Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Hate Your Work!

Christine Bruno
If you are a playwright, or an artist who works in another discipline, and you've submitted your work (play, grant proposal, etc.) for consideration to a theater company or grant making organization and thought you had it in "the bag?" But little did you know, the person who judged your submission didn't get it.  In fact, they "hated it!" What if you are a person of color, queer or both and your project is about the lived experiences of either of these groups and perhaps the reason the judge didn't get it is because of a bias against people who are different than they are.

Are you a different able body artist who wonders why you seldomly see other different able body artists on stage or screen? Or do you use a wheelchair and you are unable to gain entry into a performance venue?  Or you wonder why the venue is not ADA compliant and thereby excludes an entire segment from gaining access to that venue?

Emilya Cachapero
Then we hope you can join us on Monday, Jan 16 at 7:30pm for The Fire This Time Festival's kickoff panel discussion called I Hate Your Work, about the ways in which bias that we all have keeps certain people from having a seat at the table, provided that they have access to the table to begin with. The panel discussion is being co-presented by The Field, a non-profit organization that provides strategic and creative services to New York City based performance artists and media organizations, and Downtown Art. The assembled panelists, who include Christine Bruno, Emilya Cachapero, Daaimah Mubashshir and Jose Solis, will discuss their experience with bias and their thoughts about supporting diversity and engagement.

Wilfredo Hernandez
Shawn Rene Graham, The Field's Deputy Director of Programs & Services, will be moderating.

Then, on Saturday Jan 21, at 3pm, I Hate York Work continues with a second part: an In-Action Workshop, which is also co-sponsored by The Field, that puts ideas and strategies discussed during the panel into action.  Participants will observe a condensed version of Fieldwork, an ongoing program The Field offers during which multidisciplinary artists share work in development and exchange non-critical, non-directorial and peer-to-peer feedback.

Kevin R. Free
The workshop facilitators include Kevin R. Free, James Scruggs and Wilfredo Hernandez.

An earlier version of I Hate Your Work was held at the Alliance of Artists Communities in Portland, Oregon.  Read about it as well as view a portion from the panel here.

I Hate York Work Panelists and Workshop Facilitators Bios:

CHRISTINE BRUNO is Disability Advocate at Inclusion in the Arts, a national not-for-profit that promotes the full inclusion of artists of color and disabled artists in theatre, film, television and related media. A proud union member, Christine is Chair of the New York SAG-AFTRA Performers with Disabilities Committee and serves on the SAG-AFTRA National Performers with Disabilities and the Actors’ Equity EEOC Committees.

EMILYA CACHAPERO is the director of Theatre Communications Group’s Artistic and International Programs and has been active in the US arts community for more than 30 years. Ms. Cachapero oversees TCG’s grant programs, international programs and selected special projects. She is part of the core team organizing Beyond Orientalism, a national initiative to address the use of yellow face, brown face and whitewashing.

KEVIN R. FREE is the Producing Artistic Director of the Obie-Award winning The Fire This Time Festival. He's also a writer-performer who has told stories on NPR, Dana Rossi's the Soundtrack Series and on the mainstage at The Moth. He has also performed Off-Broadway at The York, The Gramercy, and The New Federal Theatre, and regionally at CENTERSTAGE, The Kennedy Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, and in concert with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  

SHAWN RENÉ GRAHAM, Deputy Director, Programs and Services at The Field, is a freelance writer and dramaturg from San Jose, California who has worked with many writers including, Dennis Allen, France-Luce Benson, Nilo Cruz, Steve Harper, Walter Mosley, Lynn Nottage, Paul Rudnick, Susan Sontag, Dominic A. Taylor, Judy Tate, and Cori Thomas. She is the Literary Director for the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics Series and Playwright’s Playground, and founder of All Creative Writes, an artistic assistance service designed to provide individual artists and performing arts organizations with administrative, fundraising and writing support.

WILFREDO HERNANDEZ, Program Associate at The Field, is an artist (theatre/visual), cultural worker and educator. His artistic and scholarly pursuits are focused on exploring the intersections of myth, identity, politics and performance. He began his career as a self-producing artist when he, along with his family and close friends, founded Triple H Productions, Inc. in 2003 (NJ).

DAAIMAH MUBASHSHIR is a NYC playwright by way of Chicago, IL and Houston, TX. Her work has been developed by The Bushwick Starr, Going to The River Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Fire This Time Festival, JACK, and Rising Circle Theatre Collective. Full Length plays are Night of Power, Rum for Sale, Hotel Harare and Not In This Room. Daaimah also enjoys pushing the boundaries of theatre - In Everyday Afroplay, she creates text for theatrical experiences which blur the lines between the visual art, poetry, and theatre.

JAMES SCRUGGS, a writer, performer and arts administrator, creates large scale, multi-media, topical theatrical work usually focusing on race, and gender politics. He has received several grants and was recently awarded a 2016 NJSCA Fellowship for artistic excellence, a 2016 Creative Capital Grant and a 2015 MAP Grant to write and produce a piece, 3/Fifths, which will be performed by a large cast in two spaces at 3LD Art & Technology Center, NYC in 2017, and the project explores racism and mass incarceration.

JOSE SOLIS is a Honduran writer based in NY. He has been writing about film and theatre since 2003 and is a contributor on major film and theatre sites in the US and the UK including, American Theatre, Backstage, TDF Stages, The Film Experience, The Film Stage and PopMatters. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, Drama Desk, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Online Film Critics Society.