EMERGENYC partners with organizations for a range of programs and initiatives that support emerging artists from our alumni and faculty network. We are actively seeking new partners, nationally and internationally.
EMERGENYC is housed at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a multigenerational arts organization that nurtures creative expression and artistic process through education, residencies, and performance at the intersection of arts and social justice. Founded in 1991, BAX is dedicated to serving artists in progress, from children to professionals, at all ages and stages of development. The multi-faceted nature of our programming annually invites over 10,000 students, families, artists, audiences, and community members to embark upon and share creative journeys. For three decades, BAX has honored the power of performing arts to connect and transform individuals and communities. Our education programs, artist residencies, affordable rehearsal space, community engagement opportunities, mentorship, and performances all center artists from historically underrepresented backgrounds, and prioritize lived and embodied experiences and access, regardless of their ability to pay.
Since 2018, Abrons Arts Center has been EMERGENYC’s core partner for presenting the final performances for our flagship annual program. (Thanks Craig Peterson!) Abrons Arts Center is a home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. A core program of the Henry Street Settlement, Abrons believes that access to the arts is essential to a free and healthy society. Through performance presentations, exhibitions, education programs, and residencies, Abrons mobilizes communities with the transformative power of art.
In 2022, EMERGENYC and BAX are partnering with The Action Lab to create Learning Circles: an intergenerational knowledge-exchange and community-building series of gatherings for activists, policy makers, community organizers, and artists to build cross-sector relationships, tap into inspiration, know each other, spend thoughtfully curated and facilitated time together—and build collaborations they would not otherwise have the opportunity to create. The Action Lab fosters cross-discipline, cross-movement spaces to lift out of the immediate, imagine our way decades into the future, expand our conception of what’s possible, and build the collective muscle and connections to drive towards that vision. Through gatherings, learning, experimentation, incubation, and fellowships, the Action Lab nurtures and challenges our movements to imagine new ways forward, to care for ourselves and each other, to sharpen our analysis and our actions, and to dream and act ambitiously.
Argentina Performance Art —founded by EMERGENYC alumna Natacha Voliakovsky—is the first digital platform dedicated exclusively to archiving and researching performance art in Argentina. It’s a tool that provides access to information on the history of performance art in Argentina, a database featuring performers and performance pieces, and academic, journalistic and audiovisual materials.
In partnership with The Clemente in 2021, we created La Pizarra, a micro-residency for BIPOC multidisciplinary and performance artists from the EMERGENYC alumni and faculty network. The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center is a Puerto Rican/Latinx multi-arts institution rooted in NYC’s Lower East Side/Loisaida. La Pizarra—the chalkboard—is the guiding image for this space of experimentation and creation housed in studio 406: it invites artists to try new things, erase, try again. Responding to the needs we have identified in conversation with our artist network, and layering on the established resources of our historical building as well as our seasonal programmatic staples, we aim to create—and hold—a space for artists to gather and feel a sense of belonging and solidity that allows them to take risks they wouldn’t be able to elsewhere. The artists in the inaugural 2021-22 cohort are: Kevin Quiles Bonilla (Emerge 2021 alum), Alicia Grullón (Emerge faculty), and John Maria Gutierrez (Emerge 2021 alum).
A longtime friend of EMERGENYC, Franklin Furnace is our partner for thinking through documentation and archival practices for performance artists. Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.’s mission is to present, preserve, interpret, proselytize and advocate on behalf of avant-garde art, especially forms that may be vulnerable due to institutional neglect, cultural bias, their ephemeral nature, or politically unpopular content. Franklin Furnace is dedicated to serving artists by providing both physical and virtual venues for the presentation of time-based art, including but not limited to artists’ books and periodicals, installation art, performance art, and unforeseen contemporary avant-garde art forms; and to undertaking other activities related to these purposes. Franklin Furnace is committed to serving emerging artists; to assuming an aggressive pedagogical stance with regard to the value of avant-garde art to life; and to fostering artists’ zeal to broadcast ideas.
Based in Los Angeles, House of Alegría is a multi-fold project supporting and investing in emerging (un)documented Queer, Trans, Non-Binary artists through an Artist in Residence Program, in-house publishing press, community workshops, and consultations. This project began as an idea in 2016 to support the next generation of emerging migrant creatives. We at House of Alegría believe that migrant and Queer/Trans/Non-Binary creatives deserve space to imagine, deserve time to rest, deserve to be in a nurturing ecosystem that feels regenerative and collaborative. We trust in the power of artists and storytellers, and their self-determination and self-autonomy. We wish to cultivate the shared knowledge of our cultural workers and move towards a world where migrant and Queer/Trans/Non-Binary artists are supported in their craft, growth, creativity, and imagination. Artist in Residence Alexa Vasquez is an EMERGENYC 2022 participant.
For our 2022 Analog Bodies and Virtual Activations program, EMERGENYC partnered with The Interior Beauty Salon, conceived by one of Emerge’s inaugural guest teaching artists, Nicolás (A.K.A. Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo). Created in 2017 in The Bronx, NY, the Salon serves as a space where that which is not necessarily seen or manifested in tangible ways is seeded, nurtured, and given room to grow safely. This includes processes melding art, ritual, ceremony, rites of passage, and healing. Some of the channels deployed include writing, listening, talking, moving, drawing, journaling, contemplating, meditating, breathing and performing. The Interior Beauty Salon was born out of the urgency to re-shift the focus from the external and the extraneous in contemporary society and instead to place attention on the very depths of who we might ultimately be.
From 2011 to 2017, La MaMa presented EMERGENYC’s final showings at The Club. (Thank you, Nicky Paraiso!) Founded in 1961 by Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is a home for artists of all identities, races, ages, and cultures. At La MaMa, artists are provided the space, support, and creative freedom to explore new forms of expression and to make new work. La MaMa builds audiences that are integral to the creative process. Our local and global community members who gather in our physical, digital, and hybrid spaces to see new work, are often the first audience for that work. The audience response helps to shape the evolution of the piece for the artist, and is an essential part of the creative ecosystem that La MaMa nurtures.
Since 2021, EMERGENYC has been a member of LxNY: Latinx Arts Consortium of New York, a collaborative peer network dedicated to knowledge exchange, resource-sharing, and collective action towards systemic change. Formed in 2020 by organizations serving Latinx communities and artists across New York City, LxNY aims to transform the historical underfunding of Latinx arts by advocating for the equity-driven missions of our cultural institutions, nurturing our deep relationships with community, and stewarding our hard-fought legacies into the future. Advancing cultural work as essential work, LxNY honors the expertise of our multigenerational arts leaders and culture bearers, harnessing their collective experience to better serve the city’s diverse cultural landscape. Marlène Ramírez-Cancio serves on LxNY’s Steering Committee.
In 2022, we forged a partnership with Restorative Theater Project to offer Theater of the Oppressed workshops to the Emerge network, and are planning a “train the trainers” program for 2023. Restorative Theater Project sparks the dialogue of social change through innovative theater performance, storytelling, and global arts. Using performance, Theater of the Oppressed, education, and community outreach, RTP cultivates a community of inspired and empowered individuals geared to see their world, question their world, and in turn, change their world.