NEW YORK CITY: Hi-ARTS has announced the artists-in-residence for Critical Breaks, the company’s residency for artists who are at a pivotal phase in creating new work, and Sky Lab, which supports socially engaged artists who center community in the development of their work, including practitioners who create outside of the traditional studio or theatre.
Critical Breaks artists are Alexander Lambie, Tanika I. Williams, and the collaborative duo Kirya Traber and Sissi Liu. Joining Sky Lab are dance-theatre collective Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances) and LINDALA. All artists reflect Hi-ARTS’s mission to foster creators who employ hip-hop and urban aesthetics, especially Black artists and artists of color, and amplify their work within and beyond the organization’s home in East Harlem.
Alexander Lambie is a member of Middle Voice Theater Company and an alumnus of Atlantic Acting School. Working primarily in performance and theatre, Lambie will continue developing Wittiness!, a one-person show performed through his drag persona Gina Cakestand.
African Jamaican writer and video and performance artist Tanika I. Williams investigates Black women’s use of movement, mothering, and medicine. Williams, who holds an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, plans to continue the development of Pressing, a performance centering on a recorded archival interview between a matriarch and her great-granddaughter in order to illustrate and disrupt the generational cycle of family separation and its residual trauma.
Nationally awarded writer, performer, and cultural worker Kirya Traber and award-winning musical theatre specialist and multimedia artist Sissi Liu will bring audiences If This Be Sin, a musical about the queer Harlem Renaissance entertainer Gladys Bentley.
The New York-based dance-theatre collective SLMDances will work in collaboration with music producer Ebonie Smith, visual artist Shani Peters, and quilter Dr. Kim F. Hall to create an on-site multidisciplinary exhibition titled What does PURPLE sound like? In partnership with Changing the Narrative, PURPLE’s community engagements facilitate the collection and amplification of oral histories, with a focus on New York City public housing communities.
Born of the House of Labaija, multidisciplinary performer, recording artist, writer, teacher, curator, host, and model LINDALA will lead new members of the house/ballroom community into weeks of discovery in ballroom movement, culture, and legacy. With a special focus on voices of Black trans artists and femmes, she will create a production speaking to the issues in the lives of those who participate.
This summer, Hi-ARTS will relocate to a larger space within their current home at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 in East Harlem, allowing for increased programming and a quickly expanding staff. Hi-ARTS is a leading cultural hub in the urban arts movement. Through artistic development residencies, vibrant multidisciplinary creative programming, and civic engagement opportunities, the 501(c)(3) helps artists develop bold works while creating a positive, lasting impact on the community.
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