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Asian American Arts Alliance Names 2016 Van Lier Fellows

The Asian American Arts Alliance has launched its inaugural 2016 Van Lier Fellowships in Acting and Directing for early-career theater artists of Asian descent who are 30 and under and based in New York City. Ms. Seonjae Kim is the 2016 Van Lier Directing Fellow and Ms. Diana Oh is the 2016 Van Lier Acting Fellow. Ms. Kim and Ms. Oh were both selected in an open application process by a high-level review panel.

Each Van Lier fellow will receive a $12,000 cash stipend-an unprecedented amount dedicated to young Asian American artists-as well as a package of professional development opportunities that includes artistic mentorship with an established mid-career theater professional, leadership coaching, and technical assistance resources. The fellowships are supported by a grant from Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund at the New York Community Trust.

The review committee panelists, composed of respected leaders in the theater field, included Second Stage Associate Artistic Director Chris Burney, Artistic Producing Director and Obie- winning actress Mia Katigbak, Associate Director of LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater Natasha Sinha, TCG Artistic and International Program Associate Jessica Lewis, Soho Rep Producer/Radical Evolution Co-Founder Meropi Peponides, former Ma-Yi Associate Director Suzette Porte, and Brooklyn Arts Council Grants and Services Director Morgan Tachco.

"The Alliance is proud to be offering this landmark opportunity for young Asian American theatre artists to be recognized at a critical time in their careers," said Andrea Louie, executive director of the Asian American Arts Alliance. "The Pew Research Center predicts that, by 2055, Asian Americans will be the largest group among people of color in this country, but we remain sorely under-represented in the arts today, particularly in the theatre industry. It's our hope that the Van Lier Fellowship in Directing and Acting will help, in some small but significant way, address race and cultural equity in the field."

2016 Van Lier Directing Fellow Seonjae "Jae" Kim is a theatre artist based in New York City, originally from Seoul, South Korea. She is currently developing Riot Antigone, a new Riot Grrrl musical adaptation of the Greek tragedy, in collaboration with the composer Erato A. Kremmyda. Her select directing credits include: The Essential Ella Maythorne (Dixon Place), A Midsummer's Night Dream (Rabid Bat Theatricals), Cloud Nine, A Perfect Wedding, Kafka on the Shore (Northwestern University), Moksori (Chicago Fringe Festival). Jae is the Programs Liaison at CultureHub, a center for art and technology co-founded by La MaMa ETC and Seoul Institute of the Arts in Seoul, South Korea. She has assisted at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Ensemble Studio Theatre among others and participated in Directors' Lab West 2016. BA: Northwestern University.

2016 Van Lier Acting Fellow Diana Oh is an actor, singer/songwriter, and theatremaker. She is the creator and performer of {my lingerie play}: 10 Underground Performance Installations in my lingerie staged in an effort to provide a saner, safer, more respectful world for women to live in that culminates into {my lingerie play}: Installation 9/10: THE FINAL INSTALLATION, an 80 minute concert-play of her original music with {my lingerie band} featured on, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, Marie Claire Netherlands, on stage at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, and All For One. She is also the creator of Diana Oh is GOING ROGUE (terraNOVA Collective, soloNOVA), Hot Sauce Water, and Asian People are Not Magicians. She is One of Refinery 29's Top 14 LGBTQ Influencers, the first Queer Korean-American interviewed on Korean Broadcast Radio, a featured Playwright at the Lark, a Radical Diva Finalist, an Elphaba Thropp Fellow, and one of New York Theatre Now's Person of the Year. The Wall Street Journal and Upworthy call her "bad-ass." She acts on stage and film throughout NYC and thanks her badass community. {my lingerie play}: Installation 9/10: THE FINAL INSTALLATION will perform July 14 at 7pm at JOE'S PUB (tix:

The Alliance is administering a three-year cycle of Van Lier fellowships for artists in theater, music and the visual arts with support from the New York Community Trust. The 2017 Van Lier Fellowships (Cycle 2) will be dedicated to musicians and composers of Asian American descent.

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