EmergeNYC alumni—most of them people of color, women, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ folks—include award-winning playwrights, curators, directors, choreographers, filmmakers, grantmakers, university faculty, arts administrators, healers, educators, and multidisciplinary artists. Many continue to collaborate with each other and with faculty long beyond the program—they’ve formed collectives, created artist residencies, directed each other in plays, made music together, taught together, been fearless together. Kiyan Williams (Emerge ’14) says: “EmergeNYC remains one of the most seminal and transformative experiences I’ve had.” Theater director Ashley Marinaccio says Emerge: “managed to successfully do what so many NY theatre companies talk about (but never come close to) and that is creating a thriving, robust and supportive community for artists.” Below are some of the folks in this collaborative network of 230+ alumni.
Aisha Jordan, 2008
Aisha Jordan is an Actor, Writer, Producer with a B.A. from The New School and M.A. from NYU Tisch. She is Artistic Director of social justice theater ensemble 2050 Legacy, Staff Writer for BlackNerdProblems.com, host of podcast 2Nerds and an Actor, Executive Produces #HashtagTheShow, acting credits include HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness.
Alejandro Chellet, 2018
Alejandro Chellet is a multidisciplinary artist and social practitioner in cultural and permacultural networks. He was born in Mexico City raised in a family of artists and performers, he currently lives between Upstate NY where he practices permaculture and NYC-CDMX where he is also a cultural producer curating and providing exhibition space for other artists. His artwork functions in close relation with the audience primarily making use of waste, public space, architecture and performance: addressing the misplaced core principles of coexistence, the loss of connection with Nature cycles, and the political and environmental context of urban societies.
Amalia Oliva Rojas, 2020
Amalia Oliva Rojas is a Mexican playwright, poet and theater artivist based in New York. Her work explores and defies the American Theater’s gaze upon immigrant women and BIPOC stories. She is an alumnus of Vassar College Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Program. Her work has been presented and workshopped at Lehman College, Vassar College, Manhattan Repertory Theater, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Americas Society/ Council of the Americas, Abington Theater Company, among others. Amalia was a writing fellow for Pen America’s DREAMING OUT LOUD writing workshop and a lab member for New Perspectives Theater Company Women’s Work Lab. During her time at EMERGE, Amalia explored the fetishization of undocumented youth by non-profit organizations.
Amelia Uzategui Bonilla, 2009
Amelia (she/they) creates curriculum and performances influenced by decoloniality and Postmigranten subjectivities. Born in Peru, and raised in California, they have collaborated with Anna Halprin, the Tamalpa Institute, Tino Sehgal, Marina Abramović, Luna Dance Institute, NAKA Dance Theater, and Cunamacué. They completed a BFA in Dance at the Juilliard School and an MA in Contemporary Dance Education at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. Currently based in Frankfurt, Germany, Amelia serves on the board of ID_Frankfurt e.V. (Independent Dance and Performance) and co-leads the Tanzhaus Frankfurt Rhein-Main.
Ana Laura Ramírez Ramos, 2017
Ana Laura is a Mexican artivist and cabaret performer who enjoys making humor. Based in Mexico City, she is the founder of the cabaret company Parafernalia Teatro (2011) and a member of Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos AC (2013). She is a FONCA Scenic Creators scholarship holder (2017).
Andrea Ambam, 2020
Andrea Ambam is an NYC-based artist, actress, and playwright whose roots sprout from Cameroon. As a politically engaged theatre artist who believes in the art’s potential for movement building and transformative justice, her current work centers Black lives and embodied ethnography. She is a 2020 Artist-in-Residence for Anna Deavere Smith’s class “One Person Shows,” a 2020 EmergeNYC Fellow, a fellow at Girls Write Now, and a 10-time national champion in public speaking and dramatic performance where she has been awarded “Top Speaker in the Nation” three times. She has performed at, written for, and/or been commissioned as an educator/speaker by Classical Theatre of Harlem, Abrons Arts Center, NYU Prison Education Program, NYU Verbatim Performance Lab, Artists’ Literacies Institute, Free Street Theater, and Centre for Social Innovation. Andrea has a Master’s degree in Art & Public Policy (NYU Tisch School of the Arts).
Anel Rakhimzanova, 2020
Anel Rakhimzhanova researches neo-colonial surveillance infrastructure and algorithmic discriminatory mechanisms. As a part of EMERGE 2020 cohort, she engaged with the Xinjiang victims database and the violence around evidence creation. She is currently a PhD student in Performance Studies at New York University, focusing on human/technology/capital/labor/ideology movements across One Belt One Road, transnational Silk Road revival initiative.
Angela Veronica Wong, 2018
Angela Veronica Wong is a poet, writer, artist, and educator based in NYC. She is the author of elsa: an unauthorized autobiography (Black Radish 2017). Chapbooks include the Poetry Society of America New York Fellowship winning Dear Johnny, In Your Last Letter. Poems have been anthologized in Please Excuse This Poem: 100 poems for the next generation and Best American Poetry (collaboration with Amy Lawless). Fiction has appeared Denver Quarterly and other journals. Performance work has been featured in independent galleries in Buffalo, Toronto, and New York City.
Anthonywash.Rosado is a queer Afro-Boricua storytraveler and Nuyorican cultural curator. As of 2013, he/she/they produced free and public multimedia art salons at Make The Road NY, May Day Space, Starr Bar, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Five Myles Gallery, Rush Arts Philanthropic, and David & Schweitzer. Rosado was Artist in Residence at Chez Bushwick, Movement Research, The Hemispheric Institute, The Loisaida Center, Arts East NY, and El Museo De Los Sures. Rosado published literary work for Arts in Bushwick, Posture Magazine, The Tenth Magazine, and Imagining: A Gibney Journal. As their curatorial practice fellow, Rosado curated “ARCANUM,” the 2020 Queer|Art|Mentorship program’s annual exhibition. Rosado choreographed the “Keep” music video by Efemér for Makeshifting Music label, and the “REBEL SEED” short film by IN THE BLK and Equator Productions for SS21 Paris Fashion Week’s “FILM NOIRS.”
Arantxa Araujo, 2017
Arantxa is a Mexican multidisciplinary artist with a background in neuroscience based in NYC interested in repetition and duration to access heightened states of awareness. Their work explores biobehavioral research, gender constructions and politics of migration; its affects and consequences in the construction of identity. They hold an MA in Motor Learning and Control from Teachers College. CONACYT scholarship holder, 2012.
Ariel Speedwagon, 2010
Ariel Speedwagon’s work has been seen extensively on Broadway, Lafayette, Fulton, Chrystie, Avenue A, Leonard, and many other fine streets and avenues throughout New York City. Trained as a modern dancer, Ariel’s inherently interdisciplinary work has taken many forms — interactive sculpture, modern dance and dance theater, drag performance and burlesque, collective mapmaking, clowning, and video art. Most interested in the intersections of storytelling, participatory environments, magic, and democratizing knowledge, Ariel has tap danced about limericks, lectured about unicorns, made slapstick about apartheid, and built telephones that tell secrets.
Ashley Marinaccio, 2008
Ashley is a theatre artist and scholar who creates work to challenge the status quo. She is dedicated to documenting the socio-political issues that define our times. As a director and playwright, her work has been seen off-Broadway, at the White House, United Nations, TED conferences across the United States, Europe and Asia. Currently, Ash is working on her Ph.D. in the Department of Theatre and Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she is focusing on theatre and war.
Azure D. Osborne-Lee, 2014
Azure D. Osborne-Lee (he/they) is a multi-award-winning Black queer & trans theatre maker from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. He holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice (2011) from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama as well as an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies (2008) and a BA in English & Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin (2005). Recipient of Waterwell New Works Lab’s 2021 Commission, Kilroys List 2020 playwright, recipient of Parity Productions’ 2018 Annual Commission, Winner of Downtown Urban Arts Festival’s 2018 Best Play Award, and the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest. Azure’s full-length play “Crooked Parts” will be published in the forthcoming anthology The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays. Azureosbornelee.com
Beatrice Glow, 2008
Beatrice Glow is an artist and multisensory storyteller leveraging installations, experiential technology and olfactory art to shift dominant narratives. She has been named a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, Smack Mellon Artist, American Arts Incubator artist, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU Artist-in-Residence, Honolulu Biennial artist, Wave Hill Van Lier Fellow, Hemispheric Institute Council Member, Franklin Furnace Fund recipient and Fulbright Scholar.
Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, 2012 (and Invited Alumni Faculty, 2013)
Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez (b. 1987, Bogotá) uses their art & facilitation to transform individual witness into collective action. As a queer, transnational adoptee, their work resists ways the state hijack individual & collective bodies to fulfill performances of power across imaginary borders & boundaries. Lundberg Torres Sánchez’s work has been shown in the U.S. at the Queens Museum, Museum of the Moving Image, The Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, RISD Museum, and the Knockdown Center to name a few. Their work has been presented internationally in Montreal, Mexico City, Santiago de Querétaro, São Paulo, Lima, and La Paz. They are the founder and co-curator of the performance and exhibition series, Se Aculilló?, and were the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts 2017 and 2018 Merit Fellow in New Genres and Film & Video respectively. (Image © Alexis Wilkinson 2018)
Bex Kwan, 2016
Bex Kwan Bex Kwan is a multimedia artist, organizer, social worker, and athlete. They are a core trainer with the Anti Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA). Bex is currently in collaboration with Sophia Mak (EMERGE’16) creating performances which unearth secret histories of foreignness, family mythologies, and kinship in East Asian communities in the United States. soandbex.com.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, 2008 (and Invited Alumni Faculty, 2015–16)
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ plays include Neighbors (Public Theater), Appropriate (Signature Theater, OBIE Award for Best New Play, Outer Critics Circle nominee), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, OBIE Award for Best New Play), War (Yale Rep, forthcoming), and Gloria (Vineyard Theater, forthcoming). He is a Princeton alum from the Class of 2006 and holds an MFA in Performance Studies from NYU. In 2016, he became a MacArthur Fellow.
Camilo Godoy, 2014
Camilo Godoy is an artist and educator born in Bogotá, Colombia and based in New York, United States. He was a 2018 Session Artist, Recess; 2018 Artist-in-Residence, Leslie-Lohman Museum; 2018 Artist-in-Residence, coleção moraes-barbosa; 2017 Artist-in-Residence, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP); 2015-2017 Artist-in-Residence, Movement Research; among others. His work has been presented in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, CUE, Danspace Project, New York; Mousonturm, Frankfurt; Moody Center, Houston; Toronto Biennial, Toronto; UNSW Galleries, Sydney; among others.
Carlos Monroy, 2012
An immigrant in São Paulo, Brazil, Carlos Monroy (Bogotá, 1984) is a Colombian visual and performance artist with a tropical-Andean heart. His performances and installations question the boundaries between so-called highbrow, popular, and mass culture repertoires, revealing colonial structures of power and thinking, as well as the institutional boundaries performance art practices have come to acquire inside the art world. Monroy completed a bachelor’s degree in Arts at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia (2008) and an MFA at Universidade de São Paulo USP, Brazil (2014). In 2017, he won the research prize award of the 32º MGLC Biennale of Graphic Arts Ljubljana.
Carolina Tapias Guzmán, 2011
Carolina is a theatre teaching artist and cultural worker whose practice of theater and performance focuses on collective artistic creation that links the personal with its context. Victoria holds a Fine Arts degree from the National University of Colombia, and an MA in Applied Theatre and Performance from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has led educational programs at the Cartoon National School, the National Museum and the Children and Development Corporation in Colombia. Currently, Victoria is a collaborator of Madalenas Teatro das Oprimidas.
Chelsea Gregory, 2016
Chelsea Gregory is a dance theater artist, cultural organizer and facilitator who weaves embodied arts together with equity work, community building, healing and restorative practices. She is inspired by working with brilliant folks like Urban Bush Women, Artists Co-Creating Real Equity, Cornerstone Theater Company, PowerTools for Progress, PopUP Theatrics and others that bring about radical change through creative process.
Chris Tyler, 2012
Chris is a Los Angeles-based playwright and performing artist examining the intersections of popular culture, collective action and digital identity. Recent projects include the Make America series (Ars Nova), Their food tastes better when they see us starving (The Brick), flesh failure (The Civilians’ R&D Group), R*NT (University Settlement), and TOTAL REJECTS LIVE!!! (Public Theater/Under the Radar Festival). His performance style has been called “equal parts hilarious and chilling” (Fusion), “precise-yet-butchered” (Out Magazine) and “so cute” (Taylor Swift). AB: Brown University.
Clare Barron, 2008
Clare Barron is a playwright and performer from Wenatchee, Washington. Her plays include DANCE NATION, which was the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Relentless Award, and recently received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in New York City and the Almeida Theatre in London. Other plays include YOU GOT OLDER (Obie Award), and I’LL NEVER LOVE AGAIN.
Clarivel Ruiz, 2017
We, the daughter from the land called Kiskeya Ayiti (aka Hispaniola aka Dominican Republic and Haiti), a land colonized but never conquered, raised in New York City on the ancestral bones and covered shrines of the Lenape people. Founder, Dominicans Love Haitians Movement, an art practice developed to heal wounds created by racial divides and historical myths. Educational Equity coach at CSS, Metro NYU. Asé.
Claudia Sofía Garriga López, 2010
Claudia Sofía Garriga-López is an Assistant Professor of Queer and Trans Latinx Studies in the Department of Multicultural and Gender Studies of California State University, Chico. After participating in EMERGE Claudia went on to be a part of the Art and Resistance course in San Cristóbal de las Casas, México. She is thrilled to be a part of the hemi family because there are always events, programs, and people, that bring politics and art together in meaningful ways.
Courtney Frances Fallon, 2020
Courtney Frances Fallon is a writer, director, artist, and performer living in Brooklyn. Growing up in Buffalo, she identified solely as a writer but her artistic practices expanded with her two first major projects: “You Know This Girl” – a one-person play she wrote, directed, and performed – and her “Vagina Postcards” series inspired by her research for the play. She now works in whatever format will best serve the concept. She’s interested in art as political action and recently expanded into urban interventions including installation and projection mapping. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.
Courtney Surmanek, 2018
Courtney Surmanek (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artivist (theatre-maker, visual artist, poet and organizer) living between Virginia and New York. They are a 2022 MFA/MS Candidate in Theatre: Directing & Public Dialogue and Urban & Regional Planning at Virginia Tech. 2018-19: Artist-in-Residence at Queens Library with ProjectArt, Fellow at The Performance Project at University Settlement and Participant in Theater of Change: Artistry, Law, and Activism with Broadway Advocacy Coalition at Columbia Law School. From 2017-18, they participated in the Mitchell Art Gallery’s Artist-in-Residence program, The Art & Law Program, and the C4AA’s Art Action Academy.
Damariz Damken, 2019
Damariz Damken is an artivist from the Rio Grande Valley Frontera of South Texas. She graduated from New York University in May 2019 with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Development and Latin American Studies. Growing up on both sides of the border as a first-generation citizen from a Mexican immigrant family and daughter of undocumented parents, her work explores fronterizx landscapes to reclaim and deconstruct hemispheric border imaginaries as an approach to social justice and human rights.
Denae Hannah, 2012
Denae Hannah, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, is a performance artist, social entrepreneur, and Artistic Director and CEO of Denae Dance Theatre. She received her B.A. in Drama from Stanford University and M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. Ms. Hannah was a 2012 EMERGENYC artist and a 2012-2013 Commissioned Artist at Stanford University. Her work was performed for Parent’s Weekend and for the Dance Division’s winter dance concert “Performing Past, Fast Forward: The Body in 3D.”
Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, 2012
I am inspired to create art work based on the familiar objects that I view through my daily travels. I ultimately set out to express a meaningful story about events in my life and those found with the communities I work. I utilize different media in the creation of my work. This allows for great versatility and a rich viewer experience as the eye uncovers the multiple layers that often characterize mixed media art. Much of my art has focused on issues like institutionalized racism and classism, jarring stereotypes, and displacement of people of color.
Doménica García, 2019
Doménica García is an Ecuadorian video and performance artist based in NY. She obtained a BFA in Film at the School of Visual Arts, 2018. Her work dives into a process of introspection, breaking down the personal and discovering the universal. By juxtaposing the radical and the ordinary, she gives greater relevance to the day to day experience.
Dominic Cinnamon Bradley, 2012
Dominic Cinnamon Bradley is a Black gender non-conforming, ‘crip and sick’ multidisciplinary artist from the Dirty South. Dominic also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University. A 2012 EMERGENYC alum, Dominic continues to develop performance that illuminates the lived experience of disability. Dominic believes what is spoken can be acknowledged, what is acknowledged can be examined, and what is examined can be transformed. Dominic’s approach to performance is identity-based, experimental, and frequently involves spiritual seeking.
Edgar Javier Ulloa Luján, 2015
Édgar J. Ulloa Luján is a performance artist and poet from Ciudad Juárez, México. He founded a pioneer multimedia poetry blog Mi Juaritos. His performances negotiate border politics, cultural memory, trauma, immigration, and violence in addition to instigating audience and public participation. Ulloa has performed in PEN World Voices Festival–PEN America, México Now Festival in NYC, and The Poetry Festival in México City. Ulloa’s work was included by CONACULTA in the first national anthology of visual poetry in México. He was the 2016 Emerge-Surface-Be Poetry Fellow from the Poetry Project in NYC.
