The USC School of Dramatic Arts announces its second annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, taking place from Oct. 27-30, 2016. Consisting of a series of interactive workshops, panel discussions and performances, the summit was created to foster community through civic and conscious dialogue around issues of race, gender, culture and identity.
Organized by SDA Associate Professor Anita Dashiell-Sparks who also serves as the School’s Diversity Liaison Officer, these events are a catalyst to spark a series of conversations and strategies to cultivate and sustain an artistic, innovative and inclusive environment that reflects the evolving communities of the 21st century. The theme for 2016 is Crossroads – Embracing Race, Class and Gender in Theatre, Television and Film and will be guest facilitated by Jacqueline E. Lawton, playwright, dramaturg, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advocate. All events are open to the entire USC community.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, October 27
12:00pm-1:30pm Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Capital Workshop - PED 208
This workshop facilitated by Shafiqua Sahmadi from USC Rossier School of Education will define the difference between celebration and exploitation of cultural customs and traditions. Participants will also examine the various forms of capital we collectively have from our diverse backgrounds that enable us to become allies. RSVP for this event.
1:30pm-3:00pm “Having Our Say” – Theatre for Social Change Workshop - PED 206
Jacqueline E. Lawton will facilitate a workshop exploring how art and theatre provide a creative and critical space for dealing with complex issues of diversity and inclusion. RSVP for this event.
3:00pm–5:00pm Performing Gender Workshop - PED 207
An interactive gender-based, workshop exploring the play SEVEN. One of the seven playwrights, Paula Cizmar, will discuss creative process of documentary theatre based on current events. Jacqueline E. Lawton will lead participants in a gender identity activity. RSVP for this event.
Saturday, October 29
10:00am-11:30am Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop - MCC 111
Dr. Brent Blair, Boal scholar-practitioner, will facilitate a workshop in theatre of the oppressed techniques that provoke civic and community engagement surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion. RSVP for this event.
11:30am-1:30pm #Every 28 Hours Project - MCC 111
Join a national collaboration of multicultural theatre artists responding to our Civil Rights Movement. After a community reading of one-minute plays produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jacqueline E. Lawton and Oliver Mayer, will moderate discussion including community leaders/educators, and facilitate a creative writing workshop. RSVP for this event.
2:00pm-3:30pm Staging Diversity Panel - MCC 111
Join artistic directors Jon Lawrence Rivera (Playwright’s Arena), Anthony Abatemarco (Skylight Theatre Company), Gregg Daniel (Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) and Khanisha Foster (Educational Outreach, Center Theatre Group) for a conversation about play selection, inclusive casting, diversifying audiences and educational/community outreach initiatives. RSVP for this event.
3:30pm-5:00pm Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Workshop - MCC 111
Jacqueline E. Lawton, playwright, dramaturg, and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advocate, will facilitate a workshop/discussion about how to effectively implement strategies and mission-relevant initiatives to enhance the culture of your school, organization, or business. RSVP for this event.
5:00pm-7:00pm Reading of The Hampton Years - MCC 111
USC students and alumni will present a staged reading of The Hampton Years, written by Jacqueline E. Lawton. This reading will be directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, Associate Professor of Theatre Practice and SDA Diversity Liaison. RSVP for this event.
Sunday, October 30
10:00am-12:00pm Performing Race and Class - PED 206
Screenings of the groundbreaking series Queen Sugar and Atlanta will illuminate different perspectives about race and class through the genres of drama and comedy. A discussion with Queen Sugar’s Anthony Sparks (writer/producer) and Ayanna Floyd Davis (writer/producer, Empire, Private Practice), moderated by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, will immediately follow the screening. RSVP for this event.
12:00pm–1:00pm Identity Politics and Representation in Mass Media - PED 206
A panel discussion, moderated by David Maquiling from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, examining how multi-cultural actors, writers, producers and directors explore, define, and represent diverse identities and culture on stage and on screen. RSVP for this event.
The Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Present International Forum Weekend in Washington
For the 2016 Phillips Collection—University of Maryland International Forum, leaders across disciplines will discuss artistic and curatorial approaches to visual narratives of migration and immigration. How can art tell stories of people on the move? What is the civic role of art and art institutions in raising awareness to promote social change? Participants will discuss the ethical and aesthetical capacities of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series to bridge the humanities, public policy, and social sciences and inspire societal change and well-being in the context of the 21st-century immigrant experience.
International Forum Weekend in Washington is an annual program hosted by the Phillips, and this year’s programming will facilitate discussion on migration and immigration. Using Lawrence’s series as a lens for dialogue, thought leaders across disciplines will come together to explore similar patterns and themes that exist in today’s political and cultural landscape. Specifically, discussion events will investigate the broader human quest for freedom, equality, and opportunity, which fuels ongoing patterns of migration around the world.
“I am encouraged that this year’s International Forum coincides with the reunion of Jacob Lawrence’s seminal masterwork The Migration Series,” said Director Dorothy Kosinski. “Especially in light of current global challenges, the themes brought up by Lawrence resonate strongly today. Art remains a powerful tool for prompting reflection and dialogue, and I look forward to the Phillips playing a part in hosting that important discussion.”
The event includes two staged readings of short plays written in response to The Migration Series, panel discussions with thought leaders, and a creative response from Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. Detailed schedule of events is listed below.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The weekend of events will take place at the Phillips on October 22–23, 2016. Members of the Phillips Collectors Forum are invited to register to attend. Events open for public attendance are listed below and are included with museum admission unless otherwise noted. All details are subject to change.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
2 pm: Introduction
Dorothy Kosinski, Director, The Phillips Collection
Mary Ann Rankin, Senior Vice President and Provost, University of Maryland
2:15 pm: Staged Readings
Following introductory remarks by Curator Elsa Smithgall, there will be dramatic readings of two 10-minute plays inspired by The Migration Serieswritten by local playwrights and commissioned by the Phillips. Featured playwrights for the afternoon include Jacqueline E. Lawton and Tearrance Chisholm. Following the readings, there will be a brief discussion between Lawton (Artistic Director and Playwright), Derek Goldman (Director), and curator Elsa Smithgall.
3pm: Panel Discussion
Visual Narratives of Migration/Immigration: Participants will use their artistic and curatorial approaches to consider visual narratives of migration and immigration, including broader discussion of what it means to be human, as well as the civic role of art and art institutions in raising awareness to promote social change.
Moderator: Vesela Sretenovic, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Phillips Collection
Allan deSouza, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa
Stefan Falke, New York-based German artist whose photographs featuring artists on both sides of the Mexico-America border are currently on view at the DC Goethe Institut
Pedro Lasch, Professor of Art, Theory, Visual Studies, Duke University
Daniel Schwarz, LA-based artist whose digital media works examining the contested US-Mexico border is currently on view at the DC Goethe Institut
4:30 pm: Panel Discussion
Connecting Art, Societal Wellness, and Cultural Diplomacy: Participants will discuss the ethical and aesthetical capacities of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series to bridge the humanities, public policy, and social sciences and inspire societal change and well-being in the context of the 21st-century immigrant experience.
Moderator: Steve Clemons, Washington Editor-at-Large for The Atlantic and Editor of Atlantic Live
Rachel Goldberg, Head of K-12 Initiatives, The Phillips Collection
Julie Greene, Professor of History, University of Maryland Center for Global Migration Studies
Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Shibley Telhani, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution
Hoyt Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State
5 pm: Creative Response by Azar Nafisi
Azar Nafisi is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and a fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Her book is a New York Times bestseller and has been published in 32 languages.
Admission is free for the Saturday afternoon of events listed above, but reservations are recommended: www.phillipscollection.org/events
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23
4 pm: Sunday Concert featuring Rahim AlHaj
Rahim AlHaj makes his Phillips Music debut in a concert playing the oud, one of the oldest of all string instruments. Born in Baghdad, AlHaj was eventually forced to leave Iraq because of his activism against Saddam Hussein’s regime.
