EarSay artists Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer present Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, a performance and discussion based on their acclaimed book. Following the performance, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange Executive Director Marya Warshaw discusses some of the issues revealed in the book with select individuals who are portrayed along with the authors. Crossing the BLVD depicts the struggles, humor and pathos of new immigrants and refugees in the most polyglot locality in the U.S. At a time when immigration patterns are re-shaping American culture, this award winning multimedia performance sheds light on the experiences of people who came to the United States after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendment mandated an end to immigration policies that favored white Western Europeans.
For three years, photographer, writer, book artist Warren Lehrer and oral historian, actress/audio artist Judith Sloan traveled the world by trekking the streets of their home borough of Queens, NY -- the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States. The Crossing the BLVD project documents the people and stories they encountered along their journey. In the performance, Lehrer is our tour guide, providing wry commentary on the follies of Queens living and U.S. immigration policy, while Sloan "channels" a variety of interviewees. Judith Sloan is a mesmerizing performer, whose vocalization work and movement bring these characters to life. Their performance is illuminated by projected images of the subjects, objects they have carried with them from home to home, landscapes and maps, along with Sloan's engaging soundtrack of original music, sounds and voices.