Multicultural Sonic Evolution

Multicultural Sonic Evolution

We have been providing performance opportunities to approximately 200 artists each year for the past 15 years. We have produced annual week-long festival called "Sounds of Arts Festival" featuring 100+ artists every year (2011-2020) featuring traditional to contemporary works, chorus-and-orchestra concerts annually (2014-2021 except for 2020), many classical chamber music

Multicultural Sonic Evolution

We have been providing performance opportunities to approximately 200 artists each year for the past 15 years. We have produced annual week-long festival called "Sounds of Arts Festival" featuring 100+ artists every year (2011-2020) featuring traditional to contemporary works, chorus-and-orchestra concerts annually (2014-2021 except for 2020), many classical chamber music concerts, musical theatre cabarets, two kimono shows collaborating with kimono and hair-make-up artists, etc. We have showcased many dance collaborations and theatre performances. Our team is skilled at bringing together diverse content, attracting a sufficient audience, and managing the event safely. We value the voices of our collaborators and audience members. The number of the participants (both performers and audiences) are important to us, but we are more focused on the feedbacks from them because we give many world-premiere performances and/or provide platforms for newly written works to be workshopped. We would like to find more artists who want to write for us or perform with us, and people who value our mission and repeatedly come watch the shows produced by us. Our strength is in music, however, we do not limit ourselves to instrumental performances. We love all kinds of collaborations including musical theatre, operas, and dance performances. We cover a wide range of music from classical and pop songs to traditional music. Our audience members probably have their own favorite musical genres, but it is our pleasure if they find something outside of their normal choices to be their new favorites.

About the Organization:

We have been providing performance opportunities to approximately 200 artists each year for the past 15 years. We have produced annual week-long festival called "Sounds of Arts Festival" featuring 100+ artists every year (2011-2020) featuring traditional to contemporary works, chorus-and-orchestra concerts annually (2014-2021 except for 2020), many classical chamber music concerts, musical theatre cabarets, two kimono shows collaborating with kimono and hair-make-up artists, etc. We have showcased many dance collaborations and theatre performances. Our team is skilled at bringing together diverse content, attracting a sufficient audience, and managing the event safely. We value the voices of our collaborators and audience members. The number of the participants (both performers and audiences) are important to us, but we are more focused on the feedbacks from them because we give many world-premiere performances and/or provide platforms for newly written works to be workshopped. We would like to find more artists who want to write for us or perform with us, and people who value our mission and repeatedly come watch the shows produced by us. Our strength is in music, however, we do not limit ourselves to instrumental performances. We love all kinds of collaborations including musical theatre, operas, and dance performances. We cover a wide range of music from classical and pop songs to traditional music. Our audience members probably have their own favorite musical genres, but it is our pleasure if they find something outside of their normal choices to be their new favorites.

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

11-15 YEARS

The Issue:

In New York City, Asian hate crimes increased 361% in 2021 compared to the previous year. This compares to a much larger 106% increase in crime in New York City overall. This terrible situation is said to be due to life insecurity caused by the COVID pandemic. In other words, when people find themselves in difficult situations, they tend to scapegoat and aggressively attack other communities (usually minorities) who are different from them. As our organization's name says "multicultural," we have been introducing many newly written works that focus on different cultures even before the pandemic. One of the years focused on Japan dedicating our entire festival, a week-long festival in Long Island City, NY every November and often times we featured different Asian traditional instruments. We would like to focus on Japan again next year to address the issue of the Asian hate crimes increased in the city because we have been exchanging ideas with many Japanese and Japanese-American artists during the pandemic on how to build a strong artistic platform for Asians in New York City. Our fundamental problem is the limited number of existing English-language stage productions with Japanese and/or Asian themes. Compared to the number of white and black pieces, the number of Asian-themed works is very small. The only ones that come to mind are Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Pacific Overtures, and Miss Saigon. Therefore, even if we wanted to introduce Asian culture and performers in the U.S., we would not have a platform to do so. Our goal is to give general public the experience that we can respect and enrich each other's time by getting to know each other regardless of our appearance. Now we feel the importance of this activity more than ever.

The Solution:

Our organization will create a relationship between Aisian/Asian-Americans (especially Japanese/Japanese-Americans in 2023) and the non-Asians in the U.S. so that we can understand each other and help each other instead of hurting each other in difficult times. To this purpose, we support the creators of Asian-themed theater works and provide opportunities for performers of Asian descent. In doing so, we hope to give Americans the experience of being able to connect with people from the heart, rather than being divided by appearance or origin. We call this project "和音 Waon Project" , which means "Harmony Project" in English. The reason why we picked Japan for 2023 was because we read about "The 1923 American Silk Mission to Asia." Year 1923 was a very confusing year for Japanese-Americans because the hardship of living in the U.S. became so big after November 1922's "Ozawa v. United States" which became the landmark Supreme Court case that denied eligibility for citizenship to the Issei (the first generation) happened. Along with the passage of California's Alien Land Law in 1920, the Ozawa decision (1922) spurred the anti-Japanese cause and set the stage for the Immigration Act of 1924 that barred all further immigration from Japan. It was not until the passage of the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 that the Issei were allowed to naturalize. For our Waon Project in 2023, we are planning to present a staged reading of a new musical "MINORU: Scrape the Sky" written by Momo Akashi and Ben Ginsberg about the life of Minoru Yamasaki, a Japanese American architect and designer of the World Trade Center, a reading of a new opera "A Daughter of the Samurai" written by Lee Douglass and Yui Kitamura which is about Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto who came to the U.S. in 1897 and became one of the first professors to teach Japanese language and literature at Columbia University, and a U.S. premiere concert of Japanese children stories by a famous Japanese author Nankichi Niimi which the music was written by seven New-York-based Japanese/Japanese-American composers that we never had a chance to showcase due to the pandemic.

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