Black Girl Spectrum

 

Black Girl Spectrum

BGS Call to Action – “Establishing safe spaces for black girls to live as creative citizens.”

What is Black Girl Spectrum?

Founded in 2014, Black Girl Spectrum (BGS) is a multi-faceted community engagement initiative that explores the spectrum of identities among Black girls and women while working to create safe spaces for them to live as creative citizens.The initiative seeks to amplify the cultural and creative empowerment of Black girls and women through dance, dialogue, and popular education tools. Aimed to nurture and bring awareness to Black girl brilliance, BGS served as participatory research that informed Brown’s evening-length work, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, which premiered September 22-27, 2015 at The Joyce Theater.

 

What Does Black Girl Spectrum Bring to Communities?

– Community conversations;
– Workshops in social dance, writing and performance;
– Mentorship opportunities;
– Performances;
– Strategies for youth empowerment; and
– Strategies for creative activism

Why is Black Girl Spectrum Necessary?

Black Girl Spectrum:
– Addresses the intersecting barriers to justice, wellness, economic stability, political visibility, and peace in the lives of black girls and women;
– Amplifies the cultural practices that are integral to solving the problems black girls and women encounter; and
– Activates social dance and open dialogue as a tool for visioning, storytelling, empowerment and community building.

Black Girl Spectrum Symposium Press Release

Fees

Please email us for information regarding fees.

Engaging Dance AudiencesDoris Duke Charitable Foundation

Black Girl Spectrum activities are made possible, in part, with support from the Howard Gilman Foundation, Doris Duke Artist Performing Artist Awards program, Harkness Foundation for Dance and Engaging Dance Audiences. Engaging Dance Audiences is administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

BGS Instructors

 
Audrey Elaine Hailes
Audrey Elaine HailesAudrey Elaine Hailes is a dance-theatre artist raised in Washington DC. Committed to public performance as a necessary tool for wellness and revolution, she received a BFA in Experimental Theatre from NYU and is a 2013 Laundromat Project Professional Development Fellow. Audrey is a teaching artist, performer with the Dance Cartel and co-host of the women-run radio show Hip Hop and Her Family. Her work was recently commissioned by Gibney Dance and Dance Theatre Etc. Operating in the blessing of abundance, the support, fortification and history shared by family is the fuel behind her practice.

Alison Hall Kibbe
Alison Hall KibbeAlison Hall Kibbe is interested in how the art and culture of the everyday lead us towards justice. She is a cultural organizer, producer, and multidisciplinary artist working at the intersections of social justice, community building, education and cross-cultural dialogue. Working with dance, performance, and literary arts, she uses oral history and ethnographic research to guide the development of multi-faceted storytelling and participatory experiences. As a cultural organizer and producer she supports communities, projects, artists, and organizations that use art and creativity for social justice. Her current performance project, body/s in question, charts the fault lines of migration and multiracial identity via her family’s history in Jamaica, Cuba and the U.S.  Alison was a 2015 Laundromat Project Create Change Commissioned Artist co-producing StoryBlock project, an oral history and visual community archive. Raised in North Carolina, she works across borders exploring questions of art, identity, and social change in New York, the U.S. South, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, the Mississippi Delta, South Africa and beyond. More at www.alisonkibbe.com.

Beatrice Capote
Beatrice Capote - Photo by Ashleigh Rae StatonFrom West New York, NJ, Beatrice began her dance training at Amaryllis Dance Academy. She attended Professional Performing Arts High school and studied as a scholarship student at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. At Alvin Ailey, she was featured in the book “Attitude, eight young dancers come of age at the Ailey school” by Katherine Davis Fishman. She then graduated from the University Of North Carolina School of the Arts and at Montclair State University with a Dance Education Degree. Ms. Capote has worked and/ or continues to work with INSPIRIT, a dance company, Mavericks dance company, The Wells Performance Project, Areytos Performance Works, Kyle Abraham/ Abraham. In. Motion, Antonio Brown, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Christal Brown, Frederick Earl Mosley, Matthew Rushing, and Camille A. Brown and Dancers. She is currently faculty at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, and is excited to be working with Camille A. Brown.

