Art Bursts and short performances will take place throughout the conference.
Check out the participating artists below! (Schedule details will be announced in January 2022.)


Ani/MalayaWorks: decolonization, connection, and elevation

Annielille Gavino (she/they/siya)
Philadelphia, PA

Gavino takes us on an autoethnographic journey of embodiment. Beginning with La Migra, Let's Run, a commentary solo that calls-out her own assimilation to “whiteness,” she then dives into a familial way of artmaking, including her first-generation Filipinx daughter in curating experiential performances that engage with language, folkloric, and dialogic workshops. This artmaking manifested into Patawili (a traditional communal gathering where people celebrate with a ritual of food, dance, film, and visual art), and Nanay, a dance meets poetry and collective writing performance. With their company, Ani/MalayaWorks, they detail erasures of Filipino/a/x and address the healing of the colonized psyche.

Photo of a medium-light skinned person caught in mid-jump wearing white face paint and a striped shirt and black skirt reminiscent of a mime costume. White paint also appears on their palms.

Photo credit: Barbara Shore

Ghostly Labor

Vanessa Sanchez & La Mezcla
Vanessa Sanchez (she/her)
San Francisco, CA

Vanessa Sanchez y La Mezcla’s new production Ghostly Labor (working title) explores the history of labor in the US–Mexico borderlands through Tap Dance, Mexican Zapateado, Son Jarocho, Afro Caribbean movement and live percussion. Told through the female lens, this work brings together polyrhythmic movement and an original score to look at the (ongoing) years of systemic exploitation of labor while highlighting the strength, power, and joy of collective resistance. This excerpt is inspired by and based on farm worker interviews in Northern California and was filmed on a farm in Half Moon Bay, CA. This work will be performed as a full theater production and an adapted, site-specific piece for accessibility.

Three women standing shoulder to shoulder (shown from the waist up), wearing a bandana around their mouths, a bandana around their foreheads and large straw hats, with plaid flannel shirts look to their left. They are standing on farmland with short green grass and trees in the background.

Photo credit: Kirsten Millan, Micah St. Clair, and Sandy Vazquez performing Ghostly Labor (working title) on a private farm in Half Moon Bay, CA (2021). Photo: Harry Gregory.


Renegade Performance Group
André M. Zachery (he/him)
Brooklyn, NY

Redline is a dance-film collaboration between choreographer/filmmaker André M. Zachery and singer/songwriter Arin Maya dedicated to the power of upholding Black lives.

A dark-brown skinned man wearing an orange fitted hat, green sweater standing in front of a sun-lit white wall looking over his right shoulder.

Photo credit: André M. Zachery at Lower Manhattan Community Council Residency on Governor’s Island in New York City (2020). Photo: Salome Mumford.


Sean Dorsey Dance
Sean Dorsey (he/him/his)
San Francisco, CA

Set in a dream-like rocky landscape, SEEK / AFTER is a dance-film created for Sean Dorsey Dance's multi-year project THE LOST ART OF DREAMING, which investigates and imagines expansive trans, gender-nonconforming, and queer Futures.

Supported by the National Performance Network, the National Dance Project, and the National Endowment for the Arts, THE LOST ART OF DREAMING features movement research, community conversations, DREAM LABS, dance films, and a world premiere production in 2022 followed by a national tour.


a spell

a danced invocation

a loving invitation to

reclaim, remember, re-connect, conjure, co-create and manifest OUR BIRTHRIGHT:








Image shows 4 dancers who are all wearing long-sleeved black jumpsuits and black shoes and standing inside the swirls of a dusty-brown rocky labyrinth. The dancers are all standing with their left arms outstretched to the left of their bodies, and their right arms reaching and touching their left hands.

Photo credit: Still from Sean Dorsey Dance’s dance-film SEEK / AFTER. Photo: Annalise Ophelian.

