GOTV: The Role of the Artist
Thursday, October 29th
What is the role of art as we get out the vote and build larger movements for change? In this national conversation with engaged artists, hear about the importance of voting in both local and national elections, using art to challenge and shift culture, and how we build powerful, and beautiful, movements. Speakers include Glenn Kaino, Caroline Klibanoff, Claudia Pena, and Kristina Wong. This program is a collaboration between JANM, MOCA, Made by US, and For Freedoms.
About the panelists:
Glenn Kaino was born in 1972 in Los Angeles. Kaino’s works, often functioning as poetic contradictions, aim to reconcile conflicting ideologies, opposing systems, and strict dichotomies in material and experiential ways. His studio practice includes sculpture, painting, filmmaking, performance, installation, and large-scale public work. He also operates outside the traditional purview of contemporary art, instigating collaborations with other modes of culture—ranging from tech to film to political organizing.
Caroline Klibanoff is the program manager for Made by Us, a cross-institutional collaboration from America’s leading history organizations to engage the public, especially young people, with history and civic participation, connecting them with the past to power our future as we commemorate 250 years of the American experiment and look ahead to the next 250. She manages a steering committee including the National Museum of American History, the National Archives Foundation, Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Monticello, the Atlanta History Center, the Senator John Heinz History Center, HistoryMiami, and the New York Historical Society.
Claudia Peña serves as the Executive Director of For Freedoms, an artist-led platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. She is on faculty at UCLA School of Law and in the Gender Studies department, and also affiliated with the Prison Education Program which creates innovative courses that enable faculty and students to learn from, and alongside, participants who are currently incarcerated. She's a member, and also on staff, of the Guild of Future Architects which is a home, refuge and resource for people collaboratively shaping a kind, just, inclusive, and prosperous world. Claudia is the Co-Founder of Repair, a Los Angeles-based organization focused on the health and the disabling effects of inequity, violence, exploitation. Prior to that, Claudia was the Statewide Director of the California Civil Rights Coalition (CCRC) for over five years. While there, she focused on racial justice, gender equity, voting rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, equal opportunity, progressive taxation, policies, housing rights and coordinating ballot initiative efforts. She was previously Equal Justice Society’s Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow where she researched and presented on issues of implicit bias and equal protection.
Kristina Wong was featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian, writer and elected representative who has been presented internationally across North America, the UK, Hong Kong and Africa. She’s been awarded artist residencies from the MacDowell Colony, New York Theater Workshop, the San Diego International Airport and Ojai Playwrights Festival. She’s created viral web series like How Not to Pick Up Asian Chicks and just launched the second season of the award winning Radical Cram School. Her rap career in post-conflict Northern Uganda is the subject of her last solo theater show The Wong Street Journal which toured the US, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria (presented by the US Consulate). Her long running show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and is now a concert film. Her newest performance project is “Kristina Wong for Public Office”– a simultaneous real life stint as the elected representative of Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-district 5 Neighborhood Council and rally campaign show. Kristina’s current pandemic project is the Auntie Sewing Squad, a national network of volunteers sewing masks for vulnerable communities.
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