In a year of resilience, growth, and joyful celebration of its 20th anniversary, Hi-ARTS — an urban arts incubator that has helped develop acclaimed works of art from creators.
The creators include Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Alex Alpharaoh, and Ebony Noelle Golden — has selected its Fall 2021 CRITICAL BREAKS and SKYLAB residents.
Alexander Lambie is a member of Middle Voice Theater Company and an alumnus of Atlantic Acting School.
Working primarily in performance and theater, Lambie will continue developing Wittiness!, a one-person show performed through his drag persona Gina Cakestand. African-Jamaican writer, and video and performance artist Tanika I. Williams investigates Black women’s use of movement, mothering and medicine.
Williams, who holds an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, plans to continue the development of PRESSING, a performance centering on an archival recorded interview between a matriarch and her great-granddaughter in order to illustrate and disrupt the generational cycle of family separation and its residual trauma.
Nationally awarded writer, performer and cultural worker Kirya Traber and award-winning musical theatre specialist and multimedia artist Sissi Liu will bring audiences If This Be Sin, a musical about the queer Harlem Renaissance entertainer Gladys Bentley.
The New York-based dance-theater collective SLMDances will work in collaboration with music producer Ebonie Smith, visual artist Shani Peters and quilter Dr. Kim F. Hall to create an on-site multi-disciplinary exhibition entitled: What does PURPLE sound like?
In partnership with Changing the Narrative, PURPLE’s community engagements facilitate the collection and amplification of oral histories with a focus on New York City public housing communities.
Born of the House of Labaija, multidisciplinary performer, recording artist, writer, teacher, curator, host, and model, LINDALA will lead new members of the House/ballroom community into weeks of discovery in Ballroom movement, culture, and legacy.
With a special focus on welcoming and centering the voices of Black Trans artists and femmes, she will begin to shape a production that speaks to the issues in the lives of those who participate.
This summer, Hi-ARTS will relocate to a larger space within their current home at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 in East Harlem, allowing for increased programming as well as a quickly expanding staff.
To learn more about Hi-ARTS, visit www.hi-artsnyc.org. Follow the organization on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @hiartsnyc.
Hi-ARTS is a leading cultural hub in the urban art movement. Through artistic development residencies, vibrant multi-disciplinary creative programming, and civic engagement opportunities, the 501(c)(3) empower artists to develop bold new work while creating a positive, lasting impact on the community.
Founded in 2000, Hi-ARTS has provided unique development opportunities to artists from historically marginalized groups, primarily people of color, women and LGBTQ+ artists, always placing issues of equity and social justice at the forefront.
To date, Hi-ARTS has supported works by more than 1,000 emerging and acclaimed artists, including boundary-pushing early-career artists like Zoey Martinson and The Illustrious Blacks, award-winning theatrical mainstays like Dominique Morisseau and Kristoffer Diaz and visionaries such as Radha Blank, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Ebony Noelle Golden and Nona Hendryx.
Hi-ARTS is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Council Member Diana Ayala and the City Council and NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Leadership support is provided by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, Ford Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and David Rockefeller Fund.
Additional support comes from the Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Humanities New York, and the Lucille Lortel Foundation.
Photo credit: Lindala