Artist Panel Discussion

Sunday May 22 3:30pm

Tickets: Admission Free

Jon Jang

Anthony Brown and Amikaeyla Gaston


Charlie Levin


Several artists in this year’s Festival have projects that speak directly to the issue of systematic police violence perpetrated against people of color and specifically the Black Lives Matter movement. Panelists Amikaeyla Gaston, Charlie Levin, Jon Jang, Genny Lim and Dr. Anthony Brown discuss their work and the role of the artist within broader socio-political movements. Moderated by Ericka Huggins.


Anthony Brown is a composer, percussionist, ethnomusicologist, Guggenheim fellow, Smithsonian Associate Scholar, and Artistic Director of the GRAMMY nominated Asian American Orchestra and the nonprofit organization, Fifth Stream Music. He has composed music for critically acclaimed, award winning film documentaries, theater productions, dance companies and musical ensembles internationally, and has collaborated with Max Roach, Cecil Taylor, Zakir Hussain, Steve Lacy, Anthony Davis and the San Francisco Symphony. Dr. Brown has served as Curator of American Musical Culture and Director of the Jazz Oral History Program at the Smithsonian Institution, and as a Visiting Professor of Music at UC Berkeley.

Amikaeyla Gaston is the winner of eight Washington Area Music Association awards for Best Jazz, World, and Urban Contemporary Vocalist, was named DC’s best female composer in 2006 & 2008, and was recently honored with first prize for Best World Music Composition from the Maryland State Arts Council. Amikaeyla appeared on Broadway numerous times, most notably as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. She has studied with many spiritual and musical masters from many different cultures and was personally invited to perform in India at the Inaugural Festival of Sacred Chanting and Singing at the request and invitation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Jon Jang has broken barriers and genres as a composer, pianist and artistic director of ensembles in developing original works noted for their compelling mix of different influences and sounds. As a composer, Jang has received commissions from the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, The Library of Congress, Chanticleer, Cal Performances, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Kronos Quartet. Presented in collaboration with Asian Pacific Island Cultural Center.

Charlie Levin makes performances, interactive paintings, and installations exploring questions of complexity, identity, and perception. Her innovative interactive wax paintings use transparency, light, and sensors to create body::art experiences bridging digital and analog experience. With over 20 years of work, including as co-founder of Chicago-based Local Infinities Visual Theater, her work has been presented locally, nationally, and internationally. Highlights: Oerel (Netherlands), Kyiv Travnevy (Ukraine), Sight Sonic (UK), Soundwalk (Long Beach). Bay Area shows include Keeping an Eye on Surveillance curated by Hanna Regev, CODAME’s 5ENSES, and collaborations with the renowned interactive technology dance company Kinetech Arts.


Ericka Huggins is an educator, former Black Panther Party member, political prisoner, human rights activist and poet. For 35 years Ericka has lectured in the United States, and internationally on human rights, Restorative Justice and, the role of spiritual practice in sustaining activism and promoting social change.

Her work as a speaker and facilitator is based in her belief in the greatness of the human heart. Each of us has the ability to look there for the answers to questions about the future of our world. Ericka is a professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Merritt College in Oakland, California.


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