Discussion hosted in honor of ‘We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy’ exhibition
CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) – Arkansas PBS will livestream Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s “Evening Talk: Yo-Yo Ma and Carrie Mae Weems” lecture Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at youtube.com/arkansaspbs.
This conversation is hosted in honor of Crystal Bridges’ free exhibition “We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy” exploring the importance of the U.S. Constitution and free speech to democracy. Drawing from their careers and experiences as artists and social advocates, the speakers will share their perspectives on the role of artists and their civic duties.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at the Juilliard School before pursuing a liberal arts education at Harvard. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), and the Polar Music Prize (2012). He has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration.
Yo-Yo Ma’s multifaceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. In addition to his work as a performing artist, Yo-Yo has partnered with communities and institutions from Chicago to Guangzhou to develop programs that advocate for a more human-centered world. Among his many roles, Yo-Yo is a UN Messenger of Peace, the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees, and a member of the board of Nia Tero, the US-based nonprofit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide.
Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture – both literally and metaphorically – Weems has sustained an ongoing dialogue within contemporary discourse for over 30 years. During this time, she has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video.
Weems has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships, including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the Anonymous Was a Woman, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. In 2012, Weems was presented with one of the first US Department of State’s Medals of Arts in recognition for her commitment to the State Department’s Art in Embassies program. In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
This program will be part of educational resources for teachers through ArkansasIDEAS. ArkansasIDEAS connects K-12 educators with quality, ADE-approved professional development and educational opportunities, as well as a wide range of trainings on multiple platforms, thousands of classroom resources, and state and national initiatives.
Crystal Bridges Lectures & Talks are sponsored by Del Monte Foods, Inc. “We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy” is sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin. Learning and engagement programming for “We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy” is sponsored by: Scholastic Inc.; Walmart; Tyson Family Foundation; Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation; Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.; Johnny and Jeanie Morris, Bass Pro Shops; Alturas Foundation; Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc.; Sotheby’s; Bob and Becky Alexander; Marybeth and Micky Mayfield; Lamar and Shari Steiger; Jeff and Sarah Teague/Citizens Bank; Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities; Avis and Bill Bailey; Scarlett and Neff Basore; June Carter Family; Terri and Chuck Erwin; Jackye and Curtis Finch; The Harrison and Rhonda French Family; Jim and Susan von Gremp; Laurice Hachem; Shannon and Charles Holley; Valorie and Randy Lawson/Lawco Energy Group; Donna and Mack McLarty; Steve and Susan Nelson; Neal and Gina Pendergraft; Helen Porter; JT and Imelda Rose; Lee and Linda Scott; Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Trustees; and William Reese Company.
Additional information is available at crystalbridges.org.
About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Founded by philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges is a public non-profit charitable organization. The museum opened on November 11, 2011, and welcomes all with free admission.
Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant (Eleven) and Coffee Bar on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Five miles of sculpture and walking trails link the museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
About Arkansas PBS
Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain), KETS (Forrest City) and KETS (Gaither).