George Emilio Sánchez has been EmergeNYC’s lead instructor since its inception in 2008, and in 2020 Marlène Ramírez-Cancio joined as a co-facilitator of the virtual program. Over the years, guest faculty and presenters have included the artists, activists, and scholars below.
Legacy 2050, Invited Artist Faculty (2013)
2050 Legacy is hip-hop and social justice theater group devoted to continuing the great work of the New WORLD Theater’s Project 2050 in empowering artists and strengthening communities through animating democracy. Aisha Jordan is a performer and arts organizer currently working with the group. She has performed and done work for, PS 122, EmergeNYC, Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Jordan received the M.A. in NYU’s Arts and Politics at the Tisch School for the Arts and works to facilitate social change through self-exploration and the transformation and empowerment of artists and audiences, utilizing collaborative theater development and performance. Frantz Jerome is an MC, poet, essayist, performer, educator, activist, and husband. Frantz is currently teaching modern mythology, media, technology, and empowerment with Inwood House in NYC high schools. An alumn of EMERGENYC and a lover of words, Frantz hopes to share ‘the meaning of things’ with everyone he comes in contact with.
Aaron Landsman, Invited Artist Faculty (2018)
Aaron Landsman makes live performances involving people, space, time and language. Based in New York City, his projects range from monologues and stage plays to participatory and conceptual works presented in places where people perform their lives: offices, homes, meeting rooms and buses. Recent works include: Empathy School, a performance created with filmmaker and composer Brent Green, commissioned by EMPAC and presented on a night bus ride through a country road; Appointment, a suite of works for a single viewer and a single performer in offices; City Council Meeting, a participatory, community-engaged work presented in five US cities, funded by NEFA’s National Theater Pilot, NPN, MAP and Jerome; and Running Away From The One With The Knife, a new play about suicide and religious faith commissioned by NYSCA. His earlier work was commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theater and PS 122 in New York, and DiverseWorks and Project Row Houses in Houston.
Alicia Grullón, Invited Artist Faculty (2018–19)
Alicia Grullón moves between performance, video, and photography. She channels her interdisciplinary approach towards critiques of the politics of presence–an argument for the inclusion of disenfranchised communities in political and social spheres. Grullón’s works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions including Franklin Furnace Archives, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, BRIC Arts | Media House, School of Visual Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery, and Performa 11. She has received grants from several institutions including the Puffin Foundation, Bronx Council on the Arts, and the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York. Grullón has participated in residencies in the United States, South Korea, and Germany, and has presented workshops as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial with Occupy Museums, Creative Time Summit ’15, and The Royal College of Art, among others. She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and an MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and has completed advanced graduate level coursework in art and philosophy of education at the Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
Andy Bichlbaum (Jacques Servin), Invited Artist Faculty (2012)
Andy Bichlbaum (AKA Jacques Servin) began his current adulthood by inserting a swarm of kissing men to a shoot-’em-up video game just before it shipped to store shelves. Finding himself fired and momentarily famous, he opted to go into weird activism. Since then, as co-founder of the Yes Men (www.theyesmen.org), he’s worked for entities such as Exxon, Dow, Monsanto, and the US Chamber of Commerce, as well as for the New York Times, the New York Post, and the Washington Post, all without their approval.
Ann Pellegrini, Invited Scholar Faculty (2015)
Ann Pellegrini is a Professor of Performance Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. Her books and articles traverse several disciplines and interdisciplines, but one through-line is an abiding interest in exploring how feelings are lived, experienced, and communicated between and across bodies—and with what risks and possibilities for self and others. She is the author of Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race (Routledge, 1997); co-author, with Janet R. Jakobsen, of Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance (NYU Press, 2003; Beacon Press, 2004); and co-author, with Michael Bronski and Michael Amico, of “You Can Tell Just By Looking” and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (Beacon Press, 2013). “You Can Tell Just By Looking” was a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Non-Fiction. She has also published two anthologies: Queer Theory and the Jewish Question, co-edited with Daniel Boyarin and Danial Itzkovitz (Columbia University Press, 2003); and Secularisms, co-edited with Janet R. Jakobsen (Duke University Press, 2008).
Anna Deavere Smith, Invited Artist Faculty (2008–09)
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress and playwright who is said to have created a new form of theatre. In a popular culture as an actress—Nurse Jackie, Blackish, Madame Secretary, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia, others. Books: Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines. Her current project “Notes From the Field: Doing Time In Education, looks at what is now called the “school to prison pipeline”—disciplinary practices in schools in poor communities that increase the likelihood that those youths will spend part of their lives incarcerated. Three of her plays have been broadcast on PBS. The National Endowment named her the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer for the Humanities. Prizes include the National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama, a MacArthur fellowship, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, two Tony nominations, and two Obies. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. She is the founder and director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University.
