Performers

Roger Bonair-Agard is a veteran of the spoken-word scene and a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion. His most recent book, Bury My Clothes (Haymarket Books), was released May 2013. Roger moved to the United States from his native Trinidad and Tobago in 1987. Intending to begin university and eventually pursue law, Roger found himself instead exploring the seediest sides of New York City life. From Harlem to Brooklyn to Washington Heights, his poems explore the intersection between his twenty plus years as an immigrant in America and the Trinidad from which he came. Roger is a Cave Canem fellow, has appeared three times on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and on the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour amongst other television and numerous radio appearances. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the LouderARTS Project in New York and has been Adjunct Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Fordham University.

For over 20 years, Mark Brown has been influencing the Brooklyn soundscape both as a musician and music producer. He has produced a wide variety of albums including WWF Aggression, Douglas Guthrie’s Melody Maker, and Buckshot’s The BDI Thug. Mark has recorded and performed with a number of musicians, most recently performing with Blackmoon at 2012’s Rock the Bells Hip Hop Music Festival in NYC.

Originally hailing from Chicago, musician, composer and writer Sabrina Chap tours regularly across the US and Europe. In these tours, she performs live music sets, performs in burlesque shows and lectures on her Lambda nominated book, Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction. A classical pianist since the age of 5, her lyrical ragtime stompin’ music has been featured on numerous reviews and recordings including CBC in Canada, the film Too Much Pussy: Feminist Sluts (Cannes Film Festival pick, 2011), and the Associated Press. Her breakout album ‘Oompa!‘ has been called “…vaudevillian chic and undeniably impressive” (GO Magazine) while her latest album, ‘We Are the Parade‘ “…channels the raw energy of ragtime and an old-school musical, with lyrics that evoke a contemporary Cole Porter or Tom Lehrer” (The Advocate).

Aisha Cousins is a writer of performance art scores, which are often focused on engaging black audiences from differing backgrounds. Her scores have been performed on the streets of historically black neighborhoods from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Brixton, as well as inside institutions such as the Museum Of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Project Row Houses, Houston, TX; The Kitchen, NY; BRIC Rotunda Gallery, NY; and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY. Aisha is a 2013 Artist-In-Residence with the renowned non-profit organization The Laundromat Project.

Douglas Guthrie, composer and revered alto saxophonist, has been performing and recording since the 1960s. He was one of the founding musicians in the Jamaican reggae group Inner Circle, and later joined the cult punk-rock band The Nails in 1972 before playing with The Motives, an “original NYC-style Reggae, Ska, and Dub band”, until 2000. In 2011, Douglas recently released his debut solo album, Dougie Guthrie: Melody Maker.

Karen Harvey is a dance artist based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY.  She has been choreographing dances and site-specific experiments for fourteen years and her work often engages artistic collaborations across disciplines. Karen’s project-based company performs regularly throughout NYC and her choreography has been shown internationally in Tokyo, Kyoto and Vienna. Currently she also dances with Da-On Dance Company, is a founding member of Antititled Dialogues (an improvisational performance collective) and teaches a Contemporary dance model of personal training that utilizes the bodies natural intelligence.

Laura Simms is an award winning performer, writer, and educator advocating storytelling as compassionate action for personal and community transformation. She is a Senior Research Fellow for the International Peace institute at Rutgers University Newark under the auspices of UNESCO. She performs worldwide for adult and young audiences. As a spokesperson for storytelling she presents keynotes and workshops in conferences, villages, schools, universities and community events. She is a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan, and a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation. Laura received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling, CHOICE award for best story collection and Sesame Street’s SUNNY DAYS award for work with children worldwide. She is co-faculty with Terry Tempest Williams’ at University of Utah, consults with ETSU’s CANCER STORIES project, and is spoken word consultant for Foundations, NGOS working in post disaster and conflicts. She recently appeared at the Newark Peace Summit and the Conference on World Peace and Values in Monterrey, Mexico. Her most recent book is OUR SECRET TERRITORY: The Essence of Storytelling (Sentient Publications, June 2011).

 

Curators:

Erin Gleason is an artist, curator and designer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited and curated in the US and internationally including BRIC Rotunda Gallery (New York), FiveMyles Gallery (New York), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (with Inverleith House, Scotland), Edinburgh Art Festival (Tent Gallery, Scotland), The Pier Art Center (Scotland), and 222 Gallery (Philadelphia). She has won competitions for a number of public artworks including the Arts & Theatres Trust in Scotland and the Poetry Paths Initiative in Lancaster, PA. Erin is the Co-Founder/Creative Director of the Crown Heights Film Festival and a 2013 Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellow at BRIC Arts. She has received grants from Brooklyn Arts Council and won a Russell Trust Award for research in Greenland. Her work has been reviewed in Urban Omnibus, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, and Cinespect among others. Erin studied Fine Art, Imaging Science and Anthropology at University of Pennsylvania (BA 2000), and received her MFA (2009) in the Art/Space/Nature Program at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lynne Procope is a widely-published poet and curator. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the louderARTS Project, editor for Union Station Magazine, Cave Canem fellow, and former National Poetry Slam Champion. She is a director louderARTS Workshops and Outreach Program as well as curator of the experimental performance workshop, synonymUS. She was a member of the New York’s 1998 National Poetry Slam Championship winning team. She is co-author of the collection, Burning Down the House (Soft Skull Press, 2000) and her work appears in the Summer/Fall 2000 Drums Voices Review, Poetry Slam Anthology (Manic D Press, 1999) and How to Read an Oral Poem (University of Illinois Press, 2002). Lynne was a featured writer at Jamaica’s Calabash Literary Festival. Her writing and performances were commissioned by Vision Into Art as part of Sounds by Kandinsky and Democrazy (pt. 1) at Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theater and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute at North Carolina School of the Arts through the Spring and Summer of 2002.