Alumni Updates

emerge-lab-at-bax-300EmergeLAB@BAX (2014)

Hemi and BAX are delighted to join forces in 2014 for The EmergeLAB@BAX, which is comprised of alumni of the EmergeNYC program at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics and takes place at BAX. The goal of the LAB is to provide a non-curated, non-hierarchical space for artistic development, where the artists determine their own frameworks and processes for experimentation and growth. Building upon both the skills and community generated in EMERGENYC, the LAB will deepen the conversation on the relationship between art & activism while forming new modes of practice in a format that balances the collective and the individual. Over 10 months, artists will meet bi-monthly to workshop their pieces together, and once a month in an open studio format for shared rehearsal time. The LAB will culminate a shared showcase performance in October 2014. The artists in the inaugural cohort are: Sabina Ibarrola (2013),  Jeca Rodríguez Colón (2013), Mette LouLou von Kohl (2013), Guy Yedwab (2013), Dominic Bradley (2012), Samantha Galarza (2012), Benjamin Lundberg (2012), Jesse Phillips-Fein (2012), Katrina De Wees (2011), Mary Notari (2011), Maria Schirmer (2011), Mieke D (2009), and Megan Hanley (2009).


Emerge Collective

Following the 2011 EMERGENYC cycle the alumni decided to continue their successful and inspiring collaboration by founding the Emerge Collective. The Emerge Collective is a non-hierarchical performance collective of interdisciplinary artists and activists from the 2011 EMERGENYC program at the Hemispheric Institute. From 2011 to 2012, we met regularly in 3-month cycles to develop existing works and create new ones with a work in progress showing at the end of each cycle. Members included: Noelle Ghoussaini, Maria Schirmer, Katrina De WeesZavé MartohardjonoM. Liz AndrewsShelah MarieLily Mengesha and Stephen Graf.


M. Liz Andrews (2011)
@BeJustArt |

M. Liz Andrews is a doctoral student in Cultural Studies at George Mason University where she also serves as the Graduate Assistant for the GMU Diversity Research Group. Liz’s academic work explores the ways art can serve as a venue and vehicle for activism and discussions about democracy and social change. In 2009, she launched LetterToObama – an artistic space for democratic engagement. As the director of the project, she curates a monthly online publication and has produced live events in Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago. Liz received her B.A. in American Studies from Wesleyan University and her M.A. from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is originally from Denver, Colorado.

emerge-2012-dominicDominic Cinnamon Bradley (2012)

Dominic Cinnamon Bradley is a Black gender non-conforming, 'crip and sick' multidisciplinary artist from the Dirty South. Dominic also holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.   A 2012 EMERGENYC alum, Dominic continues to develop performance that illuminates the lived experience of disability. Dominic believes what is spoken can be acknowledged, what is acknowledged can be examined, and what is examined can be transformed.Dominic's approach to performance is identity-based, experimental, and frequently involves spiritual seeking. Dominic has been recognized by the SICK Collective for creating at the intersection of gender variance and disability.  Dominic's work has been supported by organizations including: Fountain House, Roots and River Productions, New York University, Puffin Foundation, Healing Arts Initiative. Dominic is currently working to complete Defiance (solo performance), Bloodlines (short film) and the Exhibition Skills Apprenticeship Program.


Katrina De Wees (2011)

Katrina is a Brooklyn born and based interdisciplinary artist, currently working (primarily) in choreography and performance. After experimenting with her education and art at Hampshire College, she returned to NYC and presented her work at Dixon Place, Williamsburg Art Nexus and MIXnyc among others. She currently works in museum education at The Studio Museum in Harlem, and is developing a new work through the Emerge Collective to present at the 2012 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. In the summer of 2012, Katrina will begin the certificate program at Wesleyan University's Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. 

mieke-2009Mieke D (2009)

Mieke is a queer mixed race femme of Asian and European descent, who seeks to investigate how a diversity of styles can or cannot co-exist in a performative space, hunting for cohesive narratives and aesthetic harmony while travelling through a vast terrain of fragmentation. The goal of her solo and collaborative work is to express the unstable nature of race, gender, nationality, and authenticity. Mieke studied at the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics as part of EMERGNENYC. She has performed with La Pocha Nostra, the Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, Target Margin Theater Company, and Taylor Mac, among others, and she has worked on numerous community-based theater projects with Cornerstone Theater Company (in California) and The Foundry Theatre Company (in New York). She has shared original work at Dance New Amsterdam, Dixon Place, NYU, the Bushwick Arts Festival, and Under St. Marks, and hopes to keep adding to that list. Mieke continues to grow as an artist and an activist, working from a place of love for all those who have shaped her and this ever-evolving culture we live in.

