Creation Fund Awards from Prior Years

The Creation Fund leverages resources for the creation and touring of new performance work by contributing at least $10,000 towards the creation process and ensuring a tour to a minimum of two sites.

FY18 Creation Fund Awards

Abby Zbikowski/Abby Z and the New Utility – New York, NY – Radioactive Practice
Commissioners: New York Live Arts, New York, NY; Dance Place, Washington, DC; American Dance Festival, Durham, NC; Wexner Center for the Performing Arts, Columbus, OH
Radioactive Practice is a new work by Juried Bessie award winning Illinois-based choreographer Abby Zbikowski, commissioned by New York Live Arts and set to premiere during their 2019-20 Season with additional support from the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. Based on Zbikowski’s rigorous physical practice that processes diverse aesthetic and cultural information, this work pushes a team of ten dancers from the United States, Taiwan, Senegal and Canada past perceived physical limits and conventions of established dance forms.
Andresia “Real” Moseley – Auburndale, FL – Five Black Women
Commissioners: Art2Action, Inc., Tampa, FL; ASU Gammage, Tempe, AZ
Five Black Women is a one-woman show that reveals the lives distinctively different Black women characters and their struggles with identity, sexuality and religion. Through poetry, song and DJ mixes, it reveals more than just the stories of diverse black women, but the struggle to identify as a human in this complex world. It’s about the hood, the church, the club and the stage. What happens when we let go…and how do we find acceptance for who we really are? What happens when circumstances push you, what’s too far, and how do we find our way back?
The Combat Hippies – Davie, FL – AMAL
Commissioners: MDC Live Artss, Miami, FL; Su Teatro, Denver, CA; MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, San Jose, CA
AMAL is a brave new Spoken Word work that explores the effects of war on both veterans and civilians who have been in war-torn countries. The Combat Hippies plan to work with refugees who have been affected by war to continue to spread their message of Post Traumatic Growth in addition to their continued work with veterans.
Edisa Weeks / DELIRIOUS Dances – Brooklyn, NY – THREE RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness
Commissioners: 651 ARTS, Brooklyn, NY; Mount Tremper Arts, Mount Tremper, NY; Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Brooklyn, NY
THREE RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness involves three performance rituals (rites) that integrate movement, live music, text, video and art installations to examine what these rights mean; how the rights have changed (or not changed) since the forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence; and in the age of Citizen’s United, Black Lives Matter, NAFTA, the Patriot Act, DACA, and the longest war in American history, how and for whom are these rights protected and promoted, and how they manifest in the body. THREE RITES uses interdisciplinary performance to spark discussions about urgent issues in American society today.
Jumatatu Poe – Philadelphia, PA – Let ‘Im Move You: This is a Formation
Commissioners: Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA; Abron Arts Center, New York, NY; BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Bronx, NY; Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, ME; Dance Place, Washington, DC; Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH PICA, Portland, OR; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Let ‘im Move You: This is a Formation is a new dance work by Philadelphia-based choreographer jumatatu m. poe and Dallas-based J-Sette artist Jermone “Donte” Beacham that unites Black dancers of various genders addressing choreographic, emotional, and spiritual forms present within J-Sette and other Black queer dance vocabularies. With live-constructed music and media design, Formation confronts historic imaginations and limitations of art institutions centering white aesthetics, and outdoor spaces within predominantly Black neighborhoods.
Marike Splint – Los Angeles, CA – On The Other Side
Commissioners: Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA; Art and Design Research Incubator at Penn State, University Park, PA
On the Other Side is a new documentary performance created by Marike Splint, challenging notions of borders and bordering in our present era. The project questions and challenges our growing tendency to draw these territorial lines and borders. The US/Mexico border is a clear starting point, but the performance aims to unpack the act of bordering beyond current flashpoints.
Miguel Gutierrez – Brooklyn, NY – This Bridge Called My Ass
Commissioners: PICA, Portland, OR; Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA; The Chocolate Factory Theatre, Long Island City, NY; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, ME; Walker Art Center; Minneapolis, MN
This Bridge Called My Ass is a new evening-length dance/performance by Miguel Gutierrez for a group of five Latinx performers, with Stephanie Acosta as dramaturg. Part slow-motion party, part evolving installation, part embodied seminar/teach-in taught by futuristic (Spanish speaking) survivalists, the piece looks at longstanding tensions between form and content to map a new, irreverent approach to old questions about what constitutes identity politics and the avant garde. How do experimental artists of color, specifically “brown” artists, navigate terrain that is dominated by legacies of predominantly white artists? What can “brown” do to complicate inherited ideas about identity and abstraction?
Morgan Thorson – Minneapolis, MN – Public Love  
Commissioners: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului, HI
Public Love (PL) is a dance intervention redefining power through physical tenderness and the human need for touch—both attributes of a kind of love. Positioning the dancing body as the generative center, choreography is composed from the inside out—from the vital, intimate experience of moving, not from an exterior position of seeing. From this location, virtuosity is mediated on the ensembles’ terms, disrupting hierarchical modes of power within dance creation itself. Transforming as it is re-situated, PL offers a rhizomatic, tactile structure that churns in a choreography of affection—as queer alternatives to might and control.
Myra Su and Tatsu Aoki – Chicago, IL – Fault Lines and Expanding Forms           
Commissioners: Links Hall, Chicago, IL; Asian Improv aRts, San Francisco, IL
Links Hall and Asian Improv aRts (San Francisco) are co-commissioning a collaborative performance by world renowned Jazz musician Tatsu Aoki, and accomplished shadow puppet artist/Manual Cinema company member Myra Su. This work will be developed in community with the artists participating in our Emerging POC (puppeteers of color) Program and it will premier during the January 2019 Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival.
Netta Yerushalmy – New York, NY – Paramodernities
Commissioners: New York Live Arts, New York, NY; Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, MA; Hope Mohr Dance – Bridge Project, San Francisco, CA
Paramodernities is a multidisciplinary project that involves lectures, performances, and discussions. This project engages with the canon of modern dance in radical ways in order to spark new ideas and new choreographies. The project involves deconstructions of landmark modernist choreographies, as well as contributions by writers, philosophers, and historians who situate these iconic works in modernity’s larger context. The project explores foundational tenets of modern discourse—such as sovereignty, race, feminism, and nihilism—and emphasizes public discussions alongside virtuosic performances by lauded dancers.
Paul S. Flores – San Francisco, CA – We Have Iré Commissioners:Pregones Theater/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Bronx, NY; Miami Light Project, Miami, FL; GALA Hispanic Theatre, Washington, DC; MECA, Houston, TX; MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, San Jose, CA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
A new multidisciplinary theater work by award-winning poet, performance artist and playwright Paul S. Flores, We Have Iréexplores the lives of Afro-Cuban and Cuban-American transnational artists living in the United States, and their influence on and experience with American culture. Directed by Rosalba Rolón of Pregones Theater, with live music composition by Yosvany Terry and Dj Leydis, and choreography by Ramon Ramos Alayo, We Have Iré also looks at the challenges of being an immigrant artist and the triumph of establishing one’s voice in a new country.
RMwase Cultural Projects – New Orleans, LA – VESSELS Commissioners: Junebug Productions, New Orleans, LA; Annenberg Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
VESSELS is a seven-woman harmonic meditation on the transcendental possibilities of song during the Middle Passage. Experienced within an interactive and acoustically rich sculptural environment that invokes those infamous ships, this interdisciplinary ritual performance explores singing as a survival tool and asks, “What does freedom sound like in a space of confinement?” VESSELS will premier in 2018 on a floating barge in New Orleans and then tour to East Coast port cities that were active during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Roberta Uno and Dahlak Brathwaite – San Francisco, CA – Try/Step/Trip
Commissioners: Youth Speaks, Inc., San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL; Miami Light Project, Miami, FL; Center for New Performance, CALARTS, Valencia, CA; Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Try/Step/Trip is a dramatic reenactment of a profound journey through the criminal justice system. Through spoken word, live music, dance and character monologues, the devised work will chronicle the process of the playwright’s own criminalization along with his struggle to be vindicated in the eyes of the law and society. The piece works through the personal shame of criminal stigmatization to examine the factors – both internal and external – that has misplaced him and the black male body in what appears as a cultural rite of passage.
Rosy Simas – Minneapolis, MN – Weave
Commissioners: Dance Place, Washington, DC; Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului, HI; Alabama Dance Council, Birmingham, AL PA’I Arts & Culture Center, Honolulu, HI
Native choreographer Rosy Simas (Seneca) creates Weave, a dance project drawn from the interwoven and interdependent nature of our world. In Weave, individual and embodied stories are the vibrant threads that mesh in a performance woven of story, dance, moving image, and quadrophonic sound.
Terrenece M Johnson Dance Projects – Dallas, TX- Like A Tree
Commissioners: South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas, TX; Arna Bontemps African American Museum, Alexandria, LA
Like a Tree will examine the themes of urban/economic development and displacement within historic and contemporary African American communities in Dallas. Artists and participants will explore the idea of place by questioning facts and assumptions about land, home and cultural identity. This project also seeks to examine how personal memory and performance can function as a tool to investigate critical and introspective histories by explore how multiple generations experience the identical places at varying times.
Timur and the Dime Museum – Los Angeles, CA- Nueva Cancion Project: Protest Songs of Latin America
Commissioners: Miami Light Project, Miami, CA; Beth Morrison Project, Brooklyn, NY
Nueva Canción, a Latin American style of folk music of the 1960s, is now widely recognized as a powerful movement for sociopolitical change- often about unequal distribution of wealth, corrupted politicians, abuse of power, human rights.  The genre-defying LA band Timur and the Dime Museum, whose members come from the worlds of classical, jazz, glam rock and industrial music, will reimagine in a multimedia performance in the revolutionary folk spirit of nueva canción. The work focuses on the repertoire of Mercedes Sosa, photo images of youth protests in Latin and Central America, and new music composed by Daniel Corral in the original Spanish and the newly commissioned translations in English.
Unit Souzou – Portland, OR – A Constant State of Otherness
Commissioners: The Myrna Loy, Helena, MT; Caldera Arts, Sisters, OR; Dance Place, Washington, DC; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA
The Constant State of Otherness is a multi-layered performance and community engagement project exploring the isolation and displacement that comes from not having an easy sense of home. This project focuses on the conversational, narrative, and collaborative art of Taiko drumming to create artistic and social dialogs that will question, challenge and upheave the mainstream narrative of identity and belonging, especially within this current American landscape.
Virgina Grise – Bronx, NY – Rasgos Asiaticos
Commissioners: MECA, Houston, TX; Center for New Performance, CALARTS, Valencia, CA; Duende CalArts, Valencia, CA
Rasgos Asiaticos is a multimedia performance installation that traces one woman’s history back four generations as we are introduced to a cast of Mexican runaways, Chinese refugees, and fiercely independent women trying to let go of binding gender roles. An intimate story about the fluidity of borders and time, transnational migration, and the historic confluence of China, Mexico and the United States, the work will result in a performance installation mapping out how to find home in a place that is unfamiliar and at times hostile.

