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The FORGIVENESS Project: Part community-building, part performance, and a shared belief to create significant change through the arts.

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Posted on December 15, 2017 by Emily Berry

Join B3W Performance Group for a showing and discussion sharing our process, where we are at, and what we’ve been up to with our community workshops for Forgiveness: Resisting Racism – December 16th, 2017 at 4:00 pm at the Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street, Long Island City, New York 11101).

The Flux Factory supports and promotes emerging artists through residencies, exhibitions, and collaborative opportunities; builds sustainable artist networks; and helps retain creative forces in New York City. The Flux Factory is excited to host B3W Performance Group for a public showing and conversation about their newest devised intermedia performance, “FORGIVENESS: Resisting Racism” December 16th at 4:00 pm. It is FREE and open to the public.

B3W Performance Group works collaboratively with each member working as co-creators to develop the work. The co-creators include Emily Berry, Sarita Covington, Mengying Lin, Nicole McClam, Juan Reyna, Sara Roer, and Darla Stanley. Daniel Bernard Roumain is composing the music, and Shawn Rene Graham is the dramaturge. 

In 2015, Emily Berry, Artistic Director of B3W Performance Group (B3W), traveled for seven months around the world, initially implementing The FORGIVENESS Project’s Community Workshop component across 6 continents and within 11 countries. For the second part of the Forgiveness Project, B3W Performance Group collectively re-worked the Forgiveness Community Workshops to focus on Racism. Sarita Covington and Mengying Lin led the first workshop series at Flushing Town Hall in March of 2017. In November, Sarita Covington led the second workshop series in Copenhagen, Denmark.

B3W Performance Group will be presenting a series of solos and monologues that are in response to our investigations personally, as a collective, and in response to the Community Workshops on Racism and Forgiveness. The Forgiveness Workshops included both movement and dialogue diving into questions of racism from the institutional, interpersonal, and personal. The group questioned and investigated racism in relationship to forgiveness. We will be sharing the results of the workshops and opening up space for discussion.

B3W is a social impact arts organization committed to collaboration and community, reflecting and revealing the world we live in through multidisciplinary performances and community-building workshops since 2006. B3W believes that art has the power to create change in any community.

“Powerful physical portrayals of disconnection and oppression…ambitious work.” – Culturebot

“This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Queens Council on the Arts”.

The FORGIVENESS Project was supported by New Music USA. To follow the project as it unfolds, visit my project page: https://www.newmusicusa.org/projects/the-forgiveness- project/

More Updates ▼

Posted on June 29, 2017 by Emily Berry

We have just completed our June intensive working on the 2nd part of the Forgiveness Trilogy. We are now preparing for our August intensive along with a works in progress showing that will include participants from our Flushing Town Hall Community Forgiveness Workshop led by Sarita Covington and Mengying Lin. Stay tuned for date and location! Photo is of Sarita Covington in Forgiveness Part I. All photos taken by Kerville Jack

Overview

The FORGIVENESS Project is part intermedia devised performance, part community-building initiative, created by collaborators of New York-based, social justice art and performance collective, B3W Performance Group (B3W). Spanning from 2016 to 2019, the project is represented in three parts – Part I: Forgiving the Personal; Part II: Forgiveness: Resisting Racism; and Part III: Self-Forgiveness. FORGIVENESS stems from a shared belief that art has the capacity to create significant change in any community, allowing the performing arts to take action on issues concerning social justice, human rights, and grassroots activism.

Each performance takes place on a proscenium stage, intertwining personal stories with live musical composition of looped violin, and piano by Daniel Bernard Roumain, original script by Sarita Covington, new media scenography by Eamonn Farrell, and artistic direction by Emily Berry, in addition to movement-based phrase work co-created with a six-performer ensemble with Sarita Covington, Mengying Lin, Nicole McClam, Sara Roer, and Darla Stanley (stay tuned for the announcement of our 6th performer). The work is created collectively with all artists having an equal voice in the development and creation of the work. In May 2016 at Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NY), Part I presented immediate expressions of forgiveness unraveled alongside consequences of when one can not forgive. Part II, to premiere in Fall 2018, however, digs deeper into the complexities of life experience, shedding light on issues relating to racial inequality, racism, and oppression; using forgiveness as a tool to enter the conversation on systemic racism may offer ways to be present and mindful when communicating, allowing a public to then subvert it. Part III, to premiere in Spring 2019, will acknowledge and implement a daily practice of self-forgiveness that can move towards a path of psychological well-being.

Each community engagement workshop series is a collaborative effort made between collaborators of B3W and organizers, artists, schools, and neighborhood nonprofits, promoting a practice that can transform through shared movement and dialogue. These efforts will provide an attentive, accessible, and collaborative environment for the public to find understanding, build safe space, and enact action plans. Confirmed partnerships for this initiative include Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, NY in May 2017 as well as building additional partnerships.

Collaborators of B3W, alongside local community groups, willing audience and participants, together hope to investigate forgiveness as well as resisting racism on a deeper level at a time in need for substantial community change. Although the work may not necessarily lead to an immediate resolution, the collaborators of B3W aspire to provoke everyday people to become more aware of their roles in society, to alter choices and actions taken daily, and to be more conscious to disrupt rather than support current trends and systems of justice. Creating possibilities for smaller disruptions can generate a ripple effect, encouraging B3W  to continue towards dismantling the bigger picture. With this work, forgiveness as well as resisting racism can lead to a path of real equity, even if not readily accessible.

Project Media

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This excerpt, “Needles into Silencing,” from FORGIVENESS – Part I: Forgiving the Personal, bridges the introduction of the ensemble to the first monologue performed and written by Ricarrdo Valentine, with live violin accompaniment by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. The violin and text riff off of each other, creating an intertwined conversation between music and voice. From 2:55 – 4:55, both music and text intensify, and climax.

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This excerpt, “Sarita’s Apology to Sunshine,” from FORGIVENESS – Part I: Forgiving the Personal, is a monologue performed and written by Sarita Covington, with live piano accompaniment by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. Cue from 1:40 – 3:56 for a conversation between text and sound.

Start and End Dates

05/20/201605/31/2019

Location

New York, New York

2 updates
Last update on December 15, 2017

Project Created By

New York, New York

In Collaboration With

Composer
New York, New York
New Media Scenographer

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