emergenyc-2012-samantha-galarzaSamantha Galarza (2012)

Samantha Galarza is a sassy Puerto Rican-Brazilian-French-Spanish, queer, SAG-AFTRA screen actress/writer/singer/poet/performance artist/professional ranter. Recent roles include features in Hip Hop High, A Pebble of Love in the Shoe of My Life, Dead of Night, and Law & Order SVU. In April 2014 she made her directorial debut with Eddie’s Perejil at the ONE festival and is currently developing two full length solo pieces and a screenplay. As an art-ivist, her work explores queer identity politics, fluidity, systemic and internalized racism, substance abuse, migration, the U.S. prison industrial complex and policy that disproportionately affects ethnic minorities. Ultimately a storyteller, her dream is to bridge the gap between mainstream media and progressive "anti-colonial" political art. Sam is also a fellow of Guillermo Gomez Pena’s La Pocha Nostra and EmergeLab residency at Brooklyn Arts Exchange.


Claudia Sofía Garriga López (2010)
click for Vimeo Profile

Claudia Sofía Garriga López (a.k.a Dr. Mamamela) is currently completing her PhD in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis of NYU.  After participating in EMERGE Claudia went on to be a part of the Art and Resistance course in San Cristóbal de las Casas, México.  She is thrilled to be a part of the hemi family because there are always events, programs, and people, that bring politics and art together in meaningful ways.


Noelle Ghoussaini (2011) 

Noelle Ghoussaini is a playwright, director, performer and arts educator. She has lived, traveled, performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Her work is dedicated to using arts to examine and re-imagine our society within a political, social and historical context. She has written four original plays and curated numerous devised pieces, which have been staged at theaters, site-specific locations and community gardens throughout NYC. As a director, she has worked with companies such as Culture Project, Noor Theatre, the Jenin Freedom Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Sepia Works, Brave New World Repertory Theatre, and the Movement Theatre Company. She is currently developing a project on Phoenician mythology and a play about birds for a skateboard park.


Beatrice Glow (2008) | |

Beatrice Glow merges art, autoethnography and social practice. She holds a Studio Art BFA from New York University. As a Fulbright Scholar to Perú (2008) researching Asian Diaspora, she published “Taparaco Myth” in English, Spanish and Chinese, performed at Bienal DEFORMES 2008 of Chile, and exhibited “Migratory Museum” in Universidad Nacional de San Marcos (PE), Universidad Católica de Peru, Centro Cultural El Eje (CO), Museo de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Nacional (CO) and Enlace Arte Contemporáneo (PE). In New York, she has performed at El Museo del Barrio and created the “Aquarium from Austronesia” (2012) site-responsive installation on the Lilac Steamship Museum. She was the 2012 Emerging Artist Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University. She participates in John Zorn’s Obsessions Collective and is a Franklin Furnace Fund Recipient (2013-2014) to create the Floating Library aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship.


Stephen Graf (2011)

Stephen has written and performed in three solo performances, the most recent of which was entitled About Face: Marking the Unmarked.  This piece explored histories of whiteness in the US and their entanglement in Stephen’s own life.  He is currently writing a fourth piece about sexual difference and what it means to be alone.  He can also be seen throughout New York City performing with the indie improv group COACH.

Leslie Guyton (2008)

Leslie Guyton is a dance & theater director based in Brooklyn, NY. She's the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Movement Workshop Group. Guyton is the Executive Producer and Curator for The First Layer Festival, a yearly dance, music, and theater festival in NYC, and is assistant directing Under Construction with Anne Bogart and SITI Company in April 2011. She sat in on rehearsals with Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal in Germany, Spain, Portugal, England, and the US in 2007 and 2008. Guyton was Assistant to the Executive Director at the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance from 2009-2010 and was a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab in 2009. 
Under Guyton's direction, the Movement Workshop Group has created four evening-length pieces inspired by an element. Her works have been presented at such institutions as Dixon Place, La MaMa ETC, John Hancock Hall, the A.R.T.'s Club Oberon, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, The Brecht Forum, Montauk's Sole East and Movement Research at Dance Theater Workshop.  The Boston Globe chose Dust to Dust (2006) and Moontides (2008) as "Dance Pick of the Week" in 2006 and 2008 respectively.


