April 26, 2021 (Milwaukee, WI) – May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Milwaukee Repertory Theater is offering several virtual opportunities to hear from AAPI artists and leaders with Making the Invisible Visible: A Celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Culture, Art & Activism. Given the violent attacks on Asian Americans and in solidarity with #StopAsianHate, Milwaukee Rep is celebrating AAPI culture as part of REP Forward, the theater’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Plan.
“Lifting up marginalized communities with both internal staff initiatives and external community events is centered in our REP Forward ED&I plan,” said Chief Diversity Officer Tammy Belton-Davis. “We are committed to the AAPI community, and excited to bring a virtual celebration for people around the world to hear from local and national AAPI community members and their contributions to arts and activism.”
The Making the Invisible Visible celebration begins on May 5 with a welcome video from Filipino-American actor, singer and activist Paolo Montalban. The stage, film and television actor isbest known as Prince Christopher in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” produced for the screen by Disney. Montalban’s video will be released on Milwaukee Rep’s social media pages @MilwRep on May 5.
A virtual panel discussion with Milwaukee Rep AAPI artists will be hosted on Tuesday, May 11 at 7:00 pm CT via Facebook Live and YouTube Live. The discussion will focus on the importance of representation and support for AAPI artists with panelists including actor Rebecca Hirota (Junk, Jane Eyre); actor Lisa Helmi Johanson (The Chinese Lady); sound designer, musician and composer Pornchanok Kanchanabanca (The Niceties, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley); and playwright A. Rey Pamatmat (after all the terrible things I do) led by moderator N’Jameh Russell-Camara, Milwaukee Rep’s Associate Director of Engagement.
The month-long celebration will close with the YouTube release of a panel discussion with Milwaukee area Asian American Pacific Islander leaders about how arts, activism and legislation come together to help AAPI representation in the arts. The Milwaukee leaders featured on the panel include Alexa Alfaro, Co-Owner of Meat on the Street; David Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Imagine MKE, Alderman Angelito Tenorio of West Allis;moderated by MacArthur Antigua, Senior Director of Collective Impact at Imagine MKE.
“Celebrating diversity is a large part of our renewed goal to become a more inclusive and equitable organization,” shared Artistic Director Mark Clements. “Given the recent horrifying acts of violence and hate toward Asian Americans, we felt it particularly important to celebrate the AAPI community this May and help shine a positive light on our incredible AAPI artists and leaders.“
Making the Invisible Visible: A Celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Culture, Art & Activism virtual offerings will be released on Milwaukee Rep’s social media pages @MilwRep. Learn more about REP Forward, Milwaukee Rep’s ED&I Plan here. For more information, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com