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Program Description

Since 2008, EmergeNYC —the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program— has been training emerging New York-based artists through a yearly program of workshops, lectures, and other events. We work with 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.

EmergeNYC 2017 and 2018 street performance

EmergeNYC 2019 Program Description

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University is now accepting applications its twelfth year of EmergeNYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program focused on political performance. EmergeNYC aims to support the development of hemispheric emerging artists through a program of workshops and events between Sunday, April 14th and Sunday, July 14th, 2019 (see “The Program” section below for details).

The Program

Selected participants will take part in weekly workshops led by George Emilio Sánchez as well as by established artists who are leaders in the field of performance and politics. (Workshop leaders for 2019 will be announced soon—check back for updates). We ask applicants to define social issues that are important to them and explore how creative practices can harness their political voice. Past participants have explored themes of racism, racial stereotypes, and racial violence; LGBTQ rights; gender and sexuality; war and human rights; environmental justice; religion; police brutality; and gentrification, among others. These engagements have resulted in the creation of workshops in community programs, interviews with members of various communities, and the creation of performance art pieces, multimedia installations, theatrical explorations, urban interventions, video art, and more.

The Program Schedule

  1. every Sunday 10am-2pm from April 14th to July 14th. Participants work closely with George Emilio Sánchez in developing performance and activist strategies, such as Boalian techniques, performance art, and site-specific interventions.
  2. intensive daily sessions (10am-4pm) from May 19th-May 24th. Participants work closely with leading practitioners, and explore specific tactics for work in the field.
  3. Sundays May 26th-July 14th Participants refine their work for a final presentation, building on the strategies explored through the workshops. Performance presentations (evening of Thursday, July 11th) Participants will share their strategies, performances, and experiences in a public forum.


April 14th to July 14th, 2019
Abrons Arts Center

Program Fee

This program has a fee of $1000. A modest amount of financial aid will be available on a need basis. If your enrollment depends on financial aid, please let us know in your application.


Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street)
New York, NY 10002


George Emilio Sánchez is our lead instructor, and over the years, guest faculty and presenters have included: Ann Pellegrini, Anna Deavere Smith, Avram Finkelstein, Carmelita Tropicana, Craig Peterson, D’Lo, Dan Fishback, Daniel Alexander Jones, Debra Levine, Diana Taylor, Dulce Pinzón, Ebony Noelle Golden, Ed Woodham, ERRO Grupo, Favianna Rodríguez, Fulana, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Jennifer Miller, John Volker, Karen Finley, Karina Casiano, Leónidas Martín, Lorie Novak, Martha Wilson, Marya Warshaw, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Paloma McGregor, Pamela Sneed, Patrícia Hoffbauer, Peggy Shaw, Reverend Billy & Savitri D, Sonia Guiñansaca, Soomi Kim, Susana Cook, Tavia Nyong'o, The Illuminator, The Yes Men, Tim Miller, and UNIVERSES. Emerge alumni Aisha Jordan-Jerome, Ashley Brockington, Benjamin Lundberg, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Frantz Jerome, Kirya Traber, Jeca Rodríguez Colón, Mary Notari, and Ricardo Gamboa have also returned to lead workshops.

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Read a 2017 article on NPR's Code Switch about Emerge: "In NYC, Activism Begins with Lessons in Theater"


The workshop studios at Abrons Arts Center where weekly sessions and the intensive week will be held are wheelchair accessible.