Announcing the 2015-16 Continuation Grant

        

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 22, 2016

Network of Ensemble Theaters Awards $10,000 NET/TEN Continuation Grant
to PULLproject & Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress

PORTLAND, OR -- Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) is pleased to award a $10,000 NET/TEN Continuation Grant to PULLproject and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), both of Los Angeles, California. The two organizations will engage in an intensive, three-week workshop to further develop a performance piece titled Tales of Clamor. The NET/TEN Continuation Grant is part of Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Travel and Exchange Network (NET/TEN), and is designed to sustain and move forward relationships previously funded by NET/TEN Exchange Grants.

The NET/TEN program is supported by lead funding from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In the past four years of the program, NET has received approximately 560 applications for Travel and Exchange Grants, and has awarded $507K to 109 projects to support relationship building and knowledge sharing between NET members and project partners. The awarded projects have occurred in 31 states and 18 countries.

“The NET/TEN program is designed to prioritize relationships and knowledge sharing over final products,” shares Park Cofield, NET Field Resources Manager, “We added the Continuation Grant component to the program in 2015 to address the significant number of potential projects that have come out of previously funded Exchange Grant activities, and the many indications that project partners want to keep working together.”

The 2015-16 NET/TEN Continuation Grant recipients -- PULLproject and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) of Los Angeles, CA -- will continue a relationship that started last year as part of a 2014-15 NET/TEN Exchange Grant. Their previously funded activities resulted in a 50-minute work-in-progress presentation of Tales of Clamor, a theatrical performance utilizing aerial apparatus and rarely seen video footage from the 1981 Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Hearings (CWRIC).

The $10,000 award will support a three-week workshop in the fall of 2016. The sessions will allow the PULLproject artistic collaborators and Tales of Clamor cast members to interact directly with members of NCRR as part of the rehearsal and theatrical process. Each week, members of the NCRR community will join PULLproject and Howard Ho, sound designer and composer, for sessions focusing on text, sound, and musical composition. Artistic consultant Nancy Keystone of Critical Mass Performance Group and performance artist Dan Kwong will have NCRR members on their feet and participating in talk-story sessions. The project will result in a premiere-ready production that aligns with NCRR’s long-term goal of galvanizing a community toward breaking its silence on the road to Redress.

Read more about the organizations’ previous NET/TEN grant activities in the NET/TEN Shareback Library, and download a PDF document outlining their process of using circus and aerial apparatus with non-artistic and grassroots entities at: www.ensembletheaters.net/pullproject15

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE

Tales of Clamor is a theatrical case-study that examines the sound of silence, the reverberations of a little-known yet major moment of American history, and the universal need for connection and collective noise in today’s landscape. Tales of Clamor utilizes aerial apparatus, scenes based in the present and past, and rarely seen video footage from the 1981 CWRIC Hearings. Its political texture calls on the audience to recognize the need for solidarity, and the power of a community breaking silence, in order to create change.

At its emotional core, Tales of Clamor is about people showing up for each other at a critical moment of individual and collective need. The narrative anchor of this performance is the duo of Kennedy Kabasares (aerial artist/actor) and traci kato-kiriyama (writer/actor), who together explore concepts including the science of sound, the Model Minority Myth, and the Commission Hearings that led to Redress in the 1980s. And this all happens in the setting of a circus school.

ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS

PULLproject (Los Angeles, CA) - https://pullproject.wordpress.com/

PULLproject is Los Angeles-based duo Kennedy Kabasares (aerial artist/actor) and traci kato-kiriyama (writer/actor). Their work is based in theatre with the use of a single apparatus to strip away the spectacle of aerial arts and hone in on relationship and story. Drawn to the unexpected, hidden, unknown and unsung, PULLproject digs into extremes – light and dark, absurd and tragic. Their previous touring project, PULL: Tales of Obsession, is based on a true story of family relationships, death, loss, and mental and emotional wellness. Process and community building is as important to PULLproject  as “product,” and they are constantly in search of collaborative exchange and ways to engage through workshops based in the communities where they perform and have residency.

NIKKEI FOR CIVIL RIGHTS & REDRESS (Los Angeles, CA) - http://www.ncrr-la.org

Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR) was founded in 1980 by Nikkei (Japanese living outside of Japan) from across the country. They held the firm belief that the Japanese American community had to come together to fight for proper redress for what the U.S. government did to Japanese Americans during World War II, namely the forced removal and internment of Japanese American citizens without due process. Foremost has been their drive to empower the grassroots community, to help give voice to Japanese Americans who felt that they had nothing to say or that what they did have to say was not important. They held countless forums to educate and activate the community to participate in the Redress Movement. NCRR helped many of them to speak out at the 1981 hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC). In October 1990, redress became a reality, as Japanese Americans began to receive redress in the form of a presidential apology and $20,000 monetary compensation. NCRR and Visual Communications (a non-profit Asian American media arts organization), own the rights to over 130 hours of powerful video testimony recorded during the 1981 Los Angeles CWIRC hearings. They are currently in the process of digitizing these recordings. NCRR continues to support struggles for justice. They participate in the fight for workers’ rights, and international support for such groups as the comfort women brutalized by wartime Japan. NCRR is also active in efforts to make Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo a thriving community. As the core members of NCRR get older, they recognize the need to document their stories of activism and social justice work and share it with the next generation of community organizers before it is too late.

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The peer panel for the 2015-16 round of Continuation Grants included: Khanisha Foster, Associate Artistic Director of 2nd Story, and Host of Howl Wrote That (Los Angeles, CA & Chicago, IL); Jane Jung, Managing Director, The Civilians, and NET Board Member (New York, NY); Sean LaRocca, Managing Director, ArtSpot Productions, and composer/sound designer (New Orleans, LA).

The NET/TEN grant program is supported by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

   

Download a PDF version of the press release

Contact: Park Cofield, Field Resources Manager
pcofield@ensembletheaters.net / 323.638.4870

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Thursday, July 21, 2016
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