Identity

Welcome to the first issue of Season 2! MADE HERE explores the importance of identity in the performing arts. We hear about how many made the decision to be an artist and when they first realized they were one. We hear about how some deal with the labels that are projected onto them and how they address labels in their own work. Finally, we hear about how institutions shape their identity and how artists form their identity either with or without institutional support.

 

The three episodes for this issue are: Artist, Labels, and Institutions.

Discussion Topics

Season 2 Episode Feedback

Artist ID

Institutions

Your Identity

Resources

Click for relevant news, organizations, and research.

Do you consider yourself an artist? If so, how important is that identity to you? Have labels helped you define who you are? Do you feel limited by the labels others assign to you?

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episode 2: Labels

Whether related to race, gender, or genre, labels play a strong role in determining an artist’s place in the world. Labels affect an artist’s access to opportunities and funding, and how audiences react to them. Some artists find them to be stifling, damaging, or just irrelevant, while others use labels to their advantage.  

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resources

News

Technology in the Arts: Building Audience Diversity through Social Media

How technology can be used in the arts as a marketing strategy to diversify audiences.

Whither the Political Theatre?

An article from Culturebot.org about whether, these days, theatre is failing to be politically active.

Suzan-Lori Parks Interview

A recorded interview by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education with African American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.

Black Theatre is Blighted by its Ghetto Mentality

An article in the Evening Standard by Lindsay Johns discussing whether black theatre in Britain needs to diversity itself.

‘Can We Tell It Like It Really Happened?’: On Race and ‘The Scottsboro Boys’

Reflections on the racial politics of the Broadway play “The Scottsboro Boys,” which closed in December 2010 amidst protests and low box office numbers.

A Free Man of Color’s Jeffrey Wright on Why Some White Playwrights Have Trouble Tackling Race

A New York Magazine interview with actor Jeffrey Wright on addressing racial issues in theatre, and his latest role in ‘A Free Man of Color.’

Is theatre run by posh people for posh people?

From The Guardian blog, a look at a heated conversation taking place in the blogosphere on class and contemporary theatre.

Mexican? American? Call Her Writer

Tanya Saracho’s success writing plays about Latino culture has earned her acclaim and opportunities to explore wider themes for more diverse audiences.

New Gay Theatre is more about love stories than politics

New York Times article on how new plays feature gay characters and relationships, but avoid social politics.

Bohemian Soul Mates in Obscurity

Review of Patti Smith’s memoir "Just Kids" – the story of Smith’s early years as an artist and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

Taking Her Art Seriously, Not Herself

Judi Dench’s new autobiography "and furthermore" discusses the actress’ longevity and dedication to her craft.

Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above

From the New York Times RACE REMIXED series: a rise in a multiracial identity among young Americans.

Black and White and Married in the Deep South: A Shifting Image

From the New York Times RACE REMIXED series: a increase in interracial couples and mixed-race families living in the Deep South.

Counting by Race Can Throw Off Some Numbers

From the New York Times RACE REMIXED series: difficulty and inconsistency in using race to determine funding and resources.

Is Theatre Elitist?

A blog in the Guardian about whether experimental theatre is failing to appeal to 'regular' people.

Theatre, cultural identity and the critic

Cultural identity, funding, and the role of the critic in Welsh theatre.

Should theatre critics be more diverse?

From the Guardian blog, a new initiative in England to create more diversity among theatre critics.

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Organizations

Ballet Hispanico

Professional dance company and school in New York City. Ballet Hispanico showcases the work of Hispanic choreographers, performs Hispanic dance, and educates and trains young people in its own school and the NYC public schools.

viBe theatre experience

viBe Theater Experience (viBe) is a non-profit performing arts/education organization that empowers teenage girls through the creation and production of original performances.

BRAVA! for Women in the Arts

BRAVA! Theatre is a multicultural, feminist performing arts center located in San Fransisco.

Guerilla Girls

Feminist activists and artists who use performance and culture jamming to advocate for the equality of women and people of color in the arts.

League of Professional Theatre Women

A not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in theatre.

New Georges

An award winning downtown venue producing plays by women.

Split Britches

Split Britches is a Lesbian Feminist Theatre Company. Since 1980 they have 'transformed the landscape of queer performance with their vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performance.'

WOW Cafe

NYC based WOW Cafe started as an international women's theatre festival in 1980 and continues to produce performances written and directed by women.

NYC up and OUT!

A resource for GLBT arts and culture events in New York City.

Asian American Arts Alliance

Support and funding for Asian American artists in New York City.

Asian American Arts Centre

New York City based organization that promotes and documents Asian American arts through education, archiving, and exhibitions.

Ma-Yi Theatre Company

The Ma-Yi Theatre Company produces new work by Asian American playwrights.

National Asian American Theatre Company

NAATCO produces work by Asian-American playwrights, and work featuring predominately Asian-American casts.

American Indian Arts Inc.

New York City based AMERINDA supports American Indian visual, performing and literary artists.

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Education Center

Clemente Soto Velez is a Latino and Puerto Rican cultural arts center on Lower East Side. They are home to sixteen performing arts and educational groups -- including multiple theatre and dance companies.

National Alliance of Latino Arts and Culture

Based in San Antonio, TX, The National Alliance of Latino Arts and Culture is an advocacy organization for Latino artists.

