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Stay in Your Own Backyard: A Long Table Conversation and Installation
Gallery Seventy Four
Rochester, NY
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Stay in Your Own Backyard: A Long Table Conversation and Installation
SOLD OUT - Stay in Your Own Back Yard" is a Long Table event of "At the Crossroads: Activating the Intersection of Art and Justice" which will employ art and culture to interrogate hyper-segregation in Rochester, New York. It is presented by 21st Century Arts in collaboration with Dr. Kathryn Mariner, assistant professor of Anthropology and Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester.

At first look, "Stay in Your Own Back Yard," the title of a pickaninny ballad published in 1902, is a strange name for an event on the state of segregation in Rochester in 2019. Unfortunately, statistics show that post Jim Crow era Rochester is still hyper-segregated and getting more so. And that we still live in a country where people of color are trespassers (or even criminals) when sitting in Starbucks, lounging in college dorms, going on college tours, walking down the street, entering their homes, going in restaurants as well as driving in their cars.

In a recent ranking, Rochester, New York achieved the dubious distinction of the 14th worst place for African Americans to live in the country.

To set off the conversation at the Long Table, Stay in Your Own Backyard will feature the following provocations:
-A map exhibition in the smaller space with a local HOLC Map and The Negro Motorist Green Book mashup
-Audio play of Stay in Your Back Yard  called both a pickaninny ballad and coon song
-Screening of Adam Knows Everything: The Disturbing History of the Suburbs, which features the game Settlers of the Suburbs: Redlining Edition
-Screening of TED talk by Bryan C. Lee and the short doc on gentrification "Good White People," by Jarrod Cann & Erick Stoll
-Game of Intergroup Monopoly: A Lesson on the Enduring Effects of Inequality. There will be several monopoly boards available for attendee participation.

STAY IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD is poignantly presented on the Friday before the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday.

About the Long Table:

Conceived by artist Lois Weaver and inspired by Marleen Gorris film Antonia's Line, the Long Table is an experimental open public forum that is a hybrid performance-installation-roundtable-discussion-dinner party designed to facilitate dialogue through the gathering together of people with common interests.

With no predetermined outcome save conversation, this Long Table could be an opportunity to both introduce and reflect on some recent initiatives, to discuss what and who are missing from historical accounts, and to explore what kinds of actions and strategies could be undertaken The Long Table is a dinner party structured by etiquette, where conversation is the only course. The project ingeniously combines theatricality and models for public engagement. It is at once a stylized appropriation and an open-ended, non-hierarchical format for participation. Both elements  theatrical craft and political commitment  are mutually supporting in this widely and internationally toured work. The (often-feminized) domestic realm here becomes a stage for public thought.

The components are simple: the long table; chairs; a paper tablecloth; pens with which to make comments, to draw, or to scribble ideas. The final, and necessary, component is an etiquette sheet. This list of rules for engagement lays the groundwork for talk that is structured in its participatory aspect without being limited in content or access. The rules, or perhaps helpful hints, include items like There can be silence, There might be awkwardness and There can always be laughter. The Long Table acknowledges the sometimes-uncomfortable side of both private exchange and public engagement, while celebrating the potential for new forms of knowledge-making and -sharing.

-There is no beginning
-Those seated at the table are performers
-The menu is up to you
- Talk is the only course
-Step up, step back (no filibustering)
-There is no hostess  
-It is a democracy
-To participate, take a seat at the table  
-If the table is full, you can request a seat (tap someones shoulder)
-Once you leave the table, you can come back  
-There can be silence  
-You can break the silence with a question  
-You can write your questions on the table
-There can be laughter  
-There is an end, but no conclusion


Gallery Seventy Four (View)
215 Tremont Street (Door 3/3rd Floor)
Rochester, NY 14618
United States


Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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