Appearances by the performance artists known as the "NEA Four" will be among the highlights of the new 2012-13 season at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. The season, which was announced this week, also includes radio host Ira Glass, actress Lily Tomlin and the Kronos Quartet.
The season will feature four prominent performance artists who are (or once were) considered controversial -- Holly Hughes, Tim Miller, Karen Finley and John Fleck. The artists are often referred to collectively as the "NEA Four" for their part in the Culture Wars in the 1990s.
Their appearances will be part of "The B-Word Project," an initiative at Cal State Long Beach addressing censorship in the arts, journalism and other fields. Hughes and Miller will appear at the center on Sept. 27, and Finley and Fleck will appear on Sept. 28.
"An Evening with Lily Tomlin" is set for Sept. 29, while Glass will speak on Feb. 9. The radio host was recently in the news when his show "This American Life" retracted a story featuring theater performer Mike Daisey.
The Kronos Quartet is set to perform March 23, 2013. Other season highlights include the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Oct. 13); Backhausdance (Feb. 2), a dance group from Orange County; Ballet Revolución (March 30, 2013), a performance featuring Cuban dancers; and The Improvised Shakespeare Company (March 9), a group that stages improvised plays in the Elizabethan style.
-- David Ng
Photo: Karen Finley in 1999. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times