New York, NY
Hailed as a major new voice in dance, dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham’s work is influenced by hip-hop culture and his early studies of the classical cello, piano, and the visual arts. He has stated that, “the goal and perspective of my movement is to create a personalized documentation of my life as a black-gay-man.” Abraham founded his company, Abraham.In.Motion, in 2006. He has presented his choreography throughout the U.S. and abroad, and performed with many acclaimed modern dance companies, including the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Abraham received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance (2010).
New York, NY
Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia have been working together for over ten years, writing and directing one feature film and ten shorts. Working mostly with non-professional actors and no crew, the pair film in different cities, exploring how the places people inhabit affect their lives. Their feature debut, OK, Enough, Goodbye (2010), follows the attempts of a middle-aged man to adjust to life without his mother, who moves to Beirut. The film depicts daily life in Tripoli devoid of the clichés of war and violence recounted in the media. The film won them an award for Best New Director from the Arab World at the Abu Dhabi Film Fest.
Documentary filmmaker Margaret Brown’s first feature, Be Here to Love Me: A Film about Townes Van Zandt (2005), about the troubled country music artist, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival (2004). It was listed by Time Out at number seven among the “50 Greatest Music Films Ever.” Her next feature, The Order of Myths (2008), focuses on the Mardi Gras celebrations—the oldest in the country—in her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, and explores the complicated racial issues of the city and its rituals. The film won many honors, including a Peabody Award (2010), an Independent Spirit Award (2009), and a Silverdocs Cinematic Vision Award (2008).
New York, NY
Trisha Brown, one of the great innovators of postmodern dance, first emerged in the 1960s. Brown pushed the limits of what could be considered appropriate movement for choreography. She started Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970, creating dances for alternative spaces and the rooftops and walls of buildings in downtown New York. Brown has collaborated with numerous artists, choreographed to classical music and jazz, and directed several operas. The recipient of many honors, including a Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (both 2011), Brown was also the first woman choreographer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship (1991).
New York, NY
Conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer was raised in Uruguay and has lived in New York since 1964. Camnitzer works primarily in printmaking, sculpture, and installation, producing bitingly humorous works with a focus on language and socio-political concerns as in Memorial (2009), in which he inserted the names of the “disappeared” in Uruguay during the dictatorship into the telephone book. Camnitzer is also a critic and curator, known for his work on expanding the canon of conceptual art to include Latin American artists.
Poet, performer, and interdisciplinary artist Adrian Castro says that he writes and performs in a “rhythmic Afro-Latino style.” He has published three books of poetry. The first, Cantos to Blood and Honey (1997), won the Eric Mathiue King Award from the Academy of American Poets. The New York Times Review of Books selected his second collection, Wise Fish: Tales in 6/8 Time as an Editor’s Choice, noting its “sinuous syncopated verses.” Castro has taught at several universities, including the University of Miami. He is also a trained Chinese medical practitioner as well as a Babalawo, a priest in the Yoruba Ifá divination system.
The son of Korean parents, Lee Isaac Chung has stated that his attempts to reach across cultures as the only minority family in rural Arkansas led him to make films in countries where he is a foreigner. Chung shot his celebrated feature Munyurangabo (2007), in the native Kinyarwanda tongue in 11 days, recounting the emotional story of two young friends who struggle with the legacy of age-old ethnic divisions. The project started as a filmmaking course that Chung conducted for locals, and he established a collective there whose members have made award-winning films. Munyurangabo was selected to screen at several prestigious venues, including the Cannes Film Festival.
Jack DeJohnette is a legendary jazz drummer, pianist, and composer. After studying at the American Conservatory of Music, he began his career playing R&B, hard bop, and avant-garde music in Chicago with his own groups and with Roscoe Mitchell, and John Coltrane. In 1966, DeJohnette moved to New York. He has collaborated with most major figures in jazz history, including Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, Charles Lloyd, Betty Carter, and Eddie Harris. In January 2012, DeJohnette received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowship.
Coco Fusco creates performances and videos about intercultural relations. Fusco is best known for her performance The Couple in the Cage (1993), in which she and artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña posed as Amerindians on display at various museums. The piece mocked the ethnographic treatment of indigenous people and served as a satirical commentary on the concurrent quincentenary celebrations of Columbus’s discovery of America. In a more recent work, A Room of One’s Own (2006), she explores military torture and gender, playing an interrogator training women recruits. Fusco is also a writer and Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design.La Plaza Vacia (video still), 2012; photo credit Coco Fusco
Tlingit/Aleut artist Nicholas Galanin describes his work as “contemporary multimedia work that transcends the familiar, time-honored iconography of Tlingit and Northwest Coast art.” He combines the traditional and contemporary in works such as Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan (2006), a two-part video in which a Tlingit dancer moves to a techno soundtrack, and a non-Native break-dancer interprets a Tlingit song. Galanin received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award in 2011.