Anida Yoeu Ali (Project Director / Interdisciplinary Artist)
Performance artist, writer and global agitator, Anida Yoeu Ali is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. Her interdisciplinary performances use Butoh to examine the poetic potential of the body and collective healing. Her performance work transforms loss into conversations about reconciliation. Since 1998, Anida has toured over 300 colleges and venues with the spoken word ensemble, I Was Born With Two Tongues, and the multimedia collective Mango Tribe. The Tongues’ pioneering live performances and critically-acclaimed debut CD, “Broken Speak”, ignited a new generation of Asian American voices. She is also a founding member of Young Asians With Power!, Asian American Artists Collective-Chicago, the National APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit, and MONSOON fine arts journal. Her artistic work has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Endowment of the Arts and Illinois Arts Council. From Copenhagen to Ho Chi Minh City, Anida lectures, exhibits and performs internationally.
Masahiro Sugano (Filmmaker)
Born in 1972, Osaka, Japan. Moved to the U.S. at age 18. B.A. in philosophy from CalState, Northridge. M.F.A. in Film/Video/Animation from University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently runs a production company based in Chicago, Eye from the Sky, Inc. Sundance Film Festival alumnus (1999). His first feature length film “Second Moon” is making the international film festival rounds including Pusan, Buenos Aires, and Singapore. His next project is titled “Transcendental Joe” and it is billed as “Neo-Fundamental Buddhist Journey” across the U.S.
Rominna Villaseñor (Production Coordinator)
Rominna Villaseñor is a Pilipina artist in disciplines of performance poetry and visual arts. She was raised in Quezon City, Philippines and has called Chicago ‘home’ since 1997. Gallery 37 generated her initial interests in working with acrylics and watercolor while Young Asians With Power! fueled her passion for APIA activism through art. She has considered these two organizations as second families since the early years of high school. In 2002, Rominna was the spokesperson for the United States nonviolence initiative through writing and delivered a speech in Kuwait to commemorate its tenth year liberation. Rominna graduated from DePaul University with B.S. in Finance and Management, but finds that Teach For America is a more meaningful path to making a difference.
Prumsodun Ok (Video: Dancer)
Prumsodun Ok is an artist working in the media of dance, filmmaking, photography, text, and design. He began his training in Cambodia classical dance under award-winning choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro and studied filmmaking with Ernie Gehr, Brook Hinton, Jeanne Liotta, and Charles Boone at the San Francisco Art Institute. The recipient of a Durfee ARC Grant and Margaret McKinney Folk and Traditional Arts Fellowship, as well as a commission from CounterPULSE’s Performing Diaspora in 2009, he has taught and performed through out the state of California. Ok currently lives in Los Angeles where he curates the Khmer Arts Salon Series, is a videographer for the Cambodian Community History and Archiving Project, is a member of the advisory board of UC Irvine’s Southeast Asian Archives, and pursues his training and research at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department. He is the founder and director of NATYARASA, a new interdisciplinary performance ensemble.
Collaborators for Performance/Installation
“1700% Project: Otherance”
As a finalist in Louder Than a Bomb in 2005 and 2006 Amina Demir has had an interest in poetry since a young age. Amina is motivated by world renowned poets such as Edgar Allen Poe and Rumi. Amina’s multicultural background is an inspiration for most of her work. Having spent her childhood in Switzerland with an African-American mother and Kurdish father Amina views the world through multiple spectrums. In her third year at Chicago State University she is majoring in history with an emphasis on Medieval Islamic history. Amina works at Zakat Foundation of America, one of the leading non-profit charity organizations in the Midwest. With a combination of awareness and soul, Amina addresses social issues effecting the world around her. Her poetry has been published on GirlSpeak Webzine as well as The Vagina Monologues. Amina has performed at numerous Never Silent Cafe’s, Cafe Intifada’s, and various performances through Arab American Action Network (AAAN) and Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) Cafe.
Jorge Félix is a visual artist and cultural administrator native of Puerto Rico and a resident of Chicago since 1993. He completed a bachelor in Visual Arts Communication from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Santurce, Puerto Rico, a Master Fine Arts from Bowling State University, and Master in Arts Administration from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He completed a certificate in experimental studio arts from the League of Art of San Juan. Jorge is an independent curator and non profit consultant with expertise in cross-cultural educational programs and arts integration. Jorge engages in community work while serving in review panels for city and state grants and in advisory boards for Boricua PRIDE, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education and COOP Image. Jorge serves as a board member and chairs the program committee of the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Jorge is a set designer for UrbanTheater Company and People’s Theater Chicago. Jorge received a Chicago After Dark 2007 award for Outstanding Achievement in Set Design for UrbanTheater’s production Eulogy for a Small Time Thief. Most recently he worked in Jeff recommended production “Cuba and His Teddy Bear” receiving great reviews for his design work.
Clover Morell is an artist, writer, and researcher who engages a multiplicity of practices and spaces for creative exploration. Her work often focuses on the public performance event as a sociological tool for building community and examining interpersonal politics. Current areas of interest include performance as a healing practice, cultural values around intimacy and vulnerability, and media as a tool for identity construction. Morell has exhibited her work at The Chicago Cultural Center, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Betty Rymer Gallery, Link’s Hall, Elastic Arts and MOTO Restaurant. Her work in collaboration with Elizabeth Czekner has been featured in Site Unseen, the annual Live Art & Media Festival hosted by the DCA at The Chicago Cultural Center; and Morell’s work with collaborator Julie Laffin toured to The Prague Quadrennial in 2007 and The Dutch Theatre Festival in Amsterdam in 2009. Originally from New York, Morell received an MFA in Performance from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2008 and an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2005. She has studied with artists Goat Island, Barbara DeGenevieve, Sadie Benning, Lida Abdul and Diego Pinon among others. She currently lives and works in Chicago.
Cristal Sabbagh is an art educator at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, a fine artist and an interdisciplinary performance artist. She received her B.F.A. In Art Education from the University of Illinois, at Urbana/Champaign, and her M.A. In Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College, Chicago. Her work is motivated by a multitude of areas such as: film, culture, history, death/rebirth, music, hip-hop and butoh. Her current butoh inspired performances investigate black female stereotypes, minstrelsy, and the spirit. During these performances she organically transforms her body, inhabiting a range of emotional states: the grotesque savage, the sexual alluring, the spiritually awakened, among others. Her work has often been described as gut wrenching, vulnerable, and provocative. Sound and music is an essential component in Cristal’s movement pieces. She’s been collaborating with her husband, Elias Sabbagh, for the last four years to create compelling and evocative soundscapes. Her work has most recently been seen at the Ruth Page Dance Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, Columbia College for Women’s History Month, and at Galapagos Art Space, in Brooklyn, NYC. She has been studying butoh with Katsura Kan, Daisuke Yoshimoto, Diego Pinon, Kayo Mikami, Natsu Nakajima, Koh Morobushi, and others.