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Voters' Broadcast

Watch the October 14 episode.

Watch the September 30 episode.

Voters’ Broadcast is a transformative and broadly participatory musical performance for flexible ensembles of musicians. The work is directed, conceived and composed by Rome Prize and American Academy of Arts & Letters Award-winner, composer and 2020-21 Kaufman Music Center Artist-in-Residence Lisa Bielawa, with text taken from celebrated artist Sheryl Oring’s I Wish to Say.

Events

  • Virtual Performances
    Three virtual performances hosted by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and featuring its students along with high school students from Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School will be streamed live on Kaufman Music Center’s Facebook page at 3 pm on September 30, October 14 and October 28.
     
  • Outdoor Performances
    On Saturday, October 24 at 11 am, 12:30 pm and 2 pm, Kaufman Music Center and Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza will present a day of socially distanced outdoor performances at the library’s main entrance featuring performers from Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School High School.
     
  • Polling Place
    On November 3, Kaufman Music Center will expand its commitment to serving the community by serving as a polling place for the general election. Confirm that you are registered to vote at Headcount.org.

​Lisa Bielawa’s mission with Voters’ Broadcast is to stimulate voter engagement and community participation in our current challenging lockdown conditions, through performing and voting, during the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential election. 

Bielawa says, “The project is poised to energize and inspire people in a unique way, inciting them to think, to vote, to consider their relationships to their political leaders and to each other. It is designed to deliver equal parts beauty and mobilization. In German when one votes, one ‘gives one’s voice’ (‘I voted’ = ‘Ich habe gestimmt’ [I gave my voice]). Voters’ Broadcast is dedicated to all of those who give their voices, through singing and by voting.”

Bielawa’s music for Voters’ Broadcast is composed and constructed in ways that makes it perfect for broad participation by musicians who are isolated and not able to gather together to make music. The piece will unfold in sections based on the nature of the postcards that Bielawa selects to include in the work: Salutations; Petitions (statements starting with the word “Please”); Exhortations (requests and demands without the word “Please”); Questions; and others. It does not focus on the qualities or identities of the Presidents and candidates addressed, but on the feelings and views of American people addressing their elected leaders since Sheryl Oring launched the I Wish to Say project in 2004. 

Voters’ Broadcast is commissioned as part of the Democracy & Debate theme-semester by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with support from its School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and developed in partnership with Kaufman Music Center in New York, where Bielawa is a 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence. Voters’ Broadcast is providing voting information via HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. On November 3, Kaufman Music Center will serve as a polling place for the presidential election.

Get more information about Voters’ Broadcast.