Black Diaspora

Founded and curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the Black Diaspora initiative supports up-and-coming, Black-identifying and Afro-Latinx dance and performance artists from various cultural backgrounds and aesthetic traditions.

Conceived by curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprising, Black Diaspora launched its first activities in September 2020 as a Zoom-based peer support program serving up-and-coming, Black-identifying and Afro-Latinx dance and performance artists. With the support of Gibney, Black Diaspora has offered numerous peer group discussions, workshops led by notable guest artists, and conversations between artists. We celebrate the resourcefulness, accomplishments, and generous wisdom of Black creatives, educators, and activists.

Among the many renowned guests Black Diaspora has welcomed in its first two years are Ayodele CaselBebe MillerCharmaine WarrenCynthia OliverGilbert T. Small IIJ. BoueyJerron HermanKayla HamiltonNi’Ja WhitsonOmari WilesPaloma McGregor, and Raja Feather Kelly.

Aside from monthly workshops and guest artist conversations—events now also open to the Black-identifying and Afro-Latinx public—Black Diaspora has awarded several of its members grants for rehearsal space at Gibney with no expectation of finished product. These grants offer artists time to dream, play, and experiment; initiate, develop, or fine-tune work; invite guests for feedback; meet with collaborators; or record their developing or finished work.

Entering its third fiscal year in September 2022, with a cohort of nine members, Black Diaspora will continue its growth into a full-fledged residency program including the following developments:

  • an annual stipend for registered members
  • continuation of the space grant program through Gibney
  • informal studio showings
  • a customizable mentorship program
  • leadership development opportunities
  • resource and skill exchanges
  • networking opportunities
Members of Black Diaspora’s Third Year cohort (Sept. ‘22-June ‘23)

Alexandra Jean-Joseph
Angelica Mondol Viaña
Beau Banks
Jenny Boissiere
Kendra Ross
Makayla Peterson
Maya Simone Z
Trinity Dawn Bobo
Wendell Gray II

Photo Credits, clockwise: Marýa Wethers by Erik Carter; Suzan Baraka by John Jay; Marjani Forté-Saunders by Ian Douglas; Brandon Kazen-Maddox by Travis Magee; Alexandria Wailes by Jeremy Folmer; Ishmael Houston-Jones by Robbie Sweeny.