Effie Nkrumah, 2017
Effie Nkrumah is an interdisciplinary artist and poet of Ghanaian descent brought up in Sydney, Australia. She has worked creatively between Sydney, Accra, and New York granting her a unique sense of humour, aesthetic & keen observation. She holds an MA in Arts Politics from NYU.
Elena Rose Light, 2017
Elena Rose Light (they/she) is a choreographer, performer, and cultural worker originally from Southern California (Micqanaqa’n) currently splitting time between Brooklyn (Lenapehoking) and Giessen, Germany. Their choreographic work is rooted in the potential for somatic empathy to reorganize systems of thought and governance. Their performances have been presented by Abrons Arts Center, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Current Sessions, University Settlement, and Movement Research at Judson Church, among others. Recent honors and residencies include the danceWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz, LiftOFF, LANDING, Chez Bushwick, and EMERGENYC. They collaborate on producing/administrative projects with Anna Lublina, George Emilio Sanchez, and Anna Sperber, and have worked behind the scenes for Gibney, Abrons Arts Center, and The Movement Research Performance Journal.
The EmergeLAB@BAX is comprised of alumni of the EmergeNYC program and takes place at BAX. The goal of the LAB is to provide a non-curated, non-hierarchical space for artistic development, where the artists determine their own frameworks and processes for experimentation and growth. The artists in the inaugural cohort are: Sabina Ibarrola (2013), Jeca Rodríguez Colón (2013), Mette LouLou von Kohl (2013), Guy Yedwab (2013), Dominic Bradley (2012), Samantha Galarza (2012), Benjamin Lundberg (2012), Jesse Phillips-Fein (2012), Katrina De Wees (2011), Mary Notari (2011), Maria Schirmer (2011), Mieke D (2009), and Megan Hanley (2009).
Emilio Martínez Poppe, 2018
Emilio Martínez Poppe is an artist working across installation, performance, participatory projects, and research-based collaborative projects. Their work engages collectivity, its practices, and lived/speculative legacies of belonging through spatial or linguistic formations. Emilio has exhibited their work at FIERMAN, the Queens Museum, CUE Art Foundation, and Flux Factory in New York City; Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, in Amsterdam. They have been an artist in residence at Abrons Arts Center and Pratt Institute; and a fellow at The Laundromat Project. Emilio is currently an MFA-MCP dual-degree candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of BFAMFAPhD.
Emily Waters, 2019
Emily Waters is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist grounded in a Black theater tradition that explores the roles of witness and testimony in collective and intergenerational healing. In 2020 Emily created a solo-short commissioned by All for One Theater Company and was part of the inaugural cohort of Black Revolutionary Theater Workshop’s Revolution Now! residency. In June 2021 Emily will premier their new work, Look Back At It, as part of The Shed’s open call program. This show has roots in the questions Emily explored during her time as an Emerge fellow. How do we remember? Who do we remember? How can processing grief create portals for Black joy and liberation?
Emma Alabaster, 2014
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Emma Alabaster works as a musician, composer, cultural organizer, and educator throughout New York City. Emma performs under her name and with decibelists. She music-directed poet Cornelius Eady’s band, Rough Magic and has collaborated with many artists as a bassist and vocalist. Emma is a Teaching Artist in public schools, and was a 2017 Lincoln Center Boro-Linc Artist-in-Residence. As a member-leader with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ,) Emma creates cultural work and leads songs in meetings and in the streets to support and sustain social movements.
estrellx supernova, 2016
estrellx supernova (formerly randy reyes) is a queer, AfroGuatemalan creative director, choreographer, performance artist, and healer born and based on Lenape & Canarsie territories. reyes is interested in choreography as a process of excavation, task as meditation, psychosomatic Qi Energetics, edging and incrementality, and getting messy by conjuring contemporary rituals within quotidian and natural landscapes. reyes explores the notion of club spaces as sites of generative dissonance and asks, “Are we celebrating or mourning or both? How do we prepare for the emergence of the not yet seen?” reyes is busy developing the infrastructure for a space called La Escuela de Corporealidad y Artes Sutiles (currently supported by Creative Capital) alongside annual programming, PLATAFORMA & Residencias Rhizomaticas. more info coming soon & will be available on their website and social media accounts below.
Flora Mendoza, 2009
Flora Mendoza, SAG-AFTRA, is a mezzo-soprano and voice actor. Graduating with distinction from Yale in Latin American Studies for a thesis on nueva canción, Flora studied at the Yale School of Music and co-founded Teatro de Yale. In the Bay Area, she performs with the SF Symphony Chorus, Capella SF, and originated the role of The Owl in Opera Cultura’s adaptation of Bless Me, Ultima. She received an MPA from NYU as a Goldberg Fellow in Public Service & Philanthropy. As an advocate, Flora led the Polyphony Foundation before joining Change Research, a public benefit company, to guide campaigns and causes.
Francheska Alcántara, 2016
Francheska is a multidisciplinary artist hailing from The Bronx who looks at domestic life and signifiers of Caribbean culture and the diaspora to explore slippages of identity, fragmentation, and longing. They graduated with a MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, and hold a BFA in Painting from Hunter College and a BA in Art History from Old Dominion University. In addition, she’s a U.S. Navy veteran. Alcántara has exhibited and performed work at the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Queens Museum, La Mama Theater, Grace Exhibition Space, and BronxArtSpace.
Frantz Jerome, 2008
An inaugural EMERGENYC cohort (2008) and 2050 Legacy ensemble member, Frantz Jerome collaborated with The Hemispheric Institute and participated in two Encuentros in São Paulo, Brazil (2013) and Montreal, Canada (2014). Frantz was invited to perform Spoken Word poetry by Harry Belafonte at The Interdependence Day Conference sponsored by DEMOS in Berlin, Germany (2010). He is a founding member of the artivist performance collective The Peace Poets, and staff writer for the PoC geek cultural editorial, Black Nerd Problems. Frantz holds a BA in Writing and Democracy from The New School.
Gabriel Torres, 2020
Gabriel Torres is a Colombian, NYC-based, multidisciplinary artist and community organizer. Gabriel works at the intersection of theatre performance, film and community development. He has directed productions in Colombia, NYC and Hong Kong. During his time at Emerge, Gabriel investigated links between his ancestry and his present time, and how trauma affects those connections.
Gabriela Espinosa, 2015
Gabriela es creadora interdisciplinaria e intérprete de las artes escénicas, y ejerce como artista educadora y gestora cultural en Chile y Latinoamérica. Ha desarrollado una carrera creativa y artivista vinculada a temáticas e intervenciones socio-políticas. Se titula en Teatro en la Universidad Católica de Chile para luego especializarse en espacio público, pedagogía del oprimido, política y performance, y educación artística comunitaria. Actualmente ejerce su práctica en el norte de Chile trabajando en proyectos que vinculan arte y educación, colaborando con movimientos feministas y organizaciones afrodescendientes y es la actual profesora de Teatro del único Liceo Artístico de Arica.
Gethsemane Herron-Coward, 2016
Gethsemane Herron-Coward is a poet/playwright from Washington, D.C. She has developed work with JAG Productions, The Hearth, Magic Time@Judson, and Playwright’s Playground at Classical Theatre of Harlem. She is alumna of 24Hour Plays-Nationals and The Fire This Time Festival. She has held residencies at The Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and the Millay Colony, where she was the recipient of the Yasmin Scholarship. She has been a finalist for Space on Ryder Farm, among others. She holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and MFA from Columbia University.
Girino (aka LUA), 2017
Girino (aka Lua) is a Brazilian video & movement artist and scholar based in Brooklyn, and current PhD candidate at NYU’s Performance Studies. Their work happens amidst performance art, expanded cinema, contemporary dance, independent documentaries and undocumented phenomena. They are drawn to insurgent transgendering, prehensive performances, racial speculativity, precarious consistencies, abyssal subjectivities, micropolitical glitches, insistent choreographies and general delinquency.
Giseli Vasconcelos, 2013
Giseli is a cultural worker and interdisciplinary artist from Brazil based in US. She has been organizing festivals, workshops, exhibitions and publications that discuss media and technology related to the Brazilian scene of art and activism. Most of the projects are collaborative process that highlights practices on tactical media and radical pedagogies related to internet culture. Her work has already been presented in Quito (LabSurLab), Amsterdam (N5M), New Delhi (Sarai), Vienna (MQ21), Berlin (Radical Networks), São Paulo (31st Biennial of São Paulo, Sesc Pompeia), Rio de Janeiro (Capacete, Lastro).
GOODW.Y.N. (formerly Nicole Goodwin), 2017
Nicole Goodwin aka GOODW.Y.N. is the author of Warcries, as well as the 2020 Pushcart Nominee, 2018-2019 Franklin Furnace Fund Recipient, the 2018 Ragdale Alice Judson Hayes Fellowship Recipient, 2017 EMERGENYC Hemispheric Institute Fellow as well as the 2013- 2014 Queer Art Mentorship Queer Art Literary Fellow. She published the articles “Talking with My Daughter…” and “Why is this Happening in Your Life…” in the New York Times’ parentblog Motherlode. Additionally, her work ‘”Desert Flowers” was shortlisted and selected for performance by the Women’s Playwriting International Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2015.
Grace Taylor Rae, 2019
Grace Taylor Rae is an artist who works in movement, language and form. She graduated from Williams College with a BA in English and Philosophy in 2013. Grace creates through multidimensional linguistics, liberatory geometries and embodied narrative. Her work is guided by frameworks that affirm love, consent and reparative ecology. In EMERGE ’19 she focused her process in reimagining-as-healing the intersections of birth, memory, matter and time. Grace lives on unceded Abenaki territory (Upper Valley, Vermont).
Guy Yedwab, 2013
Guy Yedwab ran a small theater company when the 2008 financial crisis propelled him into community organizing through the League of Independent Theater, an advocacy organization for small-sized theaters. As Managing Director, Guy led their work on union codes, endorsements in electoral campaigns, legislative advocacy, and social justice work. Guy is also a member of Brooklyn Community Board 6’s Economic, Waterfront, Community Development & Housing Committee. Now, he is pursuing a J.D. degree and a Master’s in Public Affairs and Politics from Rutgers University, where he recently received an Eagleton Fellowship in Politics and Government.
Irisdelia Garcia, 2020
Irisdelia Garcia (she/they) is a Puerto Rican interdisciplinary artist from The Bronx, NY. Her work centers Puerto Rican history, embodiment in gender, colonialism, and digital storytelling. She is a member of Queer and Now’s Digital Cabarets, digital humanities lab IRLHumanities, and a collaborator of La Pocha Nostra. Garcia is currently a director and editor for Ping Chong and Company. Garcia was an inaugural Generation NYZ Fellow for Ping Chong + Company (2019-2020). She holds a BA in English with a concentration in Digital Humanities at Amherst College and a Multicultural Theater Practice Certificate through the Five College Consortium. Research question: How can I capture vulnerability without the pressure of surveillance through the screen?
Isadora Frost, 2019
Isadora Frost (Brasil, 1985) graduated from PUC São Paulo in 2009 with a degree in Performance Art and Dance. In 2014, Frost completed her degree in Fine Arts at The San Francisco Art Institute. In 2018, she received a Masters degree in Photography from Parsons School of Design at The New School and was an EmergeNYC participant at NYU 2019. Frost’s work mixes media and deals with the relationship between the body, space, and communities. Since 2008, her work has been featured internationally in Brazil, San Francisco, New Zealand, India, New York, Russia, China, Munich, London, and Finland.
janet e. dandridge, 2019
janet e. dandridge is an Interdisciplinary Artivist who encourages awareness and discourse around, as well as solutions to, ideologies that perpetuate injustice. janet intersplices theatrical performance, photography, empirical data, identity politics, and whimsy into a keen reflection on social constructs and governing policies. Primarily using performance art, interactive installations, and abstract photography, janet examines trauma and resilience, geometric therapy, normalized racism, Otherness, and the power of Black women. As an example of her work, in Amendment: Knell of a Nation (AKN), janet uses her body as a beacon of strength to physically remove the dehumanizing and marginalizing weight of greed embedded in the symbolism of the American flag.
Janine Renee Cunningham, 2018
Brooklyn based organizer and theater-maker, Janine Renee Cunningham has presented work at the Prelude Festival and On the Boards, among others. She holds a BA in International Studies from Portland State University and is completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College.
Jeca Rodríguez Colón, 2013 (and Invited Alumni Faculty 2015–16)
Jeca Rodríguez Colón is a Puerto Rican artist and emerging scholar living in New York City. She is currently a doctoral candidate in philosophy, aesthetics and art theory at IDSVA. Through her academic and creative work, she questions the societal prescription of motherhood and how aesthetic representations of the maternal influences maternal subjectivity and performances. Her work has been presented in the Americas, Europe and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tapei. Jeca was also part of the EmergeLab at BAX in 2014 and participated at the Encuentro in Montreal.
Jennif(f)er Tamayo, 2016
Jennif(f)er Tamayo is a queer, migrant, formerly undocumented poet, essayist, and performer currently living and working on Patwin and Ohlone lands. JT is the daughter of Nancy, Flora, Leonor, Sol, and Ana. Her poetry and art collections include [Red Missed Aches] (Switchback, 2011), Poems are the Only Real Bodies (Bloof Books 2013), DORA/ANA/GUATAVIT@ (RSH 2016), YOU DA ONE (2017 Noemi Books & Letras Latinas’s Akrilica Series), and to kill the future in the present (Green Lantern Press 2018). She’s a Cancer sun & Leo rising.
Jennifer Celestin, 2013
Jennifer Celestin is a writer, performer, and facilitator from Brooklyn, NY. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in Humanities at NYU and an M.F.A. in Fiction at CUNY: Queens College. She has performed at numerous venues in NYC and her publication credits include No Dear, Magazine and The Hawai’i Review. She knows ou kapab leer esto. Li invite’ou to her multilingual imaginación.
Jesse Phillips-Fein, 2012
Jesse Phillips-Fein is a Brooklyn born and based dancer, choreographer, educator and mama. Her work has been presented at venues in New York, New Jersey, Colorado and Maine, and her writing on dance and race is published in several anthologies.
Jonathan McCrory, 2010
Harlem-based Jonathan McCrory is an Obie Award Winning artist & Audelco Nominated, Harlem-based artist who has served as Director of Theatre Arts Program at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre since 2012. He has directed numerous productions, including Dead and Breathing, HandsUp, Hope Speaks, Blacken the Bubble, Asking for More, Last Laugh, and Enter Your Sleep. In 2013, he was awarded the Emerging Producer Award by the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and the Torch Bearer Award by theatrical legend Woodie King Jr.
José Pérez IV, 2008
José Pérez IV is a fight choreographer, theatre maker, teacher, and performer. He holds an MFA in Performance Pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh and a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing. José has made fight theatre in a moving car (Orlando Fringe), in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and on the streets of Greenwich Village.
Juju Angeles, 2009
Occupying Ohlone Territory (Oakland, CA), Juju is mothering, homeschooling, working with plants, and supporting people through their pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum journey. She graduated with a degree and a lot of debt from a Creative Writing program and facilitated spaces encouraging “marginalized” communities to tell their own stories. As an AfroTaino person, they are reclaiming and remembering their traditional practice as a form of decolonization. In 2014, they started Babymamahood, an online platform to dismantle, reimagine, and reclaim solo parenting for women and people of color in the hood.
Julha Franz, 2019
Coming from a place of sexual and gender liberation, Julha Franz (Brazil, 1993) pushes boundaries with her own body. Through the language of performance art, she creates new forms of imposed body and social identities. She has been awarded artistic residencies in Venice, Italy, 2017, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2015 and 2014. She has participated in collective exhibitions, mainly art performance festivals, such as VERBO – Galeria Vermelho (where she participated in two consecutive editions in 2017 and 2018). In 2018, she was nominated for the French Aliance Contemporary Art Award.
Julián Mesri, 2010
Julián Mesri is a New York-based Argentinean-American writer and composer who makes multilingual plays and musicals in the US and around the world. He is a current member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group and received a 2020-2021 EST/Sloan Commission. Recent productions include Immersion, Gauchos Americanos, and the upcoming musical Telo. Mesri has been an Emerging Artist of Color Fellow at NYTW, a Van Lier fellow at Repertorio Español, and the recipient of an ASCAP Scholarship. His adaptation of Fuenteovejuna received the HOLA Outstanding production award. He has also translated dramatic works for the Lark US/Mexico Exchange and PEN World Voices. He received his MFA from Columbia University.
Karina Claudio-Betancourt, 2009 (and Invited Alumni Faculty, 2010)
Karina Claudio Betancourt is a Program Officer with the Open Society Foundations, where she is the project director for OSF’s Puerto Rico Project. She is a skilled community organizer with several years of management, advocacy, policy analysis, fundraising and grant writing experience. She has particular experience working/organizing to empower low wage workers, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals and individuals living in the intersection of these identities. During her time in EmergeNYC, she was working at Make the Road New York.
