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Performing Arts Connect

The Center’s new Performing Arts Connect series uses Zoom videoconferencing to bring you live workshops and presentations featuring artists and experts from leading cultural organizations around the world. You can enjoy these virtual field trips from home – or anywhere!


After registering, you will be sent a Zoom link so you can connect live for the program. For any questions, contact


Dogs at the Piano

Oct. 14, 2021, at 7PM

Artist Laurie Anderson’s 2015 film Heart of a Dog features multiple sequences of her rat terrier Lolabelle playing an electronic keyboard. As we regularly encounter singing goats, dancing cockatiels and theremin-playing cats on YouTube and Instagram, we are tempted to focus on the silliness of animals in musical contexts, or whether animals can truly have an aesthetic experience. This interactive presentation, through a survey of artwork, performance anecdotes and news reports, will ask different questions, including: Why do we find animals in musical situations funny? How can we understand our own reactions to animal performances? And how did Lolabelle actually learn to play?


DeadRoots: The Folk and Blues Influences of the Grateful Dead

Dec. 8, 2021, at 7PM

Though generally associated with the 1960s counterculture, rock legends the Grateful Dead first built their repertoire on classic folk, blues and jug band music, and they introduced generations of fans to the nooks, crannies, branches and offshoots of American roots music like perhaps no other act of their size and influence. They learned songs from itinerant street musicians, covered songs by blues legends and country stars, and packed a gumbo of musical styles into their own canon of beloved original songs.


The Roots of Black Music in America

Feb. 7, 2022, at 7PM

Karlus Trapp’s educational and entertaining presentation The Roots of Black Music in America is a 100-year journey through time to experience anew and learn about the music of America’s Black musical giants. The presentation/performance comes alive through audience participation and interaction, including singing, call and response and percussion playing. Trapp has been presenting the show for over 10 years with Staten Island’s Universal Temple of the Arts Ensemble, delighting thousands of students and adults alike. Warning: You may find yourself uncontrollably smiling, singing or humming for hours afterward.


The Art of Performance

April 20, 2022, at 7PM                  

This program highlights works from the Cleveland Museum of Art to show the influence of music and performance on visual artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Many artists captured the growing audiences for musical and theatrical performances in Europe and the United States around the turn of the century, providing an inside look at entertainment across various class distinctions and backgrounds.  In art movements such as Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, the Harlem Renaissance and the Ash Can School, we find artists depicting operas, jazz performances, and even burlesque shows.