Live Arts’ resident artists reflect the organization’s unparalleled commitment to developing new work and supporting the artist’s creative growth. The organization’s three Resident Artist programs include the Resident Commissioned Artist, the Live Feed Program and the Fresh Tracks Program. These wide-ranging residency programs cover new project development for artists at all stages of their careers from conception to premiere, offering infrastructural, networking and production support.
“Live Arts has established itself as one of New York City’s most exciting and vital arts organizations, and with that comes an immense responsibility to significantly and continually further the support of artists,” said Thomas O. Kriegsmann, Director of Programs. “We are incredibly proud to begin this two-year journey with Okwui, as well as extend and clarify our commitment to the artists’ creation of new work, a vital element of any city’s thriving artistic milieu.”
During her tenure as RCA, Okpokwasili will develop her newest multi-disciplinary performance piece, Poor People’s TV Room. Rooted in a kinetic history surrounding the women’s resistance movement in Nigeria, the work draws from historical events to explore the amnesia around collective action initiated by African women, building a dystopian narrative around the impact of that erasure. Created with collaborator Peter Born, the work integrates choreography, song, text and film to make a visceral performance where the past and present collide. Poor People’s TV Room will be presented at the end of Live Arts’ 2016-17 season. Additionally, Bronx Gothic, Okpokwasili’s celebrated work at the intersection of theater, dance and visual art installation, will be specially envisioned for the Live Arts stage and presented in October 2015.
“I am thrilled to be named Live Arts’ newest RCA, and to receive the depth of support that this award and commission brings,” said Okpokwasili. “I now have a two year span where my greatest concern can be the breadth of my imagination and the rigor of my practice. I look forward to this collaboration with New York Live Arts."
The Resident Commissioned Artist (RCA) Award, the highest tier of artistic support offered by New York Live Arts, is an unprecedented initiative that is the largest of its kind in the United States. Awarded to an outstanding mid-career artist, the program provides nearly $200,000 in direct support, including a salary each year for two years plus full health benefits, two years of residency time and a commission of a new work or works to premiere at New York Live Arts. Past Live Arts RCA’s have included Yasuko Yokoshi and Kyle Abraham.
New York Live Arts' Resident Commissioned Artist program is made possible through a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.