Artist: Anaya Dance Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
Title: Shymali: Sprouting Words
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburg, PA; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA; Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahuli, HI; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA; The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN
Description: Shyamali: Sprouting Words is an evening-length dance work created by Anaya Dance Theatre and inspired by the ways that women across the world repeatedly talk back and embody dissent against injustices, despite daunting consequences. Weaving movement with text, speech, breath and song, Shyamali will create a rich, multi-lingual performance celebrating the histories and stories of women’s courageous acts that may have slipped through the bonds of public memory. The metaphorically staged, juxtaposed stories in this work will be choreographed in the company’s unique vocabulary of contemporary Indian dance and will be produced through collaborations with several design artists. The creation of Shyamali will proceed through a community-engage process and will incorporate several strategies for audience engagement during the performance.
Creation Fund Award: $19,000

Artist: Autumn Knight – Houston, TX
Title: The Scandal of Enjoyment
Discipline: Multi-hybrid
Commissioners: DiverseWorks, Houston, TX; Women & Their Work, Austin, TX
Description: Interdisciplinary performance artist Autumn Knight will create her first large-scale performance titled The Scandal of Enjoyment. Knight employs visual mapping, character improvisation, loose scripting rehearsal methods, social engagement, audience interaction, and visual installations to create an intimate environment that reconsiders notions of the black female body. Her work deals with a broad range of subjects such as psychology, spirituality, ritual, and humor. Knight is interested in creating sensory and emotional experiences through a combination of images, movement, and language.
Creation Fund Award $13,000

Artists: Carlton Turner & Dipankar Mukherjee – Utica, MS and Minneapolis, MN
Title: River Sols
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis, MN; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA; Ignite/Arts, Dallas, TX
Description: River Sols will be a devised theater performance consisting of stories, movements, and songs that span two countries and flow down three great rivers, encompassing many people and cultures. Through this project, artists Dipankar Mukherjee and Carlton Turner weave stories of identity, faith, family, and the future of lands infused with the politics of colorization. The project will be directed by Meena Natarajan. River Sols examines race from the perspectives of African American and South Asian communities along the Mississippi River, from the Twin Cities to Utica, Mississippi; and from the United States to India and the global south. Turner, Mukherjee and Natarajan will visit each other’s communities in the U.S. conducting place-based artistic exploration; they will visit India to spend time exploring issues of displacement along the Indus and Ganges rivers. River Sols is a global project as much as a U.S.-based project that has race at its center.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: Last Call – New Orleans, LA
Title: Alleged Lesbian Activities
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: The Theater Offensive, Boston, MA; Mondo Bizzaro, New Orleans, LA; Clear Creek Festival, Berea, KY
Description: ALLEGED LESBIAN ACTIVITIES is an immersive performance event staged in a smoky bar, a cabaret show run amok, a power-ballad performance of queer history. Merging the queer traditions of burlesque and drag kinging with contemporary dance and oral history interviews, ALLEGED LESBIAN ACTIVITIES looks closely at the vanishing legacy of lesbian spaces, and invites audiences into new ways of engaging with and complicating LGBTQ history.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

FY16 Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Bebe Miller — Columbus, OH
Title: The Making Room
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: New York Live Arts, New York, NY; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; On the Boards, Seattle, WA
Description: The Making Room is an investigation into innovative ways of sharing the creative process from start to premiere. Organized by Bebe Miller Company, the project brings together master artists Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst to generate a joined experience of the choreographic process, shared virtually and in person, over the course of one year. Miller and Rethorst will work with video artist Lily Skove, and digital consultants Scott deLahunta and Rachel Boggia, to design a documentation platform that will best convey the tone of their creative conversation. While each artist will be creating new work, the interactions between the artists in and outside of the studio, made available to virtual and live audiences, are the project’s focus.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Beth Gill — New York, NY
Title: Untitled new work
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: The Yard, Chilmark, MA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; American Dance Festival, Durham, NC
Description: A new evening length work for six performers created by choreographer Beth Gill with longtime collaborators Jon Moniaci (composer) and Thomas Dunn (visual and lighting design). The work is presented in conjunction with the gallery exhibition, “Merce Cunningham: Common Time,” which investigates Cunningham’s groundbreaking practice and multidisciplinary collaborations.
Creation Fund Award $15,000

Artist: Dan Froot — Los Angeles, CA
Title: Pang!
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids IA; Miami Light Project, Miami FL
Description: Pang! is triptych of short plays based on book-length oral histories of three families living with hunger in Miami, Cedar Rapids and Los Angeles. The plays will be written and performed as if for live radio broadcast, with musicians, actors and sound effects artists sharing the stage. Participating families include: a mother and her ten children living through foreclosure on the Los Angeles home that has been in their family for generations; an immigrant inventor in Iowa whose wife is catastrophically injured, forcing him to work 15-hour shifts at the refrigerator factory in order to support their school-age children; and two young parents trying to protect their children as they watch their seven year-old boy’s innocence encroached upon by their Miami neighborhood, which is beset by drugs, poverty and gun violence.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Graham Reynolds — Austin, TX
Title: Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: Fusebox Festival, Austin, TX; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX
Description: Pancho Villa From A Safe Distance is the third piece in a triptych of West Texas portraits. The project is led by composer Graham Reynolds and features Mexico City-based theater collective Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol as librettists; Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs as director; Austin Lyric Opera tenor Paul Sanchez as Pancho Villa; and Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The opera is told from two perspectives. It opens with Pancho Villa’s assassination and then takes place in his mind in the milliseconds as he’s dying. Simultaneously, a woman on an American hotel rooftop observes the war taking place in Mexico right across the river through her opera glasses. Exploring facts from Villa’s biography while also examining the myths and lies, the opera will ask what the near-archetype that is VILLA means to Mexican culture, American culture, and where these meanings intersect and conflict.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Heather Kravas — Seattle, WA
Title: visons of beauty
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: On The Boards, Seattle, WA; PS122, New York, NY.
Description: visions of beauty is choreographer Heather Kravas’ newest evening-length contemporary dance performance. It examines the complexities around the practice of male conformity. Directly related to Kravas’ 2011 work, “The Green Surround”, visions of beauty reorders choreography from that piece on a cast of all male-identifying performers, asking whether we assign gender to material based on action or actors. As with much of Kravas’ work, the piece explores endurance and repetition, testing accepted dance aesthetics about boredom, static, din, and excess.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Jaime Fennelly / Mind Over Mirrors — Chicago, IL
Title: Bellowing Sun
Discipline: Music
Commissioners: Alverno Presents, Milwaukee, WI; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Description: Bellowing Sun is a 90-minute composition situated within a light installation that brings Jaime Fennelly’s (aka Mind Over Mirrors) solo practice for Indian pedal harmonium, Oberheim analog synthesizers, and effects processors to a full panoramic ensemble.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Junebug Productions —  New Orleans, LA
Title: GOMELA/to return: Movement of our Mother Tongue
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: Carver Community Cultural Center, San Antonio, TX; Carpetbag Theater, Knoxville TN; Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX
Description: GOMELA/to return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue is an multidisciplinary production directed by Junebug Productions Executive Artistic Director Stephanie McKee featuring Sunni Patterson, Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective and other artists. Through theater, spoken word, music, traditional African dance and drumming and modern dance, it explores PLACES MATTERS—gentrification and the Right of Return of New Orleanians displaced after Katrina; and BLACK LIVES MATTERS—the beauty and resilience of Black people, past and present.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Karen Sherman — Minneapolis, MN
Title: Soft Goods
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; PS122, New York, NY; Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Description: Soft Goods by Minneapolis-based artist Karen Sherman is a new dance/performance work created in collaboration with an ensemble of stage technicians and dancers. It uses dance, manual labor, improvised text, the rituals of backstage life, and the choreography of production equipment to examine work, aliveness, death, disappearance, and occupational self-obliteration. Structured as a live load-in, tech, and rehearsal for a show that never happens, Soft Goods illustrates the lonesomeness of theaters, the spectral beauty of a lighting focus, the choreography of labor, and the human hand behind work. All crew, dancers, and company personnel appear in the performance.
Creation Fund Award: $18,000

Artist: Lakin Valdez — San Juan Bautista, CA
Title: Rabinal
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA; El Teatro Campensino, San Juan Bautista, CA
Description: The multi-disciplinary, ensemble-based theatrical production Rabinal will retell the pre-Columbian Mayan ritualistic dance-drama Rabinal Achí, which centers on the trial of Quiché Achi, prince of the Quiché Mayan kingdom, who has been accused of kidnapping royal children from the rival Rabinaleb’ kingdom. Lakin Valdez and Andrew Saito’s retelling will dramatize the events leading up to the trial, referred to as backstory in the original work, with a particular focus on developing the silent women characters in the original work. Rabinal will be a site-specific performance ritual that fuses ancient Mayan aesthetics with contemporary music and dance that reflects the United States’ “pluriculturality,” with the goal of introducing 21st century audiences to this ancestral work. Given such hostility to Latin American immigrants in the U.S. today, one key goal will be to honor the ancestors and culture of people that many Americans openly denigrate.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Michelle Ellsworth — Boulder, CO
Title: The Rehearsal Artist
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: PS122, New York, NY; Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale–on-Hudson, NY; Women & Their Work, Austin, TX; On the Boards, Seattle, WA; University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Description: The Rehearsal Artist looks at a middle-aged, skinny, white woman’s body and explores how its meaning and function shifts as it collides with other bodies in the context of a reoccurring rehearsal/experiment with a perpetually changing cast. Behind a one-way glass surveillance door, Ellsworth and a cast of at least 21 artists will respond to choreographic prompts derived from the canon of social science experiments. The surveillance door functions as a rehearsal mirror as well as insulation, keeping participants oblivious to the audience’s existence. A small audience will observe the shifting duets. In addition to peering through the glass, the audience will view video recordings of previous subjects (responding to identical stimuli) on lightweight monitors sewn into the back of vests that all audience members wear throughout the experiment. The audience is simultaneously a voyeur and utterly incapable of watching their own back.
Creation Fund Award: $19,000

Artist: Mondo Bizzaro — New Orleans, LA
Title: Fieldguiding (working title)
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA; 7 Stages, Atlanta, GA; Clear Creek Festival, Berea, KY; Double Edge Theater, Ashfield, MA
Description: Fieldguiding is a story-mapping project and live performance that explores A) the role cartography has played in colonization, and what that means when every inch of the planet is mapped; and B) the uncharted, in-between space at the end of life and before death. The crucial transitional period between life and death has a great deal to teach about entering into relationships with the unknown. The project began with themes — migration, colonization, disorientation and mapping — encountered in two books: Rebecca Solnit’s A Fieldguide to Getting Lost and John Berger’s And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. The performance — in very early development — currently features two old men summoned into the woods at sundown to officiate a stranger’s funeral, Conquistador Cabeza de Vaca, and a young punk-rock hacker who builds viruses that disable the mapping functions on smartphones.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: Rennie Harris Puremovement — Sharon Hill, PA
Title: Lifted
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: Dance Place, Washington, DC; Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, ME; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas, TX
Description: Lifted is a new hip-hop dance theater production by Rennie Harris Puremovement that features gospel music and House dance to explore contemporary issues of community and spirituality. Loosely based on the story of Oliver Twist, Lifted follows a young black man who is surrounded and supported by his church community. With choreography by Rennie Harris and music directed by Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, Lifted merges the rhythms of House with the spiritual vocals of gospel to create an epic dance narrative.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: Sandglass Theater — Putney, VT
Title: Babylon
Discipline: Puppetry
Commissioners: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT; Columbia College Chicago, Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Chicago, IL; Portland Ovations, Portland, ME; University of St. Joseph, West Hartford, CT
Description: Babylon tells the story of five characters searching for refuge. The piece will take stories from the actual refugee experiences and create a song from these stories. With these songs as a framework, five characters played by puppets (including one ghost and one caterpillar!) will present their cases to an immigration court. The stories are further contextualized by three “crankies,” panoramic paper scrolls that give a sense of the journeys taken by the characters.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: Anthony J. Garcia — Denver, CO
Title: Ask a Mexican
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: MACLA, San Jose, CA; Su Teatro, Denver, CO; CSU Pueblo, Pueblo, CO; San Juan College, Farmington, NM; Aurora College, Lawrenceville, GA
Description: Playwright Anthony J. Garcia will collaborate with self-described “wacky” Ask a Mexican columnist, writer and all-around creative Gustavo Arellano to create a tongue-in-cheek new play that examines politics, border crossing and the weird ways that Gringos perceive Mexicans, heavy on the satire and humor, of course.
Creation Fund Award: $19,000

Artist: Takahiro Yamamoto — Portland, OR
Title: Direct Path to Detour
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: PICA, Portland, OR; DiverseWorks, Houston, TX; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH
Description: Direct Path to Detour is a new, collaborative dance piece by Portland-based Japanese choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto that investigates the physical and emotional effects of multiple sets of social values and expectations in contemporary globalized society, from the perspective of Yamamoto’s experience as a Japanese immigrant to the U.S. The work will be developed with collaborators Sidony O’Neal (PDX) Lucy Yim (PDX) Jesse Mejia (PDX) Marina Fukushima (SF) and Julian Barnett (NYC).
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Thaddeus Phillips — Philadelphia, PA
Title: The Archivist
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: Miami Light Project, Miami, FL; Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburg, PA
Description: The Archivist is a new installation/performance project for the theater by Thaddeus Phillips and Tatiana Mallarino created in collaboration with performer Ean Sheehy and DJ Mario Cotto. Set in a secret film archive, the archivist, seemingly alone, works in a Beckettesque world of thousands’s of film reels that he has personally saved from destruction after the reels were digitized. The archivist believes that tangible film reels are more secure than intangible digital files. Obsessed with the past and the skewed history of images stored on cellulose, The Archivist is a work about Cinema and its profound impact on human storytelling, behavior and history. While primarily a solo performance featuring remixes of famous and obscure film scores and action sequences and choreography spliced from classic films, the final sequence will feature two to three performers as ‘parallel universe archivists’ to be cast from local communities at tour sites.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Walkabout Theater Company — Chicago, IL
Title: The Cure
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: Links Hall, Chicago, IL; Cricoteka, Krakow, Poland; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL
Description: Walkabout’s next ensemble-authored work, The Cure, is a study of grief, the fatigue of hope and the innate human desire for immortality and belonging. Set in a decaying and magical greenhouse populated with snake-oil salesmen and angels on the day death ceases to exist, The Cure combines intense individual performance with found and original texts, rituals, and funerary rites inspired by immediate and distant sources. As a company living in a city plagued by division and violence, the Walkabout ensemble is specifically interested in boundaries in space and between people, and investigating the binary of inside/outside. Using Walkabout’s process of devising theatrical texts and performances alongside the sculptural and scenic elements of the show, The Cure harnesses the idea of a greenhouse, built with glass walls and sheltering fragile life from outside forces, as an anchoring setting for the piece and metaphorical launching point.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

