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By Fractured Atlas on September 22nd, 2016

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Createquity Podcast Series 3: Is Television Bad For Us?

Big Ideas | Podcast | Arts | Createquity | Soapbox

Image: “Gogbot,” Installation at the Gogbot Media Art Festival in Enschede. By Flickr user  Ineke

Happy Fall television premiere week! The Fractured Atlas and Createquity teams are back with a third installment of the Createquity podcast on television and our well-being!

Public conversations about television and the arts have tended to pit one against the other. If television wasn’t saving the arts by connecting them to a wide and public audience, it was killing them by advancing popular culture over ‘serious’ fare. While some celebrated the arts on television as encouraging live attendance, others worried it discouraged such attendance by serving as a substitute. From a public health standpoint, we can also be concerned by research associating heavy television-watching with conditions like obesity and early death — would we be both healthier and happier attending and participating in “traditional” art forms rather than staying home in front of the television?

Even in the age of digital communications — of broadcast and cable and wifi, oh my — we often miss the larger conversation about the box: television is culture. It conveys visual and narrative human expression, it employs and animates artists, reaches a massive audience every day, and it can even be a tool for social change. And — spoiler alert— people really enjoy watching television…a lot of television.

So what are the implications of “television as culture?” And how do they frame and inform the trajectory of artists, arts organizations, audiences, and all the others supporting and advancing artistic work? These episodes will explore the scope, scale, sources, and substance of contemporary television; consider its social, civic, and health effects; and discover it as a medium where artists and audiences find each other and even as a vehicle for artist and youth empowerment.

Episode 1:

Guest Louise Geraghty (bio below) provides a quick rundown of the research Createquity has done on this topic. Hear about the impact television may have on our personal health and happiness. Is heavy TV watching in the same category as soda/junk food when it comes to possibly needing some regulation?

Episode 2:

Guest Qui Nguyen (bio below) talks to us about his experience in both the theatre and television worlds. Hear about how he feels the two industries interact and impact the health of the overall arts industry. Can television be a stable and even desirable form of employment for creative artists?

Episode 3:

Guest Rebecca Yenawine (bio below) explains how she uses television media to engage low-socioeconomic-status youth in the Baltimore area. Hear about the impact she feels media has on the health of our communities.

The Host

A portrait of Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor | Host

Andrew Taylor thinks (a bit too much) about organizational structure, strategy, and management practice in the nonprofit arts. An Associate Professor of Arts Management at American University in Washington, DC, he shares what he learns at “The Artful Manager.”


The Guests

A portrait of Louise Geraghty

Louise Geraghty | Editorial Team (Former), Createquity

Louise Geraghty is a Project Manager at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, where she works closely with Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services to manage and evaluate a randomized control trial of the city’s One Summer Chicago Plus summer jobs program. She is a recent graduate of the University’s Harris School of Public Policy, where she held research related internships at the University’s Arts and Public Life Initiative and the Urban Education Institute. Louise has previously worked in fundraising at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and in program management at Artist Corps New Orleans.


A portrait of Rebecca YenawineRebecca Yenawine

Rebecca Yenawine has been founder and director a community arts organizations since 1997. In her current work as Director at New Lens she advises young people in running their own organization and supports their creative endeavors. As a part of New Lens she advises teens and young adults in media production and takes part in over ten productions per year. Films include work about criminal justice, education and health related issues. Her pieces have been accepted into the Maryland Film Festival, the Media that Matters Film Festival and many other smaller festivals. She has experience in making videos for numerous nonprofit entities from Johns Hopkins University to the Baltimore City Health Department. Rebecca also works as consultant with Teachers’ Democracy Project where she helps teachers use media as a tool for change. She is adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the Masters of Community Art Program where she teaches community art research. She has worked in partnership with MICA on community arts research and evaluation since 2009. Rebecca has a BA in English from Goucher College and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Education. In 1999, Ms. Yenawine was the recipient of a Community Fellowship Award from the Open Society Institute. She has published articles through the CAN Network and the Nathan Cummings Convening. She has presented and been part of panel discussions on numerous occasions at Baltimore City Colleges and other civic institutions.


A portrait of Qui Nguyen

Qui Nguyen | Theatre and Television Writer

Qui Nguyen is a playwright, TV/Film writer, and Co-Founder (along with Robert Ross Parker) of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of NYC. His work, known for its innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, has been called “Culturally Savvy Comedy” by The New York Times, “Tour de Force Theatre” by Time Out New York, and “Infectious Fun” by Variety.He is a member of the WGA, The Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Ma-Yi Writers Lab and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists and Youngblood. Currently, Qui’s at work on new plays for South Coast Rep/Manhattan Theatre Club (The Vietgone Saga), The Atlantic (Untitled Qui Nguyen Project), and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (The Tale of Kieu). For television, he’s written for Peg+Cat (PBS) and the upcoming SYFY thriller, Incorporated. He’s currently a writer for Marvel Studios.

