National Sawdust’s mission is rooted in music discovery that is open, inclusive, and based in active mentorship of emerging artists, while building new audiences and communities of music devotees.
National Sawdust engages artists in an ecosystem of incubation to dissemination, programming groundbreaking new music in our state-of-the-art Williamsburg venue, and developing and touring new, collaborative music-driven projects — the National Sawdust DNA produces and presents world-class artistic work which embraces a wide stylistic approach to music.
National Sawdust believes in being an innovative leader in changing the landscape of contemporary music, by bringing all voices to the stage and beyond — artistic representation that reflects the ever-evolving multicultural society in which we live.
As a composer, I believe the role of an artist in the 21st century is that of creator, educator, activist, and entrepreneur. I believe that 21st-century artists need to be thinking about how they can affect their communities, on a local and global scale. At National Sawdust, supporting emerging artists is our core mission, nurturing a wide array of voices who are collectively reshaping the landscape of new music for this new century. The work we champion and help support in our residency programs speaks to the National Sawdust DNA: empowering high-level artistry, regardless of genre, by multicultural artists who tell their stories through their music. We’re also committed to cultivating a broader artistic ecosystem that extends beyond one-off performances in the concert hall. With our producing arm, National Sawdust Projects, we bring vibrant new work to venues around the country, while our record label, National Sawdust Tracks, helps make this music accessible to anyone who wants to listen and our work with The Log Journal fosters lively critical discussions and provides a space for artists to put their thoughts out into the world with in-depth interviews and features.
–Paola Prestini, Composer, Co-Founder and Artistic Director