UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center

UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center

The UMass Fine Arts Center’s Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture Program is the only university-based series of its kind in the country. With audiences in New England since 1993 and online since 2020, we present the full range of diversity and excellence within the Asian and Asian American

UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center

The UMass Fine Arts Center’s Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture Program is the only university-based series of its kind in the country. With audiences in New England since 1993 and online since 2020, we present the full range of diversity and excellence within the Asian and Asian American performing arts and cultural forms. We are dedicated to raising urgent issues through both traditional and contemporary forms, making us one of Asian America’s most important voices at the intersection of arts, education, and social engagement in this historical moment.

About the Organization:

The UMass Fine Arts Center’s Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture Program is the only university-based series of its kind in the country. With audiences in New England since 1993 and online since 2020, we present the full range of diversity and excellence within the Asian and Asian American performing arts and cultural forms. We are dedicated to raising urgent issues through both traditional and contemporary forms, making us one of Asian America’s most important voices at the intersection of arts, education, and social engagement in this historical moment.

organizational budget

$50,000 - $100,000

existence for

26-30 YEARS

The Issue:

In the performing arts, just as in mainstream media, Asians are still too often seen through negative stereotypes of race, gender, sexuality, and culture. From the Chinese dance in thousands of Nutcracker productions every year, to the submissive females of Miss Saigon and Madame Butterfly, to the idea that there are “too many” Asian classical musicians, simplistic or offensive portrayals in Western dance, music, and theater persist. Additionally, there are barely a handful of AAPI-based arts presenting programs with national influence, and very few Asian American artists at the highest ranks in their fields. Thus, any complex or positive presentation, educational outreach, and community engagement with the most realistic and visionary Asian/Asian American artists and stories are as urgent as ever in order to fundamentally shift the public narrative around Asian American identity, culture, and ethics.

The Solution:

Through commissioning and presentation of new performances with a national profile, in-person and online educational and community activities, and innovative research publishing, our proposed 2022 activities center AAPI representation in the New England and national performing arts and academic fields:
1.) COMMISSIONS of Asian American choreographer and dancers for national touring projects, produced with arts advocacy campaign, Final Bow for Yellowface.
2.) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT through our Codemakers conversation events with Asian American artist-activists, including micro-commissions. Partners: Mass Review, Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program.
3.) OUTREACH AND PUBLISHING with Ananya Dance Theatre’s “Dastak,” a new work from one of America’s leading women of color ensembles, with UMass curriculum and Mass Review journal.
4.) EDUCATIONAL RESIDENCIES with Small Island Big Song, musicians from Pacific and Indian Ocean island nations threatened by climate change, and the only New England concert of Kenny Endo, America’s taiko master performing with Japanese, Hawaiian, and American musicians.

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