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Hi-ARTS Announces Fall 2021 Artists-in-Residence


Alexander Lambie, Tanika I. Williams and collaborative duo Kirya Traber and Sissi Liu will be artists-in-residence.

Hi-ARTS Announces Fall 2021 Artists-in-Residence

In a year of resilience, growth and joyful celebration of its 20th anniversary, Hi-ARTS - an urban arts incubator that has helped develop acclaimed works of art from creators including the likes of Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Alex Alpharaoh and Ebony Noelle Golden - has selected its Fall 2021 CRITICAL BREAKS and SKY LAB residents. Alexander Lambie, Tanika I. Williams and collaborative duo Kirya Traber and Sissi Liu will be artists-in-residence in CRITICAL BREAKS, Hi-ARTS' residency for artists who are in a pivotal phase of creating new work, providing an intensive development process culminating with a public sharing. Dance-theater collective Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances) and LINDALA join SKY LAB, which supports socially engaged artists who center community in the development of their work, including practitioners who create outside of the traditional studio or theater. All artists are reflective of Hi-ARTS' mission to foster artists who employ Hip-Hop and urban aesthetics, especially Black artists and artists of color, and amplify their work within and beyond the organization's home in East Harlem.

Alexander Lambie is a member of Middle Voice Theater Company and an alumnus of Atlantic Acting School. Working primarily in performance and theater, Lambie will continue developing Wittiness!, a one-person show performed through his drag persona Gina Cakestand. African-Jamaican writer, and video and performance artist Tanika I. Williams investigates Black women's use of movement, mothering and medicine. Williams, who holds an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, plans to continue the development of PRESSING, a performance centering on an archival recorded interview between a matriarch and her great-granddaughter in order to illustrate and disrupt the generational cycle of family separation and its residual trauma. Nationally awarded writer, performer and cultural worker Kirya Traber and award-winning musical theatre specialist and multimedia artist Sissi Liu will bring audiences If This Be Sin, a musical about the queer Harlem Renaissance entertainer Gladys Bentley.

The New York-based dance-theater collective SLMDances will work in collaboration with music producer Ebonie Smith, visual artist Shani Peters and quilter Dr. Kim F. Hall to create an on-site multi-disciplinary exhibition entitled: What does PURPLE sound like? In partnership with Changing the Narrative, PURPLE's community engagements facilitate the collection and amplification of oral histories with a focus on New York City public housing communities. Born of the House of Labaija, multidisciplinary performer, recording artist, writer, teacher, curator, host and model, LINDALA will lead new members of the House/ballroom community into weeks of discovery in Ballroom movement, culture and legacy. With a special focus on welcoming and centering the voices of Black Trans artists and femmes, she will begin to shape a production that speaks to the issues in the lives of those who participate.

This summer, Hi-ARTS will relocate to a larger space within their current home at El Barrio's Artspace PS109 in East Harlem, allowing for increased programming as well as a quickly expanding staff.

To learn more about Hi-ARTS, visit

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