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Anna Deavere Smith to Speak at New Paltz: Star of PBS Premiere Twilight: Los Angeles is Keynote at 2001 Conference

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NEW PALTZ -- Anna Deavere SmithSUNY New Paltz is pleased to announce that author, playwright, and actor Anna Deavere Smith will facilitate a conversation on themes from her play Twilight: Los Angeles as part the 2001 Arts Now Conference Sites of Conflict: Arts in a Culture of Violence. In advance of her presentation at SUNY New Paltz, Ms Smith's ground-breaking play will air on PBS television, Sunday, April 29 at 9pm as part of the series Stage On Screen.

Twilight: Los Angeles is Anna Deavere Smith's powerful one-woman/multi-voiced theater piece about the 1991 Rodney King beating, the violent aftermath of the 1992 verdict, and the lasting impact of the L.A. riots on America's conscience. Award-winning director Marc Levin weaves Smith's virtuosic stage performance with news footage and recent interviews to create an unflinching portrait of rage, sorrow, loss, and battered hope. Smith's work is an ideal complement to Sites of Conflict: Art in a Culture of Violence, serving as a platform for discussion of social aggression as portrayed onstage and in film. Anna Deavere Smith has agreed to open the conference with a keynote presentation and book signing on Thursday, September 20, 2001.

Arts Now is a national forum for the examination of the arts, culture, and society. Each biennial conference addresses a particular issue or question that seems significant, timely, and prescient. In 1997, Subject to Desire: Refiguring the Body considered the body as subject, site, and metaphor in the arts. In 1999 Ooh...aah...oh! Art Audience Response explored the idea of audience as a dynamic dimension in all visual and performing arts.

The 2001 Arts Now Conference, Sites of Conflict: Art in a Culture of Violence, will explore issues surrounding violent imagery in the visual and performing arts, as well as other forms of cultural production such as film, literature, and music. Issues that will emerge are the importance of responsibility, the necessity of testimony, the impact of shocking imagery, the usefulness of catharsis, the role of spectacle, and the consequences of desensitization. The conference seeks to establish a cross-disciplinary dialogue on the relationship between art and violence by inviting participation of lecturers, performers, artists, and panelists from throughout the US.

For additional information on Arts Now 2001, Sites of Conflict: Art in a Culture of Violence, call 845-257-3872, or visit the conference web page:

Images of Anna Deavere Smith are available on the web at Other images are available: call 845-257-3872.

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