NW New Works Festival

NW New Works Festival
Image courtesy of NW New Works 2019 artist Body Home Fat Dance. Photo credit: Shoog McDaniel

June 12-16, 2019

Since 1983, the NW New Works Festival (NWNW) has showcased artists from all performance disciplines and celebrated the dynamic arts community of the Pacific Northwest. The festival has featured established artists from a variety of performance disciplines, upholding its goal to create a platform for artists within our region’s creative community.

This year, the festival highlights works exploring and responding to the myriad upheavals currently affecting the PNW. The 12 works presented in the 2019 festival chart the challenges and possibilities unique to this moment in our region’s history. The 2019 NW New Works Festival will include video screenings, artist talks, and opening and closing celebrations highlighting the festival’s 36-year history. Works featured in the festival are new and/or in-progress multidisciplinary performance works, all under 20 minutes in length. NWNW is selected by a panel of curators and artists from across the region. Festival participants receive an honorarium, performance documentation, and rehearsal time at On the Boards. 

2019 Festival Participants

Arson Nicki
Body Home Fat Dance (Portland, OR)
claire barrera (Portland, OR)
Dakota Camacho 
Imana Gunawan
Jenny May Peterson
Leanna Keith
Mother Tongue 
Naomi Macalalad Bragin
Sasha Petrenko/The New Urban Naturalists (Bellingham, WA)

About the Artists of NW New Works 2019 

KT Kusmaul founded Body Home Fat Dance in Portland, Oregon to increase connection, representation, and opportunity for movement within the fat community. KT creates radical gender-based drag, music video and dance within queer community.
Mother Tongue is a two headed art making machine created in 2015 by composer and musician Angelina Baldoz and multidimensional artist Katherine Cohen. Together they help run local arts organization Studio Current.

Sasha Petrenko is an artist, nomad and Artistic Director of The New Urban Naturalists, a pop-up ecological performance art collective. Their work utilizes sculpture, performance, live cinema and prose to draw parallels between ecology and human relationships.

claire barrera is a queer, Xicanx artist, educator and organizer based in Portland, Oregon. Through a combination of performed ritual, internal investigation and cultural research claire’s work examines the disorientation and transformation that can occur in liminal spaces.

Arson Nicki has been performing their unique style of drag up and down the west coast. They were recently featured as the November 2018 cover story in City Arts Magazine.
Dakota Camacho is a musician, performing artist & scholar whose work explores indigenous knowing, culture, language, and spirituality.
Imana Gunawan is a Seattle-based Texas-born Indonesian storyteller, choreographer, dancer and creative director. Her dance works have been produced by American Dance Guild, Velocity, Washington Ensemble Theater, and the AU Collective among others.

Naomi Macalalad Bragin is a street dancer, performance artist and educator. They are assistant professor at the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (UW Bothell) and teach courses at the crossroads of performance, critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies, and dance. 

Jenny May Peterson is a visual and dance artist who has been living and working in Seattle, WA for the past 11 years. They have danced with the Pat Graney Company and collaborated with Kaitlin McCarthy.

Under the moniker LanDforms, Leah Crosby’s and Danielle Doell’s productions span dance, theater, music, sculpture, and horticulture. LanDforms’ often funny, sometimes tragic, always unusual performances explore the absurdities of human relationships, nostalgia, and the intersections of power, control, and love.

A freelance flutist, improviser, and composer, Leanna Keith delights in creating sound experiences that make audiences laugh, cry, and say: “I didn’t know the flute could do that!” As a performer, she has played concerts throughout the United States, Italy, Argentina, and Canada. Leanna is co-founder of the arts organization Kin of the Moon. 

HATLO is a collaborative queer theater artist who creates and facilitates new performance. Their writing, directing, dramaturgy, and performance centers queer and trans people and narratives that disrupt dominant power structures with an aim to destroy white supremacist hetero-patriarchy.

About the Curatorial Panel 

“It was a pleasure and privilege to contribute to this year's NWNW jury process. I am continually impressed with the range, strength, commitment, and cultural relevance of contemporary performance projects and practices developing in the Pacific Northwest, and the innovative ways in which artists' communities are supporting each other. Serving on this jury was informative and educational, and as a curator, it renewed my excitement for the cultural work being made in our region, and its potential for political inquiry, aesthetic experimentation, and social impact.”

Roya Amirsoleymani, NWNW 2019 Jury Curator 

Cheryl Delostrinos is a Filipino American born and raised in Seattle. She is one of the co-founders of Au Collective and is the Out of School Time Manager at Arts Corps. Delostrinos has presented many works for festivals and events in Seattle, Portland, and New York. Delostrinos has devoted her life to creating and fostering art spaces that are accessible to marginalized communities.

Elisheba Johnson is a multi-media artist and poet who has dedicated her career in the arts to creating space for emerging and POC artists to create and showcase their work. Johnson was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space. Since 2013 Johnson has worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture as a public art project manager and works on capacity building initiatives.  Johnson is also a founding member of COLLECT, a monthly curated art tour to inspire a new generation of art collectors.

Kristina Lee Podesva is the Editor & Publisher of B R U N A Press + Archive, a space for uncommon cultural conversations in art and literature in Bellingham, Washington. Alternately, an artist, writer, editor, and publisher, she works between text, images, and institution making. 

Markeith Wiley is a multi-dimensional art maker, who creates out of necessity. As of late this anti-social extrovert dabbles in dance, sound, theater, a combo of all three or none of the above. When not in the studio you can find Markeith at Rainier Dance Center in Rainier Beach or on Capitol Hill as a managing artist director at Studio Current or choreographing with both Seattle Children’s Theatre & 5th Avenue Theatre. In the evenings Wiley hosts a DJ event at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar with fellow music enthusiast Alice Gosti.

Roya Amirsoleymani is an arts administrator, educator, and Artistic Director & Curator of Public Engagement with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). Roya's work with PICA and in the field centers issues of access, equity, and inclusion for contemporary and experimental art and its institutions. She is a founding member of Arts Workers for Equity (AWE) and is on faculty in the Art & Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University.

The NWNW Festival is produced by Charles Smith.

NW New Works Festival Curatorial Intern: Eli Steffen

NWNW 2019 is supported by the The National Endowment for the Arts: Art Works, 4Culture, and Arts Fund. 


Past Festivals

2018 NW New Works Festival
2017 NW New Works Festival

Presented in conjunction with the West Coast premiere of Erin Markey's Singlet at Washington Ensemble Theatre, this Master Class with the artist will focus on fictionalizing autobiography for comedic live performance works.

The final installment of the 18/19 Lecture & Studio Visit Series features Joyce Rosario, Interim Artistic Director at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver BC, Canada. INFO I TICKETS 

On the Boards presents its 36th NW New Works Festival June 12-16, 2019. This year the festival highlights works exploring and responding to the myriad upheavals currently affecting the PNW. FIND OUT MORE