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Hemispheric New York Events

Hemispheric New York features special programs, such as EMERGENYC (EMERGENYC), lectures, film series, conferences, and performance workshops, some of which are exclusively for members, and some which are open to the public at large. Below are upcoming and recent events.


Dancing While Black: This Body Knows Freedom
Story Circles on Organizing toward Vision in an Age of Resistance

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Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:00-9:00 pm


Led by Wendi O’Neal and Paloma McGregor

With Invited Guests Ebony Noelle GoldenKendra Ross, Maria Bauman, Dr. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, and Ishmael Houston-Jones.

What does it take to activate and maintain vision, particularly in moments where there is much to organize against? In this evening of storytelling, we will hear from a group of visionary dance artists about what they are working toward, and share stories of our own. This event marks the kickoff of Dancing While Black’s fifth anniversary season. Story Circles is a democratic process of storytelling created by John O’Neal of the Free Southern Theater, the predecessor of Dancing While Black’s New Orleans partner, Junebug Productions.

Wendi Moore-O'Neal is a cultural worker, facilitator, and educator who was born and raised in New Orleans. She’s worked in local, regional and national justice organizations over the last 26 years; but her heart’s work is rooted at home, especially the kind of organizing that happens around kitchen tables and during porch-time. Wendi uses freedom songs and story circles to share what she knows about Black resistance movement culture and history.

Paloma McGregor is a New York-based, Caribbean-born choreographer whose work focuses on centering Black voices through collaborative, process-based art-making and organizing. She has worked with grandparents, children, environmental educators, academics and other artists to create a wide range of work, including a dance through a makeshift fishnet on a Brooklyn rooftop, a structured improvisation for a floating platform in the Bronx River and a devised multidisciplinary performance work about food justice with three dozen community members and students at UC Berkeley. Paloma does this work as Co-Founder and Director of Angela's Pulse, which creates and produces collaborative performance work dedicated to building community and illuminating bold new stories.

DANCING WHILE BLACK is an artist-led initiative that supports the diverse work of Black dance artists by cultivating platforms for process, performance, dialogue and documentation. We bring the voices of Black dance artists from the periphery to the center, providing opportunities to self-determine the languages and lenses that define their work.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10003




Book Launch | "The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist" by Marcus Rediker

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Thursday, November 16, 2017
6:00-8:00 pm


The Fearless Benjamin Lay chronicles the transatlantic life and times of a singular and astonishing man—a Quaker dwarf who became one of the first ever to demand the total, unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world. He performed public guerrilla theater to shame slave masters, insisting that human bondage violated the fundamental principles of Christianity. He wrote a fiery, controversial book against bondage that Benjamin Franklin published in 1738. He lived in a cave, made his own clothes, refused to consume anything produced by slave labor, championed animal rights, and embraced vegetarianism. He acted on his ideals to create a new, practical, revolutionary way of life.

Please join us as we celebrate the launch of this publication with a presentation by author Marcus Rediker. Reception to follow.

Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and Senior Research Fellow at the Collège d’études mondiales in Paris. His books have won numerous awards and been translated into fifteen languages. They include The Many-Headed Hydra (2000; with Peter Linebaugh), Villains of All Nations (2004), The Slave Ship (2007), and The Amistad Rebellion (2012).  His most recent book is The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Beacon Press, 2017). He is also the producer of the prize-winning documentary film Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, about the popular memory of the 1839 Amistad rebellion in contemporary Sierra Leone. He is currently working as guest curator in the JMW Turner gallery at Tate Britain.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10003