PRELUDE Festival 2023
Space and the City
Randi Berry, Aaron L. McKinney, Ana Fiore, Anita Durst, Baba Israel, and Candace Thompson-Zachery
Monday, October 16, 2023
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA
New York City gave birth to the contemporary practice of performance. Theatre artists presented works in lofts, storefronts, living rooms, churches and streets. New gigantic Performing Arts Centers like the Shed and The Perelman opened recently and are highly visible — small spaces are disappearing and often feel invisible. Less and less free or affordable rehearsal and presenting spaces for theatre and performance artists seem to be available. But is it really the doom and gloom we talk and read about? Significant New York institutions are coming up with new ways to support New York’s Performing Arts scene. Participants: Randi Berry (Indie Space INC. ), Aaron L. McKinney (Hi-ARTS), Ana Fiore (LMCC), Anita Durst (ChaShaMa), Baba Israel (Performance Project at University Settlement), and Candace Thompson-Zachery (Dance/NYC).
Content / Trigger Description:
Candace Thompson-Zachery (Director of Programming and Justice Initiatives, Dance/NYC)
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, now local to Brooklyn, NY, operates between the spheres of dance, cultural production and fitness and wellness, with a focus on the Contemporary Caribbean. She has had an established career as a performer, choreographer, fitness professional, cultural producer, teaching artist, community facilitator and Caribbean dance specialist. In addition to her work in these areas, she leads ContempoCaribe, an ongoing choreography and performance project and is the founder of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, an organisational platform for Caribbean dance in the diaspora that spearheads the New Traditions Festival in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Adelphi University's BFA program for Dance, and has presented, performed and taught at major venues including: Queen's Hall (T&T), John F. Kennedy Center, New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Museum, and The Ohio State University. She was an inaugural member of the Dancing While Black Fellowship Cohort 2015/2016, was an awardee of Adelphi University's 2017 - 10 Under 10 program, and a Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence for fall 2017. As a cultural producer and strategist, Candace has worked with the Dance and Performance Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, WIADCA (NY), Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, Renegade Performance Group, and curator Claire Tancons, for the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. Ms. Thompson-Zachery holds an M.A. in Performance Curation from the ICCP program at Wesleyan University and a certificate from the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy at UPenn. with National Arts Strategies. Of tantamount importance to her is the vital role dance plays in our communities and she is eager to see dance artists of various styles, practices and traditions thrive in New York City.
Aaron L. McKinney (Executive Director, Hi-ARTS)
For almost two decades, Aaron has been steadfast in creating a multi-faceted arts administration career beginning with his early work in production and project management for theatre companies in Florida and California, including a graduate-level internship with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit theatres in the country. In recent years, Aaron has served as Project Manager for the Sankofa Justice & Equity Fund, founded by world-renowned artist and activist, the late Harry Belafonte, and an integral member of 651 ARTS, a pillar of the contemporary black arts community. He has also served on several grant review panels, both local and national and sat on many zoom panels on the state of performing arts during a pandemic. Currently he serves as the Executive Director of Hi-ARTS. In addition to his current role, Aaron continues to pursue professional endeavors guided by his personal mantra “Aspire to Inspire before you Expire”, purposefully unifying the arts and social justice activism, as shown through his independent producer and consultative work across the performance arts landscape. In 2020, Aaron founded The A.L.M. Way, LLC, an arts management and producing consultancy. These opportunities of increasing responsibility only serve to exemplify Aaron’s affinity for urban arts and have solidified his place in performing arts leadership.