UCLA's Center forIntercultural Performance has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the UnitedStates Department of State, through the Bureau of Educational and CulturalAffairs, Intercultural Public Private Fellows Program; and a $35,000 grant fromthe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Department ofState funds will enable the center to offer the UCLA/Asia Pacific PerformanceExchange (APPEX) Programs 2004 and 2006. APPEX is an international residency program that promotes understanding andappreciation across cultures, and fosters new ways to experiment, collaborateand interpret artistic expression between American and Asian artists. The NEA grantwill support APPEX's Art of Rice Traveling Theater.
"In these turbulent times, it is particularlygratifying that the Department of State and the NEA recognize the importance ofinternational cultural exchange and are enabling us to provide a unique context inwhich open dialogue and creative cross-cultural work can take place," said Judy Mitoma, director of the center.
"Cultural exchange programs not only highlight thecreativity and dynamism of American society and the strength that diversitybrings to our nation, they also reflect America's respect for the achievementsof other cultures," said Patricia S. Harrison, assistant secretary of state foreducational and cultural affairs.
The UCLA/APPEX Fellows residency programs will take place in Indonesiaduring the summer of 2004 and in Los Angeles during the summer of 2006. The Centerfor Intercultural Performance willselect an equal number of American and Asian participants from both sides ofthe Pacific, from the areas of music, dance, theater and puppetry. Asianparticipants will be recruited from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and thePhilippines, with a focus on Muslim populations.
The APPEX residencyincludes master classes and studio workshops, field work, collaborative creative performanceworkshops, education, outreach activities, and public performances in a widevariety of venues in the United States and overseas. Application details willbe available at www.wac.ucla.edu/cipbeginning June 30.
The Art of RiceTraveling Theater, a fully produced new work, was created by an extraordinarygroup of 11 APPEX artists of varying performing disciplines from China, India,Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic and the United States.Based on the theme of rice, the presentation is an innovative integration ofclassic and experimental technique in a full evening-length performance.
The project wasinspired by the exhibition "The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia,"which opens Oct. 5 at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. The centerhosted a workshop on the project in Indonesia in spring 2002 and will hostanother this summer. Performances will take place this fall in Hawaii fromSept. 10–20 and in California from Sept. 21 through Oct. 6. There will betwo performances in Los Angeles — on Sept. 27 and 28 — at the Aratani Japan AmericaTheatre.
The Center for Intercultural Performance, an integral part of theDepartment of World Arts and Cultures in the UCLA School of the Arts andArchitecture (UCLArts), supports interdisciplinary research, creativeexperimentation and education at a national and international level. The centerserves as a link to the outside professional world by initiating and supportingintercultural exchange and collaboration. Its ultimate purpose is to connectmulticultural arts education and research within the university to the work ofartists from diverse communities and traditions.