Jen Chien

Managing Editor, Crosscurrents/KALW News

Jen Chien is Managing Editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she has had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.

Ways to Connect

Lena Gustafson, resized and recropped

East Bay illustrator, painter and printmaker Sanaa Khan makes work that spans mediums, but usually revolves around the humorous, fun and surreal.

Bay Area Beats: Bang Data

Aug 14, 2017
Odell Hussey / cropped and resized

When Deuce Eclipse and Juan Manuel Caipo joined forces in 2008, they wanted to make music that could do two things: provide information, and make beats that bang.

Photo by Bethanie Hines, courtesy of Youth Speaks

More than twenty years ago, writer and educator James Kass was in graduate school at San Francisco State University. He had a small idea: a writing workshop for city teens.

Susan Cervantes

40 years ago Susan Cervantes and her husband Luis founded Precita Eyes Muralists in San Francisco's Mission District.

Murray Bowles

 


Documentary filmmaker Corbett Redford grew up in Pinole in the 1980s and 1990s, where he says he felt “trapped in a monoculture of fast-food, identical homes and dead-end jobs.”

Lynne Fried

 

When Jesselito Bie co-founded Steamroller Dance Company over 20 years ago, he wanted to create performances to address the spread of HIV/AIDS. Since then, Steamroller has performed all over the Bay Area, addressing experiences of marginalized people through dance.

Agana Espinoza for RYSE Youth Center

Picture this: It’s the 1940s in North Richmond, California. The city is home to juke joints filled with the sounds of music. This is the setting for the new play Richmond Renaissance – written and performed by the youth at RYSE Center in Richmond.

Margo Moritz

Live music and dance go together like peanut butter and jelly. But what happens if you actually dance with the instruments making the music? What if that instrument is a double bass that’s almost as big as the dancers?

Matthew Beardsley / cropped and resized

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir brings together singers from many faiths and walks of life, united in their passion for black gospel and spiritual music. The choir is hosting its very first international interfaith gospel music conference

Kehinde Koyejo

 

When Oakland theater company Ragged Wing Ensemble first started making work in 2004, they were renting space show-by-show.  Eventually, they made themselves a permanent home in downtown Oakland, creating a shared arts space they called the Flight Deck. It’s now home to four resident theater companies, and hosts performances, classes, workshops, and a gallery.

Sukanya Chakrabarti

 

A new play in the South Bay tells the story of a remarkable woman you may not know about.

David Allen

 

January 28,1986 was a difficult day in American history. It was the day of the Challenger explosion, and was also right in the middle of the AIDS epidemic that swept the country. It’s over the course of that one day that Elaine Magree unfolds her story in the one-woman show Holding The Edge.

 

Dancer and choreographer Rulan Tangen believes that “to dance is to live, to live is to dance.” You can see this idea manifested in her dance company, Dancing Earth, which she founded in 2004 after surviving cancer.

 

Zach Pitt-Smith

 

Trombonist and music educator Angela Wellman grew up in one of the cradles of American music: Kansas City, Missouri. Raised in a musical family, surrounded by Kansas City’s rich jazz and blues legacy, it’s no surprise she’s grown up to be a powerful musician and transmitter of that legacy herself.  

Courtesy of Sefa Karatekin, Anastasia Kuba, and Serina Koester / cropped and resized

 

The dozen-plus members of Oakland-based Balkan brass band Inspector Gadje come from all over the world. They’re serious students of Roma, sometimes known as “Gypsy” music, but none of them are actually Roma.

 

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Karp

Cellist Tanya Tomkins and fortepianist Eric Zivian both have years of experience playing Classical and Romantic chamber music on historic instruments. 

David Wilson

 

The avant-garde theater troupe Thrillpeddlers has been shocking, titillating, and yes, thrilling audiences in the San Francisco theater the Hypnodrome since 2004.

Rob Peterson

Tunisia stands alone among the nations that went through Arab Spring revolutions, in successfully forging and sustaining a democratic government after toppling a dictator.

Violet Overn with Zach Romeo, resized and recropped

 

"F*ck U, in the Most Loving Way" is an exhibition presented by the Northern California Women's Caucus for Art that features 52 artists, from performance art to documentary film. It was curated by Tanya Augsburg, a feminist performance scholar and Associate Professor of Humanities and Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. 

Dear Donald Trump: "We may have lost the presidency, but we didn't get our asses kicked."

Jan 18, 2017
G. Billie Quijano

This Saturday, millions of people will take to the streets in cities across the country in concert with the Women’s March on Washington.

Photo courtesy of Robbie Sweeny

Iconic dance troupe Dance Brigade is celebrating its four decades of intersecting art and social issues with the show Gracias a La Vida - Love in a Bitter Time. The evening will touch on everything from immigration to freedom of the press, all with the company’s signature blend of fierce dancing, taiko drumming, and a live band.

Ryan Johnson, recropped and resized

Stand-up comedian Shanti Charan won Best Comedian of 2016 in the SF Bay Guardian’s annual Best of the Bay write-up, but she still feels like she’s working towards her best material.

Marissa Ortega-Welch

 

The city of Oakland is continuing to sort through the remains of the Ghost Ship, the warehouse in the Fruitvale District that burned down during a party on Friday night. Thirty-six people have now been confirmed dead, with about a third of the building yet to be searched. The site is now an active crime scene.

Scott La Rockwell

When muralist and painter Aaron De La Cruz arrived at art school at California College of Arts and Craft, he had trouble believing that he belonged there. Cruz grew up in Fresno tagging walls and not quite believing art could be an actual career.

Photo courtesy of Bethanie Hines, resized and recropped

Soccer, or futbol, as the rest of the world knows it can be a source of joy and release in a complicated world. Bay Area theater artist, writer and educator Marc Bamuthi Joseph knows the feeling.

The work of San Jose saxophonist and composer Hafez Modirzadeh is equal parts head and heart: He loves to delve into the theory of music as well as the mind-transcending direct experience of making it. His work encompasses jazz, new music, Persian classical and more. He also co-directs the Jazz and World Music program at San Francisco State University.

Choreographer Nicole Klaymoon uses movement to honor the human stories often overlooked by mainstream media.  Through her company, Embodiment Project, she tries to enact social change through street dance, live song, theater, and spoken word. 

Courtesy Southern Exposure

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is an artist, chef and educator. Her artwork often uses food to celebrate and investigate culture and identity, especially around people of color and immigrant communities.  

Courtesy of the Oakland Museum of California, resized and recropped

A new exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California is trying to address gentrification, one of the Bay Area’s biggest hot button issues, through a broad range of work from West Oakland residents—from school kids to aerosol muralists to documentary filmmakers—who share their own thoughts.

Courtesy of Stroy Moyd // Resized and cropped

Bay Area comedian Stroy Moyd was born in East Oakland, moved to Berkeley as a teen, and now performs all over the Bay, and beyond. The twenty-something has been doing stand-up since he was 16, inspired by his dad's sense of humor and way with words.

Pages