Designed to foreground Ars Nova’s values through the creation of more equitable and power-sharing curatorial practices, the Vision Residency expands Ars Nova’s artistic vision by inviting seven artist-curators to populate our digital platform with their own work as well as work by artists they champion and admire.
Each Resident is given broad support from Ars Nova’s full staff, and spends two months planning for one month of activity on Ars Nova Supra. Each will be paid for their curation and administrative work, as well as a program budget to allocate towards the creation, development and presentation of work during their curated month. Vision Residents are encouraged to invite other artists they feel inspired by, want to collaborate with or simply wish to amplify, to make and share work using the budget and resources of the residency during their month of programming.
Vision Residency programming on Ars Nova Supra will begin January 2021, with full schedules and details to come.
OUR 2020/21 VISION RESIDENTS
Click each headshot for an artist bio.
Starr Busby is an experimental artist who sings, acts, composes and educates. You may have seen Starr playing solo shows with their loop station, Francis, or fronting Brooklyn-based experimental soul band People’s Champs (peopleschamps.com). Starr has also supported artists such as The Gorillaz, Esperanza Spalding, X Ambassadors, Kimbra and Alice Smith. Selected appearances include: Moby Dick (American Repertory Theatre; Starbuck); Octet (Signature Theatre; Paula – Drama Desk Award Winner); where love lies fallow (The Shed; Nia 1); Apollo Cafe Live: Soul Cypher; #BlackGirlMagic Show (Jack; composer/performer); Mikrokosmos (Steirischer Herbst, Graz and Nottingham Contemporary); The Girl with the Incredible Feeling (Spoleto Festival di Mondi) as well as various concerts. Starr also enjoys working as an arts educator through organizations such as Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project, Beats 4 Peace and Long Island University. She is looking forward to continuing the development of (pray) with nicHi douglas and JJJJJerome Ellis at Ars Nova. Their music is available via Bandcamp.
nicHi douglas is a Brooklyn-based performer, choreographer, director, playwright and ART-IVIST who spells her name with a capital H. she is the Head of Movement in the NYU/Tisch Playwrights Horizons Theater School studio. she has developed curricula for BAM, NYU and the CRAFT Institute. she has developed original theater work at Denver Center, Berkeley Rep and The Public Theater, among others. she is currently developing an interactive dance exhibit for the National Museum of African-American Music. her sacred offering for Black womxn, (pray), co-composed by Starr Busby & JJJJJerome Ellis, has been commissioned by Ars Nova. nicHi’s reparations-based mutual aid fund, nicHi’s SuSu, is set to begin in mid-October. recent stage credits: A Time Like This: Music for Change (Carnegie Hall, Stage Director), Girl From the North Country (Public Theater, Associate Choreographer), where love lies fallow (Open Call/The Shed, The Public Theater, Playwright/Choreographer/Director), SKiNFoLK: An American Show (The Bushwick Starr/National Black Theater, Choreographer), 1MOVE: DES19GNED BY … Commission (The Movement Theatre Company, Commissioned Artist), Broad Daylight Sign & Wonders (48Hours in … Harlem-Digital Edition, Director). upcoming: SUPERHOST (Lightning Rod Special, Creator/Actor), The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents the 84th Annual Star-Burst Cotillion in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel (The Movement Theatre Company/New Georges, Movement Director). BFA, Tisch/NYU; MFA, The New School. mynameisnichi.com | @mynameisnichi
JJJJJerome Ellis is a stuttering composer, performer and writer. His current practice explores blackness, music and disabled speech as forces of refusal and healing. His work has been heard at the Poetry Project, Sotheby’s, Soho Rep, WKCR and on This American Life. He’s a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow, a writer in residence at Lincoln Center Theater and a 2015 Fulbright Fellow. He collaborates with James Harrison Monaco as James & Jerome (or Jerome & James). Their recent work explores themes of border crossing and translation through music-driven narratives. They have received commissions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ars Nova.