The Team

A portrait of Ian David Moss

Ian David Moss | Executive Producer

Ian David Moss is the founder and CEO of Createquity, a virtual think tank and online publication investigating the most important issues in the arts and what we can do about them. As Senior Director of Information Strategy 
for Fractured Atlas, Ian works with his own organization and the wider field to promote a culture of learning and assessment and support informed decision-making on behalf of the arts. Evidence-based strategic frameworks that he helped create have guided the distribution of nearly $100 million in grants to date by some of the nation’s most important arts funders. In addition to Createquity, Ian founded the Cultural Research Network, an open resource-sharing forum for self-identified researchers in the arts, and C4: The Composer/Conductor Collective. He holds BA and MBA degrees from Yale University and is based in Washington, DC.


A portrait of Malcolm Evans

Malcolm Evans | Producer

Malcolm Evans is a Program Associate at Fractured Atlas. He graduated from Trinity College (Hartford) in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater & Dance. He also carries a minor in Studio Arts and has studied with the London Dramatic Academy Program. When he’s not hard at work at Fractured Atlas, he is hard at work at home, writing screenplays. Follow him on social media @malxavi.


A portrait of Michael Feldman

Michael Feldman | Assistant Producer

Michael Feldman provides strategic and engagement advice to local and international arts organizations. Based in Washington, D.C., he also serves as a board member of theAlliance for a New Music Theatre, an arts partner of the Czech Embassy for theirMutual Inspirations Festival. Michael is a former cultural attaché and diplomat whose experience bridges the arts, development, and public policy worlds. Michael was a director at PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief; a director for Europe and Central Asia at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and professional staff of theBudget Committee of the U.S. Senateas part of a fellowship with theAmerican Political Science Association. At the US State Department, Michael served in Europe and Central Africa; he oversaw assistance for the Balkans; and he negotiated policy with theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD), the G-7/8 process, and the European Union. Michael graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Economics and speaks German, Czech, French and Italian.


A portrait of Katherine Gressel

Katherine Gressel | Assistant Producer

Katherine Gressel is an NYC-based freelance artist, curator and writer focused on site‐specific and community art. She was a 2011 Createquity Writing Fellow and now helps spearhead new public programming for the organization. She has also published and presented with Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network and Public Art Dialogue, among others. Katherine is currently the Contemporary Curator at Brooklyn’s Old Stone House, and has also curated for Brooklyn Historical Society, FIGMENT, No Longer Empty, and NARS Foundation. Katherine has painted community murals internationally and exhibited her own artwork throughout NYC, and currently runs an award-winning business, Event Painting by Katherine, creating live paintings of private events. Katherine has also held programming, grantwriting and teaching artist jobs and internships at such organizations as Smack Mellon, Arts to Grow, Creative Time and theBrooklyn Museum. Katherine earned her BA in art from Yale and MA in arts administration from Columbia.


A portrait of Jason Tseng

Jason Tseng | Engineer

Jason Tseng has devoted his professional and personal life to empowering ordinary people to make extraordinary change. Splitting his time between serving the arts and queer communities of color, he has worked for organizations like Theatre Communications Group, Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and currently serves on the steering committee and chair emeritus of GAPIMNY, the second oldest queer Asian community organization in the nation. Jason currently serves as the Community Engagement Specialist at Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit technology company that serves artists. Before moving to New York, he grew up outside Washington, D.C., in Maryland and graduated from the University of Richmond studying Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Theatre. In his spare time, Jason creates plays, stories, comics, and illustrations (usually about queer people and people of color). He now lives in Long Island City with his fiancé and their rabbit, Turnip Cake.

Other Suggested Reading

Why Don’t They Come?— Ian David Moss, Louise Geraghty, Clara Inés Schuhmacher, and Talia Gibas

Are The Arts The Answer to Our TV Obsession— Clara Inés Schuhmacher, Louise Geraghty, Fari Nzinga, and Ian David Moss

Createquity is a virtual think tank and online publication investigating the most important issues in the arts and what we, collectively and individually, can do about them.

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About Fractured Atlas

Fractured Atlas is a nonprofit organization that helps over 1.2 million artists of all stripes with the business aspects of their work.