Welcome to my website. Tanya Turns Up is a nickname I got in college. I work in film, theater, literature, visual arts, and politics; and am an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer. To see a list of some of the public figures, organizations, and companies with whom I’ve collaborated over the past twenty years, please visit this link. Please also 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.
In October 2017, I will be at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as the co-director with Carrie Mae Weems of her show Grace Notes: Reflections for Now. A meditation on black lives lost and race in America, Grace Notes previously played at Yale Repertory Theater in September 2016.
In July, I am in Portland, Oregon, working with playwright Kate Attwell on Test Match at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. There will be a staged reading on Saturday, July 29.
I helped produce a video for MoveOn and Humanity for Progress featuring NY Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman on the importance of local elections.
On June 20 at The Whitney Museum, I was in the Summer Solstice installment of Sibyl Kempson’s 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens.
On May 18, I received The Memo’s first annual Women of Resilience Award, along with Miko Branch and Natalie Madeira Cofield. Founded by Minda Harts, the award honors women of color who are making a difference in their world and communities.
Modern Hero TV did an episode about me and my activism on behalf of women’s health and fertility awareness.
On March 20, I spoke at a panel on courage to celebrate the launch of Mara Hoffman’s project “Women’s Work.” You can watch my 5-minute speech here. “Women’s Work” is a series of portraits by Amber Mahoney of 25 #RadicalWomen in Mara’s designs. Please check out the site and read about it in Vogue.
In January 2017 I produced a PSA: #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 administration when it threatens to erode civil liberties. 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 the official “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.
With Art Not War, I produced a video for the Center for Health and Gender Equity about the harmful impact of the Global Gag Rule on women around the world. Featured in the PSA are Halsey, who recently was the first female recording artist to have a number 1 record this year, and Hauwa Shekarau, the Nigerian activist who works with Ipas, a global women’s reproductive healthcare NGO. We received great press in Teen Vogue, HuffPost, Refinery29 and more. Please share the video from this Facebook link.
In addition, we worked with the New York Civil Liberties Union on a PSA narrated by Jeffrey Wright to raise support for the Justice Equality Act.
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. The Guardian called it “unmissable” and “Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.” Chavela will play at Film Forum in October 2017.
In February, I performed in a workshop at the Public Theater of a new play about race and surveillance 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.
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. 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.
Photo by Thomas Dozol