Violinist and Social Justice Advocate to Deliver 2020 Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy June 23 at 11:30 AM ET


The 33rd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy will be presented live as the opening keynote presentation of the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Americans for the Arts is pleased to welcome as its speaker Vijay Gupta, acclaimed violinist, social justice advocate, 2018 MacArthur Fellow, and Americans for the Arts board member. The lecture is free and attendees can register here. Gupta will be introduced by the Honorable Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Gupta believes that the work of the artist and the work of citizenship is the same: to create the world we want to see in our small, everyday actions—one person, one relationship, and one note at a time. His talk is titled “The Next Response,” and he will speak about forgiveness and how in this moment we gather in the common purpose of artists and citizens of this world to create our next responses together. Following the lecture, at 12:45 p.m., Annual Convention attendees will have an opportunity to engage with Gupta in a special session.

Gupta is a leading advocate for the role of the arts and music to heal, inspire, provoke change, and foster social connection. He is the founder and artistic director of Street Symphony, a nonprofit organization providing musical engagement, dialogue, and teaching artistry for homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles. A seasoned international performing artist since the age of eight, Gupta made his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 11. At 19, he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and served as a member of the First Violin section through 2018. He has appeared as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and is an active recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician.

The Nancy Hanks Lecture is a national forum for arts policy, providing an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of arts and culture to our nation’s well-being. The lecture is named for Nancy Hanks, former president of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Past lecturers include Rita Moreno, Norman Lear, Darren Walker, John Maeda, Robert Redford, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wynton Marsalis, Alec Baldwin, and Ken Burns.

Americans for the Arts extends special thanks to The Rosenthal Family Foundation (Jamie Rosenthal Wolf, Rick Rosenthal, and Nancy Stephens) and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for their generous support of this keynote.





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