Monday, May 22, 2017

Yo Yo Ma and Lara Downes join University of Michigan SMTD Dean Aaron Dworkin in video addressing importance of the arts in America


Acclaimed artists Yo Yo Ma and Lara Downes join U-M SMTD Dean Aaron Dworkin in video addressing importance of the arts in America

(Ann Arbor, MI) -- Acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma, a Sphinx Special Artistic Advisor, recently participated in a video with Aaron Dworkin, dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), and pianist Lara Downes. The video features the trio performing a short cello-spoken word-piano piece to celebrate and make a statement about the power and purpose of the arts in America.

The video was filmed by Michigan Media at the McIntosh Theatre in SMTD's E.V. Moore Building in April, when Yo Yo Ma was in Ann Arbor for a concert at Hill Auditorium with Edgar Myer and Chris Thile. It features the music of "Poema III" by Carlos Nobre and was arranged by Dworkin, the founder of the Sphinx Organization in Detroit. Yo Yo Ma is a Sphinx Special Artistic Advisor and Downes is a Sphinx Medal of Excellence winner. Afa Dworkin, the president and artistic director of Sphinx, acted as the artistic advisor for the video.

“We live in a divisive world where at times it seems that no one is listening to one another. This is where the arts, time and again, prove their power as bridge builders between people of different races, cultures, and faiths,” said Dworkin, who wrote the spoken word text. “In this day and age, with all the challenges that lay in front of us, I can’t think of anything more important than finding ways to create a dialogue and open avenues where we can truly listen and learn from one another. The arts have, and will continue to show us, how to do just that.”

The video is currently posted on SMTD's Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the SMTD website.

Comments by email:

1) Thanks so much Bill... you are wonderful! Aaron [Aaron P. Dworkin]

2) Terrific! Thank you so much for your support William! [Marilou Carlin]

3)  Thank you Bill! Love, L [Lara Downes]

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