The search is over – we're excited to welcome Lisa Clair as the new Associate Curator and Coordinator for The Performance Project.
Lisa is a New York-based performer, playwright, curator and teaching artist. She has collaborated and performed with various companies, including The Theater de la Jeune Lune and Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis, as well as Banana Bag and Bodice, Nelly Tinder, Dan Fishback, and Immediate Medium in NYC.
Her new position with US is actually not her first; just last year, Clair was one of our artists-in-residence, where she wrote and directed her original work Yeh I've been Searchin'/I Dream of Bas Jan Ader. As an artist-in-residence at the Settlement, she was also responsible for launching a community project; she started a chorus for our Creative Center program, which provides arts activities and opportunities for self expression for older adults with cancer and other chronic illnesses. When her tenure ended, she jumped at the chance to come back barely a year later to work with US.
"It's such a great place, and there are so many wonderful things going on here. In my time here as an artist-in-residence, I really only touched the tip of the iceberg, so coming back will give me a new opportunity to get to know the Settlement," Lisa remarked.
Sitting in her office in the back of Speyer Hall, she's been with US only a few weeks and is already up to her elbows in applications for the next batch of artists-in-residence. "It's really great to be on the other side of this. Not so long ago, I was working on my show and with the Creative Center – I started a chorus, and we sang and created sea shanties. Some of them were actually added to my show. But now, I'm getting to look at these artists in a different way. I want to find the best fit for the Settlement and the community around it, because that's what this is all about."
Lisa is taking the helm of The Performance Project while Alison Fleminger moves onto a new role as Director of Arts Programming. Moving forward, Fleminger will be working on stronger integration of the arts into our early childhood programs; but she's more than sure that The Performance Project is in good hands with Lisa. "Not only is she an exceptional singer/actress with spot-on comedic timing, she's also a poignant playwright and theater director who can achieve her vision with style and grace. And, on top of those abilities, she is a seasoned teaching artist who skillfully connects people of all ages to their innate creativity. So I'm certain she will attract and facilitate many exciting experiences for our community."
Though her new role is behind the scenes instead of on the stage, we're excited to have Lisa Clair back with University Settlement. Stay tuned for more news in early 2015 with the announcement of our new artists-in-residence and upcoming shows.