Randy Cohen to interview Academy member, composer, and performer Meredith Monk
December 13, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Person Place Thing is an interview show based on the idea that people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result? Surprising stories from great talkers.
The interview will take place in the Academy’s library with live music by Anna Roberts-Gevalt.
This event is free and open to the public but reservations are required.
American Academy of Arts and Letters
633 West 155 Street, New York, NY 10032
Meredith Monk was elected as a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters earlier this year, and is a composer, singer, director, choreographer, filmmaker, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films, and installations. Considered one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer of what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance.” Over the last six decades Monk has received numerous awards and honors including a MacArthur “Genius” award and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. In addition to induction into the Academy, Monk recently received two of the highest honors bestowed on a living artist in the United States: the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. In conjunction with her 50th season of performing and creating work, she was named Carnegie Hall’s 2014-15 Debs Composer’s Chair. Celebrated internationally, Monk’s work has been presented at major venues throughout the world.
Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Young Love Comics). His first television work was writing for “Late Night With David Letterman” for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s “TV Nation.” He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. For twelve years he wrote “The Ethicist,” a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine. In 2010 his first play, “The Punishing Blow,” ran at New York’s Clurman Theater. His most recent book, “Be Good: how to navigate the ethics of everything,” was published by Chronicle. He is currently the creator and host of Person Place Thing, a public radio program.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Edward MacDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.
In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country. The Academy is located in three landmark buildings designed by McKim, Mead & White, Cass Gilbert, and Charles Pratt Huntington, on Audubon Terrace in Washington Heights at 155 Street and Broadway, New York City.