Happy New Year! — AAPEX

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

It was a year ago yesterday that I sat down and sent out the initial email establishing the African American Playwrights Exchange. They say that what you do on New Year's Day you will do for the rest of the year, and in this case that has certainly been true. By January 7, 2007 I had already been contacted by 30 writers, By the end of February that number was up to 70 and today it is over 150, including not only playwrights but also producers, directors, actors,dramaturgs and film makers.

AAPEX has presented readings of 11 scripts in 5 cities (Cincinnati, Atlanta, Nashville, Washington DC and New York City) since June 23, 2007 and generated over $3,000.00 in donations and sales through program ads. Special thanks to all of the amazing directors and actors who have been there for us for these projects.

We have a brilliant web presence in the AAPEX blog, which was designed and is administered by D.C. Copeland in Miami.

We have non-profit status in New York thanks to Bob Ost and his incredible organization, Theater Resources Unlimited.

There is an archive for AAPEX writers at Ohio State University thanks to Alan Woods, which so far only a handful of writers have taken advantage of, but which I hope all will keep in mind as we move into the new year. (Note - when archiving your scripts you might also consider including your copyright information. That way, should you ever loose track of those pesky little documents, they will be on file - something which could prove invaluable not only to you but to the heirs of your literary estate).

Thanks to the suggestion of NYC playwright/producer Yvette Heyliger, we are becoming a member organization of The Harlem Arts Alliance (http://www.harlemaa.org/)

Two young ladies in Atlanta - Tangela Harris and Sherryland Neal - will present an evening of 5 10 minute plays on January 18th, including pieces by three AAPEX writers - Ben Marshall, Fernando Manon and Benard Cummings.

I can't even begin to list the individuals to whom special gratitude is due for fear of leaving someone out, but the degree to which folks have stepped forward to contribute to the growth and energy of this network is truly astounding and indicative of the need for an organization dedicated to the work of African American playwrights and plays about the African American experience at this moment in history, one from which I hope all will prosper and benefit in 2008.

So Happy New Year to everyone.

Onward and upward in 2008.


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