Van Lier Fellowship
The Van Lier Fellowship program aims to advance the careers and creative practice of Asian American artists living in New York City. This program supports early-career arts practitioners whose work shows outstanding promise in the fields of theater, music, and visual art to further develop their talent and to help establish them in the professional arts community.
Created by the will of Sally Van Lier, the New York Community Trust carries out Edward and Sally Van Lier’s legacy of arts appreciation by supporting arts groups and training programs to provide education, training, or other support to young artists.
The fellow receives a cash stipend of $6,000 and an eight-month fellowship tailored to respond to the unique needs of their practice. The fellowship includes artistic mentorship with an established or mid-career professional, leadership coaching, and support to help them pursue their artistic career and develop new work.
Please note that A4’s Van Lier Fellowship is on pause for 2023.
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Connor Sen Warnick is a Chinese-American filmmaker, writer, and researcher with an extensive background in fine arts and avant-garde cinema. Employing a rigorous formal and investigative approach to narrative fiction filmmaking, Warnick’s work probes questions of personal identity, mysteries of the everyday, and the codes that people live by. His recent films, which include Late, by any Clock (2021) and The Colorless Creek (2019), have screened at Anthology Film Archives, The Tank, and Syndicated Theater.
A lifelong New Yorker, Warnick received his B.A. in both Visual Art and Film Studies from Columbia University in 2018. He is currently based in Chinatown, Manhattan. With the support of the Van Lier Fellowship, he plans to realize his first feature-length narrative film: Characters Disappearing. Set in 1971 amidst the origins of the Asian-American movement, Characters Disappearing is a project dedicated to the multiplicity of experiences and communities interacting within the complicated history of Asian-Americans in New York, much of which has been overlooked or forgotten as time has passed, but that can now reemerge with renewed urgency in the present day.
Lesley Mok is a drummer, composer, and improviser based in Brooklyn, NY. Interested in the ways social conditions shape our beings, Lesley’s work focuses on transposing, augmenting, and overacting humanness to explore ideas about normalcy, alienness, and privilege. She explores this by writing in a way that subverts traditional instrumental roles, often utilizing extreme ranges and unconventional timbres, while creating a context that allows for simultaneously different musical perspectives. By maintaining an agile and improvisatory approach, Lesley creates fantastical and evocative sound worlds through the use of dissonance.
Collaborating with artists such as Jen Shyu, Cory Smythe, and Tomeka Reid, Lesley has honed a unique voice as a drummer and percussionist by employing a dynamic range of timbres and orchestrations. She is deeply inspired by the Cuban rumba tradition, often playing in sparse counterpoint to others in an ensemble and choosing to highlight choice moments in the music.
Lesley’s work has been recognized by many performing arts ensembles and organizations. She is the winner of the 2021 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Composer Award and performs her work in her nine-piece improvising chamber ensemble, The Living Collection. She is an alumnus of Mutual Mentorship for Musicians, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, and the Banff Program for Jazz & Creative Music.
Lesley holds a BA and MA in Contemporary Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Miranda Cornell is a Japanese-American theater director, producer, and educator born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. She strives for an American Theater that is radically inclusive, and her mission as a theater maker is to tell stories that are unabashedly sincere, irrevocably alive, and deeply collaborative. Select directing credits include Head and Heart, a concert of songs written and performed by artists under the age of 25 for New York Musical Festival; Revolt. She said. Revolt again. (Vassar College); the North American premiere of Breach Theatre’s It’s True, It’s True, It’s True (Idlewild Theatre Ensemble); Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (The Philaletheis Society); #Blessed, or How to Be Saved and Know It at the New York International Fringe Festival; We Go Together, Hamlet & Ophelia, Very Bad Words, and The Road Trip (Semicolon Theatre Company). Assistant directing credits include McCarter Theatre Center, the Experimental Theater of Vassar College, New York Stage and Film, and The TEAM.
She has worked with Theatre For A New Audience, the New Victory Theater, Theatre Communications Group, and is currently a 2019/2020 Directing & Producing Apprentice at McCarter Theatre Center. Miranda is a graduate of Vassar College where she double majored in Drama and Education, was awarded the Molly Thacher Kazan Prize for directing, and received top honors on her Education thesis about culturally reflexive, socially engaged theater curriculum for the adolescent classroom. She is a proud alum of SITI Company’s Summer Training Institute and NYSAF/Powerhouse Theater Training Program.