Tal Beery

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Tal Beery, Glossary of Institutional Prefixes, Mixed Media Installation, Dimensions Variable, 2017 (Detail: Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase College, New York) Photograph: Charlotte Woolf

Tal Beery is a New York-based artist and educator. He is co-founder of Eco Practicum, an artist-run school for ecological justice and founding faculty at School of Apocalypse, examining the connections between creative practice and notions of survival. Beery is also a core member of Occupy Museums, a collective fighting the economic and social injustices propagated by institutions of art and culture. His curatorial research considers the relationships between art and epochal change. Beery’s written work and interviews have appeared in numerous publications and his personal and collaborative works have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, including the 2012 Berlin Biennale, Brooklyn Museum, and the 2017 Whitney Biennial.


Jesse Epstein

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Jesse Epstein 34x25x36 Film Created in 2009 National PBS Broadcast on POV, MoMA Screening

Jesse Erika Epstein is a Sundance Award-Winning documentary filmmaker. She received an Masters Degree in Documentary Film from NYU, and was named one of “25 filmmakers to watch” by Filmmaker Magazine. Her films have screened in over 40 film festivals worldwide, at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Mass MoCA, The Peabody Museum, and Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. Jesse's film 34x25x36 received a national PBS Broadcast on POV. She also has a published video Op-Doc in the New York Times. Jesse has received grants from Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Fledgling Fund, Catapult, and a National Endowment for the Arts residency at The MacDowell Arts Colony. Jesse is currently the Z-Tech Video Coordinator at Zumix -- where she teaches and mentors youth in East Boston.


Angel Torres

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AngelTorres pescado y flor de calabaza 2017 Robalo con flor de calabaza, quelites, y calabaza/ Sea bass with squash blossoms, quelites, and zucchini

I was born and grew up in Mexico City. My first interest was audiovisual communication. At age 17 I started college at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana with the intent to study that, but when I discovered that my school offered professional training in culinary arts I shifted course and began to study Gastronomy. In particular I was attracted to how you can travel and meet people with cooking, because I have always been interested in the social space that is made during and after the daily act of sitting at a table and eating with others. In my culinary training, I was initially influenced by French cuisine. As I have grown in experience, I have found it more important to go back to my cultural roots, in particular a strong interest in mastering mestizo cuisine and pre-Hispanic culinary techniques specific to the region of Oaxaca. Since graduating from culinary school I have worked in both French and Mexican style kitchens, and have continued to personally pursue my interest in mestizo cooking. I see the kitchen as a form of expression not only of gustos or tastes but also as a form of visual expression through colors, textures, and sounds that fill the body and soul. For me, cooking has to do with transforming fresh ingredients and highlighting aspects with different culinary techniques. I am inspired by sustainability like is found in the agricultural system of chinampas that founded Mexico City, and the impact that food from the chinampas has had on the social and religious systems of people.

Andrew Simonet

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Andrew Simonet Wilder novel will be published November 13, 2018 by Farrar Straus and Giroux

Andrew Simonet-

I am a writer and choreographer in Philadelphia. My debut young adult novel, Wilder, will be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2018. I wrote Making Your Life as an Artist, an open source guide to living as an artist. From 1993 to 2013, I co-directed Headlong Dance Theater, creating dances like CELL (a journey for one audience member guided by your cell phone), and This Town is a Mystery (dances by four Philadelphia families in their homes). In 2006, I founded Artists U, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives with programs in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and South Carolina. I have received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, an Independence Fellowship in the Arts, a Bessie for Choreography at the New York Dance and Performance Awards, nd residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, and Hambidge. My performance work has been supported by The Creative Capital Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation, Japan Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts, and produced by Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), The Kyoto Art Center, P.S. 122 (NYC), Central Park Summerstage, The Jade Festival (Tokyo), The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. I began writing fiction in 2004; in 2013, I left my dance company to focus on writing. In 2017, I obtained representation with Rebecca Stead at The Book Group and a two-book deal with Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Amanda Rea

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Amanda Rea's stories and essays are published or forthcoming in Harper's, One Story, American Short Fiction, Freeman’s, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, Lit Hub, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, New South and elsewhere. Her work has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Peden Prize, and has been listed among distinguished works in Best American Short Stories. She has won fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Institute of Creative Writing in Wisconsin, Jentel Artist Residency, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.


Laura Nova

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LES Citizens Parade, 2018 Premiered at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival on June 22 and June 24, 2018. Literally described as a moving company, the LES Citizens Parade is a celebration in storytelling, dance and music of the migration and settlement experiences of long­time residents of New York’s multilingual Lower East Side neighborhood.

