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Left: Tariq Al-Sabir, Jennifer Cendaña Armas; center: Shenny De Los Angeles; right: Vinson Fraley, Edisa Weeks

Harlem Stage Announces 2022 WaterWorks Cohort

WaterWorks Emerging Artists was created to identify, cultivate, and nurture artists of color in the early phase of their careers.

NEW YORK CITY: Harlem Stage has announced the cohort for the 2022 WaterWorks Emerging Artists program. Five multidisciplinary artists of color will participate in a yearlong experience, with Harlem Stage as their creative home, to develop new works, receive guidance from mentors, collaborate with other Harlem Stage artists, have access to rehearsal space, receive administrative and other essential career support, participate in workshops and professional development sessions, and finally, present a culminating showcase at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse in December 2022. 

The 2022 WaterWorks Emerging Artists and their projects are as follows:

  • Composer, vocalist, music director, and producer Tariq Al-Sabir will work on a three-vignette opera, each featuring its own story and set of characters. The vignettes will feature fictional stories that center on Black individuals and their unique relationship to technology.
  • Performer, writer, and activist Jennifer Cendaña Armas will create The Life That We Built, a rhyme calling out gentrification of the barrios for urban development. Verse by verse, the project explores the tensions and inevitable displacement that gentrification brings for many people of color.
  • Dominican American interdisciplinary performance artist Shenny De Los Angeles will explore, study, and present her new work Sisters by Water. The project delves into the friendship between Dominican American and Haitian American femmes through multimedia, storytelling integrated with spoken word, and ritual spiritual practice into art. 
  • Artist, dancer, and choreographer Vinson Fraley has been selected to explore a new work in dance and movement titled I Got Time Today. The work is a deep study of movement and expression of the inner tensions that lie between what is perceived and what is said, bringing the act of remembrance into ritual and healing practices. 
  • Choreographer, educator, and curator Edisa Weeks has been selected to further explore her new work, 3 RITES: Liberty. Weeks will continue researching, writing, and developing the character and presentation of the piece, a display of seven key objects that symbolize and inform the Black/African experience in America. Weeks will work in collaboration with producer Marýa Wethers on her project.

For nearly 40 years, Harlem Stage has stood at the intersection of art and social justice with a mission to perpetuate and celebrate the unique and diverse artistic legacy of Harlem and the indelible impression it has made on American culture. Led by artistic director and CEO Patricia Cruz and associate artistic director and curator-in-residence Carl Hancock Rux, the company aims to provide opportunity, commissioning, and support for artists of color; make performances easily accessible to all audiences; and introduce children to the rich diversity, excitement, and inspiration of the performing arts.

WaterWorks, Harlem Stage’s signature commissioning program, was created to identify, cultivate, and nurture the talents of visionary artists of color. It comprises the yearlong WaterWorks Emerging Artists program as well as a two-year WaterWorks Established Artists program.

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