UNLOCK:treewaterland by Propelled Animals and guests at Schuylkill Environmental Center, Lenapehoking/Philadelphia
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UNLOCK: Tree Water Land
Propelled Animals at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
August 6, 2021 6:00 p.m. EST
Founded in 2014, we, the Propelled Animals, are a group of choreographers, visual artists, composers, dancers, musicians, and designers who embed innovative and provocative art in unconventional spaces. We are committed to creating work that interrogates, challenges, and ultimately attempts to dismantle the systemic "isms" of oppression. We adapt our projects and processes to address the specific needs of the communities they engage. For this project at the Schuylkill Center collective members Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Raquel Monroe, and Heidi Wiren Bartlett will be in residence. Guest collaborators include artists Tchin of We Are the Seeds, Crux, and Emma White Thunder.
UNLOCK:Tree Water Land seeks to build on the movements and social protests of Black Lives Matter and Water is Life. Our performance challenges Western linear notions of time and embrace circularity, we are past, present, and future. This piece is home outside, in Nature, and in public spaces. UNLOCK will include dance, ephemeral interactive installations, live music, and guided embodied experiences for the audiences to witness and join. We will roam and lead a guided procession centering environmental justice, anti-racism, and healing lineages.
We will develop UNLOCK during several creation residencies at the Schuylkill Center. Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Propelled Animals co-founder and choreographer, has worked at the Center as an environmental educator for three years; this project builds on that experience and the Center’s environmental initiatives in collaboration with our creative decolonization processes. We are partnering with We Are The Seeds and guest artist Tchin, an award-winning storyteller and musician based in Lenapehoking. It should be noted that the Schuylkill is a regional watershed from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, and Delaware to New York.
We have presented our work nationally including site-responsive performances at institutions including: University of Iowa and Englert Theatre (Iowa City, IA); University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA); Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY); Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); PIVOT Arts Festival at the Edge Theater (Chicago, IL). In May 2021 we were in residence at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA). We are recent National Performance Network (NPN) Artist Engagement Fund awardees (2021) and have received a MAP Fund grant (2019), and a Frank-Ratchye Fund for Arts @ the Frontier grant through the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University (2019). Our work has also been supported by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of the Arts Midwest & Crane Group, and The Puffin Foundation. We are incubated artists with Headlong Studios (Philadelphia, PA) and artists-in-residence with High Concept Labs 2021-22 (Chicago, IL) and The Philadelphia Thing’s festival Trade School 2020: Detroit (Philadelphia, PA).
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