Kelsey Pyro, 2016
Kelsey Pyro is a St. Paul and Minneapolis-grown/Brooklyn-based producer, singer/songwriter, poet, and educator. Her work often encompases healing processes and her identity as a Black and Ojibwe Native American Woman. Kelsey has performed at venues such as The Last Of The Record Buyers at SoundSet and TEDx AIU. She has shared bills with Wale, MC Lyte, Trak Girl, and more. She received the 2018 and 2019 Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Grant for co-producing the Blue Nile Jam Session. Kelsey premiered her new work, Makadewiiyaasikwe, in June 2019 for The Shed’s Open Call artist residency.
Kirya Traber, 2012 (and Invited Alumni Faculty, 2014)
Kirya Traber is a nationally awarded playwright, actress, and cultural worker. She is the lead Community Artist in Residence with Lincoln Center Education. Her latest work, If This Be Sin, a musical about the gender-bending Harlem Renaissance performer, Gladys Bentley, will be featured in HI-ARTS’ Critical Breaks Series in May 2020. Kirya is co-host of, Cheers & Queers, with Isake Smith, a podcast in the Gifted Sounds Network, and was a co-host of the PBS series, First Person, from 2017-2019. Kirya received a NY Emmy Nomination for her work with First Person PBS, and she is the recipient of the California Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Robert Redford’s Sundance foundation award for Activism in the Arts, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Certificate of Recognition, an Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund award for Poetry. She has has been commissioned as a playwright, actor, and director by renowned New York arts institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Orchestra of St Luke’s, Ping Chong + Company. See more on her website below.
Kiyan Williams, 2014
Kiyan Williams is a multidisciplinary artist from Newark who works fluidly across sculpture, performance, painting, and video. Their work has been exhibited at SculptureCenter, The Jewish Museum, Brooklyn Museum, the Shed, and more. Kiyan earned a BA with honors from Stanford and an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia. They were selected to participate in the 2019 In Practice emerging artist exhibition at SculptureCenter. Kiyan is the 2019/2020 recipient of the Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University. Research questions during Emerge: How can performance and sculpture unearth Black queer and trans embodiment? What are the aesthetics of decolonization, resistance, and recovery?
Kristen Kelso, 2020
Kristen Kelso is a performer, translator, theatre director, musician and writer from Savannah, GA based in Brooklyn. As a bilingual artist from a monolingual family, her performance work and research focus on bilingualism and code-switching while exploring the realms of familial archives, mourning and embodied, experimental translation practices. She is currently working as the Marketing and Development Director for Haus of Dust, in residency with The Loisaida Center and The Laundromat Project. She has an MA from the University of Texas at Dallas in Translation Studies and most recently, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU.
KT Pe Benito, 2019
Faustina KT Pe Benito is a nonbinary queer Filipinx, a Filipino man, and a white woman. They earned a BFA at Cooper Union (2016) and were a recipient of the Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarship. They have exhibited their work in New York City, including group exhibitions at David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland (2019), Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY (2019), Queens Museum, Queens, NY (2018-19), Flux Factory, Queens, NY (2017), and Long Island City Arts Open, Queens, NY (2017). They have performed at Knockdown Center, Queens, NY (2019), Performance Space, New York, NY (2018), among others.
Leslie Guyton, 2008
Leslie Guytonis a dance and theater director based in Brooklyn, NY. She’s the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The MoveShop. She choreographs, directs and teaches throughout the US and internationally. The MoveShop’s Racine D’or, toured the US in the fall of 2013 and was funded in part by South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. She was a master teacher at the International Contemporary Dance Lab in Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. She assistant- directed Under Construction with Anne Bogart and SITI Company in 2011 at New York Live Arts.
Lilach Orenstein, 2020
Lilach Orenstein is a choreographer, performer and producer. She is an Israeli immigrant with Yemeni-Polish-Romanian roots based in New York City. Lilach earned her B.Dance from The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, majoring in choreography, in 2017, and her M.F.A from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia in 2019. Among her awards are The Presidential Scholarship (U.S.), Outstanding Dancer from the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Excellence Award by The Jerusalem Foundation. She was recently invited to residencies in L1dancefest2019 – Budapest, EMERGENYC 2020 – NYC, The Center at West Park – NYC, IMPULSTANZ’s ATLAS program – Vienna, Derida Dance Center – Sofia and Machol Shalem Dance House – Jerusalem.
Lilian (Lily) Mengesha, 2011
Lily is a director, dramaturg and assistant professor of race and performance in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at Tufts University. Her research focuses on contemporary indigenous performance art of North and Central America, particularly on art that address legacies of violence against women. In her performance work, she aims to make legible temporal scales of memory as measured through social and ecological difference, as in “manifestroom” (2014), “an emotion is a sign that something has shifted” (2016) and her current devised work that focuses on the history of the ocean.
Linus Ignatius, 2017
Linus is a filmmaker, an actor, and an activist making bombastic, ensemble pieces that explore the glorified mess of modern American society. His last short film Mass is about living with body dysmorphia and HIV-stigma in a world of toxic masculinity. Mass premiered at Newfest 2019 and is streaming on many platforms including HereTV, Amazon Prime, and Together Magic. His first film Positive was a video-journal auto-documentary chronicling his experience adapting to an unexpected HIV diagnosis. Acting credits include The Blacklist and Law and Order: SVU. At Emerge, Linus developed performative characters that comment on the intersections of his identity: one, a raging Wall Street broker that has slipped out of the flow of time; the other, a silent phantom busy building cities out of discarded medication bottles.
Liz Andrews, 2011
Liz Andrews is an artist, curator, and scholar based in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University, MA from Tisch School of Arts, NYU, and Ph.D from George Mason University. Her dissertation, Envisioning President Barack Obama, focused on the role of visual images in the 2008 election. She currently works in the Director’s Office at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her curatorial projects at LACMA include The Obama Portraits Tour; A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Life: Black American Portraits; and LACMA x Snap: Monumental Perspectives augmented reality monuments in Los Angeles.
Lolo Haha, 2014
Lolo Haha (he/him) is an organizational consultant, conflict mediator, and communication skills trainer based in Portland, Oregon. He works with companies, nonprofits, and community groups to develop creative, collaborative, conflict-positive cultures within their teams. His unique combination of skills in Liberating Structures and Process Work center fun and lightness in the context of teamwork and emphasize the potential for transformation and generative organizational change through times of conflict. In his creative work, Lolo explores the means of deep personal and social transformation through community ritual performance.
Luisina Quarleri, 2009
Luisina is an actress, singer and dancer originally from Argentina. She’s performed internationally; notable credits include: Carmen (directed by Franco Zeffirelli) at L’Arena di Verona, Italy; Shrek The Musical (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Madrid, Spain); Limitless (with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro); Coyote Lake (with Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza and Riverdale’s Camila Mendes); VH1 Save the Music with Tony Bennett; Edha on Netflix. She studied theater at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and The William Esper Studio. She speaks English, Spanish, and Italian fluently and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Mare Berger, 2015
Mare has been playing the piano for 34 years and writing music for a loooong time too. Mare believes in the importance of creative collaboration and community to help stop fascism and oppression and facilitates workshops called: Collective Songwriting for Collective Liberation. For many years they curated The Moon Show which featured underrepresented artists, and helped start The Moon Choir, a monthly song-share for queer and trans folk. Mare has played at the Jazz Standard, The Bitter End, and in the pit for the Broadway musical Evita.
Maria Schirmer, 2011
Maria Schirmer is a theater artist, writer and arts educator. She has received a Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellowship with the Jana Sanskriti Center for Theatre of the Oppressed in Kolkata, India and was an artist in residence at the Women’s International Study Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Currently she is a member of the movement installation ON DISPLAY with Heidi Latsky Dance, which has been performed at Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum, and the United Nations.
Mariam Bazeed, 2017
An Egyptian immigrant living in Brooklyn, Mariam Bazeed is a performance artist and alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays. They have an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College; have been awarded fellowships from the Center for Fiction, Asian American Writers Workshop, Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics at NYU, and Lambda Literary; and residencies from Hedgebrook, Marble House Project, the Millay Colony, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center.
Marta Jovanović, 2013
Marta Jovanović (b. 1978, Belgrade, Serbia) constructs scenarios in which she interrogates politics, identity, beauty, and sexuality. Jovanović received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University in 2001 after attending Scuola Lorenzo de Medici, in Florence. Her works have been presented in institutions such as Museo Pietro Canonica and Museo della Civiltà Romana, both in Rome; G12HUB, Belgrade; Studio Marina Abramovic at Location One, New York; and Centre Culturel de Serbie, Paris, among many others.
Mary Notari, 2011 (and Invited Alumni Faculty, 2014)
I am a multidisciplinary theater artist, cultural activist, and dork. I firmly believe in live art and non-violent direct action as sites of world-making, radical empathy, and resistance. I have presented solo physical theater work and cabaret and I have appeared as an actor, physical theater artist, and puppeteer in independent theater productions. I worked with the culture-jamming collective The Yes Men as an idea producer, performer, and media strategist. With their non-profit the Yes Lab, I facilitated workshops on satire, narrative-building, and artistic activism. I continue to participate in grassroots activist spaces in NYC with a particular interest in anti-racism, anti-gentrification, and environmental justice.
