Awardee: Sharon Bridgforth

Performing Arts, 2016

Sharon is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and a 2016 Creative Capital awardee. A New Dramatists alumnae, Sharon collaborates with actors, dancers, singers and audiences live during performance as she composes moving soundscapes of her ritual/jazz texts.  A MAP Fund and National Performance Network Creation Fund recipient, her work has been presented by Links Hall, Pillsbury House Theatre, The New Black Fest and New York SummerStage Festival. She has served in residence at: International Development Exchange; allgo, a Texas statewide queer people of color organization; Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; and The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Publications include: love conjure/blues; Lambda Literary Award winning the bull-jean stories; and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project. Sharon’s delta dandi, is published in solo/black/woman. Sharon is currently developing, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home

Project: dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home

dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home will support a cohort of emerging artists of color in purchasing homes–sites for art centered gatherings–while developing approaches to stop displacement of people of color in South Minneapolis. The cohort will work with local artists and activists to facilitate community engagement activities such as: home buying, food gardening, financial planning and creative practice workshops plus cooking/story circles and house parties.  With Sharon’s mentorship the cohort will develop and present their new works, and she will produce her, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance Installation–a collaboration between Sharon, her daughter Sonja Perryman and artist Walter Kitundu. The Performance Installation is made of original music, oracle readings, and shape shifting objects invite audiences to build, share, hold space, witness each other, and therein activate a more humane and expansive/collective experience. Centered in people of color artistic and cultural traditions, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home supports the creation of spaces that active communal wisdom and self-determination.