Avram Finkelstein, Invited Artist Faculty (2016–18)
Avram Finkelstein is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn. His work has shown at The Whitney Museum, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, Kunsthalle Wien and Exit Art and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum, The New Museum, The Smithsonian, The Brooklyn Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum. Finkelstein is a founding member of the Silence=Death Collective and the art collective, Gran Fury, with whom he collaborated on public art projects for international institutions including The Whitney, ArtForum, MOCA LA, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Creative Time, and The Public Art Fund. The collective had its first retrospective at 80 WSE in 2012 and has work in the permanent collections of The Whitney, MoMA, The New Museum and The New York Public Library. He has created public awareness campaigns for AmFAR, The AIDS Policy Project, The Campaign To End AIDS, ACT UP, POZ, United Against AIDS, and ACRIA. avramfinkelstein.com
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. Their 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, and 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.
Carmelita Tropicana, Invited Artist Faculty (2008–09)
Cuban-born writer/performance artist Carmelita Tropicana received an Obie award in 1999 for “Sustained Excellence” and was named “One of the Most Notable Women of 1998” by El Diario newspaper. She and director Ela Troyano won Best Short at the 1994 Berlin Film Festival for Carmelita Tropicana: Your Kunst is Your Waffen. Her collaboration with Marga Gomez, Single Wet Female, earned a 2002 GLAAD Media Award nomination. In 2000, Beacon Press published a comprehensive collection of her plays and scripts I, Carmelita Tropicana — Performing Between Cultures, a Lambda Award nominee. INTAR Theatre produced the solo With What Ass Does a Cockroach Sit? in 2004. Her work has been presented at venues including the ICA in London, Centre de Cultura Contemporanea in Barcelona, Thalia Theater in Hamburg, PS 122 in New York, Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, and Brava Theater in San Francisco.
Craig Peterson, Invited Artist Faculty (2011) and Institutional Partner (2018–present)
Craig T. Peterson is the Artistic Director of Abrons Arts Center, joined the staff at Abrons in September 2016. Previously he was the Director of Programs at Gibney Dance, a multi-faceted center for dance and performance development, training, and presentation in New York City. From 2009 – 2013, Peterson was the Director and Producer of the annual Philly Fringe Festival, a three-week city-wide festival featuring the work of more than 200 performing artists and companies. During this time he also launched and directed the Live Arts Brewery (LAB), a research and development program supporting long term residencies and engagement activities for local and national artists. For ten years he served on the staff of Dance Theater Workshop, one of America’s preeminent contemporary performing arts institutions based in NYC.
D’Lo, Invited Artist Faculty (2012)
D’Lo is a queer Tamil Sri L.A.nkan-American, political theatre artist/writer, director, comedian and music producer. D’Lo has performed and/or facilitated performance and writing workshops extensively (US, Canada, UK, Germany, Sri Lanka and India). D’Lo is also the creator of the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series which have taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant Queer Organizations nationally (LA, NY and SF). D’Lo’s work has been published in various anthologies and academic journals, most recently: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic (co-edited by Sharon Bridgforth). D’Lo holds a BA from UCLA in Ethnomusicology and is a graduate of New York’s School of Audio Engineering (SAE). dlocokid.com
Dan Fishback, Invited Artist Faculty (2012–14)
Dan Fishback is a playwright, musician, and founding director of the Helix Queer Performance Network. His musical “The Material World” was called one of the Top Ten Plays of 2012 by Time Out New York. His play “You Will Experience Silence” was called “sassier and more fun than ‘Angels in America’” by the Village Voice. Also a performing songwriter, Fishback has released several albums and toured Europe and North America, both solo and with his band Cheese On Bread, which released their album “The One Who Wanted More” in 2018, along with a music video for their song “Bad Friend,” directed by Stephen Winter and featuring Justin Vivian Bond. He has been a resident artist at Kelly Writers House at the
University of Pennsylvania, the Hemispheric Institute at NYU, the Kimmel
Harding Nelson Center, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and BAX/Brooklyn
Arts Exchange, where he was in various forms of residence from
2010-2018. Fishback created and oversees La MaMa Experimental Theater’s
annual series La MaMa’s Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance. He
sits on Gibney’s Curatorial Advisor Team and is a proud member of the
Jewish Voice for Peace Artist Council.