Josephine's Dress

Gesel Mason Performance Projects
Gesel Mason (she/her)
Austin, TX

In this video portrait, filmed in Austin, Texas, during her 2020 residency with Texas Performing Arts and Fusebox, Gesel Mason shares a “moment of decadence” that becomes a pivotal experience in cultivating a methodology for her most recent performance project, Yes, And. Yes, And centers an expansive vision of Black womanhood as the operating force in the creative process. It asks, “Who would you be and what would you do if, as a Black woman, you had nothing to worry about?” Yes, And is supported by the National Performance Network and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Gesel Mason stands outside on a sunny day, facing the camera with her right hand on her hip. She is wearing a blue dress and black ankle boots. With her left hand, she holds an axe vertically by the handle, the blades resting on the ground in front of her.

Photo credit: Photo: Josh Coe

Opined for Intimacy

Propelled Animals
Esther Baker-Tarpaga (she/her)
Esther Baker-Tarpaga (Philadelphia PA)
Raquel Monroe & Barber (Chicago, IL)
Courtney "Doc" Jones (Boca Raton, FL)
Heidi Wiren Bartlett (Pittsburgh, PA)
Boubacar Djiga- Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)

Inspired by the ethos of virtual intimacy, the Propelled Animals open their private forums to public space, articulating the reality of (re)emerging in and through the portal of the pandemic.  “Opined for Intimacy” looks into the struggle, foolery, and joy of creating site-specific performative works by artists dispersed throughout the United States and Burkina Faso. The digital short reflects on their seven-year history of growing together, as well as future aspirations. Watch as they candidly discuss and blend their ideologies into a cohesive presentation with excerpts of unseen video and photo documentation from their pre- and post-Covid residencies.

Five people onstage with a pink background. A Black man in glasses and suit holding a trumpet stands next to white woman in a red shirt holding up golden fabric, next to bald Black man wrapped in a green and red flag with a branch on his shoulder. Seated on the floor, a white woman and Black woman smile with their legs covered in yellow tulle fabric.

Photo credit: Courtney "Doc" Jones, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Barber, Heidi Wiren Bartlett, and Raquel Monroe in Switch Signal at Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh (2021). Photo: Beth Barbis.

lily of the valley

Nokosee Fields (he/him)
Lafayette, LA

Nokosee Fields leads a traditional fiddle tune with his stringband BOOJUM.

An Indigenous man wearing a cowboy hat wrapped in flowers holds a violin in the sunset.

Photo credit: Nokosee Fields holding a fiddle in south Louisiana (2021). Photo: Joe Vidrine


MK Abadoo (they/she)
Richmond, VA

MKArt’s artistic director, MK Abadoo, and core elder performer/collaborator Judith Bauer will introduce MKArts’s collaborative creative process and share a sample from LOCS, a 2017 work that exaggerates sites of body contact to explore the capacities of intra-group and intergenerational tenderness. They will conclude by discussing MKArts’s newest project, Hoptown, an NPN Spring 2021 Creation Fund commission. Hoptown, inspired by the lives of MK’s mother, Regina Bowden, and Black feminist writer bell hooks immerses audiences in the sistering methodologies of Black girls and women thriving each other over generations in Bowden and hook’s ancestral hometown of Hopkinsville “Hoptown,” Kentucky.

A tall, elder African American dancer stretches her right arm in the air up behind her and left leg in front of her. A second African American dancer bends and holds the other dancer’s outstretched leg. They both gaze down to where one dancer’s hand touches the other dancer’s ankle.

Photo credit: Julinda Lewis and Mena Durant in Hoptown creative exploration (2021). Photo: Keshia Eugene

The Unarrival Experiments—Unconcealment Ceremonies

Ni’Ja Whitson (they/them)
Los Angeles, CA

The Unarrival Experiments is a constellation of art/works that explore dark matter and dark energy. Through an intersectional engagement with Black Queer Trans Embodiedness, Astrophysics, and African Indigenous spiritualities, The Unarrival Experiments asks social, political, and cosmic implications of invisibility and darkness. The Unarrival Experiments—Unconcealment Ceremonies is held within a performance dome that aids in visualizing darkness while allowing for the seamless integration of projection, immersive VR, and spatial audio. The overall project asks, “What if Blackness refused to become and exists in the unarrival?” and “How do you see something you can’t see?”

