Compassionate Conversations A Free Education Forum

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Nigel Westlake’s work, Compassion, will be making its North American debut with the Austin Symphony on April 8 & 9 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. 10 days before this premiere, the Austin Symphony is partnering with the Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity & Community Engagement and Jewish, Muslim, and Christian community leaders to hold an education forum, “Compassionate Conversations.” Recognizing the power of music to build connections in an often divided space, this forum will bring diverse communities together to explore what makes them more similar than dissimilar.

The Blanton Museum of Art will open its doors, free to the public, the evening of March 29 beginning at 6:oo p.m. for guided walking tours every 15 minutes that focus on 5-6 pieces in the collection that foster empathy and compassion. What follows will be a 20-minute video about the making of Compassion, the musical work, in the Blanton Auditorium and an engaging discussion led by Pam Owens, an experienced facilitator from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Peter Bay, Music Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra
Jay Rubin, CEO of Shalom Austin
Fayruz Benyousef, CFRE, Founder and Principal of Fayruz Benyousef Consulting
Rev. Dr. Gregory Cuéllar, Professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Senior Rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim

Timeline of Evening’s Events:
6:00-7:15 Guided tours - Blanton Museum
7:00-7:30 Coffee, tea, and desserts - Blanton Auditorium Lobby
7:30-9:00 Short documentary & Panel discussion - Blanton Auditorium
9:00-9:30 Informal reception with panelists - Blanton Auditorium Lobby

“Compassionate Conversations” is made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors and partners: Blanton Museum of Art, BBVA Compass, Salaam Cultural Institute, Shalom Austin, Tingari-Silverton Foundation, and The University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
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By: Austin Symphony Orchestra

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