We partner with dozens of cultural organizations yearly. We are a Founding Member of the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., International Tour Sponsor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and serve as the main sponsor of approximately ten museum exhibitions a year.
Scroll down to view a selection of our current and upcoming partnerships.
The Met's HD Live in Schools
ModiglianiTate Modern, London
Bank of America is pleased to sponsor Modigliani, a retrospective on view at Tate Modern, London, from November 23, 2017 – April 2, 2018.
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (Italian, 1884 –1920) was a painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style, characterized by elongation of faces and figures. His work was not received well during his lifetime, but later found worldwide admiration and today is seen as having modernized figurative painting. During his lifetime, Modigliani had little success. Managing only one solo exhibition and giving his work away in exchange for meals in restaurants, Modigliani died destitute.
The exhibition begins with the artist’s arrival in Paris, exploring the creative contexts that shaped his life and work. Modigliani spent his youth in Italy, where he studied the art of antiquity and the Renaissance until he moved to Paris in 1906. There he met prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși. Modigliani began to develop his own distinctive visual language, and pushed the boundaries of the art of his time. Including almost 100 works, the exhibition looks afresh at the experimentation that shaped his career and made Modigliani one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.
Modigliani’s nudes are a highlight of the exhibition – with twelve nudes on display, this is the largest group ever reunited in the UK. These sensuous works proved controversial when they were first shown in 1917, leading police to censor his only solo exhibition on the grounds of indecency. Legend has it that the nudes drew such a crowd around the gallery that it eventually caught the attention of a police officer. The officer was offended, and promptly ordered them to be taken down. Whether or not this actually happened, the exhibition certainly caught the imagination of the public, and contributed to Modigliani's reputation as a scandalous playboy. Modigliani’s modern women are a symbol of sensuality and defiance. Their unapologetic stares and poses convey women in control of their bodies and their livelihoods (models at the time earned relatively good money). This, in itself, made a real statement.
Also included are his lesser-known but radical and thought-provoking sculptures. For a few years of his life Modigliani abandoned painting to focus on sculpture. He was even chosen to exhibit in the Salon d’Automne in 1912, a great honor for a young artist at the time. However, given his financial difficulties, biographers have wondered how Modigliani managed to afford the expensive materials needed to make these works. It may be that, like a number of other sculptors at the time, he pilfered unguarded stone to support his practice. Montparnasse, where he lived, was one of the last areas of Paris to be renovated, with a wealth of limestone set aside for its building sites. It may not be a coincidence that Modigliani’s series of Heads are carved from the same type of stone.
Tate Modern has received a grant through the 2017 Bank of America Art Conservation Project, with the objective of gaining a better understanding of Modigliani’s working methods and materials through research on three paintings in the exhibition created during different stages of the artist’s career, Portrait of a Girl, c. 1917; The Little Peasant c. 1918; and Madame Zborowska 1918. Through the high profile of the exhibition, and through collaboration with colleagues in the UK and overseas, the research is sure to reach well beyond Tate.
Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends
Bank of America is honored to be the global sponsor of Robert Rauschenberg, a major exhibition of the work of Robert Rauschenberg organized in collaboration with Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. It will be the first posthumous retrospective and the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work in twenty years, on view from December 1, 2016 through April 2, 2017 at Tate Modern. The exhibition will travel to The Museum of Modern Art (May 21, 2017–September 17, 2017) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (November 4, 2017–March 25, 2018).
In London, the retrospective been has been hailed as "the exhibition of the year" and "a must-see" by art critics. Prominent British newspapers The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian awarded the show five stars.
The Telegraph’s Mark Hudson wrote, “This is, to my mind, the exhibition of the year.” The Guardian’s Adrian Searle described it as “impossibly rich and rewarding.” Writing in The Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnson said, “The breadth of vision is mind-opening.”
The first American artist to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1963, Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) blazed a new trail for art in the second half of the twentieth century. Moving between painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, digital technology, stage design and performance, he refused to accept conventional boundaries in art and in life, his quest for innovation fired by his openness to the world, his enthusiasm for collaboration and his passion for travel. Rauschenberg’s radical approach to his artistic practice was always sensational, with the artist producing works so experimental that they eluded definition and categorization.
