Letters

Letters

YSC MAG Spring/Summer 2022

Dear Friends,

On November 11th, 2021, I sat in the orchestra of the Shubert Theater in New Haven and witnessed Dance Theatre of Harlem’s first performance in the city in over twenty years. The gratitude for and the appreciation of the return of the company was palpable. What was also being celebrated might have been the return to live performance indoors, or the resiliency of a community after surviving twenty of the most challenging months in most of our lifetimes. Celebrating that occasion with the sublime beauty of highly skilled artists, illustrating the power and grace of the human body, the standing ovation was as much for the artists on stage as it was for each of us in the audience.

That night also marked my second year as the Associate Artistic Director at Yale Schwarzman Center. The significance of this confluence is a personal one. Dance Theatre of Harlem was one of the dance companies my parents made sure to expose me to as a child. In fact, I still have the framed photo of a DTH ballerina that my parents hung on the wall of my childhood bedroom. I count myself lucky to have had parents that illustrated to me early on that a life in the arts was possible. And now at YSC, I have the privilege of working every day with artists - either student, faculty, local, or international – in collaboration with our extraordinary community of learners, scholars, and practitioners.

The last two years have provided a tremendous opportunity for reflection and catalytic change. Each of the projects that we have undertaken at YSC has influenced and inspired my thinking about the role art and artists can play in that change. Whether exploring notions of place and community, or identity and representation, we have come together virtually and over meals to exchange ideas and to think critically about our past, present, and collective futures. It has been a tremendous honor and I am deeply grateful to all who have graced our spaces to date. This is just the beginning.

See you at the Center,

Jennifer Harrison Newman

Associate Artistic Director

Dear Friends,

You hold in your hands, or on your desk or lap, the first edition of YSC MAG. It is by design both retrospective and forward looking—a catalog of sorts, and an invitation to see yourself in some or all of what’s here.

I am grateful to have worked so closely with the Center’s visionary inaugural executive director, Garth Ross; with the exceptional team of folks originating their roles; and with so many of you who’ve contributed to the build and launch of Yale Schwarzman Center over the past couple of years.

The spring semester holds much excitement here at YSC—read on, and I hope you’ll join us!

Laura Paul

Deputy Director & Interim Executive Director