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THE ARTISTS COLLECTIVE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE, INC.

  In collaboration with Yendor Productions, ACSC sponsored an all day poetry event at City Without Walls in Newark, New Jersey in May 2007 as part of its first public fund raising event. The emotional performances presented by a diverse group of emerging artists -Kazuma Motomara, Aqueelah Shaheed, Horace Jackson, and Jocelyn Bates -were such an overwhelming success that the performance portion of the event, entitled “Talkin' Trash for Truth” will be expanded and refined into a complete evening-length production.  

In 2005, ACSC co-produced a staged reading of Flat Black in conjuction with Yendor and Mom and Pop Productions. Written and directed by New Jersey artist Alysia Souder, based on the poetry of Newark resident Jerri Gant, and performed by Rodney Gilbert, Flat Black is a personal journey and reflection of a man who finds himself celebrating his 40th birthday in prison. Flat Black combines together struggle and triumph, pleasure and pain, individual and community in a touching and powerful story. ACSC in cooperation with Aferro Gallery presented a second reading in Newark, NJ.  Feb 29, 08, starring Rodney Gilbert. Flat Black will be featured in Passage's Theatre's Soloflights play festival on March 15, 2008, 8pm.

Count Down is a dramatic adaptation based on the Devereux Deerhaven residency completed in 2000 (see history). The theater dance piece written by Dominique Cieri and choreographed by Catlin Cobb dramatizes the profiles of emotionally disturbed girls who spend their childhood and adolescence in the child welfare system. Count Down weaves together text, movement, and visual arts into a unique project of social relevance. Alexis Marnel informed Count Down with her extensive background in social services and specific knowledge of the foster care population. The development of this project supported by funds from The Puffin Foundation, was co-produced as a workshop by Off-World Theater with ACSC at the Puffin space in Teaneck NJ during Feb/Mar 2005. Director Elyse Knight.

Adepero Oduye
 Performance of Count Down at Puffin
  
 Kasey Lockwood
 
CROSS CULTURAL

GREECE
 
Carnival:
During  2002 Catlin Cobb, Candace Hundley, and Alexis Marnel researched pre-lenten carnival celebrations in the Spanish Pyrenees, the Greek Island of Skyros, and masked dances of the Ivory Coast. As dance artists they acknowledge these traditions to be interactive events drawing people together into vital communities while defining one’s culture and heritage. Each environment contributes specific elements to the expression of their celebrations.  This project included researching the origins of Carnival as traced from Africa through Egypt into the Mediterranean. Catlin Cobb and Alexis Marnel have attended the carnivals of Skyros, Greece and and Bielsa, Spain and continue to promote their documentation through writing, dialogue, and presentation. ( L: Goat Dancers of Skyros. Below: Tranga of Bielsa Carnival. Photos: C. Cobb)

                                                                
 
Roots:
During 2000 Alexis Marnel traveled to Athens to study Greek Folk Dance which began an exploration into her Greek roots. She established an on-going relationship with dance organizations and choreographers in both Athens and Skyros. As a result of these contacts, a cross cultural relationship continues with Greece that incudes teaching, collaboration, and research. It is a goal of ACSC to create an original work of music and choreography that blends the cultures of Africa, America, and the Mediterranean. In August 2003 Candace Hundley-Kamate and Ron McBee conducted workshops at the Dora Stratou Theater. Dancer/choreographer Lakai Worrell and Kevin Joseph (of Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn) in conjunction with percussionist Ron McBee, taught an African to Hip Hop workshop at the Campion Schools. In November 2003 artists Ron McBee, Candace Hundley-Kamate and Alexis Marnel completed a five day residency with Dora Stratou Theatre, Thyra Technis, and American Community Schools to bring West African Dance and Afro-Brazilian percussion workshops to their venues. As a result of these workshops, cross-cultural projects evolved beginning with a collaboration between Greek choreographer Fanis Kafousias (Thyra Technis) and Candace Hundley-Kamate's Seventh Principle. "The Middle Sea" took place in Athens at Theatro Roes, May 6-10 2004. During that time Seventh Principle performed at the African Festival of Athens. In February 2004 Choreographer Catlin Cobb taught a workshop at Thyra Technis.