New York Live Arts, the performance group based in Chelsea, describes its specialty as “movement-based artistry.” Given the group’s history — it was founded after a merger between the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop, and Mr. Jones is its executive artistic director — “movement-based artistry” is usually taken to mean dance. But last year, Live Arts expanded into multidisciplinary performance with its first Live Ideas Festival, built around the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author.
The organization continues its outward push with this year’s installment of the festival, “James Baldwin, This Time!” The program, which was announced on Wednesday, will run at Live Arts (219 West 19th Street) from April 23 to 27.
The festival, meant to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Baldwin’s birth, will explore the author, playwright and social critic’s writings on race, class and sexuality — as well as his stature as an America artist — through theater works, choreography, music and visual installations. Among the visual work are Hank Willis Thomas’s video project, which includes readings of some of Baldwin’s works and an exhibition of Richard Avedon’s portraits of Baldwin, taken over the course of their 40-year friendship.
That friendship will also be explored in a reading by Rachel Cohen from her book “A Chance Meeting,” and in “Nothing Personal,” a theater piece based on the 1964 Baldwin-Avedon book, starring Colman Domingo. Also scheduled are Carl Hancock Rux’s “Stranger on Earth,” a theatrical imagining of a meeting between Baldwin and the jazz singer Dinah Washington; “Stew on Baldwin: An Intimate Look,” which includes musical settings of Baldwin’s writings; and “Baldwin Through Dance,” in which Charles O. Anderson and Dianne McIntyre will present the premieres of works inspired by Baldwin.
The festival prospectus also includes lectures, panel discussions and readings, including “Jimmy at High Noon,” a series of daily readings from Baldwin’s work. Among the readers: the poets Nikky Finney and Yusef Komunyakaa; the musicians Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran; and the actors Jesse L. Martin and André De Shields.
“James Baldwin is a unique and indispensable voice in 20th-century art and ideas,” Mr. Jones said in a statement. “He continues to shed light on the painful truths of our society, engaging us as almost no other figure does in the intractable conversation at the intersection of class, race, sex and violence. There were other powerful artists and social justice thinkers in his era, but what set James Baldwin apart was his ability to address, in terms at once poetic and visceral, what we can only call ‘Americanism.’”
Tickets for the events range from free to $60, and the festival is offering full festival passes for $175.