News and Events

Wesleyan Connected to Five National Dance Project Grant Recipients

The New England Foundation for the Arts awarded over $2 million to this year’s National Dance Project Production Grant recipients and finalists on September 28. Five of the 36 dance companies have close ties to Wesleyan University, from faculty and alumni to collaborative partners and guest artists. Recipients include Brooklyn’s Urban Bush Women, one of the partnering organizations for Wesleyan’s Embodying Antiracism Initiative, and Embodying Antiracism Visiting Guest Artist Fellow nia love. Read more about the grant recipients in the Wesleyan Connection...

Hartford Public Library and Hartford’s L.I.T. to co-host fourth annual Hartford Book Festival

Embodying Antiracism Community Fellow and author Barbara McClane will be speaking about her upcoming memoir “Blessed, Not Bitter,” detailing her personal journey and reconnecting with her family, and holding workshops about vision boards on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at both 11:40am and 2:15pm as part of the fourth annual Hartford Book Festival "Double Up 2 Double Up," presented in partnership with Hartford’s L.I.T. (Literary Integrated Trailblazers) at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut. Read more about the Hartford Book Festival on the Hartford Public Library website...

“Learning from one another:” Wesleyan selects three Student Fellows for inaugural Embodying Antiracism Think Tank

Three students who have demonstrated exemplary work and interest in civic engagement, community organizing, and artistic practice on campus will join the inaugural Embodying Antiracism Think Tank. Olivia Adams ’23, Courtney Joseph ’25, and Ava Olson ’25 have been named Student Fellows, and will work on projects ranging from the development of a new television show, to the creation of a documentary film and a visual artwork, all of which will help the University grow in support of antiracist values. Read more about Olivia Adams, Courtney Joseph, and Ava Olson in the Wesleyan Connection...

Free Center creating street mural celebrating Middletown’s local legends

This summer, the Free Center, led by Founder and Director and Embodying Antiracism Community Fellow Kerry Kincy and Founder Richard Hollant, is inviting students from MacDonough Elementary School to paint a mural on Spring Street in Middletown that celebrates some of the incredible local legends from the neighborhood, both past and present, and helps to keep the new bike lanes safe for bikers. Kids of all ages and their families are invited to participate in this community project, which is being held on Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 10am to 2pm. Read more about "Spring Free" on the Free Center website...

Sparking Antiracist Change: Wesleyan Selects 10 Fellows for Inaugural Embodying Antiracism Think Tank

In the spring of 2022, the Embodying Antiracism Initiative entered its second phase in helping Wesleyan foster an equitable and antiracist community: the selection of an inaugural cohort of Embodying Antiracism Fellows. These Fellows, a cohort of 10 selected from local community organizers, Wesleyan faculty, and visiting artists (along with student Fellows joining in fall 2022), will form a collective Think Tank, which will meet monthly to produce scholarship and projects rooted in antiracism and the creative practice. Read more about the Embodying Antiracism Initiative in Wesleyan University Magazine...

Watch Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute's Culminating Performances

In partnership with Junebug Productions and The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Urban Bush Women’s annual Summer Leadership Institute returned to shared space for the first time since 2019 at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York. They broadcasted two culminating performances on June 18, 2022 featuring music, dance, theater, visual design, and spoken word to address this year’s theme “Are We Democracy?” with accessible livestream production by CultureHub on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network. The Summer Leadership Institute began in 1997 and was formalized as an annual Urban Bush Women program in 2004. The intensive ten-day convening helped participants learn effective ways to deepen or begin work as artists who desire to connect art to community organizing and progressive social change strategies. Read more and watch the videos on the HowlRound website...

"30 Americans" exhibition co-curated by Nicole Stanton on display at New Britain Museum of American Art

"30 Americans" showcases works by some of the most significant artists of the last four decades, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley. The groundbreaking exhibition tells the story of Black humanity through the gaze of contemporary Black artists, inviting the audience to confront the complexities of individual and collective self-making; explore the transformative paths of self-determination and self-healing; reclaim dignity and liberation of the Black body and Black sexuality; and reframe the past, present, and future of African-descended people through wonder and imagination. Co-curated by Nicole Stanton, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Dance, Environmental Studies, and African American Studies, with Dr. Dann J. Broyld and Dr. Brittney Yancy, the exhibition is on display though Sunday, October 30, 2022. Read more about "30 Americans" on the New Britain Museum of American Art website...

“Building Muscles of Empathy:” Oliveras on teaching acting, a pre-Broadway run at Hartford Stage, and Embodying Antiracism

Earlier this spring, Oliveras was selected as one of four Wesleyan faculty fellows who will take part in the inaugural Embodying Antiracism Think Tank during the 2022-2023 academic year. “I am thrilled,” said Oliveras. “What’s important to me is bringing more awareness of the artists and the stories that are not particularly amplified, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] stories, but also different ways of looking at theater and theater training." Read more about Maria-Christina Oliveras in the Wesleyan Connection...

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts announces 2022 winners celebrating 28 years and ten awardees for 2022, including nia love

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is an unrestricted prize of $75,000 given annually to risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theater, and the visual arts. The Dance Panel has selected choreographer, director, and educator nia love for her resilience, commitment and determination to make performances that tell urgent stories of human capacity, her innovative ways of moving, and an artistic practice that is looking back to imagine forward. Read more on The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts website...

Betts Hon. ’21 Named a 2021 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow

Choreographer and dance entrepreneur Jawole Willa Jo Zollar joins Betts as a 2021 MacArthur Fellow with a Wesleyan connection. Zollar, who worked as a visiting instructor of dance in 2013-14, is the founder and artistic director of Urban Bush Women. The performing arts organization is one of Wesleyan’s Embodying Antiracism Initiative partners. “Urban Bush Women is looking at the cultural expression of the African Diaspora and looking at the struggle, growth, and transformation of the human spirit,” Zollar said in her MacArthur bio. Read more about this award in the Wesleyan Connection...