In the 4th episode of art Work, we are privileged and excited to have Sarita Covington guest host in honor of Black History Month! Together with her guests, Ebony Noelle Golden and Paloma McGregor, the trio talk about art, resistance, and liberation. Are you just joining the party? Are you chasing the thing? What IS Liberation? This conversation will lead you through art-making, lessons in collectivity, visions of resistance… ultimately, to be FREE.
Learn more about Sarita, Ebony, and Paloma below. Many thanks once again to NovaMandarke for sharing his music.
SARITA COVINGTON is a multi-disciplinary artist/ activist from Harlem. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. She is co-founder of Company Cypher, an arts organization dedicated to transforming the conversation about race and skin tone prejudice by using theatre and hip-hop education to build community. She co-founded ACRE (Artists Co-Creating Real Equity), an organizing body that works closely with grassroots community organizers the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to provide Understanding & Undoing Racism/ Community Organizing Workshops for artists and cultural workers. She is also a collaborating artist with social impact organization B3W Performance Group, who are currently working on an international project called Forgiveness.
Her work has received support from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Open Meadows Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Jerome Foundation. and BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange). Sarita has facilitated workshops for Fishkill Correctional Facility, Yale Schools of Divinity and Drama, Artspace’s City Wide Open Studios, NYC Public Schools, Philadelphia Charter School students, Danish High School students, Mexican youth in a Tijuana orphanage and the 59th Street Project.
Propelled by an unflinching pursuit of creative emancipation, cultural wellness, and social justice EBONY NOELLE GOLDEN, native of Houston, Texas currently residing in the Bronx, serves as principal engagement strategist at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative and the artistic director of Body Ecology Womanist Performance Project. BDAC is a cultural arts direct action group that works to inspire, instigate, and incite transformation, radical expressiveness, and progressive social change through community-designed, culturally-relevant, engagement initiatives, and creative projects.
As a strategist, Golden consults, co-creates, designs, implements, and evaluates impact-driven projects and initiatives that push for social transformation. As an artist-scholar, Golden stages site-specific rituals + live art productions that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now. In 2016, she developed a seminar course, served as a lecturer of Womanist and Black Feminist performance art at The New School, and co-edited an anthology of experimental womanist writing published by Obsidian Journal of Literature and Arts.
Golden is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU where she is developing125th and Freedom, a performance art installation of ten choreopoetic rituals along 125th street between the Hudson and Harlem Rivers. The work explores home, migration, displacement, and the eradication of black space due to cultural, spiritual, and political gentrification.
You can find Ebony on Twitter at @bettysdaughter1 (twitter), on Instagram at @ebonygolden. Learn more about her work at Bettys Daughter Arts at bettysdaughterarts.com
PALOMA MCGREGOR (Director, Angela’s Pulse/Dancing While Black) is a New York-based, Caribbean-born choreographer whose work focuses on centering Black voices through collaborative, process-based art-making, teaching and organizing. A deeply rooted practitioner of intersectionality, she creates projects in which communities of geography, practice and values can vision their roles in enacting a more equitable and joyful future. She has worked with grandparents, children, environmental educators, academics and other artists to create a wide range of work, including a dance through a makeshift fishnet on a Brooklyn rooftop, a structured improvisation for a floating platform in the Bronx River and a devised a multidisciplinary performance work about food justice with three dozen community members and students at UC Berkeley. Residencies include: 2016-17 NYLA Live Feed; 2014-16 BAX Artist in Residence; 2014 LMCC Process Space; 2013-14 NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Artist in Residence; 2013 Wave Hill Winter Workspace; Grants include: 2015 Surdna Foundation, Dance/USA; 2016 MAP Fund.
You can Paloma on Twitter and Instagram at @AngelasPulse (Twitter + Insta) or at the website here. You can learn more about the Dancing While Black fellowship on Facebook + Twitter at @dancingwhileblack (Facebook + Twitter)
Born Damone Barlow Jr in Harlem on September 8th 1992, NOVA MANDARKE
was raised around music. Living next to the famed Palladium Nightclub in the mid 90s, Nova met music artists like Method Man, Q-Tip and even Biggie Smalls. Living near the Lower East Side and attending elementary school at P.S. 63 (3rd St & Avenue A), Nova became very familiar with the neighborhood. Spending countless days and nights hanging out in the Lower East Side, Nova began to love the neighborhood and it’s immense diversity which has influenced some of the sounds in his music.
Two weeks after turning 11, Nova experienced a tragedy that would shape his future. His father was murdered due to drug dealing activities. The death of his father sent Nova into a spiral of depression that would only be beat with the power of music. His older brother and fellow artist, Rated, introduced him to Kanye West’s The College Dropout and it was at this moment, Nova knew music was his calling. At the age of 14, Nova recorded his first song and by 2011 had released his first mixtape, The Love @ 1st Sight, under the name Young Nova.
After taking a few years to master his craft, Nova Mandarke plans to take New York hip-hop to a new level. He will be releasing the Rico Suave (Dave East – KD) produced track Right Here on November 4th exclusively on iTunes, Spotify & Tidal, with a follow up release near Thanksgiving.
Talk to us at @fourthartsblock on twitter (#artWorkthePodcast).
Many thanks to Brandon and Cooper Square Committee.
Associate Producers: Risa Shoup & Denise Shu Mei
Audio Engineer: Timothy McAleer