The Al Hirschfeld Foundation is pleased to announce a new partnership with Redhouse Arts Center (Tony Award nominee Hunter Foster, Artistic Director; Samara Hannah, Executive Director) in Syracuse, to bring a new and innovative visual/performing arts curriculum to schools throughout the region. Based on Al Hirschfeld’s life and work, this visionary curriculum engages K-12 students in a variety of arts activities. Developed in conjunction with the New York City Board of Education, Syracuse is the first region outside of New York City to utilize the curriculum, serving as a pilot to bring the Arts Education Initiative to underserved communities around the country. Funded in Syracuse by the Slutzker Family Foundation, the curriculum will be taught by Redhouse teachers at Redhouse’s Summer Camps. Additionally, the two organizations are also developing opportunities to bring this curriculum in to schools across Central New York this Fall.
Tony Award®- nominee Hunter Foster, the newly-named Artistic Director of Redhouse, will be on hand to welcome guests as the partnership officially launches with a free open-house event at Redhouse Arts Center (400 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13202), on July 13, 12PM – 5PM. The open-house event will also mark the opening of an exhibition of Al Hirschfeld’s artwork, curated by The Al Hirschfeld Foundation’s Creative Director David Leopold and celebrating Redhouse’s 15th anniversary season. This special Hirschfeld exhibit will be at Redhouse from July 13th through mid-October.
“I am so excited to bring Al Hirschfeld’s famous Broadway inspired prints to Syracuse to not only celebrate Redhouse’s 15th Anniversary but also my inaugural season” says newly-named Artistic Director Hunter Foster. His inventive and unique style chronicled decades of legends from Broadway to Hollywood and we are delighted to showcase his works here.”
Other Hirschfeld-related activities at the July 13 open-house event will include an engaging presentation taking participants on a tour of “The Hirschfeld Century,” a “Find the NINAs” contest, a book signing, and chances to win prizes, including tickets to Redhouse’s 15th anniversary season.
For more information about the July 13 open-house, and other Redhouse events throughout the weekend, please call the Redhouse Box Office at (315) 362-2785 or visit www.theredhouse.org.
“The opportunity to display select pieces from the Al Hirschfeld collection is such a prestigious honor,” stated Executive Director Samara Hannah. “The pieces were specifically chosen to represent our upcoming 2019/20 season. I could not be more thrilled to partner with The Al Hirschfeld Foundation in my inaugural season at Redhouse. We hope to inspire a whole new generation of NINA-hunters and encourage everyone from across our community and beyond to visit this exhibit.”
“We’ve organized a special Hirschfeld exhibition of limited-edition Hirschfeld prints that ties in with Redhouse’s season including Rent, Christmas Carol, and Romeo and Juliet, along with Broadway favorites such as Gypsy, Hairspray, and Guys and Dolls,” says David Leopold, the Creative Director of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. “We are excited that it will not only be a lovely show, but also an educational tool for Redhouse summer campers, and a way to support Redhouse, as all the prints will be available for sale with proceeds split between the two non-profits.”
The mission of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation is to promote interest in the theater and dramatic arts by supporting not-for-profit museums, libraries, theaters and similar cultural institutions. The Foundation fulfills its mission by making grants to such organizations, by mounting exhibitions of Al Hirschfeld’s artworks at museums and other venues and by donating or lending Al Hirschfeld’s artworks to such organizations. The Foundation maintains an extensive collection of Hirschfeld artworks and lends pieces to institutions all over the world. Papers from the first half-century of Hirschfeld’s career are held by the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The Harvard Theatre Collection holds the largest public collection of Hirschfeld art and ephemera. There are also significant holdings at the Library of Congress, the National Portrait Gallery, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.www.AlHirschfeldFoundation.org
Hirschfeld’s drawings stand as one of the most innovative efforts in establishing the visual language of modern art through caricature in the 20th century. A self described “characterist,” his signature work, defined by a linear calligraphic style, appeared in virtually every major publication of the last nine decades (including a 75 year relationship with The New York Times) as well as numerous book and record covers and 15 postage stamps. Hirschfeld said his contribution was to take the character, created by the playwright and portrayed by the actor, and reinvent it for the reader. Playwright Terrence McNally wrote: “No one ‘writes’ more accurately of the performing arts than Al Hirschfeld. He accomplishes on a blank page with his pen and ink in a few strokes what many of us need a lifetime of words to say.” In 1945, Hirschfeld celebrated the birth of his daughter Nina by placing her name in the background of a drawing for the play Are You With It? What the artist described as an innocent prank soon became a personal trademark and national obsession, as he began hiding numerous NINA’s throughout his drawings for years to come. He is represented in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and Harvard’s Theater Collection. Hirschfeld authored several books including Manhattan Oases and Show Business is No Business in addition to 10 collections of his work. He was declared a Living Landmark by the New York City Landmarks Commission in 1996, and a Living Legend by The Library of Congress in 2000. Just before his death in January 2003, he learned he was to be awarded the Medal of Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts and inducted into the Academy of Arts and Letters. The winner of two Tony Awards, he was given the ultimate Broadway accolade on what would have been his 100th birthday in June 2003. The Martin Beck Theater was renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theater.
ABOUT REDHOUSE Redhouse Arts Center. Inc. is a non-profit, professional theatre and multi-arts organization dedicated to building community through the arts. Redhouse offers professional arts experiences through theatre, performing arts and arts education. We actively engage and provide educational and performance opportunities to underserved members of our community. www.theredhouse.org