2018 Public Performance Art Fellowship

Application Guidelines
2018 Public Performance Art Fellowship
Fierce Conjure:  
Paving Pathways for Radical Resilience and Creative Emancipation


“Conjure is an outlaw religion.”  -Houston Baker
“Freedom is not conferred.  It is assumed.  You take it. You do it.  You act it.  You behave it.”  -Kerry James Marshall

In the tradition of…
Nina Simone, Sonia Sanchez, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Shirley Chisolm, Barbara Jordan, Kimberlee Crenshaw, Maxine Waters, Harriet Tubman, Alice Coltrane, Alexis De Veaux, Barbara Ann Teer, Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, Elizabeth Catlett, and many more ancestors, elders, and folks of all ages conjuring freedom.

For the last two years, BDAC has refined and activated a deep dedication to the exploration of creative emancipation as a personal and public practice.  Over the last two years, we have produced two fellowships, a fall season of curated solo work, a community celebration, a public performance (work-in-progress), and numerous collaborative rituals.  We have expanded our community partners, refined our fellowship syllabi + course of study, professional development series, pedagogy, faculty, and staff.

We are committed to creative emancipation because our community of accountability feels the weight of the current political moment. We are living in a moment that reminds many of us of the ongoing and tireless work of our ancestors and elders. The work of upending mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, regressive immigration, reproductive justice, and health care policies requires stamina, creativity, wellness and community.  

As we move into year three of our creative emancipation focus, we are still interested in the same guiding ideas and principles.  However, this year we are deepening our commitment to creative emancipation through a lens of practical magic, cultural conjure, resilience, evolution, and transformation. We are looking to perform a bridge from trauma to triumph as an artistic, political, and collaborative act.  This is the experiment. This is the journey.  We will explore together, learn together, share tools and strategies that make performance that more powerful a practice in our daily lives.  

BDAC is excited to support work that indeed artistically, spiritually, and intellectually claps back at the current regime.  We understand that this charge requires all of us. Whether you are a business owner, an artist, an educator, a construction worker, an activist, a doctor, or a politician, we have critical positions to play in the pursuit of emancipation. BDAC is bringing its resources to the table.  BDAC bringing its access, coins, strategies, friends, and partners to the table.  You are the only missing ingredient. Join us on the journey.  It’s emancipation time!  

Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative invites competitive applications for its Public Performance Art Fellowship.  Conceived in 2009, BDAC’s fellowship program advances the brilliant work of artists, activists, and educators through real-world training in cultural strategy, community arts education, art administration, public performance, and cultural activism.  To date, BDAC has trained more than 500 practitioners, through its fellowship program and affiliate professional development offerings with collaborators and clients. 

All are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, class, educational background, citizenship status, performance skills, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.  BDAC is a no hate zone.  We are guided by womanism, racial justice, social justice, cultural wellness, collaboration, shared work, and responsibility. 

The Public Performance Art (PPA) Fellowship focuses on solo and collaborative street performance, ritual poetics, live art, theatre, and performance installation.  Fellows are expected to participate in a local celebration, field trips, present a solo work-in-progress and perform in a collaborative public performance.  Thirty fellows will be accepted.  Course credit is optional.

**Faculty will be announced soon.

Application Timeline

Mar 23:  Applications Due
Apr 7:  Interviews
Apr 13:  Fellow Notification
Apr 16:  Tuition Due
Apr 17:  Program Activities Commence
Oct 13:  Program Culminates

Fellowship Phases

Phase 1
Apr 17 - Apr 26
Virtual Performance Theory Intensive
During this intensive, fellows will investigate: black feminist, womanist, and ritual performance theory.  This phase also includes a deep dive into social practice, cultural organizing, and performance art for social change.

Syllabus Forthcoming.  In addition to articles, media, and essays, Fellows will be required to read and study the following

Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Personal Charms and Practical Rituals
Author: Luisah Teish

Spill:  Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity
Author: Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
Author: Adrienne marie brown

Phase 2
May 7 - 21
14-Day Virtual Healing Cypher
Designed to support intentional wellness practices, fellows will be invited to consider their own rituals for wellness, participate in morning meditations, prayer, conscious speech, journaling, and movement.  In addition to these activities, participants will be asked to pay close attention to diet, hydration, the intake of intoxicants, caffeine, and personal relationships. This is a guided self-study with a container built to support you in your spiritual work.  There are no doctors, therapists, or spiritual healers retained to support this aspect of our work.  It is important that you have a support system that can assist you during your spiritual healing work.  This phase is also imperative and integral to the cultivating the stamina necessary for the upcoming studio and public performance phases of the fellowship.

