Women’s Forum of New York: Free to Perform, Perform to Be Free

Published by Lea Patch

What role can performance play in bringing diverse groups together to see each other in new ways and build community? How does performance help people of all ages and life circumstances to grow their lives and the world? These were just some of the questions explored at “Free to Perform and Perform to Be Free,” an event sponsored by the Women’s Forum of New York on October 15 as part of a series on racial equality, social justice and inclusion. Created and moderated by All Stars Project (ASP) CEO Gabrielle Kurlander, the event brought together a distinguished and diverse panel for a fascinating and far-reaching conversation: jazz great and MacArthur Genius Award recipient Regina Carter; performance activist and scholar Lois Holzman, Ph.D.; former MetLife EVP and corporate innovator Maria Morris; activist and historian Jared Glenn and Fordham University alumna Ivory Williams. When asked what the title meant to her, Dr. Holzman said, “Performing to be free is performing to be free of so many things, including being free of the roles that have been assigned to us.And so, performing to be free is performing to be human.”