Daniel Alexander Jones, Invited Artist Faculty (2013–14)
Daniel Alexander Jones makes live art. An award-winning performer, writer, and director, American Theatre Magazine named him “one of fifteen artists whose work will be transforming American stages for decades to come.” His unconventional body of work includes plays (Bel Canto, Earthbirths, Phoenix Fabrik), performance pieces (Blood:Shock: Boogie, The Book of Daniel, Cab, and Lena) and devised work (Qualities of Light, Clayangels). In collaboration with composer Bobby Halvorson, Daniel, as his “altar-ego” Jomama Jones (called “a true theatrical original” by Backstage Magazine), has released the CDs Lone Starand Radiate; has performed in concert at Joe’s Pub and Symphony Space; and sold out a theatrical run of the critically acclaimed show Radiate, directed by Kym Moore at Soho Rep. Daniel holds a degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College and a graduate degree in Theatre from Brown University. He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Fordham University and previously taught in the MFA programs at the University of Texas at Austin and Goddard College. danielalexanderjones.com
Debra Levine, Invited Scholar Faculty (2012–15)
Debra Levine received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and her MFA in Theatre from Columbia University. Her current research interests focus on translocal imaginaries in transnational and global performance, trans-disciplinary performance, disability arts and culture, social practice art and digital humanities performance scholarship. Before teaching at Harvard University, she taught in the Drama Department at New York University, at Barnard College, and, most recently, was an Assistant Professor of Theater at New York University Abu Dhabi. She is the recipient of the 2017 ASTR/Cambridge University Press Prize and has contributed book and catalog essays for artists Vikram Divecha, Lola Flash, and Trajal Harrell. She has published in TDR: The Drama Review; Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory; GLQ; Disability Studies Quarterly; Theater Research International; emisférica the Journal for the Hemispheric Institute of Performance; Movement Research Journal; Studia Dramatica; the Walker Art Center’s Walker Reader; and NYU Skirball Center’s Indefinite Article.
Diana Taylor, Invited Scholar Faculty (2009–13)
Diana Taylor is a University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. She is the award-winning author of multiple books, among them: Theatre of Crisis (1991), Disappearing Acts (1997), The Archive and the Repertoire (2003), and Performance (2016). Her new book, ¡Presente! The Politics of Presence is forthcoming with Duke University Press. Taylor founded the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics 1998, and served as its director until 2020. In 2017, Taylor was President of the Modern Language Association and in 2018 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dulce Pinzón, Invited Artist Faculty (2009)
Dulce Pinzón was born in Mexico City in 1974. She studied Mass Media Communications at the Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla Mexico and Photography at Indiana University in Pennsylvania. In 1995 she moved to New York where she studied at The International Center of Photography. In 2001 her photos were used for the cover of a publication of Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States”. In 2002 Dulce won the prestigious Jovenes Creadores grant in Mexico for her work. In 2006 she won an Honorific Mention in the Santa Fe project competition and she won the 12th edition of the Mexican Biennial of El Centro de La Imagen. Dulce was a 2006 fellow in Photography from the New York Foundation for the Arts and is now participating in the 2007 fall session of the Bronx Museum’s AIM program. She is currently a Ford Foundation fellow and lives in Brooklyn New York.
Ebony Noelle Golden, Invited Artist Faculty (2013–19, 2021)
Ebony Noelle Golden is an artist, scholar, and culture strategist from Houston, TX and now living and working in Harlem. She stages site-specific rituals and lives art performances that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now. She serves as the founding CEO and principal engagement strategist at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, an NYC-based culture consultancy, and arts accelerator, working globally. She lectures on contemporary black feminist, womanist, and experimental theatre of the African diaspora at The New School and community-based performance praxis in the graduate Performance and Performance Studies Program at Pratt. Current projects include 125th & FREEdom (WP-June 2019), In The Name Of… (WP- August 2019), The Dallas Project: Routes (Texas premier- May 2019) and wash’d// an evening-length dance ritual. Ebony is also preparing to launch Jubilee 2020 a social practice + public performance project rooted in co-creating a visionary and liberated future with community members in Harlem, NY and beyond.
Ed Woodham, Invited Artist Faculty (2013–19)
Ed Woodham has been active in community art, education, and civic interventions across media and culture for over twenty-five years. A visual and performance artist, puppeteer, and curator, Woodham employs humor, irony, subtle detournement, and a striking visual style in order to encourage greater consideration of–and provoke deeper critical engagement with–the urban environment. Woodham created Art in Odd Places (AiOP) to present visual and performance art to reclaim public spaces in New York City and beyond. Woodham teaches at School of Visual Arts for City as Site: Social Interventions and Public Performance. He was a 2013 Blade of Grass Fellow in Social Engagement. For summer 2014, Ed was selected for thedrawing(shed) residency IdeasFromElse[W]here to create a performance work in Lloyd Park, East London. For 2016 he was commissioned to create a socially engaged work for Jamaica FLUX at The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Queens, NY and was awarded a commission by The Gowanus Public Arts Initiative to create The Keepers, in his longtime neighborhood of Gowanus, Brooklyn.