Megan Hanley (2009)

Megan Hanley is an actor, activist, and teaching artist who is into collaborative, physical, and political performance. Several months after Emerging in 2009, she moved to Lima, Perú, where she studied with Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani and worked with two community-based organizations, using collaborative theatre to plan a variety show with the youth-run group Jovenes de Buena Voluntad and to allow teenagers at La Casa de Panchita to discuss sexual and reproductive rights with their peers. As a performer, she devised Tranformarte with Jorge Baldeón and Liliana Albornoz at elgalpon.espacio and appeared as an invited artist in Cuaderno de Anatomía’s Cuestión de Fé, part of the 5th Annual UCSUR Festival Internacional de Teatro. Megan will return to New York in 2011 and looks forward to connecting with other artists/activists to train, brainstorm, and stage public work… Want to collaborate? Contact her through her website.

people-2012-denae-hannahDenae Hannah (2012)

Denae Hannah, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, is a performance artist, social entrepreneur, and Artistic Director and CEO of Denae Dance Theatre. She received her B.A. in Drama from Stanford University and M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. Ms. Hannah is a 2012 EMERGENYC artist and a 2012-2013 Commissioned Artist at Stanford University. She was on Stanford's campus from February 10 - March 16 2013 to teach choreography from her new dance comedy FIVE STAR CHICK. Her work was performed for Parent's Weekend and for the Dance Division's winter dance concert "Performing Past, Fast Forward: The Body in 3D". Founded in September 2012, Denae Dance Theatre is a performing arts company that seeks to spark conversations on culture through performance pieces that employ satire and the physical collision of pop culture with high art. Performances often address contemporary issues on race and gender. The company is also actively seeking new business models and practices for dance organizations through the "Dance Like a Start-up" project.


Sabina Ibarrola (2013)

Sabina is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, activist, and troublemaker: a dancer and bruja on the path towards becoming a writer and healer, too. Sabina currently apprentices with herbalist Robin Rose Bennett of Wisewoman Healing Ways. A graduate of Hunter College and the New York School of Burlesque, she collaborates with the Boston-based Femme Show and Brooklyn’s Heels on Wheels Glitter Roadshow. As a mixed-race Latina femmedyke, her work coalesces around conscious, performative femininity and camp as strategies for resisting racist heteropatriarchy.

1306 emerge2013alum marta jovanovic 160x160Marta Jovanović (2013)

Marta Jovanović (b. 1978, Belgrade, Serbia) constructs scenarios in which she interrogates politics, identity, beauty, and sexuality. Her interdisciplinary practice is an invitation to disregard conventional notions of society and embrace a more democratic vision, free from all constraints. Jovanović received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University in 2001 after attending Scuola Lorenzo de Medici, in Florence. Her works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions around the globe, in institutions such as Museo Pietro Canonica and Museo della Civiltà Romana, both in Rome; G12HUB, Belgrade; Studio Marina Abramovic at Location One, New York; and Centre Culturel de Serbie, Paris, among many others. Jovanović is a winner of the Roma Capitale Award (2012), she participated at the Bronx Museum Biennial (2013) as well as the Venice Agendas at the 55th Venice Biennial along with Joan Jonas and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Her first artist book, written by Dr. Kathy Battista was published by The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY, NY in 2013. Her works are part of important international private and public collections, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Serbia. Her sculpture LjubavSrecalstina (LoveFortuneTruth, 2011) is permanently installed in the garden of the Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade.She lives and works in New York, Belgrade, and Rome.

people-emerge-NIC-KNIC Kay (2009)

NIC Kay is a performer, teacher, visual artist, organizer, mover and VOGUER born and raised in the Bronx, New York. They are a founding member of 3rd Language, a queer arts collective based in Chicago. Their current work explores movement as a mode of the reclamation of the body, history and identity. NIC's visual and performance works have been seen in galleries and on stages in both New York and Chicago.



Zoe Lukov (2009)
Zoe is an independent curator and performer born and raised in New York City. She currently works as Curatorial Coordinator at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LA MoCA). She completed a 2010 Fulbright fellowship in Colombia where she explored the changes and continuities in both traditional and contemporary performance nationally working towards a re-imagining of cultural and political cartography.  Zoe was honored to receive a 2009 EMERGENYC fellowship which allowed her to become completely imbedded in the Hemispheric family. Beginning as an intern three years ago, she is now Program Coordinator of the Hemispheric Institute's Encuentro.  As a dancer, Zoe has worked with Venezuelan choreographer Mariangela Lopez in her company Accidental Movement.  Zoe's curatorial projects focus on supporting the creation and dissemination of art that is both politically and socially relevant. Besides her work at the LA MoCA, she has organized various exhibitions  in New York City at Skylight Projects gallery in chelsea, the Abrazo Interno Gallery at the Clemente Soto Vélez Center, Keyes Art Projects and Gallery Bar.

