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Sharing Power at the Long Table: An Open-Source Participatory Project

The Rubin is pleased to host artist and activist Lois Weaver’s The Long Table, an open-source participatory project that uses the setting of the dinner table as a space to share ideas, listen, ask questions, and create deeper curiosity about shared power.

This summer and fall, the Rubin has invited sound therapist Sara Auster, the Asian American FoundationYindaYin CoachingNY Yoga + LIFE magazine, and House of Yes for scheduled conversations initiated around topics of concern to their communities. Located in the Rubin’s Art Lounge, where admission is free, and open through December, 2019, The Long Table invites the public to take a seat at the table for spontaneous dialogue or scheduled conversation to share ideas, listen, ask questions, and create deeper curiosity about shared power.

The setting is a long table surrounded by fourteen chairs, a paper tablecloth with pens to draw and write ideas or comments, microphones, and an etiquette sheet where conversation is the only course. Additional chairs are also set-up around the table, encouraging spectators and the coming and going from the Table. Here, hierarchies are erased, participation is encouraged, and voices are heard equally.

The Long Table is part of the Rubin’s yearlong thematic exploration of power, empowering visitors to think about their role as individuals and as a collective in creating, maintaining, and challenging existing systems of power.

All events are free with RSVP.

More information about scheduled conversations with community groups below.

A Long Table Conversation with Sound Therapist Sara Auster
Privilege and Power Dynamics in the Wellness Industry

Saturday, June 15 | 11:15am – 12pm

Wellness trends have become an answer to daily life’s stresses and anxieties. Despite the myriad benefits of the burgeoning industry, questions of inequity arise: who has access and who benefits most? Are socio-economic, social and racial diversity being considered? What are the power dynamics at play between teacher and student, social media wellness “influencers” and those they influence? Bringing these topics to the table is Sara Auster, a sound therapist, meditation teacher, and artist based in New York City. Along with peers from different aspects of the wellness world, including Anthony Demby, Alex Falk, Kevin Lamb, Michelle Mitchum, Lindsay Mueller, Winston Peters, and Erin Telford, Auster invites the public to share the table to talk through these aspects of wellness and how practitioners might be more responsible.

A Long Table Conversation with Rinchen Tara of YindaYin Coaching
Education and the Future of Himalayan Immigrant Communities

Saturday, July 13 | 11:15am – 12pm

Himalayan immigrants form some of the newest immigrant communities in the United States. Many immigrants from Tibet and other countries in the Himalayan region struggle with generational, cultural, educational, and language gaps. Navigating the complex education system in this country is a particular challenge, due to the lack of adequate resources and mentorship. Join members of YindaYin Coaching, one of the pioneer organizations supporting the Himalayan immigrant communities, as they discuss how young leaders can create a safe learning environment for the next generation to thrive in this country.

A Long Table Conversation with the Asian American Federation
Mental Health in Asian American Communities

Saturday, July 27 | 11:15am – 12pm

How do we talk about mental health when no one else around us does? How do we name and make visible that which is submerged in silence? Given the deep stigma that surrounds mental health in Asian-American communities, how do we create safer, more equitable spaces to advance mental health healing and advocate for better care? The Asian American Federation, which has worked to improve the social, economic, civic, and emotional well-being of Asian Americans in New York City for thirty years, hosts a discussion with experts and community members on how we can work together to find the power, openness and empathy to break the silence around mental health and create lasting change.

A Long Table Conversation with Iana Velez of NY Yoga + LIFE Magazine
Spiritual Work in a Material World: The Business of Yoga

Saturday, September 28 | 11:15am – 12pm

Join Iana Velez, publisher and editor-in-chief of NY YOGA + LIFE magazine, and a panel of leaders in the New York City yoga and wellness industry, in an honest and open dialogue about the money-related questions and challenges that the yoga community faces today. Panelists will talk frankly about the power dynamics inherent in teacher payment structures and the complexities of combining spiritual work with making money.

A Long Table Conversation with House of Yes

Saturday, October 12 | 11:15am – 12pm

Recently named the #2 Best Thing To Do in the World by Time Out New York, Brooklyn-based House of Yes is renowned for producing exceptional nightlife parties, cabaret shows, circus spectacles, immersive cinema, and creative experiences that defy categorization and transcend genres. Internationally, the House of Yes is recognized for holding the culture of nightlife to a higher standard with its dedication to consent culture and fostering self-expression, while nurturing emerging performance artists. Join House of Yes for a lively conversation about consent and safer spaces, a topic deeply important to their community, as one of the only venues in New York City that employs a trained team to help promote affirmative consent on the dance floor.

Additional community-led conversations to be announced in the fall.

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