Plagues And Pandemics: A Musical Tradition –  A Fundraiser For The Arts Council Of Princeton On Saturday, July 25

Plagues And Pandemics: A Musical Tradition – A Fundraiser For The Arts Council Of Princeton On Saturday, July 25

A listening tour and lively discussion via Zoom with John Weingart, host of WPRB’s “Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio”and Grammy-nominated author/Princeton University Professor, Sean Wilentz

John Weingart

Princeton, N.J. – Join folk music radio host John Weingart and Princeton University Professor Sean Wilentz for Plagues and Pandemics: A Musical Tradition, a special fundraising edition of the Arts Council of Princeton’s popular In Conversation virtual series on Saturday, July 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  To purchase tickets — $15 ACP Members; $20 non-members, or a “pay-what-you-choose” option — and to receive the Zoom link, please visit

John Weingart, Associate Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, has since 1974 hosted the legendary program “Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio,” one of the nation’s foremost eclectic folk music broadcasts on WPRB-FM.  Sean Wilentz, George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton, and the author of numerous books including the New York Times and national bestseller, Bob Dylan in America, will play and discuss some of their favorite songs of despair and perseverance. They will also take questions from the audience and encourage conversation as we all face this continuing emergency.

Sean Wilentz

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, numerous musical artists from Alicia Keys to the Rolling Stones have composed new songs fitting these extraordinary times. But this is nothing new about popular music concerning plagues, epidemics, and contagions. From across the centuries, those songs, far from depressing, touch us with a recognition of connections to a sometimes distant past – a recognition at once shocking, comforting, and uncanny – from the ballads of Boccaccio’s characters in The Decameron to the blues of Blind Willie Johnson and Memphis Minnie to the rock of Lou Reed.

In addition to an engaging conversation, ticket holders will receive a specially curated Plague Playlist, and will be entered into a raffle to win a copy of The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad, edited by Sean Wilentz and Greil Marcus, along with the book’s accompanying CD featuring 20 American folk ballads, performed by Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Mississippi John Hurt, and Bob Dylan.  

This special fundraiser event is an opportunity to learn something new while showing your support for keeping community arts alive in Princeton. To learn more, please visit

This program is part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s apART together initiative, created to provide virtual programming in order to stay creative and connected during this time while we are physically distancing.   

About the Arts Council of Princeton

The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, fulfills its mission of Building Community through the Arts by presenting a wide range of programs including community arts outreach, exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region. For more information, visit