Greensboro Downtown Parks Get Their First Artist in Residence
Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc. (GDPI) is excited to announce that choreographer, Alexandra Joye Warren, will serve as LeBauer & Center City Parks’ first official Artist in Residence. In January 2021, Alexandra and her company, JOYEMOVEMENT, began exploring the physical and cultural landscape of the downtown parks through dance. Over the next several months, they will rehearse weekly in the parks, as they prepare to create their newest work, ‘A Wicked Silence’, to be presented at GDPI’s annual celebration of National Dance Day on September 18, 2021.
Alexandra Joye Warren is the Founding Artistic Director of JOYEMOVEMENT dance company, whose mission is to tell stories of the African Diaspora that inspire audience members and participants to reexamine embedded societal ideas. ‘A Wicked Silence’ is to be created through site-specific choreography interacting with the features, landscape, and community in the downtown parks. The work is a dance exploration of the history and consequences of the Eugenics Movement in North Carolina that will bring these stories to light in context with new policies that are being proposed which greatly affect the life and liberty of the marginalized in the 21st century. By rearranging context, Alexandra’s hope is to ignite reconsideration and propose alternative understandings. “We strive to explore the future grounded with historical context and artistic activism,” she said.
Alexandra’s residency will serve as a pilot for the official launch of a permanent Artist in Residence program at Greensboro Downtown Parks, as the organization will collaborate with Alexandra to develop a valuable residency experience for future artists at the parks. This move is in alignment with the nonprofit’s work in creative placemaking, which it identifies as the forging of an identity connection to a particular space. “The meaning that our community members inscribe to these parks – bringing their narratives, showcasing their craft, highlighting perspectives, building traditions, making memories – is the power that turns these spaces into more than mere backdrop,” said Amanda Miller, GDPI Director of Programs & Marketing.
This new Artist in Residence program will solidify the organization’s commitment to providing space not only for artists to showcase their work, but to also lead the community in connecting with its stories, assets, challenges, and possibilities. Utilizing Center City & LeBauer Parks as studio, medium, performance venue, and ultimate collaborator, Artists in Residence will spend time building a relationship with these urban greenspaces and the people they bring together to explore a central creative vision.
Community members are invited to observe Alexandra and JOYEMOVENT’s rehearsals in Center City & LeBauer Parks every Saturday from 2pm to 4pm. Workshops are currently in development to deepen community engagement with this project to be announced later this spring. For more information about this Artist in Residence and to follow the documentation of Alex’s artistic process, please visit https://www.greensborodowntownparks.org/artist-in-residence