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Funding provided by:

The Power of Arts in Social Change

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, June 17, 2021

Hear from nationally recognized generative artists and thought leaders convened for this Boston Public Library Lowell Lecture by Boston’s Company One Theatre. The panel examines the cultural and political crises of the past fifteen pandemic months through the lens of the arts, broadly defined, and consider actions both large and small that may pave a path toward communal healing. Moderated by Company One’s Director of New Work Ilana Brownstein, the roundtable participants include San Francisco’s Director of Cultural Affairs, Ralph Remington; St Louis Rep’s Artistic Director, Hana S. Sharif; MacArthur-winning playwright Luis Alfaro; and journalist Diep Tran. RESOURCES Intrinsic Impact, developed by Wolf Brown, is rooted in the question: How are people transformed by cultural experiences and exposure to the arts? http://www.intrinsicimpact.org/ ArtsBoston's Arts Factor Reports: arts, culture, and creativity are economic engines for Boston, supporting local businesses, as well as directly contributing over $2 billion to our economy every year. https://artsboston.org/artsfactor-2019/ Who gets funded? https://twitter.com/AapacNyc/status/1... Who are the gatekeepers of the NYC theater industry? https://twitter.com/AapacNyc/status/1... Economic impact of racism on BIPOC actors: https://twitter.com/AapacNyc/status/1... The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC NYC) is an advocacy organization dedicated to documenting and reporting on the lack of Asian Americans representation on large New York stages. Their newest report on the 2018-19 season goes live June 18, 2021, and can be found here: http://www.aapacnyc.org/ A major development of the past 15 months has been the emergence and impact of We See You White American Theatre (WSYWAT) — a movement; a manifesto; a set of demands to white arts institutions/practitioners. Initial manifesto: https://www.weseeyouwat.com/statement Tenets of the movement: https://www.weseeyouwat.com/about-1 List of demands: https://www.weseeyouwat.com/demands

**Ilana M Brownstein** is the Director of New Work at Company One Theatre, and a parent-artist specializing in new plays, social justice, and public advocacy. She is the Founding Dramaturg at Playwrights’ Commons. Previously, she created the Playwriting Fellows program and Breaking Ground Festival at The Huntington; led the dramatic literature and dramaturgy curriculum at Boston University; and has served as a freelance dramaturg for new play festivals, including The O’Neill, New Harmony, and the Kennedy Center among others. She has worked with a deep roster of this country’s most compelling playwrights, including Kirsten Greenidge, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Young Jean Lee, Aditi Kapil, Natsu Onoda Power, Lauren Yee, Mia Chung, Hansol Jung, Kristoffer Diaz, A. Rey Pamatmat, Qui Nguyen, and Idris Goodwin. She is the senior producer for the C1 PlayLab Circuit programs, which has provided script and professional development to 100+ playwrights over 9 seasons. She is a member of the 2019 NAS Creative Community Fellows Cohort, artEquity’s 2017 anti-racism facilitator cohort, and holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Yale. Ilana has been a Kilroys nominator, served on the National Advisory Board for HowlRound, and is a two-time winner of the LMDA Elliott Hayes Award for excellence in dramaturgy.
**Luis Alfaro** is a critically acclaimed playwright and an associate professor with tenure in the MFA Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He has been working in theatre, performance, poetry and journalism since the early 1980s. A Chicano born and raised in the Pico-Union district of downtown Los Angeles, he is a multi-disciplined artist: director, curator, producer, educator and community organizer. Alfaro is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship (popularly known as a “genius grant”) awarded to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields. His extensive body of plays — some of which are collected in The Greek Plays of Luis Alfaro with Methuen Drama/Bloomsbury Press — and his solo work have been seen in productions throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Europe. He currently holds commissions with Denver Center, Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory and Victory Gardens Theatre, and is a member of the artist collective at Center Theatre Group. Supported by the Andrew S. Mellon Foundation, Alfaro was the first playwright-in-residence in the 90-year history of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he curated a yearly writer’s retreat (Brown Swan Lab), yearly conference (Latino Play Project) and was a member of the artistic staff. Other residencies include the Playwright’s Ensemble at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre (2013-2020); the Ojai Playwrights Conference (since 2002); and ten years with the Mark Taper Forum as director of new play development, producing/developing over 150 new plays and the laboratory work of the company. Additional citations and awards include the 2018 PEN/America/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award for a Master American Dramatist; the United States Artists Fellowship supported by the Doris Duke Foundation; the Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship and the Annenberg Artist-in-Residence for the city of Santa Monica; and a Joyce Foundation Fellowship.
**Diep Tran** is an arts journalist and editor in NYC. She was previously the features editor of Broadway.com and the senior editor of American Theatre magazine, where she led the creation and launch of AmericanTheatre.org, the first official website for the magazine. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, Playbill, CNN, Hello Giggles, Time Out New York, Backstage, and Salon, among other publications. She is a judge for the 2020 Obie Awards, a 2020 Drama Desk Award voter, and is currently the industry news writer for Backstage where she covers behind-the-scenes drama in Hollywood and Broadway. Diep recently helped create – and serves as managing editor of — VietFactCheck.org, a bilingual fact-checking website, which was founded to combat the fake news and misinformation floating around the Vietnamese-American community. She has a bachelor’s in English and Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her master’s degree in arts journalism from the Goldring Arts Journalism Program at Syracuse University. In 2015, she was a critic fellow at the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She is an accomplished public speaker and has served on numerous invited panels, including ones hosted by Disney Theatricals, Syracuse University and the Kennedy Center.
**Hana S. Sharif** is a playwright, director, producer, and as of 2019, the Artistic Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Previously, she was the Associate Artistic Director at Baltimore Center Stage, where she strengthened community engagement, produced multiple world and regional premieres, and helped to guide the theatre through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort. Previous positions include the former associate artistic director, director of new play development, and artistic producer at Hartford Stage, where she was the program manager of the ArtsEmerson Ambassador Program; developmental producer/tour manager of Progress Theatre’s musical The Burnin’ by Cristal Chanelle Truscott; and co-founder and artistic director of Nasir Productions. She is the recipient of the 2009–10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations Fellowship, as well as DCArts Awards, and serves on the board of directors for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Sprott Foundation.
Ralph Remington is the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City and County of San Francisco, CA. He has extensive professional experience in arts administration and government, and has experience as a director, actor, essayist, playwright and screenwriter. Prior to joining the City and County of San Francisco, he served as the Deputy Director for Arts and Culture for the City of Tempe, Arizona. In that role, he was responsible for Tempe Center for the Arts’ comprehensive performance and visual art programming, as well as overseeing public art, the Tempe History Museum, arts engagement and municipal arts granting. He previously served as the former Western Regional Director and Assistant Executive Director for Actors Equity Association in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was Director of Theater and Musical Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he received the NEA Chairman's Distinguished Service Award. Prior to working at the NEA, Remington was a City Council member for the City of Minneapolis. He is a former Guthrie Theater Acting Company member, and is the founding Producing Artistic Director of award-winning Pillsbury House Theatre in South Minneapolis. Remington has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Howard University.