Superhero Clubhouse currently offers two paid Fellowship programs: A six-month Duet Fellowship for two individuals, and the Lower East Side Coastal Community Fellowship for an ensemble of LES residents.
Lower East Side Coastal Community Fellowship
The LES Coastal Community Fellowship is a three-year paid creative residency for a group of neighbors and stakeholders in the Lower East Side of Manhattan to reflect on the decade since Hurricane Sandy, build upon existing community resilience to climate impacts, and envision a thriving future for the neighborhood through performance-making.
Ten participants, selected from an open application process and follow-up interviews, met (virtually) in October 2020, presenting original work on Zoom, and in person in October 2021, presenting the next phase of work on Avenue B as part of Fourth Arts Block's Open Art Outside event.
The Fellowship will culminate with a public performance event in October 2022 at the ten-year anniversary of Sandy, celebrating life in the neighborhood and inviting the community to participate in imagining a just, resilient future in the midst of the climate crisis.
The 2020 & 2022 iterations of the LES Fellowship were co-produced and facilitated with The Arctic Cycle.
Meet our LES Fellows
The 2020 Lower East Side Coastal Community Fellowship was made possible in part with public funds from Creative Learning, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of former Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by LMCC. LMCC serves, connects, and makes space for artists and community.
The Duet Fellowship is a six-month paid residency for two individuals to collaboratively create a new performance-based project exploring climate and environmental justice. Fellows develop this project with regular opportunities to share work, participate in other programs of Superhero Clubhouse, and engage with our community. The Fellowship culminates in a presentation for an invited audience.
Meet our 2020 Duet Fellows
Watch Echoes of Liberation: A People's Calling, the short film created by Donnay and Diana (with Raghav Ravi, Cyán Williams, and Nkoula Badila and her mom) and included as part of the June 20, 2020 Fellowship culminating Zoom event. In addition to sharing the film, Donnay and Diana led attendees in guided meditation, free writing, and collective song-making in the legacy of Freedom Songs. Congratulations to Donnay and Diana on their six-month collaboration!
Cecilia Lim (she/her/hers) Based in Queens, NYC, USA (Lenape territory), Cecilia Lim leads collaborative and participatory art projects that raise awareness of social issues, illuminate the work everyday individuals are doing to create a just world, and show how to get involved in this work. Cecilia’s ongoing project in support of environmental justice, Remember Y(our) Connection/Tandaan And Ating Ugnayan, uplifts the wisdom of community members on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Project photos and video were shown at the Queens Public Library in Woodside, NY, and the project was featured in The FilAm Magazine and on Balitang America and Asia Pacific Forum.
Anita Raman (she/her/hers) is a Sustainability Program Manager with 12+ years of experience in the fields of environment and climate change. Most recently, she managed a $10 million dollar portfolio of global projects to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in the Global South. She has been a United States delegate advocating for science and technology cooperation, and supported several U.S. environment technical agencies with implementation of regulations and climate adaptation projects. At the UN, she was a key player in the organization and signing of the Paris Climate Agreement. Some of her former clients and employers include the United Nations, NY Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, US Department of State, USEPA, and Columbia University. A published researcher, Ms. Raman graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science from UCLA and a Masters of Arts degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.
Cata Romo (they/them) Cata is a biker, jardinerx, program designer, and an intergenerational collaborator. They have worked within layers of the environmental movement, youth empowerment and visual/embodied storytelling for the past seven years. Their work has spanned museums, cultural spaces and environmental campaigns. Some writing communities they have been a part of include Ms. Fiallo’s Woman of Color writing class at Casa Azul in East Harlem back in 2014 and Bushra Rehman’s Two Truths class in Brooklyn repeatedly over the years. Their most recent residency be found at http://artistservices.bax.org/residencies/needing-it/ , and a current project, BiCi, an immigrant girls bike crew, can be found at @cycle.bicininxs on IG.