Mauricio “Cio” Alexander, 2019
Mauricio Alexander is a first-generation bilingual artist of Latin American and East European roots. A graduate of Oberlin College and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, he has performed at the US Social Forum, Kennedy Center, D.C. Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Symphony Space, and Public Theater. A SAG-AFTRA member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, his original work has appeared at the HBO New York International Latino Film Festival, on television, and in new media. Mauricio is an Actors’ Equity 2018 recipient of the Actors’ Fund Push Grant and teaching resident artist at The Schermerhorn.
Megan Paradis Hanley, 2009
Megan Paradis Hanley has worked in theater in New York and internationally for the past ten years. She is Co-Artistic Director of The Syndicate, an ensemble theater company that produces new plays by women, queer, and trans artists. As an international network, The Syndicate seeks to expand professional opportunities in the field for both company members and fellow artists. The company’s work advocates for diversity, both in how we tell stories and whose stories we tell. With Man Meat Collective, she was an invited artist in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Squirts: New Voices in Queer Performance, curated by Dan Fishback at La MaMa. She holds a Master’s degree in Performance Studies, and she has trained and taught with SITI Company since 2010.
Melanie Greene, 2014
Melanie Greene is a dance artist, writer, and podcast host. She is no stranger to swirling on the edge of impossible, swimming in the sea of the minority. She has received generous artistic support from MANCC, Marble House Project, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, New York Live Arts, Gibney Dance, Actors Fund, BAX, Dancing While Black, Bogliasco Fellowship, and Brooklyn Arts Council. Greene is a contributing writer for Dance Magazine, co-host of the Dance Union Podcast, and Movement Research Artist in Residence. Research question during EMERGENYC: How does my artistic practice live in conversation with my activism and advocacy work?
Mercy Viola Carpenter, 2018
Mercy Viola is a Black and Native nonbinary femme raised in Brooklyn, New York. They are passionate about land sovereignty, reclaiming ritual and healing intergenerational trauma. Mercy incorporates these values as a Visual Artist, Performance Artist, Reiki practitioner and Educator. They create art with the intention of elevating indigenous wisdom that supports TGNC, black and native peoples. Their intention is for their artwork to reflect the historical resistance blueprints. They create vibrant multimedia science fiction, bridging vision to lived practice. Creating art that allows understanding of concepts that could otherwise lose their meaning gathering dust in academia. Mercy continues teaching and creating art to actualize integrity, accountability and sustainability particularly in movement, action and educational spaces.
Mette Loulou von Kohl, 2013
Mette Loulou was born from the orange at the center before the new world came. She is a performer and a wanderer. Currently living on the unceded land of the Lenape people, now colonized as New York City, Mette Loulou is a queer femme, of Lebanese/Palestinian and Danish ancestry. She has lived in New York, Romania, Morocco and Denmark. Mette Loulou is fascinated by the intersection between her personal identities as a jumping off point to reveal, dismantle and rebuild realities and dreams. She uses performance as her first step to understanding and surviving generational trauma and as a key tool in her fight to end the occupation of Palestine. She exists in two places at once.
Michael Zalta, 2020
Michael is a queer Syrian-American Jewish, writer, researcher and playwright interested in the intersections between Media Studies, Arab Cultural Studies, Black Studies, and Human Rights Practice. He is particularly interested in examining the ways in which theories of blackness and indigeneity circulate across various marginalized communities around the globe in order to foster or disallow forms of anti-racist coalition and intercommunal solidarity.
Mieke D, 2009
Mieke is a queer mixed race femme of Asian and European descent, who seeks to investigate how a diversity of styles can or cannot co-exist in a performative space, hunting for cohesive narratives and aesthetic harmony while traveling through a vast terrain of fragmentation. Mieke studied at the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU. She has performed with La Pocha Nostra, the Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, Target Margin Theater Company, and Taylor Mac, among others, and she has worked on numerous community-based theater projects with Cornerstone Theater Company and The Foundry Theatre Company.
Mon Iker, 2013
Mon Iker is an interdisciplinary artist devoted to elevating feminist, social, and environmental justice issues. Their work spans a variety of media, including street art, photography, performance, animation, film, and traditional herbalism. They combine experience in visual media making with knowledge of strategy, operations, and arts administration with and within social and environmental justice nonprofit community-based organizations, museums, and movements. Their artistic endeavors have shown internationally, been featured in the New York Times, and their arts administration work ranges from facilitating the growth of the world’s only queer museum to managing mural programs for detained young people on Riker’s Island.
Monica Furman, 2018
Monica Furman is a multi-hyphenate artist and conflict mediator. She was raised in Brooklyn by her Jew-ish Russian-speaking family from Ukraine, so she’s working out her dual-identity crisis by being an artist instead of a doctor like her babushka wanted. Monica’s most recent work includes The Waiting Room for the ASHTAR Theatre Festival in the West Bank and TBD: The Live Devising Project at FringeNYC. Her bilingual TV pilot, First Jen, was recently the winner for Pickford West’s Pitch Fest and a finalist for the Orchard Project’s inaugural TV Episodic Lab. At Emerge, she investigated the intersection of immigration and the gig economy.
Natacha Voliakovsky, 2019
Natacha Voliakovsky (Buenos Aires, 1988) is a political performance artist, feminist, and activist who has been performing around the world for the last 10 years. Her work revolves around the concept of culture as a humanizing system and the deconstruction of the social body, and raises awareness on issues regarding gender identity, body sovereignty, and women’s rights. She has taken part in the Venice International Performance Art Week workshop, Ûberbau Haus residency (Brazil), and Sur Polar residency (Antarctica). She is Director of Argentina Performance Art, the first research platform on performance art in Argentina.
Natalie Cook, 2018
Natalie Cook is a filmmaker, poet, and theater-maker. Natalie’s poetry film, “Backwards God,” received the Best Social Justice Film Award at the New York International Film Awards and was the Grand Prize Winner of the AT&T Film Awards. She is the founder of Atlanta Word Works, as well as an alumna of the First Wave Hip Hop Theatre Ensemble, the BARS Workshop at The Public Theater, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program. She received a Bachelor in Arts in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing and Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Arts in Film, Black Studies, and Art Education from the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Nefertiti Asanti, 2015
Nefertiti Asanti (they/she) is a poet from the Bronx and a recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Watering Hole, Queer Cultural Center, Lambda Literary, Anaphora Arts, Winter Tangerine, and the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Nefertiti’s work can be found at AfroPunk, Foglifter, Santa Clara Review, Split Lip Magazine, and elsewhere. During Nefertiti’s time at EMERGE, Nefertiti’s research asked: What can intergenerational experiences of Black menstrual pain tell us about healing ourselves?
Nessa Norich, 2020
Nessa Norich is a director, writer and performer making film and theater. Her work has shown at Joe’s Pub, the Edinburgh Fringe, the New Orleans Fringe, the American Dance Festival and the British Film Institute. Recent: Acting in the online reading of Diana Oh’s My H8 Letter to the Great American Theater. As a queer white Ashkenazi Jewish artist, she seeks to communicate and translate the complexities of identity by juxtaposing fragments of personal history, tradition, myth and ancestry. During Emerge, she was writing a film that assembled documentation of Shelter in Place with the Genesis narrative of the Great Flood.
NIC Kay, 2009
NIC Kay is from the Bronx, NY. They make performances and organize performative spaces with an un disciplined approach. Their approaches to space and objects are led by choreographic motivations and they engage with the body with a sculptural eye. NIC is concerned with the process of moving, the change of place, the production of space, and the potential as well as the meaning of shifting perspectives. They published their first book, Cotton Dreams, with Candor Arts in February 2020. Their last live performance was of their work pushit [an exercise in getting well soon] at Pomona Colleges Benson Gallery on February 28, 2020.
FB / IG / TW / TT @okaynickay
Nína Hjálmarsdóttir, 2020
Nína Hjálmarsdóttir (she/they) is a performance artist, writer & producer. Her art collective, Sálufélagar, has produced four performances for the stage. She makes and writes about performances of image and identity, often focusing on the Nordic image and Nordic whiteness. She holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch. Her most recent performance staged the Icelandic image and how one is excluded from that image. She has produced for different festivals and groups, facilitated workshops on national identity, created a personal podcast for the National Radio on love and relationships, and worked as a performance art critic for a major newspaper. Additionally she has taught at the Iceland University of the Arts.