Artist, Athlete, Activator: Long-time Lower East Side resident Laura Nova generates site-specific, action-oriented projects which invite participatory energies of neighbors and strangers alike. She uses cardio, comedy and cooking to create activ/ist audiences who, in turn, reveal and preserve stories of both people and places. Recent commissions have included multi-year, social engagement projects like "Feed Me A Story," (co-produced with Theresa Loong) an interactive video installation and documentary video cookbook of secret family recipes; "Moving Stories," a senior citizen-led, storytelling-walking tour; and The Crescendo Project which used RFID technology to create an automated praise-singing machine for disabled athletes during a road race. In tandem with Dances For A Variable Population, she transformed residents and dancers alike into a moving company for the River to River Festival’s "LES Citizens Parade." Nova's work has been shown at the New Museum, the Museum at Eldridge Street, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, Real Art Ways and many galleries including the Substation Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa and the National Arts Center in Tokyo, Japan. She has received grants from the MAP Fund, National Endowment of the Arts, New York State Council of the Arts, PBS/POV and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has been published in DNAinfo, New York Magazine, Hyperallergic and WNYC. Her residencies include SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide), the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island National Monument, Governors Island, Vermont Studio Center and LMCC Workspace. Nova received a B.F.A. and B.A. from Cornell University and an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an Associate Professor of Expanded Media in the Creative Art and Technology program at Bloomfield College and the 2016 recipient of the LMCC President’s Award in Visual Art.

Djassi DaCosta Johnson

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Djassi DaCosta Johnson is a native New Yorker, dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, photographer, writer and designer.

A product of dance scholarship programs across the city (Ballet, Hispanico, Harlem School of The Arts & Clark Center), Djassi received her BA in Anthropology and English from Barnard College, Columbia University, while in the fellowship program at Alvin Ailey.

Djassi has apprenticed, performed and toured with, Dance Brazil, Earl Mosley, Bill T. Jones, Hernando Cortez, Urban Bush Women, and was a featured soloist with MOMIX for 8 years, among others. After living abroad in Brazil and then Italy for 7 years, Djassi returned to NYC and began working in front of the lens on film and TV (The Get Down, The Knick, THE INTERN and BOLDEN!), as well as experimenting with her choreography from behind the lens.

Her choreography has been showcased in Essence and Nike fashion and trade shows, in fashion films and in her own film work. She has choreographed for film and and television in Italy (I Racomandatti, “CREW 2 CREW”, Lionsgate) and collaborates internationally with visual artists, including Eddie Peak’s PERFORMA 13, Brendan Fernandes’ DISGUISE/ IN TOUCH for the Brooklyn Museum, and Lia Chavez's LIGHT BODY at Isabella Rossellini’s farm, as well as with jazz musicians (for Vision Fest, Arts for Art, Shapeshifter Longue). In 2017 Djassi was the Creative Director/ Choreographer for Museum of Sex’s VR exhibit featuring music by DIPLO.

Djassi is a published writer, and, currently the dance writer for Copenhagen based lifestyle & fashion magazine, KINFOLK. She has designed clothing, costume and accessories for her line, dja. founded in 2002 ans is co-founder and part owner of the store Radical Women in Brooklyn, NY where she sells her handmade canvas and leather bags. Djassi completed her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance & New Media/ Technology at NYU Tisch in 2018 and is currently working on several dance films and mini-documentaries in order to extend the reach of the access to dance as a transformative social art and cultural agent for change.



Ava Chin

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Ava Chin is the author of EATING WILDLY, 1st Prize winner in the 2015 M.F.K. Fisher Book Awards. Kirkus Reviews called Eating Wildly “A delectable feast of the heart,” and Library Journal deemed it one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times (“Urban Forager”), the Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, Saveur, and Eating Well, among others. She is the inaugural Jean Strouse Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, and has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. An associate professor of creative nonfiction at CUNY, Ava is working on a nonfiction book about the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act laws upon her family in New York’s Chinatown. The Huffington Post named her one of "9 Contemporary Authors You Should Be Reading."


Sheryl Oring

Sheryl Oring_Writer's Block_sculptures and works on paper_2018. Work premiered on Berlin's Bebelplabtz in 1999 and has since been shown in Budapest, the Boston Public Library, Bryant Park in New York and, most recently, at the University of Virginia.

Sheryl Oring’s work examines social issues through projects that incorporate old and new media to tell stories, examine public opinion and foster open exchange. Her public art commissions include major works for airports in Tampa and San Diego as well as commissioned performances for the City of Pittsburgh; Bryant Park in New York; the Jewish Museum Berlin; and the Berlin Wall Memorial. Oring’s work has been shown in festivals such as Encuentro in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Art Prospect Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her artist books are in collections including the Library of Congress, Tate Modern and the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg. Oring, an Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is currently planning a retrospective of her work for the Lois and David Stulberg Gallery at Ringling College in Sarasota.