ERRO Grupo, Invited Artist Faculty (2013)
ERRO Grupo was founded in 2001 in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil. The group’s artistic practice explores the construction of situations in public space, the union of artistic languages, and the dilution of art in everyday life. With its situational praxis, ERRO intervenes daily flows, urban landscapes, and media, seeking other ways to live and to insert ourselves into the city. With 18 years of experience in street theater and performance, ERRO investigates the dissolution and interference of performance in the city through the creation of possible encounters and connections between passersby.
Favianna Rodriguez, Invited Artist Faculty (2013)
Favianna Rodríguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer on a mission to create profound and lasting social change in the world. Her art and collaborative projects address migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and sexual freedom. Favianna lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. In addition to her art practice, Rodriguez partners with social movement groups around the world to create art that’s visionary and transformational. Favianna is the Executive Director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers, and performers in migrant rights. In 2009, she co-founded Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.
Fulana, Invited Artist Faculty (2009-2019)
Fulana is a media collective that was founded in 2000 by four New York-based Latina artists joined by a love of video and satire, a critical gaze, a bilingual sense of humor, and a shared desire to create collaboratively. Focusing on popular culture, and using parody and satire as a critical tool, Fulana’s mock commercials, music videos, performances, and prints explore themes that are relevant to Latinx cultures in the United States, experimenting with strategies to make visible what we’re so often made to read between the lines. Fulana’s bilingual aesthetic, which ranges from cable-access kitsch to Univisión tinsel, responds to the ways ideologies and identities are marketed and sold to us—and how we sell ourselves—through the mass media.
George Emilio Sánchez, Lead Instructor and Performance Director
George Emilio Sánchez has been EmergeNYC’s Lead Instructor and Performance Director since its inception in 2008. George is a writer, performance artist, and social justice activist. He has been the Performance Director of Emergenyc since 2008. He began making original pieces in 1992 and has continued making performance work and social justice projects to this day. He is currently in the process of crafting a new performance series titled “Performing the Constitution.” As the Abrons Social Practice AIR he works with youth groups on the Lower East Side to use the arts as a restorative tool while addressing the reality and trauma of gun violence. For the past two years, he organized and facilitated BANG BANG GUN AMOK, a 24-hour performance filibuster on gun culture. He is a Professor in the Performing and Creative Arts Department where he served as the chairperson for 12 years. George’s work has been presented by theaters and museums in over 25 states and has received support from National Performance Network, the Fulbright Program (Peru), New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Invited Artist Faculty (2008–10, 2016)
Performance artist/writer Guillermo Gómez-Peña resides in San Francisco where he is the artistic director of La Pocha Nostra. Born in 1955 and raised in Mexico City, he traveled to the U.S. in 1978 to study Post-Studio Art at Cal Arts. His pioneering work in performance, video, installation, poetry, journalism, cultural theory, and radical pedagogy explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language, “extreme culture” and new technologies. A MacArthur Fellow and American Book Award winner, he is a regular contributor to National Public Radio, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT). For twenty-five years, Gómez-Peña has been exploring intercultural issues and border culture with the use of mixed genres and experimental languages. He mixes experimental aesthetics and social reality, English and Spanish, Chicano humor and activist politics to create a “total experience” for the viewer/reader/audience member. These strategies can be found in his live performance work, his award-winning video art pieces, and his books.
Janani Balasubramanian, Invited Artist Faculty (2021)
Janani Balasubramanian is an artist and creative researcher working at the intersection of contemporary art, science, and social practice. Janani’s work has been presented at over 160 across North America and Europe, including The Public Theater, MOMA, Andy Warhol Museum, Red Bull Arts, Ace Hotel, Brooklyn Museum, High Line, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They have been an Innovator-in-Residence at Colorado College, Brooklyn College/Tow Foundation artist resident, artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado, Sundance Institute fellow, MAP Fund grantee, a Pioneer Works Narrative Arts Fellow, and Van Lier Fellow at the Public Theater. Research questions include: How might artists and technologists co-create new media storytelling tools? How might we create accessible new media work? How might we create a feminist outer space?
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.
Jennifer Miller, Invited Artist Faculty (2016)
Jennifer Miller is a playwright, performer and the director and founder of Circus Amok. She has been working with alternative circus forms, theater, and dance, and for over twenty years. She is the recipient of the 2008 Ethyl Eichelberger Award. Her work with Circus Amok was awarded a “Bessie” (a New York Dance and Performance Award) in 1995 and an OBIE in 2000. Circus Amok is the subject of a French documentary film, “Un Cirque a New York” 2002 and Brazilian documentary, “Juggling Politics” 2004. As a dancer she has performed with Cathy Weis, Jeff Weis, Jenny Monson, John Jasperse, Johanna Boyce, Doug Elkins, and They Won’t Shut-up among others. She had a seven year stint at Coney Island Sideshow by the Seashore. She toured her solo shows Morphadyke and Free Toasters Everyday here and abroad. She is the author of Cracked Ice or The Jewels of the Forbidden Skates and The Golden Racket. She is an associate professor of performance at Pratt Institute.
