Axis 1: Creating Peace

As a peacemaking organization, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat addresses direct violence such as war, gendered violence, political trauma and explores how theater artists can do anti-oppression work.

According to the 2021 Global Peace Index, the US experienced over 32 million instances of violence and in New York City alone, the NYPD reported in 2022 that our city has experienced a 41% increase in overall major crimes and 243% increase in hate-crime reports. The United States level of peacefulness is now lower than it’s ever been since 2008.

Whiteness on Fire (2020-Present)

Whiteness on Fire: Where Are We Now?”

Thursday, September 21st, 2023, 7-8:30pm EST

Celebrating the UN International Day of Peace, KPB launches its inaugural 2023-2024 season with a virtual gathering.

When abolishing racialized, gendered, and homophobic violence – where are we now?


Whiteness on Fire – Where Are We Now?” is a continuation of KPB’s virtual series, launched September 2020 to address white supremacy. Join us as we revisit these conversations to examine what has changed since 2021 and how we can continue to collectively build towards peace.

This event will be facilitated by Ishmael Thaahir and Joe Tolbert (Producing Director and Board Member, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat) and feature guest speakers Mohamed Q. Amin (Founder & Executive Director, Caribbean Equality Project), Joo-Hyun Kang (Former Executive Director, Communities United for Police Reform), Kimberly Powell (Activist & Educator, Asians Fighting Injustice) and Rohan Zhou-Lee (Founder, The Blasian March).

Read Artistic Director Kyoung H. Park’s blog post on “Whiteness on Fire.”

“Dismantling the Far Right and White Supremacy: What Hasn’t Worked?”

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022, 7-8:30pm EST

What is white supremacy and how are artists dismantling its narrative structures embedded in American culture? How do we activate our community to dismantle the power structures of white supremacy? How do we gather to learn what’s working and what’s not?

PeoplesHub invites you to an online discussion with Hope Ghazala and Joe Tolbert (PeoplesHub), Kyoung H. Park (NERO playwright/director) and Jess Applebaum (NERO Dramaturg) followed by a free screening of our new work-in-progress NERO.

Whiteness on Fire: Abolish the Empire

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 7-9p

After witnessing the recent brutality wrought by US Imperialism in Afghanistan and its ongoing effects internationally and at home, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat continues its work with GAPIMNY – Empowering Queer and Trans APIs, Communities United for Police Reform, The Blasian March and The Exponential Festival to host “Whiteness on Fire: Abolish the Empire” on the UN International Day of Peace.

Whiteness on Fire: Abolish the Empire” will feature a sneak peak of Kyoung’s Pacific Beat’s new work-in-progress, NERO, and a long-table conversation to ask:

Where and how do we see militarization at play within our communities? How do we activate our communities to demilitarize America and defund the police? What storytelling is necessary to advance abolitionist work in our community?

This event features Eric Lockley (Producing Artistic Leader, The Movement Theatre Company), Joo-Hyung Kang (Director of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and Executive Director of CPR Action (CPR’s sibling c4 political organization)), and Jason Wu (Co-Chair, GAPIMNY-Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders).

Whiteness on Fire: Building Together”

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Following the Atlanta massacre, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat continues its work with GAPIMNY – Empowering Queer and Trans APIs to host a virtual long-table facilitated by Conrhonda E. Baker (Board Member, Sole Defined) and guest speakers Joyce Adewumi (Founder and President, NYC Multicultural Festival), Carolina Dỗ (Asians4Abolition, The Song Collective), Rohan Zhou-Lee (Founder, Blasian March) and Ishmael Thaahir (Assistant Director, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat NERO).

In light of ongoing anti-Black and anti-Asian violence, how can we manifest freedom and liberation in the face of white supremacy?

KPB’s events are free, online and available to community members of our company and partner organizations. We will center the voices of women of color and our Black Allies and welcome white-identified allies to attend to learn, listen and provide support.

Resources

Whiteness on Fire: Where Are We Now?”

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, in partnership with GAPIMNY — Empowering Queer and Trans APIs — invites our community members to a sneak peak of NERO and a fishbowl conversation called “Whiteness on Fire: Where Are We Now?” facilitated by Joe Tolbert, Jr.

