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The State of U.S. Immigration Policy

Performance Information

Washington Performing Arts and NYU DC convene immigration policy experts and civic leaders to examine contemporary issues in U.S. immigration policy since the 1980s, including a discussion of the role of state and local government in supporting immigrants as federal policies shift over time. This conversation is presented conjunction with the premiere of Washington Performing Arts’ co-commission Dreamers, a new oratorio by composer Jimmy López and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz on March 17, 2019 at Sidney Harman Hall (via simulcast). Dreamers explores contemporary stories of Latinx so-called dreamers who are caught in the middle of the current national immigration policy debate.

Kathryn M. Doan, Esq., Executive Director, CAIR Coalition
Mary Ann Gomez Orta, President & CEO, Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute

David Grosso, Councilmember at-Large, Council of the District of Columbia
Lori Kaplan, Former President & CEO, Latin American Youth Center
Laura Vazquez, Senior Program Manager, Immigration Initiatives, UnidosUS
Nicholas A. Brown, Director of Special Productions & Initiatives, Washington Performing Arts (moderator)

with opening remarks by
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. House of Representatives

Free, registration required

Co-presented with NYU DC and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute

This event is part of Washington Performing Arts’ global programming initiative, The World in Our City: Latinx in D.C., which provides perspective on what it means to be a citizen of the world through a unique arts-based lens.

About Dreamers
Throughout the 2018/19 season, Washington Performing Arts is collaborating with arts, cultural heritage, education, and literary partners throughout D.C. to facilitate a multi-disciplinary dialogue around the important contributions and experiences of Latinx immigrants in the United States. Musical performances, visual art displays, panel discussions, education programs, and a book discussion series together showcase the wide range of journeys of identity and place experienced by our Latinx neighbors.

The focal point is the March 17, 2019 premiere (via simulcast to Sidney Harman Hall) of Washington Performing Arts’ co-commission Dreamers, a new work for orchestra, soprano, and chorus by composer Jimmy López and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. Dreamers tells the story of several so-called “dreamers,” immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and whose legal status is in jeopardy because their parents arrived in the U.S. undocumented. The fictional story is based on true testimonies that Cuban-American Cruz and Peruvian-American López have collected from immigrants who have come to the U.S. in search of a better life.

About the Mars Urban Arts Initiative
The Mars Urban Arts Initiative (MUAI) is a creative platform for Washington Performing Arts and the D.C. community to celebrate and empower local artists through performances, unique educational programs, and interdisciplinary grassroots collaborations that showcase the diversity and vitality of our city. D.C. has always been an incubator for powerful artistic voices with worldwide resonance, from Duke Ellington and Todd Duncan to Shirley Horn and Chuck Brown. Reflective of our founder Patrick Hayes’ motto, “Everybody in, nobody out,” the Mars Urban Arts Initiative amplifies the role of local artists throughout Washington Performing Arts’ productions, educational opportunities, and special events. MUAI also curates educational workshops, master classes, and student performances that connect local students with distinguished performers, in conjunction with our signature education programs, such as the Capital Arts Partnership, Embassy Adoption Program, and Gospel Choirs. The Mars Urban Arts Initiative is anchored by residencies for leading artists and ensembles, curated performances across all eight wards, and artistic happenings that reflect what it means to call D.C. home.

Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Urban Arts Initiative is generously supported by Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated. This program is made possible by Tom Gallagher, in honor of Turnaround Inc.; Events DC; Fred and Lucia Hill; and Gary and Silvia Yacoubian.

Pictured above: "Migrants" (original art by Héctor Torres)