Ends on



The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University is now accepting applications for its thirteenth year of EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program focused on political performance. EMERGENYC aims to support the development of hemispheric emerging artists through a program of workshops and events between Sunday, April 5th and Sunday, July 2nd, 2020 (see “The Program” section below for details).  

We seek talented, committed and highly motivated emerging performers/activists/artists whose work aims to be a vehicle for political expression, and who examine the broad range of identities, practices and histories of the Americas through forms such as performance art, spoken word, urban interventions, satire, culture jamming, political cabaret, theater, creative activism, video performance, movement, and others. Drawing on the vitality of New York City as a hemispheric crossroads, the program will enable performers/activists to work with leading practitioners in the field, to take interdisciplinary leaps, and to develop their own strategies to use performance for social change. 

EMERGENYC '17 Alumni 

The Program

Selected participants will take part in weekly Sunday workshops led by George Emilio Sánchez, as well as workshops by established artists who are leaders in the field of performance and politics. (Workshop leaders for 2020 will be announced soon—check hemisphericinstitute.org/en/emergenyc.html for a list of previous guest instructors, which have included: Alicia Grullón, Anna Deavere Smith, Avram Finkelstein, Carmelita Tropicana, Dan Fishback, Daniel Alexander Jones, Ebony Noelle Golden, Ed Woodham, Fulana, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, The Illuminator, Jennifer Miller, Karen Finley, Pamela Sneed, Pat Hoffbauer, Split Britches, Susana Cook, Tim Miller, Luis Rincón Alba as well as EMERGENYC alumni, like Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Ricardo Gamboa, among others). 

We ask applicants to define issues that are important to them and explore how creative practices can harness their political voice. Past participants have explored themes of racism, racial stereotypes, and racial violence; LGBTQ rights; gender and sexuality; war and human rights; environmental justice; religion; and gentrification, etc. These engagements have resulted in the creation of workshops in community programs, interviews with members of various communities, and the creation of performance art pieces, multimedia installations, theatrical explorations, street performances, video art, and more.

The program will be divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: every Sunday (10am-2pm) from April 5th to May 10th, participants work closely with George Emilio Sánchez in developing performance and activist strategies, such as Boalian techniques, performance art, and site-specific interventions.
  • Phase 2: intensive daily sessions (10am-4pm) from May 11th to May 17th, participants work closely with leading practitioners, and explore specific tactics for work in the field.
  • Phase 3: Sundays (10 am-2pm) from May 24th to June 28th, participants refine their work for a final presentation, building on the strategies explored through the workshops.

Final Performance presentations July 2, 2020: participants will share their strategies, performances, and installations during an evening program at Abrons Arts Center.

*Please note: Abrons Arts Center is wheelchair accessible. Accommodations will be made for participants who for some reason may be unable to access the space.
This program has a fee of $1,000. A modest amount of financial aid will be available on a need basis. If your enrollment depends on financial aid, please let us know in your application below.


Who Is Eligible

EMERGENYC is now open to activists/artists/performers who live in (or can easily commute to) New York City. Applicants must have prior experience in various performance genres and/or activist practices.

Conflicts and attendance: Any conflicts applicants have with the EMERGENYC schedule (see above) should be noted in their application. Please note: Accepted participants with more than two absences, whether excused or not, may not be guaranteed a slot in the final performance at Abrons Arts Center on July 2nd, 2020. 

Clarivel Ruiz  

How to Apply

The deadline to submit materials on Submittable is Monday, January 27, 2020 at 5pm (EST). 

You will be asked to submit:

—A biographical statement (maximum 500 words)
This is your chance to let us know who you are, where you're from, your performance background, and your current obsessions/projects. Please do not submit this in the third person as if you're talking about someone else; we want to hear it in your voice, in the first person. Talk to us.
—A statement of purpose (maximum 750 words)
This statement describes the reasons you want to participate in EMERGENYC. Please also outline the specific issues you would want to address through the program and any preliminary ideas about the communities or practices that would ground this work.
—Your resume or CV
—Two (2) work samples (See Application Form for details)
—Info for the two (2) people writing you letters of recommendation. (Your recommenders must upload to Submittable and also email a copy to hemi.emerge@nyu.edu.)
—OPTIONAL: A paragraph explaining your request for financial aid to cover the $1000 tuition. Be as detailed as possible to help us understand the circumstances of your needs.

For any questions about the application form or how to apply, please send us an email to hemi.emerge@nyu.edu. Finalists will come in for interviews in March; registration payment will be due the first week of April.  



The Hemispheric Institute at New York University launched EMERGENYC in 2008 as an incubator for emerging artists working at the intersection of performance and politics. Offering varied entry points into art and activism, the annual program prioritizes process, discovery and reflection, fostering a ‘brave space’ for experimentation and risk-taking. Since its inception, it has activated a strong network of local artivists – many of them from traditionally underrepresented communities – who have built solidarity across differences and who continue to challenge dominant narratives through artistic cultural resistance. For more information about EMERGENYC, visit:  https://hemisphericinstitute.org/en/emergenyc


About NYU's Hemispheric Institute 

The Hemispheric Institute (Hemi) connects artists, scholars, and activists from across the Americas and creates new avenues for collaboration and action. Focusing on social justice, we research politically engaged performance and amplify it through gatherings, courses, publications, and archives. Our dynamic, multilingual network traverses disciplines and borders and is grounded in the fundamental belief that artistic practice and critical reflection can spark lasting cultural change. For more information on the Hemispheric Institute, visit: http://hemisphericinstitute.org


About Abrons Arts Center 

Abrons Arts Center is a home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. A core program of the Henry Street Settlement, Abrons believes that access to the arts is essential to a free and healthy society. Through performance presentations, exhibitions, education programs, and residencies, Abrons mobilizes communities with the transformative power of art. For more information about Abrons Arts Center, visit: http://www.abronsartscenter.org/about/


Photo Credit:

  1. EMERGENYC 2017 and 2018 street performances
  2. Troizel Carr, EMERGENYC '17 Alumni
  3. Arantxa Araujo, EMERGENYC '17 Alumni
  4. Clarivel Ruiz, EMERGENYC '17 Alumni
  5. Nicole Goodwin, EMERGENYC '17 Alumni
  6. Edgar Javier Ulloa, EMERGENYC '15 Alumni, Street Performances
  7. Massima Desire, EMERGENYC '15 Alumni
  8. EMERGENYC 2014 Cohort