Repertorio Espanol

New York City based Repertorio Espanol produces plays in Spanish from Latin American, Spanish and Hispanic-American playwrights.

Alvin Ailey Dance

Alvin Ailey is a professional modern dance company and school in New York City. They are internationally renowned and maintain a special focus on African-American dance expression.

Blackout Arts Collective

With seven chapters nation-wide, the Blackout Arts Collective works to empower communities of color through the arts.

Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!)

BAAD! is a workshop and performance space located in the South Bronx. It highlights new work by a diverse group of artists and performers.

The Point

The Point is a Community Center in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. They have extensive performing arts programming for youth -- including classes in theatre, dance and circus arts.

Los Angeles Poverty Department

Since 1985 the Los Angeles Poverty Department has been creating performances about the experiences of people living in poverty in Los Angeles’ Skid Row.

QuestFest

A theatre festival in Washington D.C. that presents the best in international visual theatre.

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Research

Defining Diversity

A discussion of diversity from 20 leaders across the field of theatre.

National Guidance Research Form

A selection of data on representation of individuals working in the arts, including the performing arts.

Biography.com - The Harlem Renaissance

An interactive online resource on the artists and history of the Harlem Renaissance. Great for use in the classroom.

Report on the Status of Women: A Limited Engagement?

A report on the status of women in theatre based on a three-year study from the Theatre Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. Statistic, historical, anecdotal, and analytical data, plus recommendations for how to support women in the field.

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Season 2 Episode Feedback

What did you think about the episodes?

  • Pete McCabe said:

    “in creating art one get’s the benefit of being looked at, but also the responsability of telling the truth”  Someone much smarter than me said that.
    In the short story Hellscreen, it shows what someone is willing to do to tell that truth as he sees it.  It ends up killing him.  I don’t think you have to die to tell the truth, but its personal toll can have ramifications far beyond one’s expectations; even to the disolution of the self.  Creating art is about more than not being paid well.  What “truth” is… is seemingly undefinable.

    03/05 - 06:40 PM

  • Gabriela Poma said:

    Am just getting through the new videos. Wonderful and so inspiring. This angle: the daily life of an artist.  No one gets to see the difficulty, the hard work, they things given up for art. And to get a glimpse at the intimate parts of their lives is such a privilege.

    03/14 - 02:32 AM

  • laura peterson said:

    About labels and identity: Young Jean Lee’s comment was really gratifying and made me think that a label can be something one earns. It can reflect an amount of discipline and focus in one’s work that leads to a title. Playwright. Choreographer. Whatever it is, which is not to say that it cannot be a blend or a new term, but that it can have weight and purpose and structure.

    03/29 - 08:56 PM

  • Soon-Young Yoon said:

    Love the trailer for the madehere project. Looking forward to more…so important a contribution to history.

    04/07 - 12:05 AM

  • Cheri Magid said:

    I have been loading up on watching made here and am totally addicted. It’s so reassuring to hear others talk of the same things that you deal with and encouraging to see the ways different people live as artists.

    04/07 - 12:06 AM

  • Alex Zafiris said:

    I watched the latest Made Here series. I love the new categorization themes—identity, labels… such a great idea.

    04/07 - 12:08 AM

  • Oscar said:

    You did not work on it, or can’t do it.I work in the US for 5 years and back and work in a world class Ads agency in Thailand. I have seen and works on a lot of stuff. I agree Thai peolpe and AE care too much about stylize. I make me sick everyday I hear their comment. They have not idea about design fundamental. Totally opposite when I work in the US, they strongly care about design principle no matter what projects are. All Typography are well structure, never let any un-editing work out to clint hand, because it show how civilize they are as a real professional not a student work.

    08/21 - 05:34 PM

  • Jaime said:

    An Arts ThinkTank: This is exactly what an Arts Council shloud be. I’m sure you’ve noticed how often the Fraser Institute is cited on various issues. Do we ever here from the BC Arts Council? A Vancouver City Arts Council could be a powerful voice, but only if it’s made up of fearless, intelligent, and energetic advocates for the arts in all economic and social sectors.

    08/22 - 02:44 AM

  • Kyomi said:

    How beautiful that you caeutrpd history and beauty of the island.  I remember loving Hanappepe and want to get back there soon.  Meanwhile, am overjoyed with the opportunity to hang out withCherise et al.  Cheers for the beautiful photos.

    08/22 - 07:27 AM

  • Anggita said:

    Funny week.  When I checked in last week, I meenointd feeling disconnected, so I was glad to see this week being about connection. I didn’t think that this week’s exercises were that useful, but I do have to say that I am feeling much more connected again, and much more positive about my creative pursuits.  Weird.

    08/22 - 04:04 PM

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    04/04 - 05:32 AM

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your stories

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  • Do you consider yourself an artist? If so, how important is that identity to you?
  • Have labels helped you define who you are? Do you feel limited by the labels others assign to you?
  • From Susan Kirschbaum:

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    Children clothing designer Tanya Minhas answers the question “Are artists supported in our society?”

  • From Lynn Lobell:

    Lynn Lobell is the Managing Director of the Queens Council on the Arts. Here she discusses artist identity and institutional support.