Unveiling Event

May 21, 6-9pm @ Music Box Village, New Orleans

Free & all ages, suggested donation at the door
ASL services will be provided throughout the event


SmithsonianAPA comes to New Orleans

On May 21, 2019, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will debut Elevator Pitch, a new “musical house” art installation in New Orleans, Louisiana. A collaboration between renowned artists New Orleans Airlift, Christine Sun Kim, and Rick Snow, Elevator Pitch will join the beloved Music Box Village’s campus in New Orleans, as an interactive sound structure that explores how music can be created and experienced by Deaf and hearing communities together.


An addition to New Orleans' beloved Music Box Village

The Music Box is a place where play, imagination, experimentation, collaboration, community and hard work come together as artist-made, interactive “musical houses.” The Music Box is inspired by the unique musical and architectural culture of its home city of New Orleans.

Music Box Village

4557 North Rampart Street
New Orleans, Louisiana




The Artists

New Orleans Airlift is an acclaimed artist-driven organization whose mission is to collaborate to inspire wonder, connect communities, and foster opportunities through the creation of experimental public artworks. They are widely known for their works of musical architecture, borne out of the region's rich musical landscape. Their flagship project, the Music Box Village, has become a signature site in New Orleans since its founding in 2011, and has recently staged collaborations with musicians including Tank and the Bangas, Animal Collective, and Sun Ra’s Arkestra.


Christine Sun Kim is a celebrated artist whose work exposes how sound is experienced beyond hearing. Her multidisciplinary approach includes illustrations, musical notations, and movement that often pays regard to American Sign Language (ASL) to demonstrate various methods of deepening our appreciation of our aural environments. The collaboration will mark Airlift’s first music house dedicated to Deaf audiences, and Kim’s New Orleans debut.


Rick Snow is a composer and educator based in New Orleans, Louisiana. His recent work involves sculptural and interactive sound objects that combine live instruments, interactive video, and lighting with sculptural elements. As a composer, he seeks intersections between dimension, expression, metaphor, and process. Rick collaborated with architect Michael Glenboski to create a musical structure: Paths & Sympathetic Resonance for the 2015 Music Box: Roving Village installation in City Park.



Introducing Elevator Pitch

Elevator Pitch is an interactive art installation that celebrates New Orleans as a multi-sensory musical experience. Created by New Orleans Airlift, Christine Sun Kim, and Rick Snow, it is the Music Box Village’s latest “musical house” structure, offering visitors a visceral, innovative encounter with sound.

Elevator Pitch is inspired by Kim’s childhood memories of crowding elevators with her Deaf friends, and shouting so loudly that they could feel the vibrations of each others’ voices. Meanwhile, elevators are often known to hearing people as sites of “awkward silence,” thus the concept of this installation challenges when and where various people have a voice. Born Deaf herself, Kim approaches Elevator Pitch by investigating how Deaf communities of New Orleans experience a city so deeply defined by music, and by highlighting how Deaf people are vital to this culture of sound.

This piece is developed in collaboration with local composer and educator Rick Snow, whose work involves instruments, lighting, media, and sculpture to create immersive experiences; and New Orleans Airlift, the art collective and architectural team behind the Music Box Village. Airlift has stewarded an environment of creative collaboration, with the goal of widening access to sound and music to communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Elevator Pitch is presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center with generous support from the Smithsonian Year of Music, Smithsonian Women’s Committee, and Shift Design.



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