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Saturday, March 10 from 2 pm to 4 pm
Jamaica Performing Arts Center
153-10 Jamaica Ave
Jamaica, NY 11432

Queens Council on the Arts’ Artist Commissioning Program Awardee Judith Sloan will host the second community storytelling and dialogue event in the development process of her artist commission entitled It Can Happen Here. This community event is a follow up to Sloan’s Dec. 2nd dialogue, which took place at York College. It Can Happen Here is a theatrical performance in development from gathering stories of anguish and defiance in the face of xenophobia and repression, and seeking new visions for the future.

To kick off this event, Sloan will be joined by three women who will be addressing the themes of working cross-culturally.

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Alicia Waller, soprano and songwriter, seeks to spread the joy of the classical voice through inventive performances that integrate a range of diverse cultural and "soul" music traditions. Meera Nair and Amy Paul, who along with Nancy Agabian founded #Queens Writers Resist, an arts series launched in January 2017 that invokes spoken word, music and visual art to celebrate democracy, dissent and resistance.

The presentation will be followed by a participatory storytelling workshop and dialogue around the theme of It Can Happen Here where community members can share both painful and joyful stories in our current social and political climate. This content will inform the final work, of which the World Premiere is scheduled to premiere in Queens in September 2018.

Sloan’s project was selected for Queens Council on the Arts’ Artist Commissioning Program (ACP) for its capacity to tell untold stories and fill gaps in American culture, the focus of the new initiative. Launched this year, the ACP provides Queens-based performing artists $10,000 towards the creation and production of a new work. Sloan is one of four artists chosen by a panel of Queens-based community members, or art producers, who are committed to supporting the artists’ projects.

Sloan has used this process in developing several multi-media projects which have been presented throughout the United States and abroad. As an actress, radio producer, writer and educator whose work combines humor, pathos and a love of the absurd, Sloan’s solo works include Yo Miss!, Denial of the Fittest, Yo Miss!, and A Tattle Tale; Eyewitness in Mississippi. For over twenty years, she has been creating interdisciplinary works in audio and theatre, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media. She is the co-founder of EarSay, a non-profit arts company based in Queens and is the co-author and creator (with Warren Lehrer) of Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, a multi-media project (book, theatre, exhibition, radio) focusing on the stories of new immigrants and refugees in Queens, NY (W.W. Norton & Co) and the librettist for 1001 Voices: A Choral Symphony for a New America a collaboration with composer Frank London. Sloan is the recipient of numerous awards including The Brendan Gill Prize, a New York Foudnation for the Arts Fellowship in Music/Sound; several Queens Council on the Arts Individual Artist grants from 2005 to 2012; grants from the Ford Foundation; Rockefeller Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts; BAXten Artist Award 20015; Third Coast International Audio Festival 2005 short doc competition; First Place in the Missouri Review National Audio Competition 2008, 2009.