In our very first episode of art Work, we welcome to the table Marýa Wethers, Dan Fishback, and Rasu Jilani to talk about curatorial practices! If curation is community service, what is a “good” curator? Our guests weigh in and discuss just what are the right questions, how to fail within the context of curation, and reflect on how they bring their full selves to their work. Learn more about our guests, Marya, Dan, & Rasu on Episode 1 of art Work and our guest musician, Nova Mandarke!
MARÝA WETHERS is an Independent Manager, Producer & Curator based in NYC since 1997. Marýa is currently the Director of International Initiatives at Movement Research and Project Manager for Angela’s Pulse/Dancing While Black, David Thomson and others. From 2007-2014, she worked in the Programming Department at New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop/DTW) as the International Project Director of the Suitcase Fund program, where she developed a cultural exchange program with contemporary dance artists in the USA and Africa, and managed the program activities in Eastern/Central Europe.
Marýa is a Guest Curator of the Queer New York International Arts Festival (2016 & 2015 editions) and curated the Out of Space @ BRIC Studio series for Danspace Project (2003-2007) with a particular focus on work representing the perspectives and experiences of artists who are of color, queer, and/or female. She has served on selection panels for several presenting and funding organizations in NY and nationally, including the NEA, LMCC, Brooklyn Arts Council, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and as an Advisor to NEFA’s National Dance Project program. She has served as a guest lecturer for presenting/service organizations and college/university dance programs in the tristate area. Marýa is a core member of the Movement Research Artists of Color Council and was a member of the New York Dance & Performance/Bessie Award Committee (2006-07).
Her writing has appeared in the Configurations in Motion: Curating and Communities of Color publication, organized by Thomas DeFrantz at Duke University (2016 & 2015), and her essay UnCHARTed Legacies: women of color in post-modern dance, was published in the 25th Anniversary Movement Research Performance Journal #27/28 (2004). Marýa has been featured in interviews/articles in the MRPJ #47 (Fall 2015) and Gay City News (June 2006).
Marýa is a recipient of a National Performance Network Mentorship & Leadership award and two APAP Cultural Exchange Fund grants. Marýa graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1997 with a BA in Dance and a Minor in African-American Studies.
DAN FISHBACK is a playwright, musician, and director of the Helix Queer Performance Network. Previous work includes “The Material World” (Top 10 Plays of 2012 – Time Out New York) and “thirtynothing” (2011), which were both developed at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and performed at Dixon Place, and “You Will Experience Silence” (2009), which the Village Voice called “sassier and more fun than ‘Angels in America.’” As a singer songwriter, and with his band Cheese On Bread, Fishback has toured Europe and North America, and has released five full-length albums. As Helix director, he teaches workshops, organizes public events, and curates and produces a variety of festivals and series, including “La MaMa’s Squirts.” He is currently working on a new play, “Rubble Rubble,” and a new album with Cheese On Bread.
You can find Dan on twitter at @dangerfishback.
RASU JILANI is an independent curator, social sculptor, and entrepreneur. His work investigates the intersections of art, culture, and civic engagement to raise critically-conscious conversations between artists, their local communities, and the wider public. Jilani’s projects are dedicated to promoting awareness around pressing social issues through exhibitions and community-driven programs. www.rasujilani.com
Rasu can be found in many places on the internet –
Twitter: @rasuisms / IG: rasupreme / Website: www.rasujilani.com / Project: www.griotsinthestuy.com
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.