Catherine Foster
Catherine FosterFrom Washington, DC, Catherine received her training from the DC Youth Ensemble (DCYE), Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) and at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She was a finalist and 2nd place winner in the National Arts Recognition, in Miami, Fla. and a recipient of the Astaire Award for Best Broadway Female Ensemble. She has worked with and performed the works of noted choreographers including Kevin “Iega” Jeff, Donald Bryd, Hinton Battle. The Fred Benjamin Dance Company (artistic director Fred Benja¬min),Forces of Nature (artistic director, Abdel Salaam), Darrel grand Moultrie, and Camille A. Brown and dancers ( artistic director, Camille Brown). Catherine made her Broadway debut in the original cast of the hit musical FELA! produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith in 2009 and went on to tour internationally with the production until 2011. Catherine has performed throughout North America to as far as Central and South America, Europe, and Africa. She is a certified dance/fitness instructor and teaches regularly in after school programs. She gives thanks to all of her ancestors and loved ones for her success and guidance.

Francine E. Ott
Francine E. OttFrancine Elizabeth Ott, a native of New Orleans. She received her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and worked, as well as danced with Camille A. Brown and Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, among others. She has taught many classes/workshops and currently teaches dance at Cumbe Center of African and Diaspora Dance. Her work has been showcased at SummerStage, E-Moves, Dance Harlem, and more. Ms. Ott was featured in the February 2011 issue of SHAPE Magazine, in the article “Confidence Queens.” She has assisted Camille A. Brown in works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Urban Bush Women and LaGuardia High School. Francine is currently rehearsal director for Camille A. Brown and Dancers, a Masters of Counseling student at Nyack College, and has her own company Francine E. Ott/The Walk.

Ebony Noelle Golden

 
Ebony Noelle GoldenEbony Noelle Golden is the CEO and principal engagement strategist at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC. BDAC is a NYC-based cultural arts direct action group that works to inspire, instigate, and incite transformation, radical expressiveness, and progressive social change through community-designed, culturally-relevant, creative projects. The Houston, TX native is also an accomplished performance artist, poet, director, and choreographer who stages site-specific rituals and live art performances that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now.

Ebony Noelle Golden

After completing graduate school and serving as literature and creative writing professor in Durham, North Carolina, Golden funneled her passion for entrepreneurship, arts, culture, and community-based education into BDAC which powers some of the most forward-moving organizations and initiatives pushing for progressive social change. Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative has worked with more than fifty organizations over the last seven years, internationally.
Ebony holds a Master of Arts degree in Performance Studies from New York University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Texas A&M University.
BDAC is affectionately named after Ebony’s mother Dr. Betty Ann Sims who is a retired professor, social worker, and youth interventionist.

What People are Saying

 
Sports & Arts in Schools FoundationBlack Girl Spectrum (BGS) is not only a well thought out project implemented by Camille A. Brown & Dancers it is an overall experience. Through this type of work and creativity I have seen in our middle school students the ability for them to build self-confidence, feel motivated and feel connected to the instructor and the group around them. These are powerful social impacts that are drawn out from BGS and are a current need among our youth in
schools.
~ Michelle Durante, Director of Arts at Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation

Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School“…It was truly inspiring that a company and individual as established Camille agreed to support our dance academy and actually did so in such a hands on, personal and relevant manner. The satisfaction and pride our students exhibited after the workshops was the real indicator of how connected they were to Camille and the work…”
~ James O’Brien, Principal at Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School

Brooklyn Community Services“The young women were truly, in their words, ‘lifted, free, in charge’ during/after the session with Camille. Our exploration of issues related to stereotyping, skin color hierarchies, defying expectations, self-love, respect, and beauty revealed layers of experience not often shared in such a careful context. The original movement phrases they created under Camille’s guidance expressed an abiding sense of personal activism, especially around bringing peace to communities experiencing violence and polarization. The young women were beyond enthusiastic about continuing the work!”
~ Karma Mayet Johnson, Youth Development Coordinator at YouthStand Coney Island/ Brooklyn Community Services

Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School“The BGS Workshop provides a great opportunity for students to explore their identity as young women through the vehicle of dance. Our students benefited from Camille’s expertise, guidance and personal story. The workshop opened up new possibilities for them in how to express through dance and in how to give a platform to their personal stories.”
~ J Lyn Thomas, Dance Director at Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School