Each chapter of Rauschenberg’s six-decade career is represented by important international loans that rarely travel due to the fragile condition of the works. Among these is a selection of his iconic Combines, a term Rauschenberg coined for his works that integrated aspects of painting and sculpture and would often include materials found on the streets of New York in the 1950s, such objects as a stuffed eagle or goat, street signs, or a quilt and pillow.
Among these is Monogram, 1955-59, traveling to the UK for the first time in over half a century. The Combines marked a clear break with the works of the previous generation of abstract expressionist painters, such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, who previously had dominated American art. Assembled from materials including a stuffed angora goat, a rubber tire, a tennis ball and a shoe heel, the work demonstrates Rauschenberg’s bold challenge to the hierarchical distinction between traditional art materials and everyday objects.
Monogram, on loan from the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, will take center stage in a gallery dedicated to Rauschenberg’s Combines. Bed, 1955, will travel from The Museum of Modern Art, New York. This influential work was assembled from what was allegedly Rauschenberg’s own pillow and a quilt given as a gift by fellow artist, Dorothea Rockburne, stretched like a canvas and covered with abstract pencil drawings and paint.
The exhibition also features the signature silkscreen paintings that signaled Rauschenberg’s early commitment to political activism, including Retroactive II 1964, which portrays John F. Kennedy, who had recently been assassinated.
Rauschenberg begins in the late 1940s by considering the artist’s early experiments at Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina, a center for creative innovation in the postwar era. Here he studied under legendary Bauhaus figure Joseph Albers and embarked on his first collaborations with fellow artists and friends John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, David Tudor, Cy Twombly and Susan Weil. This time lead to his seminal Erased de Kooning Drawing in 1953. An almost blank piece of paper in a simple gilded frame, the work paid tribute to the achievements of abstract expressionism as much as it tested the limits of what art could be.
Rauschenberg’s work with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an organization of which he was a founder and which developed collaborations between artists and engineers in the 1960s, is also explored, showing how he helped to blur the boundaries between the visual arts, performance and science.
In the early 1970s Rauschenberg moved his studio and primary residence to Captiva, Florida, and began to travel extensively across Europe, the Americas and Asia. His Cardboards 1971-72 – a wry comment on the forces of globalization – and his sumptuous fabric works such as The Jammers 1975-76 – inspired by his visit to the Indian textile manufacturing center of Ahmedabad – demonstrate his skillful play with unconventional materials. The epic project Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), a traveling exhibition that took place between 1984 and 1991 taking in Chile, China, Cuba and Tibet, is also featured.
Performance and dance remained key interests for Rauschenberg and form a central strand of the exhibition, as is his interest in pushing the limits of image-making with new materials such as printing on translucent textiles, polished steel or oxidized copper. A striking group of late inkjet paintings, combining dozens of images taken at home and abroad through the use of digital technology, will reveal how he continued to innovate into the twenty-first century.
Peter Moore. Photograph of Robert Rauschenberg’s Pelican (1963) as performed in a former CBS television studio, New York, during the First New York Theater Rally, May 1965.
Photo © Barbara Moore/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Presenting sponsors: The Getty and Bank of America
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California.
Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions and programs, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art from the ancient world to the present day. With topics such as luxury arts in the pre-Columbian Americas, 20th century Afro-Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary-crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries.
Supported by more than $16 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA involves more than 70 cultural institutions from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
Ana Serrano, Cartonlandia, 2008.
Cardboard, paper, acrylic paint
5' x 4' x 4.5'
Photo: Julie Klima. Courtesy of the artist.
To be shown at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1891, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Bank of America’s global partnership with the CSO began with the historic 2010/11 season, when Maestro Riccardo Muti began his tenure as Music Director. Muti’s dedication to bringing live symphonic music of the highest artistic caliber to the broadest possible audience has served as the cornerstone of the CSO’s mission.
