Due to the Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Events May be Cancelled. Please Refer to the Official Organization’s Website for More Details.


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EMERGENYC is an incubator for artist-activists interested in developing their creative voice, exploring the intersections of art and activism, and connecting to a thriving community of independent practitioners—most of them POC, women, and LGBTQIA+ folks. First launched in 2008 at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute—and now independent, in partnership with BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Abrons Arts Center—EMERGENYC offers varied entry points into art and activism, prioritizing process, discovery and reflection, and fostering a brave space for experimentation, risk-taking and community-building. The annual program encourages participants to take interdisciplinary leaps, mix styles and traditions, and develop incisive new work at the intersection of performance and politics. Over the years, EMERGENYC has activated a strong network of artivists—in NYC and beyond—who have built solidarity across differences and challenged dominant narratives through artistic cultural resistance.

The Program: 2021 Zoom Version

While we miss the in-person experience, this pandemic-era virtual iteration has allowed for an expansion of the network of participants—folks can now be anywhere and still be a part of the cohort—which in 2020 brought us unforeseen magic and pleasure. For 2021, we will continue creating in our virtual playhouse: with a decolonial lens, we will explore the intersection of art and activism through creative writing, autobiographical narratives, group work, and other multi-disciplinary adventures—all while creating and re-creating a space in which all participants build community with one another, actively listen with their bodies, and build intentional trust to lay a foundation where compassion and risk-taking guide our work together.

The deadline to submit materials via SUBMITTABLE is Monday, February 8th, 2021 at 5pm (Eastern Time).

Selected participants will take part in weekly Sunday workshops facilitated by George Emilio Sánchez and Marlène Ramírez-Cancio, as well as workshops by established artists who are leaders in the field of performance and politics. Workshop leaders for 2021 will be announced closer to the date. (See the Faculty page to see past instructors.) We ask applicants to define issues that are important to them and explore how creative practices can harness their political voice. Participants have explored themes of racism and racial violence; police brutality and mass incarceration; joy as resistance; queer world-making; disability rights; undocumented immigrant activism; war and human rights; environmental justice; and myriad topics that affect their lives. These engagements have resulted in the creation of performance art pieces, multimedia installations, theatrical explorations, street performances, video art, and more. The program will take place every Sunday (10am–2pm Eastern Time) from Sunday April 4th to Sunday July 11th (*except for July 4th), with the final works-in-progress presented on July 8th, 2021 via Zoom.

This 3-month program has a fee of USD $500. A modest amount of financial aid will be available to cover part of the tuition on a need basis. If your enrolment depends on financial aid, please let us know in your application.

Who can apply:
EMERGENYC is now open to ALL emerging activists/artists/performers (not just NYC-based) who are fluent in English and can participate in online workshops from 10am–2pm Eastern Time. Applicants must have prior experience in various performance genres and/or activist practices. Age is not a factor (past participants have ranged in ages 18–45, all bringing their best selves to the experience); what we define as ’emerging’ is fluid, and has more to do with how you self-define than anything else. We very much encourage BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled artists to apply.

Visit the website for the online application form: www.emergenyc.org