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Beyond the Stage: Healing the Body

December 7, 2022 | 3:00-4:15PM EST / Virtual Event

The Hemispheric Institute is proud to present Agency + Process, a series of virtual conversations curated by Camille Lawrence celebrating individuals who are shaping the future of memory work, creating outside of traditional archival models. Those featured employ ethical methodologies to access and recover hidden Black histories. Lawrence refers to this intentional practice as “seeing in the dark”, where Black folks have the ability to see themselves where others cannot.

This series will explore, challenge, and celebrate the ways that Black memory workers are taking agency over the preservation, documentation, and representation of Black life, and will feature speakers who are transforming how communities interact and engage with archives and performance art. The series will begin with two events in which archivists discuss ways to address institutional inequities and share their reparative practices in the archives. The subsequent conversations will highlight creatives, archivists, and artists whose work centers Black visibility and the body as an archive.

Hemi is also excited to announce Camille Lawrence as a Mellon Curator in Residence for the 2022 calendar year. Lawrence is an artist and archivist whose work focuses on the diversity of artistic expression across the African Diaspora. To learn more about Lawrence’s work, click here.

​​These events are made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the "World Making and Social Emergency at the Hemispheric Institute" initiative.

Beyond the Stage: Healing the Body

After the long days of rehearsals, performances, applause, and encores, what does restoring the body look like for creatives? Join performance artist and author Maya Lawrence, performer and curator Brooke Rucker, and  multidisciplinary artist Kassandra Caines as they discuss practices, rituals, and self-discoveries of healing the body.

Maya Lawrence

Maya Lawrence is a proud Spelman College alumna on a mission to liberate the world through Love. This NYC raised/ ATL based author, performing artist, and poet has followed an artistic breadcrumb trail from Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, to her current artistic home at the Tony Award winning Alliance Theater as a Resident Artist and Allyship Program Director. Maya's first children's book "Do You Love the Dark" published in conjunction with the Mayor's Summer Reading Club has been adapted into a Theater for the Very Young play play running at Alliance Theater Spring and Fall 2022!

Kassandra Caines

Kassandra Caines (she/her) (Multidisciplinary Artist, Voice of Bermuda) Kassandra Caines is “a 5 senses artist.” Her creative identity stems from her love of her Bermudian heritage and dedication to self expression. Her vocal talent has been recognized internationally for her ability to create an intimate, inviting and engaging experience for any audience. For the past decade, she has dedicated her career by focusing on curating environments for authentic artist expression.

Recommended as a “must see” vocal artist by global corporations and publications, Kassandra has been recognized for her ability to transform music into an instinctual language. She has opened for several acts across all genres including Gospel artist Reverend Shirley Caesar, Reggae artist Capleton and featured on the [John] Lennon Bermuda tribute album alongside Yoko Ono. Her work on stage has been noted in publications such as Sister2Sister Magazine, The Coveteur, and The Bermudian Magazine.  

As a performer, Kassandra has always valued collaborating with like minded creatives. She performs with the Songs for Soul Philadelphia and has been recognized for her ability to transform music into an experience. Her most notable moments include hosting a TEDx Talk, performing at the 38th Annual America’s Cup and being awarded the Best of Bermuda for Vocal performance in 2017.

For Kassandra, creativity knows no bounds and expression is deeply ingrained in her identity. In addition to her vocal talents, she has been praised for blending her love of streetwear, sustainability and high fashion. Her unique style has been documented by Apple Inc, Refinery29, and The Philadelphia Magazine. For Kassandra, fashion and performance are intertwined, and represent foundational components to Black culture and identity. In 2020, she joined the Black Beauty Archives team to help preserve their place in history.

Kassandra takes pride in blending her artistry with her philanthropic efforts and has performed for numerous charity events. In 2021, Kassandra became a mother and proudly resides in North Philadelphia. Kassandra is also the creator of the postpartum lifestyle brand Nu.Motherhood.

Brooke A. Rucker

Brooke Rucker is a Brooklyn-based artist specializing in dance, curation, and arts administration. She earned her BFA in Dance at Florida State University and has performed as a company member with Charles Anderson’s dance theatre X and Louis Gaspard’s Gaspard & Dancers, in addition to apprenticing with Urban Bush Women. Currently, Brooke is a member of TheREDprojectNYC’s Movement Ensemble and the Development/Visioning Partner Assistant at Urban Bush Women. She acts as an independent curator and recently curated The [Jersey] Function as part of her Curatorial Fellowship in Dance with SMUSH Gallery. Brooke is a member of Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee, a proactive working committee for emerging leaders in the field.

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