As part of our ongoing commitment to that mission, Bank of America is proud to be the Global Sponsor of all CSO main series classical concerts at Chicago’s Symphony Center, two signature fundraising events, Symphony Ball and Corporate Night, and exclusive corporate Global Sponsor of CSO tours, both domestic and international.
The CSO’s 127th season is one of celebration and exploration. Over the course of 2017/2018, CSO performances will mark the anniversaries of major composers, including the 150th anniversary of Gioachino Rossini’s death, the centennial of the birth of American composer Leonard Bernstein, the 150th birthday of Claude Debussy and the 200th birthday of Charles Gounod. 2018 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the acclaimed Chicago Symphony Chorus and will be celebrated with performances of choral works by Franz Shubert and Rossini.
In April, beloved American composer and conductor John Williams will join the CSO for a special program that celebrates his significant contribution to the film world and the concert stage. Williams will conduct a program that features his Oscar-winning film scores performed by the CSO.
The season’s musical explorations include premieres of new works by three American composers: Mead Composer-in-Residence Elizabeth Ogonek; Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon and CSO viola and composer Max Raimi; and continued exploration of symphonies by Josef Anton Bruckner. In addition, fifteen guest artists and conductors will make their CSO debuts, including violinist Isabelle Faust, and conductors Giovanni Antonini, Jiří Bělohlávek and John Storgårds.
Muti bookmarks the CSO season’s weeklong residencies beginning with renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who will join the orchestra in performances of concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Pyotr IlychTchaikovsky in September, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma for a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto and Sergei Prokofiev’s Third Symphony in June.
In the 2017/18 season, the CSO also continues its tradition of touring with two major U.S. tours, beginning in Kansas City, Missouri in October 2017; followed by California performances in Berkeley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, Palm Desert, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. For its second tour, in February 2018, the CSO will perform at Carnegie Hall; Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center; and the Artis-Naples in Naples, Florida.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
September 24, 2016, will mark a special moment in the history of the United States, when our only national museum devoted to African American history and culture opens on the Washington Mall after more than 12 years of planning and development. Following an Act of Congress in 2003 which sought to establish the museum, work to raise funds and develop the museum’s plans began in earnest. The NMAAHC is the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum.
Bank of America is honored to be part of this important moment in our history. We were an early supporter of the yet-to-be-built museum through our sponsorship of “Save our African American Treasures,” a national program which traveled the country to discover important artifacts that citizens might have in their possession. These holders of treasures in some cases gifted them to the museum, but also received expert advice as to their significance, value and their maintenance through this program.
Fast-forward to 2011, when the museum Council was formed, and our CEO, Brian Moynihan, became one of its members. Our company became a founding donor in 2014 and, more recently, undertook to be a sponsor of the opening events that will take place throughout late September and early October of this year.
Building on some of our existing programs, the Bank also provided funding through our Art Conservation Project to conserve nine important works by African American artists, which will be a permanent feature of the museum’s exhibitry.
In addition, we were pleased to donate a collection of more than 60 photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. The distinguished photographer developed this collection from 1977 through 1982, to document the unique culture of the Gullah community of Daufuskie Island in South Carolina.
The NMAAHC building’s lead designer David Adjaye and lead architect Philip Freelon, together with their architectural team Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup, won an international competition in 2009 to design and deliver the museum. Groundbreaking occurred in 2012. The nearly 400,000-square-foot museum will be the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American experience.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Architectural photo by Alan Karchmer
The world’s most famous concert hall
Season sponsor and Musical Exchange program supporter
Bank of America is the proud Season sponsor of Carnegie Hall, home to the world’s finest orchestras; chamber ensembles; recitalists; world, jazz and pop artists; premieres; and special commissions.
Carnegie Hall’s mission is to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience by featuring extraordinary performances on its three stages, leading visionary education programs and advocating for the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists and audiences.
A common theme running through its 2017–2018 season is the influential role that music can play in changing the world. A celebratory Opening Night Gala concert by The Philadelphia Orchestra marks the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with performances of the composer’s Symphonic Suite, from On the Waterfront, and Symphonic Dances, from West Side Story.
