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Interested in American Jewish identity? Concerned about the waning support of quality Jewish art and culture? Enjoy free events?  Us too! Check out “ Now What? The future of New Jewish Culture”, a town hall-style event taking place on May 15 at 7pm, hosted by the 14th Street Y. Ten experts at the forefront of Jewish culture will discuss topics including funding, identity, innovation.

Now What? The Future of New Jewish Culture takes a critical look at the New Jewish Culture movement of the last ten years and its precarious position today. This town hall-style event takes place May 15 at 7pm and is hosted by the 14th Street Y. “Now What?” is the first event presented by Speakers’ Lab, a new public programming initiative of the Posen Foundation U.S., and is presented in collaboration with The Jewish Daily Forward.

 After a decade of flourishing Jewish creativity, major Jewish cultural enterprises are being forced to scale back operations or close entirely. Using recent funding cuts as a springboard to examine the most pressing issues facing new Jewish arts and culture, “Now What?” addresses:

--- New perspectives on American Jewish identity
--- Waning support for quality Jewish art and culture
--- Strategies for cultivating Jewish art and culture in the future

Among the panelists are Jewish artists, funders, presenters and critics, including: Alana Newhouse, Editor-in-Chief of Tablet Magazine; Jody Rosen, music critic for Slate Magazine; Elise Bernhardt, President and CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Culture; Ari Roth, Artistic Director of Theater J; Peter L. Stein, former Executive Director and current advisor and consultant to the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival; Stephen Hazan Arnoff, Executive Director of the 14th Street Y and LABA: The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture; Daniel Sieradski, organizer of Occupy Judaism; David Jordan Harris, Executive Director of Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council; and Rokhl Kafrissen, Yiddish arts critic. The discussion is moderated by Dan Friedman, Arts and Culture Editor at The Jewish Daily Forward.”

Seating is limited and pre-registration encouraged. Sign-up at www.speakerslab.org or by calling 212-564-6711 x 305.

Event and Venue Info:
The Theater at the 14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
New York, NY 10003
May 15, 2012 7pm

Personally, I would love to find out the speakers’ views on why Jews aren’t supporting Jewish arts and culture, given that Jews have a high track record of giving to other philanthropic causes. Why the funding cuts, and why now? Did we as Jews take a group vote and decide that Jewish magazines and music are suddenly irrelevant? Does this imply that the future of Jewish arts and culture is a bleak one?