“Say it with Your Work” | Hala’s Story

Go As If is honored and proud to have had the opportunity to produce this video spot for Miry’s List’s “Friendsgiving” campaign. We spent a day in El Cajon with two Syrian families who welcomed us with open arms to share food, laughter and their stories.

"All I wanted to do was be in the future." -Hala, 8 year old New American from Syria

In 2019,  30,000 refugees will resettle in the U.S. Mostly families arrive with young kids, leaving behind family, friends, and virtually everything they own to find safety and a brighter future. 

Miry's List is a nonprofit organization that provides a mechanism for people to directly help New Arrival families from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq with the things, people, and services they need to thrive in their new lives in America.

During the month of November, Miry’s List is empowering folks worldwide to support their next 100 New Arrival families by gathering with friends, sharing a meal, and raising money to support these new members of our community. 

Finding A Line

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Go As If had the pleasure of creating some animated promo clips for Finding A Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media, an unprecedented collaboration with renowned pianist and composer Jason Moran that explores the intersection of skateboarding and jazz at the Ford Theatres in Hollywood on Sept 29th. Improvisation abounds as local skaters shred a ramp on stage to a musical response performed live by Moran and his group The Bandwagon.

To create the promo clips, I worked with visual artist, Yu Maeda, who hails from Kumamoto, Japan and now resides in Huntington Beach. Since meeting Yu-chan in 2014, through my dear friend Ayumi from Kyoto, Japan, we’ve worked together several times to both exhibit his original works and also create gifs and animated spots for previous shows I’ve produced. Between his work with Hit+RunSuperchief GalleryGiant Robot, to mention a few, I’m always excited to work with him.

Finding a Line celebrates the creativity of the full breadth of the skateboarding community, including musicians, photographers, filmmakers, painters, graphic and fashion designers, as well as skateboarders themselves. The week of Finding a Line programs at the Ford is part of an ongoing, nationwide community-sourced public art project.

“In jazz, there are so many moving parts, and within a composition, there are obstacles in the form. Street skaters navigate a landscape finding ways to approach a rail in the same way a drummer approaches the beginning of a song. The mode of improvisation is paramount to how both skaters and jazz musicians approach life.” —Jason Moran 

Look, Ma, we Made a Reel

"I can do a lot of things. And I do." -Ani DiFranco

A big thank you to Rooz Film for putting together a reel that documents highlights from the last 5 years of my work in events production, art curation and art direction. I'm humbled to have had the opportunity to work with so many powerful and talented artists, performers and creators thus far. Onward and upward!

Big World Fun 2018

Thank you to Ford Theatres for inviting Go As If back for another summer to curate pre-show art activities for its family concert series Big World Fun - allowing families to travel the world without leaving the city! From the powerful West African drums to the colorful costumes of the Korean dancers, and everything in between, we loved every minute! 

We couldn't do it without generous contributions of art supplies from Blick Art Materials and our fantastic volunteers.

Kaleidoscope Love

 Photo by Marlene Picard

Photo by Marlene Picard

Earlier this year, I worked with artist Jayna Zweiman, and during our conversations and exchanges, encountered her piece entitled both "it considered other facts, other views" and "you have an interesting face."

We'll include the installation of this piece on Saturday at Ford Theatres as part of Go As If's pre-show art project for the family concert series Big World Fun. Inspired by the beautiful costumes and colors of Kim Eung Hwa Korean Dance Company, kids and their families will be making DIY teleidoscopes with one of the most mundane household objects: cardboard toilet paper tubes, and shiny mirrored paper (thanks, Blick on Beverly!).

The piece is a simple construction that is dependent on context - who is looking through it, the light, what is on the other side. Because of this, no one experiences it in exactly the same way. It encourages the viewer to really look at a small piece of what is in front of them and experience it in a new way. It plays with how we see and how we examine the spaces we are in. Just a few mirrors can change everything. The scale of the piece enables people to share the experience and interact with each other.     --Jayna Zweiman, Artist

For more on Jayna's work and how YOU can participate, check out Welcome Blanket, a project that confronts issues around immigration and refugee resettlement through a tapestry of handmade blankets. The work explores how political activism can be “positive, creative, and collective.” 

