NEW YORK, December 2005 - Asia Society has released the report Artistic Production & Cultural Identity in U.S. Immigrant/Diasporic Communities, the result of a research project commissioned by its Cultural Programs and Performing Arts Department and made possible by a grant from The Ford Foundation.
Asia Society and its team of collaborators undertook this project to investigate evolving trends in art making and arts presenting within communities that historically have not been well understood or acknowledged in the nonprofit arts sector. Commissioning circumscribed field research on a small but diverse set of artistic forms and practices, Asia Society sought to uncover, and to initiate a broader dialogue on, the creative and cultural realities of artists in communities that are often considered on the margins of the cultural mainstream in the United States.
The report's eight case studies and two articles dealing with cross-cutting issues bring to light such key—and complex—concepts as tradition, community, innovation, identity, and cultural transmission, and how they are understood and used within specific communities. They also examined how artistic activities are supported and sustained, who inside and outside of specific communities facilitates this, and how networks are built that inform the ongoing development of these artistic practices in the United States.
The Introduction to the report concludes: "America’s culture has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. This is a reality that needs to be reflected in our definition of what constitutes 'American art.' It is a challenge that reminds us yet again that our culture is dynamic, complex and multi-faceted; and that we have the responsibility of continually looking at it anew and at who we are in this evolving world we live in."