Elise Solbergis a musician and performer based in Los Angeles. She got her start at four years old playing piano, which took her to the Yamaha Advanced Piano Academy in Tokyo. Upon moving to America, she took classical lessons from individual teachers, eventually receiving admittance to theUniversity of Southern California in the Thornton School of Music. After graduating, Solberg received an offer to perform alongside Chloe x Halle on MTV! Now, her resume includes credits such as playing at Coachella with Doechii, the Oscars for Beyoncé, the Veterans History Project for the Library of Congress, and NPR’sTiny Desk Concert. You can also catch her flute solo in Dannylux’s new album, “DLUX” with a flute solo – and now that she’s signed with Warner Chappell and Sir Nolan, you can expect to hear more soon! When she’s not creating, Solberg is the founder and executive director of Turn Up Her Mic, a nonprofit to empower women in live music in a male-dominated field. Her advice to young artists? “Whatever career you choose in the arts, it’s important to always remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint.”Read on to learn more aboutElise Solbergand what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
The Cre8sian Project Scholarships, through Positively Arts (a 501c3 non profit) and in partnership with “In Her Purpose,” are open to female and female identifying high school and middle school students attending public, private, or home school with an interest in the arts, have some asian heritage, and live in Clark County, or attend a university within Clark County and pursuing a degree in Fine Arts. Students who are involved in any aspect of the arts, not just performance, are encouraged to apply. This can include writers, photographers, filmmakers, technical stage crew (carpentry, props, lighting, automation, audio, set design, stage managers), artists, graphic designers, directors, acrobats, singers, dancers, musicians, composers, arrangers, etc.
Claire Chan is a violinist based in NYC. She also learned to play the viola at a summer music camp run by Joseph Fuchs. During audition preparation for her Master’s, she unknowingly was considered for a regional orchestra and received her first paid gig in New York! After attending The Juilliard School for her Master’s and Doctorate with her teacher, Joseph Fuchs, she went on to collaborate with the Harlem Chamber Players Quartet and play with Broadway’s revival ofSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Chan attended Brown, where she studied pre-med and majored in Neuroscience as an undergraduate, and has experience as a phlebotomist! Her advice to young artists? “Play for as many people as you can; go to them if they can’t come to you.” Read on to learn more about Claire Chan and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Erin Quill is a multidisciplinary artist with a love for shark documentaries. In another life, she might have been a marine biologist, but her path led her towards singing in middle school and pushed her to attend Carnegie Mellon for her BFA. Now, her resume boasts credits such asAvenue Q(original Broadway cast),Flower Drum Song(50th anniversary),Dave(an original musical), Netflix’sSack Lunch Bunchwith John Mulaney, and an episode ofLaw and Order SVU. She’s also contributed to the booksRISE(“a pop-culture history of Asian America from the 90s to now”), andTheatre Blogging: The Emergence of a Critical Culture, written the script for a comic book about the first Puerto Rican, superhero, La Boriqueña (RICANSTRUCTION), andis currently turning her short film,Queen Bessie’s Gal, into a possible feature or series. When she’s not immersed in creation, Quill can be found working with Pan Asian Rep Theater Company in NYC or supporting Broadway Cares/Equity FIghts AIDS and Desert AIDS Project. Her advice to young artists? “If you’re going into the arts, you have to be brave… don’t do it unless you cannot think of how else you are going to maneuver through life.”Read on to learn more about Erin Quill and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Jen Cheng is a multidisciplinary artist with a passion for amplifying underrepresented voices based in West Hollywood. As an avid young reader, Cheng found the magic in reading – using character voices when storytelling to her younger siblings and envisioning how she could write her worlds into existence. Upon acceptance with a full scholarship to a summer journalism program at SF State her senior year of high school, she continued to seek out her voice and perfect her craft. Now, Cheng is about to release a book (Braided Spaces) in October and a single about self-discovery on the way, is in the process of penning both a mystery detective novel and a tween show, and will be developing a documentary project about LGBTQ elders. Her advice to young artists? “You’re still an artist even if you’re not doing it full-time. It’s like growing and watering a plant. Even if it’s not the ideal environment, if you’re keeping it alive and that’s sometimes what we have to do.” Read on to learn more about Jen Cheng and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Anu Bhatt is a multilingual actress and Bharatanatyam dancer based in Los Angeles. A love of performance led her to get her undergrad at UC Berkeley, MFA from CCPA/Roosevelt in Chicago, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate from UCSD. After signing with an agent at her end-of-year showcase, she became a SAG-AFTRA member three years later. Now, her credits includeThe Seagull(Masha) at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, premiering and touring her one-woman showHollow/Wave, creating and award-winning first short film,AutoCorrect, and currently, her second short film,Crossing the Desert, which is in pre-production. Throughout her career, Bhatt found maintaining a resilience-based mindset proved valuable to fighting against cultural norms as she pursued the arts. Her advice to young artists? “Growth mindset, growth mindset, growth mindset. I can't say it enough… it's not only okay to fail, it's normal and necessary…” Read on to learn more about Anu Bhatt and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Jennifer Paz is a writer, mother, actress, and lyricist based in Los Angeles. She got her start starring as Kim in the first national tour ofMiss Saigon, and has since then lent her voice to Steven Universe, Steven Universe Future, and Steven Universe Movie Musical as Lapis Lazuli, joined Broadway’s company of Les Miserables,and performed in Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Last Five Years, and Flower Drum Song – and became the executive producer of a single (and later music video) entitled “The Power of a Girl”! Now, Paz is working on the book and lyrics of Proud Marys, an original musical co-created with her husband, Anthony Fedorov and produced by Grammy Award winner Jeeve. When she’s not immersed in her art, she’s involved in the Mona Foundation (which “The Power of a Girl” was produced for!), an organization that educates girls and women in less fortunate communities worldwide. Her advice to young artists? “Trust your authentic voice and life experience… [and] have a sense of humor.” Read on to learn more about Jennifer Paz and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Kelsey Verzotti is an actress based in Toronto, Ontario. As a child, her parents provided her the opportunity to pursue the Arts through singing, piano, and dance. After entering (and placing in the top 10!) in a televised competition searching for the next Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Wizard of OZ, Verzotti decided to pursue the Arts professionally by studying Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College. Her work includes Life After, Anne of Green Gables,The Antipodes, Divine Interventions, and Gaslight) – and currently, Kelly V. Kelly! When she’s not onstage, Verzotti is a huge supporter of the Canadian Green Alliance, an organization that aims to bring sustainability to the arts industry and those that work in it – and dreams of opening her own talent agency one day. Her advice to young artists? “Your uniqueness is your superpower! … All of the quirks that make you YOU will get you so much farther and keep you way happier. Read on to learn more about Kelsey Verzotti and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Syuan Zeng is a multidisciplinary artist based in NYC. She got her start on her family’s computer with online paint programs, and drew inspiration from her elementary school class mentor that led to art program enrollment. After studying at National Taiwan University Of Science & Technology for Commercial Design (BFA), Taipei National University of the Arts for Costume Design (MFA), Hofstra University (MFA Exchange Semester), and the University of North Carolina School Of The Arts for Wig & Makeup Design (MFA), her work now includes window displays with luxury brands like Coach and Louis Vuitton, costume design and build for Mon Li-Chun, The Moment Of A Loser’s Rocking, Weird-Looking Pug, Flowers Are Gone, and her UNCSA wig and makeup thesis production, Homer:The Great Teller Of Tales, Love & Depositions. When she’s not working, Zeng volunteers in the resource committee department of the Guild Of Scenic Artists, a nonprofit that educates and empowers those in that industry. Her advice to young artists? “Try as many things as possible… A lot of the time our works are experimenting with new techniques and new materials and the things we learned from other fields may be useful for future projects. You never know!” Read on to learn more about Syuan Zeng and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Sita Chay is a violinist, composer, and producer based in NYC. A chain reaction of events pushed her towards the Arts – watching a friend perform on Broadway led to her eventual Broadway orchestra career, which inspired her to take on other artistic projects outside the theatre, such asSaaWee, a “Korean Shaman Ritual for the modern global citizen,”Ritual of Le Sac, a “music-based storytelling [film] of baby’s mysterious life inside the womb,”Tokala, a celebration of tradition that “[brings] together Japanese and Korean folk, pop music, Eastern European and Middle Eastern music,” and Multidimensionally Human, “an initiative exploring psychotherapy’s “Internal Family Systems” through theater, music, dance, and art installation.” Chay is continually inspired by live art’s ability to evolve and breathe through mishaps and mistakes, and loves discovering friendships as she continues on her path. She advises young artists looking to discover their role in the arts to “carve out a practice that feels good” and let the rest follow. Read on to learn more about Sita Chay and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Joan Almedilla is an actress based in NYC. After competing on Amateur Nights at The Apollo, an executive producer scouted her and brought her aboard her first professional contract. Now, Almedilla’s starred on Broadway as Kim inMiss Saigon, Lady Thiang on the first National Tour ofThe King and I, and the first Asian Fantine on theLes MisNational Tour, and co-starred in Peacock’sBupkis, Netflix’sGriselda, Hulu’sPam & Tommy, and FX’sMayans, However, her favorite role to date is that of mother to her son, CJ (who also performed with her onThe King and Itour for two years in America and Canada)! Offstage, she’s a huge supporter of Honolulu Broadway Babies (organized by her friend Kristian Lei), “whose mission is to provide continuing education to individuals with disabilities after high school through the arts. Almedilla’s advice to young artists? “Understand yourself first before you try to understand other people… work more, talk less.” Read on to learn more about Joan Almedilla and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Isabelle Van Vleet is an actress based in Auburn, ME. After starring in a production ofOliver!as an orphan boy with a solo line at 10 and seeing the national tour ofPhantom of the Operaat 12, Van Vleet knew her future lay with the arts. After attending NYU Tisch School of the Arts, her resume now boasts credits such asFather Figures(Dances With Films Festival, directed by her husband!)Inventing Anna(Netflix),FBI: Most Wanted(CBS)ASAP: Live(Barclay’s Center),SIGN(Off-Broadway),Sherlock Holmes(Portland Stage). Offstage/screen, she’s an avid gardener, calligraphy artist, and baker! Van Vleet is extremely passionate about bringing better representation to the arts – particularly for younger audience members – to prove that a career exists for people that look like them. Her advice to young artists? “Find your community… and find your joys outside of your chosen field… they will keep your cup filled.” Read on to learn more about Isabelle Van Vleet and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Marissa Lichwick is a playwright, actress, filmmaker, and mother based in Chicago. She fell into the Arts at 10 years old during her fifth grade play, and at 18 made the move to NYC with only $100 in her pocket. Now, she and Summer Hill Films are in negotiations regarding distribution of her feature film,Searching For Yoo, has worked with Goodman Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Court Theatre, and Connecticut Free, and created and toured her solo show,Yellow Dress. Offstage and screen, Lichwick is a huge supporter of Korean Adoptees of Chicago (KATCH) for their outreach work for children and adults. Her advice to young artists? “Create your own work… This is where I learned to empower myself… [and] get training, take classes, meet people, collaborate, and build relationships.” Read on to learn more about Marissa Lichwick and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Gloria John is a performer based in Los Angeles. Second City provided her with a start in the Arts through sketch comedy shows, and now her resume boasts credits such asThe Consultanton Prime Video,Shifters, andDear Tony. Offscreen, John puts in work with organizations that help domestic violence survivors, provide mental health resources, and aid to veterans, and finds her center through workouts, massages, friends, and meditation.Her advice to young artists? Be the role models you needed growing up – “We need more Asian American representation in the arts. I believe we have so much talent, history and culture to share with the world.” Read on to learn more about Gloria John and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Nanrisa Lee is an actor and certified scuba diver with 20 years of bartending experience based in L.A. After a friend convinced her to perform in a scene for a school assembly, she knew she’d found her path. Her resume lists credits such as NBC’s Quantum Leap and Unflinching Triumph, a mockumentary, and teachers Larry Moss and Lesly Kahn. Lee hopes to take up directing in the future, and would tell her past self to wear more sunscreen! Her advice to young artists? “Build a community. Try hard. Trust yourself, and don’t be afraid to fail.” Read on to learn more about Nanrisa Lee and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!