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Green Music Center gets $150,000 to create new dance performance piece

The Hewlett Foundation has granted Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center $150,000 to create a new dance performance piece in collaboration with internationally known choreographer Liz Lerman and her dance company.

The Green Music Center is one of 10 recipients of this year’s Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, a program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park.

With the commission, Green Music Center will help create and present Lerman’s new site-specific work “Wicked Bodies,” part of a multi-site project developed in cooperation with communities around the country.

The Rohnert Park presentation, to premiere in the fall of 2021, will be unique to Sonoma County, incorporating the experiences and concerns of local community members through a series of developmental residencies at Green Music Center.

“We will work with Liz and her company to foster deep engagement at Sonoma State and throughout Sonoma County by creating a variety of experiences that educate, connect and inspire,” said the Green Music Center’s executive director, Jacob Yarrow, in a press release.

Building upon Lerman’s visit to the campus last fall, this commission will allow for in-person developmental workshops, leading to a version of “Wicked Bodies” that is specific to Sonoma County and the Green Music Center.

Lerman said of her return to the Green Music Center, “I am thrilled to be able to work with the Green Music Center and the wonderful faculty, staff and students of Sonoma State. We were inspired on our last visit by the depth of the inquiry, the joy in working together and the willingness to take on new perspectives in subject matter as varied as represented in this piece.”

The Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions program, launched in 2017, is a five-year, $8 million initiative supporting the creation and premiere of 50 new works from outstanding artists working in five performing arts disciplines.

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @danarts.

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