Noelle Ghoussaini, 2011
Noelle Ghoussaini creates expansive and genre-defying theatrical experience exploring the politics and spirit of liberation. She brings to light to the divine feminine and the resilient spirit of womxn living under patriarchal norms. She tells nuanced stories about the unexposed beauty and complexity of spiritual and social landscapes in the Middle East. She creates theatre and ritual experiences in public space, as a way to examine and reimagine our society within political, cultural and mystical contexts. Her work is grounded, yet offers visions of the surreal, sacred and abstract. She recently created “shapelight” – a organization dedicated to ritual, installation and connection through collective creative ceremonies. Noelle is dedicated to equity, connection and creativity for all beings. MA – Arts Politics, Tisch, NYU.
Paul Bedard, 2016
Paul Bedard is a Brooklyn-based theater director. He is an artistic director of Theater in Asylum. His work has appeared at the Hangar, Cherry Lane, IRT, and Dixon Place Theatres, as well as the Prague, Chicago, and Rochester Fringe Festivals. He has collaborated with Bread and Puppet Theater and The Democratic Socialists of America. Paul is a Drama League Directing Fellow and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Polina Porras Sibolovoba, 2012
Polina Porras Sivolobova is a Russian-Mexican multidisciplinary artist based in New York. Her work includes visual arts and performance. She explores narrative using ritual, iconography, technology and nature. She has performed at the Venice Biennale and has been supported by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, El Museo del Barrio, The Smithsonian Institute, and the Queens Council on the Arts.
Rachel Kara Pérez, 2019
Rachel Kara Pérez (she/they/ella/ellx) is an artist, educator, facilitator, and youth mentor who views the arts as an incredible vehicle for healing, building community, and play! As a performer her work spans multiple genres, from classical to contemporary performance, to Afro-Cuban Jazz. She has performed off Broadway, in poetry slams and readings, and in iconic concert halls here and abroad. As an educator and facilitator Rachel has and continues to be involved with a number of organizations teaching the arts in both English and Spanish to NYC school children and refugee youth of all ages. Rachel was an Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellow with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), is a member of the Bronx Music History Advisory Board, and a founding member of the Queer writing collective, Streaks of Lavender.
Rad Pereira, 2018
Rad is a two-spirit Afro-Indigenous, Jewish, Brazilian (im)migrant artist currently based in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn). Their practices range from renegade participatory ritual facilitation, to popular theatrical and TV/film performance, to community based educational artmaking and healing centering an Afro-futurist longing for transformative justice and queer reindigenization of culture. Their work has been supported by over 50 cultural institutions on Turtle Island/ Abya Yala. 2017 NYC Public AiR. Research question: Who gets to live off of making Art under the NYC capitalist cultural model AND how can we decolonize performance through models of participatory storytelling?
Rebecca Fitton, 2019
Rebecca Fitton is an improviser, facilitator, and citizen. Her work is informed by her experiences as a biracial immigrant and has been presented in NYC at Gibney, Movement Research, Staten Island Arts, Triskelion Arts, LiVEART.US/Queens Museum and Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC at Abrons Arts Center, in addition to many non-traditional performance spaces such as bars, rooftops, gardens and streets across New York, New Jersey, Florida, Wisconsin, and Salzburg, Austria. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at center space (Grand Rapids, MI) part of the 2019 Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC cohort (New York, NY) and is currently a Fellow at LEIMAY (Brooklyn, NY).
Régine Romain, 2018
Régine Romain is a Haitian-American artist, educator, visual anthropologist and race equity coach living in Brooklyn, NY. As a storyteller and cultural producer, she uses photographs/film/performance as mixed-media educational tools to promote love, understanding and respect by addressing issues of representation and equity through participatory and reflective learning practices. Régine is founder/director of the Urban PhotoPoets Project, Brooklyn Photo Salon and the WaWaWa Diaspora Centre. She is the director/producer of the award winning short film and podcast “Brooklyn to Benin: A Vodou Pilgrimage” and “Vodou Roots: A Love Story Musical.” Régine received her BS in International Studies from Bowie State University and MA in Photography and Urban Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London.
rexylafemme (rex renée leonowicz), 2017
rexylafemme (rex renée leonowicz) is a visual + performing artist, writer, and healer born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. As a working class trans femme, rex’s work is grounded in a politics of radical resistance, healing, and witness. s/he blends genders and genres, using drag/burlesque, comedy, visual art, and voice, to critically respond to the relationships people “on the margins” have with our surroundings and each other. rex’s book of poems and illustrations, when there is no one and there is everyone is available from Magic Helicopter Press.
Ricardo Gamboa, 2010 (and Invited Alumni Faculty, 2011)
Ricardo Gamboa (They/ Them/ Theirs) is an artist, activist and academic. Ricardo is currently staffed on THE CHI for showtime, and is writing the pilot for YOSHUA at HBOMax with Issa Rae & Scott Free producing; they are also developing a feature project with Macro. Before becoming a screenwriter, Gamboa created radically politicized arts interventions, theater and performance, and media with, by and for communities of color in their native Chicago for over a decade. This work includes endeavors like Gamboa’s critically acclaimed webseries BRUJOS about gay Latino doctoral students that are also witches fighting white supremacy or their radical underground traveling news show The Hoodoisie, which reaches hundreds of Chicagoans monthly. Gamboa is currently completing their doctorate degree at New York University’s American Studies program, where they earned their M.A in Arts and Politics. Ricardo has won several awards including a Joyce Award and an International Connections Award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. They are passionate about creating media that is not satisfied with just “diverse representation” but offers radical insights, politics and visions to the audience and that is reflected in the production processes.
Rina Espiritu, 2018
A local of Queens Village, NY with a US greencard and Pilipino passport. This multidisciplinary artist has organized various things but not limited to: public discourse with artists/curator, a physical theater with clickbaity title, solo movement improvisations, solo exhibition of gestural paintings, durational performance in a pond, sculpture with trash and notes, Instagram memes, solo and collective performance art projects, and anonymous dissents. Oftentimes, she daydreams about a borderless and debtless world of a collectively thriving society free from cycle of bad parenting, home and food insecurity, and of historical amnesia/erasure/distortions.
Rosary Solimanto, 2017
Activist artist Rosary Solimanto, explores oppression and societal stigmas living with multiple sclerosis evolving into her international artistic career. She approaches disABILITY identity, biology, healthcare and medicine from a humanitarian perspective. Solimanto graduated with her MFA from SUNY New Paltz in 2015 and since exhibited and performed across the US, Toronto, London, Greece, China and Spain, and featured in twelve international museums. Awards include Unlimit Fellowship from Art OMI; Kulakoff Award at SUNY Albany; and the Sojourner Truth Fellowship at SUNY New Paltz. She was a selected for the activist program, Emerge NYC.
Sabina Ibarrola, 2013
Sabina is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, activist, and troublemaker: a dancer and bruja on the path towards becoming a writer and healer, too. Sabina apprenticed with herbalist Robin Rose Bennett of Wisewoman Healing Ways. A graduate of Hunter College and the New York School of Burlesque, she collaborates with the Boston-based Femme Show and Brooklyn’s Heels on Wheels Glitter Roadshow. As a mixed-race Latina femmedyke, her work coalesces around conscious, performative femininity and camp as strategies for resisting racist heteropatriarchy.
Sacred Walker, 2012
Sacred Walker is a master facilitator and the CEO and Lead Holistic Trainer of Kuumba Health LLC. Sacred’s creative writing and dance performances include gracing the stage of Alvin Ailey World Dance Festival, WOW Cafe, Second Stage Theater, Malonga Dance School, Union Theological Seminary, LGBT Community Center, etc. Her creative passion is the cross-section between the ways dancing and co-creating artistically with the divine in the hardest of times, bridging ancestral and modern wisdom, helps build resilience and has brought out the best in those she is blessed to support and serve year after year.
Sahar Sepahdari-Dalai, 2019
Sahar Sepahdari-Dalai is an Iranian American video and performance artist. Healing and language are the axes of her practice. She is interested in the metaphorical flux of translation that speaks to diasporic displacement when considering the decolonization of time and space. She is a world-builder and engages her audience in self-reflexive and affective moments of recognition and play. She has performed at The New Museum, Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, and Performa ‘15 NYC. She also curates a show called Digital Diaspora for digital artists in the Islamic Diaspora centering Black Muslim Artists.
Samantha Galarza, 2012
Samantha Galarza is a queer, Puerto Rican, SAG-AFTRA actress, writer, performance artist, educator, and director. Her work explores queer identity, internalized and systemic anti-black racism, generational trauma, migration, gender-based violence, substance abuse, and policies that disproportionately affect marginalized communities. Ultimately a storyteller, her dream is to bridge the gap between mainstream media and progressive “de-colonial” political art. Her work has been published in award winning anthologies and she’s performed throughout the U.S. and internationally. Sam is co-founder of the femme/queer/Latinx centered podcast Latinas en Queerantine, co-founder of the queer performance art collective A Beautiful Desperation, and proud Alternate Roots member.