FY15 Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Adele Myers  and Dancers – Hamden, CT
Title: “The Dancing Room”
Discipline: Multi-Hybrid
Commissioners: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington VT; Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield, CT; The Yard, Chilmark, MA.
Description: Conceived by choreographer and director, Adele Myers, “The Dancing Room” is being created in collaboration with Adele Myers and Dancers; interactive media artist, John Slepian and composer, Josh Quillen. Additional collaborators include visual and lighting design by Kathy Couch and costume design by Heidi Henderson. The evening-length female quartet will be created as a site-adaptable self-sustaining production suitable for spaces ranging from intimate art galleries to traditional proscenium theaters and black box performance spaces. The conceptual points of departure for “The Dancing Room” are illumination and accumulation.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Blair Thomas & Company – Chicago, IL
Title: Moby-Dick
Discipline:  Puppetry
Commissioners: MCA Chicago, Chicago IL; Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN
Description: Blair Thomas & Co. is creating a feature-length puppet theater inspired by the novel Moby Dick. The production stages the potent symbolism of Herman Melville’s text using shadow and bunraku puppets in a sparse environment made of paper. An ensemble of five puppeteers and two actors joins a live band of three, including three collaborators with whom Blair Thomas shares a long creative history: singer-songwriter Michael Smith, improvising percussionist Michael Zerang, and puppet designer Jesse Mooney-Bullock.
Creation Fund Award: $21,000

Artist: Body Cartography Project – Minneapolis, MN
Title: “Closer”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Legion Arts, Cedar Rapid IA; Dance Place, Washington DC; Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, City of Chicago, Chicago IL.
Description: “Closer” is a practice in being present. It is a performance intervention for two strangers (audience and performer) in public space that evolves into a communal experience. It is an invitation for engagement and empathy. Together we will examine how the space of connection between performer and audience can function as a site for transformation. closer lays bare the power of live performance to facilitate a re-enchantment of physicality and presence. The project unfolds in two parts. Part 1 is a series of one-on-one performances and conversations that reflect on movement, behavior, and transformation. Part 2 is an evening-length performance that engages performers and audience in a practice of intentional aliveness and will take place in a theater, gym or community hall.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Circuit Network – San Francisco, CA
Title: ’57 Chevy
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: MACLA, San Jose CA; Brava Theater Center, San Francisco CA; MECA, Houston TX.
Description: ’57 Chevy is a new solo performance piece for Ricardo Salinas of the critically acclaimed Culture Clash, to be based on an in-progress script written by Cris Franco, a popular stand-up comedian and award-winning television writer and playwright. Characterized by the playwright as “truly a Mexican-American ‘The Wonder Years,’” ’57 CHEVY is the autobiographical story of a young man’s journey in the back seat of his father’s baby blue 1957 Chevy—traversing both physical and cultural borders, beginning from Mexico City to the United States and later from culturally diverse South Central Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley. The family finds itself having to navigate and confront the challenges of being the only Mexican family in a predominantly Anglo community during the 1960s. Layered with comedy, history, heart and drama, ’57 CHEVY will present a series of fanciful anecdotes as recalled by playwright Cris Franco’s inner ten year-old Mexican-American child.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble – Denver, CO
Title: “Bamboula”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: King Arts Complex, Columbus OH; Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburg PA; Dance Place, Washington DC.
Description: “Bamboula” is a collaborative project that emerged out of the research excavation on the connections between the Zulu Krewe, blackface minstrel parade in New Orleans, and the Minstrel Carnival in Cape Town, South Africa. This interdisciplinary piece is choreographed on the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble by Millicent Johnnie and set to two different musical compositions by Felipe Hall and Donald Harrison respectively.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Kristen Adele Calhoun, Kate Feerick, Michael Thomas Walker – New York, NY
Title: Canfield Drive
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: 651 Arts, Brooklyn NY; St Louis Black Repertory Theater, St Louis MO
Description: If “riot is the language of the unheard,” we aim to understand the killing of Michael Brown, the Ferguson riots and subsequent #blacklivesmatter movement by hearing the unheard voice. Canfield Drive is a play that investigates being black in Ferguson and the systems of oppression that affect the lives of Ferguson’s residents.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) – Los Angeles , CA
Title: What Fuels Development
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia PA; Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis, MN; The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena CA
Description: What Fuels Development? is a devised theatre piece exploring the mechanics of displacement in an age of immense income inequality. Inspired by and focusing on specific incidents in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood, the performance seeks to parse out complex civic issues regarding contested space and competing definitions of “community vitality” that resonates with people in neighborhoods everywhere. Incorporating a rich layering of lived experiences, found text, and collaborative reflection, the performance will be dynamically staged and utilize LAPD’s Skid Row Museum/archive. A series of activities including public conversations and gallery shows with historical material, examining successful community resistance strategies developed in LA and elsewhere, will be presented to the public during the development of the performance and used as research for the performance.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Martha Redbone – Brooklyn, NY
Title: Bone Hill
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Miami Light Project, Miami FL; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco CA; PA’I Foundation, Honolulu HI
Description: Bone Hill is a new musical theatre work that explores Martha Redbone’s Appalachian mining family’s heritage and history in an epic piece that spans generations and a breadth of music genres. Bone Hill draws from Redbone’s Native American and African American roots to tell an unexpected family story that re-writes America through breathtaking music, humor, and layers of dramatic revelation. The new piece features original music by Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby, and co-written and directed by Roberta Uno.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Meg Wolfe with taisha paggett, Marbles Rae Shao-Lan, and Maria de Los Angeles Cuca Esteves – Los Angeles, CA
Title: “New Faithful Disco”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: REDCAT, Los Angeles CA; PICA, Portland OR; DiverseWorks, Houston TX, Z Space, San Francisco CA
Description: “New Faithful Disco (NFD)” is an out queer love power trio – a choreographic attempt at manifesting loving interrelationship, respect, encouragement and negotiation, in all its awkwardness and contradictions. The new dance is choreographed by Meg Wolfe, with fellow dancers taisha paggett and Marbles Rae Shao-Lan, to a powerful sound score by Maria de los Angeles Cuca Esteves. NFD is an invocation that conjures the energy of social dance forms, within the structure of a performance work. This is a dance for soul retrieval. There is no direct narrative. NFD is experiential, sensational, energy moving work. A trio of performers dance in a valiant effort to shift the balance from fear to love, take back our power, and serve it up, together. Designed for easy touring, the new piece is being developed through a series of residencies and in-progress showings along the West Coast: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: Morgan Thorson – Minneapolis, MN
Title: “Still Life”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: PS122, New York NY; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis MN, American Dance Institute, Rockville MD
Description: “Still Life” (SL) uses extinction as source material for a dance installation. Taking this subject from a scientific reality, collapsing what is real and imagined, SL advances new methods for creation, display and performance. The dancer, a-body-in-life, will practice/perform with totality, living a small death when drafting ideas of subtraction, inertia, stillness and the loss of verticality. The choreography, a dance/time cycle, erases material each time it is repeated. A sonic clock, layers original and found sounds to guide and envelop the dance. Other research includes museum visits to view dioramas, where extinct animal specimens perform their life in fake habitats. Inspired by these peculiar settings, SL merges the designs of natural history and theatrical dioramas, as a set structure to frame the dance for the viewers. With new practices and forms, SL processes the violence of the present moment and proposes embodied public mourning through live dance performance.
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: Nora Chipaumire – Brooklyn, NY
Title: “Portrait of Myself as my Father”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: MDC Live Arts – Miami Dade College, Miami Light Project, Inc., Georgia Institute of Technology – Office of the Arts, 651 Arts, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago
Description: “Portrait of Myself as my Father” celebrates and critiques masculinity (its presence, presentation, and representation) as dancer-choreographer Nora Chipaumire continues her investigations focused on the black body, on Africa, and on the self. Performed by Nora Chipaumire and Senegalese dancer Ibrahima Ndiaye (aka “Kaolack”), “Portrait of Myself as my Father” considers the African male through the lens of cultural traditions, colonialism, Christianity, and liberation struggles, constructing and deconstructing black African masculinity. Placed in a boxing ring, an arena that suggests strength, courage and violence, the “players” find themselves as commodity, product and process. The value of black masculinity, being weighed and evaluated, perishes under scrutiny.
Creation Fund Award: $19,000

Artist: Paper Doll Militia – Jupiter, FL
Title: “Warped”
Discipline: Other
Commissioners: 7 Stages, Circus Conservatory of America, Dogtown Dance Company, Dance Mission, Fife Cultural Trust Ltd / Adam Smith Theatre
Description: As the storytelling is extremely essential to the core of our company, we would like to collaborate with a professional dramaturg to help us weave the narrative of the show in a clever and poignant way. This dramaturg would also be involved in the development period with investigative writing workshops and assignments given to members of the local community, to help us to understand people’s perceptions around the theme of time. As a part of this community-based research period, we also plan on launching an extensive social media campaign to get a larger number of people (from all over the world) involved. These methods are in line with our overall goal of the development of a thesis statement for the piece. As artists, we are interested in surpassing thematic work, and deepening the development of the concepts to create work that has universal meaning, which is accessible for a wide scope of audiences. Another one of our artistic goals is to explore how a kinetic set can change the dimensions of the play space, which in turn changes the environment, the characters’ experiences, and narrative. Warped is an inquiry of movement as change, and change being the quintessential element in the concept of Time. In the characters’ ever changing world, each action creates a reaction. We have an artistic goal of researching weight sharing in aerial acrobatics. Specifically how the ensemble can work with counter-weighting methods for developing connected physical relationships in the same way gears and levers relate to one another. Additionally, we are interested in working with light and shadow and playing with a sense of day versus night. Through working with light and shadow mediums we aim to discover how different times of day play with our sense of perception and understanding of time. We will be working from many inspirations of stories and archetypal characters centered around time, including mythology, literature, fairy tales and films.
Creation Fund Award: $19,000

Artist: Pat Graney – Seattle, WA
Title: “Girl gods”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: On the Boards, Peak Performances @ Montclair State University, Miami Light Project
Description: Girl Gods explores the ancestry of women, family history and rage. The performance space is layered with dirt, tapping into the force of molten rage with a physical language that gives expression to the undomesticated, the buried and the repressed. The movement in “Girl gods” is explosive and ritualistic, contrasting the simplicity and beauty of domesticated activities. Inside carved-out walls of earth with small, embedded video and family trees, the movement material is large, wild and arrhythmic. Individual ancestor histories are represented through abstracted visual genealogies embedded within the dirt and amplified through projection and small monitors—as if the veins of the body are traced in soil and the histories are carved out of the dirt’s surface.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Pavel Zuštiak and Palissimo Company – New York, NY
Title: “Custodians of Beauty”
Discipline: Multi-hybrid
Commissioners: New York Live Arts, Walker Arts Center, Legion Arts
Description: CUSTODIANS OF BEAUTY is a two-part performance at the intersection of dance, live music and visual arts, building on the collaborative history of multidisciplinary experimentation between Pavel Zuštiak (choreographer/director), Christian Frederickson (composer/musician) and Joe Levasseur (light design). Part stage work and part live performance installation, CUSTODIANS aspires to stimulate Susan Sontag’s conception of a totalizing experience of beauty, or a “gladness to the senses,” while exploding traditional performance disciplines to engage current issues of beauty, censorship and propaganda.
Creation Fund Award: $18,000

Artist: Rosy Simas – Minneapolis, MN
Title: “Skin(s)”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Intermedia Arts, La Peña Cultural Center, Eastside Arts Alliance, Rosy Simas Danse
Description: “Skin(s)” is a project by Native contemporary dance choreographer Rosy Simas that explores personal, cultural, and political issues in the everyday lives of urban Native people. In collaboration with Native organizations, community arts organizations, dance presenters, and dancers, Simas will bridge contemporary dance, and three Native urban communities (Minneapolis, the Bay Area, and Chicago).
Creation Fund Award: $17,000

Artist: taisha pagett – Van Nuys, CA
Title: “We Are The Paper We Are The Trees”
Discipline: Multi-hybrid
Commissioners: DiverseWorks, LACE
Description: “We Are the Paper, We Are the Trees” brings together three remarkable artistic voices in a powerful and driven cross-disciplinary project with deeply influential and transformative potential. The project expands paggett’s inquiry into the body, questions of agency, and the phenomenology of race at a key moment in the development of her practice, and emerging national visibility. Cauleen Smith will tap into her great strengths in creating experimental film works that address African American identity. The project also furthers McMillian’s visual art practice of found-object sculpture, research-based works; and site-specific installation through a decisively political lens in this new collaboration. The project aims to distill an installation of sculpture, video and movement that responds and to make sense of the often-disjointed relationship of the Black body to place and nature. Presented as envisioned, the project will provide audiences with a deeply moving physical, emotional, and personal experience that will rupture familiar patterns and present new possibilities for connectivity and belonging in place.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: Tlaloc Rivas – Iowa City, IA
Title: A Crusade for Justice
Discipline: Multi-hybrid
Commissioners: Su Teatro Inc.,  Cara Mia Theater, Borderlands Theatre
Description: Su Teatro and Teatro Cara Mia in Dallas will collaborate with noted playwright/director Tlaloc Rivas on the creation of a work based on the life of poet/boxer/civil rights icon Rodolfo Corky Gonzales. Gonzalez founded the Denver-based activist group the Crusade for Justice, and was also a former 3rd-ranked fly weight boxer whose greatest contribution to social justice may have been his poem, “ I am Joaquin,” which re-expressed Chicano historical presence in the Southwest and challenged the hegemonic interpretation of Western expansion. More so for Mexican Americans interested in social justice and equality, the poem and Corky’s charismatic persona offered an identity of resistance, pride and cultural awareness. Tlaloc Rivas will explore the role of Gonzales as an influence on future Latino generations.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Vincent Thomas – Baltimore, MD
Title: “What’s Going On?”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Dance Place, Reston Center Stage, King Arts Complex
Description: “What’s Going On?” will explore social justice through the music of Marvin Gaye with choreography by a variety of accomplished Washington, DC-based choreographers. The choreography will represent a diversity of dance genres including: contemporary, African, jazz, hip hop, tap and social dance.
Creation Fund Award: $15,000

Artist: Wura-Natasha Ogunji – Austin, TX
Title: “House of Wahala”
Discipline: Performance Art
Commissioners: Women & Their Work, DiverseWorks
Description: Performance artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji will create a series of performances entitled “House of Wahala” that re-invent the art auction by inserting the artist as auctioneer. Working in collaboration with sound artist Emeka Ogboh and performers from local communities, Ogunji will devise a performance piece that activates interaction between people of diverse beliefs, experiences, backgrounds and identities. Ogunji believes that sites of conflict can become spaces of powerful connection and that artists are critical to these exchanges. “House of Wahala” riffs off of the traditional art selling event to create a dynamic performance infused with spectacle, humor, political debate, compassion and fun.
Creation Fund Award: $13,000

Artist: zoe | juniper – Seattle, WA
Title: “Clear & Sweet”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), Bates Dance Festival, Carolina Performing Arts University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, New York Live Arts, On the Boards
Description: “Clear & Sweet” (C&S), a multi-disciplinary performance incorporating dance, vocals, and visuals, represents an inquiry into Southern Baptist Sacred Harp Singing (SHS) and choreographer Zoe Scofield’s complicated connection to her southern roots. Long-time collaborators, Scofield and Juniper Shuey will work with composer/sound designer Julian Martlew, lighting designer Amiya Brown and local SHS communities in each tour location. The piece will be performed by dancers hand-picked for this highly physical investigation into the peeling back of formal technique. Using the format of SHS as a starting point, they will integrate singers throughout the audience creating an immersive experiential environment. SHS is a form of spiritual a cappella choral singing founded in Southern Baptist churches, but most often practiced in large non-denominational groups. SHS and zoe | juniper’s work will strive to grow a collective force, creating personal relationships to worship in the company of others, and redemption through physical exertion.
Creation Fund Award: $22,500

FY14 Creation Fund Awards

Artist: ArtSpot Productions — New Orleans, LA
Title: Sea of Common Catastrophe
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: 7 Stages, Atlanta, GA; JEMAGWGA, Charleston, SC
Description: ArtSpot Productions, working with video artist Courtney Egan and choreographer Jeffrey Gunshol, will create “The Sea Of Common Catastrophe,” a new multidisciplinary performance inspired by a passage from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novella “The Sea of Lost Time” and informed by stories from cities that face the pressures of dynamic urban change.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Ntozake Shange — Brooklyn, NY
Title: Lost in Language and Sound
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: 651 Arts, Brooklyn, NY; Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
Description: “Lost in Language and Sound” is a multidisciplinary choreo-essay, comprised of nine vignettes, that uses music, dance and spoken word to chronicle the arc of a woman’s journey with her writing.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Sean Dorsey Dance — San Francisco, CA
Title: The Missing Generation
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, ME; Queer Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA; Dance Place, Washington, DC; 7 Stages, Atlanta, GA; The Theater Offensive, Boston, MA
Description: “The Missing Generation” will investigate the contemporary impact of the loss of so much of an entire generation of transgender and queer people to AIDS during the 1980s. Dorsey will create the production through a two-year LGBT Inter-Generational Oral History Project, extensive archival research, and community engagement residencies in cities across the U.S.
NPN Subsidy: $16,000

Artist: Everett — Providence, RI
Title: Freedom Project
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: Contemporary Dance Theater, Cincinnati, OH; The Yard, Chilmark, MA; Brown University, Providence, RI
Description: Everett will conduct a multi-year exploration of the ways that performance can help build a movement to end mass incarceration in America. This work will culminate in Freedom Project a touring theatrical production.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company — Washington, DC
Title: Persistent Voices
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: Dance Place, Washington, DC; Kala Vandanam Dance Company, Saint Paul, MN
Description: “Persistent Voices” is a multimedia dance theater work that uses dance, spoken word and video projections to bear witness to the ravages of the AIDS epidemic. Bearing witness to the first round of the epidemic is crucial to make sense of the current rising trends in risky sexual behavior and corresponding rise in HIV infections—we hope the project encourages reflection and care for the body.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Kristina Wong — Los Angeles, CA
Title: The Wong Street Journal
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT; Miami Light Project, Miami, FL; REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; Circuit Network, San Francisco, CA
Description: “The Wong Street Journal” is a new solo theater work, written and performed by Kristina Wong, that will premiere in 2015. Half psychedelic TED lecture, half amateur hip hop extravaganza and half bullshit. “The Wong Street Journal” breaks down the complexities of global poverty and economic theory using uneasy-to-read charts, never-before-proven economic strategies for survival, and riveting slideshows of hustlers from the first and third worlds. In her research, Wong will be working directly with a range of entities, from a microloan organization in Northern Uganda to a homeless shelter on Skid Row. She’ll detail the intersecting politics of charity and economic development around the globe.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Shá Cage — Minneapolis, MN
Title: U.G.L.Y.
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, MN; Historic Holmes Theater, Detroit Lakes, MN; Congo Square, Chicago, IL; Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Description: U.G.L.Y is a one-woman tour de force that seeks to challenge stereotypes of beauty by confronting popular myths and ideologies. It is a humorous and provocative integration of drama, clown, spoken word and global cases to examine identity. Shá Cage seamlessly inhibits over six characters to tell a personal and universal story.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Maria de la Rosa — San Jose, CA
Title: Fandango Urbano
Discipline: Music
Commissioners: La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA; La Peña Cultural Center, Austin, TX
Description: Recognizing that son jarocho is a 300-year old lyrical genre of music and dance rooted in specific communities of southern Veracruz, Mexico, “Fandango Urbano” seeks to explore and expand the growing interest that this tradition has today in the Bay Area and to uncover the creative cultural translations between Veracruz and the Bay that are enlarging and enriching the common values held amongst those who participate in the emerging global sonero community.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Hedwig Dances — Chicago, IL
Title: Trade Winds
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Links Hall, Chicago, IL; DanzAbierta, Havana, Cuba; COCA, St. Louis, MO; Kate Corby and Dancers, Madison, WI
Description: “Trade Winds” builds on a collaboration begun in 2012 between Hedwig Dances (Chicago) and DanzAbierta (Havana). The two companies are each creating a new work that will artistically stand on its own but will intersect when they come together on stage.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Christopher K. Morgan & Artists — Rockville, MD
Title: Pohaku
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului, HI; Dance Place, Washington, DC
Description: Pohaku (the Hawaiian word for stone) is a dance theater piece inspired by Morgan’s exposure to the work of his late cousin, hula master John Kaimikaua, and Morgan’s own multi-racial Hawaiian/Asian/Caucasian identity. The work will incorporate Hawaiian chant, hula, contemporary dance, theater and storytelling to explore universal themes that are compelling in the story of Hawaii’s native people, including land loss and fractured identity.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: The Seldoms — Chicago, IL
Title: Power Goes
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: MCA Chicago, Chicago, IL; Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL
Description: “Power Goes” is a multidisciplinary work that considers political power as determined and expressed by personality, physicality and performance, and draws upon the historical figure of Lyndon Baines Johnson to confront our political context of gridlock and incompetence. Directed and conceived by choreographer Carrie Hanson and playwright Stuart Flack, the work will be developed with The Seldoms contemporary dance ensemble, visual artist Sarah Krepp, typographer Bob Faust, sound designer Mikhail Fiksel, and historian Michael J. Kramer.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Rosie Herrera — Miami, FL
Title: Cookie’s Kid
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Miami Light Project, Miami, FL; Dance Place, Washington, DC; Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului, HI
Description: “Cookie’s Kid” is a solo dance work choreographed and performed by Rosie Herrera. The project explores what is inherited muscle memory. Based on Herrera’s experience growing up with a tough Bronx mother and a counter revolutionary Cuban refugee father, she delves into the exploration of ecstatic to discover what information her body holds about her cultural difference.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Joshua Walters — Oakland, CA
Title: UNPLUG!
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: Myrna Loy Center, Helena, MT; La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA
Description: With the rate of technological advance, the world is becoming a faster, a more connected, and a more chaotic place. We are at a pinnacle moment in human history in which we can know everything and have our voices felt everywhere, but at what cost? What if everyone in the world stopped using technology for one day? To feel the effect on our minds, emotions, and connection to the divine: UNPLUG!
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Cynthia Oliver — Urbana-Champaign, IL
Title: BOOM!
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: New York Live Arts, New York, NY; Dance Place, Washington, DC; Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Description: BOOM!, a new duet by Cynthia Oliver features Oliver and Leslie Cuyjet as individuals, friends, strangers, family, younger/older versions of themselves, negotiating relations that are persistently in flux. Building upon a non-linear sequence of narratives around a life and a relationship – of a woman to herself, her history, her present and future, BOOM! is a choreography of shifting realities – a looping, fractured unfolding, examining notions of destiny, when LIFE happens, when “fairness” and cause and effect do not necessarily align.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Amy O’Neal — Seattle, WA
Title: Opposing Forces
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: On The Boards, Seattle, WA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Description: An evening length dance performance with a cast of B-boys around questions and perceptions of femininity and its impact on male behavior.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Samita Sinha — New York, NY
Discipline: Vocal Theater
Commissioners: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; Atlas Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC; Center for the Arts @ Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
Description: CIPHER is a theatricalized music work for solo live voice and electronics composed and performed by Samita Sinha in an interactive landscape of darkness and light designed by Christopher Kuhl. In CIPHER, mythological characters from the margins of the Hindu/Buddhist pantheon lead a journey of exploration through both the loss and creative potential of moments of rupture, deploying light and the body, sound and silence, to rewrite notions of power. CIPHER is new form of vocal theater that ranges from classical Indian music to ritual songs to electronic music; one that is simultaneously abstract and direct, composed and improvised, ancient and innovative.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Lars Jan / Early Morning Opera — Los Angeles, CA
Title: The Institute of Memory (TIMe)
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Institute for the Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, MA; The Adam Mickiewicz, Poland
Description: Early Morning Opera, a performance company directed by Lars Jan, will devise a new multimedia theatre work, The Institute of Memory (TIMe), that traces the transformation of archives from physical to digital structures and the corresponding evolution of national and personal remembering and privacy. TIMe features two performers, real-time 3D laser scans, a single projection screen, original musical compositions, a minimalist LED-lined set structure, and a collage of found and original text.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Bridgman|Packer Dance — New York, NY
Title: “Remembering What Never Happened”
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: The Yard, Chilmark, MA; Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT; Stonington Opera House, Stonington, ME
Description: Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer of Bridgman|Packer Dance will expand their integration of live performance and video technology in their new work, “Remembering What Never Happened.” They will delve into the changeable nature of experience, form, gender, perception, and identity through interaction with video projections of the performers’ images that morph and melt into a mixture of digital re-interpretations of the human body, with the intent of revealing a malleable portrayal of self.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Chris Schlichting — Minneapolis, MN
Title: Stripe Tease
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; American Dance Institute, Rockville, MD; Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, IA
Description: Minneapolis-based interdisciplinary dance-theater creator Chris Schlichting will create an ambitious new work in collaboration with avant-rock composer Jeremy Ylvisaker and visual/installation artist Jennifer Davis that will premiere at the Walker Art Center and be adapted for performances in Rockville, MD; Cedar Rapids, IA; and New York City, NY.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: The Hinterlands — Detroit, MI
Title: The Radicalization Process
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, IA; Alverno Presents, Milwaukee, WI; Power House Productions, Detroit, MI
Description: The Radicalization Process is a two-part theatrical performance exploring radical art, politics, and extremist beliefs in American culture. Structured as two companion pieces performed in two widely divergent aesthetic forms — ‘method’ based realism as it existed in the 1930’s and the avant-garde happenings of the 1960’s and 70’s — The Hinterlands will use The Radicalization Process to examine the paths that leads towards radical action and disruption of social norms.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

