Hirshhorn and Newseum Launch Joint Series on Freedom of Expression
This fall, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will partner with the Newseum to launch a series of conversations with critically acclaimed artists, journalists, activists and academics to discuss the role of art and free speech in the 21st century.
The four-part program will coincide with the Hirshhorn’s current exhibition “Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn” (June 28-Jan. 1, 2018), a solo project featuring new and recent work by renowned Chinese artist and freedom of expression advocate Ai Weiwei. The series will kick off right before Free Speech Week (Oct. 16-Oct. 22) with a public conversation at the Newseum Oct. 14 featuring Washington Post correspondent William Wan on his experience covering China and international human rights.
“As the national museum of contemporary art, the Hirshhorn is committed to exploring the diverse and thought-provoking ways that artists respond to the world in which they live-most recently through our exhibit by the prolific Chinese dissident and human rights activist Ai Weiwei,” said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. “We are thrilled to continue the conversation that ‘Trace’ presents surrounding Ai’s inspiring advocacy for freedom of speech through this upcoming series with the Newseum.”
Two events will be hosted at the Hirshhorn’s Ring auditorium in October and December focusing on the power of art to raise awareness and spark action. The panel discussions will include renowned contemporary artists, including Pedro Reyes (b. 1972, Mexico), Laurie Jo Reynolds (b. 1968, U.S.), Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976, U.S.) and Tania Bruguera (b. 1968, Cuba), as well as Creative Time chief curator Nato Thompson and The New Yorker journalist Evan Osonos, among others.
An additional conversation at the Newseum will be held in November that will explore the role of freedom of expression, government censorship and human rights concerns around the world.
“Freedom of speech and expression are essential to a strong and open society-something Ai Weiwei and others have long fought for,” said Cathy Trost, senior vice president of exhibits and programs at the Newseum. “We look forward to our upcoming program series with the Hirshhorn, which will provide some of the world’s most influential artists, journalists and activists with the unique opportunity to debate meaningful issues that are at the heart of our democracy.”
This event series is part of the Hirshhorn’s diverse range of free public programs, which invite today’s leading innovators in art, design, music and technology to explore ideas that shape 21st-century culture. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis