Welcome to my website. Tanya Turns Up is a nickname I got in college. I work in film, theater, and visual arts; and am an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer. Please check out the different sections of this site to see some of my projects as a writer, actor, producer, and activist. You can order my book The Big Lie, from Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Amazon. Thank you for visiting.
A film I produced with Catherine Gund, Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Arts & Culture Documentary! Congrats to all at Streb, Aubin Pictures, and our wonderful team!
Since 2008, I have worked with visual artist Carrie Mae Weems on numerous projects, including her latest, Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which I co-directed at Yale Repertory Theater on September 9 and 10, 2016.
In August 2016, I started the initiative Filmmakers for Hillary, a coalition of creatives to generate and distribute shareable content to get out the vote and help elect Hillary Clinton. In less than a month, we grew from 20 New York based filmmakers to 100+ around the country and even abroad. The website is live, and we will formally announce Filmmakers for Hillary on October 18. Some of our members contributed to a #PantsuitPower Dance Mob video by Mia Lidofsky and Celia Rowlson-Hall that premiered on October 4 and within 48 hours had more than 2 million views, and coverage in i-D, The Guardian, Vogue, and more.
For the past eight years, I have been the Communications and Special Projects Officer for the Rubell Family Collection. NO MAN’S LAND, its latest exhibition of more than one hundred women artists, received amazing press in Artforum, The Guardian, The Economist, New York, Artspace, and more. I’m thrilled to report that it opened on September 30, 2016 and will be up until January 2017 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. On Sunday, November 13, I am moderating a panel on HOW CAN THE ARTS ADVANCE BODY POLITICS? with Katie Cappiello, writer and director of SLUT: The Play and Now That We’re Men; Aishah Shahidah Simmons, creator of the award-winning feature-length film NO! The Rape Documentary (2006); Emma Sulkowicz, artist/activist, recipient of National Organization for Women’s 2016 Woman of Courage Award.
With ART NOT WAR, I produced a video for Humanity for Hillary that features legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov denouncing Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton. Within less than 24 hours of its release on August 17, 2016, the video had been viewed more than 1 million times, and received coverage in CNN, Reuters, Politico, Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, Town & Country, and more. On July 25, we released our first video #ThisIsWhatMyRevolutionLooksLike, which received tremendous press including in Refinery29, CNN, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, The Hill, and Vice.
While at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA to work on the Emily’s List project Women Can Stop Trump and Humanity for Hillary, I also wrote daily dispatches for The Stranger and a post-DNC roundup for the Huffington Post.
“The Sky Should Be The Limit: Post-DNC Reflections”
“Don’t Boo. Vote: A Night Out at the DNC”
“Making the Case for a Qualified Human”
“All Democrats Must Galvanize Now”
I wrote an essay for CREATIVZ, a new project exploring how artists in the United States live and work and what they need to sustain and strengthen their careers. The research is a partnership of the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), with additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. Please check it out and leave a comment.
I’m working on two books, It Happened on Mulberry Street: Stories from a Manhattan Psychic and The Inevitable Tunnel: From Crisis to Awakening. In Confessions, the memoir of renowned psychic Frank Andrews tells the story of New York over the past many decades as well as the history and meaning of the Tarot. Andrews was recently featured in VICE. With The Inevitable Tunnel, I reframe the midlife crisis for our times and aggregate ideas for how better to navigate those periods of reckoning most of us go through.
GAYS AGAINST GUNS (GAG) was formed in response to the Orlando massacre at Pulse to advocate for more sensible gun control. Its first action at the Pride March in New York to commemorate the 49 lives lost in Orlando received enormous coverage, including on the front page of The New York Times and BBC’s Week in Pictures. For its first three months, I chaired the filmmaking team, called GAGreel, which includes Chris Arruda, Sandi DuBowski, Eric Rockey, Paul Rowley, and David Thorpe. We’ve completed many videos, which you can check out on the YouTube channel.
In June, I was in shows by Sibyl Kempson and Brooke O’Harra. Brooke’s show, I’m Bleeding All Over the Place: A Living History Tour, was up June 16-26 at La MaMa. We did a Q&A for the Huffington Post. “LOVE LIFE BY SIBYL KEMPSON” was at the Whitney Museum on June 20 (Summer Solstice), as part of 7 Daughters’ 3-year cycle, 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens.
From March 10-12 and 17-19, I was performing at The Kitchen in ELIJAH GREEN, written and directed by Andrew Ondrejcak. We had a sold-out run and received a wonderful review by Helen Shaw in TimeOut. The costumes, created in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initative and Alba Clemente, were featured in Vogue Italia and PAPER. In addition, American Theatre Wing produced a video about our process. ELIJAH GREEN was funded in part by the MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a National Theater Project grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Artsy gave an exclusive launch to ENCAMPMENT, a short film I produced by Chiara Clemente about her father Francesco Clemente’s stunning exhibition at MASS MoCA. You can see the first ever published conversation between father and daughter as well as the film here.
Photo by Thomas Dozol