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Evan Simone, 2023

Evan Simone, 2023. Photo by Manuel Molina Martagón.

Since 2008, EmergeNYC has been a space for artists who are either beginning their careers or feeling a sense of urgency to move into new territory. The programs provide an opportunity to spend an intensive period of training, exchange, mentorship, and challenging conversations with a specific focus on racial justice and cultural transformation. Rather than training in one specific craft, participants immerse themselves in a challenging, supportive environment, engaging with multiple lineages and approaches to art-making. They delve into issues of personal significance as they engage in the work, and with one another, as their whole selves. Our alumni leave the programs having deeply researched questions that become the heart of their artistic and activist work.


led by george emilio sánchez 

This is the flagship program that has been the heart and soul of Emerge since 2008. Designed and led by george emilio sánchez, this program is open to artists in the New York City area, and is comprised of weekly workshops facilitated by george, as well as workshops by guest artists who are leaders in the field of performance and politics. With a decolonial lens, we explore the intersection of art and activism through creative writing, autobiographical narratives, group work, and other multi-disciplinary adventures—all while creating and re-creating a space in which all participants build community with one another, actively listen with their bodies, and build intentional trust to lay a foundation where compassion and risk-taking guide our work together. We ask applicants to define issues that are important to them and explore how creative practices can harness their political voice. Through the years, participants have explored themes of racism and racial violence; police brutality and mass incarceration; radical joy as resistance; disability rights; undocumented immigrant activism; war and human rights; environmental justice; and myriad topics that affect their lives. These engagements have resulted in the creation of performance art pieces, multimedia installations, theatrical explorations, street performances, video art, and more.

In 2024, the flagship program comes home to BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange!  We will meet every Sunday (10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Eastern Time) from Sunday, March 17 to Sunday, June 16th.  Some of the workshops will include guest leaders that will be announced closer to the date. Final works-in-progress will be presented live at BAX on Saturday, June 22 and participants must be available the afternoon/evening of June 21st for tech. BAX is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. *Please note: You need to be fully vaccinated for COVID in order to participate in person.

This in-person program, which includes a final production at BAX, has a fee of USD $1,000.
Financial  aid will be available to cover part of the tuition on a need basis. If  your enrollment depends on financial aid, please let us know in your application. We will work it out. NOBODY WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS. Please note, if you are able to pay full tuition or more, you will make it possible for those who cannot afford full tuition to attend, which will strengthen your cohort. 

Emerge Virtual 2023 on Zoom

Ivonne Navas Domínguez, Emerge 2022 Virtual. Zoom screenshot.


led by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful & Marlène Ramírez-Cancio

Through a series of weekly sessions at the very core of performance art, activisms, and care and love for one another, participants in Emerge’s Analog Bodies and Virtual Activations are encouraged to investigate genders, sexualities, class, race, politics, and spiritualities from the interstitial space between the analog and the digital that this pandemic moment has intensified. How do we as artists, instigators, dissenters, mediators, or meditators, wrestle with the back and forth between our flesh-and-bone bodies and the virtual spaces that allow us to bilocate, multiply, clone, and project our presences around the globe at any time and at all times at once? This program will pay equal attention to how these two seemingly opposing forms of engagement can mix and mingle, remain aloof or dissolve into each other. Some of the formats we will use include performance, writing, dance/movement, deep listening, visualization, somatic practices, and conversations, plus visits by and presentations of the work of mainly BIPOC and gender non-conforming practitioners from the Americas and the Caribbean. With all of this in mind/heart, participants are invited to reflect upon themselves, their audiences, and the shifts that their analog movements in virtual realms have the power to ignite—way out there in the cosmos, and right here in our changing, aging, living, dying, breathing, pulsing bodies.

This virtual iteration of Emerge, which takes place via Zoom, will begin every Sunday from March 10 to June 9 (11:00 AM–3:00 PM Eastern Time). To find how Eastern Time maps to your time zone, please use this Time Zone Converter. Final works-in-progress will be presented online at the end of the program on Saturday, June 15th (exact time TBC).

This virtual program has a fee of USD $600.
Financial aid will be available to cover part of the tuition on a need basis. If your enrollment depends on financial aid, please apply and let us know your needs in your application. We will work it out. NOBODY WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS. Please note, if you are able to pay full tuition or more, you will make it possible for those who cannot afford full tuition to attend, which will strengthen your cohort. 


— The in-person flagship EMERGENYC program is open to emerging artists/activists who live in the NYC area.
— The virtual program is open to emerging artists/activists outside the NYC area and who cannot attend in person.
— All applicants must have prior experience in various performance genres and/or activist practices. Age is not a determining factor (past participants have ranged from 18 to about 45, all bringing their best selves to the experience); what we define as ’emerging’ is fluid, and has more to do with how you self-define than anything else. We very much encourage BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled artists to apply.


Submit your application via Submittable by Monday, January 27, 2023. (Applications open in November 2023)

You will be asked to submit:

—A biographical statement (maximum 500 words) This is your chance to let us know who you are, where you’re from, your performance background, and your current obsessions/projects. Please do not submit this in the third person or copy and paste your bio—we want to hear your story in your voice, in the first person. Talk to us.

—A statement of purpose (maximum 750 words) This
statement describes the reasons you want to participate in EMERGENYC. Please outline the specific issues you would want to address through the program and any preliminary ideas about the communities or practices that would ground this work.

—Your resume or CV

—Two (2) work samples (See Application Form for details)

—Contact information for the two (2) people writing you letters of recommendation. (Please select two recommenders as soon as possible, giving them ample time to write and submit your letters before the deadline.

—OPTIONAL: A paragraph explaining your request for financial aid to cover the tuition. Be as detailed as possible to help us understand the circumstances of your needs. Please note, if you are able to pay full tuition or more, you will make it possible for those who cannot afford full tuition to attend, which will strengthen your cohort.

Finalists will be interviewed via Zoom in mid-February selected by the end of February; the first registration payment will be due the first week of March. For any questions about the application form or how to apply, please send us an inquiry via the form below.

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