BETTY at Museums
BETTY created the soundscape for artist Darren Waterston’s stunning installation, Filthy Lucre. First commissioned and presented by MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in 2015, the massive artwork moved to the Smithsonian’s Freer/Sackler Gallery in 2017 where it was on view for five months next to it’s inspiration, James McNeill Whistler’s masterpiece of interior decorative mural art, The Peacock Room.
In January 2020 BETTY performs live at the V & A museum in London, again in conjunction with Darren Waterston's glorious exhibit.
Filthy Lucre is an immersive interior where Darren has reimagined Whistler’s famed and controversial room. A near life-size recreation of Whistler’s aesthetic masterpiece, Darren transforms almost every detail with images of decay and excess. BETTY's soundscape haunts the space in whispers, fragments of instrumental music, and unfolding harmonies.
In addition to creating the Filthy Lucre Soundscape, BETTY has performed it live within the installation at both MASS MoCA and the Smithsonian. This January, they perform again in Filthy Lucre, the highlight of Darren Waterston’s installation Uncertain Beauty at London’s legendary Victoria & Albert museum.
Listen to Filthy Lucre
See full performance here: BETTY live soundscape Smithsonian Sackler Gallery
The indie pop trio BETTY formed in Washington DC in 1986 then burst onto the New York scene, where they are still based 34 years later. Alyson Palmer (vocals, bass, guitar) and sisters Elizabeth Ziff (vocals, guitar, electronic programming) and Amy Ziff (vocals and cello) use beguiling melodies, compelling lyrics and signature harmonies to create legendary live shows that mix music, performance art, politics and comedy.
BETTY sings of joy, love, longing, sex, food, heartbreak, and the universal hilarity of human existence. More than a band, BETTY uses music to channel their passion for fairness and equality. From the beginning, they've lent their voices to causes they fight for, their talent in collaboration with other artists of every medium, and their time in support of women and girls, worldwide.
In addition to creating, performing and recording together as a group of independent artists for over 33 years, BETTY travels the world as Arts Envoys for the US Department of State. To further their humanitarian outreach and cultural diplomacy, Gloria Steinem advised them to form a non-profit, which they did in 2014. The BETTY Effect’s mission is to use music and performance techniques to help others communicate and connect for personal power, social progress and peace, especially women and girls and LGBTQIA communities.
BETTY has been featured on national and international radio, television – including their iconic theme song for the L Word – and in films, commercials, jingles, web and streaming projects and concert venues across five continents. They have contributed as guest artists to dozens of recordings and compilation albums, and their soundscapes can be heard in art installations, like Darren Waterston “Filthy Lucre” at Mass MOCA, The Smithsonian Institute and upcoming at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Their Off-Broadway musical, BETTY RULES, was a smash hit directed by Michael Greif (Dear Evan Hanson, Next to Normal, Rent.)
Unstoppable activists, BETTY uses their music to work for equal rights, peace and optimal health for all and the environment. In their long, award-winning career, they are proudest about lending their voices to hundreds of events over the decades that have improved lives, changed policy, and raised millions of dollars for worthy causes.
The band’s podcast, BETTY: GIRLBAND is the raucous history of an all-girl, American trio in music, story and guest interviews from the Reagan 80’s to the mid 90’s. The first season is out now on all platforms.
Currently in production with their 11th studio recording, BETTY will release a new acoustic-adjacent album in 2020.
Artists, adventurers, activists… BETTY Rules.
“As thoughtful as [they are] fun… their harmonies are gorgeous.” - Bruce Weber, New York Times
“Lively, candid, funny and electric.” - Donald Lyons, New York Post
“Joyous, humorous and entirely engaging” - Robert Dominguez, New York Daily News
“They are hot! Forget Destiny’s Child, BETTY are the real survivors.” - Entertainment Weekly