Photo by Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán


Artists of Color Council

A cohort of artists of color addressing cultural diversity, equity, and sustainable structural integration in MR’s operations, programming, outreach, and throughout its extended communities. The council aspires to increase visibility, opportunities, and engagement with resources for artists of color within the field.

For further information about the Artists of Color Council, please contact Council Coordinator, J. Soto at [email protected]

Get Involved

Artists of Color Council meets on the second Saturday of the month from 12:30-2:30PM, except for the four vision meetings scheduled throughout the year when the council meets from 12:30-3PM.

Vision meetings offer the time and space to pull back and consider and support our vision, mission, goals and values.

Vision meetings are held in the months of:


RSVP’s are welcomed and encouraged but not required.

RSVP for location information; please email J. Soto at [email protected]

Artists of Color Council Listserv

Subscribe to the Artists of Color Council Listserv to receive periodic updates on AoCC meetings and other events and opportunities for artists of color, or if you are interested in becoming a core council member. The Artists of Color Council is a cohort of artists of color addressing cultural diversity, equity, and sustainable structural integration in MR’s operations, programming, outreach, and throughout its extended communities. The council aspires to increase visibility, opportunities, and engagement with resources for artists of color within the field.

Subscribe here.

Learn more about the AoCC

You can learn more about the AoCC in this transcribed interview featured in MRPJ 50: Diversity and Accountability: A Conversation with the Movement Research Artists of Color Council, edited by Tara Aisha Willis.

Artists of Color Council Curation

Each season the Movement Research Artists of Color Council invites a member of the community to curate artists to participate in Movement Research at the Judson Church. Pelenakeke Brown is the curator for the Artists of Color Council Movement Research at the Judson Church Spring 2019 season. She has curated Rodney Bell, Caroline Garcia, and Kaina Quenga and Anthony Aiu of Te Ao Mana, performing April 1, April 8, and April 15, respectively.

Pelenakeke (Keke) Brown identifies as an immigrant and uninvited guest to Mannahatta, Lenapehoking. She hails from Aotearoa/New Zealand and is a Samoan, afakasi, disabled artist. Her practice is multidisciplinary and spans drawing, writing, movement, and storytelling. Her work is rooted within the Samoan concept of the ‘va’ or ‘in-between space’ and she is always interrogating the relationships amongst the in-between spaces that we each inhabit. She is a 2018 Create Change Fellow with the Laundromat Project and a founding and current member of the Alien Support Service (ASS) Collective, a collective for immigrant artists, living and working in New York City.

She is a member of Dance/NYC’s Immigrant Artists Taskforce and NYFA Immigrant Artist Program alumni. She has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center (VT), Denniston Hill (NY) and Ana Pekapeka Studio (NZ) and exhibited her work in San Francisco, Auckland and across New York. Her non-fiction creative work has been published in , >em class="markup--em markup--p-em">Movement Research Performance Journal, Hawai‘i Review, and Apogee Journal’sIndigenous #NoDAPL special edition. She is a founding member of Touch Compass, New Zealand’s first mixed-ability dance company. She attended the National Academy School of Fine Art, Studio Intensive Program, NY and received a BA in English literature and Pacific Studies from Auckland University, NZ. Currently she is the Assistant Director of Culture Push, a NYC-based non-profit arts organization.

I have selected Rodney Bell, Caroline Garcia and Kaina Quenga and Anthony Aiu of Te Ao Mana to present work responding to the theme ‘Body Sovereignty.’ Body sovereignty is being in control of how we live in relationship with our body & in control of how our body is in relationship with the world. I have curated queer and disabled bodies as I wanted to honor each different artist and sovereign body along with the inherent indigeneity of each of them.

The use of the word sovereignty is deliberate as it has many legal & historical connotations & is often used in reference to fanua (land) independence. It is fitting then that each of the artists, all from the Pacific will be responding to the theme in relationship to their own personal practice.

