The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will collaborate with playwright and artist Ain Gordon to explore the intersections of history and contemporary life. Titled An Artist Embedded, Gordon will take the traditional “artist in residence” to the next level by becoming part of HSP’s programs development team over the next two years. This project is made possible by a grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Using HSP’s collections as source material and inspiration, Gordon will develop a play driven by the thematic focus of “individual liberty versus national acceptance,” which will explore the historical relevance of these subjects to contemporary issues such as race relations, marriage equality, voter disenfranchisement, and immigration reform.
“My plays find their launch in the overlooked,” Gordon says, adding, “With this project my research process will have more informed guidance… and a continuous sense of collaboration with scholars, educators, curators, and librarians, which is exciting and daunting.”
Throughout the research/creation process, HSP and Gordon will also co-develop a series of public programs to engage audiences and incorporate their feedback into the act of historical interpretation. From the very beginning, the public will serve as an integral element of the project. Social media and other web technologies will share the project with the public during its development and actively seeking their input, in an innovative approach to public history.
In spring 2016, the play will be directed by Gordon and performed at the Painted Bride Art Center.
For more information about Ain Gordon, HSP, or the An Artist Embedded project, please contact Vincent Fraley, Communications Manager, at 215-732-6200 ext. 233.