In January of 2017, award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator, Whitney Dow led our ideas Speaker Series. Dow has been producing and directing films focused on race and identity for almost two decades as a partner in Two Tone Productions. His directorial credits include documentaries released theatrically and broadcast on commercial and public television: Two Towns of Jasper; I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, Unfinished Country and When the Drum is Beating. His credits as a producer include: Freedom Summer; Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America , The Undocumented, Toots and Among the Believers. His films have premiered at festivals ranging from Sundance to Tribeca and been broadcast on networks around the world. His work has been recognized with: the George Foster Peabody Award; Alfred I. duPont Award; Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Award; and the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award as well as numerous film festival honors.
Dow’s current focus is the Whiteness Project
, a story-based interactive media and research project he is producing in collaboration with Columbia University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE). The project, which will ultimately include 1,000 subjects from communities across the United States, examines how Americans who identify as “white” or, “partially white”, process their ethnicity, and pairs it with with secondary quantitative data - attitudinal, socioeconomic and genomic. The resulting media and data set will serve as the foundation for a series of academic and media projects as well as an interactive academic resource that will live in Columbia’s library system.
Dow is also currently serving as Story Director for the multi-platform Public Media project “Veterans Coming Home” (VCH), a digital initiative by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and interactive storytelling in the Integrated Media Arts (IMA) MFA program at CUNY Hunter College. He has lectured widely and has a Research Scholar appointment at Columbia University.
Last year, Moisés Kaufman
, award winning theater director, playwright, and Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project, discussed the role theater plays in this time of tremendous technological innovation, information sharing, and the proliferation of human connection across the globe. Kaufman is a Tony and Emmy nominated director and playwright. He most recently directed a critically lauded production of Bent
at the Mark Taper Forum, as well as Daniel Beatty’s The Tallest Tree in the Forest
at Kansas City Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, and BAM. Broadway credits include The Heiress
, 33 Variations
(which he also wrote); Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
; the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife
. His plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde
and The Laramie Project
(which he wrote with the members of Tectonic Theater) are among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. He also co-wrote and directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project
for HBO. He is currently directing and writing a new Broadway-bound Afro-Cuban adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen
for which he’s collaborating with Grammy-winning composer Arturo O’Farrill and Tony-winning composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown. Moisés was recently honored by President Obama as a recipient of the National Arts Medal. He and his husband Jeffrey LaHoste founded Tectonic Theater Project in 1991. In 2017, Random House will publish a long anticipated treatise on the company’s trademarked method of theater making, Moment Work, written by Kaufman, Barb Pitts-McAdams, and members of the company.