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Reclaiming Our Joy

Posted March 08, 2022

 Reclaiming Our Joy: Celebrating Our Right to Happiness, upcoming in The Unanswered Questions series

For artists, the notions of joy and justice have long been drivers of creative expression. But to what extent are the expression of joy and the pursuit of justice connected? On Friday, March 18, 2022, at 1:45 p.m. ET, Reclaiming Our Joy: Celebrating Our Right to Happiness explores this question and more. The conversation — part of the Philharmonic’s Authentic Selves: The Beauty Within, a festival examining issues of identity will be streamed live on the Philharmonic’s Facebook page.


The event — the fourth installment of The Unanswered Questions, a new series presented by the NY Phil and John Jay College of Criminal Justice exploring complex societal topics raised by the Orchestra’s programming — features a panel comprising countertenor and the Philharmonic’s 2021–22 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Anthony Roth Costanzo; composer Joel Thompson; trans-genre artist Justin Vivian Bond; and housing policy advocate / interdisciplinary artist Rasheedah Phillips. Educator and activist Toya Lillard moderates the discussion. 


Previously, on January 27–29, Costanzo and Bond explored their joy and issues of queer identity with Only an Octave Apart — featuring classical / pop mashups from Henry Purcell and Dido to Philip Glass and the Bangles — a production The New York Times called “sublime.” These performances were a part of the first week of orchestral concerts in the Authentic Selves festival, conducted by Jaap van Zweden and also featuring the world premiere of Thompson and Tracy K. Smith’s The Places We Leave.


The first three events in The Unanswered Questions are already available on demand on YouTube; Reclaiming Our Joy will be added at a later date.