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Monday, October 8, 2018

In Context: Place

In Place, composer Ted Hearne, poet Saul Williams, and director Patricia McGregor consider the difference between space and place, from manifest destiny to modern appropriation, in this rich mix of music, memoir, and mapmaking. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave and @BAM_Brooklyn.

Program Notes

Place (PDF)


Who belongs where? (BAM Blog)
Director Patricia McGregor asks you (yes, you): Has gentrification been a protagonist or antagonist in your life? Why and how?

Performing Place (BAMblog)
Singers Josephine Lee and Stephen Bradshaw share their experience working on this brand new-work

This Is What Gentrification in Brooklyn Sounds Like (The New York Times)
“Place obliquely yet obsessively mulls gentrification; displacement; the powers and limitations of white male privilege; and the intersection of shifts in communities and families…”

A look back at BAM’s iconic Next Wave Festival (
BAM: The Next Wave Festival celebrates 35 years of innovative, boundary-pushing performing arts

Watch & Listen

Interview with Ted Hearne, Saul Williams, and Patricia McGregor (YouTube)
The creators of PLACE discuss the issues at the heart of their new work.

Listen to excerpts from Place (Soundcloud)

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

© 2018 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.


  1. Great voices and at some points great music, but in general too pedagogical and not a nice production at all.

  2. I left this performance with many questions and a sense I could not shake that after this attempt at complicating the narrative around gentrification and white supremacy, the privileged white male perspective was yet again centered and set apart. Even when an attempt was made at holding him accountable whether he pointed the finger at himself or enlisting people of color into his project to do it properly and more intelligently (and with stunning voices) for him, we are still forced to put our attention on him, his story, his guilt, his attempt at redemption or need to be put in his place. Even when his alter ego leaves the stage, the real Hearn is constantly there reminding us, not letting us forget that in the end this is his, belongs to him, he is first to take a bow and it is his name that demands recognition. Why not step aside? Why not use your privilege to fund marginalized artists, allowing them to take center rather than limiting them to the role of responders, constant guardians of his consciousness, relegated to the exhausting work of living in a world of white supremacy and on top of that having to track Hearne's feelings, correct his ignorance. Maybe instead of creating an entire production around his own guilt of having appropriated the art of people of color, he can, I don't know, NOT appropriate people of color's experience of gentrification and its violence. He should not allow himself to use it, profit off of it, exploit it as a means to make himself feel better. If he wants to engage, I'm sure he can use his power in innumerable ways, mostly by stepping aside and supporting an actual artist who may have been displaced- trust me there are many of them who don't have the means to realize their creative projects. I did not leave feeling empowered by this - rather I left feeling that the burden is still placed on poc women who have no room other than to respond the best they can to the injustice that is in everyone's face. Makes me tired.


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