A Black person with long braided hair and wearing a blue shirt blows bubbles up into a dark room.

Ni’Ja Whitson Commission Awarded 10K National Performance Network Creation Fund Grant

The ‘Unarrival Experiments’ joins 18 projects funded with development support
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Ni’Ja Whitson (Riverside, CA) — The Unarrival Experiments — Unconcealment Ceremonies

How do you see something you can’t see? The Unarrival Experiments — Unconcealment Ceremonies centers the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy through a Black, Queer, and Transembodied lens. The work will encompass both interdisciplinary performance work and a site-specific performance series, as well as new and integrated media and two book-length works of writing. The Unarrival Experiments — Unconcealment Ceremonies explores the profound, elusive wonder of invisibility through the metaphoric relationship between cosmic darkness and the systemic invisibilities of Black and Trans folk.

The National Performance Network (NPN) is awarding an initial $292,000 and leveraging an additional $930,000 in support of the creation of 18 new artistic works. In addition to Creation Fund support, each project will receive up to an additional $10,000 in Development Fund support and be eligible for presentation support. 

Embracing an array of tools and forms from live dance to immersive VR, digital performance to an open-source audio library, the fall 2020 projects explore a variety of themes, including the embodiment of freedom for Black and brown bodies, an examination of queer care from HIV/AIDS to COVID-19, celebrations of Indigenous spirituality, and differing attitudes about safety and gun culture. The 18 projects span a geographic range, aiming to engage audiences from Mexico City to Williamsburg, Virginia; Olympia, Washington to Miami. 

The Creation Fund is phase one of a three-part program that supports the creation, development, and mobility of new artistic work advancing racial and cultural justice and resulting in live experiential exchange between artists and communities. The fund supports new work in its early stages, centering relationship building between artists, presenters, and communities. 

Main Image: Ni'Ja Whitson. Photo: Scott Shaw.