LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Welcome to the ninth year of our signature multidisciplinary Jewish cultural extravaganza that is JAAMM Fest – Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music! In addition, this year we celebrate 50 years of offering a book festival as part of the programming at the JCC/MACC!! Poised on the doorstep of our 10th anniversary, we are humbled by the growth, power and appeal of JAAMM. Last year, we exceeded our previous box office record, topping 6,000 attendees (up 16.89% from the previous year).
Strong literary programs here at the JCC/MACC began in 1955. After 40 successful years, and spurred by a generous grant from the Rose Community Foundation, the MACC decided to expand the popular Leah Cohen Festival of Jewish Books and Authors by offering several performing arts events to augment the terrific line up of nationally known author lectures. Little did we know that our expansion would lead to the colossal success that is our JAAMM Fest. This success led one of our donors, Kathy Neustadt and the Neustadt Family, to endow the festival in perpetuity. Kathy is the current chair of the MACC Board of Directors, a former president of the JCC and member of the renowned Neustadt family, founders of The Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.
The 9th Annual Neustadt JAAMM Festival will consist of several series including literature, music, movies, collaborations with other local organizations, and a theatre production. The festival kicks off with several Pre-JAAMM events in October including the Guy Mendilow Ensemble and the Colorado premiere of the film Denial. Our official opening offers another Colorado premiere screening of the film Munich ’72 and Beyond which will be followed a few days later with yet another Colorado premiere of A Tale of Love and
Darkness, adapted from the famous Amos Oz novel and directed by and starring Natalie Portman. New York Times best-selling author Alice Hoffman will headline our author series as our Denver Jewish Community Read author discussing her book The Marriage of Opposites (and previewing her brand new novel Faithful).
Other author notables include B.A. Shapiro (The Muralist) and Josh Aronson (Orchestra of Exiles) as well as a host of other notable Jewish writers from around the country. An impressive array of artists will make up the music series including Israeli superstar Noa performing at the Newman Center, a return visit from New York jazz artist Eli Degibri, an outstanding all-female klezmer band The Isle of Klezbos and local chamber ensemble the Colorado Chamber Players. We are always excited for our annual partnerships
with Wonderbound Dance Company and delighted to offer a one-man theatre production on Einstein that has received national critical acclaim. Special events include the annual Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado Seminar and the 14th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture. This year, due to both our renovation and the decline in interest in the purchase of printed books, we will only be selling books for authors who will be appearing at the festival. Like last year, our store will only be open immediately before scheduled events.
We believe JAAMM Fest offers Colorado the most comprehensive festival focused solely on the celebration of Jewish arts and culture. In fact, JAAMM Fest appears to be relatively unprecedented nationally as related to the scope and variety offered throughout our two-and-half week extravaganza. Please join us and spread the word about this amazing celebration of Jewish arts, culture and literature!!
Executive Artistic Director, MACC