Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
Reserve your seat
This performance is free and open to the public. Please use New York Avenue entrance.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting invites you to a free panel discussion, "Using Art For Social Engagement," on July 26 beginning at 7 pm. The discussion precedes the 8:30 pm performance that night of the Pulitzer Center's "Voices of Haiti," a multimedia exploration through poetry, photography and music of HIV/AIDS in post-earthquake Haiti. The panel and performance will be held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC (New York Avenue entrance), with a wine and cheese reception in between. These events are presented in collaboration with Population Services International (PSI).
The panelists include: poet Kwame Dawes, photographer Andre Lambertson, director and producer David France, and senior consultant Patricia Finneran. The moderator is Jon Sawyer, founding director of the Pulitzer Center. Please see below for brief panelist biographies.
Poet Kwame Dawes is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and Glenna Luschei Editor of the Prairie Schooner, the quarterly literary magazine at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Voices of Haiti is Kwame's second partnership with the Pulitzer Center using poetry and multimedia to tell the stories of ordinary people under extraordinary circumstances. His first collaboration with the Pulitzer Center was the Emmy-award winning, livehopelove.com, focusing on HIV/AIDS, homophobia and stigma in Jamaica. Kwame is the author of more than a dozen collections of verse, including the critically-acclaimed "Wisteria: Poems From the Swamp Country." He is a former Distinguished Poet in Residence at the University of South Carolina and executive director and founder of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. He also is programming director of the annual Calabash International Literary Festival held in Jamaica.
Andre Lambertson creates award-winning photo essays on social issues for magazines, books, foundations, advocacy organizations and museums including Time, US News and World Report, Life, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, the Ford Foundation, the George Soros Foundation and the Smithsonian Museum. The International Center of Photography, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Darkroom are among the venues where his works have been exhibited. Andre, Kwame, and writer Lisa Armstrong worked together on the year-long Pulitzer Center reporting project focusing on the rebuilding of Haiti. Previously Andre worked on the Pulitzer Center reporting project "Scars and Stripes: Liberian Youth After the War." He has taught at the International Center of Photography and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as at workshops for former child soldiers in West Africa to aid in their transformation and healing.
Director/Producer David France is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author who has been writing about AIDS since 1982, beginning in gay-community papers. David's latest film titled "How to Survive a Plague" (available on Amazon Prime and iTunes) explores the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation helped turn AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Today he is one of the best-known chroniclers of the epidemic, having continued in The New York Times, where he was AIDS news writer in the 1990s; Newsweek, where he was senior editor for investigations until 2003; and now GQ and New York magazine, where he is a contributing editor. David has received the National Headliner Award and the GLAAD Media Award, and has seen his work inspire several films, most recently the Emmy-nominated Showtime film "Our Fathers." He is at work on a major history of AIDS, due from Alfred A. Knopf in 2013.
Over the past two decades Patricia Finneran has held senior positions at Sundance Institute, American Film Institute and IFP, working at the intersection of storytelling and social engagement to connect artists to audiences and advance film as a powerful tool for social change. Currently, Tricia is a senior consultant to Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program and Fund where she manages partnerships that advance contemporary social justice documentary by supporting artists and programs with leading funders such as the Skoll Foundation and the Gates Foundation. She serves as a curator and campaign development workshop leader for Good Pitch, a partnership with BritDoc Foundation. Through her involvement with VERITAS she led the highly successful campaign for BULLY, released by the Weinstein Company. Her innovative campaign strategy included a film guide and teacher training program. Previously as director of the AFI / Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS she led the nascent event to become the largest documentary festival in the US.
Jon Sawyer is executive director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. In its first six years the Center has funded over 250 reporting projects, partnering with major newspapers, magazines and broadcast outlets as well as universities and high schools across the country. Previously the Washington bureau chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jon was selected three years in a row for the National Press Club's award for best foreign reporting. The Pulitzer Center has won an Emmy for new approaches to news and documentary, the Asia Society's prize for best use of technology in international education, and best online-journalism prizes from the National Press Foundation, the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.