News and Updates
2015 Nancy Quinn Fund Grant Recipients
Thursday, April 16, 2015 12:00 AM

 

Nancy Quinn Grantee The Queen's Company's production of Sir Patient Fancy. Photo by Bob Pileggi.

Congratulations to the following 42 companies who received a total of $50,000 through the The FY15 Nancy Quinn Fund program! The Nancy Quinn Fund provides general operating support to A.R.T./New York member companies with budgets under $100,000.

  • Between the Seas
  • Blessed Unrest
  • Buran Theatre
  • CollaborationTown
  • Collapsable Giraffe
  • Colt Coeur
  • Concrete Temple Theatre
  • The CRY HAVOC Company
  • Downtown Art
  • Dramatic Question Theatre
  • Faux-Real Theatre Company
  • Flux Theatre Ensemble
  • id Theater
  • Immediate Medium
  • IRT Theater
  • La Troupe Makandal, Inc.
  • LaMicro Theater
  • Little Lord
  • The Movement Theatre Company
  • NAATCO
  • National Theatre for Student Artists
  • The New Stage Theatre Company
  • New Worlds Theatre Project, Inc.
  • Nia Theatrical Production Company
  • Noor Theatre
  • Peculiar Works Project
  • Pioneers Go East Collective
  • Pipeline Theatre Company
  • The Queen's Company
  • Retro Productions
  • Rising Circle Theater Collective
  • Roots&Branches Theater
  • Second Generation Productions
  • Sinking Ship Productions
  • Steps Theatre
  • Theater 2020, Inc.
  • Theater 167
  • Turkish American Repertory Theater & Entertainment
  • Untitled Theater Company No. 61
  • Vampire Cowboys
  • Voyage Theater Company
  • WaxFactory
 
An Entertaining City Council Hearing
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:00 AM

 

A few years ago, I met with Rob Moss, one of the founding members of A.R.T./New York, (originally called the Off Off Broadway Alliance). Rob told me that at one of the Alliance’s first City Council hearings, a member sang a song as part of their testimony. “You could hear a pin drop,” he reminisced. “She had the entire room in awe.”

This past week, A.R.T./New York prepared for a City Council Hearing on March 20th. Typically I present a testimonial on behalf of the artists, but this time, Rob’s anecdote struck a chord with me: Why not allow the artists to speak for themselves, by doing what they do best? So we did just that, and it was a huge success.

Joining us at the meeting were representatives from One Percent for Culture, The Field, Theater of the Oppressed, The Laundromat Project, Exploring the Metropolis, Elders Share the Arts, and Dance/NYC, who each gave their own creative presentation. The non-traditional testimony was kicked off by artist Mahayana Landowne, representing the Interactive Art Collective, Calling All Parties. Mahayana interviewed attendees while wearing an artist original “Red Carpet” inspired accessory; a funky, red, statement hat resembling a cascading red carpet. Interviewees such as Heather Woodfield from One Perfect for Culture stopped to discuss the importance of culture with Mahayana while arriving to the Hearing.

Other presentations included Girl Be Heard’s excerpt from the haunting piece, "Mama, You're the Soldier," by Aya Abdelaziz, in which performers Ashley Marinaccio and Jackie Torres executed a beautiful vocal and movement piece that shook up the space. The Laundromat Project shared spoken testimony by Kemi Ilesanmi and 2 artists (Betty Yu, Stephanie Dinkins) under the theme "Imagine if...." and handed out cards, produced by The Laundromat Project Alum Chloe Bass, that asked "What can you imagine?"

The Field displayed several large portraits from Kate Browne’s ongoing project, Cocoon (as seen in the photograph just above), while she explained her approach and subject matter; and Guy Lawrence, a representative from Elders Share the Arts, shared a moving testimony on the personal impact of his company’s work on his life. Composers, Nina Siniakova and Ian Ng, spoke on behalf of Exploring the Metropolis, thanking said Organization for securing free space where they could compose, while violist, Eric Lemmon, performed a piece so moving that Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer used his iPhone to record the performance! Finally, Maaji Newbold from Theatre of the Oppressed performed an excerpt from the play “The Housing Circus,” in which she, while juggling her obstacles, described the hoops she had to jump through for public assistance with housing and health.

All twelve of the speakers, including Holly Block (Bronx Museum and the Cultural Institutions), and Tamara Greenfield (FAB), made the same request: $30 million more for Culture, to be divided equally between the Cultural Development Fund and the Cultural Institutions Group. And this time, we were heard—because no one can better describe the power of the arts than the artists themselves.

 

-Ginny Louloudes, Executive Director

 
Ginny reflects on Curtain Call 2015
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 12:00 AM

Executive Director, Ginny Louloudes // Photo by Robert Kidd

Last week at Curtain Call, I discussed my concerns for the health and spirit of our city after the Eric Garner verdict, the shooting of Officers Liu and Ramirez by a mad man in retaliation, and the behavior that followed these events. I explained that, for me, the image of the Woods in the Sondheim musical, Into The Woods, symbolizes a place where we can take risks, learn about the deepest parts of ourselves, and grow. I also shared that I have found myself stumbling in the Woods, and invited you to come with me, so we can demonstrate the power theatre has to foster necessary conversations on race, inequality, and diversity together. I noted that post-performance discussions could enhance the power of plays with themes of social justice to a greater level, and cited examples. I also mentioned Darren Walker's essay, “A New Testament of Hope”, in which Darren shared the resurgence of hope he felt during the protests at the sight of hundreds of diverse young people who joined the marches.

 

Then, this week I got to see all of those themes in action when A.R.T./New York Board Member and Artistic Director of Downtown Art, Ryan Gilliam, invited me to her production of To Kill A Mockingbird. One of the joys of attending a Downtown Art production is that Ryan always shares her motivation with the audience through a written thought piece. For To Kill A Mockingbird, she wrote this:

 

Atticus Finch says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

There’s both hopefulness in that…and tragedy.  Tragedy because you know and I know that this is the only skin I’ll ever actually wear.  Hopefulness because it means that understanding relies on imagination – a detailed, in-depth, fully realized imagination.  And that’s hopeful because human beings love imagining.

Read the rest of Ryan Gilliam's speech

 

To help demonstrate this point, Ryan directed a cast of seven girls, (black, white, Asian and Latino), who seamlessly moved from one part to another. Through this method, each girl got to know what it felt like to be in the skin of all the characters, from Scout to Atticus, to Calpurnia.

 

The simple yet beautiful production was followed by a moderated post-show discussion, with special guests from El Puente’s Center for Arts and Culture. El Puente’s young actors come from all 5 boroughs, and their teacher taught them to question everything. While the young artists from Downtown Art and El Puente saw that in some cases, the racism depicted in To Kill A Mockingbird continues today, they also saw hope. "I always say good morning to the police who watch my building," said one girl, adding, "I posted on my FaceBook page that the police helped a lot of people on 9/11." Like Darren Walker, these young people gave me a burst of optimism. 

 

According to Ryan, Downtown Art had several local activists and organizers there who also chose to stay silent in order to listen to them. She told me, "It was a night I will definitely remember for quite a while."  

 

And so will I.

 

-Ginny Louloudes, Executive Director

 
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