For the last decade, the end of summer has meant one thing to New Yorkers, even if only subconsciously: the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Hard to believe, but this year marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, and New Yorkers still haven’t forgotten. Whether they’re celebrating the memory of the victims and the heroism of the first responders with paintings, concerts or, in true New York City fashion, down and dirty Downtown cabaret, August and September are filled with chances to pay homage to what happened that day. Here are just a few of the scheduled events:
9/11 10th Anniversary Reflections
This exhibition offers a chance for visitors to sift through the personal reflections of those who lived or worked in Downtown Manhattan on the day the Twin Towers fell. Volunteers are traveling the city, collecting the recollections of New Yorkers on Mylar cards that will be arranged and displayed along the pathways in Battery Park’s Garden of Remembrance on Aug. 4 and kept on display through September.
In conjunction with the exhibit, instrumental artists will hold free concerts Sept. 10 and 11, 2–4 p.m., in partnership with Feel the Music! on the south side of Ground Zero (at 120 Liberty St.) for reflection and remembrance.
For a chance to contribute to the 9/11 10th Anniversary Reflections project, visit www.tributewtc.org.
9/11: The World Speaks
Multitudes of visitors stream through the Tribute WTC Visitor Center sharing personal experiences, tributes to victims and responders, and other remembrances. 9/11: The World Speaks is a collection of these visitor cards from the past five years, offering a window into the feelings and memories of local and international visitors to the site.
On Aug. 16, 6 p.m., Tribute WTC is holding a book launch at its space on 120 Liberty St., on the south side of Ground Zero. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.tributewtc.org.
Heart of a Soldier
Premiering Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. as part of the San Francisco Opera’s 2011-2012 season, Heart of a Soldier tells the story of Rick Rescorla, one of the most inspiring—and harrowing—tales to come out of 9/11. As head of security for a brokerage firm based in the World Trade Center, he led all 2,700 people under his care to safety before going back in, never to come out again. Now, Rescorla’s true-life heroism is a new opera, based on the book of the same name by James Stewart and starring Thomas Hampson. Composer Christopher Theofanidis assures potential audiences that the show “has a great deal of humor woven throughout, which is part of the humanity these characters bring to the story.” Rescorla’s story is both dramatic and larger-than-life, particularly in one respect that lends itself well to opera: Rescorla actually sang his colleagues down the stairs of the burning building.
9/11 Peace Story Quilt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
From Aug. 30 to Jan. 22, this colorful, three-panel story quilt will be on exhibition in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education at the Met. In 2006, artist Faith Ringgold held a series of master classes with New York City students, ages 8–19, in which they made fabric squares relating to the theme of peace. Now, Ringgold has put those squares together to create a story quilt that highlights the effect 9/11 had on the city’s youth and the importance of cultural acceptance and tolerance in a post-9/11 world. The work will be displayed next to art that inspired the quilt itself, and on Sept. 11 the museum will present a “Sunday at the Met” program with Ringgold to discuss the message of the exhibition. Rather than focus on the past, the quilt looks toward a better future, as is clear from the question posed on the top of the quilt: “What will you do for peace?”
This photography exhibition, on view Sept. 9–Jan. 8, 2012, at International Center of Photography (1133 6th Ave.), shows how firefighters, construction workers, police officers, artists, photographers and ordinary citizens responded on that day 10 years ago when the Twin Towers fell. The exhibition includes a video installation, photos of thousands of artifacts found at the site and other poignant images.
For more information, visit www.icp.org.
Paintings From the Perimeter
New York City-based artist Sally Pettus has collected a series of her paintings in this exhibit, opening Sept. 3 at KS Art (73 Leonard St.), that document scenes from the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site using oil on canvas. Paintings from the Perimeter catalogs the 10-plus paintings, from the perspective of an outsider looking down into the site, that she entered in the World Trade Memorial Site Competition in 2003.
A Sept. 10 concert for New York in memory of 9/11 by the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, the program will feature Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection.
For more information, visit nyphil.org.
The 10th Anniversary Memorial Political Cabaret! at the Highline Ballroom
On Sept. 11, at 7 p.m., this three-hour extravaganza at the Highline Ballroom, featuring stars from the Downtown New York City arts scene, promises to be a gritty, politically incorrect celebration of the memories, sense of togetherness and heartache that surround the events of 9/11, its aftermath and the way our relationship to “terror” and the U.S. government was forever changed. A potent brew of nudity, poetry, dance, song, comedic commentary and drag, the evening will be divided into three 45-minute acts, rising in political incorrectness. Act 1, “A Love Letter to New York; Act 2, “An America in Transition”; Act 3, “Oh NO you DI-INT!” The event’s promoters promise that the “third act [will be] the most lovingly outrageous thing you will see all year, meant to inspire desire and burn our artistic fire!” All proceeds go to the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York’s Widow’s and Children’s Fund.
September 11 10th Anniversary Commemorative Concert
Organized by Symphony Space, musicians from the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera perform a commemorative tribute to the people of New York City on the 10th anniversary of September 11 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. The evening’s program will include specially selected music and poetry from David Amram, Brahms, Samuel Barber, Chopin, Lera Auerbach, Liszt, Schumann, Laura Kaminsky (New York premiere), Astor Piazzolla, Jon Deak (world premiere), Wagner, Drew Hemenger (world premiere), Sean Hickey, Simon Mulligan (New York premiere), Justin Tokke and Franco Alfano (American premiere).
For more information, visit www.symphonyspace.org.
In Performance: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001
At 5 p.m. on Sept. 11 and 12, The Joyce Theater Foundation will present two free performances at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (north end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This special event will feature performances by the Limón Dance Company with Voices of Ascension; the Paul Taylor Dance Company with Orchestra of St. Luke’s; and a new work created by Jessica Lang especially for this occasion, among others to be announced. The free event will feature general lawn seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
Half of the 16 acres at the World Trade Center site are dedicated to the 9/11 Memorial, which will be opened to the public for the first time on Sept. 12, after a closed ceremony the day before. The names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of Feb. 26, 1993, and Sept. 11, 2001, are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools that are the heart of the site.
Because of ongoing construction around the memorial, you’ll have to secure a visitor’s pass ahead of time online. The entrance is located at the northeast corner of Albany and Greenwich streets.
For more information and to register for a visitor’s pass, visit www.911memorial.org.