On October 24, 2015, The Nation feted its 150th anniversary with an unprecedented celebration at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in a renovated Civil War–era Tobacco Warehouse. Featuring acclaimed writers and activists channeling iconic Nation voices from the past plus music and comedy, the evening was hosted by Nation writers and MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry and featured readings and reflections by Tony Kushner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Calvin Trillin, Victor Navasky, Laura Flanders, Kai Wright, Zephyr Teachout, and Mychal Denzel, Smith along with a moving live performance from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
In this inimitable reading, the award-winning dramatist Tony Kushner, a longtime Nation contributor and editorial board member, reads and comments on the novelist Zona Gale’s historic essay, “The United States and the Artist,” first published in The Nation’s 60th anniversary issue, in 1925. (Gale was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in drama.) He also amusingly explains why he rejected readings by Jean-Paul Sartre and Gore Vidal.