Yes Art Matters!

Arts and Culture: Why Art Matters

The arts touch all of our senses. From dancers and directors to architects and educators, here are many of the leaders who will be at the Festival to talk about the power of art to shape our society and make our hearts sing. (We’ll learn some fancy footwork, too!)

Twitter Aspen Ideas Festival 2012Dancing Classrooms founder Pierre Dulaine (photo, left) and cultural entrepreneur Merlijn Twaalfhoven will share how they use music and dance to bridge cultures and ease conflict. (Dulaine, whose work in schools was the subject of the award-winning documentary "Mad, Hot Ballroom" and the feature film "Take the Lead," will also demonstrate how his programs work by teaching Festival attendees some ballroom dance moves!)

Twitter Aspen Ideas Festival 2012Listen to Harman-Eisner artist in residence, theater, opera, and film director Julie Taymor (best known for her Broadway production of the “Lion King,”), as she converses about her career and vision with entertainment industry leader Michael Eisner (photo, left).

Twitter Aspen Ideas Festival 2012Architect Elizabeth Diller (photo, left), also a Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence, will discuss her groundbreaking work on projects including the High Line and Lincoln Center renovation in New York City, and the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.


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In our digital age, what is the theater that matters? NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman (photo, left) actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, director and producer Gregory Mosher, the Public Theater’s Oskar Eustis, and Julie Taymor will debate the question.


Aspen Ideas Festival 2012

How should we be using arts education to help create the successful schools we need? Join education guru Howard Gardner in discussion with Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel to find out.



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Can culture revitalize our country? In a session called Making Cities Sing, the Knight Foundation’s Dennis Scholl, the Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker (photo, left) and Rocco Landesman will share success stories from across the map.


Twitter Aspen Ideas Festival 2012Join us at the first ever Aspen Ideas Block Party where Celebrate the Beat’s Tracy Straus will lead us in dance, demonstrating learning through the arts, and Laura Zabel, of Springboard for the Arts, will speak about how the arts uniquely help communities come alive.

This is just a glance at the Arts and Culture track, more exciting speakers and topics to come!

The Power of Poetry

From our archives: here's an example of the power of art to convey a message — as realized here by Michael York reading “Perhaps” by Shu Ting.

See Moby in Aspen on June 29

Twitter Aspen Ideas Festival 2012Moby is coming to Aspen. As part of Aspen Ideas, the musician will discuss his work with the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. Want to see him perform on stage? Moby Acoustic Band and Moby (dj set) will be at Belly Up on June 29.
Tickets go on sale at 10am, Friday, May 4. (Festival pass holders must purchase tickets for the performance.)