Arts and Cultural Workers for the New York Health Act
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of the healthcare system and the lack of a safety net for most arts workers. The New York Health Act (NYHA)—this state’s version of “Medicare for All”— is a single-payer healthcare that would measurably improve the lives of arts workers. Dance Artists’ National Collective, in partnership with Dance/NYC, Abrons Arts Center, and League of Independent Theater, host a town hall for arts and dance workers to learn more about the NYHA. Follow the campaign with the hashtag: #PassNYHealth.
For this town hall, we are joined by speakers Campbell Charshee, Garnet Henderson, J. Bouey, Mario I. Espinoza, Rebecca Margolick, and YuLing Koh Hsu. More speakers will be announced on a rolling basis.
ASL interpretation and closed captioning will be provided for this event.
Dance Artists’ National Collective (DANC) is a growing group of freelance dance artists organizing for action toward safe, equitable, and sustainable working conditions. Our current work includes the creation of a letter of agreement template and a negotiation toolkit for freelance dancers; and a research drive to understand what dancers need from their art and activism spaces in this post-election, mid-COVID moment.
Dance/NYC‘s mission is to promote the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. It embeds values of justice, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.
The League of Independent Theater was formed in 2008 to empower, unify, and protect the voices and interests of those who work and enjoy independent theater across the five boroughs of NYC.
Campbell Charshee is a keyboardist, teacher, composer and producer living in West New York, New Jersey. A graduate of the William Paterson University jazz studies program in 2010, he has worked in the New York area for over a decade. He has performed and recorded with groups such as the Drifters, the Toys, Origem, Winard Harper, Philip Harper, Kathryn Farmer, Gerry Gibbs, Godwin Louis, Brittany Campbell, Gabriel Marin, Billy Carrion Jr., Carlos Maldonados, Tatev Yeghiazaryan, Ernesto Vega and many others. He currently performs with his own group, Campblicated, weekly on Twitch.
In more recent years, due to the challenges of managing his type 1 diabetes as a music worker, Campbell has gotten increasingly involved in both health care and music worker organizing. He is currently working with his North New Jersey DSA chapter to develop a Medicare for All/health equity campaign from the ground up. He is also a member of the Music Workers Alliance, and is working to assess the specific challenges facing music, arts and “gig” workers who are medically insecure.
Garnet Henderson is a dancer, journalist, and member of Dance Artists’ National Collective. Her choreographic work has been presented at the Flea Theater, HERE Arts, the West End Theater, the 92nd Street Y, Triskelion Arts, Gibney Dance, and elsewhere. She was a Women in Motion 2017-2018 commissioned artist. Garnet contributes regularly to Dance Magazine, and her work has also appeared in publications including VICE, Glamour, Scientific American, and The Guardian. She is the host and producer of ACCESS: A podcast about abortion.
J. Bouey is out here doing their best, damnit! Currently moving on pandemic timing and prioritizing rest, J. is finding their way back to joy. J. is the founder of The Dance Union Podcast, a recent 2021-2022 Jerome Fellow, and is a current Gibney Spotlight artist. J. was also a 2018 Movement Research Van Lier Fellow, and former dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Determined to manifest the dreams dreamt in their youth, J. is assuming this responsibility because these dreams sustained them when the sun didn’t shine or shined too bright to see.
Mario Ismael Espinoza, LMSW (they/them), is a Mexican immigrant born to native Mexican people, currently in the early stages of their career in social work. Mario transitioned to the field of human services after 12 years in professional concert dance. Currently a social worker with The Actors Fund, Mario provides short term counseling and clinical case management for Entertainment Industry professionals. Mario’s clinical focus is derived from a deep commitment to social justice and mental health, which gives rise to an anti-oppressive approach to delivery of clinical services.
Rebecca Margolick is a dancer and choreographer based in Brooklyn NY and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her multi-disciplinary and solo works have been presented in Poland, Bulgaria, Israel, Seattle, San Diego, Montreal, Vancouver, Wells BC, Mexico City and NYC. Her solo Bunker + Vault won the Jury Prize for “best indoor choreographic work” at the 2019 Festival Quartiers Danse in Montreal. She was a Dance Artist in Residence at The Banff Centre for the Arts in December 2019 and a 2020 New Directions Choreography Lab Fellowship at the Ailey School under the mentorship of Gus Solomons Jr. She was a 2020/2021 artist in residence at the Dance Deck in Vancouver. She received the Conney Conference Fellowship to study the archives of the Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls at 92nd St Y and presented her research at the 2019 Conney Conference. She was a 2017 GPS Fund Movement Research Artist in Residence at Derida Dance Center in Sofia Bulgaria, and a 2015/16 LABA Fellow at the 14th St Y in NYC. Rebecca danced with Sidra Bell Dance New York from 2012-2016, and is currently a member of Chuck Wilt’s UNA Productions and Kayla Farrish / Decent Structure Arts. She is a proud member of Dance Artists National Collective and is currently organizing the NY dance community in support of a WPA bill and the New York Health Act.
YuLing Koh Hsu uses she or they pronouns, is based on Canarsie and Munsee Lenape land colonized as Brooklyn NYC, and is a proud Taiwanese American. She is the co-director of the Campaign for NY Health – a statewide coalition of nurses, unions, business owners, grassroots, political and community organizations that advocate for guaranteed, universal, single-payer health care for racial & economic justice.
Abrons Arts Center seeks partners and speakers with a variety of viewpoints for its events with the goal of generating discussion. The inclusion of any partner or speaker does not constitute an endorsement by Abrons Arts Center of that partner’s or speaker’s views.