South Asian Women’s Creative Collective Records

Date Range: 19972009
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2009-11-10
Creator: South Asian Women’s Creative Collective

History: In 1997, Jaishri Abichandani founded the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) to foster a sense of community among South Asian women artists and creative professionals in New York City. Fourteen women, who were invited through community-based organizations such as Sakhi for South Asian Women and the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA), attended SAWCC’s first meeting in the offices of the Sister Fund. In March 1998, the collective held its first annual fundraiser and art show, “Karma Kollage,” which drew a crowd of over 300. Soon, SAWCC, the only New York–based South Asian arts organization at the time, began meeting monthly at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, providing a space for members to collaborate, network, share their work, and gain exposure.

Soh Daiko Records

Soh Daiko_Credit_Kim NakashimaDate Range: 19801999
Survey Conducted: Sat, 2008-11-15
Creator: Soh Daiko

History: Soh Daiko was founded in 1979 as the first taiko group on the East Coast. Originally formed by members of the New York Buddhist Church, the group now consists of members from diverse backgrounds and professions. Members receive instruction on drum building, basic taiko skills and philosophy from senior members and visiting expert drummers. The group currently operates as a collective in which decisions are made by consensus; however, the group structure allows for elected officers who serve in the capacities of Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Practice Committee, and Practice Leaders.

Noel Shaw Papers

Date Range: 19922003
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2010-11-11
Creator: Shaw, Noel

History: Born in 1961 in New York City, Noel Shaw is a filmmaker and writer whose work explores the experiences of the Filipino diaspora and highlights the diversity within it. Most recently, he directed, produced, and wrote the short Kundiman(Pinoy Noir Films, 2008), which illustrates the impact of politics on an individual’s life. His work has been screened at the London Film Festival, Brussels International Independent Film Festival, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the Asian American International Film Festival in New York City. He served as the Distribution & Marketing Director at Third World Newsreel from 1999 to 2001 and as the Publications Director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop from 2001 to 2004.

Red Hot Organization Archive

Date Range: 19892004
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2010-01-28
Creator: Red Hot Organization

History: The Red Hot Organization is an international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. First founded as King Cole, Inc. by Leigh Blake and John Carlin in 1989, Red Hot Organization has since produced fourteen albums, related television programs and media events incorporating the talents of performers, visual artists, producers and directors to raise funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Read more

Ping Chong & Company Records

Date Range: 19722009
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2009-03-02
Creator: Ping Chong & Company

History: Internationally-renowned theater director, choreographer, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist Ping Chong was born in Ontario, Canada in 1946. He grew up in New York’s Chinatown and studied visual art and filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute.Since beginning his theatrical career as a member of Meredith Monk’s The House Foundation, he has created over fifty major works for theater, including Humboldt’s Current (Obie Award, 1977), A.M./A.M. – The Articulated Man (Villager Award, 1982), Nosferatu (Maharam Design Award, 1985), Kind Ness (USA Playwrights’ Award, 1988), and Brightness (2 Bessie Awards, 1990). He has produced three full-length puppetry pieces – Kwaidan (1998), Obon: Tales of Rain and Moonlight (2002), and Cathay: Three Tales of China (2005) – and has created numerous installation pieces, including Place Concrete (1988) as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, A Facility for the Containment and Channeling of Undesirable Elements (1992) commissioned by Artists Space in New York City, and Testimonial (1995), which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale’s Transculture show. Read more

Peeling Records

Peeling logoDate Range: 19952003
Survey Conducted: Sun, 2012-11-04 and Thu, 2009-09-17
Creator: Peeling

History: Peeling was a New York City based collective (1995-2005) of writers, performers, directors and producers. Using autobiography as a departure point, their collaborations were an exploration of contemporary Asian American identities through the development of original theater work.Originally founded in 1995 as “Peeling the Banana” by director/performer Gary San Angel at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the group developed many of its pieces through physical theater and improvisation work, which were later transcribed; others were written and further developed through group workshops. At the time, no other such group existed on the East Coast and many talented artists got their start in or had at one time been members of the group. With sold out performances at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Second Stage, Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), the Desh Pardesh Festival (Toronto), as well as numerous colleges and universities, Peeling the Banana presented its poignant blend of poetry, theater, dance, and music to audiences across the country.

