University Settlement will receive a $25,000 contribution from the Eugene M. Lang Foundation in support of The Performance Project at University Settlement, with an emphasis on the Artists-in-Residence program.
At University Settlement, Artists-in-Residence (AIRs) are selected for their demonstrated ability to create high-quality work and for their experiential understanding of what it means to create while embedded within the rich complexity of a truly diverse community. AIRs work with University Settlement communities, who are often underrepresented in New York City’s cultural sector, to create new performance art that uplifts their voices and advances social justice. Past AIRs have had their work shown at prestigious art institutions and festivals in New York and around the world, including La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, Spoleto Festival in Italy and Pittsburgh, the Whitney Museum of American Art, BRIC, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The current Artist-in-Residence cohort includes:
- Jasmine Eileen Coles, who has presented workshops on healthy-eating and wellness to students in Early Childhood and at Cornerstone at Campos Plaza. Her project, “The Tale of Chef Kale”, is a show that explores the meaning of soul food with curiosity and wonder, offering a holistic perspective to wellness. http://www.thetaleofchefkale.com/
- George Tsz-Kwan Lam, whose project “Chinatowns”, will document the oral histories of Chinatown residents and present them in a walking-tour app of the neighborhood. George has also held workshops with Adult Literacy classes and an open workshop for the University Settlement community. https://www.gtlam.com/
- Cyrus Aaron, who will work with Brooklyn community members in Bed-Stuy and Fort Greene documenting the neighbors and neighborhoods. He’s currently working with the Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC) in Fort Greene on this project. https://blkhrs.com/
“The Eugene M. Lang Foundation’s generous support of our Artist-in-Residence program means that we will be able to engage even more artists and communities in this deeply meaningful work,” said Baba Israel, who directs The Performance Project. “This funding comes at a crucial time when artists and our communities have been hit hard by the pandemic, and will allow us to support creative projects developed by our AIRs that help us to reflect, heal, and work towards a more just society. With this grant, we will be able to host more community-led performances that bring neighbors together for artmaking.”
About the Eugene M. Lang Foundation
The Eugene M. Lang Foundation is a private family foundation that seeks to effect change in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and human services, and justice.
The Foundation prioritizes giving to programs and organizations that are demonstrably creative in concept and excellent in substance; that elevate people’s spirits, goals and capacities above the level of basic needs, primarily through opportunities for meaningful education, participation in the arts and civic activity, and enhanced health education and social services; and that promote inventiveness and entrepreneurship. https://eugenelangfoundation.org/
About University Settlement
University Settlement partners with 40,000 New Yorkers on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn every year to build on their strengths as they achieve healthy, stable, and remarkable lives. For 135 years, we’ve collaborated with our communities to pioneer highly effective programs that fight poverty and systemic inequality. Established in 1886 as the first Settlement House in the United States, we bring the values of that movement into the 21st century by meeting New Yorkers where they live, listening to their perspectives, recognizing their excellence, understanding them as complete individuals, and creating space for them to organize. Joining together with our neighbors to advocate for justice and equality, we help build community strength. https://www.universitysettlement.org/
Since 2007, The Performance Project has been offering local young artists and professional emerging artists opportunities to connect, create and publicly present new work. We support artists who are interested in how live art can heal, empower and activate. https://www.universitysettlement.org/programs/arts/performance-project/