THE FELLOWSHIP

The Fellowship is a six-month paid residency for two individuals to collaboratively create a new performance-based project exploring environmental justice. Fellows will spend 10 hours/week developing this project with regular opportunities to share work, participate in other programs of Superhero Clubhouse, and engage with our community. The Fellowship will culminate in a presentation for an invited audience.

INTRODUCING OUR 2018-2019 COHORT

 

Fellows

Shy Richardson
 Shy Richardson is a writer, performer, teaching artist, from New York City. She has performed all over New York City, as well as internationally, 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
Karina Yager leads interdisciplinary research on the human dimensions of climate change. Her current NASA research is focused on integrating satellite image analysis with ethnographic studies to understand climatic and social drivers of land use change in South America. Karina works with indigenous pastoralists and local stakeholders to identify adaptive strategies for sustainable management of mountain ecosystems impacted by climate change. Karina’s areas of expertise include global environmental change, mountain socio-ecological systems, land cover land use change, and Andean studies. She is an Assistant Professor in Sustainability Studies, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, New York.

Shy and Karina are collaborating for the first time to explore the displacement of Puerto Ricans following Hurricane Maria. Together they will create a performance project utilizing their combined skills and strengths including spoken word poetry, oral storytelling, climate science, and community engagement. Shy and Karina have never met; they applied separately as individuals, and were paired together based on complementary interests and experience. They will present a work-in-progress performance in late March 2019.


Associate Fellows


We were so excited by this team that we created an Associate Fellows track! Performer/healer Aya Lane and photographer/filmmaker Imani Dennison will be given rehearsal space, a modest budget, and a work-in-progress performance opportunity to begin developing Drexciya, an epic multimedia performance piece stitched together by a video quilt of archived audio interviews, set in an alternative universe, and exploring water as a tool of oppression as well as a source of healing. Click on the photos to read their full bios.
 

Finalists


Join us in celebrating our wonderful finalists! Click on their photos to learn more about them.

THE DETAILS

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, including non-artists and artists.
  • To spotlight voices with unique and important perspectives on environmental justice.
  • To bridge the perceived gap between social justice and environmentalism.
  • To offer a holistic approach to eco-performance by engaging new people in the programs, tools, and community of Superhero Clubhouse.

WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?

When all people receive equal access to clean air, water, and food. When communities on the front-lines of climate change are protected from 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 non-human ecosystems are thriving together.

We view our work as a small facet of a larger cultural shift within the framework of a Just Transition, from Movement Generation.

WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT?

Fellows are expected to develop an original performance-based project, to share their progress with the Superhero Clubhouse community each month, and to present a draft of this project for an invited audience at the end of the Fellowship. Fellows are also encouraged to participate in other Superhero Clubhouse programs and activities such as Big Green Theater classroom sessions and social gatherings. Applicants must reside in the NYC-metro area 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.
  • Space for Fellows to meet and work will be reserved at the beginning of the residency, based on the needs of the project.
  • Rehearsals and a work-in-progress presentation will take place in March during the final weeks of the Fellowship; studio space and additional personnel (i.e. actors) will be provided, and invitations will be sent to relevant professionals, colleagues, and friends.
  • Additionally, Fellows will be supported in their process through these activities:

CHECK-INS

At the beginning of each month, Fellows will meet with leaders of Superhero Clubhouse to discuss their process.

SALONS

At the end of each month, Fellows will attend two-hour Salons at The Lark Play Development Center. The Salon is a monthly peer-group for artists and thinkers to explore the intersection of environmental justice and performance. It offers an opportunity to unpack environmental concepts, share methods of creating eco-theater, engage with our Fellows as they develop performance material, and form collaborative relationships.

LABS

Twice during the sixth months, a five-hour Eco-Performance Lab will be offered to Fellows and open to the public. 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 hosted during the Fellowship will be catered to the subject matter of the Fellows’ project.

EXTRACURRICULARS

Throughout the six months there will occasionally be opportunities for Fellows to attend relevant performances, galleries, lectures, or similar events happening in NYC with core members of Superhero Clubhouse. Fellows are also encouraged to attend weekly classroom sessions of Big Green Theater (BGT), our ongoing eco-playwriting program at Bushwick schools, to observe fifth-grade students in the process of writing their own eco-plays. And there will be opportunities to gather socially with the Superhero Clubhouse community at our monthly Happy Hours and annual Solstice Celebration.

HISTORY

The Fellowship was piloted in the fall of 2016 in NYC with a mixed ensemble of theater and environmental professionals. Our original Fellows: 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 BrowneJonathan Camuzeaux, Lanxing Fu, Nada Petrovic, and Jeremy Pickard.

Our Fellowship was piloted as the Science and Stage Collaborative Fellowship, a new initiative uniting environmental experts and theater artists in a semester-long residency to tackle pressing questions about humanity’s relationship to climate change.

The Fellowship gives participants an opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals in other disciplines to address critical issues. Fellows will actively practice creating devised theater based on rigorous research, and learn new ways of communicating their work to a public audience.

From September-December 2016, a diverse ensemble of experts simultaneously studied a variety of climate change topics and approaches to theater-making through a series of workshops, excursions, and rehearsals. The fellowship program 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.