A dark-skinned Black nonbinary trans person emerges from the ground in a darkened space lit by two warm hanging lightbulbs. The person is wrapped in a cool white LED rope, their head turned to the left, with the cord tightly held between their lips.

Photo credit: Photo: Maria Baranova

Eleven Reflections on September

Art2Action, Inc.
Andrea Assaf (she/they)
Tampa, FL

Eleven Reflections on September is a poetry, music, movement, and digital exploration of Arab American experience, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post–9/11 world. Originally a live theatre production, it was re-created as a digital film during the pandemic, for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Featuring poet/director Andrea Assaf, vocalist Lubana Al Quntar, violinist Eylem Basaldi, percussionist April Centrone, and movement artist Dora Arreola, with video design by Eva Auster and sound design by Matt Eaton. Commissioned by the Carver Community Cultural Center, it has garnered numerous selections, and won Best Experimental Feature from the Silk Road Film Awards at Cannes in 2021.

Four Middle Eastern and American women dressed in black on a New York City rooftop. Left to right: Eylem Basaldi, wearing a sleeveless shirt and multi-colored scarf, holds her violin; writer/director Andrea Assaf rocks sunglasses; vocalist Lubana Al Quntar stares into the camera; April Centrone holds her inlaid darbuka (drum).

Photo credit: Eleven Reflections on September ensemble members, left to right: Eylem Basaldi, Andrea Assaf, Lubana Al Quntar, and April Centrone, NYC (2016). Photo: Kacey Anisa


devynn emory / beast productions
devynn emory (they/them/theirs)
Brooklyn, NY

deadbird (the film) and can anybody help me hold this body (the altar & archive) invite virtual and in-person participants to a series of events: 1. a conversation, 2. a film, 3. a traveling collective public grief altar, and 4. an archive of our offerings—to the deceased, to the living, to ourselves, to each other. we begin with a conversation between devynn emory and Okwui Okpokwasili, followed by the film. you are then invited to an altar. this altar toured live to NYC, Philadelphia, and Portland. virtually, one can build an altar at any time on the interactive website

two light skinned Indigi-queers in chairs sitting in front of a lake with red fabric across their laps in preparation to tend a public grief altar for 3 days. both are adorned in beads and metals. in front of them lay red fabric and three walnut grain circular altar pieces.

Photo credit: Joseph Pierce and devynn emory tending the altar of project can anybody help me hold this body in Lenapehoking (NYC, 2020). Photo: Ian Douglas.

Dastak: I Wish You Me

Ananya Dance Theatre
Ananya Chatterjea (she/hers)
Twin Cities, Minnesota

Dastak is a meditation on borders, loss, belonging, home, and liberation. Structured through four elemental journeys—Earth, Water, Fire, and Air—the work traces knockings (dastak, in Farsi) of global injustices on our hearts and echoes the subtitle created by writer Sharon Bridgforth, I Wish You Me, indicating the cross-generational love that has carried communities through difficult migrations. Dastak invites audiences to imagine what freedom is possible as it expands the realms of intention and trans-dimensional connection through spells that invoke rest, forgiveness, and love. Featuring choreography by Ananya Chatterjea and a live and recorded score by Spirit McIntyre.

A group of Black and brown performers of varying skin tones moving with curvilinear spines and extended arms, across a stage. They are wearing earth toned pants and metallic-toned fitting tops. At the center is a medium-skinned Black artist in a flowing white cloak, looking out directly at the audience. There is a layered scenic backdrop, parts of which reflect the light. On the downstage right corner is a flower-shaped altar holding various ritual objects.

Photo credit: Performers (L-R) Parisha Rajbhandari, Laichee Yang, Erica Jo Vibar Sherwood, Kealoha Ferreira, Lizzette Chapa, Spirit McIntyre, Alexis Araminta Renée, Ananya Chatterjea, Ani Gavino, Alessandra Williams, and Noelle Awadallah performing Dastak: I Wish You Me at the O’Shaughnessy, St. Paul (2021). Photo: Bruce Silcox. Photo courtesy of Ananya Dance Theatre.