FY13 Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Ain Gordon – Pick Up Performance Co. (New York, NY)
Title: Not What Happened
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Vermont Performance Lab, Juniata Presents
Description: Not What Happened invokes a duet of nearly invisible women offering presenters deep relevance to our rural and semi-urban American landscapes and a vital opportunity to engage our communities at the intersection of performance, history and community identity.
NPN Subsidy:

Artist: Aion Productions (Durham, NC)
Title: The Clothesline Muse
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: Painted Bride Art Center, St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation
Description: The Clothesline Muse is a multidisciplinary theater project that explores the clothesline as a metaphor of our community lifeline and its ties to our environment. The performance will include dance, live music, spoken word, interview text, video and interactive art, six dancers, a percussionist, and singer Nnenna Freelon as “The Muse.” We will honor our ancestors by transforming the task of washing clothes by hand into beautiful imagery, dance and song.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Charlotte Brathwaite and Jennifer Newman (New York, NY)
Title: The Geneva Project
Commissioners: 651 Arts, Yale University
Description: The Geneva Project is an interdisciplinary dance work exploring history, blood memory and traces of an ancestral past. In the piece, visual imagery, language and sound are collaged with the corporeal, creating conduits for connecting the past to a contemporary reality.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Dahlak Brathwaite (Elk Grove, CA)
Title: spiritrials
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Youth Speaks, Hip Hop Theater Festival, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Legion Arts
Description: Written by one of the most dynamic emerging artists of our times Dahlak Brathwaite, and directed by Duke Artist Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph, spiritrials is a dramatic reenactment of one boy’s profound journey through the criminal justice system. Through spoken word, live music-production, and character monologues, the play will premier in early 2014, followed by a national tour.
NPN Subsidy: $16,000

Artist: Gary Kubota (Wailuku, HI)
Title: Legend of Ko’olau
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Waimea Historic Theater
Description: Legend of Ko`olau is a two-act historical drama that describes the life of Ko`olau, a Hawaiian outlaw cowboy. This one-man play is among the few to portray a native Hawaiian male in a leading role. Through the eyes of Ko`olau, a courageous story unfolds about a Hawaiian family fighting for their survival amid the chaos and loss of Hawaiian sovereignty in 1893.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Heather Krava (Seattle, WA)
the quartet
Performance Space 122, On the Boards, Fusebox Festival
the quartet is a contemporary dance performance created inspired by the concentration and implications of self-identifying communities, it is choreography for four dancers who manifest four dances. Comprised of a ballet, a human tower, a manifesto, and a folk dance, the work utilizes and undermines the clichés of contemporary performance practice to examine the underlying passions that guide its creation.
NPN Subsidy:

Artist: Hijack (Minneapolis, MN)
Title: Hijack’s Red Eye
Commissioners: Walker Art Center, Colorado College Department of Theater & Dance, Legion Arts
Description: Hijack’s Red Eye (HRE) is a work that is rooted in years of creating duets. Several pairs of guest performers will perform sections alongside Hijack for this evening of choreography based on printed material. While primarily concerned with newspaper press and prose, the choreography will entertain the same textures and strategies of the context of journalistic and fictional stories and their graphic layouts dependent on the different formats and trends.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Holcombe Waller (Portland, OR)
On the Boards, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Miami Light Project, Legion Arts
WAYFINDERS uses stories-in-song and recitative presented within a visually rich stage picture featuring video, lighting, scenic design and movement to weave together stories from one of humankind’s most courageous achievements:  the navigation of the open sea. WAYFINDERS explores themes of orientation, dead reckoning and technological progress to delve into the question: How can we move forward now that markers we once considered intractable have disappeared?
NPN Subsidy:

Artist: Jose Torres Tama (New Orleans, LA)
Title: ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project
Discipline: Performance Art
Commissioners: Living Arts of Tulsa, Pangea World Theater
Description: Inspired by the Luis Valdez’s Teatro Campesino that brought farm workers’ stories to public forums on flatbed truck stages, the ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project will transform a truck into a “theater on wheels,” and bring the heroic stories of immigrant workers to Lowe’s and Home Depot parking lots, day laborers’ pick-up points, schools, and other public spaces—crossing the borders of economical, racial, and geographical divides as a site-specific work and new stage show.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Leilani Chan/TeAda Productions (Santa Monica, CA)
Global Taxi Driver
Discipline: Theatre
Intermedia Arts, TeAda Productions, East West Players
Rooted in the stories of taxi drivers from around the world, Global Taxi Driver (GTD), written by Leilani Chan, will explore immigration and mobility in the 21st century. The project will develop a community-based ensemble that looks closely at issues of cultural difference, class, gender, and ethnicity. In GTD, taxi ride stories will be staged as a metaphor of the different travels, literal and metaphorical, of drivers and riders and their life experiences.
NPN Subsidy:

Artist: LEVYdance (San Francisco, CA)
Title: Comfort Zone
Commissioners: Dance Place, Z Space, Exploratorium
Description: Comfort Zone is an interactive dance/media installation, created by Benjamin Levy in partnership with the Exploratorium and Z Space, which investigates the ways individual and social identities are created. The experience will pique curiosity, promote self-reflection and explore concepts in relation to cross-cultural understanding, in a world of cyber communication.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Lisa Suarez (San Antonio, TX)
El Centro Su Teatro, Jump-Start Performance Co., MACLA
The ADOPTION PIECE, with the current working title Yours Truly, Tu Seester will be a multidisciplinary bilingual theatrical production exploring adoption issues, concerns and experiences by the adopted, those adopting and the agencies that handle adoptions.
NPN Subsidy:

Artist: Luciana Achugar (Brooklyn, NY)
Commissioners: New York Live Arts, Walker Art Center
Description OTRO TEATRO, which translates both to “another theater” and “other theater,” will examine the role of dance as a form within the context of western theater; proposing another kind of theater, a theater of the other that will give voice to the arcane spirit, instinct and desire of our bodies. OTRO TEATRO will be performed by three main dancers and 20-30 local guest performers, who will be seated among the audience and move fluidly between the roles of performer and viewer. It will be available for touring in June 2014.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Lucky Plush (Riverside, IL)
Title: The Queue
Commissioners: Out North Contemporary Art House, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Links Hall
Description: Co-created by Lucky Plush Artistic Director Julia Rhoads and theater director Leslie Danzig, The Queue is a dance-theater work that exposes the epic narratives that unfold while waiting for our lives to happen. The Queue employs highly stylized classic forms, such as slapstick and Vaudeville, within the ordinary and non-theatrical contemporary context of an airport, ultimately accumulating in a moving, long-form narrative.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Michelle N. Gibson (Irving, TX)
Takin’ It to the Roots
South Dallas Cultural Center, Ashe Cultural Arts Center
Michelle N. Gibson will create a solo dance/theater work, Takin’ It to the Roots, which explores what she terms her “Second Line Aesthetic.” Prior to this project, Michelle choreographed a work with the same title for her company with recorded music. The new work will include composer Jason Davis, filmmaker Lauren Woods, playwright Jonathon Norton and lighting designer Jeff Hurst, along with a four-piece band, so that all music, sound design and visuals will be original material.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Navarassa Dance Theater (Menlo Park, CA)
Title: My Dear Muddu Palani – Performing the Sensual
Discipline: Theater
Commissioners: La Peña Cultural Center, Navarassa Dance Theater, Epic Actors Workshop
Description: My Dear Muddu Palani is a duet dance-theater performance exploring the liberation of woman’s sensuality from a woman’s perspective, through literature and performance, across the centuries in India. This is a work written by a woman, re-published by a woman, and reinterpreted by a woman. Performed in the Bharatanatyam dance-theater Indian classical style it introduces cutting edge, new creative visual and multimedia components.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Progress Theatre (Prairie View, TX)
Title: The Burnin’
Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Commissioners: Junebug Productions, Hartford Stage
Description: Inspired by the historic 1940 Rhythm Club Fire in Natchez, and a tragic 2003 event where patrons of a popular urban Chicago nightclub were killed, The Burnin’ is an a capella musical that straddles time between two clubs to offer an imaginative exploration of the night of the fires and the ensuing media coverage.  Through story, song, and dance, The Burnin’ traces how young African Americans receive and redefine legacies of identity and freedom to accommodate their realities.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Sibyl Kempson (New York, NY)
Title: River of Gruel, Pile of Pigs: The Requisite Gestures of Narrow Approach
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Fusebox Festival, The Chocolate Factory
Description: Kempson has been commissioned to devise a work in deep collaboration with the Austin theater community. Kempson and artists from Rude Mechs, Salvage Vanguard, Physical Plant, Rubber Reparatory, Austin Scriptworks, Trouble Puppet and composer Graham Reynolds (collectively called the Pig Pile), have been assembling a collection of seemingly unrelated imagery, geography and aromas, which over time begins to reveal an intimately connected web of enfolded mythologies.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Soomi Kim (New York, NY)
Title: Chang(e)
Discipline: Theatre
Commissioners: Asian Arts Initiative, HERE Arts Center, Eventual Ashes
Description: Chang(e) is based on the life of Philly-based Asian American outsider performance artist/activist Kathy Change, infamously remembered for her last “performance,” in which she set herself on fire and danced in protest of the political apathy of the elite students of the University of Pennsylvania. This new hybrid dance theatre performance will incorporate dance on film, reenactments of Change’s performances, text from transcribed interviews, movement, video and original music.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Step Afrika! (Washington, DC)
Title: Green is the New Black
Discipline: Dance
Commissioners: Carver Community Cultural Center, Dance Place, Washington Performing Arts Society
Description: What if we could take the energy of dance, harness it and reuse it to power devices and communities?  Step Afrika! seeks to create a new work that will not only explore, through the use of piezo technology, our capacity to capture the “power” created through dance, but also to convert the dance into electrical energy. The work will also promote concepts of sustainable energy and “climate care” through a performance that is partially or completely powered by the energy of dance.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

