The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University is now accepting applications for its fourth year of EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program focused on “artivist” (artist/activist) performance. EMERGENYC aims to support the development of “hemispheric” artists ages 18 to 28 through a program of workshops and events between April 16 and June 24, 2010 (see “The Program” section below for details). We seek talented, committed and highly motivated young performers/activists/artists whose work functions as a vehicle for political expression and social change, and who examine the broad range of identities, practices and histories of the Americas (the western hemisphere, thus “hemispheric”) through genres such as spoken word, street performance, political cabaret, performance art, video performance, movement, and others.
New York City is a space of transformation in which expressive practices from throughout the Americas come into contact and combine into new artistic forms. The constant encounters and collisions of African-, Native-, Asian-, Latino- and European- American cultures that define the City, combined with the multiple political and counter-cultural movements that have flourished on its streets, are a key source of the artistic and activist innovation that has long characterized New York City. Experimental performance, hip-hop and salsa are powerful examples of the hemispheric fusions that the City’s neighborhoods have incubated. Anti-consumerism activism like Reverend Billy’s Church of Life After Shopping, artistic interventions such as the Guerilla Girls and Fulana’s If You Fear Something, You’ll See Something poster campaign are examples of the innovative conjunction of art and political protest. Drawing on this vitality, the program will enable young activists/performers to work with leading practitioners in the field, to take interdisciplinary leaps, and to develop their own strategies to use performance for social change.
Between April and June, the selected participants will take part in weekly workshops led by George Emilio Sánchez as well as by invited artists such as UNIVERSES, Reverend Billy and Savitri D, Fulana, Susana Cook, Pamela Sneed, Peggy Shaw (Split Britches), Deb Levine (ACT UP), Aisha Jordan and Frantz Jerome (2050 Legacy), and others. We ask applicants to define social issues that are important to them and to find a bridge to communities around those issues. Past participants have explored themes of racism, racial stereotypes, and racial violence; LGBTQ rights; war and human rights; gender and sexuality; religion; and gentrification, among others. They have created performance pieces around these issues, interviewed members of various communities, and led workshops in community programs (such as GLOBE/Make the Road New York), etcetera.
The program will be divided into three phases. Phase 1: every Saturday 10am-2pm from April 16th to May 21st, participants work closely with George Emilio Sánchez in developing performance and activist strategies, such as Boalian techniques, performance art and site-specific interventions. Phase 2: intensive daily sessions from May 28th- June 5th, participants work closely with leading activists, artists and scholars, and explore specific tactics for work in the field (street performance, interviewing, videotaping, seeing other people’s work, etc.). Phase 3: Saturdays June 11th June 25th participants refine their work for a final presentation, building on the strategies explored through the workshops. Final event (June 27th): participants will share their strategies, performances, and experiences in a public forum.
This program has a fee of $1000. Some financial aid will be available on a need basis, so please don't let money concerns stop you from applying.
Who Is Eligible
EMERGENYC is now open to activists/artists/performers between the ages of 18 to 28 who live in (or can easily commute to) New York City. Applicants must have prior experience in activism and/or various performance genres. The program welcomes applications from individuals enrolled in the City’s colleges and universities AND from those who are not currently pursuing formal higher education.
How to Apply
Selected participants will be notified the week of March 1st; registration payment will be due March 15th; and program activities will begin on Saturday, April 16th.
The Hemispheric New York initiative was made possible in its two initial years (2008-2009) by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. We greatly appreciate our partnership with The Public Theater and thank Liz Frankel for their continued collaboration with the Hemispheric Institute.