As it quickly approaches the completion of its first year providing responsive support to New York City’s arts community, Chelsea Factory has announced upcoming programming through the end of 2022. Located at 547 West 26th Street, the recently renovated arts and community center presents public performances from a selection of its current cohort of resident artists and esteemed organizational partners to finish the year.
Chelsea Factory continues to be a space dedicated to New York City’s artists, cultural organizations, special events, and New Yorkers at large as we navigate beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. To learn more about Chelsea Factory’s upcoming events, its current cohort of resident artists, and to book tickets, please visit http://www.chelseafactory.org/.
In August, Chelsea Factory Resident Artist, filmmaker, and visual artist Chelsea Odufu will present Afro Techno Frequency, an audio-visual experience exploring techno music as a form of Afrofuturism and healing on August 19. In collaboration with sound artists, DJ, and producer Eli Fola, the installation hopes to be a catalyst for the claim of techno as Black spiritual music, as well as acutely examining how frequencies and beats directly impact the physical self. There will be two free interactive performances featuring Odufu and Fola on August 19 at 6:00pm and 7:30pm. Reservations are required and can be made at www.chelseafactory.org.
From October 18-22, Chelsea Factory Resident Artist Andrea Miller returns with her Brooklyn-based movement and production company GALLIM. Miller will follow up the company’s spring revival of the company’s seminal work BLUSH and a six-day summer intensive held at Chelsea Factory with a to-be-determined work. Closely following, from November 9-13, Chelsea Factory’s partner National Black Theater will mark its inaugural collaboration at the venue with a workshop performance of TyLie Shider’s new play The Gospel Woman.
Rounding out the year’s programming is a partnership between JACK, the Brooklyn-based and Obie Award-winning performance and civic space, and multi-hyphenate dance icon Raja Feather Kelly. From December 8-10, the power pairing presents UGLY Part 3: BLUE, the third in a series of Kelly’s dance theater solos responding to the death of Black queer voices in the mainstream. The choreographer and dancer examines the role media has played in shaping his self-perception of him, as well as asking the audience to recognize their own implication in popular media.
In addition to Chelsea Factory’s programming, limited private rental bookings are currently available, the revenue from which subsidizes artists’ use of the space. For additional information, please visit www.chelseafactory.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Artists
Chelsea Odufu is a Guyanese, Nigerian, American New York-based filmmaker and visual artist. Her work explores culture, identity, Black spirituality, and African & Caribbean folktales for African diasporic people. Her de ella Afro-futuristic approach allows her to tell empowering stories that challenge the ideas we have about marginalized communities. Chelsea received her BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduation, she worked with Spike Lee on several projects, including ella She ella’s Gotta Have It. Chelsea has created two award-winning films titled Ori Inu: In Search of Self and Black Lady Goddess, which were official selections in over 20 film festivals worldwide.
Eli Fola is a Nigerian-born, New York and Tulum-based multidisciplinary sound artist, saxophonist, DJ, and producer. He is the creator and pioneer of the live-hybrid set “Yoruba Tech Soul,” a fusion of Afrohouse, techno, jazz, and classical music. He is often regarded as a saxophone genius and branded with the visual art world due to his powerful imagery that showcases Afrohouse and spirituality in a modern context. He has performed alongside artists such as Black Coffee, Pablo Fierro, and Audiofly, A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne, and 2 Chainz. As a film composer, he has been commissioned to work on projects for Vogue Italia and Free the Work. Fola was a 2017 TED speaker and performer. His TED Talk by him focused on how music can be used to reconcile and highlight differences in culture and identity.
Andrea Miller has established herself as a groundbreaking artist and choreographer relentlessly in her study of the deeper meanings of movement within the human experience. A sought-after creator and collaborator in art, film, theatre, and fashion, in 2017-18 Miller became the first choreographer to be named Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is also a Guggenheim Fellow, Princess Grace Fellow, Jerwood Fellow, and in 2018 she was featured in Forbes as a female entrepreneur and leader in the dance world. Andrea is the founder and artistic director of internationally-renowned dance company GALLIM, based in Brooklyn where the company provides opportunities for movement study, creativity, and performance.
GALLIM is a Brooklyn-based, multi-disciplinary production company expanding movement expression in live and digital experience. Formed in 2007 as a performing company for celebrated choreographer Andrea Miller’s original work, GALLIM has evolved into a nexus of creativity for artists making meaningful contributions to life and culture through movement. GALLIM is a home for creative discovery, acceleration, and delivery of new work by providing support, consultation, and programming for artists, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and brands. With programs ranging from residency space grants to performance opportunities, GALLIM aims to bring artists, audiences, and students closer to new opportunities for expression through movement. Partners include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Met Breuer, Frieze Festival, director Xavier Dolan, Lincoln Center, and Grace Farms; dance works for the Theater National de Chaillot in Paris, Sadler’s Wells, German Festival Tanz Bremen, Teatre Grec in Barcelona, Teatros Del Canal in Madrid, and the Grand Theater de la Ville de Luxembourg; and fashion events with Hermès, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, and Vogue.