Y? (he/him) is an Artist and Educator who manifested in his current physical incarnation in Queens NYC. He believes in the power of Art to transform perception and by changing our selfs change the word. His latest project is www.ShooterArt.com
Thank you to our wonderful 2020 selection committee: Josh Browne (Ph.D., Columbia University Earth & Environmental Engineering, Founder Rho AI & Superhero Clubhouse Officer – New York, NY), Houston Cypress (Director, Love the Everglades Movement -Miccosukee Otter Clan), Shy Richardson (2019 Superhero Clubhouse Fellow and Program Director, El Puente Bushwick Leadership Center – New York, NY), Meena Malik (Program Manager, Theater, New England Foundation for the Arts – Los Angeles, CA), Claire Moodey (multidisciplinary theater artist & Superhero Clubhouse Ambassador- Brooklyn, NY), and Mauricio Pita (Community Programs Manager, Arena Stage & Superhero Clubhouse Ambassador- DC).
WHY DID WE CREATE THIS FELLOWSHIP?
- To provide resources for people to make work at the intersection of environmental justice and performance.
- To strengthen this work through collaboration across backgrounds and disciplines.
- To uplift the voices of people on the frontlines of climate and environmental crises.
- To align environmental justice with other social justice movements.
- To invite more people to practice within the eco-theater frameworks of Superhero Clubhouse (read our Eco-Theater Manifesto).
WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?
When all people receive equal access to clean air, water, and food. When frontline communities have the resources they need to be resilient to disaster. When all people, especially those who have historically experienced the greatest impacts of environmental degradation, have a voice in shaping the future. When human communities and the multitude of other species who make up our global ecosystem are thriving together.
We view our work as part of a larger cultural shift within the framework of a Just Transition, from Movement Generation.
WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT?
Fellows are expected to spend 5-7 hrs/week collaboratively developing an original performance-based project, to share their progress with the Superhero Clubhouse community each month, and to present a draft of their project for an invited audience at the end of the Fellowship (June 2020). Applicants must reside within the five boroughs of NYC for the duration of the residency.
WHAT RESOURCES ARE OFFERED?
- Each Fellow will receive a $500 stipend every month for six months, totaling $3,000.
- Up to 10 hours/month of studio or meeting space will be reserved for Fellows based on the needs of their project and space availability.
- Rehearsals and a work-in-progress presentation will take place during the final weeks of the Fellowship. An additional 10 hours of rehearsal space and other personnel (i.e. actors, tech support) will be provided, and invitations will be sent to relevant professionals, colleagues, and friends.
- Fellows will receive access to Materials for the Arts, a reuse center in Queens, for free production materials.
- Additionally, Fellows will be supported in their process through these activities:
Each month, Fellows will meet with leaders of Superhero Clubhouse and the Fellowship Producer to discuss their process.
Each month, Fellows will attend gatherings hosted by Core Members of Superhero Clubhouse. These gatherings will offer stepping-stones for Fellows to share work or solicit feedback in a low-stakes, personal environment. Gatherings are also social events where we share food, conversation, and skills relevant to environmental justice and the arts.
In January, Fellows will participate in an Eco-Performance Lab, open to the public but focused on Fellows’ research. The Lab is a creative workshop for a mixed group of artists and non-artists to confront ecological crises through theater. Beginning with a presentation of research and culminating in short performances made by participants, The Lab is an introduction to Superhero Clubhouse’s approach to theater-making, offering tools to explore questions about who we are and how we move forward in our new, turbulent reality. The Labs will serve to kickstart the Fellows’ project and to learn how others engage with the same topic.
BIG GREEN THEATER
In January, February, and March, Fellows will attend our Big Green Theater classroom sessions. Big Green Theater (BGT), run in partnership with local theaters, is an eco-playwriting program for public elementary students that amplifies the imaginations of young people most impacted by our new climate reality by bringing their ideas to life on stage. Fellows and student playwrights will engage in conversation about the collaborative process, offering each other guidance and feedback on their respective projects.
The Fellowship officially begins in December at Superhero Clubhouse’s annual Solstice Celebration, a holiday party for our community, where Fellows will be introduced. The Fellowship officially ends on June 20 with a party celebrating the Summer Solstice and the culmination of the Fellowship.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
We welcome NYC-based people of all experience, whether you are a professional artist, have a performance background, no performance background, or identify as a mix. We especially encourage people who are from, or deeply engaged with, a frontline community in NYC to apply. We are seeking people who:
- Value art as vital to environmental justice.
- Are excited about making original work that is inventive and challenging.
- Want to work collaboratively with someone outside their field or practice.
- Want a holistic experience with Superhero Clubhouse; to be connected through this Fellowship to our ecosystem of plays, people, and programs.
- Can fully commit to the schedule as laid out below (scroll down).
- Live within the five boroughs of NYC.
Equity and inclusion are central values of Superhero Clubhouse. We recognize that differences in identity including age, background, class, gender, nationality, disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and perspective are essential to our organization and our processes. We are committed to uplifting voices from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized communities. All applications will receive equal consideration.
You may only apply as an individual
We are accept two Fellows for our Duet program. If you are accepted into the Fellowship, you will be paired with someone who likely has a different skill set, background, or discipline from your own. We will make a match based on complementary interests and approaches to process. Individuals will develop one project together over the course of the six-month Fellowship.
Applying with a colleague
If there is a specific someone from outside your discipline with whom you want to collaborate, and you haven’t collaborated before, encourage them to apply separately. There is a question on the application where each of you can let us know that you would like to work with the other.
NOTE: We are looking to support new collaborations. If two of you apply hoping to be paired together, we may still choose only one of you. If you already have a long history of working together, this Fellowship probably isn’t the best fit.
Is this Fellowship for me?
Maybe you’re a composer and you’ve always wanted to make something with a marine biologist. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent living in a heat-prone neighborhood who wants to make a show with your professional dancer friend. Maybe you’re a community organizer interested in collaborating with an architect. Maybe you’re a playwright and you know an amazing business owner in your community with whom you want to tell stories.
Our 2018-19 Duet Fellows were poet Shy Richardson and climate scientist Karina Yager, who together created a spoken word performance piece about the displacement and resilience of Puerto Rican people surrounding Hurricane Maria. Shy and Karina had never met before being paired together through the Fellowship.
Those are only a few examples; the possibilities are endless.
The application process is now closed. For information on the application process or the Fellowship in general, please email Fellowship Producer Noelle Viñas firstname.lastname@example.org.
- August – Applications Open
- October – Applications Due
- November – Rolling Interviews & Fellows Announced
- December – Fellowship Orientation & Winter Solstice Celebration/ Fellowship begins
- June – Work-in-progress showing/ Summer Solstice Celebration/ Fellowship ends
These are the points we use to evaluate applications:
- Applicant lives within the five boroughs of NYC or in NJ with easy access to public transit.
- Applicant can fully commit to the process and activities of the Fellowship from December 15, 2019- June 20, 2020.
- Applicant expresses a clear commitment to environmental justice, in alignment with the values of Superhero Clubhouse and the principles of a Just Transition.
- Applicant clearly states how the Fellowship will create a space or opportunity that did not previously exist for them.
- Applicant expresses a passion to continue engaging in this work beyond the Fellowship, in whatever form that may take, and expresses intent to use work created during the Fellowship as a launching pad for future development, collaborations, or practice.
- Superhero Clubhouse can reasonably support the needs of the applicant based on what is shared about their practice, process, and skill set. (e.g. we do not have consistent access to a studio with a trapeze, so we may not be the best fit to support an aerial artist who is looking to use that practice in this Fellowship.) We are open to applicants bringing their own resources to the process if they have needs beyond what we can give, but that would need to be clearly stated in the application.
- Applicant’s work samples and interests inspire excitement in the Review Committee and Fellowship facilitators about the potential project that could come out of the Fellowship process
If for any reason you are unable to submit an online written application, please email or call Fellowship Producer Noelle Viñas to arrange an alternative. Feel free to reach out with other questions!
Phone: (862) 930-5003
Noelle Viñas is a Uruguayan-American playwright, educator, and theater-maker from Springfield, Virginia and Montevideo, Uruguay. She is a resident playwright at Playwrights Foundation and a 2019 Djerassi Resident Artist. Her play Derecho won the 2019 John Gassner Playwriting Award, was an Honorable Mention for the 2019 Jane Chambers Award, a 2019 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship semifinalist and a 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist. Her play La Profesora was produced by TheatreFirst and is in development for a podcast called Abuelito with We Rise Production. Other past favorite jobs include being HowlRound’s first staff assistant at Emerson College, running Annandale High School’s theater program alongside Theater Without Borders in Virginia, and producing her play Apocalypse, Please in San Francisco with Kevin Vincenti. She is currently attending Brooklyn College for her MFA in Playwriting under Erin Courtney.
Shy Richardson is a writer, performer, teaching artist, from New York City. She has performed internationally, in NYC, and has worked with youth from the barris of Barcelona, to the borough of Brooklyn. She believes wholly in the transformative nature of the arts, and their value in social justice and reform. She hopes to see the world using her art as a tour guide, as well as continue to use poetry and hip hop to inspire and develop youth at home, and beyond its borders.
Karina Yager leads interdisciplinary research on the human dimensions of climate change. Her current NASA research integrates satellite image analysis with ethnographic studies to understand climatic and social drivers of South American land use change. She works with indigenous pastoralists & local stakeholders to identify adaptive strategies for sustainable management of mountain ecosystems impacted by climate change. She is Assistant Professor in Sustainability Studies, School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, New York.
Shy and Karina collaborated for the first time in our 2018-2019 Fellowship to explore the displacement of Puerto Ricans following Hurricane Maria. Their piece, Trés Marias, is a new performance work that explores climate justice, Puerto Rican identity, and hope after hurricanes. Weaving personal stories of loss and resilience that bridge New York, Puerto Rico, and the glacial Andes, Trés Marias is a love poem to the communities that emerge from the wreckage of displacement.
2018-2019 Associate Fellows
In 2018-2019, performer/healer Aya Lane and photographer/filmmaker Imani Dennison created a work-in-progress performance, Drexciya Study II. Drexciya is an underwater mythical resistance story honoring the black diaspora’s complicated relationship to water. It seeks to question what can be done to help heal our relationship to water so that we don’t lose it. Click on their photos for full bios.
2018-2019 Fellowship Presentation
The Fellowship was piloted in the fall of 2016 in NYC with a mixed ensemble of theater and environmental professionals. Our original Fellows were Anthony Dvarskas, Nadia Foskolou, James Kennedy, Jame McCray, Stephanie Pearl, Skye Van Rensselaer. The Fellowship was managed by Alexandra Tsubota. The Fellowship was originally conceived and developed by Sergio Botero, Josh Browne, Jonathan Camuzeaux, Lanxing Fu, Nada Petrovic, and Jeremy Pickard.
It was originally called the Science and Stage Collaborative Fellowship, an initiative uniting environmental professionals and theater artists in a semester-long residency to tackle pressing questions about humanity’s relationship to climate change.
The Fellowship was an opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals in other disciplines to address critical issues. Fellows actively practiced creating devised theater based on rigorous research, and learned new ways of communicating their work to a public audience.
From September-December 2016, the ensemble studied climate change topics and approaches to theater-making through a series of workshops, excursions, and rehearsals. The Fellowship culminated in the performance of a new work made by the ensemble, which took place on December 18, 2016 as the centerpiece of Superhero Clubhouse’s annual Solstice Celebration.