In preparation for the 13th annual River To River, the LMCC president, Sam Miller, spoke to Sarah Smedley of The Broadsheet Daily about the curatorial approach to this year’s festival.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the diverse range of cultural experiences offered by this year’s musicians, dancers, choreographers, event-makers and artists,” said Mr. Miller, “We hope that their movement will delight, disrupt and charm you on your way to or from your hotel, home or office. Their sounds will mix with the waterfront’s own cacophony; and we’ll all re-imagine what we know and where we are as we explore new ideas and perspectives available only in Lower Manhattan.”
Imagining — and re-imagining — the annual arts festival has been Mr. Miller’s aim since LMCC became the lead producer of River To River in 2011. The core mission of River To River has always been to whet the artistic appetites and slake the cultural thirst of Lower Manhattan. But the stratagems for doing so have evolved over the 12-year history of the program. In its infancy, the then-90 day festival sought simply to bring people back Downtown after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Today, River To River is part of a changed landscape, where there are myriad opportunities for exposure to the arts — from concerts and plays to dance recitals and film festivals — thanks to the ongoing Lower Manhattan renaissance. That’s why River To River has shifted from presenting a full summer season to offering an eleven-day festival (this year, from June 19 to 29) that augments other events and festivities that have sprung up in the past decade. “It is coming out of the groups that have grown since 9/11,” Mr. Miller said. “We now have a vibrant cultural scene and this festival is meant to complement that.”