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S48 Ep20

The Arts Interrupted

Premiere: 5/14/2021 | 00:00:30 |

Take an inside look at how arts organizations nationwide are surviving the pandemic and how they are maturing during the country’s reckoning with systemic racism, featuring interviews with artists and performances made during lockdown.

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About the Episode

Great Performances: The Arts Interrupted
Premieres Friday, May 14 at 9 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS Video app

How have the arts been managing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Arts organizations across America share their survival stories, along with examples of innovative performances, from COVID-19 inspired theater to site-specific operas. Learn how the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have impacted America’s emerging artists in this new documentary hosted by GRAMMY, Emmy and Tony nominee Vanessa Williams.

#PBSForTheArts is a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the resiliency of the arts in America during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and reopening, and features new performing arts content filmed within the constraints of the pandemic. The collection of #PBSForTheArts programs will be available for broadcast on PBS and streaming on and the PBS Video app. Curated conversation and digital shorts will be available on PBS social media platforms using #PBSForTheArts.

Featuring interviews with:

  • Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director, Dance/NYC
  • Anne Huang, Executive Director, World Arts West
  • Danny Burstein, Tony-nominated actor, “Moulin Rouge”
  • Janice Sinden, President & CEO, Colorado Center for the Performing Arts
  • Jordana Leigh, Senior Director of Artistic Programming, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., GRAMMY-winning performers
  • Maure Aronson
  • Oskar Eustis, The Public Theater
  • Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Arts Commission
  • Simone Eccleston, Director of Hip Hop Culture and Contemporary Music, Kennedy Center
  • Somi, Composer & Musician
  • Stanlyn Brevé

Featuring performances from:

  • Ballet X (Pennslyvania)
  • The Cast of “Moulin Rouge” (Broadway)
  • The Cast of “Wicked”
  • The Juilliard School
  • Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Renée Fleming & Vanessa Williams
  • Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal
  • Scott Patterson
  • Somi and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band (Germany)
  • The String Queens (Dawn Michelle Johnson, Élise Sharp, & Kendall Isadore)
  • Yo-Yo Ma (Massachusetts)

Produced and directed by Akisa Omulepu, Great Performances: The Arts Interrupted is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC. Great Performances is produced by The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer and David Horn is Executive Producer.

Major funding for Great Performances: The Arts Interrupted is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Jody and John Arnhold, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, The Starr Foundation, the Seton Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, Ellen and James S. Marcus and PBS


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