Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) announces a 4-part initiative to combat the rise of anti-Asian hate and violence that resulted in the murders of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, six of them Asian women, on Tuesday, March 16.
Says CAATA President Leslie Ishii (Artistic Director, Perseverance Theatre, Juneau, AK), “Through these initiatives, we honor and uplift the beautiful lives of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Sun Cha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, and their loved ones, as well as the experiences of so many AAPI elders and community members who have been subjected to anti-Asian xenophobia and violence during the pandemic.”
“TCG calls on all theatres and theatre people to follow CAATA’s leadership and support this initiative to end anti-Asian hate and violence,” said Adrian Budhu, deputy director and COO of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). “API theatres and theatre workers have brought their artistry and activism to strengthen our theatre ecology for generations. Now it’s time to show up for them–to show up for us.”
Jamie Gahlon, Director and Co-Founder of HowlRound Theatre Commons shared, “We are proud to stand in solidarity with AAPI communities and thrilled to continue our partnership with CAATA to amplify these critical conversations and training to stop Anti-Asian hate. Through HowlRound TV all of these trainings will be made freely available and accessible to theatre makers who wish to take action now.”
The initiatives include:
A Statement on Anti-Asian Hate
The statement, issued today, condemns the Atlanta murders and the rise of anti-Asian hate during the pandemic. The statement is signed by Asian/Pasifika/Native/Indigenous/MENA Theatre Leaders from across the country. Theatre makers who wish to add their signatures to the statement can continue to do so here. In addition to this initial statement, this coalition will also announce a list of demands for accountability and another statement on the effect of anti-Asian hate on the Asian American theatre community over the coming days. The initial statement can be found here, and all subsequent statements will be available on CAATA’s website here. AAPI artists, organizations and BIPOC artists and theatres will be able to add their names in support of these statements.
A PSA to Honor the Victims of the Atlanta Massacre and Condemn Anti-Asian Hate
The video, with a creative team of playwrights , writers, directors, actors, and leaders in the AAPI theatre community, includes: Chay Yew, Lily Tung Crystal, Qui Nguyen, Young Jean Lee, Christine Toy Johnson, Leslie Ishii, Nandita Shenoy, Francis Jue, Emika Abe, Seema Sueko, May Adrales, Christopher Chen, Clint Ramos, Diep Tran, Ruthie Ann Miles, Liz Casasola, Adrian Budhu, Emilya Cachapero, Conrad Ricamora, David Henry Hwang, Telly Leung, Marc de la Cruz, Jenna Ushkowitz, and more, will be released at the end of the week.
The #HadABadDay Social Media Campaign
The campaign will share real stories of anti-Asian discrimination and violence during the pandemic to counter the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department’s racist message that the alleged perpetrator of the Atlanta massacre was merely “having a bad day.” The campaign will also amplify the efforts of Stop AAPI Hate which tracks incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, and provides resources for survivors. Survivors can share their stories here.
CAATA will lead a webinar series featuring anti-violence and bystander training, with support from Theatre Communications Group and HowlRound Theatre Commons over the course of 2021, with dates to be announced.
The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA) envisions a strong and sustainable Asian American theater community that is an integral presence in national culture—evocative of our past, declarative of our present, and innovative towards our future.
Our mission is to advance the field of Asian American theater through a national network of organizations and artists. We collaborate to inspire learning and sharing of knowledge, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology. As a collective of Asian American theater leaders and artists, we bring together local and regional leaders to work nationally toward our shared values of social justice, artistic diversity, cultural equity and inclusion. We hold national conferences and festivals biennially in different parts of the country, reaching as wide a range of Asian American populations and communities as possible. We survey Asian American theater artists and organizations to find out their foremost concerns. We form alliances with other theater groups of different affinities to advance mutual goals cooperatively and to exchange ideas and strategies. www.caata.net