We Need Art and Resistance

Special Broadcast on State of the Arts NYC hosted by Savona Bailey-McClain

In honor of both Black History Month and Women’s History Month, State of the Arts NYC will bring the Renaissance Revival Chorus that sang at the Grammys with the artist Kesha, to their Brooklyn studio at WBAI FM Radio for a LIVE performance, February 23rd. The Chorus is a collective of more than 60 women who came together to bring protest songs to present day movements.

And we will talk about art activism with Tanya Selvaratnam, Co-Founder of We are the Federation along with Laurie Anderson, Laura Michalchyshy, and Kali Holloway. The Federation believes in the need to both heighten our shared humanity, to work for equality and justice, and to communicate visions of what our world could be. The Federation also believes in engaging audiences to secure a more democratic future. And the “arts” must serve as a catalyst to achieve these goals.

   Also joining us on the show are Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke. They are representing the Pop Culture Collaboration. Pop Culture Collaborative is a 5-year, $25 million fund organized led by leading philanthropies to support artists and activists working at the intersection of entertainment and social change. Through funding and support Pop Culture Collaborative helps artists, organizations and companies leverage the reach and power of pop culture to drive authentic, just narratives about people of color, immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. Through grants, events, and partnerships, the Collaborative works to shift how mass audiences understand the past, make sense of the present, and imagine the future of American society.

The public is invited to this special broadcast on first come basis. The studio is located at 388 Atlantic Avenue between Hoyt and Bond. Enter the Commons Café.







The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College is a weekend of inspiring films that tell the extraordinary stories of strong, bold women leaders from all walks of life – stories of ambition, courage, resilience, and moxie. The curated program includes Academy Award-nominated films, top-tier features, documentaries, and shorts — including U.S. and world premieres. It is a weekend that celebrates the stories of remarkable women — stories that need to be told and deserve to be honored. The festival is a project of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard and Women and Hollywood, a leading voice for women in the entertainment industry.  The Artemis Rising Foundation and its CEO Regina K. Scully is the festival’s founding sponsor.  The eighth annual Athena Film Festival will be held Feb. 22-25, 2018.


The festival includes well-known feature films such as “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain, and “Megan Leavey,” directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and starring Kate Mara. It will also include the New York premiere of “I Am Not a Witch,” directed by Rungano Nyoni, as well as many other films.

In the documentary category, entries include “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” and “I Am Evidence,” which was produced by “Law and Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay. “It’s Criminal,” directed by Signe Taylor, a Barnard graduate, will have its New York City premiere.

The festival also includes shorts, panels and virtual reality experiences.


Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award

2018 Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award

Barbara Kopple is a director and producer of narrative films, documentaries and commercial spots, she most recently completed the documentary, A Murder In Mansfield. The film examines the after affects of a murder trial in the 1990’s where a son testified against his father for the murder of his mother, and will premiere at the 2017 DOC NYC Film Festival. Kopple produced and directed This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, which chronicles the life and family of Internet sensation Gigi Gorgeous, and had its premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Miss Sharon Jones!, premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and was the opening night film at DOC NYC. It follows the talented and gregarious soul singer of the Grammy-nominated R&B band Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings during the most challenging year of her life and received a 2017 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary.


Leading Man Award

This award recognizes and honors men in Hollywood who have a strong track record of serving as vocal allies of and effective advocates for women in entertainment.

2018 Athena Leading Man

J.J. Abrams is a writer, director and producer and the founder of Bad Robot Productions. Abrams wrote or co-write films such as Regarding Henry, Forever Young, Joy Ride andArmageddon before co-creating the Golden Globe-nominated television show Felicitywith Matt Reeves. He followed that with Alias and the Emmy Award-winning series Lost (which he created with Damon Lindelof). Abrams received an Emmy for directing theLost pilot episode, and went on to produce series such as Fringe and Person of Interest. In 2006, Abrams directed his first feature film, Mission Impossible: III, and followed that with the critically-praised hit films Star Trek, Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness – each scored by longtime collaborator Michael Giacchino. In 2015 Abrams directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which he also produced and co-wrote with Lawrence Kasdan. Abrams has continued with the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek franchises as a producer, while also launching his own film franchise with the Cloverfield series.He will next produce, direct and co-write (with Chris Terrio) Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams is currently producing the television series Westworld, Castle Rock and Lovecraft Country and the films Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Mission: Impossible 6, God Particle and Overlord. In addition to his film and television work, Abrams also conceived the novel S. with writer Doug Dorst, which became a New York Times Best Seller in 2013, and is currently producing The Play That Goes Wrong, which premiered on Broadway in April of this year.



Master Class: Alexa Junge
Sulzberger Parlor
February 24, 2018, 12 p.m.

Alexa Junge grew up in Los Angeles and attended Barnard College, where she wrote The Varsity Show with David Rakoff and Jeanine Tesori. After receiving her MFA in NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, Junge wrote for Friends from 1994 to 1999. Her popular episode, The One Where Everybody Finds Out, earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Writing for a Comedy Series, and has been cited in Atlantic Magazine as a proven “mood booster”. Other television work includes: Grace and Frankie (Executive Producer and Writer), (Humanitas Award Nomination for her outstanding episode, The Party), Best Friends Forever (Showrunner), The United States of Tara (Showrunner), The West Wing (Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, WGA nomination for Best Episodic Drama, Disaster Relief), and Sex and the City. As a screenwriter and lyricist, her film work includes: Rapunzel UnbraidedLilo & Stitch 2 and Mulan II (with Jeanine Tesori).

Ms. Junge’s plays have been produced at Goodspeed Opera House, Studio Arena Theater, Playwrights Horizons’ Lab, and The Depot Theater. Her work has been developed at The Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, The Public Theater Lab/Ars Nova, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She is a writer-contributor to NPR’s This American Life and was a live performer on TAL’s What I Learned from Television tour. Alexa is currently co-creating a fictional podcast for This American Life (their first) and developing pilots for Anonymous Content and Starz. Her new play Fingersmith (adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters) was produced at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2016, The American Repertory Theater on 2017 and is headed to New York next fall.

Social Media & Branding for Filmmakers
February 24, 2018, 1 p.m.
James Room

Social media is a key component in crowdfunding but it also plays a vital role in a film’s promotion. This panel brings together social media experts to introduce filmmakers to the latest tools and strategies integral to a creating a successful campaign.

Female Gaze
James Room
February 24, 2018, 4 p.m.

One of the most pressing conversations in Hollywood is how to increase the number of female storytellers. In building on our conversation from last year, we will discuss how vital the female gaze is for progressively depicting a more representative and inclusive female narrative.

Revising the Canon
James Room
February 25, 2018, 1 p.m.

For as long as any of us have been around, the canon — those books, plays, films and TV series — anointed as the most important of their kind has been largely defined as white and male. Join us for a discussion on how we can make the canon more inclusive of women and people of color whose voices and experiences have been historically omitted from the cultural narratives.