Public Engagement

General Public

Women of Guitar: New York Guitar Festival Academy

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium (Room N101), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center 66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

Women of Guitar is a full day symposium, featuring internationally renowned guitarists and luthiers discussing their work and art, in conversation with Fabi Reyna of She Shreds Magazine and WNYC's John Schaefer. Guests include Sharon Isbin, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, Erika Anderson (EMA), Ava Mendoza, Xenia Rubinos, Rachel Rosenkrantz, Mamie Minchand, Chloe Swantner, and Debashish Bhattacharya. 

11 AM - 11.45 AM  The Ruts of Performance

Guitarists Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, Erika Anderson (EMA), Xenia Rubinos and Ava Mendoza share and explain their methods of moving past creative walls. Moderated by Fabi Reyna, founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine.

12 Noon- 12.45 PM   The Life of a Luthier

How visibility can create the next generation of guitar builders. Local repair women and luthiers Rachel Rosenkrantz, Mamie Minchand, and Chloe Swantner discuss their experiences in starting, maintaining and inspiring the humble career of guitar building. Moderated by Fabi Reyna.

2 PM - 3PM   Debashish Bhattacharya in conversation with John Schaefer

The world is full of great guitarists, and India is full of gifted classical musicians. But in both worlds, Debashish Bhattacharya cuts a singular figure. Playing a specially-designed slide guitar, he has made his instrument an extraordinarily versatile and emotive purveyor of India's ancient raga tradition, while attracting fans from around the world. He'll talk about feeling at home between musical worlds.

3 PM - 4 PM   Sharon Isbin in conversation with John Schaefer

Sharon Isbin has been at the forefront of the classical guitar world for over 40 years. More than a virtuoso, she has commissioned more new concertos than any other guitarist, including a major new work by John Corigliano. And she has a long history of performing with leading Brazilian and jazz musicians as well. Truly the First Lady Of The Guitar, she talks about a career that has sent her from Italy as a young girl to the White House in 2009.

4 PM - 5 PM   Fabi Reyna in conversation with John Schaefer

The guitar is still an instrument most often associated with guys. Fabi Reyna wants to change that. Not just by being a badass guitarist herself, but by creating a place where the ever-growing community of female guitarists can learn from and support each other. That place is She Shreds magazine, which she founded and which celebrates women, and girls (Fabi is an alumna of the Rock Camp For Girls), who play guitar or bass and who totally rock. Literally and figuratively.


Curated by Fabi Reyna, David Spelman, and Ed Keller; 

hosted by The New School’s Center for Transformative Media.

She Shreds Magazine:

She Shreds Magazine is the world’s only print publication dedicated to women guitarists and bassists. We strive to change the way women are depicted and presented in the music industry and popular culture by creating a platform where people can listen, see and experience what it means to be a woman who shreds. Our goal is to transcend boundaries like gender and genre—supporting radicalism, respect and revolution. 

New York Guitar Festival: 

Exploring virtually every aspect of the guitar’s personality, the New York Guitar Festival, since 1999, has presented many of the world’s most influential guitarists at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Brookfield Place Winter Garden, and 92nd Street Y, and . From multiple Grammy-winners to emerging artists, Festival performers have included masters of the classical repertoire (Pepe Romero, Christopher Parkening, Ana Vidović, Nigel North) as well as blues & jazz (Taj Mahal, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bill Frisell, Sonny Landreth), pop & indie rock (Vernon Reid, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Iver, Andy Summers, Thurston Moore), and folk & Americana (Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Cindy Cashdollar, Leo Kottke) as well as sounds of Central & South America (Badi Assad, Yamandu Costa, Vinicius Cantuária) and genre-defying innovators (Kaki King, David Torn, Daniel Lanois, Bryce Dessner). In addition to producing eclectic, multi-genre concerts and radio broadcasts, commissioning new works, and supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports innovative outreach programs in our public schools. 

The Center for Transformative Media: 

The Center for Transformative Media at The New School is a transdisciplinary media research initiative bridging design, technology, the arts and the social sciences; and dedicated to the exploration of the transformative potential of emerging technologies upon the foundational practices of everyday life across a range of disciplines and settings. 

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Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.