Grace Farms Foundation—supporting initiatives in the areas of nature, arts, justice, community, and faith— announces the culmination of Practicing, its signature Arts Initiative program, with a year-long exploration of joy.
Starting in May 2018, the Foundation will bring together collaborators including: installation artist Julianne Swartz; poets Ross Gay, Nicole Sealey, and Christian Wiman; composers and performers Molly Joyce and Caroline Shaw; choreographer Camille A. Brown with dancers Maleek Washington and Timothy Edwards and drummer Atiba Morales; essayist Garnette Cadogan; theologian Maria Fee; and notable humorists to be announced.
Practicing Joy will result in a series of public programs at Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut, spearheaded by Arts Initiative Director Kenyon Victor Adams and Arts Initiative Curator Pamela Ruggio. “Interweaving Grace Farms’ porous architecture, vast natural landscape, and serene environment, the Foundation’s Arts Initiative is developing a place-based, interdisciplinary way of working with artists and practitioners,” said Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation President. “It is our hope that this approach will introduce new perspectives and build relationships leading to the creation of significant new works shared with the public.” “We are delighted to convene an extraordinary cohort of collaborators to investigate the nature, agency, and tendency of joy: to discover together its adjacent conditions, intricate facets, and surprising applications,” said Adams.
Practicing Joy will feature a new, collaborative, site-responsive installation from leading artist Julianne Swartz. Located in the award-winning, SANAA-designed River building, two related works will synthesize the interdisciplinary exploration into a multisensory record of the group’s discoveries. The newly commissioned project will open to the public on September 8, with an artist talk and reception, and remain on view through March 2019.
The Foundation will also present a suite of public programs, including discussions, a performance, and ongoing Practicing Joy-inspired family programming: On Friday, May 18, critically acclaimed poet Christian Wiman will read from his recently published anthology Joy: 100 Poems. On Friday, November 16, a meditation on joy, resistance, and survival will feature a conversation with essayist Garnette Cadogan and a performance from choreographer Camille A. Brown with dancers Maleek Washington and Timothy Edwards and drummer Atiba Morales.
On Wednesdays from June 6 to August 29, the Foundation will present the David Rockwell designed Imagination Playground—an innovative system of large-scale, light-weight blocks, as a way for young audiences to understand joy through unstructured play. For families with children ages 3–10, this program is free and open to the public on Wednesdays from 10:30 am–2:30 pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Children must be accompanied by an adult guardian. The Practicing Joy programming will also feature the continuation of Grace Farms Foundation’s ongoing Open Art Studio for Families program. Children ages 3–10 with their adult guardians will have an opportunity to explore joy through a series of facilitated workshops and self-guided activities inspired by the contributing artists on Saturdays starting October 5.
Additional Arts Initiative programming for 2019 will be announced at a later date: gracefarms.org/arts.