FY12 Winter Creation Fund Awards

Artist:  Emily Johnson (Minneapolis, MN)
Title:  Niicugni
Discipline:  dance
  Performance Space 122, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Northrop University, Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts
Description:  Niicugni (Listen) is a new performance/installation, centered on movement, story, and sound and housed within a light/sound installation of hand-made, functional fish-skin lanterns. Niicugni equates the land we live on with the cells comprising our bodies and calls upon audiences to remember that land is alive with ancestry, memory, and possibility, and that our bodies also hold these things.
NPN Subsidy:  $14,000

Artist:  Kate Weare Company (New York, NY)
Title:  Dark Lark
Discipline: dance
Commissioners:  Bates Dance Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Florida Dance Association, Juniata College
Description:  Dark Lark is an evening-length work created by Kate Weare to premiere in New York in fall 2013. The work for five dancers draws heavily on ideas about sexuality, darkness and identity, and features a highly graphic and process-based collaboration with costume designer Sarah Cubbage.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist:  Letta Neely & Company (Boston, MA)
Title:  99% Stone
Discipline:  theatre
Commissioners:  The Theater Offensive, Nursha Project, Real Art Ways, DiverseWorks
Description:  Letta Neely & Melissa Li collaborate to create the musical street theater piece 99% Stone, which tells the story of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising as the original “Queer Occupy Action.” Young Black and Latino Queens & Dykes got fed up, fought back, and sparked an international movement. The piece will be created for outdoor neighborhood performances. The artists and co-commissioners are innovating strategies for staging, collaborations and funding that will be useful to the field.
NPN Subsidy:  $14,000

Artist:  Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (Brooklyn, NY)
Title:  And lose the name of action
Discipline:  dance
Commissioners:  Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Flynn Center, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, On The Boards
Description: And lose the name of action is inspired by discoveries in neuroscience and paranormal phenomena and draws on the mysterious logic of improvisation, to push Gutierrez’s persistent questions about the wonder of living with an ephemeral body into the beyond. The work treats the inscrutability of dance as its inherent power and savors its unique ability to be something that doesn’t make sense.  This project is commissioned by past and first-time NPN and non-NPN organizations.
NPN Subsidy:  $16,000

Artist:  Paul Flores (San Francisco, CA)
Title:  PLACAS
Discipline:  theatre
Commissioners:  Su Teatro, MACLA, GALA, Pregones, Central American Resource Center
Description:  PLACAS is a new multimedia play written by Paul S. Flores that weaves together the story of a family who lived through the horrors of El Salvador’s civil war and its aftermath; the subsequent refugee migration to the U.S. and the resulting formation of immigrant gangs in California’s inner-cities. The play highlights the powerful and symbolic process of tattoo removal as a means of reintegration and transformation.
NPN Subsidy:  $16,000

Artist:  Sharon Bridgforth (Chicago, IL)
Title:  River See
Discipline:  theatre
Commissioners:  Links Hall, Living Arts of Tulsa, Diaspora Vibe, Pillsbury House Theater
Description:  Housed in the goings on of a juking river boat community deep in the black delta South, River See is ritual jazz theater – exploring blues stories as living arrangements of jazz.  Bridgforth conducts the work, blurring the line between performer and audience, making everyone responsible to one another through the act of creating a piece about love.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: So Percussion (New York, NY)
Title:  where (we) live
Discipline:  music
Commissioners:  Myrna Loy, Walker Arts Center, Vermont Performance Lab
Description:  where (we) live is a new evening-length multi-media project conceived and written by the members of So Percussion, together with collaborators Martin Schmidt, Grey McMurray, and Emily Johnson and with direction by Ain Gordon. Each night it will also feature a different additional live performer drawn from the community. Improvisation features heavily in the music, with performers often asked to respond to outside inputs.  Lights, video, and staging are all “homemade.”
NPN Subsidy:  $12,000

Artist:  The Hinterlands (Detroit, MI)
Title:  The Circuit
Discipline:  theatre
Commissioners:  Alverno Presents, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Description:  The Circuit is a theatrical exploration of the intersection between subculture and common culture in America as seen through the lens of American vaudeville. Daringly physical and shockingly funny, The Circuit will re-imagine vaudeville for the post-industrial age.
NPN Subsidy:  $10,000

Artist:  Turner World Around Productions (Raymond, MS)
Title:  7 Trumpets
Discipline:  multi-disciplinary
Commissioners:  7 Stages, ArtSpot Productions
Description:  Conceived by Maurice Turner, 7 Trumpets is an evening length performance piece that examines the natural, mystical, and man made occurrences of the number 7. New original musical compositions, carefully crafted text, video images, still images, and thoughtful choreography; all develop a sense of comprehending the fear of the pending apocalypse that has confounded man for centuries and turning society on its end.
NPN Subsidy:  $10,000

FY12 Summer Creation Fund Awards

In July of 2011, NPN received 19 Creation Fund Applications and funded eleven projects. NPN subsidized a total of $132,000 which leveraged $766,090 in presenter matches. Each of these projects will receive an additional $15,000 for the creative development process through the NPN Forth Fund.

Artist: AXIS Dance Company (Oakland, CA)
Project Title: Full of Words (Dance)
Commissioners: Tigertail Productions, Dance Place
Description: AXIS Dance Company, (the leading U.S. integrated dance company) and UK-based choreographer Marc Brew will create Full of Words, a series of duets fusing complex movement with very human content to tell poignant stories about ‘being.’ This work will tour with related education/outreach events in 2012/2013.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Body Cartography Project (Minneapolis, MN)
Project Title: Super Nature (Dance)
Commissioners: Walker Art Center, Performance Space 122 (P.S.122), PADL West
Description: Super Nature is a new evening length dance work fueled by Body Cartography’s recent commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet titled “Mammal.” Super Nature will be a visercal emotionally charged group choreography, with an aural landscape developed by electric harp pioneer/composer Zeena Parkins, which investigates how the body lies at the precipice between nature and culture, full of artifice and animal appetites, engaging the wild, the domestic and the civilized in each of us.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Nora Chipaumire (New York, NY)
Project Title: MIRIAM (Dance)
Commissioners: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, EMPAC
Description: MIRIAM is an hour-long, multidisciplinary solo performance conceived by Nora Chipaumire (choreographer, writer, performer) with an original musical score by Omar Sosa. The work is inspired by Chipaumire’s personal history of self-exile and self-discovery as an artist, and by the legendary South African artist, Miriam Makeba. Chipaumire will portray one fictional woman’s journey to address the broad theme of “Women and Success.”
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Desmar Guevara (Bronx, NY)
Project Title: Grados Inefables (Ineffable Degrees) (Music)
Commissioners: Pregones Theater, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, El Centro Su Teatro, AMLA/Artistas y Musicos Latino
Description: Grados Inefables is a new chamber music work in four movements for piano and string quartet. The work will reference compositional and rhythmic patterns commonly found in classical, folk, jazz, and popular music of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and its diasporas.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Aaron Landsman (Brooklyn, NY)
Project Title: City Council Meeting (Theater)
Commissioners: DiverseWorks, Here Arts Center, Z Space
Description: City Council Meeting is an interactive theater work with live video, in which viewers and actors share the roles of council members, activists and bystanders of a fictional city that exists for a single night at a time. Borrowing tales from half a dozen cities where Landsman sat in on government meetings, the piece asks everyone in the room to perform participatory democracy together.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (Takoma Park, MD)
Project Title: How to Lose a Mountain (Dance)
Commissioners: John Michael Kohler Art Center, Dance Place, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Description: Dance Exchange artistic director Cassie Meador will set out on a 500-mile walk to collect stories and research as part of the creative process to develop a stage production called How To Lose a Mountain which will examine our natural resources. This work will involve communities on multiple levels-as storytellers, dancers, and inspiration.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Lionel Popkin / Guy Klucevsek (Santa Monica, CA)
Project Title: Looking For Ruth (Dance)
Commissioners: REDCAT (CalArts), Dance Place, Alverno Presents
Description: Choreographer Lionel Popkin and composer Guy Klucevsek are creating Looking for Ruth, an evening-length quartet that questions the acts of cultural sourcing, representation and transmission. Loosely inspired by the career of Ruth St. Denis (1880 or so – 1968), the piece serves as a way for Popkin, who is half Indian and half Jewish, to wrestle with his own uncertainties and awkwardness with representations of South Asia. The score will feature accordion and string quartet.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Augusto Soledade (Miami, FL)
Project Title: CORDEL (Dance)
Commissioners: Florida Dance Association, Alabama Dance Council, South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center
Description: In Cordel, choreographer Augusto Soledade will draw on the historical and social contexts of the Argentine Tango, American Hip-hop and Brazilian Cordel in order to create an abstract contemporary dance.  The senses of poetry, structure and social commentary are the main underlying concepts around Tango, Hip-hop and Cordel to be explored in this new choreographic project.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Morgan Thorson (Minneapolis, MN)
Project Title: DIG (Dance)
Commissioners: Alverno Presents, ODC Theater, Legion Arts, CFA Wesleyan, Red Eye Theater
Description: DIG (working title) is a new dance created by Morgan Thorson that invents and displays movement artifacts.  Excavating personal history through layers of the body, DIG looks at physical patterning in the body and in dance composition as a way of accumulating and communicating both fact and fiction. With sound by Alan Sparhawk, DIG uses auctioneering-style verbal chants to extend patterns into the aural realm.
NPN Subsidy: $16,000

Artist: Katie Ka Vang (Minneapolis, MN)
Project Title: Hmong Bollywood (Theater)
Commissioners: Pangea World Theater, Out North, ArtSpot Productions
Description: HMONG BOLLYWOOD will reflect the experiences of immigrants and “others” in the political and social landscape of North America and explore how and why Bollywood becomes a political choice for many young Hmong women.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Nejla Yatkin (New York, NY)
Project Title: Oasis: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Arabs & the Middle East… (Dance)
Commissioners: Dance Place, Bates Dance Festival
Description: Oasis is a new multi-media dance piece choreographed by Nejla Y. Yatkin with music composed by Persian American composer Shamou. This new work is centered around a specific juxtaposition: that between the desert and the oasis. With this tension, the dance will be developed like a Persian Miniature dance and guided by human stories of the Middle East.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

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FY11 Winter Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima (Honolulu, HI)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Asian Arts Initiative, La Mama, PA’I
E Hui Ana Nā Moku is new choreography of hula kahiko (ancient style Hawaiian dance) using traditional chants found in Hawaiian language newspapers, Bishop Museum Archives, and private collections to give them voice and movement, ensuring that the words of our ancestors live on through a new generation of chanters and dancers. The mele (chants) reflect the prophecy chant that those that are above will fall, those that are below will rise up, our islands(people) will unite and our walls will stand firm.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Quinteto Latino
Lead Partner/Commissioners: MACLA, Pregones Theater, Quinteto Latino
Voces del Desierto will be a new composition created and performed by Quinteto Latino working with composer Guillermo Gallindo, premiering at MACLA in April 2012. The piece will incorporate visual elements and movement and speak to the immigrant experience.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Lucky Plush Productions (Chicago, IL)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
The Better Hal is an evening-length dance theater work, and first-time collaboration by choreographer Julia Rhoads and theater director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, set on three dancers from Lucky Plush including Rhoads, and two performers from Buxbaum’s physical theater company 500 Clown. The work updates Gaslight – the classic melodrama about a husband manipulating his wife into believing that she is insane – for a tale about today’s unhinged partners and their alternative (and thrilling) story lines.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Kyle Abraham (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Miami Dade College Department of Cultural Affairs, On the Boards, Dance Place, 651 Arts, Bates Dance Festival
Inspired by the duality of Pinocchio’s plight to be a “real boy,” Live! The Realest MC investigates gender roles in the black community and societal perspectives of the black man through hip hop and celebrity culture. Accompanying this overlying theme of realness is the juxtaposition of live performance versus all things prerecorded, articulated through Abraham’s original hip hop lyrics and his love of the mysteries a karaoke system can evoke. Live!
NPN Subsidy:

Artist: Meg Wolfe and Aaron Drake (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: REDCAT, Fusebox Festival
trembler.SHIFTER is a full-evening work by Los Angeles artists Meg Wolfe (choreographer) and Aaron Drake (composer). Five dancers are propelled through sequences of high-velocity movement and unsustainable acts of balancing — with the joy, anger, angst, sweat and hell of bodies as its fulcrum. Alongside performers Gregory Barnett, Taisha Paggett, and other dancers, Wolfe delves into the far reaches of opposing forces to create a choreographic language from the exchange of extremes.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Eiko & Koma (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Skirball Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Water is a new, site specific work from Eiko & Koma, performed in architectural reflecting pools and employing a live score from Robert Mirabel. The work explores water as a ceremonial element in global rituals.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Dennis Kim (San Franscisco, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Youth Speaks, Asian Arts Initiative, Intersection for the Arts, Hip Hop Theater Festival
Tree City Legends is an evening-length musical theater work chronicling the life of a Korean-American family – focused on the lives of the Kane brothers: Junie, Sum, denizen, and Min. The Legends of the story are at once flesh and fiction, men and make-believe. Their story is a remembering, a reworking of myth. Their song is a dub, a version; the sound the dead make, mourning themselves.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

FY11 Summer Creation Fund Awards

NPN received 14 Creation Fund proposals in July 2010 and funded 14 projects.

