About Rochester Arts & Lectures

  • January 30, 2021

Rochester Arts & Lectures was founded in 1989. It is a not-for-profit cultural organization designed to produce an annual series of lectures by distinguished authors and artists respected for their contributions to literature, criticism, art, science, and public affairs. This major, on-going forum for the exchange of ideas is presented to a diverse audience in a downtown setting. Rochester Arts & Lectures enjoys a reputation for excellence, consistently bringing Monroe County residents programs of the highest caliber.

Rochester Arts & Lectures has brought some of the nation’s most renowned authors and artists to this community, including bestselling novelists Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, and E.L. Doctorow; American icons John Updike, William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, and Norman Mailer; Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Carol Shields, Jane Smiley, Richard Ford, and Frank McCourt; historians Daniel Boorstin and Doris Kearns Goodwin; scientists Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Restak, and James Gleick; Nobel Prize-winners Nadine Gordimer and Derek Walcott; Inaugural poet Maya Angelou; renowned civil rights attorney Morris Dees; Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau; and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Wendy Wasserstein and August Wilson.

In addition to our annual six-part series (held at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church), we have produced special events including a lecture by Alice Walker at Nazareth College, and lectures by Lily Tomlin and Beverly Sills at the Eastman Theatre.

Rochester Arts & Lectures has also produced several mini-series designed to explore beloved genres and issues of social, historical or cultural importance: New American Voices presented four writers intimately familiar with the immigrant experience. Southern Accents explored American regional writing and culture. And Monday Means Murder was an inquiry into our cultural fascination with crime literature.

Sponsorship and Underwriting Opportunities

Rochester Arts & Lectures offers series sponsorships and lecture underwriting as a creative way for businesses to reach new audiences and promote themselves in a competitive, expensive media environment. We provide consistent access to one of the area’s most educated and discriminating audiences. Our tradition of both programming excellence and regularly sold-out events makes us a particularly smart choice.

For more information, please contact the Rochester Arts & Lectures office.

We are grateful for the services provided by:

Arena’s Florist; Book Marshall Productions; Robert C. Grossman/Johnson, Mullan & Brundage, P.C., Attorneys at Law; Max of Eastman Place Restaurant, CarbonDEVPlus, Inc.

Additional funding provided by Monroe County.

Contact Us

[email protected]

Alan Cameros

  • January 27, 2021

Sponsor of Rochester Arts & Lectures

2011/2012 – “Why would an individual contributor join with Nazareth College, one of our region’s outstanding educational resources, to undertake sponsorship of the Rochester Arts & Lectures season series ? My reason is that we need this opportunity to hear a diversity of voices. The speakers who talk to us bring forth their thoughts and views that resonate both within our minds and within our hearts. Rochester Arts & Lectures gives us the opportunity to hear these words and form our opinions. Should you also feel that Arts & Lectures serves well, I suggest that you, too, think of undertaking a role in support. I assure you that it will be of good purpose. Not only will it serve you and yours personally, but it will also serve to make our community a more reasoned place.”

2012/2013 –“Why provide your support to Rochester Arts & Lectures ? There are many wonderful cultural activities that take place in our community; among these, Rochester Arts & Lectures takes a leading role. We each determine our own lifestyle and life path. Rochester Arts & Lectures helps us to journey the road traveled with lessons for the mind. Informed learning occurs in many ways and critical thinking is a skill that continually needs to be honed. Listening to a world of ideas allows the mind to process and enhance. Rochester Arts & Lectures provides informed learning , enrichment, and uplifting experiences.”

2013/2014 – “We have been privileged to hear many outstanding authors at Rochester Arts & Lectures over the years. They have expressed the truths which have been important to their lives. The diversity of the speakers within our seasonal series has given to us a wider opportunity to view the world through the perspective of others. It has engaged us in listening to and observing the creative power of the authors and then determining how this impacts the world within which we live. It has provided a vehicle to take us beyond the ordinary and allow us to think thoughts which lift us above the everyday. For this we thank Rochester Arts & Lectures.”

2014/2015 -“Rochester Arts & Lectures serves our community well.  We have had the opportunity to listen to authors of note and authors emerging who talk to issues of our time and issues within their mind.  At the end of the evening, we have had the opportunity to process and review that which was spoken and the thoughts that were conveyed.  Though life’s busy moments there is little time to reflect.  Our evenings with Rochester Arts & Lectures give us the time to step away from the ordinary and look beyond.  They provide us with the opportunity to focus on a world of words and a world of thoughts.”

