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.
I have a political action update that I send out on a regular basis to a small group of grassroots activists, creatives, political organizers, and journalists. I aggregate information and offer hope for how to unite and fight. If you would like to join that list, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for visiting.
I started 2017 by launching a PSA I produced: #StandUpForUS by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning director Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?). In the video, a mix of faith leaders, activists, and artists call upon our elected officials to protect us and obstruct the next administration when it threatens to erode civil liberties. Please share the video and take a minute to sign the petition. Rosie Perez did a phenomenal interview with Don Lemon on CNN. She and Yasmeen Hassan of Equality Now spoke with Ted Johnson of Variety.
With Hannah Rosenzweig, I produced a “Prepare to March” video for the Women’s March on Washington. Soon after its release on January 13, it received more than 4 million views and was featured in the New York Times.
I am a consultant to Catherine Gund’s film Chavela, a documentary feature about the Mexican outlaw ranchera and lover of Frida Kahlo. The film premiered at the Berlinale in February 2017 and received rave reviews in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and more.
Also in February, I performed in a workshop at the Public Theater of a new play by Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed by Sarah Benson of Soho Rep.
On December 5 at the Slipper Room in Manhattan, I spoke at a Women’s Town Hall on “What Can I Do?” organized by Dee Poku of The WIE Network.
On November 17 at AOL HQ in Manhattan, I spoke at a MAKERS Town Hall in a discussion, moderated by Dee Poku of The WIE Network, with Sarah Sophie Flicker (Activist, producer, filmmaker, cultural organizer & movement builder) and De’Ara Balenger (Former Director of Engagement, Hillary For America). Other speakers included Marlo Thomas, Kathy Najimy, Reshma Saujani, and Diane von Furstenberg.
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. Within a month, we grew from 20 New York based filmmakers to 100+ around the country. Please check out the website and the amazing content, including:
#NotOkay by Liz Garbus, produced by Amy Hobby, Mikaela Beardsley and me
#Pantsuit Power by Mia Lidofsky and Celia Rowlson-Hall
No Regrets starring Helen Mirren, by Chiara Clemente and produced by Juliet Blake and me
Le Tigre #I’mWithHer by Laura Parnes, produced by me
The Speech by Michael Epstein and Sara Wolitzky
Girl, Just Vote starring Gabourey Sidibe, by Lisa Cortes and produced by Lisa and me
#ThisVotes4U by Jan Oxenberg and Lynn Holst
As the Communications and Special Projects Officer for the Rubell Family Collection from 2008-2017, I worked on nine annual exhibitions. The most recent ones include NO MAN’S LAND, of more than one hundred women artists, which received amazing press in Artforum, The Guardian, The Economist, New York, Artspace, and more. After its run at the museum in Miami, the exhibition is at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC until January 2017. On Sunday, November 13, 2016, I moderated 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 many videos for Humanity for Hillary, including one 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.
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. 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 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