NERO is a “state of the nation” tragicomedy that invites Black, Indigenous and People of Color to examine how white male supremacy is the root of American Imperialism and how communities of color can take action through grass-roots collective actions to dismantle white supremacist ideology.

Whiteness on Fire: A Cultural Reconstruction”

Monday, October 5, 2020

BIPOC members of our community and our white allies are invited to join us online for an evening of art and social convening. This program features NERO’s “Suck My Violin,” an original music video produced virtually during this pandemic, followed by an in depth conversation that shifts our current culture forward.

Another Healing (2020-2022)

Centering New Work by the Global Majority, APAP Conference, Jan. 15, 2022

Another Healing
August 3, 2020 – October 6, 2021

With support of an APAP/AMEX Innovation grant, KPB facilitated nine, iterative gatherings for BIPOC members of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals Leadership Fellows program to look into APAP’s history – its history of centering whiteness in both its arts, institutions, audiences and the history of BIPOC artists and intercultural collaborations that have existed within APAP. 

Another Healing was facilitated by Kyoung H. Park and PennyMaria Jackson, with support from Joe Tolbert and Ishmael Thaahir. Results were shared at the 2022 APAP Conference through a session titled “Centering New Work by the Global Majority” produced in partnership between APAP’s Leadership Fellows program and Creative & Independent Producer Alliance (CIPA).

How Artists and Presenters do Anti-Oppression Work
Jan. 13, 2020, APAP Conference

What does it mean to do anti-oppression work? How do we decolonize oppressive structures to promote racial equity, liberation and peace?

This practical workshop for artists, presenters, and the curious provides anti-oppression tools and strategies, focusing on the work and experiences of artists and arts organizers of color. Our first session was led by Kyoung H. Park and featured guest speakers Beatrice Thomas (Principal Consultant, Authentic Arts and Media), Joe Tolbert Jr. (Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, The Carpetbag Theatre / Founder and Lead Cultural Strategist, Art at the Intersections), Betsy Theobald Richards (Director of Cultural Strategies, The Opportunity Agenda), and was facilitated by Daniel Lim (Founder, Principal of Daniel Lim Consulting).

Click here to read “How Artists and Presenters Do Anti-Oppression Work, Part 1” and “Part 2” on Americans for the Arts.

Creating Peace (2010-2016)

CREATING PEACE is an innovative project that combines deep and meaningful, in person engagement with diverse communities and the amplifying power of social media to foster peace.

“Kyoung Park recognizes that we will not live in a culture of peace until more leaders understand the necessity of creating dialogues within communities, within the plurality of society which requires us to find commonalities and a greater understanding of what peace means in America.”WOVEN

Previous Engagements and Related Activities:

“Art for Change: A Panel Discussion,” Asian-American Arts Alliance, New York, NY. Dec. 8, 2016

“Politics, Revolution, and Art: A Theatrical Symposium,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Global Theater Initiative in association with the Middle East Institute’s Arts and Cultural Program, Washington DC. Nov. 5, 2016

Literature and Social Justice, Ewha Womens University, Seoul, South Korea. Oct. 2016.

“Creating Peace Through Art,” Korea Arts Council – Artist House, Seoul, South Korea. Oct. 21, 2016

“Creating Peace Through Art,” Hot Asian Everything: A Seismic Exhibition, Multnomah County Library, Portland. Oct. 2, 2016

“Healing Political Trauma,” moderated by Sarah Rose Leonard. University Settlement, Jan. 15, 2015.

“Experimental Peace Project,” Target Margin Theater’s Institute for Theater-Making. Hollaback! Headquarters. Brooklyn, NY. Aug.-Sept. 2014

“On the Nature of Political Revolutions,” moderated by Randy Gener, with TALA Creative Team. HERE Arts Center, Jul. 29, 2012

“North Korea: WTF,” Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Feb. 26, 2011, New York City

“North Korea: WTF,” moderated by Jesse Longman with Dr. Jacqueline Pak (Cornell Univ. East. Asian Studies Fellow) and Potri Ranka Manis (Founder and Artistic Director of Kinding Sindaw). Peter Jay Sharp @ 42nd Street, Feb. 26, 2011