HIDVL Overview

The Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL) is the first major digital video library of performance practices in the Americas. Created in 2005 in partnership with NYU Libraries, and with the inaugural support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, HIDVL began as an effort to preserve political performance works from the Americas, making these cultural documents available worldwide. This growing repository guarantees historical preservation and free access to over 1000 hours of documentation.

Working alongside artists, scholars, and activists, HIDVL creates trilingual Profiles (English, Spanish and Portuguese) for each Collection, contextualizing the videos with production information, synopses, image galleries, interviews, bibliographies and more. Creators retain the copyright to their contributions, and the original materials, which are returned after digitization. With documentation spanning the 1970’s to the present, HIDVL seeks Collections that promote dialogue and deeper understandings of performance and politics in the Americas.


The Collections

We have created a profile for each artist, group or organization that has shared their collection for preservation in HIDVL. These profiles, often compiled in collaboration with the creators, aim to contextualize the videos with images, texts, performance ephemera, bibliographies and additional resources that viewers and researchers might find of use. Because the profiles are trilingual, they ensure wider accessibility to audiences across the Americas.



Our collections include interviews with artists, scholars and activists from across the Americas. This section features curated interview series such as the “What is Performance Studies?” collection, the “Native Theater Festival” collection, and the “Colombian Theaters” collection. In addition, you can access individual interviews conducted during Encuentros, at the Hemispheric Institute in New York City, or at affiliated cultural centers and institutions.

Additional Performances

This section contains additional performances that are in HIDVL but are not part of a specific Collection. These performances have been presented at various Hemispheric Institute events, such as Encuentros, our center in New York City and affiliated institutions.

Lectures and Presentations

This section features a curated selection of lectures and presentations that are included in HIDVL. Some of this featured content also appears in The Collections but are highlighted here for users who may be interested in researching academic presentations, keynotes, or round table discussions of artists, scholars, and activists.



Every two years, the Hemispheric Institute hosts an Encuentro—part academic conference, part performance festival—in a different site in the Americas. Fostering experimentation, dialogue, and collaboration, each Encuentro brings together hundreds of scholars, artists, and activists to take part in a week-long program of performances, lectures, work groups, installations, roundtable discussions, and visual art exhibits. The 2019 Encuentro— “The World Inside Out: Humor, Noise, Performance” will be held in Mexico City.