The 8th Annual Interdisciplinary Writers Lab (IWL) 2011
A program of Kearny Street Workshop, Intersection for the Arts and AMATE: Women Painting Stories

Sat, Jan 1 – Fri, Feb 18 | $425
A unique program with three of SF’s community-based interdisciplinary arts organizations designed to thoroughly explore and develop your writing. Accepted applicants will participate in eight workshops led by accomplished writers and artists, engage in and be inspired by other artistic genres, perform their work at a public event, be published in online anthology, and have the opportunity to develop a communal network of writing peers.


SF-based arts organizations, Kearny Street Workshop, Intersection for the Arts and Amate: Women Painting Stories are seeking applications for, the 8th annual Interdisciplinary Writers Lab (IWL), a literary program for emerging writers, scheduled to take place April 3 – May 22, 2011.  Twelve students will be selected to participate in the literary program which will involve a series of workshops, a public reading, and an online anthology publication. IWL workshops will be led by Brenda Wong Aoki, Jaime Cortez, Cheryl Dunye and Erika Lopez.

The IWL will conclude with a public reading in early July at Intersection 5M The goals of the IWL program include the following:
1) to provide twelve local emerging writers/artists with the opportunity to challenge, develop, and expand their practice by working with established writers in a variety of genres;

2) to contribute to the development of new literary forms and language that incorporate multiple forms of creative expression;

3) to provide emerging artists with the opportunity to create community by connecting and working with each other and with established writers in the literary world;

4) to provide the larger community with an opportunity to engage with new work and new explorations of form and language;

5) to publish an online anthology that highlights work by exciting new writers committed to exploring new forms and voices.


Brenda Wong Aoki Acclaimed as one of America’s foremost soloists, performing in such venues as the Kennedy Center, New Victory Theater on Broadway, Hong Kong Performing Arts Center, the Adelaide Festival in Australia, the Esplanade in Singapore, the Graz Festival Austria and the Apollo. Of Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and Scottish descent, Aoki’s bloodlines inspire her work, which include “Obake: Tales of Spirits Past and Present,” “Mermaid Meat,” “Tales of the Pacific Rim,” “Skin Privilege,” “Kuan Yin: Our Lady of Compassion,” and “Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend.” Twice a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, she has received four Dramalogue Awards for her original work, and the Critics’ Circle Award. Her two CDs, “The Queen’s Garden” (1999) and “Tales of the Pacific Rim” (1990), won INDIE awards for Best Spoken Word Album of the Year.

Jaime Cortez’s writing has appeared in over a dozen anthologies. He edited, among others, Virgins, Guerrillas & Locas, and the comix anthology Turnover. His multidisciplinary visual art encompasses drawing, sculpture, photography, and hybrid practices. His art has been shown at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum, Oakland Museum, Southern Exposure, The Lab, Intersection for the Arts, and Galeria de la Raza. Jaime has worked and volunteered in the AIDS sector since 1990. He was the education coordinator for the 1996 display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Washington DC. He subsequently served as Program Manager at Galería De La Raza and Arts and Culture Fellow at The San Francisco Foundation.

Cheryl Dunye is a native of Liberia, and holds an MFA from Rutgers University. Her fourth feature film, THE OWLS is presently making the rounds and national and international film festivals this year. Her third feature film, Miramax’s MY BABY’S DADDY, was a box office success. Her second feature, HBO Films STRANGER INSIDE, garnered her an Independent Spirit award nomination for best director. Dunye’s debut film, THE WATERMELON WOMAN, was awarded the Teddy Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Her other works have premiered at film festivals and museums worldwide. Dunye has received numerous awards and honors for her work. She is based in Los Angeles and is an Associate Professor of Diversity Studies and Film at California College of the Arts. Presently Dunye is editing her most recent production, MOMMY IS COMING.

Erika Lopez put her life’s adventures into the first of her semi-autobiographical trilogy, Flaming Iguanas: An All-Girl Road Novel Thing, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 1997. She published many of her cartoons, which were assembled into a book called, Lap Dancing for Mommy: Tender Stories of Disgust, Blame, and Inspiration. In 1998, Erika published They Call Me Mad Dog, and in 2001 released, Hoochie Mamma: The Other White Meat. Erika also wrote
the performance piece “Nothing Left but the Smell: A Republican on Welfare” which she performed in San Francisco, New York, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, and Oslo. Most recently she published The Girl Must Die: A Monster Girl Memoir in 2010.

We are looking for local (SF Bay Area) emerging writers and multidisciplinary artists who wish to develop and expand their practice and skills by experimenting with new forms and taking risks in creative expression. Selected participants will participate in eight workshop sessions of three hours duration each (all workshop sessions will take place on Saturday mornings) and will have the opportunity to attend and participate in a public event at Intersection. Writers need not be published, but must demonstrate a consistent pursuit of the arts and a deep interest in participating in an experimental writing program.

Please submit the following:

1. An IWL 2011 application form;

2. Writing sample, 12 point & double-spaced, not to exceed 7 pages;

3. A description of why you want to enroll in the IWL program, not to exceed 500 words.

4. A submission fee of $10 (check or money order made out to Intersection for the Arts). Please note: submission fees are used to cover artist fees, the online publication, and partial and full scholarships. Submission fees may be waived on as-need basis, and per applicant request. To request a submission fee waiver, please contact KSW at


The tuition for accepted IWL participants is $425, (two full or four partial scholarships are available). Tuition levels will be determined on a case-by-case basis, based on individual participant needs. If you wish to be considered for a partial or full scholarship, please submit an additional description of your circumstances and why you believe you deserve a scholarship.

Please submit all materials and application fee to:

Intersection for the Arts
Attention: IWL 2009
446 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

For more information, please contact:

Ellen Oh, Executive Director
Kearny Street Workshop

Rebeka Rodriguez, Program Director
Intersection for the Arts
415.626.2787 ext108

Leticia Hernandez, Director
AMATE: Women Painting Stories

Jaime Cortez

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