BGS on Tour

 
“Every year since 2014, I have been committed to bringing 1-2 girls on the road with CABD during the Summer to experience tour life. An all expense paid experience, it is important for me to show young Black girls and women that they have choices within the field. They can be dancers, choreographers, and directors. They can be in positions of leadership. It is also about showing them the behind-the-scenes work that goes into running a company. I am completely vulnerable, but I want to be as accessible as possible.”
~ Camille A. Brown

2016 Participant Bryanna Bradley

Bryanna BradleyBryanna is a Queens, New York native studying Broadcast Media at the
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). In 2005, she started her
formal dance training with Tap Dancing Only under the guidance of Director
Shaune Faust. Since then, Bryanna has collaborated with Boston Poet
Laureate Danielle Legros Georges and choreographed pieces performed at the
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). She is recent alumna
of the Improv Traditions & Innovations program at The School at Jacob’s
Pillow. Bryanna learned intensely under JaWole Willa Jo Zollar, artistic
director of Urban Bush Women. Bryanna expresses interest in becoming a
dance scholar focusing on black representation, intersectionality, and
black entertainment tradition.

I am interested in BGS on Tour because…

I want to be fully immersed in a dance environment while developing my artistry, building connections, and strengthening community. CABD’s BGS is the perfect outlet given the emphasis on black female success in the dance world and wonderful mentoring.

2016 Participant Alexeya Eyma-Manderson

Alexeya Eyma-MandersonAlexeya EM is a dancer, choreographer and creative director born and raised in Queens, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida with an emphasis on research in Leadership Studies. She has conducted research on the integration of leadership frameworks in dance education. With an extensive performance resume, ranging from concert to commercial dance, Alexeya has worked with Tatiana Hassan, Ob!ka Dance and international Soca artist Leonce. She has presented work at Gowanus Art and Production and Gibney Dance Center, has produced multiple dance short films and served as the lead choreographer for pop artist Victory Jones’s “Warriors” music video. She is currently performs with Gibney Dance Company. In addition to her artistic work, Alexeya is directing LEAD: Leadership for Emerging Artist Development, a 4 week immersive leadership training program geared towards developing a cohort of New York’s upcoming performance artists.

I am interested in BGS on Tour because…

I am at the stage in my career where I am hungry and eager to learn as much as I can. BGS on Tour is particularly interesting to me because I will be in a direct space to learn about the possibilities in dance for women like me. I plan on being a sponge during this experience, absorbing all of the information and insight that I can. I’m extremely interested in learning more about Camille’s choreographic/rehearsal process. It will be an honor to be in the space and to witness the behind the scenes construct of the company.

2016 Participant Ariarna Odom

Ariarna OdomA Washington, D.C. native, Ariarna Odom is a junior Dance major and Psychology minor at Howard University. Her Department of Theatre Arts productions include Hamdan: Through the Gate of Tears, Evoke: Student Choreography Showcase, Emerge: Annual Spring Dance Concert, and Spektrum: Student Choreography Showcase. As a sophomore she had the privileged opportunity to perform at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY as a guest dancer in Attaca: John Adams “Confirmed” Dances choreographed by Francesca Harper. She has also performed as a member of the Howard University Dance Ensemble at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and Washington Ballet in Washington, DC. She has also performed as a member of the Princess Mhoon Project at the Atlas Theater for the DC Jazz Festival, and Moves/Maverick Lemons Dance Project for the Atlas Intersections Festival. Ariarna is extremely grateful to God, as well as her family and friends for their continued love, support, and guidance. John 3:16

I am interested in BGS on Tour because…

I want to participate in CABD’s BGS Tour to foremost serve others, learn from those surrounding me, and to share my own experiences and voice as a young black woman and developing artist.

 

Prior Participant Testimonial

“Black Girl Spectrum has redefined my understanding of “collaboration.” Throughout the process, ideas and feedback have always been communicated in a fashion that is in the best interest of the work and those involved. I appreciate that trust and artistic freedom are established in the beginning stages because it creates a safe environment for the imagination to take liberty in doing what it does best. Everyone involved with CABD is brilliant. It seems they are not only interested in furnishing the vision, but also personally impacted by it in some way- so naturally there is a sense of accountability for the work that is embraced. This experience has also challenged my understanding of the role of the “choreographer” in terms of it being interchangeable (or one in the same) with the role of a “director”- an idea I’m excited to explore for myself.”

