I hope you are safe, and I hope you are well. I recently heard Mo Willems say, “Art gets us through things.” As we approach the second anniversary of his Lunch Doodles videos, Mo returns to the studio to unveil his FUN ART THING EMITTER and reminds us how improvisational artmaking can give solace and space to feel.  Give it a try! Watch the latest Lunch Doodles on YouTube.

Baryshnikov Arts Center presents
Peggy Baker: her body as words (N.Y. Premiere)
On-demand through Monday, March 14, 5pm
Celebrated choreographer Peggy Baker offers a sound and film installation that fragments and explodes notions of female identity as expressed by nine Canadian dance artists. Dancing the complexities of their lived identities, these artists offer gestural renderings touching on themes of race, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual appetite, pregnancy, miscarriage, motherhood, disability, physical labor, and aging.  her body as words was filmed by Jeremy Mimnagh and features sound design by Debashis Sinha.
Access Peggy Baker: her body as words on BACNYC.org

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute presents
AfroCosmicMelatopia featuring Mwenso and the Shakes
Join young artists and creators from the Weill Music Institute community as they showcase original music and art inspired by Carnegie Hall’s Afrofuturism festival. Anchoring the event is Michael Mwenso and the Shakes, a singular “troupe of global artists presenting music that merges entertainment and artistry” (Jazziz). Together with the young songwriters, they bring to life new music, movements, and stories with their own unique flair. Expect a genre-crossing affair that exemplifies the openhearted and boundary-defying spirit of Afrofuturism.
AfroCosmicMelatopia Featuring Mwenso and the Shakes – YouTube 

Elbphilharmonie LIVE presents
Artemis:  Jazz at the Elbphilharmonie
On-demand through June 1
The world has had to wait far too long for the first all-female jazz supergroup, but it’s now finally here: Artemis. Named after the Greek goddess of hunting and childbirth, the band was formed in 2017 around the amazing Renee Rosnes. “I chose musicians I regarded highly and with whom I wanted to make music”, says the pianist. “And after we had performed together, I realized we had a unique chemistry.” Featuring piano, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, bass, and rhythm section, the New York group brings together six first-class instrumentalists, who are also highly influential in the American jazz world as bandleaders and composers. On February 24, Artemis made their Elbphilharmonie debut: great grooves are guaranteed – “a kick-off that’s not to be missed!” exclaimed one critic in a review of the fantastic all-star band’s first album.
Renee Rosnes | piano, music director
Ingrid Jensen | trumpet
Anat Cohen | clarinet
Nicole Glover | saxophone
Noriko Ueda | bass
Allison Miller | drums
Watch and listen to Artemis on the Elbphilharmonie Mediatheque website or on YouTube

The Kennedy Center presents
Live Tonight on Millennium Stage: Lundú
Premiere Saturday, March 5, 6pm
Named after an Afro-Peruvian rhythm, Lundú is a 7-member acoustic group performing outstanding original songs and stunning acoustic arrangements of standards that draw on the sounds of Peru’s mountains and coasts in dialogue with the Afro-Peruvian and Andean roots of their historic hometown, Arequipa. A special presentation in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the New England Foundation for the Arts as part of the Center Stage U.S.  debut tour.
Watch The Kennedy Center Presents on YouTube

 The Metropolitan Opera with PBS/WNET presents
Great Performances at the Met:  Eurydice
Premiere Sunday, March 6
American composer Matthew Aucoin’s new adaptation of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus reimagines the familiar tale from Eurydice’s point of view. Adapted from Sarah Ruhl’s acclaimed 2003 play, Met Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts with immersive new staging by Mary Zimmerman. Soprano Erin Morley sings the title role, opposite baritone Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński as his otherworldly alter-ego. Bass-baritone Nathan Berg portrays Eurydice’s father and fellow resident of the underworld, with tenor Barry Banks as Hades himself. Hosted by Renée Fleming.
Watch and listen to Great Performances on PBS. Check your local listings.
For more information visit PBS.orgFacebook, or YouTube

Downtown Music at Grace presents
Free Chamber Music with the Phil
Wednesday, March 9, 12-12:50pm
Musicians of the Westchester Philharmonic perform at Grace Church in White Plains, NY
Sandra Robbins, viola / Alan Kay, clarinet / Christopher Oldfather, piano
Mozart: Kegelstatt Trio
Bruch: Eight Pieces for clarinet, viola, and piano
For more information, visit The Phil’s website

The New York Public Library presents
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & Andrew S. Curran: Who’s Black and Why?  The Robert B. Silvers Lecture
 Thursday, March 10, 6:30-7:30pm
In-person and live stream
In 1739 Bordeaux’s Royal Academy of Sciences had announced an essay contest: explain the sources of “blackness.” What is the physical cause of blackness and African hair, they asked, and what is the cause of Black degeneration? By the time answers were received two years later, more than four million Africans had been kidnapped and shipped across the Atlantic into a life of brutal enslavement in cities, farms, and plantations on the other side of the world. None of the contest submissions were ever published, until last year, in a new book edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Andrew S. Curran, Who’s Black and Why? The essays, written by a mix of naturalists, theologians, physicians, and amateurs, document the search for a “scientific” understanding of race. Together they provide an indispensable record of the Enlightenment-era thinking that normalized the sale and enslavement of Black human beings. For the annual Robert B. Silvers Lecture, Gates and Curran retell the story of the contest, contextualize it in the history of the period, and discuss how the essays lay bare the origins of anti-Black racism and colorism in the West.
More information and registration on the NYPL website


Culture Picks is a weekly feature celebrating the performing arts. The arts are back and there is so much to take in, both live and virtual. Cultural connoisseur and PAC staff member Coni Guhl is here to help you sort through it all. Each week we will post her curated selection of events featuring the artists you know and love from The PAC Center Series, work being done by Purchase alums, plus a sampling of arts experiences you just can’t miss. Enjoy!

All times are EDT unless otherwise noted.

Pictured: Artemis © Artemis / The Kurland Agency