Southern Cultural Treasures
Year of Award
Grant or Fellowship
Southern Cultural Treasures
Art2Action, Inc. creates, develops, produces and presents original theatre, interdisciplinary performances, performative acts and progressive cultural organizing. We support women artists, artists of color, queer or trans-identified artists, and creative allies. We are dedicated to cultural equity and innovation, artistic quality and community impact.
Our mission is a proactive response to the systemic issues of inequity in the national arts field. We are inspired and driven by artists who have a unique voice, story, and aesthetic. We are committed to equitable processes, and thrive on artistic innovation. Projects we’re passionate about are urgent, relevant, progressive, and pose an enticing creative challenge or aesthetic proposal. “A2A Originals,” new works that we create and commission, intend to stimulate public dialogue, engage communities in creative expression, and motivate audiences to action.
Art2Action Inc. (A2A), founded in 2010 by Arab American theatre artist Andrea Assaf, has four main areas of programming: Original Works, Cultural Organizing, Presenting, and Training. Originally incorporated in the state of New York, our programs and operations have been based in Tampa, Florida since the year of our founding. We are dedicated to the creation and development of contemporary performance, by members of the A2A Artist Collective as well as Black/Indigenous/People of Color (BIPOC) artists, women and LGBTQ2+ artists whom we support or commission.
Whether developing new work, collaborating with local community partners, acting as a presenter in Tampa, or touring nationally, community-based process and meaningful engagement with diverse constituencies is central to all of our residencies, productions and creative projects. Our process includes participatory arts workshops, interactive events, and artistic co-creations that bring professional artists, students, and community members together, on and off stage. With our partners, we connect people to resources in their communities, and ways to take action on the issues explored in our projects and performances.
As a mission-driven, artist-led organization, we are intentionally designed to increase capacity, extend our reach, and increase our impact through multi-year partnerships with local community partners, national networks, service providers, organizers and activists.
Leadership - Andrea Assaf
Andrea Assaf is a writer, director, performer, and cultural organizer. She is the founding Artistic and Executive Director of Art2Action Inc., and a Co-Director of the National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation (with Pangea World Theater). Andrea has served as a Trainer with Equity Quotient (EQ), Artist-in-Residence at the University of South Florida (USF) School of Theatre and Dance where she created a course on Community-based Arts Practice, and Master Teacher for YoungArts (Writing/ Performance, 2018-2020). Her seminal work, Eleven Reflections on September, has toured since 2011 to venues such as The Carver Community Cultural Center, the National Asian American Theatre Festival at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF, produced by CAATA), La MaMa and The Apollo, The Kennedy Center, the Arab American National Museum, and internationally. Other original works include Outside the Circle (co-written with Samuel Valdez), Fronteras Desviadas/Deviant Borders co-created with Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro, and numerous community devised works with veterans, refugees, youth and more. Directing credits include: Speed Killed My Cousin by Linda Parris-Bailey (The Carpetbag Theater), 9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo (USF Theatre and virtually in 2020), breaking letter(s) by Suhier Hammad (New WORLD Theater), and many more. Awards and recognitions include: 2021 Silk Road Film Awards Cannes (Director, Best Experimental Feature), 2020 Pushcart Prize Nomination, 2019 NEFA National Theatre Project, 2019 & 2011 NPN Creation Fund Commissions, 2017 Finalist for the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism (Split This Rock), 2010 Princess Grace Award/Gant Gaither Theater Award for Directing, and more. Andrea has a master’s degree in Performance Studies and a BFA in Acting, both from New York University (NYU). She serves on the Board of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA), Alternate ROOTS, and is a founding Steering Committee member of the Middle Eastern/North African Theatre-Makers Alliance (MENATMA).
Southern Cultural Treasures is a program of South Arts and made possible with support from the Ford Foundation.