IAS Faculty Organize Alive 3.0 Spring Performance Festival

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This Spring Quarter 2019, IAS faculty members Anida Yoeu Ali and Naomi Macalalad Bragin, professors from Critical Acts: Socially Engaged Performance Research Interest Group (RIG), are organizing the Alive Performance Festival and Critical Acts Visiting Artist Residency. Now in its third consecutive year, Alive animates campus, asking UW Bothell and extended communities to engage, witness and participate in performance as social justice activism. This year Professors Ali and Bragin will be assisted by a new production seminar of fourteen undergraduate students, along with fellow faculty RIG members Jed Murr, Minda Martin, Thea Quiray Tagle, Gavin Doyle and Diana Garcia-Snyder. With the initial help of affiliate faculty Jade Power-Sotomayor, the Alive festival began in 2017 as an effort to feature original student performances, research and projects, produced across various IAS courses and presented in myriad locations from classrooms to studios, public spaces to screening rooms. Alive has contributed to enriching and activating campus, growing a culture of art-making and performance-participation, and linking a variety of course offerings that engage the language of performance.

Alive 1.0 poster

Alive 2.0 poster

Last April 22-28, 2018, Critical Acts hosted its first weeklong Visiting Artist Residency with Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist, educator and Cave Canem poet Avery R. Young. On April 23, 2018, Global Media Lab students transformed the North Creek Event Center from a carpeted lecture hall into a stunning river runway made of thousands of hand-torn gradated shades of blue and white paper. Young’s fifty-minute spoken word performance de skin off my blk captivated the full house. Young’s work examines Black American history and culture, focusing on social justice, equity, queer identity, misogyny and body consciousness, blended through phonetics, linguistics, hymns, jazz and hip hop. The same twenty-four Global Media Lab students collaborated on set, lighting, and sound design, as well as documenting the live performance with multiple cameras. Their challenge, explains Professor Ali, was “to create an environment for Avery, thinking about the meaning of his work and the context which is required for his works to come alive.”

de skin off my black poster

avery r young at de skin off my blk

avery r young on the river of redemption stage

Within UW Bothell’s pedagogical framework of Community Based Learning & Research, the Critical Acts Artist Residency aims to broaden and deepen visiting artists’ engagement with wider communities of the Pacific Northwest. During his residency, Young spent an immersive week within the Seattle-Tacoma region, offering an expansive series of workshops, readings, lectures and collaborations, to deepen connections with thousands of audience members, including students and faculty across the UW tri-campuses, as well as broader off-campus communities. Young spent three consecutive days on the UW Bothell campus, teaching workshops in performance and creative writing courses, giving a public performance, and collaborating on short film projects with Global Media Lab students. Additionally, Young spent two days on the UW Tacoma campus, teaching a poetry writing workshop and filming a collaborative film with Studio Revolt, a media lab co-directed by Professors Anida Yoeu Ali and Masahiro Sugano. Young’s off-campus engagements included performances and talks at Seattle Public Library, Alma Mater Tacoma, Lincoln High School, Tacoma Community College  and the University of Puget Sound.

Imagine Showcase poster

students performing

Mateo Domingos performing

The Spring 2018 culminating Imagine Showcase took place Friday, May 29, gathering audiences backstage in Mobius Hall, where curtains were drawn shut to create a “reverse” black box theatre. Students, faculty and their communities enthusiastically witnessed performances titled “Sporadic Stories,” “Larval Improvisation,” “HEAR/Our Stories”, and “Los Domingos Solo Miramos Lifetime”, from classes including Performing Diaspora, Performance and Belonging, Doing Performance Research, Global Media Lab, and introductory courses in Theater, Dance, and Improvisation, taught by professors Gavin Doyle, Diana Garcia-Snyder, Deborah Hathaway, Anida Yoeu Ali, Masahiro Sugano, Jade Power-Sotomayor, and Naomi Macalalad Bragin.

Alive 1.0 performance

Alive 2.0 performance

For 2019, Alive 3.0 begins mid-quarter with the Critical Acts Visiting Artist Residency, May 7-13. This year's weeklong residency features Gregg Deal, a nationally renowned artist, in a multiform visual art exhibition at Mobius Gallery entitled Existence as Protest (Opening May 13). Alongside his exhibition, Deal offers “in-studio” live painting and storytelling sessions, an artist talk (May 8) and performances in various public spaces of the UWB and Cascadia campuses. Joining Deal on May 9th for a roundtable discussion are local Indigenous artists Storme Webber, RYAN! Fedderson and Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho. Deal will extend his residency to the UW Tacoma campus for a film screening of The Last American Indian on Earth (May 10) and perform a durational work at Tacoma Art Museum (May 11).

In Weeks 8 & 9, May 20-29, participating performance-based courses contribute to the Alive 3.0 Performance Festival: Open Studio Week. These cross-promoted showings of student works-in-progress happen in classrooms and/or around UWB public spaces. Past Open Studio Weeks have included poetry and staged readings, video installations, interactive media and film projects, improvisational performances, dance choreography and more. A full schedule of this year’s screenings, showcases and performances are publicized on the Alive 3.0 festival poster. Alive culminates with the Imagine 2019 Showcase, a curated staged evening of outstanding student performances, free and open to the public, Friday, May 31, at North Creek Events Center.

Alive 3.0 and the 2019 Critical Acts Visiting Artist Residency is a tri-campus effort between UW Bothell, UW Tacoma and Cascadia College. All events are made possible with generous support from the IAS Dean’s Fund, IDISCO Research Interest Group Initiative, UW Bothell Diversity Center, American Ethnic Studies Curricular Area Working Group, Mobius Gallery, BEST Grant, UW Tacoma Center of Equity and Inclusion, and UW Tacoma Social and Historical Studies.

Schedule of Alive 3.0 Festival Events and Programs

Gregg Deal

Existence as Protest painting

Dakota Camacho

Critical Acts 2019 Visiting Artist Residency: Gregg Deal’s Existence As Protest - all events Free and Open to Public

Alive 3.0 Performance Festival: Open Studio Week

May 20-29, 2019 | Various times and locations around campus

Imagine 2019 Performance Showcase

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 6:30-8PM | North Creek Events Center | Free and open to public