Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue Archive

Date Range: 19972000
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2008-11-13
Creator: Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue

 The Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue (IACD) was founded in 1997 by actress, playwright, and Stanford and NYU professor Anna Deavere Smith. Its mission was to support the development of art that illuminates social conditions; to deepen the capacity of artists to communicate with their audiences; and to build an international community in which artists, students, activists, and scholars could work together to develop the artist as a voice in society.

From 1998 to 2000, Smith and The Ford Foundation, the Institute’s principal funder, selected Harvard University as the IACD home base for six-week long summer intensives. Hosted by the University’s American Repertory Theater and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the Institute brought together artists, scholars, activists, and audiences to develop and discuss works of art about the vital social issues of our time. This unique “think-and-do-tank” presented workshop versions of productions, exposing the process of creation and fostering civic discourse on the themes expressed by the work.

Activities included development of new works of art, group discussions, guest speakers, seminars and workshops for participants and selected guests, collaborative research, master classes, public forums and media projects. The Institute’s artistic focus included theater, dance, jazz music, song, opera, fine arts, installation and performance art, film and video. The Institute still exists today and has relocated to New York City.

Sources: “Guide to the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue Archive.” Finding aid at the NYU Fales Library and Special Collections, New York, NY: New York University. Updated November 25, 2019.

“Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue: About the Artists: Ping Chong.” Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue. Accessed February 3, 2015.

Summary: The IACD Archive contains administrative records focused primarily on the practical issues of organizing the summer sessions for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000. Materials include correspondence, administrative hiring records, records for housing, intern applications and activities, budgets for the organization as well as for individual projects, and promotional materials.

APA-related materials contained in the collection consists of administrative files, application material, and correspondence IACD kept of Asian American applicants indiscriminate of whether or not they were accepted. Participating APA artists include Shu Lea Cheang for the 1998 summer session and Ping Chong in 1999. Within Series I, Subseries 1.2: Artist Overviews contains biographical information on Cheang and information on works presented. Subseries 1.4: Artists Applications contains Cheang’s application to the Institute and Subseries 1.5: Discussion Materials and Transcripts contain transcripts of Cheang’s presentations and discussions of works from the 1998 summer session. Materials pertaining to Ping Chong can be found mostly in Series II: 1999. Subseries 2.5: Artist Overviews contain four folders containing biographical information on Chong, rehearsal notes, and materials relating to Pojagi: Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Subseries 2.6: Artist Profiles contain further, sometimes overlapping material on Chong. Within Series III: 2000, Subseries 3.5: Artist Applications—Appointed contains further application materials about Ping Chong. Other APA artist applications within the IACD collection include Yew Chay in Series I; Chisao Hata, Lillian Hsu-Flanders, Janice Tanaka, T Kim-Trang Tran, Jean Ishiboshi, Daryl Chin, Seoungho Cho, and Yoshiko Chuma in Series II; and Esther Chae, Yoshiko Chuma, Fred Ho, Dai Kim-Gibson, Jin Xiang, Anita Chang, Anita Choy, Sadashi Inuzaka, Jon Jang, Janis Shen, and Suikang Zhoa

Total Size: 16 linear feet
APA-related Size: 0.5 linear feet
Languages of materials: English
Arrangement: chronological
Location: Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University
Bibliographic Control: finding aid
Finding Aid Link:
Conditions Governing Access: Contact repository for detailed information on conditions governing access.

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