Intergenerational Community Arts Council names Pia Monique Murray as its 2023 Artist-in-Residence

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Intergenerational Community Arts Council names Pia Monique Murray as its 2023 Artist-in-Residence
Courtesy of PMMDC Credit: Fred Hatt. Pia Monique Murray has dedicated her artistic practice to multidisciplinary work that encompasses community engagement and audience interaction and will work closely with ICAC members for Spread Love, an original Hip-Hop and performance community tour.

BROOKLYN, NY.- BRIC is pleased to announce Pia Monique Murray as the artist-in-residence for the third cycle of the Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC). The ICAC is a multigenerational team of residents developing joyous, values-driven arts programming by, for, and with members of the Atlantic Terminal, Farragut, Ingersoll, and Gowanus NYCHA houses and surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods. Murray will work with the program’s third cohort on developing Spread Love (working title), a series of performance events that will travel to four local community centers at local public housing developments in May-June 2023.

For the first time in ICAC history, the members developed an open call for an artist who works specifically in set design and installation to help develop visual, physical, and interactive elements for their performance. Community-engaged artists from across the city submitted applications and two-minute videos introducing themselves, their practice, and what excited them about working with the ICAC. The members selected Murray as this year’s Artist-in-Residence based on her extensive experience producing movement-based multidisciplinary performances involving community engagement and audience interaction, along with her emphasis on joy and collaboration.

Murray is a choreographer, performer, teacher, and producer working across dance and public installation and has a long history working in the surrounding communities of Downtown Brooklyn. As a teaching artist, she has worked with local institutions such as Brooklyn Arts Council, Cumbe Center for African Diaspora Dance, and Dancewave and produced We Are Here, an 11-week public art installation in Bedford-Stuyvesant in partnership with 651 ARTS and Photoville. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Bailey’s Cafe where she produces multidisciplinary installations. In addition, she formed Pia Monique Murray Dance Collective (PMMDC) to connect like-minded artists of various disciplines committed to making valuable artistic contributions to the world.

Over the next six months, Murray will collaborate with the ICAC members to create Spread Love, a performance and interactive experience exploring what it means to be a healthy, thriving community. Spread Love will include core elements that repeat in each location, along with opportunities for interaction and participation that will be tailored for each housing development. The concept for Spread Love grew from the ICAC members’ commitment and connections to Brooklyn’s cultural life and their aspirations to support community health and wellness through artistic opportunities.

A centerpiece of Spread Love will be an original Hip-Hop track and music video, written and produced by the ICAC. The video is a tribute to the Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene neighborhoods, and their specific cultural traditions, including Soul Summit, DanceAfrica, street art, and numerous block parties and community events. The video will demonstrate how the arts, culture, music, and tradition contribute to a resilient and joyful community.

“I am excited to work alongside the ICAC members, an intergenerational collective of Downtown Brooklyn residents and artists, who are creating art for their community's well-being. I’m interested in working together to center joy and pleasure, as a form of political and social activism, and to challenge people to prioritize joy and pleasure for themselves and others. As demonstrated by the ICAC, this is a communal campaign that can only succeed through collective care and action.” -Pia Monique Murray

The performances will be accessible, family-friendly, free to the public and include refreshments from local vendors and opportunities for community partnerships. ICAC is supported by local organizations BRIC and The Performance Project @ University Settlement in partnership with Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center. BRIC and University Settlement provide production support, stipends, and other resources that enable the ICAC to bring their creative, community-driven ideas to life.

Pia Monique Murray (she/her), a jack of all trades in the dance industry, is a choreographer, performer, teacher, arts administrator, stage/tour/company manager, rehearsal assistant and producer. She has worked with nora chipaumire, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Camille A. Brown, and the late Blondell Cummings in various capacities. Pia Monique Murray Dance Collective (PMMDC) produces movement-based multidisciplinary performance works that include community engagement and audience interaction as an artistic practice. PMMDC creatively produces Kendra J. Ross’ The Sankofa Residency and Murray’s original work Black Daisies, a multidisciplinary project made of a photo essay, dance film, and live installation performance. As Bailey’s Cafe’s Producing Artistic Director Murray produces As Quiet As It’s Kept, a multi-discipline ethnography of the longtime residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In 2021 she artistically produced We Are Here, an 11-week public art installation in Bedford-Stuyvesant featuring portraits by Robyn Towmey and interviews by Monica L. Williams, in partnership with 651 ARTS and Photoville. She is currently a Producing Fellow in Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Initiative (CCI) 2.0 and Associate Producer of Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis’ Haint Blu.

The ICAC is a joint program of BRIC and University Settlement. The ICAC is designed to support NYCHA residents as central stakeholders and decision-makers in the artistic and cultural life of the community, and facilitate connections with neighbors, resources, and local business outside the housing developments—ensuring Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn remain communities where both longtime and new residents of all income levels can live, work, create and belong. Through monthly planning workshops, the ICAC uses art-making, storytelling, and discussion to identify shared values and goals to guide arts programming in their community.

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