Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project

Kimmel Center, Inc.

2015
$112,800

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Holding It Down, Harlem Stage. Photo by Mark Millman Photography. Courtesy of Kimmel Center, Inc.

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Holding It Down, Harlem Stage. Photo by Mark Millman Photography. Courtesy of Kimmel Center, Inc.

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Holding It Down, Harlem Stage. Photo by Mark Millman Photography. Courtesy of Kimmel Center, Inc.

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Vijay Iyer performing in Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 2016. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

The Kimmel Center, Inc. will present Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project, a thought-provoking multimedia work of music, poetry, and visuals that will illuminate the lived experiences of minority veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A collaboration between jazz pianist, composer, and MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer and poet, performer, and librettist Mike Ladd, the evening-length work combines lyrical adaptations of veterans' dreams and first-person poetry with Iyer's lush acoustic and electronic melodies, and video designed by Tim Brown. Directed by Patricia McGregor, the Kimmel's presentation will incorporate a uniquely Philadelphia perspective by engaging local veteran communities and Warrior Writers, a veteran-focused arts organization. The groups will offer creative writing workshops for Philadelphia-area veterans to facilitate what Iyers describes as "the healing power of the collaborative creative process." Iyer and Ladd will meet with participating veterans in Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Center will create a publication documenting the process and collecting the veterans' writings. Holding It Down will be presented as a central component of the 2016 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.