New American Festival to Tour U.S., Celebrating Immigrants

An exciting new festival celebrating immigrants and their extensive endowments to American culture is slated to begin in New York City next month. The first annual New American Festival is scheduled to run the weekend of September 14th and 15th at NeueHouse, an event space in the heart of Manhattan. The festival is being sponsored by New American Economy, a bipartisan research and advocacy organization aimed at using research to shape immigration policy and enlighten communities about the contributions of their immigrant neighbors.

The festival will feature several discussion panels spearheaded by notable immigrants in the entertainment industry, including television personality and author Padma Lakshmi, who was born in India, and comedian Hasan Minhaj, who is a first generation IndianAmerican. Attendees can also enjoy a Comedy Central sponsored stand up hour starring Ronny Chieng, an Australian-based Malaysian comedian and actor who was raised in New Hampshire. IndianAmerican comedian, Aparna Nancherla, is also scheduled to perform. The event will have an installation that lets festival goers tell jokes to artificial intelligence, which will allow for an interactive experience that questions the concept of humor and how it can be used to start a dialogue and widen our perspectives.

The New American Festival will depart for other major U.S. cities in the fall after its New York City debut, and it is the hope of New American Economy’s director of content strategy, Katherine Steinberg, that the festival will spark conversations all over the country about the importance of immigrants in the arts and entertainment sphere. “Immigrants have revolutionized cuisine and altered our perceptions through convention-breaking comedy, music, literature, and performance,” she noted in a recent interview with Hollywood Reporter. “The New American Festival highlights how our cultural diversity is our national strength along across each of these fields.”

[See Hasan Minhaj, Padma Lakshmi and More to Headline Inaugural New American Festival in New York by Alexandra Del Rosario, The Hollywood Reporter, 15.Aug.2019.]


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