Press Kit

The Arts Arena is a multidisciplinary non-profit initiative for the visual, literary, and performing arts, film, and issues of culture and society. Since its founding in 2007 in Paris, it has put on more than 140 cultural events that energize connections both across artistic disciplines and between the arts and business, economics, cultural policy, science, technology and development. The Arts Arena’s institutional partnerships include Columbia Global Centers | Europe, Curtis Institute of Music, The American University of Paris, Yale University School of Art, and Yale School of Music. It has also collaborated with the Aspen Institute, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Watermill Center, and UNESCO. Its events include exhibitions, performances, screenings, lectures, colloquia and festivals. All are open to the public and free of charge. Arts Arena publications are available worldwide.

Arts Arena events have featured French artist Daniel Buren, theater director Robert Wilson, former New Yorker editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb, Yale University School of Art Dean Robert Storr and Centre Pompidou-Metz director Laurent Le Bon. We have welcomed singer-composer Rufus Wainwright, the Arts Arena Curtis Institute of Music Award concert, composer Michael Nyman, and the conductor and founder of Les Arts Florissants William Christie. Our dance events have presented dancers Violette Verdy and Suki Schoer, dancers and choreographers Lucinda Childs, Richard Siegal (Forsythe, The Bakery) and Christopher Hampson (Royal Scottish Ballet), members of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, as well as Ballet Master Paul Bos (NYCB), and, in partnership, dance films on Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jean Babilée, Maurice Béjart and Pina Bausch’s Sacre du Printemps. We have also hosted the internationally acclaimed artists Isabelle de Borchgrave, Richard Texier, Laurent Grasso, Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari, Christie’s International Director for Asian Art Amin Jaffer, photography specialists Vicki Goldberg and Fred Ritchin, and the Cage/Transatlantique colloquium on the centenary of John Cage, as well as talks by literary figures, art historians, and international museum directors. On November 16, 2013, the Arts Arena presented together Robert Wilson, legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and world-renowned actor Willem Dafoe.

In June-July 2012, the Arts Arena presented a month-long multidisciplinary festival of contemporary Iranian arts, Iranian Arts NOW (, bringing together 20 artists living inside Iran today and 20 Iranian artists of the diaspora as well as a screening of Iranian films. As part of its Forum for Culture & Society, the Arts Arena has hosted Photography and Human Rights; Philanthropy, the Arts, and Sustainable Development; and Culture in Conflict/Culture on the Move. Each year the Arts Arena presents the United Nations Association Film Festival/Traveling Film Festival with a selection of documentaries dealing with human rights, the environment, development and other social and economic issues, as well as the European film festival L’Europe autour de l’Europe.

The Arts Arena’s first full-format volume, Balanchine Then and Now, edited by Anne Hogan, was published in April 2008. This book features contributions from leading dancers, choreographers, company directors, critics, and academics that assess Balanchine’s legacy and his relevance to the history of dance. In October 2011, the Arts Arena published Robert Wilson from Within, edited by Margery Arent Safir, available in both French and English editions. Among the many contributing authors are Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Jonathan Harvey, Isabelle Huppert, Yvonne Rainer, Rufus Wainwright, and Robert Wilson himself, who selected and annotated a series of personal photographs specifically for this publication. Both publications have received rave reviews from the specialized and general press.

The Arts Arena Advisory Council includes distinguished cultural figures William Christie, conductor and founder of Les Arts Florissants, photography specialist and scholar as well as former photography critic of The New York Times and the author of nearly two dozen books Vicki Goldberg, Nobel laureate, playwright, and poet Roald Hoffmann, Academy Award-winning director James Ivory, journalist Dena Kaye, curator and founder of Sean Kelly Gallery New York, Sean Kelly, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of ARTnews Barbara MacAdam, Director Emeritus of the New York Film Festival and Programming Director of the Lincoln Center Film Society Richard Peña, Director Emerita of the Frick Collection Anne Poulet, collector and philanthropist Shaikha Paula al-Sabah of Kuwait, art historian and curator Stephen Scher, Director of The George Balanchine Trust and of the New York Choreographic Institute Ellen Sorrin, Dean of the Yale School of Art, formerly Senior Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and 2007 Commissioner of the Venice Biennale Robert Storr, and theater artist Robert Wilson. Attorneys James Landon and Cantwell Faulkner Muckenfuss III also serve on the Advisory Council.

The Arts Arena receives partial support from its institutional partners and is otherwise supported by grants (e.g., Florence Gould Foundation, Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in France, the U.S. Department of State, Door Studios, the Lassalle Fund, the Jerome Robbins Foundation), private donations, and the generosity of its members’ circle, ArtsArenaPLUS, for whom additional special events are offered.

As it approaches its eighth year, the Arts Arena remains committed to bridging cultures and disciplines and to creating dialogue around the work of exceptional artists. For information about past and upcoming Arts Arena events, please see the Event rubric on the website

For additional information about the Arts Arena, please contact

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