Karen Finley, Invited Artist Faculty (2008–09, 2019–21)
Karen Finley is a New York-based artist whose raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited internationally her visual art, performances, and plays. Her performances have been presented at Lincoln Center, New York City, The Guthrie, Minneapolis, American Repertory Theatre, The ICA in London, Harvard, The Steppenwolf in Chicago, and The Bobino in Paris. Finley attended the San Francisco Art Institute receiving an MFA and honorary Ph.D. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim, 2 Obies, 2 Bessies, MS. Magazine Woman Of The Year, NARAL Person of the Year (which she shared with Anna Quindlen and Walter Cronkite), NYSCA and NEA Fellowships. She has authored and or edited seven books including Shock Treatment (City Lights 1990), Enough is Enough (Poseidon, Simon and Schuster 1993), Living It Up (Doubleday 1996), Pooh Unplugged (Smart Art Books 1999), A Different Kind Of Intimacy: The Collected Writings of Karen Finley (Thunders Mouth Press 2000), she edited and contributed to Aroused” A Collection of Erotic Writings (Thunders Mouth Press 2001) and George and Martha (Verso 2006).
Karina Casiano, Invited Artist Faculty (2010)
Karina Casiano is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, she has worked in theater in New York, Spain and South America. In 1999, Casiano premiered her first one-woman show, Qué me trajiste: Cabaret Boricua. In 2000, she presented her second solo show, Colonia 2007 o el cabaret de los días terribles. In 2006, she premiered her first full-cast, site-specific play, Silence Is Health and, in 2008, Casiano produced her third solo work, the theatrical concert about migration, Rootless: La No-Nostalgia.
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.
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.
Leónidas Martín, Invited Artist Faculty (2010)
Leónidas Martín is a Professor at Barcelona University where he teaches New Media and Political Art. For many years he has been developing collective projects between art and activism, some of them well known internationally (Las Agencias, Yomango, Prêt a Révolter). He writes about art and politics for blogs, journals and newspapers, has created several documentaries and movies for television and internet, and is a member of the cultural collective Enmedio. Last but not least, he is an expert telling jokes, often using this divine gift to get free beers and avoid police arrest. Leo tells stories about the current upheaval in Spain, among other things.
Lorie Novak, Invited Artist Faculty (2009)
Lorie Novak’s photographs, installations, and internet projects have been in numerous exhibitions including solo exhibitions at The International Center for Photography, NY; Photoville, Brooklyn, NY; ArtSway, Hampshire, England; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Houston Center for Photography; Breda Fotografica, the Netherlands; Addison Gallery, Andover, MA; and Stanford University Art Museum. Her work has been in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.; Art Institute of Chicago; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others. She has been the recipient of a 2016 New York for the Arts Fellowship in Photography, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and residencies at the Bogliasco Foundation, Italy; the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center (Italy), ArtSway (England), Mac Dowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Djerassi Foundation.
Marlène Ramírez-Cancio, Executive Director & Artist Faculty (2008–present)
Marlène is a Puerto Rican cultural producer, artist, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the Executive Director of EMERGENYC, an incubator and network for emerging artists-activists in New York City and beyond, focused on developing the voice and artistic expression of people of color, women, and LGBTQAI+ folks. She is also co-founding director of Fulana, a Latina satire collective, and Director of Implementation of the Latinx Arts Consortium of New York, a network of arts organizations dedicated to knowledge exchange, resource sharing, and collective action. Through Mujer Que Pregunta, she uses Tarot as a tool for visioning and works as a Process Doula coaching artists, scholars, and cultural workers as they shape their ideas, clarify their purpose, and make sure their projects align with the goals of their practice. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Performance Network, and on the Board of Advisors of The Action Lab and the Center for Artistic Activism. In 2018, she curated “Cuerpxs Radicales: Radical Bodies in Performance,” a live art series presented at the Brooklyn Museum in conjunction with the Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 exhibition.
Martha Wilson, Invited Artist Faculty (2011)
Martha Wilson (b. 1947) is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformations, and “invasions” of other people’s personae. She began making these videos and photo/text works in the early 1970s while in Halifax in Nova Scotia, and further developed her performative and video-based practice after moving in 1974 to New York City, embarking on a long career that would see her gain attention across the U.S. for her provocative appearances and works. In 1976 she also founded and continues to direct Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space that champions the exploration, promotion, and preservation of artists’ books, installation art, video, online and performance art, further challenging institutional norms, the roles artists play within society, and expectations about what constitutes acceptable art mediums.
