Alissa Schwartz Book Launch – animals & giraffes with Anne Walsh

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 — 8:00 PM
Tickets: $15 General, $10 Members & Students, Sliding Scale
Buy Tickets Online

Coming to Our Senses celebrates the release of Organizational Performance Art: Holding Space for Joy and Possibility. Below is a brief summary of the book, followed by a description of the event.

Organizational Performance Art: Holding Space for Joy and Possibility is a vibrant memoir and inspirational manual that examines how the concepts and practices of several performance arts traditions and philosophies—avant-garde theater, social constructionism, and shamanic practice—support organizations and communities in communal thriving and liberation in service to social justice and equity.

The reading will to go back and forth between master facilitator Alissa Schwartz ( and internationally acclaimed musician Andrew Drury ( whose short pieces will Illustrate and animate aspects of the book in a non-verbal way.


Drury employs a variety of unusual techniques involving friction, voice, and breath, in addition to drumming, and the resulting percussion is rarely louder than a person’s voice.

Musician/composer Phillip Greenlief and writer Claudia La Rocco created animals & giraffes after meeting at Headlands Center for the Arts during their 2013 residencies. An ever-changing ensemble dedicated to interdisciplinary improvisation, a&g has performed at such venues as The Lab (SF), Pieter (LA), Reed College (Portland), Amalgam Presents at Café Mustache (Chicago), and The Chocolate Factory (NYC, December 2023). The group has three albums: “July” (Edgetone Records, 2017), featuring a who’s who of Bay Area improvisers; “Landlocked Beach” (Creative Sources, 2018), a live broadcast with Jon Leidecker on Over the Edge at KPFA FM; and “animals & giraffes live @ medicine for nightmares” (Evander Music, forthcoming), with Kyle Bruckmann, Alexandra Buschman-Román, and Adriana Camacho.

For this performance, Greenlief and La Rocco are joined by visual artist and writer Anne Walsh, who was part of the animals & giraffes 2017-2018 residency at the Center for New Music, during which the ensemble hosted monthly happy hours with musicians, visual artists, writers, and dancers.

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