Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program

Program Description

As a part of the Hemispheric Institute’s Hemispheric New York initiative, the Emerging Performers Program (EMERGENYC) aims to support the development of New York-based artists between the ages of 18 and 23 through a program of workshops and events that will take place between April and October 2008. We work with 16 talented, committed and highly motivated young performers who see their work 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, theater, street performance, movement/dance, political cabaret, performance art, video performance 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 innovation that has long characterized New York City. Experimental theater and performance, hip hop and salsa are powerful examples of the hemispheric fusions that the City’s neighborhoods have incubated. Drawing on this vitality, the program encourages young performers to mix styles and traditions, to take interdisciplinary leaps, and to develop their own voice across performance genres.

Offerings: Works in Progress

Between April and October, the 16 selected participants take part in bi-monthly performance workshops (about 30 sessions total) led by performance artist George Emilio Sánchez as well as by invited artists. The workshops—which will take place on weekends and be held at NYU and other sites around the city—will cover an array of performance strategies and methods, such as spoken word, political cabaret and site-specific interventions. The workshops will also offer participants individual guidance as they develop their own performance pieces, which they will have the opportunity to present in October. This program is free of charge.

The students who participated in the 2008 program are: Aisha Jordan, Arun Storrs, Ashley Marinaccio, Beatrice Glow, Bekah Dinnerstein, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Clare Barron, Edward McWilliams, Fernanda Coppel, Frantz Jerome, Janine Simon, Kim Fischer, Leslie Guyton, Timothy Murray, Tina Louise Vásquez and Yael Miriam.