Same but Different

Christal Brown (she/her)
Lida Winfield (she/her)
Middlebury, VT and

Same but Different is a dance-theater performance created and performed by Christal Brown and Lida Winfield. These scholar-artists explore their similarities and differences in a cultural commentary on race, age, and gender. In this session, the artists will share excerpts of the work and discuss how it is a reflection of their lived values, artistic practice, and communal existence.

 A Black woman in orange pants and a black shirt is lunging on one leg with both arms outstretched in a sharp diagonal. A white woman stands near her in red pants and a black top also extending her arms and legs wildly.

Photo credit: Photo: JHsu Media


Adil Mansoor
Adil Mansoor (he/him)
Pittsburgh, PA

Adil Mansoor’s artist talk will introduce folks to his practice as a theater maker and his current project, Amm(i)gone.

 Amm(i)gone, an adaptation of Sophocles’s Antigone, is an apology to and from a mother. Creator and performer Adil Mansoor explores queerness and kinship using this canonical text, teachings from the Quran, and audio conversations between him and his mother.


Photo of a desktop. In the center there is an embroidered silhouette of a mother and child. To the upper right is performer Adil Mansoor, a 35-year-old Pakistani man. Just below him, is a photo of Adil as a child dressed in a traditional Pakistani women’s wedding attire.

Photo credit: Adil Mansoor, Amm(i)gone virtual performance for The Theater Offensive (2021). Photo: Rochelle Malter.

Excerpt from Babylon: Journeys of Refugees

Sandglass Theater
Shoshana Bass (she/hers)
Putney, VT

This is one of five stories presented in the full work Babylon: Journeys of Refugees, which deals with the relationships of refugees to their homelands, lost and new, and the conflicts that exist in American communities to which they have fled.

A group of puppeteers stand around a puppet of a man standing on a wooden pallet and holding an orange life vest. Their mouths are open in unison song. The puppeteers are of diverse skin tones and all wear black hoodies and khaki pants.

Photo credit: Photo: Kiqe Bosch.

Clown Down 2: Clown Out of Water (Sneak Peek)

Anthony Hudson (they/them)
Portland, OR

Artist Anthony Hudson offers a backstage tour by way of a Pizza Hut training video in this sneak peek at next year's follow-up to the acclaimed Clown Down: Failed to Mount, in which Portland's premier drag clown, Carla Rossi, finds herself trapped on a rock in the ocean as the water level rises due to melting ice caps. Incorporating sculpture, puppetry, interactive video, and a seagull with IBS, Clown Down 2: Clown Out of Water asks what it means to live and make art on an increasingly distressed planet.

Carla Rossi, a drag clown in a short wig and ‘90s-style tracksuit, lays trapped under a fallen cabinet on stage risers. She holds a microphone over her head and offers a sneering glance away from the camera as she looks up to the heavens to contemplate her fate.

Photo credit: Anthony Hudson as Carla Rossi in Clown Down: Failed to Mount at PNCA (2019). Photo: Matty Newton.

The Pandemic Effects from the Prison of My Mind

José Torres-Tama & ArteFuturo Productions
José Torres-Tama (he/him)
New Orleans, LA

As a national and international touring performance artist, I’ve had all my income wiped out from the tsunami of cancellations that followed the initial March 2020 lockdown, and it has caused tremendous stress. After 25 years of touring, I’ve been on the edge and have had three nervous breakdowns, as I rise from the Covid ashes. In one of my Brujo performance personas, I offer a five-minute poetic plea on the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on my psyche and address the inequities of the US arts world, where artists have been beaten into an unspoken economic crisis.

José Torres-Tama is pictured in his stylish red rayon jacket wearing a red hat, posing in his exaggerated “Pachuco” performance persona. Skeleton-gloved hands reveal his shirt that reads “NO GUACAMOLE for Immigrant Haters!” His Brown face is minimally painted and he stands in front of a painting.

Photo credit: José Torres-Tama. Photo: Tshombe Tshanti.