Park update: The Interim Walkway at the Western Rail Yards (between 30th & 34th Streets) is temporarily closed today.

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30th Street Challenge
Give by June 20

To meet the demands of our busiest time of the year, we ask all friends of the High Line to help us raise a total of $30,000—$1,000 for each block of our 1.5-mile-long park along Manhattan’s West Side.

Photo by Annie Forrest

JJJJJerome Ellis

Music for the Garden;
Celebrating Stuttering Voices

June 25, 6:30 - 7:30pm
On the High Line at 23rd Street Lawn
June 26, 6:30 - 7:30pm
On the High Line at 23rd Street Lawn
June 27, 6:30 - 7:30pm
On the High Line at Gansevoort Street

JJJJJerome Ellis describes themselves as a “Jamaican-Grenadian-American, disabled animal, stutterer, and artist” who speaks with a glottal block stutter, an involuntary speech dysfluency that manifests in pauses while talking. The artist explores relationships between Blackness, disabled speech, divinity, plant life, sound, and time. Their practice spans various formats, including soundscapes composed of saxophone, dulcimer, electronics, and vocals; spoken and written word; and theatrical performances.

For the High Line, Ellis presents Music for the Garden and Celebrating Stuttering Voices, a series of performances that combine music, poetry, ceremonial space, and nature to highlight and honor those who stutter. The two-part performance is composed of music and spoken word. The first two performances, Music for the Garden, take place on the Lawn at 23rd Street, and include a combination of live saxophone and electronic sound. Ellis views this as a musical intervention for both the people and the plants on the High Line. The artist worked with the High Line horticulture team to learn about the various plants growing by the Lawn, and incorporated this research into their musical performance—as JJJJJerome paces around the garden with their saxophone, they name and discuss the various species. In this vein, Music for the Garden is as much about creating music for the site and the human audience, as it is creating music for the flower and plant audience.

The final performance, Celebrating Stuttering Voices, will feature readings and conversation by both the artist and their four collaborators from the People Who Stutter Create (PWSC) collective—Jia Bin, Delicia Daniels, Conor Foran, and Kristel Kubart—interspersed with occasional musical interludes by Ellis. Through repeated sounds, prolonged sounds, and blocks with no sound, PWSC aims to describe and transform social reality. Celebrating Stuttering Voices will offer an intimate opportunity to create room for deep listening, understanding, and collaboration.

RSVP for Music for the Garden →

RSVP for Celebrating Stuttering Voices →

In the case of inclement weather for the performance Music for the Garden on Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26, the event will be moved to the rain date of Friday, June 28, 2024 at 12pm. We will add a note to the website by noon on the day of the original event and email all registered participants.

In the case of inclement weather for the performance Celebrating Stuttering Voices on Thursday, June 27, the event will be relocated to Gansevoort Street Plaza located underneath the High Line at street level. We will add a note to the website by noon on the day of the original event and email all registered participants.

Artist bio

JJJJJerome Ellis (b. 1989, Groton, Connecticut) lives and works in Tidewater, Virginia. Ellis’ recent work has been featured at institutions including Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2024); The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California (2023); Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (2023); Poetry Foundation, Chicago, Illinois (2023); ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2023); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2022); and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia (2022). Ellis has participated in major international exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (2024); and The 67th Festival of Contemporary Music, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2023).

People Who Stutter Create (PWSC)
The collective People Who Stutter Create (PWSC) contends that stuttering (also called stammering) can create room for deep listening and collaboration. Through repeated sounds, prolonged sounds, and blocks with no sound, the group aims to describe social reality while also being able to change it through the act of description. PWSC comprises five artists who stutter/stammer: Born in China, Jia Bin is a US-based doctoral student in communication sciences and disorders. With a deep commitment to empowerment and inclusion, Bin envisions innovative projects to spotlight the beauty and power of stuttered speech, fostering a more supportive world for those who stutter in any language. Delicia Daniels is a poet and activist. An assistant professor of creative writing, her debut poetry collection, The Language We Cry In, was published in 2017. JJJJJerome Ellis is a multi-hyphenate artist. Through music, text, performance, video, and photography, they research relationships among Blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. Conor Foran is a London-based Irish creative practitioner. Through his Dysfluent practice, he considers how stammering intersects with creativity and how art and design can instigate social change. Kristel Kubart is a speech-language pathologist who stutters and has cerebral palsy. She works with children, teens, and adults who stutter, and helps them embrace their stuttering, stutter more freely, and learn to trust their voice.


Support

Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund.

High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.

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