On the MAPP: Winter 2014

It's the end of the road for red, black & GREEN: a blues and for MIRIAM! From New York to San Francisco, Miami to Seattle, Lewiston, Maine to Lyon, France, these acclaimed works have been seen by almost 12,000 people in 24 cities since 2011. 

Marc Bamuthi Joseph wraps up his tour of red, black & GREEN: a blues with performances at Washington DC's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (April 4th & 5th) and Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center(May 30th & 31st).  Be sure to tell your friends in the area to catch the last chance to see this remarkable show!

Nora Chipaumire, recently named a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, shook up the San Francisco Bay-area when she presented the final performances of MIRIAM at Yerba Buena Center of the Arts. Congratulations to Nora for "an extraordinarily rich and enveloping theatrical experience [with its]…matrix of wild images…avalanche of ideas and – not least – its sheer intensity." (The Miami Herald

While some projects are winding down, others are just gearing up! 

We recently began working with hip-hop/spoken-word/theatre artist Baba Israel and director Leo Kay (of the U.K. theatre company Unfinished Business) on The Spinning Wheel Keeps Turning, a project that reflects, re-envisions, and reinterprets the life of Israel's late father, Steve Ben Israel, a core member of the legendary Living Theatre and countercultural activist.  With an anticipated U.S. premiere in 2015, we'll have plenty of updates soon. Stay tuned…

in the theater

MAPP International kicked off 2014 with bi-coastal performances of Sekou Sundiata's  blessing the boats: the remix starring Mike Ladd, Will Powerand Carl Hancock Rux.  This acclaimed piece, remounted as part of 2013'sBlink Your Eyes retrospective, is Rhodessa Jones' thoughtful reworking of Sekou's solo work that he toured from 2002 until his passing in 2007.

Presented at the Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, the NYC-area performances received rave reviews from the NY Times, Village Voice andTime Out Magazine.

At the Off-Center Festival in Costa Mesa, CA, the cast participated in post-show Q&A sessions facilitated by the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California. This partnership brought a wide array of audience members to the show, introducing Sekou's work to people from the healthcare community as well as to people affected by kidney ailments and organ transplants.

Did you get to see blessing the boats: the remix? Use #blessingtheboatson Twitter or Facebook and let us know what you thought. We'll be sure to respond!

Would you like blessing the boats: the remix to come to your community or organization? Let us know! Contact Michelle Coe, MAPP International's Director of Booking.

in the studio


Ralph Lemon  and his artistic team returned to Tallahassee for a two-week residency at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography to develop his "performance-lecture-musical" Scaffold Room in preparation for its September '14 premiere at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center.  After more than two years in development, this critical residency was the first opportunity for Ralph's artistic team – performers April Matthis and Okwui Okpokwasili, composer Marina Rosenfield, video designer Mike Taylor, and dramaturgKatherine Profeta – to work together on this thought-provoking work about cultural-politics. 

in the community

We're making new partnerships with a variety of organizations to bring programming to diverse communities while providing partners with access to artists and their work, and to new ways of exploring complex subject matter.  

Recently, we partnered with Urban Arts Partnerships to host Samita Sinha's Open Voice workshop, which guides young women of color in identifying their own literal and figurative voices, and then empowering them to apply their personal voices in their art form and daily lives. 

Workshops will also be hosted by our new partner Sadie Nash Leadership Project  in the coming months.

Ralph Lemon is participating in the group show When the Stars Begin to Fall – Imagination and the American South, at the Studio Museum of Harlem (March 28th through June 29th).  On display will be Ralph's photographs from his most recent visit to the Mississippi Delta, part of a decade-long narrative between Ralph and this rural community which has provided context and inspiration for a number of his works, including Scaffold Room.  

We are working in partnership with the Studio Museum of Harlem to develop an exciting public dialogue related to this show. When you stay in touch with MAPP International by joining our Cultural Investor program you'll receive advance notification and invitations to community conversations and behind-the-scenes experiences like this!

Our community engagement programs connect with a wide range of audiences, citywide, through workshops, discussions and lectures, master classes, and artist-to-artist exchanges. If you or your organization would be interested in participating in or hosting one of these sessions, contact Rasu Jilani, MAPP International's Director of Community Programs.   

in the world

 A big shout out to the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, which just renewed its support to The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium!  The Foundation's belief in our work helps us to forge and deepen relationships between U.S. and African artists, and with this grant, we can now implement a robust series of exchange activities both in the U.S. and on the African continent.

And we're pleased to welcome the newest members of this landmark international consortium:

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center – College Park, MD

Portland Institute of Contemporary Art – Portland, OR

USC Thornton School of Music – Los Angeles, CA

CounterPULSE – San Francisco, CA

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) – New York City, NY 

MAPP International, in partnership with the Africa Consortium, is producing the U.S. tour of Tales of Home: Congo/Mozambique, a 2-evening program featuring prominent contemporary dance artists from Africa: Panaibra Gabriel Canda (Mozambique) and Faustin Linyekula (Democratic Republic of Congo). Both artists have been affiliates of the Consortium for several years, and we look forward to bringing their compelling points-of-view to American audiences!

In Le CargoFaustin tells of his return to home in a search for things lost, and the dance, people and music he reclaims in the process. In Time & Spaces: The Marrabenta SolosPanaibra is accompanied by guitarist Jorge Domingos in a work about today's African "plural body" that has absorbed ideals of colonialism, nationalism, modernity, socialism and free expression. 

Celebrated South African dancer/choreographer Gregory Maqoma makes his return to the U.S. with Exit/Exist, an original work that explores Gregory's ancestral ties to Chief Maqoma, legendary 19th century Xhosa warrior, and the human response to oppressive institutions.

After making a splash in November 2013 with its North American premiere,Exit/Exist will inspire new audiences as it plays the  Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC (June 5-8, 2014) and the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC (June 16-18, 2014). In addition to performing, Gregory will hold post-show discussions and host master classes. Be sure to tell your friends in the area!  

get on the #MAPP

Cultural Investor Bobbi Paley – pictured here with vocalist Happy MothaJoyce Lawler of MAPP; and dancer/choreographer Gregory Maqoma – is On the #MAPP! You should be, too!

Donors to MAPP International join the Cultural Investor Program, which provides access to special opportunities to go behind-the-scenes with your favorite artists and to discover new artists. Join them!  Your tax-deductible contribution to MAPP International Productions  allows us to continue producing the work of important, provocative artists.

We are looking for exciting, creative new ways to bring together artists and the public.  Have any ideas? We'd love your suggestions! CLICK HERE to answer our survey and you'll be entered in a drawing to receive a FREE HAPPY HOUR with the MAPP International Staff! What are you waiting for?

 Engaging with your favorite MAPP artists can continue long after the curtains close. Find us on  Facebook, follow us on  Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube channels.  There will be special contests, invitations, and updates about your favorite MAPP International artists.