Arts/Counter Act 2

WACD Speaker Series

Arts Counter/Act is an ongoing speaker series devoted to creative and critical examinations of relationships between the arts, institutional racism, and global white supremacy. The webcast forum features recent MFA and PhD alumni from the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, which is made up of four departments: Architecture and Urban Design, Art, Design | Media Arts, and World Arts and Cultures/Dance.

Contributors to this series will discuss how original research and artistic production can unsettle racist practices and structures, collectively considering myriad issues. One guiding query, however, asks whether performance, scholarship, and arts education can truly foster anti-racist and decolonial approaches without first explicitly countering institutional racism and the colonial structures which persist in academia and the university system.

December 1st speakers: Bernard Brown, Carl Schottmiller, Jenna Delgado, Jade Charon.

Bernard Brown is an artist, educator, and arts activist who investigates the intersections of blackness, belonging, and memory. Lester Horton Award and Westfield Emerging Artist Award recipient, they are an Assistant Professor of Dance at Sacramento State University and a Certified Katherine Dunham Technique Instructor candidate. The Los Angeles Times has called them "...the incomparable Bernard Brown…”

"Breath, Belonging and Beyond: Activating All Spaces"

Focusing on breath, articulation and community building, this conversational
experience will incorporate many influences including African-American cultural practices, pedagogical touchstones and embodied historiography. How can joy be a catalyst for inclusivity in creative processes, educational contexts and social spaces? Moving with integrity and emphasizing wholeness, Brown will facilitate this workshop, this dialogue highlighting the work of his mentors and their impact on his social justice focused practices.

Jade Charon is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, filmmaker, and international dance educator, hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based in Brooklyn, NY. Charon is an Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College. She received an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in Dance and Theater from Columbia College Chicago. Charon was awarded the 2020 Hicks Choreographer Fellowship from the School of Jacob's Pillow. In 2018, Charon was selected as the Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellow from BAM(Brooklyn Academy of Music). Charon views her work as ministry and uses her platform to investigate the many ways in which her art can cultivate positive social change in the world from a Black female lens.

I use dance as a ministry. As a choreographer and filmmaker, I am interested in creating culturally relevant work that brings awareness to the human conditions across the world through my Black female lens. My interdisciplinary process of creating site-specific dance films and pairing them with live dance performance provides accessibility and inclusion to underrepresented communities in performance spaces. By using movement vocabulary that merges African American Social Dances, Ballet, Modern, and West African dance, with an internal emphasis on Spirituality in performance, my works often provide reflection and education opportunities for the participating performers and audiences while taking them on a spiritual journey.

Jenna M. Delgado received her PhD from the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance in 2015. Her research focuses on community-based practice analyzing subjectivity, pedagogy, aesthetic hierarchies, institutional power, and disciplinary authority. While at UCLA, Jenna worked with the Art & Global Health Center, collaborating on several of its art-based health interventions.

Delgado has been a community-based artist and activist since 1991, when she began as an actor/peer educator with an HIV education theater ensemble in Los Angeles County. She spent several years in social services as a trainer for primary care givers, teaching about socio-cultural issues relevant to the HIV health crisis, and worked as a dialogue facilitator in several educational, social justice, and activist arenas. Currently, as a community-based artist, she specializes in collaborative art projects within non-profit and grass roots sectors, emphasizing critical explorations of lived experience and social justice.

Dr. Carl Schottmiller is the Faculty Fellow for Accessibility with the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning, a faculty member with the Liberal Studies Department and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at California State University, Los Angeles, and an active member of the California Faculty Association union.

Working in higher education requires navigating an oppressive system that is often actively hostile to the work of antiracism. In this talk, I draw from my work in different sectors at Cal State LA to share advice for leveraging opportunities to incorporate antiracism into ongoing practice. I discuss how to effectively incorporate civic engagement and student-centered pedagogy into your teaching, how faculty and staff navigate the university’s organizing politics of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” for faculty development, and how the CFA union provides a necessary space for antiracist organizing around racial, gender, and economic equity.

Check back soon for registration information.

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