DEADLINE: Monday, February 20, 2012 (5PM)

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University is now accepting applications for its fourth year of EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program focused on “artivist” (artist/activist) performance. EMERGENYC aims to support the development of “hemispheric” artists through a program of workshops and events between April 28 and July 14, 2012 (see “The Program” section below for details). We seek talented, committed and highly motivated young performers/activists/artists whose work functions as a vehicle for political expression and social change, and who examine the broad range of identities, practices and histories of the Americas (the western hemisphere, thus “hemispheric”) through genres such as spoken word, street performance, political cabaret, performance art, video performance, movement, and others.

Why Hemispheric New York?

New York City is a space of transformation in which expressive practices from throughout the Americas come into contact and combine into new artistic forms. The constant encounters and collisions of African-, Native-, Asian-, Latino- and European- American cultures that define the City, combined with the multiple political and counter-cultural movements that have flourished on its streets, are a key source of the artistic and activist innovation that has long characterized New York City. Experimental performance, hip-hop and salsa are powerful examples of the hemispheric fusions that the City’s neighborhoods have incubated. Subversive media interventions, such as those created by the Yes Men, artistic interventions such as the Guerilla Girls and Fulana’s If You Fear Something, You’ll See Something poster campaign are examples of the innovative conjunction of art and political protest. Drawing on this vitality, the program
will enable young activists/performers to work with leading practitioners in the field, to take interdisciplinary leaps, and to develop their own strategies to use performance for social change.

The Program

Between April and June, the selected participants will take part in weekly workshops led by George Emilio Sánchez as well as by invited artists such as Susana Cook, Fulana,  Pamela Sneed, Peggy Shaw (Split Britches), Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, Dan Fishback, Daniel Alexander Jones, Patricia Hoffbauer, and others. This year will also include a teach-in on Performance (“PerforWHAT?”) led by Hemispheric Institute Founding Director and NYU University Professor Diana Taylor. (We are in conversations with other artists and activists for workshops/artist talks—check emergenyc.org for updates). We ask applicants to define social issues that are important to them and to find a bridge to communities around those issues. Past participants have explored themes of racism, racial stereotypes, and racial violence; LGBTQ rights; war and human rights; gender and sexuality; religion; and gentrification, among others. They have created performance pieces around these issues, interviewed members of various communities, and led workshops in community programs (such as GLOBE/Make the Road New York), etc.

The program will be divided into three phases. Phase 1: every Saturday 10am-2pm from April 28th to May 26th, participants work closely with George Emilio Sánchez in developing performance and activist strategies, such as Boalian techniques, performance art and site-specific interventions. Phase 2: intensive daily sessions (10am-5pm) from May 27th- June 3rd, participants work closely with leading activists, artists and scholars, and explore specific tactics for work in the field (street performance, interviewing, videotaping, seeing other people’s work, etc.). Phase 3: Saturdays June 9th July 14thparticipants refine their work for a final presentation, building on the strategies explored through the workshops. Performance presentations (evening of June 26th): participants will share their strategies, performances, and experiences in a public forum.

Please refer to a past Schedule of Events to get an idea of the daily breakdown.

This program has a fee of $1000. Some financial aid will be available on a need basis, so don’t let money concerns stop you from applying. If your enrollment depends on financial aid, please let us know in your application.

Who Is Eligible

EMERGENYC is now open to emerging activists/artists/performers who live in (or can easily commute to) New York City. Applicants must have prior experience in activism and/or various performance genres. The program welcomes applications from individuals enrolled in the City’s colleges and universities AND from those who are not currently pursuing formal higher education.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials to hemi.newyork@nyu.edu no later than  Monday, February 20th 2012 at 5PM:

•  EMERGENYC 2012 Application 
• A biographical statement (maximum 500 words) that tells us about who you are, where you are from, your performance background and your current projects. 
• A statement of purpose (maximum 750 words) describing the reasons you want to participate in EMERGENYC. Please also describe the specific issues you would want to address through the program and any preliminary ideas about the communities where you would ground this work. 
• Your resume or CV. 
• 2 letters of recommendation, which your recommenders must send directly to hemi.newyork@nyu.edu 
• Optional, highly recommended: Samples of your work 
• Optional: A paragraph explaining your request for financial aid.

Selected participants will be notified the week of March 5th; registration payment will be due March 22nd; and program activities will begin on Saturday, April 28th.

EMERGENYC 2012 is supported by funds from the Rockefeller Foundation's Cultural Innovation Fund.