NEW YORK CITY: HERE has announced the 2020 recipients of the organization’s multi-year residency, the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP). The new HARP members are Bengali theatremaker Shayok Misha Chowdhury, playwright and director Normandy Sherwood, and the duo of instrumentalist gamin and sound and visual composer Sachiyo Takahashi. The residencies will begin immediately and residents will receive up to $50,000 in a cash grant as well as more than $75,000 in space, equipment, and services over the two- or three-year residency.
“How could we survive inside our homes in these times without the inspiration of what artists have given us—all that we read, watch, and hear?” said founding artistic director Kristin Marting in a statement. “If I imagine my life without art, all I see is a blank page, a blank wall, a blank screen. But I am filled with hope by imagining the work that our artists create in this moment and going forward. It is our mission at HERE to support artists and that mission is even more critical right now.”
Created in 1999 to address the need for artistic, administrative, and financial support for artists, HARP helps artists developing distinct voices and experimenting with approaches that expand the meaning of performance. HARP works with nine to eleven artists across artistic disciplines, providing them commission funds, developmental support, career planning, and a full production.
Shayok Misha Chowdhury’s residency will be devoted to creating a performance memoir, Rheology, considering the work of his physicist mother. Chowdhury, a queer Bengali theatremaker, is a Fulbright and Kundiman fellow, a member of the Public’s Devised Theater Working Group, and an alumnus of Ars Nova’s Makers Lap, NYTW’s 2050 Fellowship, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab.
Normandy Sherwood’s residency will use Dion Fortune’s 1930 occult self-help text as a jumping off point to create an object-focused theatre piece by the same name, Psychic Self Defense. The piece will attempt to create psychic self-defense strategies for a reality where attention spans are regularly hijacked by smartphones, apps, and screens in public spaces. Sherwood, a playwright, costumer, director, and performer, was a co-artistic director for the Obie-winning National Theater of the United States of America and a 2018 Fellow in the Target Margin Theater Institute.
Sachiyo Takahashi and gamin will work together to create an experimental music theatre piece called The Emotions. A meditative journey with live music and an original score, The Emotions is designed to give audiences an opportunity to reconnect to their own emotions. Takahashi has presented her work around the world, including at Prague Quadrennial, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and The Tank. Her recent work, Everything Starts from a Dot, premiered at La MaMa in 2018 and was supported by the Jim Henson Foundation. Soloist Gamin Kang, known as “gamin,” has received multiple cultural exchange program grants, including Artist-in-Residence at the Asian Cultural Council. She was also a featured artist at the Silkroad concert in Seoul 2018, performing on stage with Yo-Yo Ma.