people-2012-ben-lundberg newBenjamin Lundberg (2012)
@benjofaman |
Benjamin Lundberg is a Colombian, New York City based performer. Lundberg creates shared spaces of inquiry by lending his body and personal archive as a site through which viewers channel, refract and transmit their own desires to collaboratively conjure messages and meanings about identity. His work has appeared in spaces including the Hemispheric’s 2013 Encuentro in São Paulo, live streamed from the Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics in Bushwick to El Bunker in La Paz, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston, Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Bowery Poetry Club, La MaMa E.T.C., and the Morgan Library & Museum. This September he will be an Artist-in-Residence at AS220 in Providence. Benjamin is a founding member of the EmergeLAB @ BAX, and is a member of the 2012 EMERGENYC cohort at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics.

people-2012-sara-lyonsSara Lyons (2012)
Sara Lyons makes theatre/does feminism. Primarily a director with periodic tendencies toward performance, writing, and teaching, she seeks to create work that builds bridges between the personal and the political, the body and the state, the interpersonal and the societal.  Her work as a director has been presented at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Culture Project, Primary Stages, Cherry Lane, EstroGenius, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and more.  She has performed original work at P.S. 122, LaMaMa, and The Mobius Space (Boston), and her work as an educator has taken her to students of all ages in Mexico, South Africa, Wisconsin, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.  She holds a BA in Theatre and Gender & Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and is a proud, grateful member of the 2012 EMERGENYC Cohort. 


Ashley Marinaccio (2008)

Ashley is an activist and artist dedicated to creating theatre that challenges the status quo. She has numerous New York, Regional and National Tour directing, playwriting and performing credits. In addition to Girl Be Heard (formerly Project Girl Performance Collective), Ashley is a founder of Co-Op Theatre East (, alumna of Hemispheric Institute's EMERGENYC Fellowship, American Theatre Wing's Springboard NYC and proud member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Most recently, Ashley gave a TED Talk at Columbia University's Teacher's College. Visit for more information.


Shelah Marie (2011) 

Shelah is a performer, educator and activist from Hollywood, Florida. Shelah studied theater and performance at Florida State University where she received dual BA degrees in Theater and Mass Media Studies. She recently graduated from the Performance Studies program at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She loves homemade popcorn, documentaries and Facebook. Currently, Shelah is in Brooklyn teaching, performing and trying to put one foot in front of the other. Visit her website for more info.


Zavé Martohardjono (2011)

Zavé works across mediums as a performance artist, video artist, documentary filmmaker, writer and curator. He is currently building on a performance and video series, “autogeography,” that employs interactive oral storytelling, self-portraiture and semi-mythical characters to remix and retell History, making space for liminal identities, ancestry and dreams. Zavé’s work has shown in film festivals, galleries and on stages in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Zurich, Jakarta, Canada and the Netherlands. He currently works in media at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.


Jonathan McCrory  (2010)
Harlem-based Jonathan McCrory has worked professionally for the past seven years as a director, producer and actor throughout the East Coast (New York, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Winston-Salem, NC). A Washington, DC native, he attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he trained in musical theater and theater production. He earned a BFA degree in Acting and Africana Studies from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Jonathan is proud to say that in 2012 he officially became a published journalist through and within that same year was asked to serve as a Howlround trustee. He is a founding member of TMTC and holds the title as a Producing Artistic Leader. Jonathan is also the founder and producer of Harlem9 and through this organization Jonathan produced the sold-out festival called 48 Hours in Harlem. As a director, Jonathan has had the privilege to both direct and assistant direct amazing productions. As a director, Jonathan's credits include: Blacken the Bubble, The Sad, Secret (Sex) Life of Steve Urkel, Enter Your Sleep,Hope Speaks, Wake, Last Laugh, and Asking For More. Outside of his own directorial work, he has been able to work as an assistant director under both established and emerging directors such as Talvin Wilks: Anne & Emmet, One Quarter, and Banana Beer Bath; Charles Randalph-Wright: Motown Project; and Jesca Prudenco: Black Boy & The War. He recently curated the lobby of National Black Theatre for their production of Lyrics from Lockdown. The lobby was curated to help highlight the issues around Juvenile Justice in America with support by the Correctional Association of New York and Center for Nuleadership.


Lily Mengesha (2011)

Lily is a classroom educator and performance artist. Since joining the Emerge community in the spring of 2011, she has collaborated with Katrina De Wees in Liz Andrew's 4-year project Letter to Obama, and performed in playwright Shelah Marie's play, Ordinary Affects.  Currently, she is working on a physical transformation performance surrounding the legacy of mixed raced identity in the political history of the United States. In the fall of 2012, she will begin a PhD program in the Department of Performance Studies at Brown University.


Julián Mesri (2010)

Julián J. Mesri is a New York based Argentinean-American director, writer and sound designer. He graduated Williams College with a B.A. in Philosophy having studied under Mark C. Taylor and was privileged to work with theatre figures like Tina Shepard and Carson Kreitzer. He was part of a unique exchange program with the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, and in 2010 he was part of the Hemispheric Institute's EMERGENYC program. He was recently named a 2010-2011 Van Lier Fellow at Repertorio Español where he recently directed the NYC premiere of Rafael Spregelburd's "La Estupidez." He also directed and produced his play “The King in Exile” at The Tank Theater, where he is a current artistic resident. His own work and design has also been shown at Dixon Place, New York Theatre Workshop, FringeNYC, PERFORMA ’10 and the LES Festival. He is a company member and sound designer with International WOW: “Reconstruction” (Ohio Theater) and “Auto Da Fe” (Baruch Center). 

Yael Miriam (2008)

Yael Miriam recently received Israeli citizenship and calls Tel Aviv her home. She is the Director of Outreach for an organization running volunteer, teaching, photography and design programs for international young adults. When not helping others develop creative projects in the middle-east she is developing her own photography and poetry shown seaside.

JPF_photo_cropJesse Phillips-Fein (2012)
Jesse Phillips-Fein is a dancer, choreographer, dance educator, and curator/producer of multi-genre shows.  In all these spheres, she explores intersections of the moving body, political context and the legitimization of power, and the performance of identities.  She grew up in Brooklyn NY, where she studied dance at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange/BAX and The Dalton School. She earned a B.A. in Dance & Cultural Anthropology from Smith College, and a Diploma from the Laban Centre in London, England. Since returning to NYC in 2001, her work has been presented at BRICstudio, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Chashama, Connelly Theater, DNA, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, GreenSpace, Movement Research at Judson Church, Theater for the New City Williamsburg Arts Nexus, and White Wave. In addition, she has collaborated with Cassie Mey as the Square One Collective creating outdoor performances, Shana Bloomstein on Women's Works for female choreographers in rural Mid-Coast Maine, and White Folks Soul, using movement and language to unveil white supremacy. She currently teaches Middle & High School dance at the Brooklyn Friends School, while also pursuing an inter-disciplinary Masters degree in the Gallatin School at NYU.  In 2013, she produced the show From Obama to Occupy: Works of Outrage from 2008-2012, and is now working on a new piece about the unholy trinity of drone warfare, Positive Thinking, and adidas commercials, titled "z o    n    e."  It will be performed Dec 6-8, 2013 at BAX (


emerge jeca 2013

Jeca Rodríguez-Colón (2013)

Jeca Rodríguez-Colón is a Puerto Rican dancer and choreographer, she began her contemporary dance training with Petra Bravo and Viveca Vázquez. In 2002 moved to New York City where she completed her B.A. at Hunter College with a double major in Dance and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Jeca is the recipient of Hunter College’s 2005 Choreography Departmental Award. Jeca is pursuing her MFA in Creative Practices at Transart Institute where she began to explore video and objects as a medium. After participating in the EMERGENYC 2013 program at the Hemispheric Institute she began to explore performance arts and public interventions. Her work is connected to different aspects of the maternal kinesthetic language in space and the politics that surrounds it. Her latest work includes a street performance “Mother’s Milk is Free”, an installation performance “I ____ Creatures” and object based pieces “Because… I” and “Because… II”. 


Maria Schirmer (2011) 

Since participating in the 2011 EmergeNYC program Maria completed her interdisciplinary Master’s in Performance and Politics at NYU.  Her thesis, Performing Cultural Sovereignty: Home, Harvest and the Threat of Genetic Engineering, included a solo performance who will speak for nature? for which she designed and created a series of puppets and had a lively dialogue with a mailbox.  She is currently working at a teaching artist with Community Word Project and as a project assistant in Digital Video Library (HIDVL) at the Hemispheric Institute.

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