Monday, August 6th, 2018
Immigration Policies and Diversity in the Arts
We often focus on the economic contributions of immigrants, but often forget of the tremendous social and cultural impacts diverse communities have on American society. Immigrant communities bring traditional practices, customs, and knowledge that enriches and uplifts American culture. On the other hand, immigrant art’s focus has mostly been on the content and aesthetics of artistic works, and not in the economic and social impact. On this day we discuss immigration policies, diversity in the arts and the socio-cultural impact in America.
The day includes an Immigrant Art Exhibit from 11:00-5:00 PM.
9:00 AM: Check-in/ Registration
10:00 AM: Opening Keynote:
Ariana DeBose: Broadway Actress and Dancer
10:30 AM: Networking break
10:45 AM: Panel: Tearing Down The Walls: How Immigrants and Immigration Policies Influence American Culture and Arts
We’re living in a very divisive era, one where immigration policies hurt the growth and strength of immigrants and arts. In this panel we examine how does the production of immigrant stories change the mainstream culture in the US. What’s the impact of the current “zero tolerance” immigration policy? How will that affect our artists and our culture? Are immigrant artists mobilizing to change these immigration policies? What does this mean to DREAMers artists?
Moderator: Samira Sadeque: Journalist and poet
- Arzu Gurcan: Immigration Lawyer
- Eileen Reyes Arias: Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Abraham Rebollo: Student and Development Coordinator for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
- Daniel Kahn: Actor
11:30 AM: Talk: Diversity in Media: When Institutions Implement Change and Foster Diversity
Corporate media and entertainment unions have established positions focused on diversity, Affirmative Action and EEOC. In this panel we discuss how is diversity used as a frame of reference and a driver of artistic creation and work protection. How does labor and entertainment law impact immigrant artists? What are some companies doing to help and protect immigrant artists?
Moderator: Ann Toback: Executive Director, The Workmen’s Circle
- Adam Moore: National Director of EEOC, SAG-AFTRA
- Val Nicholas: VP/Creative Director, NBC News
- Jenna Chrisphonte: Director of Community Engagement, Dramatists Guild
- Tom Carpenter: Actors Equity’s General Counsel
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Concurrent Workshops
Workshop #1: Immigration: Artists Visas
Immigration lawyer, Marcus Yi, Esq., will cover work visas for artists. As an artist himself, Mr. Yi understands the unique nature of the arts industry, and is fully qualified to provide the best service for artists seeking to work in the United States.
- When can you apply for an O1 visa?
- What steps do you need to take to apply for an O1 visa?
- How do you transition from student to work visa?
- How long can you work in the US on an O1 visa?
- How do you move to permanent residence from an O1 visa?
- When can you apply for an H-1B visa?
- What does your employer do in the process?
- How do you transition from student to work visa?
- How long can you work in the US on an H-1B visa?
- How do you move to permanent residence from a H-1B visa?
Workshop #2: Creative Writing: Digging Down Deep – An Introduction to Memoir Writing
Author and activist Charlie Vázquez will lead participants through memoir writing prompts designed to produce compelling, first-person narratives that can serve as the beginnings for larger stories. Charlie Vázquez is the former Deputy Director at Bronx Council on the Arts, where he also oversees the Bronx Writers Center programs. These craft and professional development workshops are held throughout the borough and serve some of the most under-resourced writers in the nation, including many immigrants. Bronx Writers Center programs include Bronx Memoir Project, which publishes the first-person testimonials of Bronxites of all walks of life.
2:00 PM: Networking Break
2:15 PM: Panel: Our Truth: Breaking Stereotypes and Embracing Cultural Identity
We’ve seen them: the maid, the gangster, the criminals, the hysterical; even blackface and yellowface! Stereotypical portrayals, whitewashing stories of people of color, and neutralization of diverse cultures in mass media have long been a topic of debate: profits vs. storytelling. However, movies like “Black Panther”; musicals like and “Hamilton”; visual artists like Basquiat; and albums like Carlos Santana’s “Supernatural,” have proven otherwise. In this panel we discuss embracing our own cultural identity and creating content that breaks stereotypes. Has some of their work collided with the true depiction of their own culture? Are audiences embracing different cultural identities through stories of diversity? How do artists make sure they’re telling diverse stories, while honoring their own culture?
Confirmed panelists: Vivienne Jurado: Actor, Producer/Moderator at TWStudios: Chelsea
- Dr. Marta Moreno Vega: President and Founder, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI); President of the Creative Justice Initiative.
- Denise Turkan: Transgender actress
- Neel Murgai: Artistic Director, Brooklyn Raga Massive
- Steven Cuevas: Music Director, Kinky Boots Tour
- Penny Pun: Playwright
3:15 PM: Performance: Carrie Beehan “Alazon In The Quiet Room – Displaced”
A theatrical multimedia piece and narrative, about displacement, exploring when immigrant artists leave their quiet rooms of contemplation. This is an excerpt from the full show recently performed in New York, a poignant tapestry weaving personal and world history surrounding the issues of displacement, social disorientation, and immigration by Performance Artist, Carrie Beehan and cast members of the show.
3:30 PM: Talk: The multi-hyphen: Multilingual and Multicultural Productions and Challenges
This talk with theater directors of multilingual and cultural theatrical shows, will discuss and share their process, current projects and experience incorporating social issues into their work.
Moderator: Gia Pace
- Motl Didner: National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene’s Associate Artistic Director
- Carrie Beehan: GOH Productions
- Ayse Eldek: Artistic Director of Turkish American Repertory Theater & Entertainment.
- Laura Caparrotti: Artistic Director of Kairos Italy Theaterand ofIn Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY
4:00 PM: Adjourn