Special Event: “I’m an Artist: Women of Color Speak” – listen live!

I'm an Artist: Women of Color Speak

AS220 Presents:

SPECIAL EVENT: I’m an Artist: Women of Color Speak.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

AS220, 115 Empire St., Providence, RI



7:30 PM // OPEN DIALOGUE: “I’m an Artist: Women of Color Speak” with guest artists Kate Rushin (poet, AS220 Artist-in-Residence), Sussy Santana (poet and activist), Francis Parra (actor, director, ECAS Theater), and Jackie Davis (actor, director, New Urban Theater Lab). Moderated by poet Franny Choi.

8:30 PM // OPEN MIKE: Featuring readings by Kate Rushin, Sussy Santana, Franny Choi, Shey Rivera, and other artists/poets.

9:30 PM // FILM SCREENING: “Bloodwork: The Ana Mendieta Story”. Directed by Richard Move.

In 1985, Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta fell thirty-four floors from the window of her apartment in New York City. The only person with her at the time was her husband of eight months, the sculptor Carl Andre. Was her fall an accident, suicide or murder? BloodWork-The Ana Mendieta Story is the first film to address this controversial subject and features Dawn Dunning as Ana Mendieta. The film combines interviews with Mendieta’s friends, peers, scholars and transformative re-imaginings of many of her important works. Art that includes revolutionary visual and performance pieces that some say foretold her tragic death. Interviewees include: the filmmaker/choreographer, Yvonne Rainer, Mendieta’s friend, “aesthetic sister” and Feminist Art icon, Carolee Schneemann, Mendieta’s friend and film/cultural critic, B. Ruby Rich and art historians Jose Esteban Munoz and Lisa Paul Streitfeld. BloodWork-The Ana Mendieta Story explores connections between life, art and interpretations of the truth. http://move-itproductions.com/_Bloodwork_Ana_Mendieta/Trailer.html


Kate Rushin  in an Oberlin alum with an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University and has received fellowships from The Cave Canem Foundation and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.  She has taught poetry writing workshops and African-American literature at MIT and Wesleyan University.  She is the award-winning author of The Black Back-Ups, poems based on her experiences growing up in Lawnside, New Jersey, a small, working-class African-American town that grew out from the Underground Railroad.  “My Lord, What A Morning,” is a series of poems inspired by The Marian Anderson Studio at the Danbury Historical Society,  was written on commission from the International Festival of Arts and Ideas/Connecticut Freedom Trail Poetry Project.  She serves on The Connecticut Poetry Circuit and The James Merrill House Committee.

Sussy Santana is a poet born in the Dominican Republic. She’s the author of Pelo Bueno y otros poemas (2010), a collection of poems inspired by the duality of the immigrant experience. Her work has been featured in various literary magazines and web publications as well as the following anthologies: Mujeres de Palabra (2010), Poetas de la Era (2010-2011), A la garáta con Puño (UNAM, México). Her most recent work is RADIO ESL, a poetry cd released in June, 2012. The author resides in Providence, Rhode Island.

Francis Parra is co-founder and artistic director at ECAS Theater, RI’s leading Latino performing arts organization. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Francis has produced and directed plays, led the theater’s educational programming and special events, and collaborated with local, national and international theatrical and arts organizations since 1997. Before moving to the US she was very active in Santo Domingo’s theater scene. Francis currently serves on the board of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and is a teacher at the International Charter School in Pawtucket.

Jackie Davis is an actor, director, choreographer involved in theater, film, and television. Ms. Davis is also the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New Urban Theatre Laboratory in Boston, MA; now entering its fifth year and fourth season. She is a Master Teacher for Trinity Repertory Theater’s YASI Summer Theater Intensive for children and teens in Providence, RI, and a member of the Manton Avenue Project in Olyneville, RI.  She has been a guest artist for Company One Boston’s summer intensive workshops.  Jackie has played a range of roles including Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Norman Weasel in Wind in the Willows.  She is also happy about premiering the roles of Nsugo in Livingroom in Africa, and Rashida in The Etymology of Bird.  As a choreographer, she has worked on several projects including The Wiz and Caroline or Change and is looking forward to choreographing the Color Purple for Speakeasy Stage in MA in the fall. She will be traveling to New Orleans to reprise her role as director of The Gift of An Orange, one of the “Best Short American Plays of 2012” and was the rave of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.  Projects of note include Theater: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, “For Colored Girls…”  Film: The Company Men, Shuttle, RIPD. Television: Body of Evidence, Comcast, Jennie O Turkey Burger, and Dunkin Donuts.


Franny Choi is a Korean-American poet, playwright, and fiction writer. A Pushcart Prize nominee and award-winning performer, she has been a finalist at the three largest adult poetry slam competitions in the nation. Her work has appeared in Fringe, Angry Asian Man, Apogee, Tandem, Flicker & Spark, and others. Her play Mask Dances was staged in the 2011 Writing is Live Festival at Rites and Reason Theatre in Providence. A teaching artist with a community organizing background, she has worked with several local youth organizations, including New Urban Arts, ProvSlam Youth, and the Providence Youth Student Movement. Her first full-length collection of poems is forthcoming on Write Bloody Publishing.