raja feather kelly is an Obie-winning choreographer, director, artistic director of the feath3r theory and a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School. In 2020, Kelly made his directorial debut at New York City’s Second Stage Theatre with We’re Gonna Die. Since 2016, raja has choreographed extensively for Off-Broadway theater in New York City, most notably for Signature Theatre, Soho Rep, New York Theatre Workshop and Playwrights Horizons. Frequent collaborators include: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sarah Benson and Lila Neugebauer. Other theater credits include choreography for Skittles Commercial: The Musical (Town Hall), The Chronicles of Cardigan and Khente (SohoRep), Everyday Afroplay (JACK), GURLS (Princeton University, Yale Repertory Theatre), Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen), Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The House That Will Not Stand (New York Theatre Workshop), Fireflies (Atlantic Theatre Company), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons, nominated for the 2019 Lucille Lortel Award and the 2019 Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Choreography), The Good Swimmer (BAM) and Faust (Opera Omaha). Most recent work: Fairview (SDCF Joe A. Callaway Award finalist for choreography; Soho Rep, Berkeley Rep, TFANA, and winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), A Strange Loop (Obie Award winner and SDCF Callaway finalist for choreography; Playwrights Horizons, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama).
raja feather kelly
Jenny Koons Recent Projects: Men on Boats (Baltimore Center Stage), Speechless (New Blue Man Group North American Tour), The Tempest (Juilliard School), Between Us: The Deck of Cards (Denver Center), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Public Theater Mobile Unit), Burn All Night (American Repertory Theatre), Gimme Shelter (Why Not Theatre, 2015 Pan Am Games commission), Theatre for One: I’m Not the Stranger You Think I Am (Arts Brookfield), A Sucker Emcee (National Black Theatre, LAByrinth Theater Company), Queen of the Night (Diamond Horseshoe), The Odyssey Project 2012 (site-specific NYC). Jenny was the 2017 curator of the Encores! Off-Center Lobby Project, co-curator of the 2016 ThisGen Conference and co-founder of Artists 4 Change NYC (National Black Theatre). She has been an artist in residence at Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, SPACE on Ryder Farm and The Invisible Dog Art Center and has developed new work at Ars Nova, Steppenwolf, Roundabout and New Black Fest. Jenny has guest taught at Princeton, ART Institute at Harvard and NYU Tisch. Jenny has been a facilitator and educator in creating anti-racist spaces and engaging in conversations around race and equity for over a decade, in both non-profit and artistic circles.
David Mendizábal (he/him) is a director/designer, one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the Obie Award winning The Movement Theatre Company and the Associate Artistic Director of The Sol Project. Select directing credits include: Don’t Eat the Mangos (Magic Theatre/Sundance/Sol), On The Grounds of Belonging (Long Wharf), the bandaged place (NYSAF), Then They Forgot About The Rest (INTAR), The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), And She Would Stand Like This (w/ choreo. by Kia LaBeija), Look Upon Our Lowliness, Bintou (The Movement) and Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic / Drama League Nomination). He is a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons, alumnus of The Drama League Directors Project, LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble, NALAC, artEquity, and Lincoln Center Directors Lab. David was a participant in the TCG Leadership U: One-on-One program from 2017 – 2018, where he was the Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company. BFA – NYU/Tisch @ PHTS. davidmendizabal.com | IG: @its_daveed
Rona Siddiqui is a composer/lyricist based in NYC. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant and Billie Burke Ziegfeld award. She was named one of Broadway Women’s Fund’s Women to Watch and is currently an MTF Maker. Her show Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan, an autobiographical comedy about growing up bi-ethnic in America, had a reading at Playwrights Horizons (dir. by raja feather kelly). Other musicals include One Good Day, The Tin and Treasure in NYC. She is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Award, Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award and ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus Scholarship. She has written pieces for Wicked‘s 16th anniversary commemoration Flying Free, 24 Hour Musicals, Prospect Theater Company, The Civilians, NYC Gay Men’s Chorus and 52nd St Project; and has performed concerts of her work at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Feinstein’s/54 Below. Original scores include The Vagina Monologues, Middletown and The Good Person of Szechuan. Rona music directed the Off-Broadway Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop for which she received an Obie along with the cast and creative team (Playwrights Horizons), Bella: An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons) and Who’s Your Baghdaddy: Or How I Started the Iraq War (St. Lukes Theatre). She has orchestrated for Broadway Records, Broadway Backwards, NAMT and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. ronasiddiqui.com