A citywide festival entitled The ’60s: The Years That Changed America, inspired by writer Robert A. Caro, includes two offerings that explore the nexus of music, protest and social change: one featuring legendary singer-songwriter and activist David Crosby with Snarky Puppy, and another led by acclaimed composer, music director and producer Ray Chew with a lineup of prominent guest artists from the worlds of folk, rock, soul and R&B. The festival also features a performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble and new works premiered by the Kronos Quartet — one referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the other based on the works of author and activist Studs Terkel.
Carnegie Hall has appointed Philip Glass to hold its Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for the 2017–2018 season. With this residency, the Hall joins the yearlong celebration of the eminent composer’s 80th birthday year, presenting performances that feature Glass classics and premieres performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble, Nico Muhly, American Composers Orchestra, and the JACK Quartet, plus the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Pacific Symphony in their Carnegie Hall debuts.
Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives series brings violinist Janine Jansen and pianist Daniil Trifonov to the fore. Jansen curates five concerts, featuring chamber music performances with an all-star roster of collaborators and concerto appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Trifonov is featured in seven concerts, including an exploration of Chopin; solo recitals; and collaborations with baritone Matthias Goerne, pianist Sergei Babayan, Kremerata Baltica, and cellist Gautier Capuçon. Together with the Mariinsky Orchestra, Trifonov premieres his own piano concerto.
It is Carnegie Hall’s core belief that as one of the world’s foremost cultural institutions, it has the responsibility to create world-class resources and share them free-of-charge. Carnegie Hall fulfills this goal through the extensive programing of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI). Expected to reach more than half a million people in the 2017–2018 season, WMI’s programs are specially designed for students, teachers, families, young musicians and audience members of all ages, and are offered at low or no cost to participants. WMI introduces audiences to music, trains and nurtures young artists, and harnesses the power of music to create opportunities for social impact, making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
WMI has also created the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), comprising the best instrumentalists, ages 16–19, and NYO2, an intensive training program for younger musicians, ages 14–17, that seeks to further expand the pool of young musicians in the U.S. who are equipped with the tools to succeed at the highest level. In 2018, NYO-USA returns to Asia for a tour with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Now in its second year, NYO2 musicians will once again work with WMI partner Giancarlo Guerrero and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Along with NYO-USA, WMI’s PlayUSA initiative supports additional young players nationwide through partner organizations that offer instrumental music education programs to low-income and underserved students.
With music education programs for grades 3–5, WMI’s Link Up program continues to grow, reaching over 400,000 students and teachers through partnerships with more than 100 orchestras across the country and around the globe.
Also growing, the Music Educators Workshop brings teachers from throughout the U.S. together to share best practices and cultivate a strong community through an intensive summer program, with ongoing support throughout the school year.
As part of its focus on social impact, WMI partners with the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network in Los Angeles this season for Create Justice, a series of national forums that bring together a wide range of thought leaders, including representatives from nonprofit organizations, artists and policymakers to consider the role of the arts in juvenile justice reform, culminating in a March 2018 Carnegie Hall concert that features art and music created by young people.
Among WMI’s series of master classes and workshops for young professional musicians, the great mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne celebrates her final season as artistic advisor for The Song Continues in January 2018, an annual festival dedicated to the art of the vocal recital. Ms. Horne will then pass the torch to soprano Renée Fleming, who will lead the series in years to come.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Bank of America is pleased to support the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which recently opened its doors after a three-year transformation. As a Premier Sponsor, our support extends to SFMOMA’s special exhibitions and art, education and community programs. Among the exhibitions sponsored by Bank of America is the inaugural exhibition The Campaign for Art: Modern and Contemporary.
