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LIVE from the NYPL: INVISIBLE SYMPOSIUM: European Dream Festival with CHARLES GRODIN, master of ceremonies



To kick off the first ever European Dream Festival, a six-week celebration of the most vibrant and innovative artistic productions from a new Europe, The Invisible Symposium will transform the Celeste Bartos Forum into the scene of a classic symposium in antiquity. Charles Grodin will be the master of ceremonies. The idea of the Invisible Symposium originated with the Hungarian art movement, The European School. In 1948, their members circulated a questionnaire to artists, writers and philosophers asking them to define the relationship of art and politics to artists, writers and philosophers.

To make the invisible visible in this new symposium, American actors will do a staged reading from the collected texts of over a dozen contemporary European intellectuals to render their intriguing and sometimes disturbing reflections on the present dilemmas facing the European Union. Here are some of the questions that were posed to these European intellectuals:

Do you have a European identity? What does it mean for you?

Is it important to build a European mass culture or to combat American mass culture?

Is the European Union a political necessity, or has it any political advantages for your country

What are the driving forces of European unity and what is its future?

This event is co-sponsored by Altria and the Hungarian Cultural Center.


Curated by Jakab Orsos, Director of the Hungarian Cultural Center in New York, and Paul Holdengraeber, Director of Public Programs at NYPL. Texts edited by Roger Conover, Executive Editor, The MIT Press.

Metin Arditi (Switzerland)
H?l?ne Cixous (France)
Leonidas Donskis (Lithuania)
Agnes Heller (Hungary)
J?rg Lau (Germany)
Dusan Mitana (Slovakia)
Gerard Mortier (Belgium)
Peter Nadas (Hungary)
Dan Perjovschi (Romania)
Marieke Sanders-ten Holte (The Netherlands)
Marek Tamm (Estonia)
Mart Valjataga (Estonia)
Mitja Velikonja (Slovenia)
Vittorio Zucconi (Italy)

About Charles Grodin

Charles Grodin is a movie star, an author, a playwright, a director, a screenwriter, an Emmy Award winning writer, a commentator, a celebrated raconteur, and a successful advocate. He is credited with gaining clemency for four women imprisoned for several years under New York?s draconian Rockefeller drug laws. For this he recently received the William Kunstler award for racial justice. He has also received the Help Hero award in appreciation of his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the homeless. He is the author of the book, I Like It Better When You?re Funny and the screenplay Movers and Shakers. Grodin was a commentator for 60 Minutes II and had his own show on CNBC and MSNBC. Also a playwright, he wrote The Right Kind of People and Price of Fame. As a theater director and actor on Broadway, he directed Lovers and Other Strangers and starred in Same Time Next Year. Grodin is best known as a movie actor in such movies as The Heartbreak Kid, Midnight Run, and the Beethoven movies. Currently Grodin is a commentator for CBS News radio. He is working on a book Getting Smarter? (learning from our mistakes), a compilation of mistakes and what people have learned from them from such luminaries as Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Judge Judy. His play, The Prosecution of Brandon Hein, will be presented at the Culture Project in New York this fall. In early 2007 Mr. Grodin returns to the screen starring in Fast Track.