ABOUT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION
The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of Modern art, is one of the world’s most distinguished collections of Impressionist and Modern American and European art. Stressing the continuity between art of the past and present, it offers a strikingly original and experimental approach to Modern art by combining works of different nationalities and periods in displays that change frequently. The setting is similarly unconventional, featuring small rooms, a domestic scale, and a personal atmosphere. Artists represented in the collection include Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Claude Monet, Honoré Daumier, Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, and Richard Diebenkorn, among others. The permanent collection has grown to include more than 1,000 photographs, many by American photographers Berenice Abbott, Esther Bubley, and Bruce Davidson, and works by contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Wolfgang Laib, Whitfield Lovell, and Leo Villareal. The Phillips Collection regularly organizes acclaimed special exhibitions, many of which travel internationally. The Phillips also produces award-winning education programs for K–12 teachers and students, as well as for adults. The University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at The Phillips Collection is the museum’s nexus for academic work, scholarly exchange, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Since 1941, the museum has hosted Sunday Concerts in its wood-paneled Music Room. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 47 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget and secures $550 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit www.umd.edu.
For the past two years, I've been working with The Phillips Collection to bring you a festival of short plays entitled, On Stage with The Migration Series. Serving as Artistic Director, and with the generous support of Elaine Reuben, The Phillips Collection commissioned five 10-minute plays to be presented in conjunction with their upcoming exhibition: People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. At long last, I'm honored and delighted to share this news with you!
This fall, the 60-panel masterwork The Migration Series by renowned African American 20th-century artist Jacob Lawrence will be on display at The Phillips Collection in People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. A powerful visual epic, The Migration Series (1940–41) documents the historic movement of millions of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North more than a century ago. Reuniting 30 panels owned by the Phillips with 30 panels on loan from the Museum of Modern Art, Lawrence’s complete series will be on display beginning October 8, 2016. This exhibition builds on the museum’s rich and meaningful history with the artist and his work over the course of decades in exhibitions and internationally recognized educational initiatives.
“Since the time Duncan Phillips first acquired the odd-numbered panels of Lawrence’s series in 1942, The Migration Series has remained a cornerstone of our permanent collection and a force in our educational work with international communities,” said Director Dorothy Kosinski. “While Jacob Lawrence’s masterpiece was created more than 70 years ago, it continues to resound powerfully with the global plight of migrants today. I look forward to the Phillips continuing its leadership role in using The Migration Series to stimulate dialogue and reflection on global challenges in the 21st century.”
“In panel 61 of The Migration Series, Lawrence leaves us with the message, ‘And the migrants keep coming,’” said curator Elsa Smithgall. “During a time when record numbers of migrants are uprooting themselves in search of a better life, Lawrence’s timeless tale and its universal themes of struggle and freedom continue to strike a chord not only in our American experience but also in the international experience of migration around the world.”
In addition to the reunion exhibition, there will be several special events and programs throughout the fall inspired by Lawrence’s masterwork and to commemorate the artist’s legacy. The Phillips will also welcome and facilitate community participation through a variety of forums—including visual art, theater, dance, music, and discussion events. Alongside the exhibition in October, plays commissioned by the Phillips and inspired by Lawrence’s Migration Series will be debuted and read on October 20th and November 3rd. This will include five 10-minute plays written by five local playwrights: Norman Allen, Tearrance Chisholm, Annalisa Dias, Jacqueline E. Lawton, and Laura Shamas. The production team for each play includes Lawton as Artistic Director, Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zöe as Dramaturg, and Derek Goldman as Director.
In the coming weeks, The Phillips Collection will announce additional community events, performances, and programs planned in association with the exhibition. Check back here for more information.
Click here for the full press release.
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 1: During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans., between 1940 and 1941, Casein tempera on hardboard 12 x 18 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC Acquired 1942 © Estate of Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!