Temple Contemporary commissions Obie Award-winning theater artists Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, known as 600 HIGHWAYMEN, and curator Simon Dove to create a multi-year performance project involving 1,000 Philadelphia performers/listeners, asking one another the question, “Are we listening?” Intended to engage a broad cross-section of Philadelphians and create opportunities for empathetic listening, the performative work includes two structured conversations, each a year apart, that will generate 500 simultaneous conversations. The first performance takes place at the Girard College Armory and will be repeated the following year by the same pairings of performers and at the same location. Participants will receive listening kits consisting of the performance score to guide the individual listening encounters, a list of personal objects to prepare for the performances, and an FM radio. The project will be amplified by a city-wide public awareness campaign focused on the civic imperative to actively and openly listen; a crowd-sourced publication compiling approaches to listening and being heard; and a project website that will feature tutorials and podcasts from three listening mentors.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.