway and commuter rail stations throughout the Metropolitan New York area. The AFT’s unique visual and performing arts programming echoes the architectural history and design of the individual stations. HEARD•NY is the third project co-presented by Creative Time and AFT. The first, Wink (2001), brought Takashi Murakami’s “neo-pop” to Grand Central Terminal with an installation comprising three inflatable sculptures suspended from the ceiling of Vanderbilt Hall and three floor sculptures that echoed the cartoon themes above them. Plan B (2004), an enormous “painting” made of commercial-grade wall-to-wall carpet with a pink-and-blue floral pattern, also in Vanderbilt Hall, was artist Rudolf Stingel’s first major public project in the United States.
AFT’s permanent art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of site-specific public art in the world, with more than 300 works by world famous, mid-career and emerging artists. AFT also produces art posters, art cards, photography installations and live musical performances in stations, and has re-launched the Poetry in Motion program in collaboration the Poetry Society of America. AFT serves the nearly eight million people who ride MTA subways and commuter trains daily and strives to create meaningful connections between sites, neighborhoods, and people.
About the Ailey School
In 1969, Alvin Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York with an initial enrollment of 125 students. Guided by the belief that dance instruction should be made available to everyone, Mr. Ailey joined forces with Pearl Lang in 1970 to establish the American Dance Center in Manhattan. In 1982, The Ailey School and its programs received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance and flourished for almost three decades under the direction of Denise Jefferson until her passing in 2010. Since then, Co-Directors Tracy Inman and Melanie Person have led the prestigious faculty of over 75 dance professionals training over 3,500 students annually in our full-time Professional Division and Junior Division Programs for aspiring dance students.
About Will Gill (Choreographer)
William Gill is a Chicago native and instructor at The Joel Hall Dancers & Center (JHDC), where he was previously a principal dancer. Before returning to the JHDC, Gill spent the last seven years touring with The Dallas Black Dance Theatre, where he worked with dance legends including Donald Bryd, Alonzo King, Donald McKayle, Milton Myers, and Chuck Davis. During his career, he has been commissioned to choreograph for Homer Bryant’s pre-professional performance ensemble and Corpo Dance Company, among others.
ABOUT SHELLEY BURGON (HARPIST)
Shelley Burgon is a harpist and electronic musician based in New York. She has played and recorded the music of a broad range of artists, including Björk and Anthony Braxton, along with bands such as Stars Like Fleas, Elysian Fields, and Blondes. Shelley has also performed at the Whitney Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, Dia:Beacon, Chelsea Art Museum, and White Box Gallery, among others. In March 2011, she made her New York City gallery debut with her sound installation Eridanus – A Path Of Souls at Splatterpool Artspace. She currently performs solo under the name Rowan. Shelley received her MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College.
ABOUT MARY LATTIMORE (HARPIST)
Performing and recording both nationally and internationally, Philadelphia-based Mary Lattimore has had the pleasure of working with a diverse range of musicians including Kurt Vile and the Violators, the Thurston Moore Band, Damon and Naomi (of Galaxie 500), Meg Baird, Jarvis Cocker, Ed Askew, Nightlands, Marit Bergman, the Valerie Project, Fursaxa, Helena Espvall, Weyes Blood, and Tall Firs. Mary recently contributed to Nathan Halpern’s score for the documentary Marina Abramovic–The Artist Is Present, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently playing in a synth/harp duo with the very talented Jeff Zeigler. In addition to her classical training, her mother, also a harpist, was a strong musical influence.
ABOUT ROBERT LEVIN (PERCUSSIONIST)
A specialist in traditional West African music, composer and percussionist Robert Levin has performed both nationally and abroad. He has also participated in a number film soundtracks, TV programs, album projects, and live tours, as well as many documentaries and works for television, including the feature film Inside. He has been a regular performer on the Broadway production of The Lion King since its inception in 1997, and has also played in the Broadway productions of Hair, Hairspray, Hott Feett, Drowsy Chaperone, and Fosse. Robert studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University and received his Masters in composition at Yale University.
ABOUT JUNIOR “GABU” WEDDERBURN (PERCUSSIONIST)
New York-based percussionist Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn has performed and recorded with a variety of well-known reggae artists, in addition to composing percussive scores for dance. His own percussion group, Ancient Vibrations, was founded in 1986 and presents the Afro-Jamaican drumming forms that are foundational to contemporary reggae music in Jamaica. Along with fellow HEARD•NY percussionist Robert Levin, Wedderburn has been a regular performer on the Broadway production of The Lion King since 1997.