2015/2016 Multi cultural – many cultures coming together.  An umbrella of words setting down that which is within peoples thoughts and authors minds.  We are continually made aware as to how cultures are distinctive in the ways that they interpret their world.  Arts and Lectures bring to us chosen authors who chronicle these lives and times.  Whether it be the past, present or visions of the future, we are provided an opportunity to see change as it occurs and as it is chronicled.  In the end, this leaves the interpretation to each of us.  Good reading, good listening,  We look forward to another productive season ahead.

Meet Our New Producer

  • January 27, 2021

For almost 20 years, Andrea Weinstein held various positions at the University of Rochester. She began as the editorial assistant for a 2200 page text, The Principles of Surgery by Dr. Seymour Schwartz, and was subsequently responsible for assembling and editing the Pre-Test Self-Assessment and the Companion Handbook 7/e. Also in the school of medicine, she was an Instructor in Medical Humanities, leading a course on Madness in Film: A 60-year Retrospective.

More recently, she oversaw the River Campus Libraries’ development and external relations program, raising $10 million of the libraries’ campaign goal of $12 million. For many years she wrote and created the libraries’ communications, including their newsletter and website. Most germane, since its inception in 2001, she developed and produced the Neilly Lecture Series. The ongoing series included noted authors Edward Jones, Abraham Verghese, Ha Jin, Simon Winchester, Ann-Marie McDonald, Lawrence Hill and a host of others.

She was assigned to many special projects such as the BioMedical Engineering building and the Eastman Theatre East Wing Renovation, while maintaining oversight of the libraries’ development program. In 2014, she was asked to identify and cultivate a pool of almost 4000 prospects in the Buffalo region.

In 2009 and 2014, she was a guest poet in the Women in Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music. Her poems will be included in a soon to be published book about the history of the festival. She is currently working on two collections of poems, one on what it is to be middle-aged and the other on the fifth essence.

Andrea Weinstein is a native of Montreal, Canada and immigrated to the United States from Manchester, England. She attended Brighton High School, holds a BA from the State University of New York with a major in Medical Anthropology. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Rochester in Visual and Cultural Studies.

Arts in Education

  • January 27, 2021

Rochester Arts & Lectures’ award-winning Encounters with Excellence Scholarship Program is coordinated through Greater Rochester School Districts.

For each lecture in the series, sixteen high school students and their teachers receive educational materials about the guest speaker, attend the lecture at no charge, sit in reserved, premier seats, attend post-lecture receptions with the artists, and receive signed copies of the author’s book.

Funding for the Encounters with Excellence Scholarship Program is provided by Robin and Michael Weintraub and Rochester Arts & Lectures’ subscribers.

Teachers and Principals across the Greater Rochester metro area are invited to contact us to learn more about participating in the Encounters with Excellence Scholarship Program. ([email protected])

Ticket Information

  • January 27, 2021

Tickets for the 2014/2015 Series of Uncommon Voices are sold by subscription.

  • General Admission Series are $150
  • Reserved Stage Series are $162
  • Reserved Patron Series are $250 (Includes preferred seating and receptions with the authors)
  • Friends of Rochester Arts & Lectures are $600 and above (Includes 2 Patron Series subscriptions)

Tickets are put on sale first to subscribers who participated in the 2013/2014 Series of Uncommon Voices.

To purchase tickets, fill out the ORDER FORM and mail it to Rochester Arts & Lectures, 2604 Elmwood Avenue #205, Rochester, NY 14618.

All interested parties who would like to receive information about purchasing tickets for the 2014/2015 Series of Uncommon Voices may request it here: [email protected]

Interested parties will receive a mailing in Summer, 2014 inviting their participation.

Standing Room Only tickets ($15) are sold on a first-come, first-served basis on the evening of each lecture, beginning at 6:45pm.

Any unsold subscriptions will be made available as individual tickets on a first-come, first-served basis beginning October 1. (If the season as a whole sells out, as has historically been the case, there may not be individual tickets available in October.)

All lectures are held at 7:30pm in the historic Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh Street.

Rochester Arts Lectures Staff and Board

  • January 27, 2021

Producer

Susan Herman

Associate Producers

Adriane Smith
Jim Malley

House Manager

Cory Brown

Board of Advisors 2014/2015

Carol Sue Hai
Mary Maley
Laura J. Sadowski
Steven G. Schwartz
Carmen Signorino
A. Louise Trucks
Robin Weintraub
Andrea Weinstein

About Rochester Arts & Lectures

Rochester Arts & Lectures was founded in 1989. It is a not-for-profit cultural organization designed to produce an annual series of lectures by distinguished authors and artists respected for their contributions to literature, criticism, art, science, and public affairs. This major, on-going forum for the exchange of ideas is presented to a diverse audience in a downtown setting. Rochester Arts & Lectures enjoys a reputation for excellence, consistently bringing Monroe County residents programs of the highest caliber.

