A Public Radio International Program Hoseted by Kurt Anderson, featuring Damian Woetzel, Anna Deavere Smith, Elizabeth and the Catapult, and Edward P. Jones.
Some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world all gathered in a single place - to teach, speak, lead, question, and answer at the 2006 Aspen Ideas Festival. Throughout the week, they all interacted with an audience of thoughtful people who stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought, and discussion.
Host of public radio’s Peabody Award–winning Studio 360, Kurt Andersen is also cofounder and editor of Spy magazine. He is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair, the New York Times, New York, and Time, and has authored three novels, the most recent being True Believers (2012).
Edward P. Jones
Edward P. Jones is a Pulitzer Prizeâ€“winning writer and novelist. Jonesâ€™ first collection of short stories, Lost in the City, was published in l992 and won the PEN/Hemingway Award, was short-listed for the National Book Award, and was the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Award. His new collection of short stories, All Aunt Hagarâ€™s Children, was published in September 2006. Jonesâ€™ first novel, The Known World, received the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In addition, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and won the international IMPAC Dublin Literary award and the Lannan Literary award. Jones was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2004. He has had stories published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Callaloo. He has taught creative writing at the University of Virginia, George Mason University, the University of Maryland, and Princeton University.
Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress and playwright who is said to have created a new theater form. She is a University Professor at New York University and founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, which supports artists from around the world whose work addresses issues of social justice. Smith has been honored with many prizes, including a MacArthur fellowship and two Tony nominations. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. Her most recent one-person show, Let Me Down Easy, toured the US and was broadcast on PBS’s “Great Performances.” She has had roles on popular television shows, including Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and NBC’s “The West Wing,” and in feature films, including The American President and Philadelphia. She is a trustee of the Aspen Institute.
Damian Woetzel was a Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet and frequently performed internationally as a guest star and visiting artist with numerous companies including the Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, until his retirement from the stage in 2008. Woetzel currently serves as the Director of Arts Programs for the Aspen Institute, the Artistic Director of the Vail International Dance Festival, and as the Founding Director of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Program. Woetzel is also active as a director and producer outside these roles. Among his recent projects, Woetzel produced and directed an arts salute to Stephen Hawking at Lincoln Center for the World Science Festival, directed the first performance of the White House Dance Series, which took place in the East Room of the White House and was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and co-produced the tribute to legendary ballerina Natalia Makarova as part of the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December 2012. Woetzel also works with Yo-Yo Ma on his Silk Road Connect program in the New York City Public Schools, and has twice directed culminating year-end performances; at the Museum of Natural History in 2010, and for the Central Park SummerStage series in 2011. Woetzel was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by President Obama in 2009. In July 2012, Woetzel was honored with the inaugural Gene Kelly Legacy Award - an award jointly created by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and the Estate of Gene Kelly in honor of the 100th anniversary of Kelly's birth - for his contributions to the arts as a ballet star and director of dance and music performances.
Elizabeth wrote her first song at age six, banging out melodies on an old upright in a Greenwich Village laundry room. A born romantic, Elizabeth transformed the music of Debussy, molding it to the driving rhythms of the washer and dryer. With Debussy and Bach on her left and the Beatles just to her right, Elizabeth quickly developed a sound all her own. Her "Baroque" pop songs have frequently been compared to those of Rufus Wainwright, Fiona Apple and Laura Nyro. Elizabeth has performed extensively with her band, The Catapult (Dan Molad, Pete Lalish and Matt Wigton) around NYC.