The curation begins with Rodney Bell (Ngati Maniapoto), who has extensively practiced in NZ and overseas. After dancing with many companies in the Bay area including AXIS he didn’t have enough resources to return home, ending up living on the streets and overstaying. Rodney’s inability to enter onto US soil is an integral component to the work, calling to attention the current immigration crisis occurring in the US but also across the world. His work explores the sovereignty of his body with the absence of his physical self through a video work. In curating Rodney, I wanted to highlight who else may not be in the space and also ask how can we care for our bodies and each other by asking him to present work. As a disabled dancer I also wished to see how Rodney would respond and explore the sovereignty of his body.

Caroline Garcia is a contemporary interdisciplinary artist who works across live performance and video, often creating hybrid works which sample and respond to colonial imagery and cultural stereotypes. Her interdisciplinary practice, and contemporary voice I thought would be a welcome layer to the curation. She has recently moved here from Australia and I wanted to tautoko (support) her practice.

Te Ao Mana are a dance collective led by Kaina Quenga and Anthony Aiu, both long-term NYC residents, originally from Hawaii. They use hula to create contemporary and traditional works, as well as teach hula, while always creating community in NYC. I wanted to extend the opportunity for these long-term dance makers to present in a new environment and share their knowledge with the MR audience and community. I wished to honor the history of the AoCC and this curation by asking three artists who are new to Movement Research at the Judson Church.

I curated three artists who I see are linked to sovereignty when I think about their practice, whether this be personally, culturally or just by being alive. The way that they each move in the world and the artistic choices that they make are acts of freedom and sovereignty, in my opinion. Together, they add a nuanced layer of what sovereignty for themselves their practice and communities might look like.

This curatorial work is rooted within the Samoan concepts of ta (time) and va (space), the va is spatial relationships, with each other and the world. This curation traverses borders, occurs across time zones & the moana (sea) to investigate the mana (power) and relationship between all the different sovereign bodies of the curated artists involved.

I am really excited for this leadership opportunity offered by the AoCC and to tautoko (support) each of these artists.

Ia Manuia,

Pelenakeke (Keke) Brown

Core Council Members

Council Coordinator

Former and Founding Council Members

Artists of Color Council Curation: Each season the AoCC invites a member of the community to curate artists to participate in Movement Research at the Judson Church. Here is a look at the past few season curations.

Artists of Color Council Curation Fall 2018

Arielle Rosales is the curator for the Artists of Color Council Movement Research at the Judson Church fall 2018 season. She curated Kevon Simpson, Ethan "Simba" Graham and Havanna Fisher performing October 8, November 5 and October 1, respectively.

We are living in a pivotal time in history. With the urgency to change our future, we reflect on the past, only to find ourselves losing track of living in the present. Our world is in dire need of healing love and raw truth. Or is it raw love and healing truth? Either way, I believe the answer is Art. We need it now more than ever.

Duende. One's inner creative spirit. The profound energetic force than inspires our art. As Spanish poet Federico García Lorca describes, "Duende is a force not a labour, a struggle not a thought. I heard an old maestro of the guitar say: 'The duende is not in the throat: the duende surges up, inside, from the soles of the feet.' Meaning, it's not a question of skill, but of a style that's truly alive: meaning, it's in the veins: meaning, it's of the most ancient culture of immediate creation." When we have nothing else, we have duende. [...]

Read the full curatorial statement here!

-- Arielle Rosales, Curator Fall 2018 (Movement Research, Artists of Color Council)

Artists of Color Council Curation Spring 2018

Each season the AoCC invites a member of the community to curate three artists to participate in Movement Research at the Judson Church. The Spring 2018 curator is Chloe C. Chotrani, who has curated Rina Casero Espiritu, Zavé Martohardjono and Jana Lynn (JL) Umipig, performing on February 12, 19 and May 7.

Chloe C. Chotrani is a movement artist and writer based in Singapore. She was a dance scholar with Romancon Dance in Manila and has worked with Legit Status Philippines, B Supreme London, Evidence Dance Community, Movement Research and Gibney Dance in New York. Her creative research is oriented towards her ancestry, the dance ethnography of Southeast Asia, eco-feminism and the decolonisation of people. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and a BA in Arts Management from De La Salle - Saint Benilde in Manila completed through a Dance Scholarship.