Phase 3
Jun 9 - Jul 1
Studio Intensive
Designed to provide a safe and rigorous container for a deep exploration of solo, ensemble, and public performance, this phase includes workshops with the director of the program, past fellow participants, and a carefully curated faculty.  The goal is to push fellows to explore emancipation, conjure, and resilience from a space of authenticity, integrity, and ritual in their own work and the work of the cohort.  Sessions will focus on devised performance, writing for performance, choreography, and ritual performance praxis.

Phase 4
Jul 10 - Oct 13
Solo and Public Performance
Phase four is all about refinement and practice.  During this phase, fellows are expected to illustrate what they are learning and exploring through the development of solo and ensemble performance.  Fellows will dive deep into working with our director on an on-going public performance ritual that will take place during Black August 2018.  Fellows will also share final solo performances, during the closing celebration for this year’s fellowship.  

Please note:  A selection of the fellows will be invited to participate in additional performance opportunities (for emerging and established artists) as a result of successful completion of all  phases of the fellowship.

Program Fee-- $800.00. Limited scholarships and payment arrangements available.
Limited Scholarships-- $500.00. 

*Note: No refunds. No Exceptions.


Is this for me?  Yes.  You don't have to be Broadway-bound to be down.  You don't have to be a superstar to be in the work.  BDAC is looking for artists and non-artists who can make it to New York City.  You can be a writer, poet, dancer, visual artist, or none of these.   You can be a designer, chef, nail technician, construction worker, preacher, sex worker, doctor, accountant, or none of these.  We ask that you have a interest and desire to perform, dance, sing, write, speak, think, study, build, and share.  

BDAC is looking to work with folks who are:
Dedicated to a holistic wellness practice
Available for all of the dates listed below
Concerned about community wellness
Dedicated to a practice of radical hospitality
Respectful of community-based ritual and protocol
Able to respond to communication in a timely fashion
Able to show up on time to virtual workshops, in studio sessions, rehearsals, and community events
Willing to complete what they begin
Willing to cultivate community through shared meals, shared work, and shared responsibility
In alignment with the values and work of Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative
Willing to study and practice rigorously

In addition to the above core qualifications, we are looking to work with folks who are:
Excited about public performance
Excited about creating solo performance
Interested in performance theory
Interested in theatre as social practice

Fellowship Components
Virtual intensives on performance theory
Guest artist lectures and workshops
Performance showings
Culminating Celebration

Program Dates (all dates required)

Phase 1: Virtual Performance Intensive (Must have Zoom)
Apr 17, 19, 23, 25, & 26 (7p – 930p) 

Phase 2: 14-Day Virtual Healing Cypher (Must have Zoom)
May 7 - 21 (630a – 730a)

Phase 3: Studio Intensives
Studio Intensive 1
Jun 9 & 10 (12p - 5p)
Jun 11 - 15 (6p - 9p)

Studio Intensive 2
Jun 23 & 24 (12p - 5p)
Jun 25 – 28 (6p - 9p)

Studio Intensive 3
Jun 30 & Jul 1 (12p – 5p) 
Work-in-Progress showing for Solo Work Jun 30

Phase 4: Public Performance
Studio Intensive 4
Jul 10-15 (6p - 9p)

Studio Intensive 5
Jul 25 - 29 (6p - 9p)

Studio Intensive 6
Aug 8 – 10 (6p – 9p) 
Aug 11 – 12 (12p - 5p)
Aug 13 – 16 (6p – 9p)
Aug 17 All day Tech Rehearsal
Aug 18 All Day Show
Aug 19 All Day Show

Sep 21 Private Solo Work in Progress Showing (6p – 9p)

Oct 12 Solo Work Rehearsals (6p – 9p)
Oct 13 Annual Homecoming Festival & Closing Reception (10a - 6p)


Please be in integrity about the time you have available to undergo this fellowship.  All Fellows are expected and required to attend all sessions listed above.  Please be honest and transparent about the dates you may have to miss.  This is an important factor in our ability to evaluate your acceptance.  Excessive tardies, absences, or lack of willingness to adhere to community agreements is explicit grounds for termination.

Application Specifications

Please complete the following application form below.  The deadline to complete is March 12th, 2018 at 11:59p (EST) 

1. Completed application form (see below). 
2. Website/Social Media Links
3. Headshot
4. Video Statement of Interest Link.  Tell us the reasons you want to participate in Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative Public Performance and Action Fellowship.  
5. A biographical statement (maximum 500 words) that tells us about who you are, where you come from, your performance background and your current projects. 
6. At least 3 professional references of people who can speak about you, your work, and your practice.  
7.  CV/Artists Resume
8.  3 links to work samples of performance or writing
9.  Date Conflicts.  List any potential dates and reasons you would have to miss. 
10.  Optional: A paragraph explaining your need for financial aid. Be as detailed as possible to help us understand the circumstances of your need. 


Ebony Golden