The Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute’s Culminating Performance

Urban Bush Women (UBW) presents the 2022 Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) Culminating Performance livestreaming from New York City on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at on Saturday 18 June at 4 pm EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 3 pm CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 pm PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7), and then again at 6 pm EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 5 pm CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3 pm PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

In partnership with Junebug Productions and The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB)Urban Bush Women’s annual Summer Leadership Institute returns to shared space for the first time since 2019, and broadcasting with an accessible livestream production by CultureHub.

Afternoon Performance

Evening Performance

“The SLI is the rootball of Urban Bush Women’s leadership development. It is where we deepen, strengthen, and expand our values ​​with the participants of the SLI. Since its inception, over 1,500 participants have become part of the Urban Bush Women’s circle of change-making.”
—Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women Founder

Earlier this year, UBW welcomed Choreographic Center Initiative Fellow and UBW Company Alum Paloma McGregor as its new SLI Associate Director. “The SLI is like a second home to me,” says Paloma. “Since I first experienced it as a scholarship participant in 2004, it has been a place where I have deepened my vision, values ​​and leadership. SLI seeded my passion for cultivating creative communities, so I’m grateful for the chance to reinvest in and grow the SLI as Associate Director.”

UBW’s SLI is an intensive ten-day convening where participants will learn effective ways to deepen or begin work as artists who desire to connect art to community organizing and progressive social change strategies. This year’s theme is “Are We Democracy?”

“A democracy, like a dance, requires practice. The theme “Are We Democracy?” Challenges, emboldens, and invites us to rigorously practice our democratic aspirations and visions in the community. It calls us to turn our visions into action.”
—Paloma McGregor
SLI Associate Director

The SLI forges an “artist as activist” methodology that offers a complex set of competencies and techniques that have evolved from UBW’s 35+ years of art-making practice. UBW believes it is valuable to “use movement to build a movement.” SLI leadership development includes:

  • Embodied Learning through Dance and Movement Classes
  • UBW’s Entering Building and Exiting Community (EBX) Workshop
  • The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s Undoing Racism Workshop
  • Presentations
  • Asset Mapping
  • Dialogue and Discussion

2022 SLI participants will partake in multiple activities during the ten-day convening including a Fort Greene Neighborhood Tour visiting historical Black landmarks and neighborhood businesses.

The SLI closes with two public live streamed 2022 SLI Culminating Performances. These performances include all 2022 SLI participants using music, dance, theater, visual design, and spoken word to integrate the learning from the SLI.

About Urban Bush Women
Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, demanding and exciting works that brought under-told stories to life through the art and vision of its award-winning founder, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora under the artistic direction of Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis.

Off the concert stage, UBW has developed an extensive community engagement program, BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance). UBW’s largest community engagement project is its Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). This ten-day intensive training program connects artists dance professionals with community-based/activists in a learning experience to leverage the arts as a vehicle for civic engagement. UBW launched the Choreographic Center Initiative (CCI) in January 2016. The CCI supports the development of women choreographers of color and other underheard voices.

About Junebug Productions
Junebug Productions is the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theater (FST). In 1963, field secretaries John O’Neal and Doris Derby, along with student leader Gilbert Moses, co-founded FST to be a cultural wing of SNCC. FST went on to become a major influence in the Black Arts Movement. In 1965 FST moved its base from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana. The theater’s first professional tour was of Freedom School Project sites. It continued to use arts to support the Civil Rights Movement through a community engagement program and training opportunities for local people interested in writing, performing and producing theater as well as touring.

About The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB)
The People’s Institute believes that racism is the primary barrier preventing groups from building effective coalitions and overcoming institutionalized discrimination and inequities. Through Undoing Racism®/Community Organizational Workshops, technical assistance, and consultations, The People’s Institute helps individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions move beyond addressing the symptoms of racism to undoing the causes of racism so as to create a more just and equitable society . Founded in 1980 by long-time community organizers Ronald Chisom of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Dr. Jim Dunn of Yellow Springs, Ohio, The People’s Institute has impacted the lives of nearly one hundred million people both nationally and internationally. Through this process, it supports a cadre of anti-racist organizers who build leadership and accountability in the communities where they are organizing. Today, The People’s Institute is recognized as one of the foremost anti-racism training and organizing institutions in the nation. In a 2002 Aspen Institute survey of eleven top racial justice organizations, five credited The People’s Institute with having the most effective anti-racist analysis.

About CultureHub
Since its founding in 2009, CultureHub has grown into a global network with studios in New York, Los Angeles, Korea, Indonesia, and Italy, providing connected environments for artists to critically examine our evolving relationship to technology. Through residencies, live productions, and educational programming, CultureHub advances the work of artists experimenting with emerging technologies in search of new artistic forms. CultureHub builds new partnerships that expand our network and provide increased access to online and offline platforms that fuel artist mobility, create opportunities for cultural exchange, and broaden human understanding through the convergence of art, technology, and education.

Leave a Comment