Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Meet the Museum Team 2014!

If you think this post has an overly-cutesy title, you should see the ones I tossed out. It's amazing what 2014 almost rhymes with. Dream. Scheme. Nectarine. Some of my very favorite words! All of which are instantly reduced to kitsch the second they get stuck in a New Year's blog post headline, so I figured I'd just stick to words which are already basically cheesy by nature. Like team.

But listen! Despite the kitsch factor, I am honestly and truly excited to announce that the Museum of Joy has taken on two Artists in Residence for 2014, both of whom will be co-conspirators in the creation and curation of the Museum's new collection, Suddenly... 

This is how I feel about the Museum's new folks.

I can't tell you more about Suddenly... without ruining it, but I'm relatively sure it's going to be at least kind of awesome. I can, however, tell you at least a little bit about the fabulous people I've brought on board to help ensure it's somewhat superlative, seeing as how they're somewhat superlative themselves:

Jens Ibsen, Musician in Residence, is an astonishing singer whose vocal talents have led him to performances from Dubai to Shanghai, with stops along the way at Carnegie Hall, the UN, German television, and a feature-length film. In addition to having perfect pitch and synesthesia, Jens is the principal soloist and first African-born member of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. He’s a student of Sherri Greenawald, San Francisco Opera’s revered Master Teacher, and a freshman in Pepperdine University’s Flora Thornton Opera Program. He spends his free time composing and scheming about fantastical musical events. As Musician in Residence for the Museum of Joy, he’ll be developing a series of sudden musical events ranging from opera flashmobs to pop-up participatory choirs, all designed to bring astoundingly beautiful music to San Francisco’s most acoustically barren public spaces.

Natalie Nayun by John Ashton-Keller
Photo credit: John Ashton-Keller
Natalie Nayun, Dancer in Residence, is a fusion dancer noted for her lyrical style, which combines modern American styles of bellydance with inflections and influences ranging from Persian and Classical Indian dance to modern, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. In addition to dancing with Beats Antique and Deshret Dance Company, she teaches and performs internationally, most recently in Israel, Argentina, and Chile. She is the director of the Oakland-based dance company Adara, which fuses belly dance, Central Asian dance, and romance dances with a modern choreographic sensibility. As Dancer in Residence for the Museum of Joy, Natalie will be creating original site-specific dance works that intertwine a strong local spirit with a global aesthetic to celebrate and activate unlikely urban spaces.

In addition, we have a wonderful new (and growing) Board of Advisors, who will be profiled on our People page along with our artists in residence. The Board is made up of brilliant people who combine vision with pragmatism, and whose help, insight, advice, and wisdom has proven indispensable to the ongoing development of the Museum of Joy.

I'm pretty darn thrilled about the new year. I'm not the world's most passionate fan of New Year's Eve, with its loneliness and tendency to start the year with a vicious hangover, but I do like turning points and I also appreciate the fact that our new year is situated right at that moment in winter when the worst of the long nights are past, when the days are starting to drag themselves out of the darkness, when you can maybe begin to remember to look forward to things again and start to imagine what you're going to do with warm evenings and all that gosh-darned daylight. So here's to you, gentle reader: may the new year bring you more magnificence than you can fit into a mere twelve months.

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