Artist: Zoe/Juniper (Seattle, WA)
Lead Partner/Commissioner: Bates Dance Festival, On the Boards, Dance Theater Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow, PICA
zoe|juniper’s (Z|J) new project, A Crack in Everything (ACIE), is a dance and visual experience that uses the Oresteia, a trilogy of Greek tragedies, as a lens to understand the emotional, physical and psychological spectrum of justice and retaliation. Conceptualized for both physical and virtual environments, ACIE began in 2009 and 2010 residencies and is slated for presentation between 2011 and 2012 at national and international performance venues.
NPN Subsidy: $16,000

Artist: Carpetbag Theatre (Knoxville, TN)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Carpetbag Theatre, Junebug Productions, Mason/Rhynes Productions
Carpetbag Theatre will develop a new work with primary playwright Linda Parris-Bailey entitled Speed Killed My Cousin. The play will be developed collaboratively by the ensemble company and will be a multi-generational, multi-discipline work, rooted in the story of an African American female combat soldier and her struggle with suicidal thoughts upon her return home. A third generation soldier, the central character considers death by vehicular suicide.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Edgeworks Dance Theater (Washington, DC)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Dance Place, Legion Arts
Helanius J. Wilkins’ s Trigger is a cross-disciplinary work that will unfold as a choreographed play where ordinary people have extraordinary lives. Human stories of strength, honor, family and triumph will be revealed against a backdrop of some of our nation’s darkest moments involving black gangsters. Trigger will address issues of class and how economic conditions affect individual choice, exposing the double standards of the differential treatment received by minorities.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Paul Zaloom (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Place, Center for Puppetry Arts
Using the old school media of toy theater; “cantastoria,” a.k.a. picture performance; and ventriloquism, White Like Me: A Honky Dory Puppet Show will be a solo puppet and picture spectacle, which will explore the idea of whiteness, not only as a race but as a concept of purity, morality, innocence, and “civilization.” A comedy.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: L.A. Poverty Department (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Highways Performance Space, Tuscon Pima Arts Council, VSA Arts of New Mexico — North Fourth Art Center, Queens Museum of Art
LAPD’s performance, History of Incarceration: State of Incarceration examines the personal and social costs of incarceration in the US. It is being developed in workshops with performers who have been there. The performance evokes the mental and physical challenges of incarceration and the resources needed to endure and recover from it.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Robert Farid Karimi (Minneapolis, MN)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Intermedia Arts, Asian Arts Initiative, Kaotic Good Productions
Diabetes of Democracy is a multidisciplinary, interactive theater performance and gallery exhibition that uses culturally-specific cuisine, stories, and rituals to provoke discussion on the epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes and shares strategies for combating the disease, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) names as one of the leading causes of death in communities of color.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Adelina Anthony (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: La Peña Cultural Center, ALLGO Jotalogues is a solo show that features a pan-Latino, pan-sexual, and pan-generational “conversation” between zany comedic characters and audiences grappling with issues ranging from queer immigration, queer marriage, queer prison, queer spirituality, queer motherhood, queer education, and what it implies to lead a queer political life in our post-2012 century.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser (Collegeville, PA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Links Hall, University of Utah, Department of Modern Dance, Kenyon College
Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser are developing an evening-length dance performance, Utopia Parkway, inspired by the assemblage boxes (or “poetic theaters”) and films of surrealist Joseph Cornell. They seek to develop a new way to create improvised dance/theater/music performance that combines the depth of extensive preparation and research and the adaptability from creating modular components which can be re-contextualized for different theaters and audiences.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Maile Meloy and Greg Bolin (Helena, MT)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Myrna Loy Center, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
Adapted from Maile Meloy’s short story “Two-Step, Tango” from her book Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, tells the story of Alice, a talented interior designer who has just given up her comfortable life in L.A. to follow her husband, a charismatic doctor, to Montana. Bolin will utilize a small ensemble, singing pianist, and background voices as both an orchestral and dramatic element to create Tango, an evening of contemporary opera.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Thaddeus Phillip (Philadephia, PA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Painted Bride, Manitou Art Theater
Theater director/designer/performer Thaddeus Phillips weaves together actual accounts of international border crossings between Israel/Jordan, USA/Mexico, Bosnia/Serbia, Colombia/Brazil, etc. Armed only with a satellite GPS system and a micro projector packed in a classic Samsonite suitcase, THE TRAVEL AGENCY is a solo visual epic about imaginary lines, deadly crossings, arbitrary passports, and curious customs.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Andrea Assaf (Tampa, FL)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Pangea World Theater, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, El Centro Su Teatro
Outside the Circle, a new play by Andrea Assaf and Samuel Valdez, examines the nature of love, and what happens to love when we internalize society’s phobias. A straight man with a disability and an able-bodied queer woman recount their adventures, and share their woes, of unrequited love, becoming entwined in each others stories. Their parallel and interweaving tales reveal the illusions of normalcy, and the liberation possible when choosing life … outside the circle.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Chaunesti Webb Lyon (Durham, NC)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Naropa University, MFA Theater Department
I Love My Hair When It’s Good… is a multi-discipline theater art project that explores the relationship African American women have with their hair and how that relationship has shaped their identity and sense of being in the world. It will include interview text, original sound and music composition, video and installations, featuring an ensemble of women of African descent as performers. It will include a community engagement component facilitating dialogue around diversity, race & class.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Teo Castellanos/D Projects (Miami, FL)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Tigertail Productions, 7 Stages
Fat Boy is an original dance/theater work written and directed by Teo Castellanos that coalesces ancient and current art forms to tell a timeless and timely story. Fat Boy explores its theme of abundance and waste versus scarcity and economy in a non-linear narrative. By deconstructing the narrative elements of American consumerism and wastefulness juxtaposed with world hunger and poverty, Fat Boy tells its compelling story.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Sean Dorsey, (San Francisco, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: The Theater Offensive, Links Hall, Queer Cultural Center
Notes from the Gender Underground is a full-length dance concert employing dance, theater and music to explore the role of the ‘undergound’ in the formation and evolution of trans-gender identity and community. Conceived of as a suite of three dances, Notes will be created by Sean Dorsey and performed by an ensemble of four LGBTQ dancers.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

FY10 Summer Creation Fund Awards

In July 2009 NPN received 11 Creation Fund proposals and funded all 11 projects.

Artist: ArtSpot Productions (New Orleans, LA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Ashé Cultural Center, 7 Stages, Pangea World Theater
Go Ye Therefore…. examines the Southern Baptist Church through textual and oral history, a verbal and physical deconstruction of scripture, and the autobiographies of two Southern Baptist preachers’ daughters, one black and one white. The piece will include choreographic imagery, gestural scenes, sets depicting the irony of water as both purification and the washing away of culture, and a live piano score with two and three-part vocal harmony.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Daniel Valdez (San Juan, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: El Centro Su Teatro, Multi-Cultural Education and Counseling Through the Arts
Composer Daniel Valdez will work with the Su Teatro company and Mariachi MECA to create a new musical composition, Songs for the Pregnant Earth. The composition will be versatile enough to be performed as either a choral or instrumental piece.
NPN Subsidy Award: $10,000

Artist: Doug Varone and Dancers (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Bates Dance Festival, University of Akron, San Francisco Performances
Chapters From A Broken Novel, a new work for Varone’s eight dancers, features music by composer David Van Tieghem and lighting and set design by British scenic designer John Bausor. The choreographic material will be built from evocative phrases and descriptive language collected by Varone in an ongoing journal forming a continuing poem that depicts human nature at its most naked and vulnerable, expressive and poignant.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Gesel Mason Performance Projects (Capitol Heights, MD)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Dance Umbrella, Joyce SoHo
Women, Sex, and Desire: Sometimes You Feel Like a Ho, Sometimes You Don’t is a multi-media investigation of how women navigate sex, desire, choice, and perception. Through dance, personal stories and video imagery, this work challenges cultural programming, examines belief systems, and reflects the struggle, humor, and pleasure sexual beings encounter. Women, Sex, and Desire… seeks to empower and inform sexual choices, whatever they may be.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Holcombe Waller (Portland, OR)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents, VSA/Out North
Holcombe Waller will write and direct, Surfacing, a 40 to 50 minute narrative musical composition, organized into two acts, with intermission, and to be presented with live performance and video material. Performance context will be flexible, allowing for presentation on a grand scale with large ensemble and projection or on a smaller scale with more modestly arranged parts for three or four musicians and visual elements suitable for a gallery context.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: John Jasperse Company (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Museum of Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, REDCAT (CalArts), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Choreographer and performer John Jasperse’s Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies is a ensemble work that addresses belief systems, the relative nature of truth, and how we construct meaning in our lives. Jasperse will also create the visual design. Composer and electronica artist Hahn Rowe will create a sound score for electronics and strings, which will be performed live by Rowe and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
NPN Subsidy: $14,000

Artist: Lakin Valdez (Oakland, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: La Peña Cultural Center, El Teatro Campesino
Victor in Shadow is a dramatic play with music based on the life and art of Chilean activist and folk singer Victor Jara. Set in the year 1973, the play chronicles the hostile coup d’etat that led to the violent installation of dictator Augusto Pinochet and the symbolic and tragic death of Victor Jara.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Radiohole (Brooklyn, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Walker Art Center, Andy Warhol Museum
Whatever, Heaven Allows is a star-spangled American meta-melodrama inspired by film director Douglas Sirk’s 1950s potboilers and Milton’s epic Paradise Lost by avant-garde New York theater troupe Radiohole.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Rosanna Gamson/World Wide, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: REDCAT (CalArts), Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents
Tov is an evening-length work choreographed by Rosanna Gamson. Inspired by Gamson’s Polish Jewish ancestors, who were horse traders from Szczezin, and the story of the tarpan horse, a species bred back from the brink of extinction in 1930s Poland. Tov is informed by Jerzy Grotowski’s seminal ensemble theater techniques and the vibrant physical theater now being created in Poland, and will be developed in both the United States and Poland with artists from both counties.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: The Working Group (St. Johnsville, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Legion Arts, Grand Valley State University
RUST is a new site-specific theatre piece incorporating real interviews with laid off and disenfranchised employees abandoned by the American Dream.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Yasuko Yakoshi (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: DiverseWorks, Dance Theater Workshop
Tyler Tyler is a full-evening, cross-cultural dance created by choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi and produced by MAPP International Productions. Yokoshi’s primary collaborator, Masumi Seyama VI, is a revered teacher of Kabuki Su-Odori and head of the Seyama Dance Family in Tokyo. Tyler Tyler is performed by two postmodern dancers from New York City, three traditional performers from Tokyo, and composer/musician Steven Reker.
NPN Subsidy: $13,000