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.
Marya Warshaw, Invited Artist Faculty (2011)
Warshaw is the Founding Executive/Artistic Director of BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, an organization she led for nearly thirty years. During that time, she oversaw its wide slate of programming, strategy, and development. She has been awarded the John Dewey Public Service Award from Bard College, two New York Dance & Performance Awards (“Bessies”) for outstanding service to the field of dance, and by the LAMBDA Independent Democrats of Brooklyn for her support of LGBTQ Artists. Warshaw is currently a consultant for non-profit arts organizations and individual artists.
Maura Nguyen Donohue, Invited Artist Faculty (2019, 2021)
Maura Nguyen Donohue (she/her) has been making experimental performance works in NYC for 20 years. Her work has been produced by Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Roulette, Danspace Project, Performance Space 122, La Mama, The Asia Society, Mulberry St. Theater, the West End Theater, and has toured across the US and to Europe and Asia. She is an Associate Prof of Dance at Hunter College/CUNY and faculty fellow for the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. As a member of La Mama’s Great Jones Rep since 1997, she has toured across Europe and Asia. Her essay “Ambivalent Selves: The Asian Female Body in American Concert Dance” was published in Contemporary Directions in Asian American Dance and she writes for Culturebot. She served on boards for DTW, Congress on Research in Dance, and Movement Research. She also co-chairs the Small Capacity group on the Bessies Committee with George Sanchez and collaborates with Perry Yung on the ongoing durational performance of parenting 2 humans.
Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, Invited Artist Faculty (2008, 2021)
Nicolás Dumit Estévez treads an elusive route that manifests itself performatively or through experiences where the quotidian and art overlap. He hence approaches the concepts of home and belonging to the U.S. American context from the perspective of a Lebanese-Dominican, Dominican York who was recently baptized as a Bronxite: a citizen of the Bronx. While ephemeral by nature, Estévez’s work gains permanence through audios, photographs, props, drawings, rumors, embodied memories, costumes, websites, videos, and publications. He has exhibited and performed extensively in the U.S. as well as internationally at venues such as Madrid Abierto/ARCO, The IX Havana Biennial, PERFORMA 05 and 07, The Queens Museum, MoMA, Hemispheric Institute of Performance Art and Politics, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Anthology Film Archives, The Center for Book Arts, Longwood Art Gallery/BCA, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and among others.
Paloma McGregor, Invited Artist Faculty (2014)
Paloma McGregor originally from St. Croix, is an award-winning artist and organizer living in Harlem. Paloma’s work centers Black voices through collaborative, process-based art-making and organizing. A lover of intersections and alchemy, she develops projects in which communities of geography, practice, and values come together to laugh, make magic and transform. She has created a wide range of work, including a dance through a makeshift fishnet on a Brooklyn rooftop, a structured improvisation for a floating platform in the Bronx River and a devised multidisciplinary performance work about food justice with three dozen community members and students at UC Berkeley. Paloma was a 2013‐14 Artist In Residence at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, a 2014-16 Artist In Residence at BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a 2016-18 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist, and is currently a Movement Research Artist in Residence and an Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellow. She has been nominated for the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship and the Herb Alpert Award.
Pamela Sneed, Invited Artist Faculty (2010–12, 2017)
Pamela Sneed is a New York-based poet, writer, and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, Bomb, VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. In 2015, she appeared in Art Forum and The Huffington Post. She is the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery, published by Henry Holt in April 1998, KONG & Other Works, published by Vintage Entity Press (2009) and a Lincoln (2014). In 2015, she published the Chaplet Gift with Belladonna. She appears in Nikki Giovanni’s The 100 Best African American Poems. She has performed original works for sold-out houses at Lincoln Center, P.S. 122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, BAM Cafe, Central Park Summer Stage and recently Columbia University’s Tribute to James Baldwin, The Whitney Museum and BRIC. At current, she teaches in the Department of Journalism and Communication at LIU and is a Visiting Professor at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute teaching Human Rights and Writing Art.
Patrícia Hoffbauer, Invited Artist Faculty (2012–18)
Patrícia Hoffbauer is a NY dance artist originally from Brazil who has collaborated with many artists, including writer/performer George Emilio Sanchez. Her work has been funded by the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA and MAP Fund. She has been produced, commissioned and presented by Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, The Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris and Gibney Dance Center, to mention a few. She curated one of the evenings of Judson at 50 presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church. More recently, her piece Para-Dice was commissioned and presented by Danspace Project in 2010/2013. Her work Dances for Small Spaces and Friendly People, awarded Gibney Dance’s Dance in Progress (DIP) grant, was also commissioned and presented at Gibney Dance in October of 2015. Her latest work in progress, Getting Away With Murder, had its first public performance at Gibney Dance Center, Winter 2016. Hoffbauer is an Assistant Professor at Open Arts Department at NYU’s Tisch, has taught at Hunter College’s Dance Department and is a lecturer at Princeton University. Hoffbauer’s writings have appeared in The New Museum book New Vision, Movement Research Performance Journal, PAJ, Writings on Dance, and are scheduled to be published in Pew Foundation Body as Archive book.