Partnering with architecture firm Snøhetta, SFMOMA’s 235,000-square-foot building expansion will nearly triple gallery space and include 45,000 square feet of art-filled space open free of charge. SFMOMA will be the largest museum for modern and contemporary art in the United States, and attendance will total more than 1 million visitors annually. The new SFMOMA will offer new ways to inspire, educate and engage visitors, through seven floors of galleries, special exhibitions and absorbing digital learning initiatives. The new Pritzker Center for Photography will be the largest space in any American art museum dedicated to the exhibition, research and interpretation of photography. In addition, admission will be free for visitors age 18 and under. The new museum will provide a showcase for works by Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Frida Kahlo, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol and many others, along with postwar and contemporary artworks from the 1,100-piece Doris and Donald Fisher Collection.
The Campaign for Art: Modern and Contemporary, on view from May 14 through September 18, is one of several exhibitions highlighting contributions from the museum’s Campaign for Art. This installation will introduce a wide range of newly committed and gifted modern and contemporary works, filling in gaps and building on strengths of SFMOMA’s collection. Illustrating the extraordinary growth in every curatorial department, this exhibition will present a multidisciplinary selection from donated works to Painting and Sculpture, Photography, Media Arts and Architecture and Design. Highlights include paintings by Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and an entire gallery dedicated to Joseph Beuys.
The exhibition is organized around notable aesthetic breakthroughs and constellations of related European, Bay Area, and other American artists. The dawn of the twentieth century saw the rise of abstraction in tandem with the explosive growth of urban centers. Art of postwar Germany has been a particular focus for the museum over the past 25 years. The museum’s long-standing commitment to artists working in California, and especially in the Bay Area, has also been greatly reinforced by the Campaign; an array of such works are featured here and In Art of Northern California: Three Views. Photography has been fundamental to SFMOMA since the museum’s founding, and a gallery devoted to the late work of Diane Arbus showcases a major addition to the photography collection. Media arts highlights include historic pieces by performance and video pioneers Ant Farm, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Nam June Paik. The architecture and design collection presents a selection of chairs, each of a single material, and a group of experimental works of architecture by contemporary practitioners that bring innovation into focus.
This presentation of modern and contemporary works on paper inaugurates SFMOMA’s first space dedicated to the medium. Part one of a two-part exhibition, it reveals the rich array of drawings, collages and watercolors pledged to the museum through the Campaign for Art. Together the works on view reflect diverse creative approaches, including explorations of radical abstraction, conceptual control and psychological experience.
Photo credit: Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA; photo: © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Global tour sponsor
Bank of America is the International Tour Sponsor for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Enabling major American performing arts organizations to tour internationally is part of Bank of America’s efforts to increase cultural understanding and open opportunities for dialogue through the arts. At each destination, thousands of people enjoy masterful performances and share cultural experiences with fellow audiences around the world.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition for more than 50 years. Recognized by the U.S. Congress as a vital “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” the Company has performed for more than 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on six continents.
Under the leadership of its artistic director, Robert Battle, the Ailey Company will bring its uplifting artistry to a dozen European cities. Among the Company’s diverse repertory, audiences will enjoy inspiring performances of such classics as Cry, the female solo made famous by Judith Jamison and dedicated to “all black women everywhere — especially our mothers”; Night Creature, a dazzling ballet set to the music of Duke Ellington; and Revelations, the Company’s signature American masterpiece inspired by Alvin Ailey’s childhood memories of life in rural Texas, and the song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues he experienced as a parishioner in the Baptist Church.
Since its debut in 1960, Ailey’s Revelations has moved audiences around the world through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music, evoking timeless themes of determination, hope and transcendence. More people have seen Revelations than any other modern dance work in history.
In addition to these classics, the Company will premiere Robert Battle’s 2015 work, Awakening, and celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s 2015 Cuban-inspired creation, Open Door, set to the Grammy Award–winning music by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
From September 6 to October 19, the Company will perform throughout England, Wales and Scotland, with inaugural debuts in Southampton and Canterbury, England. On October 22 and 23, the Company returns to Salle Métropole in Lausanne, Switzerland, followed by seven performances at the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, from October 26 to October 30.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958 by dancer/choreographer Alvin Ailey to share the richness of African-American culture and American modern dance with the world.
Caption Credits: Linda Celeste Sims and Yannick Lebrun. Photo by Andrew Eccles
Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Bank of America is pleased to sponsor Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, on view at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian from September 21, 2014, through fall 2018.
