Elizabeth Howard has never had barriers between her life, work, art and writing. Experience, sense of place and exploration define the choices she makes, seeking collaboration, flexibility, spontaneity and responsiveness in the projects she designs or becomes engaged with. She collaborates and works with authors, artists and others who are also striving to push past traditional boundaries in search of the new.
The Buzzard and the Peacock
In 1972 Lucia Dlugoszwski wrote a composition for Ned O’Gorman dedicated to The Buzzard and the Peacock (Harcourt, Brace &World, 1964). Elizabeth Howard discovered the composition when reading through Ned O’Gorman’s archives, Georgetown University. Ned O’Gorman may have met Erick Hawkins in 1954 when studying with Martha Graham at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. Elizabeth is working with Katherine Duke, the artistic director, Erik Hawkins Dance Company, to produce a dance performance that incorporates the composition.
Mario Cucinella is one of the most sought after architects working today. In his words: “Envisioning sustainable buildings means entering into an intimate relationship with the climate and with the concept of place. We have to imagine buildings with minimal visible technology, maximizing, instead the efficiency of form, as materials change to become an active part of the final result, silently performing a task, a function, becoming part of a new circular economy. This process seems to me a step closer to the complexity of nature rather than of mechanical artifice. These buildings will possess a high degree of empathy. A creative empathy.” Elizabeth Howard is working with Mario Cucinella to introduce his book Creative Empathy in the United States and to provide strategic planning around opening an office in New York.
Ned O’Gorman: Through a poet’s lens
The archives for Ned O’Gorman, poet, educator and advocate for the oppressed, are housed in the Joseph Mark Lauinger Library at Georgetown University. Elizabeth Howard is curating an exhibition that will be on view from October, 2017 – January, 2018. The exhibition is entitled: Ned O’Gorman: through the poet’s lens
The Booth Family Center Special Collections
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
October 2017 – January 2018
Yukata Project with Pema Chodon
An ancient Japanese legend promises anyone who folds one thousand origami cranes within one year will be granted a wish by the Gods. With this in mind, Pema Chodon and Elizabeth Howard began the Yukata project in October 2016,when they spent an afternoon creating a pattern and sewing a Japanese yukata for a friend who was undergoing cancer treatments. The yukata was delivered with a message that wearing the robe would bring health, strength and courage. They have now completed three yukata’s for women who have been an important influence in their lives.
Pema inherited her love of fabrics, sense of color and design from her father who was a designer of Tibetan hats. One of the fabrics she works with is a magical silk called Eri silk or peace silk. It was named, her father told her, because unlike other silks, the moth doesn’t die inside the cocoon. Instead because of the cocoon’s unusual, pointed shape, the moth emerges through a very narrow exit hole before the cocoon is used to spin silk. Due to this shape Eri silk has more strength and is heavier than other sims, as the cocoons are comprised of uneven fibers. IT has one been revered for its thermal insulting qualities. The “holy fabric” is often used by Buddhist monks, nuns and dignitaries to protect their from the extreme climate in Tibet.
In 2013 Diana Wege created WOVEN (We Oppose Violence Everywhere Now) a digital platform and global resource for individuals, organizations and communities to share their work advocating for peace. WOVEN is a resource for anyone refusing to accept violence as a norm and seeking peaceful resolutions to problems/conflicts. Elizabeth Howard works closely with Diana on the strategic planning for WOVEN.
Diana Wege and Elizabeth Howard met in New Canaan, Connecticut in 1986 and often collaborate on projects. They worked together when Diana established CrUSAde (Conflict Resolution Designed for Educators in the United States) in 1998. The year before the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado (1999) they were advocating, through CrUSAde, for conflict resolution training in schools. After the Colombine incident Elizabeth and Diana were invited to meet with then Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, organized a forum for school superintendents in the State of Connecticut and participated in a program on Capitol Hill in Washington designed to address the issue of school violence for students, educators and members of Congress.
Furthermore, grants in publishing
Since 2013, Elizabeth has worked with Joan K. Davidson and Furthermore, the grants in publishing program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, on the Alice, a $25,000 annual award given for the exemplary publication of an illustrated book. The books short listed for the Alice receive $5,000.
The Alice was was created to honor Joan K. Davidson’s mother, Alice M. Kaplan, a scholar, collector, patron and activist in the arts. The first Alice was presented at the Morgan Library in 2013.The Alice award will be announced on Monday, 9 October on the Furthermore website at 12:00 Noon. On 1 November 2017 the ALICE is being presented in the Rare Book Room at the Strand Book Store.
Elizabeth Howard has been working with Sean Curran and the late internationally recognized landscape architect and urban planner, Diana Balmori, on the production of “everywhere all the time” a thirty minute dance created for seven dancers and four musicians.
Diana Balmori met Sean Curran after attending a dance performance of the Sean Curran Dance Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in November 2016. A few months later, inFebruary 2017, Diana and Sean began collaborating on a design for the set, or the landscape, for the performance of “everywhere all the time” which will premiere in the spring on 2018.
The piece will include work by the celebrated composer Donnacha Dennehy’s score of Surface Tension, commissioned for the Third Coast Percussion by the University of Notre Dame and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2015).