“Art Recession,” a documentary about the importance of art education, produced, written, and directed by Ming Lai of Humanist Films (Journey of a Paper Son)
Despite its huge impact, art education is often one of the first programs to be cut, especially when the economy is hard hit. “Art Recession” explores the importance of art education, showing how it teaches us to communicate, develops our critical thinking skills, helps us to learn other subjects, expresses our individualism, enriches our culture, builds our society, and ultimately conveys our humanity. This documentary then offers powerful ways to save it.
The documentary interviews the art world about this timely subject—from visionary artists and respected art curators to inspiring teachers and knowledgable museum educators to involved parents and promising art students. These thought-provoking interviews include Gary Baseman, Gary Blackwell, Michelle Borok, Denise Gray, Jason Holley, Brooke Kent, Monica Magana, Rachel Matos, Karol Heinecken Mora, Eric Nakamura, Paige Oden, Ming Ong, Ralph Opacic, Aaron Smith, Brian Stoebe, Courtney Stoebe, Tiffany Stoebe, Edwin Ushiro, Tianyi Wang, and P. Williams.
Lai was inspired to make “Art Recession” by The Mini Show, a group art exhibition to raise money for the Mini Lai Scholarship Fund, which honors the memory of his sister, Mini Lai, and benefits Art Center College of Design illustration students. The fund is managed by the respected California Community Foundation. Mini Lai is a proud alumna of Art Center’s prestigious illustration program.
Japanese dance crew, Wrecking Crew Orchestra, shows you how some creativity and LED lights can wow an audience in this viral video. Dance choreography coupled with lighting controls tied to the music brings you light choreography. Watch this electric dance show that will leave you wondering how they did it.
The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) released preliminary findings today on the representation of minority actors on New York City’s most prominent stages during the last five years. The full report, which will be released on Monday February 13th in conjunction with an industry roundtable, tallies the ethnic make-up of casts from all shows which opened on Broadway during this period and productions from sixteen of the largest not-for-profit theatres in New York City: The Atlantic Theatre Company, Classic Stage Company, Lincoln Center Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC, The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Public Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage, Signature Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, Vineyard Theatre and The York Theatre Company. It is the first report on minority casting in New York theatre ever to be released publicly.
Promisingly, the report reveals that the percentage of minority actors in relation to total number of roles has increased, hovering at or near 21 percent for the past four years compared to 14 percent five years ago. In addition, the number of minority actors cast in roles which were not racially specific (what is commonly referred to as non-traditional or inclusive casting) rose year to year, an indicator of creativity within the casting process and, possibly, the breaking down of traditional racial stereotypes.
Still, only 10.6 percent of all roles this past year were cast without regard to race and very few minority actors were seen in leading roles. With very few ethnic and minority stories in mainstream New York theatre during this period, expanding non-traditional casting seems to be the best way to secure more employment opportunities for minority actors.
Most of the gains came from African-American performers who far outpaced their minority counterparts. Percentage of African-American performers in total number of roles doubled to 16 percent in the 08/09 and 09/10 seasons compared to 8 percent five years ago, dipping slightly to 14 percent this past year. African-Americans saw the largest increase in number of roles non-traditionally cast and were far more likely than any other minority group to be cast in a role that did not specify race. Though far behind in total numbers, Latino performers also doubled their visibility, accounting for 4 percent of total roles this past season compared to 2 percent five years ago.
Asian American performers do not seem to be a part of the trend towards more inclusive casting. Asian American performers saw their numbers drop, from 3 percent of all roles five years ago to 1 percent in the 08/09 and 09/10 seasons with a slight up tick to 2 percent this past year. While they were as likely as their Latino colleagues to be non-traditionally cast five and four years ago, in the past three years numbers of non- traditionally cast roles increased for Latinos while they decreased for Asians.
Asian Americans comprise 12.9 percent of New York City and is the city’s fastest growing major minority group, yet Asian actors accounted for only 1.6 percent of all available roles in new productions on Broadway, 3.3 percent of roles at non- profit companies and 2.3 percent of roles when looking at the industry as a whole.
There were only 18 Principal Broadway contracts for Asian American actors in the last five years.
Asian American performers are the least likely among the major minority groups to play roles that are not defined by their race.
In response to these findings, AAPAC will hold an industry roundtable with prominent producers, artistic directors, directors, playwrights, agents and casting directors to have a dialogue on access and representation of minority actors on NYC stages and how best to overcome obstacles to more inclusive casting. It will be co-presented with Fordham University and will be moderated by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (Chinglish, M. Butterfly):
AAPAC and Fordham University present
“RepresentAsian: The Changing Face of New York Theater”
Monday, February 13th, at 7:00 pm
The Pope Auditorium at Fordham University
60th St/and Columbus avenue, just inside main entrance
To RSVP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Seating is limited.
RepresentAsian: The Changing Face of New York Theater
Reports all over the internet are stating that graffiti artist David Choe will become an instant millionaire when the stock goes IPO. Instead of taking cash for murals he painted on the walls of Facebook’s offices in 2005, he opted for stock options. That decision may make David Choe $200 million in a few months. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve seen his work or watched the documentary “Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe.’’
Bloomberg talks about David Choe : future Facebook Millionaire
Brooklyn Independent Television’s Caught In The Act (episode 44) follows photographer Corky Lee as he captures the rhythm and beauty at the annual Japanese Obon Dance Festival. This longtime photojournalist tells tales from his many years behind the camera. 40 years! That’s how long Corky Lee has aimed his camera and captured beautiful images on film. (Yes– REAL film.) Tag along as we join Corky at the annual Japanese Obon Dance Festival. Listen as he explains how the photos in the past influence how he shoots photos today. A photograph is a powerful thing.