Nation to Nation, 10 years in the making, brings together the largest historical collection of treaties made between the United States and American Indian Nations, along with more than 125 related artifacts, photographs and contemporary objects. It is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Treaties; Serious Diplomacy; Bad Acts, Bad Paper; Great Nations Keep Their Word; and The Future of Treaties.
Introduction to Treaties provides an overview of the vastly different perspectives held between non-native settlers and Native Americans, from concepts of land ownership, civic organization and leadership to the very nature and purpose of diplomacy.
Serious Diplomacy reveals the initial good intentions of settlers of the early republic, seeking security and peaceful coexistence. One of the earliest treaties on display is the Treaty of Canandaigua, signed in 1794 by members of the Iroquois Confederacy, Cornplanter, Red Jacket and Handsome Lake, and President George Washington. It allowed for the establishment of Indian territories and provided annual compensation to tribes in exchange for free passage through their lands and access to their harbors and rivers.
Bad Acts, Bad Paper highlights the events that transpired in the 1800s, when the United States’ territorial ambitions led it to craft treaties designed to confiscate Indian lands and push Native Nations west of the Mississippi. These nations also fell victim to the competing interests and conflicts between individual states and the federal government. Many states sought and won exemptions from federal treaties and went on to take the law, and Indian territories, into their own hands.
Great Nations Keep Their Word focuses on the 1900s, when the surviving Native Nations more successfully appealed for the enforcement of treaties and their rights. Efforts by Congress to nullify many pre-existing treaties were met with strong opposition and eventual defeat, while others would ultimately be struck down in U.S. courts. These victories helped to restore both the dignity and self-determination of the Native Nations.
The Future of Treaties focuses on the impact that existing treaties continue to have on relations between the United States and Native Nations and points to a future likely to be filled with both struggle and hope.
Thomas Jefferson peace medal, 1801, owned by Powder Face (Northern Inunaina/Arapaho), Oklahoma Bronze Copper alloy, hide, porcupine quills, feathers, dye, metal cones
Photo credit: Walter Larrim
The Met: HD Live in Schools
Major funding for The Met: HD Live in Schools was made possible by Bank of America, with program support provided through a partnership with the New York City Department of Education and other school districts across the country.
Through HD Live in Schools, teachers, students and parents can experience the world’s greatest conductors, directors, musicians and singers in riveting productions. The program, which uses opera to teach music, theater, history and English language arts, reaches students in five New York City high schools and 40 school districts in 30 states throughout the country. Teachers receive educator guides and annual training opportunities that enable them to conduct in-class workshops, which prepare students to attend live movie theater transmissions of operas—direct from the Met stage—all free of charge.
Each opera is chosen based on a variety of considerations, including the opera’s applicability to the general curriculum and engaging content for young audiences. Last season’s featured operas included Richard Strauss' Elektra, Alban Berg's Lulu, Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, as well as revivals of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot and Madama Butterfly.
Elektra is the riveting ancient Greek tale of the title character’s quest for vengeance for the murder of her father, Agamemnon. Renowned soprano Nina Stemme played the title role.
Lulu is considered one of the most important stageworks of the twentieth century. It tells the story of a young dancer who rises in German society through her relationships with wealthy men, but who later meets a tragic fate. Soprano Marlis Petersen played the title role.
Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello, based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece and originally performed at the Met in 1891, brought together an outstanding cast led by Aleksandr Antonenko in the title role.
Two revivals of Giacomo Puccini’s work were brought to the Met stage last season, Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly and Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Turnadot. Set in the port city of Nagasaki at the end of the twentieth century, Madama Butterfly is the story of a young geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a genuine marriage. Soprano Kristine Opolais reprised her role in the original production. Puccini’s Turnadot—his final opera—is an epic fairy tale about a Chinese princess whose riddles her suitors must solve, on pain of death if mistaken, in order to win her hand. Sopranos Lise Lindstrom and Nina Stemme took turns in the title role.
Photo Credits: EXPLORING PARTNERSHIPS: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.