About

At the heart of Live in America is a newly imagined collaborative research process designed to celebrate the people and voices that give America its diverse cultural landscape.

Live in America seeks to amplify the full and rich terrain of the performing arts in America by:

  1. Extending our research to include contemporary live performance and cultural practices outside of major urban centers.
  2. Creating a research and presentation system led and developed by artists, curators, and thinkers whose lives are directly shaped by the landscapes and social realities they live in and champion.
  3. Illuminating the unique nature of the very places from which this work grows.
  4. Developing platforms grounded in principles of accessibility and approachability for sharing this work.

Accordingly, our current leadership team draws attention to their own communities of artists and to the local contexts in which those artists live and work. Our team believes that live performing arts are not siloed, high-culture moments but events that dialogue with the full complexity of a home community’s day-to-day life. Performance speaks to how a grandma spreads masa across a corn husk; performance speaks to the riches and the rages of a rising ocean; performance speaks to the rhythms of a weaver crafting a rug meant to last many lifetimes over.

Live in America is a stockpile of questions and aspirations—small and large—that drive how we live and work….. What are the boundaries of “America” and what do we learn by rethinking them? How do we call attention to live performance in overlooked and under resourced communities? How do we dialogue with and promote arts leaders from these places? What actions do we need to take to create truly multivocal programmatic leadership? Who is missing? How do we include them? Can we reinvent our own producing technologies to better serve the hyperlocal needs of individual communities? How do we slow down? How do we take better care of others? Host communities more effectively? Welcome folks more warmly? How do we create ample room for joy in our work? And always, always, how do we actively listen with open minds and bigger hearts?

Facilitators

  • Shana Berger

    artist, writer, works with people

    Shana Berger is an artist and writer whose work makes space for collaboration with artists and communities. She has produced numerous public works throughout the US, and lives in Atlanta.

  • Ty Defoe (Giizhig, Oneida/Ojibwe Nations)

    have you seen my hair?

    Ty Defoe (Giizhig), Oneida + Ojibwe Nations, writer and interdisciplinary artist, and shape-shifter. Aspires to an interweaving approach to projects with social justice, indigeneity, Indiqueering time + space, and environmentalism. Scorpio.

  • Jamelyn Ebelacker (Santa Clara Pueblo)

    Well fed and well read.

    Jamelyn is a proud Santa Clara Pueblo Native artist and community activist who recently returned from serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader in the Eastern Caribbean.

  • Justin Favela

    Nachos supreme are my life!

    Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and known for large-scale installations that manifest his relationship with pop culture and the Latinx experience, Favela has exhibited his work internationally and across the US.

  • Marina Reyes Franco

    Tropical is political curator writer

    Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico and co-founder of La Ene. Research interests include the work of Esteban Valdés, and the impact of tourism in cultural production.

  • Gary James

    Empathetic, resourceful, relational, analytical, inquisitive

    Gary James, from York, Alabama, studied Rhetoric at Wabash College and Education at George Mason University. He’s a former special education teacher and teacher recruiter who currently works at Google.

  • Glenda James

    team player, volunteer, people person

    Glenda James, is a Patient Navigator at UAB. She lives in York, Alabama and volunteers for Head Start, the Coleman Center for the Arts, the Housing Authority, and her church. 

  • Wendy Kveck

    Inspired by our arts community

    Wendy Kveck is an artist, educator, advocate and organizer. Her studio practice and curatorial projects seek to create space for feminism and social dialogue around vulnerability, chaos, agency and transformation.

  • C Gypsi Lewis

    I'm both memories and premonitions.

    Black and Brown queer femme serving communities through herbal alchemy, installation art, education, and event programming to help reshape the healing art climates especially for BIPOC, queer, and undocumented persons.

  • Edgar Picazo Merino

    Can survive on bean burritos

    Edgar Picazo Merino is a multidisciplinary artist, producer, and activist. His work focuses on the exploration of border identities and on the exploration of transborder artistic and cultural dynamics.

  • Amalia Mondragón

    YA NO MAS BORDER WALL

    Amalia Mondragón is a Latin Grammy nominated Transfronterizx, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, community organizer, from the Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua, La Union New Mexico, El Paso Texas border region.

  • Jay Pennington A/K/A Rusty Lazer

    "Boundaries" means I love you.

    Jay Pennington, a/k/a Rusty Lazer, is a New Orleans-based musician and onetime DJ/ manager / creative partner of Bounce rappers Nicky Da B and Big Freedia. He co-founded the nonprofit New Orleans Airlift and its flagship project, Music Box Village.

  • Leyya Mona Tawil

    Revolution Until Victory. Day. Night.

    Leyya Mona Tawil is an artist, curator and cultural activist working with sound, dance and performance practices. Tawil is a Syrian Palestinian Detroiter, engaged in the world as such.

  • Zac Traeger

    composer, creator, open-palm enabler

    Zac Traeger is a composer, creator and open-palm enabler living in Austin, Texas.

Northwest Arkansas Local Team

  • Danny R. W. Baskin

    Baroque AF but eating well

    Danny R.W. Baskin is an artist and arts organizer living in the Ozarks. He makes meals and their surrounding objects to help facilitate conversation and sharing with friends and strangers.

  • Octavio Logo

    Gemini, Resilient, Handmade, Creative, Migrante

    Logo walks his creative path interconnecting arts, languages, people, experiences. From little details of illustration to massive strokes of murals, he attempts to transform spaces to invent, communicate and deconstruct.

  • Amber Perrodin

    Libra artist that forages mushrooms

    A community-focused artist with a fine arts degree in printmaking. Perrodin is a chronic grassroots organizer that feeds on empowering others. A mother, gardener, and friend of the forest.

Support Team

  • Pia Kishore Agrawal

    Wants to meet your dog

    Pia Agrawal is the Curator of Performing Arts at the Momentary, a multidisciplinary space for visual and performing arts, culinary experiences and an artist-in-residency program. She loves her blind cat.

  • Ron Berry

    2nd breakfast always worth it

    Ron Berry is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Fusebox Austin, a non-profit arts organization that explores the vast possibilities of live performance.

  • Daniel Carter

    a phone for old people

    Daniel Carter is a content strategist, information architect, web developer and assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University.

  • Erin Anson Ellis

    Logistics anchor who loves horses

    Erin Anson Ellis thrives when supporting the work artists create. She has been managing performing arts organizations, performances, and events in Arkansas since graduating from UA Little Rock in 2012.

  • Jeff Freeman

    Loves rhyming and good timing

    Jeff Freeman is a Consultant with Creative Capacity Network where he works with nonprofits to scale impact and accelerate growth. Prior experience includes Development Director for Double Edge Theatre.

  • Cynthia Post Hunt

    Daily Poach Eggs On Toast

    Artist, curator, programmer of dance and theater at the Momentary, and co-founder of INVERSE. BFA in Photography from SAIC and currently in pursuit of MA in Curating from Aarhus University.

  • Jessika Malone

    casual witch with a past

    Jessika is the Producing Director of Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas. As a producer, director, deviser, teacher, and community organizer, she makes meaning and mischief amid her many lives.

  • Carra Martinez

    Makes the good green salsa

    Carra is a collaborative theater artist, scholar, and educator based in Austin, Texas. She is the Director of Live in America at Fusebox Festival. She holds a PhD in Theatre Historiography.

  • Lauren Slone

    tattooed cathedral pool hall dancer

    Lauren has re-imagined and created grant programs, arts education curricula, youth mentorship programs, presentation platforms, and performance projects that democratize public access to arts and culture throughout the United States.