As the seasons shift toward harvesting roots, I will be returning to mine. I want to be the first to inform you that I have decided to step down from my position as Artistic Director at BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange.
September 6, 2019 will be my final day.
At this moment, as an artist and leader in the field, I can have greater impact by returning my focus fully to Angela’s Pulse
, including contributing as a cultural worker to post-hurricane visioning on my home island through my Dance/USA Fellowship to Artists, as well as continuing to develop and expand my Dancing While Black platform.
BAX has played an important role in the New York City arts landscape for 28 years. Now, six months into its big transition from a founder-led institution, the organization needs to turn its focus toward strengthening its infrastructure. I am grateful for the exchanges I had with so many members of BAX’s vibrant community.
In my six months as its part-time Artistic Director, and its first person of color in executive leadership, I laid important artistic groundwork for the coming season, tapped into my local and national networks to cultivate new organizational partnerships and funding streams, and spearheaded long-term visioning and strategy for actualizing BAX’s anti-racist, anti-oppression mission. I leave BAX with this foundation.
At Angela’s Pulse, we will continue pushing our work in radical directions that build on more than a decade of art-making and community organizing practice
As the Dancing While Black network grows and strengthens, we are investing more deeply in the leadership of these artists, so that DWB becomes community led. This season, a cohort of past DWB Fellows will shepherd a series of DWB activities centering the collaborative development of their rich creative practices.
This direction is the result of a year of Angela’s Pulse retreats
, whose goal was to co-create strategies for using the infrastructure of the organization to better serve the emerging visions of our communities.
I am also excited this month to begin developing a new multi-year, multi-site performance project during a creative residency at Virginia Commonwealth University
, made possible by the VCUarts Department of Dance and Choreography and my Fellowship with the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Institute
. The larger project, a culmination of my work on Building a Better Fishtrap
, aims to center locally-driven stories and visions for “abandoned” spaces across my home island of St. Croix through embodied research and performance.
We will start with the plot of land where my 93-year-old father grew up, in what one neighbor recently called “the forgotten corner of Christiansted.”
When the 2017 hurricane season devastated St. Croix, a US territory, help from the mainland was slow and inadequate. Now disaster capitalism is trying to take root as my fellow Crucians organize to center local visions for the future
. At this critical moment, I will use my practice to activate a call-and-response between colony and mainland, art-making and organizing, geography and body.
(Stay tuned for a report out about my time at VCU and my first research trip to St. Croix.)
As Angela's Pulse moves into this bountiful season of collaborative visioning and creative development, I am grateful to community members like you who continue to ground us and help us harvest our collective potentials. You are the roots who nurture this work.