The Critical Tactics Lab (CTL) is the Hemispheric Institute’s permanent forum for discussion and research on the practices and methods of contemporary and historical political action. Drawing on the work of Yes Lab and the Creative Activism Series and the Institute’s ongoing work with political artists and activists from the Americas, the CTL’s mission is to promote critical reflection about social movements and political activism--their strategies and tactics as well as the ways these are arrived at. Through lectures, workshops, courses, and other modes of assembly--and with an emphasis on laughter and embodied practice--the CTL seek to provide a space in which the expansive affinities of critical practice and action can be made visible and strengthened.
Led by the Hemispheric Institute and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund, the Hemispheric New York Performance Network (HNYPN) seeks to create innovative, long-term institutional partnerships with key NYC arts spaces to provide comprehensive and creative support and training for politically engaged, local, performance-based artists and to increase the presence of Americas-wide artists in NYC venues by building on the Hemispheric Institute’s experience in fomenting collaborations between artists, activists, and scholars across the Americas. Core partner institutions are Dixon Place, HERE, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), La MaMa, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX).
The Helix Queer Performance Network
A collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, the Helix Queer Performance Network seeks to nurture emerging queer performers, unite diverse queer communities, and celebrate the legacy and lineage of queer performance in New York City. Through educational initiatives, innovative stage productions and challenging public conversations that prioritize diversity across age, race, class and gender, Helix aims to foster an inter-generational, multi-racial, multi-gender performance community where artists can document a broad spectrum of queer experience in the context of a rich artistic history.
The Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program, EMERGENYC, trains emerging New York-based artists through a yearly program of workshops, lectures, performances and other events. We work with young artist-activists who see their work as a vehicle for political expression and social change and who share a vision of New York City and its five boroughs as a portal to hemispheric artistic practices, identities and histories. With an emphasis on activist performance and drawing on the experience of distinguished artists, activists and scholars, the program encourages participants to take interdisciplinary leaps, mix styles and traditions, and develop incisive new work at the intersection of performance and politics.
Religion and Politics in the Americas is a 3-year initiative funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation that aims to promote transnational interdisciplinary research and dialogue between scholars, artists, activists and policymakers regarding the intersection of religion and politics in the Americas. Program activities include lectures, courses, performances, a flagship conference and policy roundtables in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Canada. The initiative will convene a permanent Americas-wide working group and publish a trilingual blog on religion in the public sphere.
From 1979-2009, New WORLD Theater worked at the intersection of artistic practice, community engagement, scholarship, and activism toward a vision of a “new world”—one that broke the confines of multiculturalism and was an artistic harbinger of America’s shifting demographics. In July 2009, citing the economic recession, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst made the decision to suspend, and effectively end, the operations of the New WORLD Theater. With support from the Ford Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Hemispheric Institute is leading a multipronged initiative to preserve, disseminate, and foster outgrowth from the vital legacy of the New WORLD Theater.
Inspired by the Hemispheric Institute's work developed throughout the Americas, the Hemi Graduate Student Initiative (Hemi GSI) aims to bring together dedicated people who are interested in working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression and politics. We work to promote embodied practices as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory and identity. Join us as we gather and blur our lines as teachers, students, artists and activists.
Image – Flickr @ Simenon (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Through the Transnational Arts Initiative, the Hemispheric Institute has expanded its work with Latino/a artists and arts organizations in United States, bringing them together with their counterparts throughout the Americas to explore the potential of working transnationally in the arts. This work is made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation.