Alumni Bios

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).


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.

KARINA CLAUDIO 160x160Karina Claudio-Betancourt (2009)
Karina Claudio-Betancourt is a Boricua "artivist" and community organizer with a BA in Humanities—Theater and Creative Writing (UPR-RP) and an MA in Performance Studies (NYU). Born and raised in Santurce, Puerto Rico, she now lives in Brooklyn. She received a scholarship from the Hispanic Arts Foundation in 2007, a “Performance Studies” Award in 2008 and was a Hemispheric Institute EMERGENYC Fellow in 2009. While working at Make the Road NY ( from 2008-2014 she received the Brooklyn Lambda Award (May, 2009), a City Council Proclamation (June, 2009), a Proclamation from the Queens Borough President (2010), and a City Council Proclamation (2011) for her work with the organization’s LGBTQ Justice Project. She has also received a "Civic Advocate of the Year" award in 2013 from the NY State Legislature and a Proclamation from the Suffolk County Legislature in 2014 for her work as a community organizer in Long Island. Since March 2014, she works as the Senior Director for Community Engagement in the office of NYC Council  Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, overseeing a team of 30 employees that engage diverse and disenfranchised  communities throughout New York City in the decision-making processes of the NYC Council.   In 2011 she published her first book with Atarraya Cartonera Editorial ( in Puerto Rico titled "Monógama en Serie" Her earlier performance/writing work can be found in the website


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.


Patrícia Faolli (2011)

Patrícia Faolli is a interdisciplinary artist from São Paulo, Brazil. With a Brachelor's Degree in Comunicação das Artes do Corpo from PUC- SP (2009) she started her career in theater and later focused on performance art and dance using her body as the primary medium. Since 2008 with the "Ajuntamento MeninasJoão de Performance," she took part in several performances and urban interventions such as: On Sale, Mínimos Silêncios, Tinta Fresca, Lamentos Contidos em Busca de Catarse, Transparências, Ctrl + Z ou 220 Lâmpadas de 1watt

In 2010 Patricia moved to New York focusing her work and research even more in dance, urban intervention and videoart. Currently, she is a MFA candidate in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) at Brooklyn College. Patrícia's pieces are in constant dialogue with the city and its inhabitants evoking questions about human relations and behavior patterns in metropolitan areas, conjuring ghosts confined in concrete cracks.

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)
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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 makes physical, political, and collaborative theater. She is a founding member of The Syndicate (, an ensemble theater company that devises intimate, spectacular plays from the ground up. With the Syndicate, Megan has appeared as Pentheus in Civility! and as Gertrude Stein in Well Job, Gertrude. Megan is also a core member of Man Meat Collective (, a group that rewrites musicals to make them better, queerer, and more transformative. Megan was an invited artist at the UCSUR International Theater Festival in Peru; performed at the Hemispheric Institute's Encuentros in Brazil and Canada; worked with Jesusa Rodriguez on performance interventions in Mexico; and collaborated with Split Britches on their retrospective show, Desperate Archives, at La MaMa Galeria. Megan facilitates workshops and actions with the Yes Men in her free time and works and trains at SITI Company.

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.


Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (EMERGE'08)

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ plays include Neighbors (Public Theater), Appropriate (Signature Theater, OBIE Award for Best New Play, Outer Critics Circle nominee), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, OBIE Award for Best New Play), War (Yale Rep, forthcoming), and Gloria (Vineyard Theater, forthcoming). His work has been or will be seen at the Actors Theater of Louisville, Victory Gardens Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theater, The Matrix Theater, CompanyOne, Theater Bielefeld in Germany and the HighTide Festival in the UK. He is currently a Residency Five playwriting fellow at Julliard. Other honors include the Paula Vogel Award, a Fulbright Arts Grant, a Helen Merrill Award, the Dorothy Strelsin playwriting fellowship, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. He is a Princeton alum from the Class of 2006 and holds an MFA in Performance Studies from NYU.

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 an transdisciplinary artist whose work straddles performance, video, installation, collage and printmaking. Obsessed with the act and process of moving, the change of place, position, and the clarity/ meaning gleaned from said activity, NIC’s current projects explore movement as a place of reclamation of the body, history and identity. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, NIC graduated from Professional Performing Artist School in 2007 and was a Hemispheric Institute EMERGENYC Fellow in 2009. Now residing in Chicago, they are a founding member of 3rd Language, queer arts collective. They gave the 2013 Keynote Speech at The Trans, Gender Non Conforming, Intersex, Freedom Picnic and Rally in Chicago, and they have taught for About Face Theatre, Woman Made Gallery, Free Street Theater and Broadway Youth Center. In 2014, they were awarded the Chances Dances - Marc Aguhar Memorial Grant. They have shown work, spoken on panels and hosted workshops at numerous venues throughout New York City and Chicago. This upcoming April 2015, they will be in Residence at Links Hall.


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, from her beginnings as an intern to her eventual turn as 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 is an Obie Award Winning artist currently the Director of Theatre Arts Program at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre. He has worked professionally as a director, producer and actor. 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 TISCH School of the Arts. In 2010 he became a Hemispheric Institute alumni after going through their EmergeNYC program. In 2013 he was awarded the Emerging Producer Award by the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC and the Torch Bearer Award in 2013 by Woodie King Jr. In 2012 he officially became a published journalist through and within that same year he began serving on the advisory board for the organization.  In 2013 he curated a week on The State of Black Theatre on [Click Here To Learn More] He also is a graduate of the American Express Leadership Academy 2014 and through NBT has been through the DeVos Professional Development program at BAM 2014. Lastly looking to address the issues of equity he is currently working with two different collectives. In June of 2014, Jonathan joined the steering committee for the creation of the Black Theatre Commons, and in 2013 he joined the formation of the collective formally known Next Gen. For more info see


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.

Azure 160x160Azure D. Osborne-Lee (2014)

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist and theatre maker. He currently serves as Grants Associate at Brooklyn Arts Council and Producing Consultant at The Billie Holiday Theatre. Azure recently published an article on HowlRound on queerness and theatrical canon. Azure's writing was presented as part of The Fire This Time Festival and National Black Theatre's Keep Soul Alive Mondays. In the summer of 2015, he will receive a reading at 2econd Stage Theatre. Azure was recently a member of Rising Circle Theater Collective‘s 2014 INKtank, and has also been selected as a finalist for National Black Theatre's I AM SOUL residency and Soho Rep's Writer/Director Lab, as well as a semifinalist for Ars Nova's Play Group and New York Theatre Workshop's Emerging Artist Fellowship. Learn more at

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 multi-disciplinary artist with a dance and choreography background. Rodríguez Colón began her contemporary dance training with choreographers Petra Bravo and Viveca Vázquez at the University of Puerto Rico. In 2002, she moved to New York City where she completed her B.A. at Hunter College with a double major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS), and Dance. She was the recipient of Hunter College 2005 Choreography Departmental Award. In 2014 she obtained her MFA in Creative Practices from Transart Institute with Plymouth University. 
Her multi-disciplinary artistic practice ranges from dance and performance arts to video art and object manipulation. From 1999-2001 she was a member of Bravo’s dance group Hincapié. As a member of this troupe, in 2001 Rodríguez Colón had the opportunity to choreograph her first piece Yo con Yo, as part of Primeras Fiestas Coreográficas. Rodríguez Colón's work is connected to diverse aspects of the maternal kinesthetic language and the politics that surround it. She is an alumni of the EmergeNYC 2013 cohort of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and is a former member of the EmergeLab at Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Her latest work: Sneak into My Maternal Chaos and Desde Adentro, which are part of the Alternative Maternals group exhibit, were presented in 2014 in Berlin, Germany, and will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition in June 2015 in London, UK. Rodríguez Colón is also a scholar whose research focuses on the politics of maternal art and performances in the Americas. As such, she has presented at several conferences.


Maria Schirmer (2011) 

Maria Schirmer  is an interdisciplinary theatre artist and arts educator who recently completed her Master’s at NYU, where she researched the intersection of performance and politics and how theatre can be used as a tool for social change. She also holds a BA in theatre from Marymount Manhattan Collage and has been acting and directing across the Northeast for many years. She works as an HIDVL assistant at the Hemispheric Institute as well as a teaching artist with Community Word Project and Opening Act.  She is a member of the Lark Play Development Centers Literary Wing, as well as The Forum Project Performance Troupe which brings Theater of the Oppressed perofrmances and workshops to community centers and schools across NYC.   She was recently awarded an ISM grant from NYU's Center for Multicultural Education and Programs to explore Ableism as related to Multiple Sclerosis in a multi-media theatre piece, as well as a Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellowship, which culminated in an eight-week internship with the Jana Sanskriti Center for Theatre of the Oppressed in Kolkata, India.


Ariel Speedwagon (2010)

Ariel Speedwagon’s work has been seen extensively on Broadway, Lafayette, Fulton, Chrystie, Avenue A, Leonard, and many other fine streets and avenues throughout New York City. Trained as a modern dancer, Ariel’s inherently interdisciplinary work has taken many forms — interactive sculpture, modern dance and dance theater, drag performance and burlesque, collective mapmaking, clowning, and video art. Most interested in the intersections of storytelling, participatory environments, magic, and democratizing knowledge, Ariel has tap danced about limericks, lectured about unicorns, made slapstick about apartheid, and built telephones that tell secrets. For video and upcoming events: (photo: Jeep Wheat)



Carolina Victoria Tapias Guzmán (2011)

Carolina is a theatre teaching artist and cultural worker whose practice of theater and performance focuses on collective artistic creation that links the personal with its context. She proposes an exploration of the body and its personal and historical memory. Play and dialogue are starting points for building engaged communities. Using an eclectic mix of techniques and methodologies from the visual, literary, and theatrical arts, Victoria designs and facilitates processes of collective creation with diverse communities. Victoria holds a Fine Arts degree from the National University of Colombia, and an MA in Applied Theatre and Performance from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has led educational programs at the Cartoon National School, the National Museum and the Children and Development Corporation in Colombia. In NYC, Victoria has continued her learning and practice with artistic organizations like Monarch Theatre, The Cross Border Project, and The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, also with NGOs such as Alvin Ailey Educational Programs, FalconWorks Artist Group, ArteRed and LitWorld. Currently, Victoria is a collaborator of Madalenas Teatro das Oprimidas, an initiative that has given life to female theatre groups that explore women's oppressions and promote gender equality in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Germany, Austria and Portugal.

emerge kirya 2012Kirya Traber (2012) |

Kirya Traber is a nationally awarded writer, performer, and cultural worker. She is the current Artist Fellow at Lincoln Center Education, and Space Grantee of the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and holds her MFA in Acting from the New School for Drama. Traber is the recipient of the California Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Robert Redford's Sundance foundation award for Activism in the Arts, Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund award in Poetry, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Certificate of Recognition. She is a two time judge for the LAMDA Literary awards in LGBT Drama, and an alumnus of the 2010 VONA/Voices retreat for writers of color, and the 2012 EmergeNYC intensive at the Hemispheric Institute. Kirya has toured the United States and Canada as a poet and solo performance artist, and has featured at the Living Word Festival at Yerba Beuna Center for the arts in the SF Bay Area, San Francisco's National Queer Arts Festival, La Mama's Experimental Theater Club, and at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, to name a few. Her written work can be found in the pages of, Other Tongues, an anthology by Inana Press, and in her 2009 chap book, black chick. She works as an arts-educator with youth and adults in schools, community-based settings, and within the juvenile justice system.

[photo credit Arianne Benford]

emerge alum AmeliaUzategui 160x160Amelia Uzategui Bonilla
Born in Lima, Peru, and raised as a young immigrant in Los Angeles, Amelia grew up bi-lingual and bi-cultural. She is now  a professional dancer, director, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2007, she graduated from The Juilliard School's Dance Department (NY) with Scholastic Distinction and received the Inter-Arts Award for leading interdisciplinary outreach projects. In NYC, she worked as a free-lance dancer working with Adam Barruch and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and taught in the NYC public schools with Mark DeGarmo/Dynamic Forms. She interpreted the works of Tino Sehgal and Marina Abramović in renowned NYC museums such as the Guggenheim and the MoMA. In Europe, she danced with Sodaberg in Germany and Croatia. In 2009, she had the pleasure of reclaiming her Peruvian-American artist-identity at the EMERGE NYC fellowship program, leading her to move to Peru in 2010, delving into her cultural heritage and collaborating with Peruvian artists in Lima and Cusco from the ballet, contemporary, folklore, urban dance, theater, visual arts and performance art scenes as well as producing her own artistic ventures. She taught dance passionately in private and public universities and studios, as well as volunteering her time with numerous community art projects in under-served neighborhoods. She co-founded Rio Danza Comunitaria in 2013, a collective focused on deepening environmental conscientiousness through community dance workshops and performance rituals in Lima and Cusco. In the fall of 2014, she moved to San Francisco and is currently a Tamalpa Institute training program student, co-founded by Daria and Anna Halprin.

mette loulou von kohln 2013 160x160Mette Loulou von Kohl (2013)

Mette Loulou is a performer and a wanderer. Currently based in New York City,  Mette Loulou is a mixed-race queer femme, born to a Lebanese/Palestinian mother and Danish father. She has lived in New York, Romania, Morocco and Denmark. Mette Loulou is fascinated by the intersection between her personal identities as a jumping off point to reveal, dismantle and rebuild realities and dreams. She grapples with her past to complicate and better understand her present. Mette Loulou weaves movement, words, and her love for the unexpected into the exploration of her embodied histories. She uses performance as her first step to understanding and surviving generational trauma and as a key tool in her fight to end the occupation of Palestine.


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 was 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.