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Annual Meeting Spotlight: Judith Sloan

Judith Sloan is an actor, audio artist, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, educator and poet whose work combines humor, pathos and a love of the absurd. For over twenty years, Sloan has been producing and presenting interdisciplinary works in audio and theater, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media.  Her commentaries, plays, poetry and documentaries have aired on National Public Radio, New York Public Radio, WBEZ Chicago, PRI, BBC, and listener sponsored stations throughout the U.S. She is a member of the faculty at Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU and a member of the Dramatist Guild and the Network of Ensemble Theatres. Sloan has been a guest performer and lecturer at Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Yale University, SUNY Purchase, University of Hawaii, and University of Massachusetts, among others. Along with Warren Lehrer, Sloan is co-founder of EarSay, a non profit arts organization creating projects bridge the divide between documentary and expressive forms in books, exhibitions, on stage, in sound & electronic media. EarSay  committed to fostering understanding across cultures, generations, gender and class, through artistic productions and education. We bring our work to theatres, museums, schools, prisons, festivals and universities. With Lehrer she is the co-author and creator of Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, a multi-media project that includes a book, performance, radio series, and traveling exhibition documenting the lives of new immigrants and refugees in the United States through photographs, stories and sounds. The critically acclaimed project won the Brendan Gill Prize for its ability to capture a group portrait  of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial community that is a magnifying glass for the future of America and a celebration of resilient, prismatic character – in search of home.

Judith Sloan’s YO MISS! Transforming Trauma Into Art, will be performed on Saturday evening at the annual meeting. Fusing the art of theatre, radio, and music, Judith Sloan’s YO MISS! is an eye- and ear-witness account of one artist retelling stories of teaching immigrant/refugee teenagers and incarcerated youth grappling with the cataclysmic events that shaped them. Using midi-controllers and an original musical score to accompany her compelling performance, Judith Sloan transforms into a multitude of characters ages 14 to 80 years young. In this sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always truth-seeking show, she confronts issues of race and cultural divides, and learns from her students as they learn from her about finding resilience, humanity and humor in each other’s stories.

She is one part Studs Terkel, one part Lily Tomlin, two-parts originality.” The Herald / Bloomington, Indiana 

A world view that sees comedy and tragedy as two bones of the same skeleton in the closet. Superb!.” The Scotsman

On Saturday morning, Judith Sloan will present the teacher workshop Oral History, Cultural Identity, and the Arts. She will lead workshop participants in a series of exercises that focus on the art of listening and transforming stories into artistic expression. The tools and techniques can be used in a range of situations from elementary to university classes, with small groups healing from trauma, in community projects, in radio and journalism, interviewing for creation of theater, poetry, multimedia work, and can be adapted for all ages.

Come learn more about EarSay and visit Judith Sloan in the Exhibit Hall during the annual meeting! Listen to a recent public radio feature on Judith Sloan.

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