May 7, 2010 (Sante Fe, N.M.)—Screen Actors Guild President’s National Task Force for American Indians, in conjunction with Robert Redford Enterprises and the state of New Mexico, presents one of its acclaimed Diversity Acting Workshops today in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The invitation-only event is part of Milagro at Los Luceros, whose mission is to create and expand training programs in film, arts, and the environment, concentrating on Hispanic, Native American, African American and other underrepresented voices. Both in the audience and on stage, up-and-coming talent will have the chance to learn from their assembled mentors in an appropriate setting, the Institute of American Indian Arts, which offers a growing new media arts program.
“Our mission with this program is to support underrepresented and underemployed performers, helping them gain equal employment access and opportunities in the entertainment industry,” says Ken Howard, SAG president. “Programs like our Diversity Acting Workshops do just that.”
"I am honored and thrilled that the SAG President's National Task Force for American Indians is furthering its mission to advance the interests of American Indian actors, and other underrepresented actors,” says DeLanna Studi, the task force’s chair. “This unprecedented partnership is one we hope to continue to grow and nurture for the benefit of our diverse membership in New Mexico and all across the country."
A number of high-profile entertainment professionals, including some of SAG’s own critically lauded talent, will help workshop participants refine their skills. The morning is focused on the business of acting and camera techniques, while the afternoon is dedicated to the cold reading process.
"I am very pleased to reunite with my good friend Robert Redford as we embark on this partnership with Milagro at Los Luceros to create and expand training programs for Hispanic, Native American and African American talent in the entertainment industry,” says SAG National Board Member Ed Harris, a task force member. “I look forward to participating because diverse yet underrepresented voices need to be heard and integrated into our American Scene."
Mentors and panelists in today’s event include actors Ed Harris (Apollo 13, A History of Violence, Pollock, The Hours), Anne Sward Hansen (As the World Turns), Irene Bedard (Smoke Signals, Crazy Horse, Pocahontas), Lora Cunningham (The Book of Eli), Gary Farmer (Smoke Signals, Skins), Jill Momoday Gray (Coyote Waits, Natural Born Killers), David House (In the Valley of Elah, Suspect Zero), Steven Michael Quezada (Breaking Bad, Love Ranch) and Kalani Queypo (Into the West); playwright/actor Bruce King; casting director Rene Haynes (Twilight Saga); and director/producer Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals, We Shall Remain, Skins).
“I commend the task force for taking the lead on this monumental partnership to expand employment opportunities for American Indian and Hispanic actors in New Mexico,” says Anne Sward Hansen, a SAG National Board member and task force member who also previously served as chairman of the American Indian College Fund.
“This workshop is a unique and valuable opportunity for New Mexican actors to learn from and work with some of the best in the business,” says Lisa Strout, director of the New Mexico Film Office. “It’s the first of many such programs with the goal of helping participants find work and success in the film industry.”
"We are very pleased that the Sundance New Mexico initiative, Milagro at Los Luceros and the Screen Actors Guild chose to hold its acting workshops at the Institute of American Indian Arts,” says Dr. Robert Martin, president of IAIA. “We have worked hard to expand our campus facilities in the last several years, and it is rewarding to see more organizations visit and utilize our beautiful campus. Considering we have a strong new media arts degree track, with many emerging film makers, it is a natural fit as one of Milagro at Los Luceros' objectives is to provide immersive job training in film for Native Americans."
Download the program and bios for SAG Diversity Acting Workshops with Milagro at Los Luceros.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation's largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.
About Milagro at Los Luceros
Milagro at Los Luceros is a collaboration that includes Robert Redford, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New Mexico Film Office, which is part of the state’s Economic Development Department. Its mission is to create and expand training programs in film, arts, and the environment, concentrating on Hispanic, Native American, African American and other underrepresented voices. The name Milagro at Los Luceros refers to The Milagro Beanfield War, the 1988 film directed by Mr. Redford and shot on location in Truchas, New Mexico.