Announcing the Naked Stages Fellows 2014
The 2014 Naked Stages artists are Eric F. Avery, PaviElle French, and B Billy Xiong. Eric F. Avery will experiment with installation art in spaces around the building excluding the theatre. He is an interdisciplinary artist also currently working on a commission for Northern Spark as well as a Cultural Community Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. B Billy Xiong is an up-and-coming Hmong artist with eight years experience as a competitive dancer who uses dance, singing, writing, and acting in his work. Finally, PaviElle French is best known locally for her dynamic live performances of spirit-filled, hip-hop/soul music. They were chosen by a panel of artists including past Naked Stages recipients and other professional artists: Sharon Bridgforth, Kurt Kwan, Jeffry Lusiak, and Natasha Pestich.
A creative opportunity unlike any other in Minnesota, Naked Stages is a 7 month development program that provides time, financial support, and mentoring to three artists to develop their unique voices as performance artists and creators.
Unlike past years, Naked Stages 2014 finally implements changes discussed for a few years—where only two of the three fellowships will be for performance work. In the past, the fellowship has culminated in two weekends of performances with two different artists performing each week. This year, two artists will perform their work over the course of two weeks (December 11-20, 2014) while a third artist will create an installation in the Pillsbury House + Theatre building that will be open to the public overlapping the December performances. In addition, artist acclaimed artist Sharon Bridgforth (River See) will be working more closely with all the artists over the course of the fellowship, increasing her participation from one workshop to three.
About the 2013 projects
Eric F. Avery’s WHITE [people] installation is an examination of “Blackness” through critiquing the kind of privilege that exists by simply seeming “White” and adhering to the conventions of the dominant culture. It is not an indictment of any group; it is an invitation to explore the life of someone you are not.
B Billy Xiong’s project will continue his transformation from just a “dancer who acts” to creator of performance that uses multiple medium and raises awareness about the voices in his Hmong community.
PaviElle French’s Runnin’ reflects on the lessons learned growing up as a young Black woman in the Rondo Community during the height of the Reagan Era.
Molly Van Avery continues in her second year as Director of Naked Stages (taking over from seminal artist Laurie Carlos. “As the program continues, we are working to broaden the possibilities of performance through encouraging installation pieces, creating a script library of past projects that highlights the incredible work of Naked Stages artists, and also entering into a conversation with other theatres throughout the country who are interested in supporting original performance art that is unpredictable, edgy, and exciting.”
In addition to regular feedback sessions and money to support development, hiring other artists, and material requirements, the artists work with local creators like Hijack, Late Nite Series Artists and Naked Stages Alums Juma B Essie, Katie Vang, Moe Lionel, Gabrielle Civil, and Julia Babb as well as nationally renowned artists, Sharon Bridgforth and Daniel Alexander Jones. Once a month, they also participate in production meetings focused on the business side of art, from audience development to technical support, helping to develop their unique voice into a sustainable, artistic career.
Naked Stages performances will be December 11-20, 2014.
Eric F. Avery’s installation dates TBA.
All tickets are Pick Your Price. (Regular price = $15). Performances begin at 7:30 Wednesday thru Saturday. Post-show discussions with the artists following every Thursday performance.
BOX OFFICE AND MORE INFO: 612-825-0459 or www.pillsburyhousetheatre.org