Renée

“I came into this journey not knowing what to expect asking a million questions afraid I wasn’t going to be able to complete company task or keeping up with what’s going on, on the stage. But it was nothing like that. I became a part of the production. I was able to learn whatever I wanted, meaning if I wanted to learn Camilles Solo I could or if I wanted to learn one of the duets I was free to move on the side and even in the space learning everything the company was learning. It really made me feel like I was about to perform. I was able to witness Camilles genius process of turning something so simple like a natural gesture and make it really mean something. I watch how she created movement, tore it apart and built it back up into a whole story. Talk about amazement in front of your eyes! And then I was used to help an idea, giving me the chance to be inside the movement and turn it into a story of my own and making what Camille see come alive.”

Makeesha

BGS Participants

 

BGS Participants

WE DON’T DO IT ALONE! 

The growth of Black Girl Spectrum has been a success because of the various community participants and presenting organizations we have had an opportunity to work with both locally in NYC and nationally while on tour.

LOCAL PARTICIPANTS

2016 Black Girl Movement Conference – New York, NY (Columbia University)
Bailey’s Café – Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Children’s Museum/Black Girl Project – Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM) – Brooklyn, NY
Devore Dance Center – Hollis, Queens
GirlsTalk/GuysTalk – New York, NY
Gotham High School – Brooklyn, NY
Little Maroons Childcare Cooperative – Brooklyn, NY
New York City Center Education – New York, NY
Ronald Edmonds Learning Center – Brooklyn, NY
Sadie Nash Leadership Project – New York, NY
Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation – Servicing all 5 boroughs
The Women’s Group at THE POINT CDC – Bronx, NY
YouthStand Coney Island Leadership Program – Brooklyn, NY
Young Adult Literacy Project @ West Farms Library – Bronx, NY

NATIONAL PRESENTERS & PARTICIPANTS

Presenter: DANCECleveland (Cleveland, OH)
Community Participant: Women’s Northeast Reintegration Center

Presenter: The Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts (College Park, MD)
Community Participant: Select students from various performing arts high schools

Presenter: O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University (St. Paul, MN)
Community Participant: Lovin’ the Skin I’m In

Presenter: The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Community Participants: Global Girls, Inc., Kennedy King Prepartory High School, and Red Clay Dance Company

Presenter: ASU Gammage (Tempe, AZ)
Community Participant: ASU Gammage’s Journey Home Program at Estrella Jail

Presenter: MDC Live Arts (Miami, FL)
Community Participants: PATH/GIRLPOWER and Young Women’s Preparatory Academy

BGS Photos

 

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2016 BGS Symposium

 

Black Girl Symposium

On Saturday, June 4, 2016, Camille A. Brown hosted the first annual Black Girl Spectrum Symposium at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theater in Harlem, NY. Leveraging the power of dance to transform, connect and activate community, over 70 partners, participants, practitioners gathered for a half day of dance, dialogue and collective visioning about building a world where Black girls and women can live as creative citizens.

The inaugural BGS Symposium’s theme is “SOCIAL DANCE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE,” which
serves as the motivating force behind Black Girl Spectrum. The symposium and the BGS curriculum are about resilience, visioning, exploring the past, and dreaming the future.

The symposium featured workshops facilitated by Paloma McGregor (Dancing While Black), Francine E. Ott (The Walk) and Audrey Hailes, (Choreographer/Performer and BGS Core Facilitator), as well as a keynote delivered by Maria Bauman (MBDance).

Information Materials

 

2016 BGS Symposium Program

2016 Reading List

Press

 

Press Release

Camille A. Brown: Exploring the Black Girl Spectrum
Zita Allen
Amsterdam News
7/14/16

Camille A. Brown’s Black Girl Spectrum Symposium: More then just a Hashtag
By:Theresa Ruth Howard
MyBodyMyImage.com
6/12/16

The 2016 Black Girl Spectrum Symposium was supported in part by

 

We also received generous donations from

 

About

Camille A. Brown

Repertory

Camille A. Brown and Dancers Repertory

Theater

Camille A. Brown Theater Choreography

Engagement

Engagement with Camille A. Brown