Temple Contemporary will commission Obie Award-winning theater artists Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, known as 600 HIGHWAYMEN, to create a multi-year performance project involving 1,000 Philadelphia performers/listeners, asking each other the question, “Are we listening?” Intended to engage a broad range of Philadelphians and create opportunities for empathetic listening, the durational performances will take place privately inside 500 homes around the city each year. The project will commence with a convening of all 1,000 performers, facilitated by 600 HIGHWAYMEN, where 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. During the inaugural listening event, 500 performers will travel to and be hosted by 500 performers in their homes. A radio broadcast will provide an hour-long 1000 Ways to Listen guide that will simultaneously cue the performances around the city, and provide prompts and a soundtrack for the participants. 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 listening tutorials and podcasts.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.