Peggy Shaw, Invited Artist Faculty (2010–13)
Peggy Shaw is a performer, writer, producer, and teacher of writing and performance. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2016 USA Artist Fellow, and was the 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award. Peggy co-founded Split Britches and WOW in NYC. She is a veteran of Hot Peaches and Spiderwoman and has collaborated with Lois Weaver since 1980. Peggy was born in Belmont Massachusetts in 1944. She completed a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art and moved to New York with her daughter Shara in 1967. In 1978 Peggy joined Spiderwoman, and by 1980 Lois and Peggy formed their own company after collaborating on the performance Split Britches: The True Story. Split Britches’ collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue-Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. Her book A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for LBGT Drama. It includes scripts of her solo performances: You’re Just Like My Father, Menopausal Gentleman, To My Chagrin and Must.
Reverent Billy, Invited Artist Faculty (2008–10)
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir believe that Consumerism is overwhelming in our lives. The corporations want us to have experienced only through their products. Our neighborhoods, “commons” places like stoops and parks and streets and libraries, are disappearing into the corporatized world of big boxes and chain stores. But if we “back away from the product”—even a little bit—well then we Put The Odd Back In God! The supermodels fly away and we’re left with our original sensuality. So we are singing and preaching for local economies and real—not mediated through products—experience. We like independent shops where you know the person behind the counter or at least you like them enough to share a story. We ask that local activists who are defending themselves against supermalls, nuke plants, gentrification—call us and we’ll come and put on our “Fabulous Worship!” Remember children… Love is a Gift Economy!
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.
Robert Farid Karimi, Invited Artist Faculty (2021)
With 25 years of expertise as cross-disciplinary performer, poet, educator, conceptual dramaturg, and social engagement artist, Robert Farid Karimi brings nourishment, playfulness, and interactive storytelling to spaces worldwide – from General Mills to Off Broadway to Nuyorican Poets Café to HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, Hawaii International Film
Festival, The Smithsonian, and South by Southwest. A producer/writer of his performances, films and comedy cooking show, he makes healthy messaging delicious with his interdisciplinary culinary engagement project: ThePeoplesCook Project. As a Creative Capital supported artist, they created ThePeoplesCook Project, an interactive comedic culinary experience serving 60000 & climbing. Karimi currently designs game-performances, interactive immersive theater experiences and themed entertainment to engage players to share stories and discuss social issues that concern the various communities he visits.
Sonia Guiñansaca, Invited Artist Faculty (2013 and 2017)
Sonia Guiñansaca is a Queer Migrant Poet, Cultural Organizer, and Activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. Guiñansaca a VONA/Voices alumni who has performed at El Museo Del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY Poetry Festival, Galleria de La Raza, and featured on NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, and the Poetry Foundation to name a few. She has been named as 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla and recently announced as the 2017’s Artist in Residency at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She has emerged as a national leader in the undocumented/migrant artistic and political communities. In 2007, Guiñansaca came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant. Currently, she is working on her full-length poetry manuscript on migration, queerness, and her change in immigration status from undocumented to documented. She was the Managing Director, and coordinator of the UndocuWriting project at CultureStrike.
Soomi Kim, Invited Artist Faculty (2013)
Soomi Kim is a Korean born, New York City based actor/movement artist (dancer, stage combat/martial arts, choreographer, former gymnast). She has worked as a company member with several artists as well as producing, creating and performing her own work, almost always in the collaborative setting. She has created 2 original full-length productions as a lead artist (developed in collaboration with director Suzi Takahashi) and is currently developing a third (Chang(e)) as a HERE Arts Resident artist. Her pieces are Lee/gendary, and Dictee: bells fall a peal to the sky. Chang(e) is a political theater performance piece inspired by the life of Kathy Change, a Chinese American performance artist who self-immolated in front of the Peace sculpture on the campus of UPenn in 1996 as an act of protest. Soomi has been featured in KoreAm Journal, Asiance Magazine, Kung Fu magazine, The Korea Times, Tsing Tao newspaper, the L.A. Times and has appeared as a guest on PBS’s show Asian America, Art on Air radio station and on NYtheatre.com
Susana Cook, Invited Artist Faculty (2011–17)
Susana Cook, born in Argentina, is a New York-based playwright, director, and performer who has been producing original work for over 20 years. Her work has been presented in numerous performance spaces in New York City, including Dixon Place, PS. 122, W.O.W Cafe Theater, Ubu Rep, Theater for the New City, The Puffin Room, and The Kitchen. She has also performed internationally in Spain, France, India, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Canada and several colleges and universities around the country. Some of her latest shows are include : Homeland Insecurities, The idiot King, The Values Horror Show, 100 Years of Attitude, Dykenstein, Hamletango, Prince of Butches, Gross National Product, Hot Tamale, Conga Guerrilla Forest, The Fraud, Butch Fashion Show in the Femme Auto Body Shop, Rats and Tango Lesbiango She is the recipient of several fellowships and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, The Franklin Furnace Archives, The Puffin Foundation, and INTAR.
Tavia Nyong’o, Invited Scholar Faculty (2014)
Tavia Nyong’o is a Professor of African-American Studies, American Studies, and Theatre and Performance Studies at Yale University. His research interests include the ethics & aesthetics of social & cultural analysis. His books include The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (U Minnesota, 2009), which won the Errol Hill Award for best book in African American theatre and performance studies, and Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life (NYU Press, 2018). Nyong’o co-edits the journal Social Text, published by Duke University Press, with David Sartorius (U Maryland). Nyong’o is the co-series editor of the Sexual Cultures book series at New York University Press, with Ann Pellegrini (NYU) and Joshua Chambers-Letson (Northwestern).
The Illuminator, Invited Artist Faculty (2016)
The Illuminator is an art-activist collective comprised of visual artists, educators, filmmakers, and technologists living and working in New York City. The collective has staged hundreds of projection-interventions in public spaces, transforming the street from a space of passive consumption and transit into a site of engagement, conflict, and dialogue. Our work calls attention to the many urgent crises that confront us, in support of the ongoing struggle for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. Current members include Emily Andersen, Todd Anderson, Zoe Bachman, Rachel Brown, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle, Nadia Mohamed, Anna Ozbek, Chris Rogy and Jean Sonderand. Former members included Margaret Campbell, Betsy Fagin, Susan Forste, Hugo Genes, Daniel Latorre, Shaun Persaud, Mark Read, Ivan Safrin, Athena Soules, and Lucky Tran.
The World Famous *BOB*, Invited Artist Faculty (2014)
The Word Famous *BOB*, known for her over the top blonde bombshell image and incredible ability to mix martinis in her cleavage, has captivated audiences all over the world with her unique burlesque stylings, humorous performance art, and MC skills. She has been photographed by hundreds of photographers including Patrick McMullan, Mario Testino, and David LaChapelle. *BOB* appears in several books including Hotel LaChapelle, New Burlesque, Striptease: From Gaslight to Spotlight, Burlesque: The new Bump and Grind, The Brooklynites, and The Velvet Hammer Burlesque. Believing that television is “the theatre for the poor” *BOB* is a huge fan of the boob tube and has appeared on A&E’s The History of Cleavage as well as HBO’s Real Sex. She has graced the pages of over 50 national and international publications including The New York Times where they referred to *BOB*’s art as “poignant”.
Tim Miller, Invited Artist Faculty (2011)
Tim Miller is an internationally acclaimed performance artist. Miller’s creative work as a performer and writer explores the artistic, spiritual and political topography of his identity as a gay man. Hailed for his humor and passion, Miller has tackled this challenge in such pieces as POSTWAR (1982), COST OF LIVING (1983), DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA (1984), BUDDY SYSTEMS (1985), SOME GOLDEN STATES (1987), STRETCH MARKS (1989), SEX/LOVE/STORIES (1991), MY QUEER BODY (1992), NAKED BREATH (1994), FRUIT COCKTAIL (1996), SHIRTS & SKIN (1997) GLORY BOX (1999), US (2003) and 1001 BEDS (2006). Miller’s performances have been presented all over North America, Australia, and Europe in such prestigious venues as Yale Repertory Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the author of the books SHIRTS & SKIN, BODY BLOWS and 1001 BEDS. His solo theater works have been published in the play collections O Solo Homo and Sharing the Delirium. Miller has taught performance at UCLA, NYU, the School of Theology at Claremont and at universities all over the US.
UNIVERSES, Invited Artist Faculty (2011)
Universes is a National / International ensemble Company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse Poetry, Theater, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Politics, Down Home Blues and Spanish Boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to create their own brand, inviting old and new generations of theater crafters as well as the theater goers and newcomers to reshape the face of American Theater. The company consists of four core members: Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz, Gamal Abdel Chasten, and Ninja. They are the Hemispheric Institute’s Artists in Residence for 2010-2011.