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Town Stages Announces the recipients of the third annual, 2020 Sokoloff Arts Creative Fellowship and its Inaugural Residency Program recipients at Town Stages
March 30, 2020
Last week, the Mayor ordered a shutdown of all Cultural Arts Spaces in order to protect everyone’s health and safety in response to Covid-19. Today the governor ordered that 100% of non-essential workers must stay home; effectively shutting down the city. We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. However, this world, our one singular world, has been in crisis for some time, from sociopolitical & institutionalized oppression to the growing climate emergency. As the entire arts industry grinds to a halt; the inequities and and community crises are more visible than ever before. No singular individual can guide us forward; it is, in fact, the community itself that will have to band together and through nothing more than sheer will; forge a way ahead. Which is why, even though our doors are temporarily closed, we are taking this moment to announce the group of luminary change makers working at Town Stages this year. We know that their thoughtfulness, ingenuity, creativity and care will help light our way.
Town Stages is proud to announce the 2020 slate of recipients of the third annual Sokoloff Creative Arts Fellowship and inaugural Residency Program.
Adam Odsess-Rubin (National Queer Theater), Adefolakunmi Adenugba (ISE-DA), Adrianna Mateo, Aimée Sophie Garcia, Alie B. Gorrie, Amy Jo Jackson, Andi Lee Carter, Andrea Prestinario (Ring of Keys), AriDy Nox, Arpita Mukherjee (Hypokrit Theater Company), Brandon Powers, Bryanna Bradley, Darlene Arrington, Denitia Odigie, Diana Oh, Dustin H. Chinn, Florencia Iriondo, Hester Li (LAUNCH), Janelle Lawrence, Jasmin Richardson, Jolaubi Osho (HERoines Inc.), Julian Hernandez, Julián Mesri, Kate Douglas, Kristin Yancy (MinuteZero), Laura Winters, Lili Torre, Matthew J. Schneider, Mei Ann Teo, Mika Kauffman (Trans Theatre Alliance), Nancy Sun, November Christine, Rachel Gita Karp, Rebecca Louise Miller, Shakina Nayfack (Savage Godx), Sugar Vendil, Sydney Baloue, Tia DeShazor, Tiff McFierce, Trevor Latez Hayes, Troy Anthony,Zachariah Ezer, Zach Infante, Althea Stevens and Amoy Barnes, Emily Hartford and Ned Massey, Jacob Jarrett & Nina Roy, Julia Cavagna and Kate Bell (Theater to the People), Iyvon Edebiri and Katy Donnelly (The Parsnip Ship), Larissa Marten and Leia Squillace (Herd).
Town Stages, Tribeca’s premier cultural arts space, event venue, and cocktail bar is home to this distinguished Fellowship and Residency Program elevating creators working at some intersection of arts, media, civics, social justice, and small business entrepreneurship in New York City.
The 2020 Sokoloff Arts Creative Fellows receive approximately 400 hours of available weekly workspace for free in Town’s multi room state-of-the-art venue to work, rehearse, write, meet, organize, connect, collaborate, dream big, and build new systems for our collective future. This like-minded cohort of luminaries have opted to work in community with one another for a full year inside Town Stages at 221 West Broadway, with support and guidance from the Town’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors who are committed to fostering the visibility and sustainability of their work.
The inaugural Resident Artists at Town Stages were selected from the 2019 fellowship class to receive a second year of newly expanded fellowship resources and extended evening hours. Residents will also operate as leaders in our community, providing a second tier of guidance and learning opportunities for fellows. The ever-growing community of makers at Town Stages foster an environment where all are welcome, systemic and institutional norms are challenged, and new pathways can flourish.
The Town Stages 2020 Resident Artists are Charlotte Arnoux, Éamon Boylan, Molly Powers Gallagher, Tess Howsam, Rachel Lin, Anna Lubina, Benjamin Moniz, Marina Montesanti, Zach Morris, Tara O’Con, Alex Parrish, Tidtaya Sinutoke, Jeff Tang, Will Thomason, Rebecca Vineyard, Vanessa Walters, Emma Rosa Went and Jamila Youngstedt.
Since 2012, Sokoloff Arts (501c3) has been enthusiastically claiming space in New York City for women, people of color, lgbtqia+ and immigrant folks to lead their way. Having opened its largest facility yet in the Fall of 2017, Town Stages and Sokoloff Arts have been working in tandem to operate a self-sustaining brick and mortar cultural arts facility that reimagines access and equity in New York City through building spaces for public assembly, creativity, and conversation.
“Affordable and accessible space should not be a privilege, it is a human right” says Town’s Founder & CEO, Robin Sokoloff. “Making space for today’s community leaders who are building a more compassionate and inclusive world IS our business. While we cannot ignore the late-stage capitalist structure under which we live; we can, however, work tirelessly to disrupt and subvert it. We do so openly, and in conversation with our fellows to build the most nimble, adaptable, and strongest vessel we can for their advancement.”
As part of a growing movement to dismantle discriminatory real estate and labor practices in New York City, Sokoloff and her team have successfully woven Town Stages into the tapestry of New York’s cultural landscape as one of the largest independently founded, operated, and women-led facilities in Manhattan in over 30 years. Over the past two years, Town Stages has supported 600+ events, created 1,000+ local jobs, and subsidized over 5,200 hours of arts programming to the public while fostering a Creative Fellowship Program for recipients whose work is accessible, ethical, pioneering, enterprising and inclusive.
“Just 4 weeks ago, we were celebrating how far we’ve come – having grown our operation to expand the size of this vital program. Then 3 weeks ago, we welcomed our new class of fellows in.” says Sokoloff. “There is so much we don’t know about COVID19. This unfolding health and labor crisis is sending shock waves through our industry. While we can’t be together at Town at this time, we are going digital and supporting folks from there.”
Doing arts & small business advocacy under fire is nothing new to Sokoloff Arts (501c3), having opened a number of independent arts spaces small to large over the last 8 years, in one of the most competitive real estate markets New York City has ever seen.
“We’ve weathered countless storms to get this far, and it’s made us resilient and strong,” says Vice President Staci Jacobs. “It’s important we keep championing independant spaces and their hard working people at this time. We will fight for them from the dark, and we will fight for them when our doors are open once more. This team will never stop advocating for the visibility and crucial contribution of our artists, our organizers, our workers, and our visionary young cultural leaders to build the world we all want to live in – where we can gather, overcome, and move as one.”
Town Stages/ Sokoloff Arts (501c3) is a cultural space and institution in Tribeca advancing equity for arts, hospitality, civic and social justice workers. We build places of assembly in New York City that transform the face of leadership on our stages and screens – one story, one song, one endeavor at a time. We center the voices of women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, and people of all abilities. We fight to disrupt harmful real estate and labor practices, and help our sister arts and nightlife venues survive and thrive.
For more information, visit https://townstages.com/2020-saf-recipients/
To amplify our COVID19 call to action go to http://www.robinsokoloff.com/move-as-one