National Black Theater (NBT), the nation’s first revenue-generating Black arts complex, was founded in 1968 by the late visionary artist Dr. Barbara Ann Teer. NBT is the longest-running Black theater in New York City and one of the oldest theaters founded and consistently operated by a woman of color. NBT uses a multidisciplinary theatrical approach as a means to center, humanize and heal Black communities through the power of unapologetic Black storytelling. NBT’s unique approach to Black liberation, Art, and Placemaking act as a change agent to combat systemic oppression, which creates the space for human transformation.
JACK is an Obie-winning performance meets civic space located in Brooklyn. JACK is led by co-directors Jordana De La Cruz and Alex Duffy. They present over 100 theatre, music, and dance performances a year and hold community conversations on issues of importance to the neighborhood. They fuel experiments in art and activism, collaborating with adventurous artists and neighbors to bring about a just and vibrant society. The programming at JACK is not “safe”-it is not designed for comfort, but rather to challenge the community with work that is intentional and urgent, inspiring conversation, reflection, and action.
Raja Feather Kelly is a choreographer and director, and the Artistic Director of the feath3r theory, a dance-theatre-media company. Kelly has created 16 evening-length premieres with the feath3r theory, most recently WEDNESDAY at New York Live Arts. Feather Kelly is the choreographer for the award-winning Broadway musical A Strange Loop. His choreography for Off-Broadway productions includes We’re Gonna Die (Second Stage), On Sugarland (NYTW), SUFFS (The Public Theater), and Broadway-bound Lempicka (La Jolla Playhouse). He has received numerous accolades, including three Princess Grace Awards, an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle honor for choreography for A Strange Loop, Dance Magazine’s Harkness Promise Award, and was a finalist for the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography for Fairview.
Chelsea Factory exists to support artists, cultural organizations, and community groups as we navigate beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. With an emphasis on support for New York City-based artists from historically excluded communities, Chelsea Factory provides highly subsidized creation and presentation space, production resources, and dynamic networks to create transformative experiences for its partners across genres. Chelsea Factory was founded by Jim Herbert, Executive Chairman and Founder of First Republic Bank, with significant support from the First Republic Foundation. As a pop-up project with a finite organizational life, Chelsea Factory remains a collaborative and noncompetitive resource to the partners it serves, as well as a place for New Yorkers to find connection, inspiration, and joy. To learn more, visit ChelseaFactory.org.
Lauren Kiel (She/Her/Hers) is the Executive Director of the Chelsea Factory. Previously, she served as Executive Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University where she built programmatic partnerships with cultural institutions throughout New York and oversaw the growth of a global fellowship program that supported 150+ artists across 12 countries. Before joining NYU, Lauren was the Associate Director of Lincoln Center International where she guided global business development strategy, established new streams of earned and contributed revenue with international partners, streamlined the institution’s advisory services offering, and helped to re-imagine Lincoln Center’s thought- leadership position within the global arts landscape. Lauren joined Lincoln Center in 2010 and served as COO of the executive office during Lincoln Center’s $1.2B campus redevelopment. Prior to her work at Lincoln Center, Lauren was a member of the Wreckio Ensemble theater company and a real estate broker in New York City. Lauren received her BA from Middlebury College summa cum laude, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated from Harvard Business School in 2014 with distinction. Ella’s Lauren and her husband reside in Manhattan with their two daughters and dog.
Donald Borror (He/Him/His) is Managing Director of Chelsea Factory. Previously he has served as Executive Director of Dorrance Dance where over a five-year tenure he has helped produce many new works and large-scale NYC performance seasons, managed a robust international tour route, and oversaw unprecedented budget growth and fundraising stability. Prior to this role he worked with Dunch Arts consulting firm where he executed strategic fundraising projects with The Apollo Theater, American Composers Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, among others. Donald was a company dancer for Ballet Hispanico, a producer for Lincoln Center Education, and chair of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee. Annually he works with Buglisi Dance Theater to help produce the Table of Silence Project. He holds a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School, receiving the Martha Hill Prize for Artistic Achievement and Leadership, and an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University Teachers College. He has guest lectured on arts management at both his alma maters, Arts and Business Council of New York, University of Southern California, Baruch College, and the University of Minnesota.