Brown Arts Initiative Highlights Spring 2018 Programs to be Presented at Brown University

Providence, RIThe Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) showcases its spring 2018 season of programming, featuring influential musicians, poets, artists, and filmmakers and a symposium on the arts and environment in the polar regions. Unless indicated, all programs are free and open to the public. Prominent participants for the upcoming season include:

  • Musicians Kishi Bashi, Julian Saporiti and Deem Spencer
  • Artists Meredith Monk and Wangechi Mutu
  • Poet Anne Waldman
  • Filmmaker Ramell Ross

On April 6, 2018, the BAI will host Polar Opposites: Creative Interventions in the Arctic and Antarctica, a symposium of artists, scientists, and researchers addressing issues that impact the polar regions. Polar Opposites is part of the BAI’s

Arts & Environment three-year theme covering topics as varied as natural and manmade landscapes, constructed environments, media ecologies, global connections, and climate change. See further details below.

All programs take place in the Martinos Auditorium of the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts on Brown’s campus unless otherwise noted. Some require advance registration.

Because programs are subject to change, for more information click here.

Kishi Bashi: Songwriting Workshop and Performance
Feb 28, 7:00 pm

American singer-songwriter and violinist Kishi Bashi, a founding member of the Brooklyn-based indie rock band Jupiter One, leads a songwriting workshop and performs.

Wangechi Mutu: In Conversation
Warren and Allison Kanders Lecture Series -- Mar 14, 5:30 pm

Kenyan native Wangechi Mutu joins Performa curator and Walker Art Center curator-at-large Adrienne Edwards to explore the influence of traditional African craft and cultural heritage on the artist’s work and storytelling.

Deem Spencer: In Concert
Mar 16, 5:30 pm, Studio 1

Emerging hip hop artist Deem Spencer performs from his recent project, we think we alone, followed by a conversation with Brown undergraduate and rapper Javon Stephenson ‘18.

Polar Opposites: Creative Interventions in the Arctic and Antarctica: Symposium on Arts and Environment
Apr 6, 9:00 am – 11:00 pm

Speakers include:

  • Keynote by David Buckland, artist, videographer, designer, curator, writer and founder/director of Cape Farewell, an organization that seeks to combat climate change;
  • Chantal Bilodeau, a playwright working at the intersection of science, policy, art and climate change in the Arctic;
  • Amanda Lynch, Brown University professor of environmental and planetary sciences, and director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and a specialist in polar climate modeling; and
  • Jeremy M. McKenzie AM’16, Lt. Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and researcher at the Center for Arctic Study and Policy.

Other speakers to be announced. Visit for details and to register.

David Winton Bell Gallery (64 College Street and various buildings on campus)
Mar 31 - May 27, Reception: Apr 6, 6:30 pm

Organized in association with the BAI symposium Polar Opposites: Creative Interventions in the Arctic and Antarctica

Spotlighting the BAI’s Arts and Environment theme, 33° presents exhibitions and public works addressing ice melt and climate change, including works by Danish artist and composer Jacob Kirkegaard, African American and Native American photographer Camille Seaman, and German landscape photographer Olaf Otto Becker. Photo murals by Seaman, Becker, Iain Roy, James Balog and Jean de Pomereu are displayed on façades of several Brown buildings.

Jacob Kirkegaard: Artist Talk
David Winton Bell Gallery (64 College Street) Apr 6, 5:30 pm

Meredith Monk and Anne Waldman: In Performance
Apr 13, 7:00 pm, Studio 1

Meredith Monk is an influential composer, singer, director/choreographer, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films, and installations. Her groundbreaking exploration of voice as an instrument expands the boundaries of musical composition. Monk will perform with poet, playwright, and activist Anne Waldman, a 2017‒18 BAI professor of the practice.

Julian Saporiti: In Concert
Apr 17, 7:00 pm

BAI Songwriting Series workshop leader, singer-songwriter, and Brown graduate student Julian Saporiti performs with collaborators from his collection No-No Boy, exploring his Vietnamese-American and Southern roots.

RaMell Ross, Filmmaker
Apr 19, 5:30 pm

Writer, photographer, filmmaker and Mellon Gateway Fellow RaMell Ross discusses his latest project and first feature-length film, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, which recently premiered at the Sundance Festival.

BAI Songwriting Series: Songwriters Showcase: In Concert
May 4, 7:00 pm

Campus and community participants in the BAI Songwriting Series spring workshop perform their original new songs.

Information about additional BAI and arts department programming is available here.


The Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) at Brown University seeks to cultivate creative expression and foster an interdisciplinary environment where faculty and students learn from one another and from artists and scholars in a wide range of fields across the campus and around the world. A consortium of six arts departments and two programs that encompass the performing, literary and visual arts, the BAI works collaboratively to enhance curricular and co-curricular offerings, directly engage students with prominent artists working in all genres and media, and supports a diverse program of concerts, performances, exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and symposia each year. The BAI takes full advantage of the University’s Open Curriculum and builds on Brown’s reputation as a destination for arts exploration, contributing to cultural enterprise through the integration of theory, practice, and scholarship with an emphasis on innovation and discovery that results from rigorous artmaking and experimentation.

The BAI comprises and integrates History of Art and Architecture; Literary Arts; Modern Culture and Media; Music; Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Visual Art; the David Winton Bell Gallery; and Rites and Reason Theatre/Africana Studies.


Media Contacts:

For additional information, Libby Mark or Heather Meltzer at Bow Bridge Communications, LLC New York City; +1 347-460-5566;

Granoff Center

Brown University
154 Angell Street, Providence, RI

Mailing Address

Brown University
Campus Box 1987
Providence, RI, 02912