Jerusalem Season of Culture Announces Third Annual Program

JSOC 2013Building on a successful 2012 Season, the nonprofit Jerusalem Season of Culture will present its third annual festival from July 1 to August 23, 2013. The 2013 Season offers dozens of artistic experiences spanning the worlds of music, visual arts, culinary treats, cultural encounters, live art, social interaction, performing arts, new media and more. This summer, Jerusalem, which has served as a source of artistic inspiration for thousands of years, will once again be filled with events that challenge conventional definitions of culture and reexamine the relationship between observer, performer and location.

“The 2013 Season is about digging deeper into the cultures and identities that reside in Jerusalem and re-discovering the city’s diverse and fragile cultural, social and political eco-system that is both physical and imagined.” explained Itay Mautner, Artistic Director of the Jerusalem Season of Culture. “The thread that weaves this Season together is spun from the very material that makes this city so unique – a blend of culture and humanity that sometimes stings and sometimes ignites, but is always a source of challenging new discoveries spanning art, locations and a fascinating array of world outlooks and opinions.”

In addition to the schedule outlined below, several additional programs will be announced in the coming months including a once-in-a-lifetime tribute concert, creative workshops and lectures with high profile artists and performers, immersive artistic experiences, indie music performances, a week of live radio broadcasts, and more.

In-House Festival (July 1-4)

The 2013 Jerusalem Season of Culture will open with an expanded version of In-House Festival (July 1-4), one of the Season’s anchor programs. Directed by Dafna Kron, In-House will feature a distinguished group of directors, actors, musicians, dancers and more, who will take up temporary residencies in some of the city’s most intriguing homes. Each house has its own unique story, with its own layered history, and has either special meaning for the artists or has played an important role in their life, sparking a special kind of intimacy and magic that only this level of familiarity could generate.

This year In-House will also include a generous number of original productions commissioned specifically for the festival. In addition to the performances taking place inside participating homes, this year’s festival will widen the definition of what constitutes a home to objects like a park bench that currently serves as the absentee home for a performing artist who no longer resides in Jerusalem or a legendary school for the blind where the performing artist’s grandfather attended.

Contact Point at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (July 25)

On July 25, the Season will return to the Israel Museum for Contact Point. Curator and artist, Renana Raz, the project’s Artistic Director for the second year, will initiate a series of late-night encounters between artworks, the museum landscape, and dozens of artists and creators who will use the museum setting as a source of inspiration and as a starting point for an unpredictable journey – a journey that will open up another alternative dimension of the museum: nightlife.

The Israel Museum, which has long been a focal point for live cultural experiences in Jerusalem, is ranked internationally as one of the leading art and archaeology museums and is home to the legendary Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world. This provides fertile ground for creativity that spans artistic genres, epochs and civilizations. Audiences will be invited to expect the unexpected, to experience art and the creative process live in a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere, and re-consider what constitutes a visit to a museum.

Food Truck (July 17 – August 9)

This year, the Jerusalem Season of Culture, together with renowned chef Assaf Granit from the legendary Machneyuda Restaurant, is setting out on a culinary and social journey throughout Jerusalem’s twisted streets.

The truck’s decorative exterior will be designed by local artists as will the accompanying music that will signal its arrival to the city’s diverse populations like: the local Ethiopian community, the ultra-orthodox, Muslims breaking the Ramadan fast, or late-night revelers. It will serve a variety of dishes conceptualized by Jerusalem luminaries including musicians, authors, film-makers and more. Each of these individuals will meet personally with Chef Assaf Granit to present a dish of their choice that, from their perspective, defines “Jerusalem food,” and has been tailored to specific physical locations and its residents.

The truck’s three-week journey will be documented through a daily blog that will be turned into a book. It will also be filmed for a documentary.

WE: Festi-Conference for Creative Collectives (August 13-15)

From August 13 to 15, the Jerusalem Season of Culture, together with Af magazine, will convene the WE: Festi-Conference for Creative Collectives, which will bring together a diverse range of artist collectives who work together in Jerusalem, Israel or internationally. Gathering in the city for a series of personal and joint actions that will unfold in different creative environments, the artists will craft site-specific works, interact with public spaces and examine the intriguing question of what constitutes a collective. The public will be invited to participate, observe, respond and explore the possibilities presented by this fascinating tapestry of communal action.

WE will be directed and produced by Leo Liberman, Yotam Kellner and Rotem Rozental.

Under the Mountain – A Festival of New Public Art (various dates throughout the Season)

Under the Mountain is a dynamic laboratory experimenting, examining, celebrating and creating new public art. This summer, Under the Mountain will continue its tradition of weaving art, life and action into the city’s daily reality.

The festival aims to combine artist practice and public space, encourages artists’ and society’s engagement with one another, and supports the development of artworks in which the public can actively participate in. Organized by artistic director Omer Krieger, these interactions between art and the public serve as recognition and proof of civic involvement and democratic culture in Israel.

Artistic Diretor: Omer Krieger

Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival (August 20-23)

At the end of last year’s very special night of sacred music, thousands of participants stood together overlooking Jerusalem’s beautiful landscape, moved after experiencing Sufi ceremonies, Christian prayers, Jewish choruses, African melodies and sounds from Central Asia.

Music provides a significant platform to bring together ethnic and religious populations that would otherwise never meet. Jerusalem, the city to which hundreds of millions of people direct their prayers on a daily basis, is one of the holiest cities in the world, and a city that could serve as an example of inter-faith understanding. This sentiment is what led the Jerusalem Season of Culture to host a sacred music festival, which brings together music from the four corners of the earth in harmony.

This year’s Sacred Music Festival has been extended to take place throughout four days and will bring together musicians and artists from Israel and abroad, from varied traditions. The festival, featuring original productions and important guest artists from around the world, will unfold in spaces saturated with history and spiritual and religious meaning. Alongside the music program will be a series of “testimony tours,” a selection of walks around the town that will showcase the authentic rituals and ceremonies of Jerusalem’s diverse faiths, which represent an ancient and still organic component of the city’s rich, multi-textured tapestry.

About: The Jerusalem Season of Culture, launched in 2011, joins the city’s creative forces in showcasing and contributing to Jerusalem’s rich but frequently overlooked cultural narrative. Each summer, in collaboration with local artists, institutions and a few guests from abroad, a series of experiences are produced that span and integrate artistic disciplines, unfold in breathtaking locations, and create unforgettable moments that could happen only in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Season of Culture, a registered nonprofit, was initiated by the Schusterman Foundation-Israel, is supported by a dedicated group of funders and works in close collaboration with local public and cultural institutions.