Leslie Cuyjet is a choreographer and performer based in New York. She has collaborated, contributed, co-directed, facilitated, designed, and danced with a range of artists since earning a BFA in dance at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Artists that include Kim Brandt, Yanira Castro/a canary torsi, Jane Comfort, David Gordon, Niall Noel Jones, Cynthia Oliver, Juliana F. May, Julian Barnett, Stephanie Acosta, Vanessa Walters, NARCISSISTER, Sean Donovan and Sebastián Calderón Bentin, Emily Wexler, David Thomson, Mark Dendy, The A.O. Movement Collective, and Will Rawls, among others. She has appeared in performances by Anohni, Meredith Monk, and Solange. Her independent work aims to unpack this personal archive that includes two decades of performing across postmodern and experimental forms through the lens of a black woman, using writing and choreography. Cuyjet has been presented in New York by La MaMa (La MaMa Moves! Festival/The Current Sessions), Gibney Dance (DoublePlus), Center for Performance Research (Fall Movement), Movement Research (Fall Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church), AUNTS (Realness, Populous), and Danspace Draftworks. Leslie has held the honor of being an artist-in-residence at Chez Bushwick (2016), Movement Research (2017-2018), and Center for Performance Research (2019), and Yaddo (2019)
Leslie Cuyjet, A Salient Theme (2017), at La MaMa for LaMaMa Moves! Festival. Image by Scott Shaw. Originally premiered in 2016 at Center for Performance Research.
Melanie Griffin is an L.A. based Black queer chronically ill artist and herbalist, who was born in Georgia in 1981. She is deeply invested in collective healing and creative paths that center Black and Brown people. They are able to do work that serves that passion as the Deputy Director of Health and Wellness at Dignity and Power Now, an organization that advocates for incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, their families and others targeted by state violence. Through textiles, multimedia works, writing, and performance/ritual/magic, Melanie explores issues around home, self-care/ self affirmation, sickness, healing, race, gender, sexuality, capitalism, liberation and our relationship to this planet. They have held workshops and shown work in different spaces including SOMArts, Human Resources, the Women’s Center for Creative Work, and LACE.
Melanie Griffin_ Detail from Black Power Quilt for Grief, Healing and Rage_Fabric, thread, sequins, broach_
Stephanie Elizondo Griest is a globetrotting author from the Texas/Mexico borderlands. Her five award-winning books include Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana; Mexican Enough; and All the Agents & Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands. She has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, VQR, The Believer, Orion, and the Oxford American, and she edited Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010. Other distinctions include a Henry Luce Scholarship to China, a Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Prize. Currently Associate Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she has performed on five continents, in capacities ranging from a Moth storyteller to a literary ambassador for the U.S. State Department. One place she was thrilled to leave was Planet Cancer. She’s been in remission since December 2017. Visit her website at www.StephanieElizondoGriest.com.
Justin Olerud grew up on a farm outside the small town of Bricelyn, MN. He received his MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts and received his BFA from California College of the Arts in the Bay Area. Most recently he has shown work at Visitor Welcome Center in Los Angeles, Air mattress Gallery in New York and Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Kyle Sanna has been active as a composer, producer, guitarist, and improviser in New York City since 2000. His compositions have been performed at the Bach House in Eisenach, Germany, the Oregon Bach Festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. His “ruminative and shape-shifting” (San Francisco Chronicle) work for string quartet, Sequence for Minor White, won First Prize in the 2018 Charlotte New Music Festival Composition Competition. WNYC’s New Sounds and Sound Check host John Schaefer called his music “unconventionally beautiful”. Kyle Sanna has arranged music for banjo pioneer Bela Fleck, cellist Jan Vogler, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter, Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Brooklyn Rider, The Knights orchestra, and for Yo-Yo Ma on two Grammy Award-winning albums. His arrangements have appeared on The Colbert Report, NPR’s Performance Today, and on the Sony and Naïve labels. In addition to his composing and arranging, Kyle Sanna is an active improviser on guitar, synths, and samplers, performing solo and collaborating with instrumentalists, dancers, and theater companies. Kyle lives in Brooklyn and is a member of Kinan Azmeh’s CityBand, Peter Apfelbaum’s Sparkler, The Seamus Egan Project, Ground Patrol, and a duo with violinist Dana Lyn.
Kyle Sanna & Dana Lyn, "The Coral Suite" performance at the Irish Arts Center, NYC, 2019.
Kirsten Stolle is a visual artist working in collage, drawing, and installation. Her research-based practice is grounded in the investigation of corporate propaganda, food politics, and biotechnology. Solo exhibitions include NOME (Berlin), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), Turchin Center for Visual Arts (NC), Winthrop University Art Galleries (SC), Tracey Morgan Gallery (NC) and Dolby Chadwick Gallery (CA). Group exhibitions include Balzer Projects (Basel), Fridman Gallery (NYC), San Jose Museum of Art (CA), and The Billboard Creative (CA). She is a Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient and her work has been published in Photograph, Topic, Poetry, Burnaway, Widewalls, and New American Paintings. She has been awarded residencies at the Ucross Foundation, Millay Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Willapa Bay AiR, Oregon College of Arts & Crafts, Spiro Arts Center, Anderson Center, and Ballinglen Arts Foundation.
Aerial Farmland collage, archival pigment print 23” x 32” 2018