NEA National Heritage Fellow, musician, ethnographer, linguist.
Singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and scholar Michael Alpert has been a key figure in the renaissance of East European Jewish music and culture worldwide since the 1970s. A native Yiddish speaker, he is one of the only Yiddish singers of his generation adept in the style of pre-WWII generations. Alpert is a celebrated innovator in Yiddish song, whose original compositions have expanded the canon. A leading teacher and scholar, his work has helped spark an international revitalization of the Yiddish cultural arts, from Yiddish folksong and dance to klezmer violin. Alpert’s vision has fostered Yiddish/Jewish cultural creativity as both an ethnic heritage and a contemporary identity.
Adept at some 20 languages, Alpert has conducted extensive cultural documentation in Jewish communities throughout the globe. He is an important bridge between older generations and the world klezmer/Yiddish revitalization, has played a central role in the transmission of Ashkenazic music and dance. Alpert has directed Yiddish cultural programs worldwide, taught at Indiana, Oxford, and Columbia universities and authored key scholarly publications. He was longtime co-artistic director of Montreal’s KlezKanada and consultant to the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków, Poland, and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at New York City’s Center for Traditional Music and Dance.
Writer and documentary photojournalist
Honduran writer and documentary photojournalist. Tomás’ work focuses on Latin American conflict as it relates to the drug war, forced displacement, and urban dispossession. Tomás seeks to bind the disparate threads of communities into the grand, interlinked story of the Western Hemisphere.
In covering the different types of violences facing the region’s people, Tomás hopes to record a narrative of both continental struggles and local successes.
- National Geographic Migration Fellow, 2020
- James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting, 2019
- World Press Association 6×6 Emerging Global Talent, 2019
- Latin America National Geographic Portfolio Winner, 2018
Elaine Byrne studied at the Frink School of Sculpture, Stoke on Trent, University College Dublin and completed a M.A. in Visual Arts Practices at the Institute of Art, Design and Technologhy, Dun Laoghaire, in 2009. A solo exhibition of her work entitled They Have Eyes took place at Leinster Gallery in Dublin in 2009 and her work has been shown in many exhibitions and festivals including Tulca Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, the Berlin Reading Room, Berlin and a solo show The Irish King of Mexico at Atrio Cultuarl Space in Mexico City. Her work is featured in private collections in Abu Dhabi, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK.
Her research-based practice examines overlooked histories, historical texts and artworks as a platform to mobilize history as it relates to current political and social concerns. For example, she has leveraged Frederick Kiesler’s 1925 architectural manifesto to interrogate the housing crisis in Ireland. Employing sculpture, video and photography she focuses on opening new questions for the viewer to highlight present day urgencies. Giving prominence to language her methodology often uses the interview as a way to confront difficult legal or civic issues, e.g., using James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922), the ‘Pure Codology’ interviews address the anti-Semitism in Hungary through the local attitude to Bloomsday.
Based between Dublin and New York, Elaine has an MA in Visual Arts Practices (IADT) and was previously a fellow at the Whitney Independent study and the Art & Law Program Fellow, New York. She has had many solo shows including borderline (Dublin), Women in Boxes (NY), La Diritta Via (Rome), Ruam (Dublin) and Raumplan (Limerick). Group shows include The Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery (Dublin), Douglas Hyde Gallery (Dublin), Elizabeth Foundation (NY) the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation (NY) and ISCP (NY). She won several prizes including the 8th Arte Laguna prize for sculpture, Venice, Italy and the T.I.N.A art prize, Milan. She was awarded residencies at ISCP, Art OMI and Soma Mexico. Her work in various collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rosenbach Museum and Library (Philadelphia) and the Office of Public Works Ireland and the Rubin Foundation. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia.
Head of Public Programs Museu Picasso de Barcelona
Anna Guarro is currently head of the Department of Public Programs and the Department of Audience Development at the Museu Picasso of Barcelona. Her interests revolve around the design, development, and production of interdisciplinary activities; on the relationship between contemporary art and science, new media and social movements; and the role of art in education and in society, and its relationship with other disciplines.
Among other projects, she directs the Barcelona Dibuixa festival, a co-production by the Museu Picasso and the Barcelona City Council aimed at promoting social reflection, in a creative and playful way, through drawing as a tool for coexistence and communication. Barcelona Dibuixa received a Catalan Association of Art Critics (ACCA) Awards in 2019.
Anna Guarro studied art history at the University of Barcelona and Management for Arts at Columbia College Chicago, where she graduated in 1992. She has worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), Fundació Rafael Tous Metrònom per l’Art Contemporani and in the Department of Cultural Activities and Events at the Cultural Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB).