5 Innovative Black Performers to Know About
In honor of the Black Lives Matter movement and all of the people risking their health and safety to fight for justice on the streets across America, we wanted to highlight a few black performers and companies run by people of color that are inspiring us by doing innovative work and enacting change in our communities. We hope you check them out.
This Minneapolis based improv troupe seeks to “put more Black performers on more stages, to create comedic dialogue around serious truths, and to provide improv access for Black students. Blackout is changing the face of comedy stages in Minnesota” Blackout Improv performs quarterly and holds trainings, workshops, and performances for nonprofits, colleges, and corporations all over the globe. Check them out and support their work here.
Ellice Patterson is the founder and director of Abilities Dance Boston, a company that aims to promote dance for individuals with and without disabilities. She used both her walker and wheelchair in her recent solo dance performance “Trimordal”. In reference to her company’s work, Patterson said “A lot of disability work is pretty white. We’re focusing on the people of color. And not just that, but trans people of color and queer people of color with disabilities.” Hear an interview with Ellice Patterson here.
This New York City based theater and film production company aims to “provide artists of all kinds the opportunity to create, write, produce or perform while promoting local communities as diverse, inclusive places where people want to live work and visit” They will be performing their monologue driven piece “Of Mothers and Men” with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe via zoom on June 17, 2020 08:00. Join the event here.
Mahogany L. Browne is a spoken word poet, author and activist based in Brooklyn. She spent more than a decade as the Friday Night Slam curator and Poetry Program director at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and is the Black Lives Matter program coordinator at Pratt Institute. Her books include "Woke Baby" and "Black Girl Magic". Follow her on Instagram and See her calendar of upcoming zoom events here.
Tarish Pipkins, otherwise known as Jeghetto, is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina based master puppeteer and educator. He has created several incredible puppet performances that are available to book, including the Afrofuturistic Hip Hopera 5P1N0K10, which was awarded the Henson Foundation Grant two years in a row. You probably already know his work from the Missy Elliot video WTF (Where They From) in which he performed the Pharrell puppet. He also teaches workshops to kids and hosts community events at public libraries in North Carolina. Jeghetto can be booked for your private event, including birthday/private parties. He also can be commissioned to build personal puppets for both children and adults, and paint murals and personal portraits.