FY10 Winter Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Dance Theatre X (Philadelphia, PA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Painted Bride Art Center
World Headquarters is inspired by a fictional religion created by the late African-American author Octavia Butler. World Headquarters will be a multimedia dance-theatre work set in the near future.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Kristina Wong (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Diverse Works, OCD Theater
Cat Lady is an interdisciplinary performance blending the parallel worlds of two pathetically lonely personae living at the margins of gender and society—musty cat ladies and fast-talking pick-up artists. Cat Lady first seems to be about Wong’s failed attempts to stop her cat Oliver from spraying, but soon opens into larger examinations of humans as awkward actors within the food chain, painting the growing disconnect between human beings and their animal instincts.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Allison Warden (Anchorage, AK)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: FITLA (International Latino Theatre Festival of Los Angeles), OutNorth, Perseverance
Ode to the Polar Bear is a one-woman show created and performed by Inupiaq Eskimo performance artist Allison Warden. The show explores themes of global warming and the fate of Alaska’s polar bear through an Inupiat perspective. Warden takes on different characters to explore environmental issues, including an elder, hunter, herself, and a polar bear. The show also touches on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which surrounds Warden’s home village of Kaktovik, Alaska.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: inkBoat (San Francisco, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Highways Performance Space & Gallery, SF International Arts Festival (SFIAF)
The Crazy Cloud Collection is an evening length collaborative work inspired by the life of 15th Century Buddhist monk Ikkyu Sojun. The piece will be choreographed by Japanese butoh master Ko Murobushi and Shinichi Iova-Koga, artistic director of inkBoat. Crazy Cloud will be performed and toured by Ko, Shinichi and the members of inkBoat.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Danya Hanson (Seattle, WA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: On The Boards, Under the Radar Festival
Gloria’s Cause is a dance-driven rock musical by 33 Fainting Spells co-founder Dayna Hanson, bringing together The Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s legendary ride and more obscure moments of the Revolutionary War. Gloria’s Cause uses dance, theater, music and testimonials to link ironies of the American Revolution to modern day hopes and failures.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Every House Has A Door (Chicago, IL)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Performance Space 122, Fusebox Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL)
Let us think of these things always. Let us speak of them never proposes an encounter between Croatia and the US, through responses to an unlikely “equidistant” third entity, Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The performance extracts texts from an essay by Stanley Cavell, and re-enacts, by way of the performers copying the film in real time off of computer screens, a scene captured in Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie about the commune overseen by Viennese Aktionist Otto Muehl.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

Artist: Q. Ragsdale (Garland, TX)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: South Dallas Cultural Center, DiverseWorks
the bull jean stories: a multi-media adaptation adapts the stories that comprise Sharon Bridgforth’s book, “the bull-jeans stories” as a multi-media performance work that includes interviews with multi-generational bull-jeans. It incorporates both a live performance
and an online televised performance, giving it a life beyond its two performance venues.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Jess Curtis/Gravity Dance (San Francisco, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Tigertail Productions, Inc, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Dances for Non-Fictional Bodies is a multi-component performance project examining the role(s) of imagined societal ideals as a kind of “fictional body” that disables individuals in terms of our ability to see others – and to be seen – as beautiful, empowered, and autonomous. The work integrates contemporary dance, live music, acrobatics, post-dramatic text actions, narrative, and movement-based performance.
NPN Subsidy: $10,000

Artist: Sarah Michelson/Richard Maxwell (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Walker Art Center, On the Boards, ODC Theater
Narrative Ballet on the subject of Martyrdom is a collaboration between choreographer Sarah Michelson, and playwright/theater director Richard Maxwell. Composer Pete Drungle will create an original score. Performers will include NYC based dancers Parker Lutz, Rebecca Werner, Nicole Manorino; actors from New York City Players Jim Fletcher and Brian Mendes; and Non Griffiths and James Tyson from Cardiff, Wales.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

FY09 Summer Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Cloud Eye Control (Los Angeles, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: REDCAT (CalArts, Los Angeles), Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts (Portland, OR)
Title: Polar Ice
Description: “Polar Ice” will be a blend of projected animation, live theater and music that combine to tell the tale of a woman who inexplicably emerges from a block of glacial ice. Featuring four separate interactive video projections of digital animation layered onto two-dimensional surfaces, three-dimensional sculptures, the floor and the bodies of the performers themselves, the result will be a theatrical hybrid of screen and stage that creates an immersive multimedia world.
Award: $10,000

Artist: Queer Exchange (Valley Village, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica, CA), Sushi Performance and Visual Art (San Diego, CA)
Title: Fringes-Margins-Borders
Description: Queer Exchange, a performance collective of six LGBT artists who deliberately question commonly held beliefs about feminism, biology, multiculturalism, race, gender, age, sexual identity and explore separatists philosophies through a spectrum of performance and literary practices, will create and present Fringes-Margins-Borders, a multidisciplinary performance of six original, 15-minute, autobiographical works that will be shaped into a compelling, linearly cohesive production.
Award: $10,000

Artist: Ruby Nelda Perez (San Antonio, TX)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Jump-Start Performance Co. (San Antonio), Teatro de la Esperanza (San Francisco, CA)
Title: Chavela & Her Three Husbands
Description: The creation of a new one-woman play titled Chavela & Her Three Husbands, A Woman’s Journey through the Chicano Movement
Award: $10,000

Artist: Mondo Bizarro (New Orleans, LA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Junebug Productions, Inc. (New Orleans), Appalshop (Whitesburg, KY), Turner World Around Productions (Raymond, MS)
Title: Race Peace
Description: Race Peace is a cross-generational performance work about the debilitating fog of racism. The work provides an opportunity for people to celebrate and explore common bonds, debate their differences, and lay the civic foundation to pursue solutions to their problems. This project aims to create safe spaces where communities can honestly and aggressively explore the realities and myths of racism in America.
Award: $12,000

Artist: Ariel Luckey (Oakland, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA), Matrix Center/While Privilege Conference (Colorado Springs, CO)
Title: Free Land
Description: Free Land is a dynamic hip hop theater solo show written and performed by Ariel Luckey, directed by Margo Hall and scored by Ryan Luckey. The show follows a young white man’s search for his roots as it takes him from the streets of Oakland to the prairies of Wyoming on an unforgettable journey into the heart of American history. Free Land challenges us to take an unflinching look at the truth buried in the land beneath our feet.
Awards: $10,000

Artist: So Percussion (Brooklyn, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents (Helena, MT), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), DiverseWorks (Houston, TX), Newman Center for the Performing Arts (Denver, CO), The cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH)
Title: Imaginary City
Description: Imaginary City will be an evening length work comprised of the music of So Percussion and film from video artist Jenise Treuting. The work will explore the various ways that depictions of cities past and present often collide with the the myriad faces that any one city can contain. Utilization of sounds and images from the particular cities involved in the commission will be an integral part of this process.
Award: $16,000

Artist: Universes (Bronx, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: New WORLD Theater/University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA), Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents (Helena, MT)
Title: Ameriville
Description: Ameriville is a cross-disciplinary, bi-lingual, multimedia exploration of what it means to be an American in the post-9/11 world – a world of terror-level color codes, government misinformation policy and media-fed xenophobia. Ameriville is created and performed by Universes, one of the nation’s foremost ensembles working in the field of New Aesthetics and directed by the celebrated director and playwright Chay Yew.
Award: $10,000

Artist: tEEth (Portland, OR)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: On the Boards (Seattle, WA), Refraction Arts|FUSE Box Festival
Title: Grub
Description: Grub, a full evening of contemporary dance theatre, explores the complexities, oddities, and layers of group dynamics, human relationships, and the relationship to self.
Award: $10,000

Artist: Cynthia Oliver (Urbana, IL)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Painted Bride Art Center (Philadelphia, PA), Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (Seattle, WA), Dance Place (Washington, DC), Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME), Danspace Project, Inc. (New York,NY)
Title: Rigidigidim de Bamba de: Ruptured Calypso
Description: Rigidigidim De Bamba De: Ruptured Calypso is an evening-length multidisciplinary dance theatre project on the nature of calypso dancing as an agent of Afro-Anglo Caribbean identity across geographical, national and aesthetic borders. A meditation on “rupture” as a defining feature of calypso performance, Rigidigidim places performers from the Caribbean diaspora in positions between real and imagined borders that force them to navigate their Caribbeanness via calypso.
Award: $16,000

Artist: A Street Theater Named Desire (Cambridge, MA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: The Theater Offensive (Cambridge, MA), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), Camposition-Hybrid/Theater/Works (Miami, FL)
Title: X-uality
Description: X-uality is a touring performance event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a celebration of diverse queer sexualities. X-uality will be created under the leadership of A Street Theater Named Desire with input from numerous queer artists from around the country. Wherever it tours, local performances may be integrated into the piece.
Award: $12,000

Artist: May Lee-Yang (St. Paul, MN)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Out North (Anchorage, AK), Kaotic Good Productions (Minneapolis, MN)
Title: Sia(b)
Description: In this two-woman show, May Lee-Yang tells her personal story of feeling silenced as a Hmong woman living in the U.S., and how she seeks a balance between Hmong culture and American pop culture. Yang will develop the piece by working with the Hmong communities in Minnesota and Alaska. Robert Karimi is helping to develop the script and will direct the production, which will star May Lee Yang and actress Katie Vang as the two sides of Yang’s personality.
Award: $10,000

FY09 Winter Creation Fund Awards

Artist: Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak (Chicago, IL)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Alverno Presents, Denison University Dance Department
Stamina of Curiosity is Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak’s three-year choreographic project emphasizing ensemble movement research and multiple performance iterations that are an intrinsic part of the process. Through Stamina Shanahan explores movement that stems from an integrated self that is free from compulsive muscular restriction while advancing her study of the observer/observed relationship as a catalyst for composition and the meaningful exchange between artist and audience.
NPN Subsidy Award: $10,000

Artist: Miguel Gutierrez (Brooklyn, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Dance Theater Workshop, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
Last Meadow mines movements and texts from James Dean’s three films to create a non-narrative patchwork which describes an America where the jig is up and the dream has died. Gutierrez will collaborate with performers Michelle Boule and Tarek Halab, musical composer/performance artist Neal Medlyn, lighting designer Lenore Doxsee, and visual artist/dramaturge Paul Chan.
NPN Subsidy Award: $12,000

Artist: Denise Uyehara (Tucson, AZ)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Highways Performance Space, Dinnerware Artspace
Archipelago: Islands of Land, Water and Legend is a new multi-disciplinary work directed and performed by Denise Uyehara, in collaboration with video artist/performer Adam Cooper-Teran. It retells legends, oral histories of the Okinawa and the Huichol Indians, re-imagined in contemporary times. Archipelago comments on occupation and displacement of indigenous people, and sheds light on the complex identities of these two award-winning, Tucson-based artists.
NPN Subsidy Award: $10,000

Artist: Jose Torres Tama (New Orleans, LA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: MECA, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Ashe Cultural Arts Center
Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers is a bilingual multimedia solo piece by Jose Torres Tama, which explores the current criminalization of immigrants and the rise in hate crimes against Latinos in the US. Torres Tama chronicles his Ecuadorian family’s search for the mythic “American Dream,” and with the sci-fi look of the movie The Matrix, he transforms into numerous Latino “aliens” who challenge the flaws of a country built by immigrants, which vilifies the same people it exploits.
NPN Subsidy Award: $12,000

Artist: Bridgman/Packer Dance (Valley Cottage, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: VS Arts of Alaska/Out North, Dance Umbrella
Bridgman/Packer’s new work will further their integration of live performance and video technology by augmenting photo realistic video with a rich palette of commissioned animation. In a departure from their previous work, they will draw from archetypal and mythic characters to reveal a range of personae. With a contemporary technological spin, mythic archetypes will collide and compete, moving the work into a fantastical and raucous exploration of identity and relationship.
NPN Subsidy Award: $10,000

Artists: Bill Frisell, Rahim AlHaj, Eyvind Kange (Berkeley, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Outpost Productions, Walker Art Center
Musical worlds meld to form a new concept, as three independent voices come together for the creation of Baghdad/Seattle Suite. The improvisation and composition of jazz and Americana by renowned guitarist Bill Frisell meets the world of Iraqi maqams and originals via Iraqi oud virtouso Rahim AlHaj. The two worlds are bridged by long-time Frisell associate – violist, tubist and erhu player, Eyvind Kang – whose interests span, new music, folk, rock and middle eastern music.
NPN Subsidy Award: $10,000

Artist: Maria Hassabi (New York, NY)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Crossing the Line Festival, FIAF
Solo Show is a work consisting of two evening-long solos featuring interrelated performance and installation. Hassabi applies similar design elements to both solos: transforming space and image. Each solo is alternatively performed by Hassabi and her longtime collaborator Hristoula Harakas. The first solo is performed on a Persian carpet. The second solo is performed on a large chalk drawing replica of the carpet that is destroyed by the dancer’s movement.
NPN Subsidy Award: $10,000

Artist: Axis Dance Company/David Dorfman (Oakland, CA)
Lead Partner/Commissioners: Tigertail Productions, Dance Place, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
David Dorfman will create a new work for AXIS Dance company. This first-time collaboration will also have a community involvement aspect to be incorporated into education programs when the work is on tour. An original score will be composed by Albert Mathias and Michael Wall and lighting design by Heater Basarab.
NPN Subsidy: $12,000

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