By David Johnston, Executive Director, Exploring the Metropolis, Inc.
For the seventh year, Exploring the Metropolis (EtM) is partnering with Flushing Town Hall for the EtM Con Edison Composers’ Residency. For this program, EtM provides panel-reviewed composers to a community or cultural facility with available space. The composer gets a stipend and free space to compose. The facility gets a fee to cover administrative costs. At the end of the residency, the composer puts on a free public program in coordination with the host facility.
Currently, EtM is partnering with six organizations, including Flushing Town Hall. Four composers are in residence in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and four choreographer/composer teams are in Queens. We’re working with artists in Manhattan Valley, downtown Brooklyn, Turtle Bay and Jamaica –but our longest partnership is with the amazing staff of Flushing Town Hall.
Over the years, FTH has hosted a wide range of composers as part of this program – composers working in jazz, electronic, south Indian Carnatic, East Asian folk, musical theater, classical, traditional Balkan and tango. EtM’s Queens-based Flushing composers have gone on to win awards and recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kleban Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Latin Grammys.
Our current Flushing resident – the fourteenth! – is Skip LaPlante. Skip builds and composes for instruments made of trash and found objects, and has collaborated in the past with such visionaries as theater director Joseph Chaikin.
Check out our interview with Skip at Flushing Town Hall below.