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Press Releases

National Sawdust to launch Live@NationalSawdust, a free digital platform, at 12PM ET on March 30

March 26, 2020 | By Andrew Ousley
Unison Media

National Sawdust to launch Live@NationalSawdust, a free digital platform, at 12PM ET on March 30

The platform will offer concerts from the past five seasons and professional development programs from Renée Fleming, Meredith Monk and others, and will include fundraising efforts for National Sawdust and the artists involved.

The institution further plans to work with NYC Department of Education to offer National Sawdust content to teachers and school children at this time of remote learning.

National Sawdust will pause live venue operations until fall 2020 and will move its performance and professional development programming online.

Live@NationalSawdust is made possible by previous capital support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

For immediate release – National Sawdust, the non-profit arts institution based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will launch Live@NationalSawdust, a free digital platform that will release weekly videos of concerts from the past five seasons, as well as professional development programming, and will include fundraising efforts for the institution and the artists involved. National Sawdust further plans to work with NYC Department of Education to offer content to teachers and school children at this time of remote learning.
The Live@NationalSawdust initial releases will focus on the very first concert in the venue from October 2015, including performances by Philip Glass, Foday Musa Suso, Tanya Tagaq, Chris Thile, Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota, Jeffrey Zeigler, Eve Gigliotti, Paola Prestini, Nels Cline, Glenn Kotche, Theo Bleckmann, ACME and more. Future releases will draw from an extensive digital archive of more than 1,200 live performances, including highlights like Terry Riley’s Archangels featuring the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Du Yun’s Pan Asia Sounding Festival, and more.

In addition to performances, Live@NationalSawdust will offer digital content from National Sawdust’s artist mentorship programs, including personal development forums with leading artists such as Renée Fleming and Meredith Monk on topics such as mental health and music, improvisation and movement, publishing, and more.  Workshops will continue digitally with The Blueprint Fellowship commissioning program in partnership with The Juilliard School, featuring mentors Prestini, Reena Esmail, Claire Chase and more. The Hildegard Competition (funded by the Toulmin Foundation) continues its mentorship digitally with the three winners sharing their commissioned work with mentors such as Angélica Negrón and conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, with concerts for both programs moved to the Fall.

National Sawdust will pause live venue operations until fall 2020 in order to protect audiences, performers, and staff from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Half of the NS operational staff will remain on, working to raise money and plan for the future until circumstances allow for reconstituting the full team. Composer/Co-founder & Artistic Director Paola Prestini and Managing Director Brian Berkopec will forgo salary during this challenging period.

Prestini states: “We are committed to reopening in the fall, and we firmly believe that these challenges will only strengthen the resolve and resiliency of our artistic community, and New Yorkers at large. More than ever, our city will need a home for discovery, one that welcomes and celebrates new music in all its forms and vibrancy. We look forward to greeting this next chapter, and to working together to build a more inclusive and compassionate future.”

Capital support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs provided National Sawdust with the equipment necessary to publish its digital archives and live stream venue content. This support enables National Sawdust to share music freely with NYC audiences from all socio-economic backgrounds.


About National Sawdust

National Sawdust builds audiences for music by providing outstanding resources and programmatic support to both emerging and established artists and composers. It is both a state-of-the-art performance venue and a recording studio, housed within a preserved century-old sawdust factory. Since the opening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in October 2015, over 170,000 audience members have experienced over 1,200 performances. Centered on discovery within music, National Sawdust's programming strives to introduce audiences to new artists and styles, while also introducing artists to new audiences. As an incubator of new music from across the genre spectrum, National Sawdust provides artists the space, time, and resources they need to create and present their art at its best. 90 works have been commissioned since its inception, and 26 albums have been released through its recording arm, NS Tracks. NS Projects have toured to The Kennedy Center, the Wallis Annenburg, creating a pathway for artists from incubation to dissemination. While our physical doors are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll actively continue to build community through our free digital platform, Live@NationalSawdust, for all to find joy and inspiration.




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