Rochester Arts & Lectures has brought some of the nation’s most renowned authors and artists to this community, including bestselling novelists Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, and E.L. Doctorow; American icons John Updike, William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, and Norman Mailer; Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Carol Shields, Jane Smiley, Richard Ford, and Frank McCourt; historians Daniel Boorstin and Doris Kearns Goodwin; scientists Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Restak, and James Gleick; Nobel Prize-winners Nadine Gordimer and Derek Walcott; Inaugural poet Maya Angelou; renowned civil rights attorney Morris Dees; Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau; and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Wendy Wasserstein and August Wilson.

In addition to our annual six-part series (held at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church), we have produced special events including a lecture by Alice Walker at Nazareth College, and lectures by Lily Tomlin and Beverly Sills at the Eastman Theatre.

Rochester Arts & Lectures has also produced several mini-series designed to explore beloved genres and issues of social, historical or cultural importance: New American Voices presented four writers intimately familiar with the immigrant experience. Southern Accents explored American regional writing and culture. And Monday Means Murder was an inquiry into our cultural fascination with crime literature.

Sponsorship and Underwriting Opportunities

Rochester Arts & Lectures offers series sponsorships and lecture underwriting as a creative way for businesses to reach new audiences and promote themselves in a competitive, expensive media environment. We provide consistent access to one of the area’s most educated and discriminating audiences. Our tradition of both programming excellence and regularly sold-out events makes us a particularly smart choice.

For more information, please contact the Rochester Arts & Lectures office.

We are grateful for the services provided by:

Arena’s Florist; Book Marshall Productions; Robert C. Grossman/Johnson, Mullan & Brundage, P.C., Attorneys at Law; Max of Eastman Place Restaurant, CarbonDEVPlus, Inc.

Additional funding provided by Monroe County.

Contact Us

[email protected]

2014/2015 Series of Uncommon Voices

  • January 27, 2021
  • Sponsored by Nazareth College and Alan Cameros
    • Colson WhiteheadThursday, October 9, 2014Underwritten by: Thomson Reuters
    • Mitchell DavisThursday, November 6, 2014Underwritten by: Parkleigh
    • Zadie SmithThursday, December 4, 2014Underwritten by: Barbara and John Lovenheim
    • Erik LarsonThursday, March 19, 2015Underwritten by: Rochester Brain & Spine Neurosurgery and Pain Management
    • Rachel KushnerThursday, April 16, 2015Underwritten by: Steven G. Schwartz/Wealth Design Servicesand Alice M. Tariot MD PC
    • Yiyun LiThursday, May 14, 2015Underwritten by: Friends of Rochester Arts & Lectures

Erik Larson

Erik Larson has written four New York Times bestsellers. His most recent is his portrait of the American ambassador and his family in Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, which remained on the list for 35 weeks. His account of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including that of a ruthless serial killer, The Devil in the White City, was on the New York Times hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over three years—it also won the Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His previous books, Thunderstruck and Isaac’s Storm, also became bestsellers. Among his other books are Lethal Passage and The Naked Consumer. The New York Times Book Review has said, “Larson is a marvelous writer…superb at creating characters with a few short strokes.” Larson was also a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal and a contributing writer for Time magazine and he has written for The AtlanticHarper’s, and The New Yorker among other publications.

Rachel Kushner

Author Rachel Kushner has been a finalist for the National Book Award twice and is a recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her award-winning first novel, Telex from Cuba, was a New York Times bestseller and her second novel, The Flamethrowers, was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2013 by the New York Times. Novelist Karen Russell said “The Flamethrowers lives up to its incendiary title – it is a brilliant, startling, truly revolutionary book…” In addition her fiction and essays appear regularly in the New York TimesThe Paris Review,The BelieverArtforum, BookforumFence,Bomb, and Grand Street. Her novels and essays explore contemporary art, culture, revolutionary politics, modernism, and feminism.

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li’s debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and the California Book Award for fiction. Her subsequent works have also won numerous awards including the gold medal of California Book Award for fiction for The Vagrants; finalist of the Story Prize for Gold Boy, Emerald Girl; and her most recent book Kinder Than Solitude was published to critical acclaim. Other awards include, Whiting Award, Lannan Foundation Residency fellow, 2010 MacArthur Foundation fellow, and 2014 Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has also been selected by Granta as one of the 21 Best Young American Novelists under 35 and by The New Yorker as one of the top 20 writers under 40. Yiyun Li is also a contributing editor to the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space. The New York Times says, “There’s something about the poise, the tidiness, the seemingly effortless calm of Yiyun Li’s writing that makes it easy to see her as an author who, like Jhumpa Lahiri, employs a Chekhovian neutrality to give the complicated, messy, ostensibly ‘colorful’ lives of her characters a kind of unthreatening watercolor ambience.”