Walker Art Center
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Content, Context, and Cultural Commitment: Curating the Performing Arts


new possibilities, then I can't do an adequate job of building interest and advocating for that artist's role when they come to my institution.

BS: I'm so happy to hear you say that. Now, especially at this point in my life and my career, there are times I just unabashedly and proudly say, "I'm booking what I like."

PB: What do you think are some of the key ways in which performing artists are being affected by and, in turn, affecting globalization? What are you seeing in the form and/or content of works by young artists who are operating in the global arena?

BS: I almost feel as if I'm being obvious or trite … It's certainly not news that artists have been historically at the forefront of not only cultural but also social and political action and activism, including globalization. Also, long before foundations or corporate sponsors or other formal structures started funding international cultural exchange, artists were working in collaboration with their counterparts and peers in diverse communities where they lived or in other parts of the world. Again, this is nothing new. We just keep trying to give the same phenomena new hype, new names, new marketing strategies, etc. Like its predecessors, this new, or rather younger, generation of artists is not content to remain underground and unrecognized. Though these artists are not necessarily seeking to be accepted, discovered, produced, or presented. Like the Amiri Barakas or the Berry Gordys or the Haki Madhubutis of the world, they are able, eager, and ready to produce their own theater, press their own records, and publish their own literature. And I can only say, as my generation said, "More power to ya!" Or, to quote James Brown, "I don't want you to give me nothin'/Open up the door and I'll get it myself." And what they are getting, or taking, is in fact the world by storm.