Livestreaming on this page on Friday 17 September 2021 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
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9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation
Art2Action Presents Documentation of the New York 9/11 Village Gathering, Filmed and Edited by Kacey Anisa, Framed by a Livestreamed Discussion
Art2Action presents a 9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections & Conversation livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 17 September 2021 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Art2Action, Greenwich House Music School, The New York City AIDS Memorial, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Village Preservation held A Village Gathering at the New York City AIDS Memorial Park. It was as a space for reflection, remembrance, and creative expression. This event, held under the shade of the AIDS Memorial and surrounding park grounds, offered attendees and passersby a communal experience to mark this day. Performances included music by Scott Johnson and Victor Caccese, James Scruggs’ new work Severe Clear, excerpts from Andrea Assaf’s Eleven Reflections on September, and Ash Morinaccio’s 20 Years Later project, hosted by emcee Troy Anthony. There was also an opportunity for community members to record their own stories as part of this event.
Now on HowlRound, Art2Action presents documentation of the New York 9/11 Village Gathering, filmed and edited by Kacey Anisa, framed by a livestreamed discussion among artists whose work and lives have been deeply impacted by the tragedy of 9/11/2001, and the wars and policies that followed in the post-9/11 era: Andrea Assaf, Heather Raffo, and James Scruggs.
More about the Artists
Andrea Assaf is a writer, director, performer, and cultural organizer. She is the founding artistic director of Art2Action Inc., and co-director of the National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation. Her original work, Eleven Reflections on September, has toured nationally to venues such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), La MaMa, The Apollo Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and internationally. It is now an award-winning digital film, and will be recreated as a new city-specific, community devised production, Eleven Reflections: San Antonio, at the Carver Community Cultural Center in 2021. Awards include: 2021 Silk Road Film Awards Cannes (Best Experimental Feature), 2019 NEFA National Theatre Project, 2019 and 2011 NPN Creation Fund Commissions, 2017 finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry and Activism, 2010 Princess Grace Award, and more. Andrea has a master’s degree in performance studies and a BFA in acting, both from NYU. She currently serves on the Board of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists (CAATA), Alternate ROOTS, and is a founding steering committee member of the Middle Eastern/North African Theatre-Makers Alliance (MENATMA).
Heather Raffo is an award-winning playwright and actress whose work has taken her from the Kennedy Center to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar, from the State Department to classrooms across the country and world. An American with Iraqi roots, Raffo’s plays have been hailed by the New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world”. She is the author and performer of NOURA (Weissberger and Helen Hayes awards) which premiered in D.C. before moving to Abu Dhabi, Cairo, New York City, and theaters across the nation, and 9 Parts of Desire (Lucielle Lortel award, Blackburn commendation, Helen Hayes, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nomination), the first play in the English language to center an Iraqi protagonist. Raffo’s libretto for the opera FALLUJAH, the first opera about the Iraq war, was part of Kennedy Center’s International Theater Festival, received its world premiere at Long Beach Opera and opened at the New York City Opera in 2016 accompanied by a documentary titled Fallujah: Art, Healing and PTSD. Her new anthology, The Things That Can’t Be Said, was published in 2021, bringing Raffo’s groundbreaking contribution to the rarely examined traumas shaping cultural and national identity for both Americans and Iraqis since the events of 9/11.
James Scruggs is a writer, performer, and producer, who creates screenplays and large scale topical, theatrical, multimedia work focused on inequity or gender politics. His solo theatre piece, A Voluptuary Life, received a MAP Grant. It explored the hetero-washing of LGBTQ+ history. It was presented at HERE Arts Center, 2019. In 2018, he created a site-specific immersive, interactive, satirical work for The High Line, MELT!. He was awarded a 2015 MAP Grant and a 2016 Creative Capital Grant, to create 3/Fifths. Performed in May 2017, it was a fully immersive, interactive ethno-theme park, exploring race and racism called SupremacyLand. It got “4 stars in Timeout NY”. His 3/Fifths Trapped in a Traveling Minstrel Show, a piece about how in 2017 unarmed black men are often feared and legally killed. It was awarded an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Fringe Production, shown at BCA in Boston. Other grants include a 2016 New Jersey state grant NJSCA Fellowship for artistic excellence. Currently he’s working with Rattlestick Theater to create a solo piece, Dark Bravado which will be a trans-media piece about the virus of hatred and his intimate connection to 9/11. James Scruggs has a BFA in film from School of Visual Arts.
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