National Asian American Theatre Company Collection

Date Range: 19892009
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-04-01
Creator: National Asian American Theatre Company

History: Founded in 1989 in New York City, the National Asian American Theatre Company, Inc. (NAATCO) seeks to demonstrate the important contributions of Asian American theatre to American culture. The company presents a repertory that includes classic European and American plays as written with all Asian/Pacific American casts, adaptations of these classics by Asian/Pacific American playwrights, and new plays – not necessarily written by, about or for Asian/Pacific Americans – premiered by an Asian/Pacific American cast. The company’s focus, therefore, is not on Asian/Pacific American authorship of plays, but rather on the cast. The organization feels that this points to broad areas of understanding, which create, as their mission statement says, “a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience.” Read more

Mix Collection

Date Range: 19872001
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2008-11-20
Creator: Mix Festival

History: The Mix Festival, originally known as the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival, was created in 1987 by filmmaker Jim Hubbard and novelist Sarah Schulman. The purpose of the festival was to create an alternative to mainstream gay and lesbian film festivals and to highlight the important contributions that queer filmmakers have made to experimental and avant-garde film practices. The program of the initial festival, which was first held at the Millennium Film Workshop, included a number of both classic and new works by queer filmmakers. The third festival was held in 1989 at the Anthology Film Archives, where it has more or less been held ever since. The focus of the 1989 festival was on representations of the AIDS crisis, including several works by experimental filmmakers who had succumbed to AIDS and many others who were fighting the virus themselves. The fourth festival included a special emphasis on films by and about black gay men. In 1991, like many arts organizations around New York, the festival suffered a severe cut in funding from the New York State Council of the Arts. Nevertheless, the festival continued to show films that posited themselves against mainstream representations of homosexuality and AIDS. Read more

Mark Hall Amitin/ World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc. Archive

Date Range: 19462001
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2009-10-23
Creator: Mark Hall Amitin/World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc.

History: Mark Hall Amitin received his doctoral degree from the Universite Paris VIII in 1978. He went on to present lectures and workshops at universities in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia. He worked as a consultant and producer for several major theatre festivals, including the American College Theatre Festival, the Rhode Island Theatre Festival, the Festival Mondial du Theatre in Nancy, France, and the New Theatre Festival in Baltimore. He has published articles on theatre and performance in academic journals and contributed articles and reviews on film and theatre to books, magazines, and newspapers. He has also acted in, and directed, film, television, and theatre projects in the United States as well as in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Ma-Yi Theater Company Records

Date Range: 19892008
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2008-11-24
Creator: Ma-Yi Theater Company

History: The Ma-Yi Theater Company is a non-profit professional organization that gives voice to Asian American experiences through the development of plays and performances that push Asian American aesthetics beyond stereotypical Orientalist markers. The name “Ma-Yi” comes from the pre-colonial name of the islands that the Spanish named the Philippines. Ma-Yi was founded in 1989 by a group of six former University of the Philippines students and Godabil Theater Company members. Godabil arose in the Philippines during the politically tumultuous last years of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship (1965-1986). Member actors employed vaudeville expressionism as a form of street protest until notice of its activities by the military impelled some of its members to emigrate. Years later, several former members reuniting in New York City decided to found the Ma-Yi Filipino Theater Ensemble, Inc. as a means to address concerns about the stereotypical nature and paucity of roles available to aspiring Filipino actors. The company originally held a predominantly Filipino orientation but it has since expanded to become a venue for pan-Asian American talent and works. The company initially solicited and translated plays from the Philippines, but soon found that plays produced by Filipino Americans better resonated with their America-based audience. In 1999, the company made a decision to expand their mission to cover works of American playwrights of all Asian origins. Read more