A big thank you to Jayna for lending us the piece. 

Here's a recap of our Saturday morning with the kids at Big World Fun:

To join us for the last Big World Fun show of the summer, find details HERE.

Finding Inspiration in the Fierce and Fantastical

This summer, Go As If returns to the Ford Theatres' family concert series entitled "Big World Fun". These shows, for kids ages 4-12 and their families, give LA residents an opportunity to travel the world without leaving the city.

First up, on June 30th, Le Ballet Dembaya will take you on journey to the country of Guinea on the western coast of Africa through their uplifting and energetic percussion and dance. Le Ballet Dembaya's Guinean rhythms and dance will put a smile on your face and will leave you with a feeling of joy the whole day long.

Presented by Go As If, the pre-show art activity - making fashionable bows and bowties using traditional African wax fabric - is inspired by Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu's concept of AfroBubbleGum. "We're so used to narratives out of Africa being about war, poverty and devastation", says TED Fellow Wanuri Kahiu. "Where's the fun? AfroBubbleGum is African art that's vibrant, lighthearted and without a political agenda." Wanuri urges us to rethink the value of all that is unserious and the need for art that captures the full range of human experiences to tell the stories of Africa.

Big congratulations to Wanuri on the recent premiere of her new film Rafiki at Cannes Film Festival! 

Anna Wise + The Cuntinuity

GRAMMY® Award–winning singer, songwriter and performer Anna Wise did not disappoint as she made her Ford Theatres debut, performing her signature mix of dream-pop and electro-soul. Anna became known for her multiple collaborations with rapper Kendrick Lamar and won a GRAMMY® with Lamar for “These Walls.” Making her own beats and building improvisational soundscapes live, Anna and her all-woman band, "The Cuntinuity," performed music from her debut EPs The Feminine: Act 1 and Act 2, which boldly present the experience of the everyday woman. Special guest Durand Bernarr joined Anna on several songs with ethereal harmonies and dancer, Tess Hewlett, emerged from the canyon with otherworldly movement.

Vocals: Anna Wise  |  Keys: Joy Morales  |  Bass: Taja Cheek  |  Drums: Sarah Galdes  |  Dancer: Tess Hewlett  |  Special guest: Durand Bernarr  |  Opening set by Mndsgn.  |  Preshow performance by Peter Jacobson aka hellacello

Produced by Andrea Miller  |  Production Supervision: Alberto Lopez  |  Production Manager: Arthur Trowbridge  |  Stage Manager: Simon Knowles  |  Cinematographer: Shahrooz Mahmoodi  |  Marketing Intern: Scott Tom  

A special thanks to our partners and sponsors including Ford Theatres, Freehand LA, Modern Woodmen, The Model Behavior, Get Lit and Happy Period.

The Model Behavior

Last year, I commissioned photographer Jaimie Milner to capture portraits of the audience at 2017's Astral Progressions concert featuring the afrofuturistic sounds of jazz trumpeter Josef Leimberg. At some point in the hour before the show, I glanced over and saw a woman SERVING looks in front of Jaimie's camera and it gave me pause. What a treat to meet her and her beautiful family and learn that among many wonderful and creative endeavors, she is the founder of a non-profit called The Model Behavior. 

The Model Behavior is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of powerful and concerned women across the country who are compelled by a deep desire to have a positive impact on the world and their respective communities. They believe the greatest aspiration is the desire to help others and the greatest strength one can have is the gift of service. 

They've put together A Night Out at the Ford to come together under the stars to celebrate community by attending June 10th's concert featuring Grammy-award winning Anna Wise. Each ticket purchased doubles in impact with a generous corporate matching grant that makes it possible to gift free tickets and bus transportation to deserving individuals from our local non-profit partners. 

Heartfelt thanks to Chandra Anderson and all involved!