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National Sawdust

National Sawdust (NS), an unparalleled, artist-led, non-profit venue, is a place for exploration and discovery. A place where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike.

In a city teeming with venues, NS is a singular space founded with an expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres a home in which they can flourish, a setting where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work.

As a composer, I believe the role of an artist in the 21st century should be that of creator, educator, performer, and entrepreneur. I believe that 21st-century composers/artists need to be thinking about what impact they can have on their existing community, both locally and globally.

At National Sawdust (NS), we believe the future of new art lives in education. We define education broadly. To us, education is about giving young people and community members opportunities and tools to explore their potential for artistic and creative expression. But it is also about ensuring that artists themselves never stop learning – about their craft, about the work of their peers, about the business of the arts, about their own capacities to be educators and advocates. NS facilitates this kind of learning by bringing together artists from around the world in exciting composition- based projects, teaching opportunities, cultural exchanges, and hands-on management experience. Through this cultural synthesis artists leave lasting impressions on one another, become more versatile and resilient professionals, and create works that reflect a plural understanding of American society.

Please visit: www.nationalsawdust.org for more information.


VISIONINTOART, “always intriguing and frequently beguiling,” is a multimedia production company that “facilitates flamboyant, confounding and enticing collaborations” (New York Times). With the belief that collaboration sustains artistic innovation, VIA creates and commissions works that involve various disciplines, presented around the world for the general audience, and forged from the most exciting emerging and established artists living today as well as interdisciplinary experts including scientists and conservationists. We are a one-stop-shop for artists in many disciplines – we incubate, produce, and disseminate.

Since Paola Prestini co-founded the company in 1999 at the Juilliard School, VIA has created and performed over one hundred original works and produces as well through their self titled record label.

VIA’s works have been seen at Lincoln Center, the Krannert Center, the Barbican Centre, the Atlas Theater, HIFA in Zimbabwe, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kennedy Center, Teatro Manzoni, Etna Fest in Italy, and BEMUS in Belgrade, Serbia along with residencies at MASS MoCA and The Park Avenue Armory.

Support for VIA comes from the National Endowment of the Arts, Cary Trust for New Music, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, ASCAP, the BMI Fund, the Kenan Institute, Nathan Cummings Foundation, National Video Resources, the Council on Foundations, the Amphion Foundation, Morgan Stanley Foundation and individual donors.

VIA is a proud to be an Opera America Professional Member and participant in DeVos Institute of Arts Management Professional Development Program with The Kennedy Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music. We have received support from the New Music USA Cary’s New Music Performance Fund for the 2014-15 season. VIA is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Please visit: www.visionintoart.com for more information.

I have learned a few things since founding my company: Collaboration is an art in and of itself that can only be learned by doing it, making the necessary mistakes. My role in the process is my love of bringing disparate voices together, and seeing what emerges from the synergy. I continue to evolve because I see how different people ingest these new experiences-their rawness to the experience often enlightening certain parts of the collaborative process that were not clear to me before. Each artist’s passion for their ideas reminds me that redefining the boundaries in collaboration is a lifelong process and is absolutely connected to the project at hand, and that even in the hardest collaborative processes, ones identity is not lost, only rediscovered and reaffirmed.