Sara Lyons, 2012
Sara Lyons is a director who seeks to explode form/politic in new, critically embodied theatre and performance works. Working frequently in adaptation, social practice, and new media, their work has been presented by Los Angeles Performance Practice, The Wattis Institute, OUTsider, SFX Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, HERE, LaMaMa, Edinburgh Fringe, and more. MFA-Directing, Carnegie Mellon.
Shelah Marie, 2011
With her authentic, rebellious and playful personality and her @curvycurlyconscious movement, Shelah Marie engages an online community of over a quarter million people. Her mission is to create a movement of total self love and liberation for women of color. She’s the creator of the Curvy, Curly, Conscious movement, where “self help” meets “real talk” and has been featured in NBC, Fox5, Luxe Radar, Black Girl In Om, and Live Civil by Karen Civil among others. Prior to Curvy, Curly, Conscious, Shelah led her signature workshop named The Sustainable Theater Workshop to entities such as The United Nations, The United States Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, The RuJohn Foundation, and The African Burial Ground National Monument.
Shenny de Los Angeles, 2019
Shenny de Los Angeles is a Dominican-American performance artist. Her work focuses on healing generational trauma, inviting every hurt to free itself into joy. During her time at Emerge, Shenny was researching the Afro Latinx experience in America and Domincan American’s relationship to DR, exploring rituals of beauty passed from generation to generation. Shenny centralizes Black Caribbean femmes in her work; affirming the beauty in being alive. “when you in pain just focus on somebody else’s business,” is her first piece to be published by The Caribbean Writers. This past fall, she was commissioned by The Latinx Playwright Circle to write a short play entitled, “Las Mujeres de Hierro/ The women made of Iron” Now, as a 2020-2021 Suite/Space Artist of Mabou Mines Theatre, Shenny is currently developing her one woman show “What Happens to Brown Girls Who Never Learn How to Love Themselves Brown: the ritual to beauty.”
Sol de la Ciudad, 2017
Sol de la Ciudad is a Chicago trans creator based in NYC. Sol has created and collaborated in numerous seasons of shows at Free Street Theatre. From audio engineering to performative efforts she has made mediums concerning the abstraction of how sounds are produced and operating sonically within and without the hands of the State. She is also a member of the radically politicized theatrical group Young Fugitives. A portion of her work can be viewed under the name Sol Patches and 1/2 of collaborative group solYchaski.
Sophia Mak, 2016
Sophia Mak is a Brooklyn based, multi-disciplinary artist and educator. They have had the pleasure of working with young artists across New York City’s five boroughs. Sophia is currently in collaboration with Bex Kwan (EMERGE’16) creating performances which unearth secret histories of foreignness, family mythologies, and kinship in East Asian communities in the United States.
Sriya Sarkar, 2015
Sriya Sarkar is a digital media producer, comedian, and filmmaker working at the intersection of digital media, comedy, and activism. She has worked with artist Maya Lin for the What Is Missing? Foundation as well as the feminist sleeper cell of riotously funny reproductive rights advocates at Lady Parts Justice. She is the producer of Speakout Laughout, a comedic storytelling show about abortion, as well as lolvote, a comedy variety show and accompanying Twitterbot encouraging youth voter turnout. Currently, she’s the Digital Content Producer for Priorities USA.
stefa marin alarcon, 2019
stefa marin alarcon is a vocalist, composer and multi-media performance artist born and raised in Queens, NY. Using an amalgamation of punk, experimental pop and classical minimalism with queer ethereal aesthetix and video collages, stefa builds worlds that offer a somatic decolonial respite for the misfits & displaced who are yearning for a sense of home. They studied euro-centric classical music for 20 years (Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts ‘07, CSSD ‘10), were an Artist-in-Residence at TrueQué Residencia Artística, Slippage Residency at Duke University, a Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics EmergeNYC Fellow (2019) and are a Leslie Lohman Museum of Art Fellow (2019-2020).
Stephano Espinoza, 2015
Stephano is an artist and educator from Guayaquil, Ecuador. He is the co-founder and director of TrueQué Residencia Artistica, an annual artist residency in the coast of Ecuador. He holds a BA in Social and Cultural Analysis with concentrations in Latinx and Metropolitan Studies from New York University. He was part of the NYFA’s Immigrant Artists Program and the Center for Artistic Activism’s 2016 Art Action Academy. Espinoza has worked at the Queens Museum as a Public Programs and Community Engagement Fellow, as an educator at the Museum of the Moving Image and a teaching artist at Groundswell Community Mural Project.
Stephen Graf, 2011
After many years in the NYC theatre scene, Stephen began pursuing doctoral studies in 2017 at the New School for Social Research, with a major concentration in comparative politics and a minor in global politics. His research interests include the structure of political institutions, inclusiveness in public service delivery, state-society relations, and social movements in India. He has worked in the Permanent Observer Office for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) to the United Nations for over five years.
Susana Plotts-Pineda, 2020
Susana Plotts-Pineda is a Mexican-American theatre-maker, artist, performer, writer, and co-founder of Egg y Pan Magazine. Her work is dedicated to crafting dreamscapes and exploring historical memory. She deals with themes of cultural identity, fragmentation, and revolution, delving into archive and utopian imaginings. Her documentary play La Caravana de los Misterios, was staged at PSi#25 in Calgary and at Emerging Artists Theatre. An article about the piece is forthcoming in Global Performance Studies. Her short Belmont or These Kinds of Dreams, developed at EmergeNYC, premiered at the OC Film Fiesta. Currently she is a resident artist at CoLAB Arts.
Taja Lindley, 2014
Lindley is a memory worker, healer and an activist. Through iterative and interdisciplinary practices, she creates socially engaged artwork that reflects and transforms audiences, shifts culture and moves people to action. She uses movement, text, installation, ritual, burlesque, and multi-media to create immersive works that are concerned with freedom, healing and pleasure. Her 2017 residency at Dixon Place Theater culminated in the world premiere of her one-woman show The Bag Lady Manifesta and it has been presented at museums, theaters, and universities nationwide.She is a 2019 NYC Public Artist in Residence and a 2020 A Blade of Grass Fellow. See a conversation between Taja and Marlène Ramírez-Cancio.
Tina Wang, 2020
Tina Wang is a performance artist based in New York and California. Identity, fragility, and resilience are key themes in her work, which draws on her experience as a Taiwanese citizen raised in Latin America. By immersing the body around the objects of menial labor, she challenges assumptions about where these objects belong, who belongs with them, and their relationship to living bodies. Her work has been supported by institutions such as Dance/NYC, California Arts Council, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Judson Church, New York Live Arts, Governor’s Island, The Exponential Festival, Maiden LA, and The Immigrant Artist Biennial. During Emerge 2020, she was researching ways to expand her toolbox as an artist beyond movement and sound based mediums.
Valentina De Roca Fuerte, 2020
Valentina De Roca Fuerte is a sensitive poet, awakening visual artist, workshop facilitator, and creative wellness educator. Born in Bogotá Colombia, raised in the DMV & Washington state, to now living in Harlem; she carries all these places with her. Her words are motivated by the urgency to write through brown immigrant women’s pain & power. Her written work can be found printed in Undertone Magazine’s On Body collection as well digitally in Spanglish Voces ‘Desahogo Al 2020’ Series. She also recently graduated with a Masters in Art Politics from NYU Tisch & is now teaching brilliant youth in Brooklyn.
Vanessa Cuervo, 2016
Born in Bogotá Colombia, Vanessa is a dancer, curator & cultural producer exploring the connections between identity, collective memory building and rituals of resilience in (but not limited to) Latin America. Working with dance, theatre and film organizations in Toronto, Buenos Aires, New York & Bogotá she has collected a multiplicity of stories. She currently works with film teams strategizing on how to use their documentaries as tools for social change, and connecting them to changemakers and partners that can fuel their impact campaigns.
Zavé Martohardjono, 2011
Zavé Martohardjono is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist born in Montréal, Canada. Their artistic practice explores geopolitics, social justice, queer glam, embodied healing, and modes of decolonization. Martohardjono studied political economy at Brown University, filmmaking at CUNY City College, and entered dance and performance art in 2009.
Zoe Lukov, 2009
Zoe is an independent curator and performer born and raised in New York City. She currently lives in Los Angeles. For the last six years she has been the Chief Curator at Faena Art in Miami and Buenos Aires. Previously she was International Liaison for the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Cartagena de Indias, Project Manager at Jeffrey Deitch, Inc. and Curatorial Coordinator the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA LA). She completed a 2010 Fulbright fellowship in Colombia.