Currently, she is an Artist in Resident with Dance Nucleus tacking the topic of "Post-Colonial Tactics" through dance and dance research. She is also a guest writer for Arts Equator and works in the field of permaculture (permanent agriculture) with Cultivate Central in Singapore, bridging creativity and ecology. She lives a soft approach through embodied research as the cyclical driving force of her collaborations and creations. Find her on her website.

Curatorial Statement || Softness

These bodies draw from a post-colonial present that radiates the soft, fluid and the erotic as our creative power force. Embodied living is radically called for as we continue to dance within the global crisis. Diaspora discourse of the matriarch with Rina Casero Espiritu, Jana Lynn (JL) Umipig along with the queer vista of Zavé Martohardjono.

Artists of Color Council Curation Fall 2017
The Fall 2017 / Winter 2018 curator is Ebony Noelle Golden, who has curated Audrey Elaine Hailes, Jaime Yawa Dzandu, Courtney J. cook performing on October 16, 30, and November 13.

Curatorial Statement || Experiments in Creative Emancipation

Audrey Elaine Hailes, Jaimé Yawa Dzandu, and Courtney J. Cook make work that is challenging, thick, messy, purposeful, durational, muscular, textured, and requires full-bodied participation from the audience. This is the kind of art we need. Cheers to these bold and necessary artists for making work that challenges the times and sets a vision for emancipation in action.

Read the extended curatorial essay by Ebony Noelle Golden here!

Program note: Malcolm-X El-Shabazz Betts performed in Audrey Elaine Hailes's work, What's In Tha Laughin' Barrel, with Jaimé Yawa Dzandu on October 16 as part of Movement Research at Judson Church Artists of Color Council Curation.

Movement Research Performance Journal #50 included a cover artist portfolio that explained the evolution of the AoCC curation on [email protected] each season. The follow notes are collected from that section of this publication:

Prior to 2009, Trajal Harrell curated two artist of color per season. In Fall 2009 this initiative took on the model of rotating curators that the rest of MR’s programs have. Each AoCC Curator selects three artists of color for the season.

2009 Fall: Regina Rocke
2010 Spring: Joyce S. Lim

2010 Fall: Martin Lanz Landázuri
2011 Spring: Isabelle Lumpkin aka Narcissister

2011 Fall: Enrico Wey
2012 Spring: Christal Brown

2012 Fall: niv Acosta
2013 Spring: Saul Ulerio

2013 Fall: Nia Love
2014 Spring: Ryutaro Mishima

2014 Fall: Justin Cabrillos
2015 Spring: Tara Aisha Willis

2015 Fall: Ni’Ja Whitson
2016 Spring: Paloma McGregor

2016 Fall: AoCC including Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Ryutaro Mishima, Alicia Ohs, Lisa Parra, yon Tande (Whitney V. Hunter), Marya Wethers, Ni’Ja Whitson
2017 Spring: AoCC including: Ehizoje Azeke, Stanley Gambucci, Ryutaro Mishima, Alicia Ohs Lisa Parra, Lily Bo Shapiro, J. Soto, Brittany Williams.

2016-2017 Season Note: In Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, the AoCC collectively curated the AoC performers for Monday nights and continues to collectively select an artists-curator for the program as they reevaluate the visibility and structure of this AoC curation, The Fall 2017 AoC Curator (collectively selected by the AoCC) will be Ebony Golden.

When the Artists of Color Coucil (AoCC) was formed in 2016, the rotation AoC curation moved to the council; sometimes curating artists of color directly.

Past Artists


Studies Project: Immigrants for immigrants: taste of home

Christopher Unpezverde Núñez, Lisa Parra, Naomi Elena Ramirez, Raha Behnam, Rina Casero Espiritu, Remi Harris
October 15, 2018 6:30pm - 9:00pm