April 4, 2019; 6–7:30pm
(San Francisco, CA, March 11, 2019) The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) and Joe Goode Performance Group (JGPG) present The Resilience Project, a unique dance/theater performance based on the stories and lived experiences of Bay Area veterans. The hour-long work, presented in Richard and Rhoda Goldman Hall, is inspired by ten local veterans from the Veterans War Memorial and the South of Market VA Clinic. Their stories, collected and interviewed by JGPG in fall 2018, tell of the physical and emotional wounds of war, recovery, resilience, and the ongoing process of adjustment to civilian life. Excerpts from these stories become the verbatim text for the staged performance in which words, movement, gesture, and song collide in a visceral exploration of how we as humans deal with trauma and find strength in adversity.
The performance will be followed by a 30-minute dialogue with the performers.
This is the third iteration of JGPG’s Resilience Project developed in collaboration with veterans. The first took place in 2013 in Kansas at the Institute for Health and Well Being of Military and their Families in collaboration with Kansas State University. The company worked with returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, who came back from conflict with life changing injuries or disabilities. The second was presented at the American Dance Institute in Maryland in 2016.
For this current project, JGPG and The CJM engaged local veterans in a series of Movement for Humans workshops, a practice developed by JGPG artistic director Joe Goode that guides participants into an easeful relationship with body and breath. Combining movement inspired by imagery and sound-making, the workshops promote profound mind body connection and relaxation. These workshops also include interviews that afford veterans the opportunity to talk about their experiences.
"[The Resilience Project] is really profoundly moving for me, and the whole company,” Goode says. “We all feel a sense of, ‘wow, this is really something we can learn from.’ How do we accept that we’re imperfect, and even broken? It’s not whether or not you suffer—because we all suffer—it’s how you handle suffering. And that’s what resilience is all about."
The CJM’s partnership with JGPG follows The Museum’s designation as a Blue Star Museum, offering complimentary admission to active military members, veterans, and military families year-round. The CJM is also actively partnering with veteran service agencies such as the South of Market VA Clinic, Swords to Plowshares, Veterans for Peace, and the San Francisco VA.
“The defining core of our work is to be in partnership with community; to reach out, connect, and build programs together with our civic partners,” says Fraidy Aber, Constance Wolf Director of Education and Civic Engagement, The CJM. “The Resilience Project was developed through this commitment to being in community and honoring the lived experience of our veterans.”
The CJM has developed an extensive portfolio of access and community engagement initiatives which strive to lower barriers to participation for individuals with disabilities and other under-resourced communities. “Each program is built in partnership with the expertise and knowledge of community members, and often serves to reduce isolation and stigma,” says Cecile Puretz, Access Program and Community Engagement Manager, The CJM.
Since 2010, The Museum has served over 10,000 visitors with disabilities through these innovative programs, including the Community Access Partnership Program (CAPP), a low-cost membership program for social service agencies, through which The CJM makes available over 1,500 visits every year to individuals who face significant barriers due to health, disability, age, income, and social barriers; and its Creative Aging programs, a series of enrichment events featuring dance classes, mindfulness meditation, and guided tours for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their care partners that promote community-building, wellness, and lifelong learning for older adults and seniors.
The Resilience Project takes place on Thursday, April 4, 2019 from 6–7:30pm. Tickets are $20 general; $10 Museum members; $8 seniors and students with valid ID; free for youth and transition-age young adults; free for veterans, their families, and VA staff. No one turned away for lack of funds. To inquire about free tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase, visit: https://thecjm.org/programs/471
The Contemporary Jewish Museum is located at 736 Mission Street in San Francisco, CA.
Access Programs at The CJM are made possible by major support from Wells Fargo Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by The Morse Family Foundation.
This version of The Resilience Project is made possible by the Koret Foundation and The Walter and Elise Haas Fund. Special thanks to the SFVA, Bob Basker 315 AL Post and Veterans for Peace chapter 69 and the San Francisco VA Downtown Clinic.
Joe Goode is a choreographer, writer, and director widely known as an innovator in the field of dance for his willingness to collide movement with spoken word, song, and visual imagery. Joe Goode formed Joe Goode Performance Group in 1986. The company tours regularly throughout the U.S., and has toured internationally to Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Goode is known as a master teacher, holding summer workshops in that attract participants from around the world. He is a member of the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.
Joe Goode Performance Group’s mission promotes understanding, compassion and tolerance among people through the innovative use of dance and theater, as interpreted by the artistic vision and work of Joe Goode. In Goode’s words, “I want to make ‘human scale’ dances. By human in scale, I mean placing the emphasis on the unglamorized body, the body in more intimate moments, when it is fallible or agitated or inept. My intent is not to create merely pedestrian movement, but to make dynamic movement that is a combination of gesture and partnering.” The company is committed to opening audiences’ minds to the limitless potential of where and how performance can be experienced.
With the opening of its new building on June 8, 2008, The Contemporary Jewish Museum ushered in a new chapter in its twenty-plus year history of engaging audiences and artists in exploring contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. The facility, designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is a lively center where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather to experience art, share diverse perspectives, and engage in hands-on activities. Inspired by the Hebrew phrase L’Chaim (To Life), the building is a physical embodiment of The CJM’s mission to bring together tradition and innovation in an exploration of the Jewish experience in the twenty-first century.
Major support for The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s educational programs for youth, young adults, and families with young children comes from Jim Joseph Foundation. The Museum thanks the Koret Foundation for major support of Jewish Peoplehood exhibitions and programs. Additional major support is provided by two anonymous donors; Bank of America; The Covenant Foundation; Suzanne and Elliott Felson; Gaia Fund; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Grants for the Arts; Walter and Elise Haas Fund; the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties; Wendy Kesser; Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt; Nellie and Max Levchin; Millennium Partners; The Bernard Osher Foundation; Lisa Stone Pritzker; John Pritzker; Dorothy R. Saxe; Seiger Family Foundation; Taube Philanthropies for Jewish Life and Culture; United States Department of Homeland Security; and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Major support for The Museum’s Helen Diller Institute is generously provided by The Helen Diller Family Foundation.
For more information about The Contemporary Jewish Museum, visit The Museum’s website at thecjm.org.