Social Practice AIRspace Residency

The Social Practice AIRspace Residency supports four artists on developing in-depth projects with Henry Street Settlement’s social service programs. Over a two year period, residents will collaborate closely with Henry Street Settlement staff and community members to explore the intersections of art and social work in an effort to advance the social, political, and cultural causes that are important to the residents of the Lower East Side.

For more information about the Social Practice AIRspace Residency, please visit the Apply to AIRspace page.

2019-2020 Social Practice AIRspace Residents

Emily Johnson is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award who makes body-based work. Originally from Alaska, she is of Yup’ik descent. Since 1998, Emily has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment,interacting with a place’s architecture, history, and its role in the community. Her ongoing project—KINSTILLATORY MAPPING and EMBODIED LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTcenters on Indigenous protocol and knowledge. Emily works with Henry Street staff and constituents from myriad programs to build understanding of Indigenous arts and social practices, bringing ancestral knowledge and human connection to the foreground of current-day New York City. Monthly ceremonial fires in Abrons’ amphitheater—open to the community and involving participants from both Henry Street programs and invited groups—are opportunities to come together to share music, story-telling, dance and food.

Autumn Knight is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation and text. Her performance work has been on view at various institutions including DiverseWorks;, Project Row Houses; Crystal Bridges Museum; Skowhegan Space (NY); The New Museum; The Contemporary Art Museum (Houston); Optica (Montreal); and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. Autumn Knight’s project WALL WORK is based on meetings with survivors of domestic violence, centering on performative/creative interventions and dialogue. These interventions can take many forms including developing text, reading as a group, movement-based exercises, engaging with visual imagery, sound experimentation and watching videos, among others.

Perfect City is an arts collective that explores the effects of gentrification and displacement. Perfect City was begun in 2016 by theater artist Aaron Landsman and now works collectively to look historically at colonial land grabs and redlining, and forward toward policy change. Perfect City makes live performances, walking tours, mapping workshops, research and public conversations about street harassment, and the history of racist real estate practices. Perfect City provides information that will encourage and include low income/people of color in the process of urban planning; a process that often excludes them. Perfect City has presented performances and workshops at various institutions across NYC, written articles in ArtsEverywhere and Urban Omnibus, and built a cohort of collaborators, both artists and activists. The artist collective includes: Nicky Chase, Tyler Diaz, Aaron Landsman, Jaime Maitin, Emily Mun, Jahmorei Snipes, Tiffany Zorrilla.

George Emilio Sanchez is a writer, performance artist and social justice activist. In the last two years, Sanchez has created and facilitated his 24-hour “performance filibuster” exploring gun violence —BANG BANG GUN AMOK—at Abrons Arts Center and University Settlement. Through collaborative performances of professional artists and community members, uniting in solidarity, Bang Bang Gun Amok explores America’s gun culture and investigates the epidemic of gun violence. This ongoing project began in 2016.

Marguerite Hemmings is a Jamaican born, Jersey-raised, performance artist and educator who has been living in the NYC area for over a decade. She graduated from Columbia University in Education and Urban Studies. Hemmings specializes in street, emergent, improvisational and social dance styles.

Hemmings’ work centers itself in liberation. She has been subverting, working, and creating with youth as a teaching artist for a very long time. She has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Harlem Stage, University Settlement, and Dancing While Black to further her work. She is most recently a recipient of the 2017-18 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellowship, and through that, also the Projecting All Voices Fellowship at ASU. She is a 2017 recipient of the Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer in Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s Skeleton Architecture. She currently works inside of a self/spirit directed thing called we free. we free looks at the millennial and post-millennial approach to liberation through its music, social dance and social media. we free is centered in the livelihood and reparation of the African continent and diaspora. It is a social experiment, a conversation, a non-performance, a call to action, a revival, a bashment party, an ode to, and in moments a critique of, the present and emerging generations and what we are doing, right now, to be free.


The Social Practice AIRspace Residency is generously supported by the Radunski Family Fund.