3 area organizations aim to promote community conversations about government, facts, human rights
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, the Opalka Gallery at Sage Colleges, and Proctors are joining more than 140 other venues across the U.S. in screening the movie 1984 (directed by Michael Redford, 1984, 110 minutes) on April 4.
The date is the day George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary. Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures its own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies has never been timelier. The goal of the screenings is to initiate community conversations about how we live at a time when it seems facts and basic human rights are under attack.
“Our current situation—in politics, in education, in the culture—has given greater urgency for us to make clear what we believe in, like verifiable facts and conversations across ideological differences,” said Tang’s Dayton Director Ian Berry. “Art has the power to spark robust exchanges of ideas, and screening 1984 now offers the perfect moment for a lively, thoughtful, and empowering evening.”
“As a college art gallery with a strong presence in the community, the Opalka is committed to exhibitions and public programs that promote discussions on the role art plays in our lives,” said Opalka Director Elizabeth Greenberg. “We are deeply troubled by the proposed elimination of federal arts funding and the use of ‘alternative facts’ to undermine our democracy. Our intent is to stimulate conversations on the White House’s proposals and what they mean to our students and visitors.”
“We’re always happy to join with other arts organizations in the region, particularly to present work that speaks truth to power,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “1984 is a classic and we should all see it to remind us about the world we live in, which is as upside down as ever right now.”
Tang Teaching Museum
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4
Where: Somers Room, Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Info: 518-580-8080; tang.skidmore.edu
Note: A discussion follows the screening with Skidmore College faculty members: Dr. Pushkala Prasad, Zankel Chair and Professor of Management & Business; Dr. Ron Seyb, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Student Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Political Science; and Dr. Tim Wientzen, Assistant Professor of English. The novel 1984 and other books will be available at the Tang Museum Store’s Dystopian Book Sale, which runs from March 28 through April 4.
When: 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 4
Where: Opalka Gallery, Sage College of Albany, 140 New Scotland Ave., Albany
Info: 518-292-7742; sage.edu/opalka
Notes: Three professors of the Sage Colleges will participate in a discussion after the film: Dr. Steven A. Leibo, Professor, History and Society, and the Sherman David Spector Professor in the Humanities; Dr. David Salomon, Professor, English; Dr. Harvey Strum, Professor, History and Public Affairs and Public Policy Director.
When: 4:30 and 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 4
Where: GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
Info: 518-346-6204; proctors.org
Admission: $5; supports Proctors Educational and Community-related programming
Notes: 7 p.m. screening will be introduced by Daily Gazette columnist Sara Foss, speaking on the value of a free and independent press. Guilderland Huddle Action Project will present a Capital Region Action Fair, 5-9 p.m. in the Wright Family Atrium, featuring representatives from: Albany Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, The League of Women Voters, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Sierra Club, Albany Social Justice Center, Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration, Capital Region Chapter ACLU, Citizen Action of New York, Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia, The Center for Community Justice, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, YWCA of NorthEastern NY, American Association of University Women, Pride Center of the Capital Region, In Our Own Voices, Safe Kind Inclusive Networking, Schenectady Inner City Ministry, The Open Door Bookstore, Electric City Food Co-op