Directors Notes

Monday, 3 January, 2011

Our series resumes this winter and spring with three eagerly anticipated evenings of dialogue with artists invited to campus by Lively Arts and Stanford faculty members.  On Thursday, January 20, Harry J. Elam, Jr., the Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, joins pioneering hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris for “Hip-Hop: The Spirit of an Arts Movement,” a conversation that explores both the sources and ongoing influences of hip-hop on contemporary aesthetics worldwide.

On Tuesday, February 1, the Aurora Forum hosts “Mingus, Music, and the Struggle for Civil Rights” with Sue Mingus, widow of the late Jazz bassist, Charles Mingus, and Clayborne Carson, professor of history and director of Stanford’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.  In this contribution to Lively Arts’ Remember Mingus series, we examine how Mingus and other jazz musicians used their celebrity and music to bring attention to social justice movements.   

On Thursday, May 5, we will spend an evening with Trimpin, a MacArthur Fellow and sound artist who moved from Germany to Seattle in 1980 because, he claims, America has better junkyards than Europe.  Trimpin makes musical instruments from discarded technology components, and Department of Art professor Paul DeMarinis, who experiments with electronic sounds, will join us for “Trimpin: Coincidence, Music, Memory, and Meaning."  Trimpin will discuss his creative process during his time in residence at Stanford leading up to the May 14 world premier of The Gurs Zyklus, a multimedia stage performance inspired by the fate of Jews in Camp Gurs, a concentration camp in his hometown near the French-Spanish border.

We are also hosting a Jazz Book Club headed by Lisa Mezzacappa and Matthew Campbell of the Lively Arts staff.  You are welcome to join our next meeting at the Stanford Coffee House (CoHo) in Tresidder Student Union at 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 2, when we will share our impressions of Sue Mingus’ memoir, Tonight at Noon:  A Love Story.  Following that, we will head to Dinkelspiel Auditorium for Mingus Dynasty, an ensemble of New York jazz-world performers who continue to probe Mingus’ brilliant compositions.

It is fitting that we refer once again to jazz, for Aurora Forum conversations are original, creative, and spontaneous exchanges—no one really knows just what is going to happen once we start talking—that aim to increase our understanding of the social, political, historical, and aesthetic contexts that have given shape to the work of some of the remarkable artists who visit our campus under the auspices of Stanford Lively Arts.  We invite your participation in this growing community of inquiry that gathers regularly at the Aurora Forum and Lively Arts performances.

Thursday, 4 November, 2010

Aurora Forum-Lively Arts Jazz Book Club
The first meeting of the Aurora Forum-Lively Arts Jazz Book Club takes place on Saturday, November 13 at 6:30pm at the Stanford Coffee House (CoHo) in Tresidder Union across from Dinkelspiel Auditorium where Grammy-award winning bassist Christian McBride performs at 8:00pm. Go here for further information.

Sunday, 30 May, 2010

Our series of public conversations will resume next January. In the meantime, please explore the Aurora Forum archive by clicking here.

Monday, 25 January, 2010
Slideshow from Stanford Report
Click here for a slideshow that includes images of our visit with Steve Reich and Beryl Korot.

Thursday, 12 November, 2009

New Art+Invention Speaker Series

The Aurora Forum is pleased to join with Stanford Lively Arts and the Stanford Institute on Creativity and the Arts to present a series of conversations on "Art+Invention" with artists who are in residence or visiting the Stanford Campus. Our guests in this series are people who contribute to and illuminate various cultures, expand awareness through new technologies, and probe philosophical questions that are at the heart of humanistic inquiry. This will be fun! Click here for an overview of this exciting new venture.

Wednesday, 22 July, 2009

Please explore the Aurora Forum archive until we return with new programs.


Thanks for your interest.

Thursday, 4 June, 2009

What Matters
See the website for What Matters, the book that will be featured in our July 9 conversation in Annenberg Auditorium.

Wednesday, 13 May, 2009

For Water
In anticipation of our “Gratitude and Poetry for Water” conversation on May 21, take a look at Jenna Davis’ list of water and sanitation resources by going here.

Thursday, 2 April, 2009

Art in the Age of Obama
I had the good fortune to attend Peter Sellars' "Art in the Age of Obama" lecture at  Montalvo Arts Center last month. This excellent presentation is now available online, and I urge you to view it. Click here and scroll to "Agency: Peter Sellars"(the interview and lecture are two separate files).

Monday, 23 February, 2009
Reading for "Responsible Freedom"
In anticipation of our conversation on Thursday, March 5, we recommend you read the following essays by our guests:  Martha Nussbaum’s “Education for Profit, Education for Freedom” (Seymour Fox Memorial Lecture at Hebrew University, 2007) and Andrew Delbanco’s “The College Idea” (Lapham’s Quarterly I/4 [Fall 2008]).

Aurora Forum on iTunes
Launch:  iTunes