Presented as part of the City Artist Corps Program
Thank you to the City Artist Corps Grant Program, NYFA, NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs, Queens Theatre, & Made in NY for the support! It is with this grant that we were able to make and present the first iteration of "The Journey."
City Artist Corps Grants was launched in June 2021 by NYFA and DCLA with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre. The program is funded by the $25 million New York City Artist Corps recovery initiative announced by Mayor de Blasio and DCLA earlier this year. The grants are intended to support NYC-based working artists who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It is strongly recommended that a portion of the grant be used to support artist fees, both for the applying artist and any other artist that are engaged to support the project.
"Assisting others whose voices were not heard and helping them to tell their stories was my rendition of success and Broadway. Learning that I could use my life stories of illness, violence and oppression to fine tune what I wanted to present has led me to understand that dancing, acting and directing are not about the “I” or “me.” It is about the “we” and the “us,” and the community that needs to hear and see stories of movement that they identify with.
I feel that as a dancer, actress, choreographer or director it is important to create a brave space that is welcoming, disciplined and creative with room for collaboration and leadership. This process has been a shared one with Angel Smith who has listened to me sometimes for endless hours about ideas, theories and why this was so important and has been a real anchor for me. It really began with a thought about my mother and if she would have had people that she could have felt connected to. What would her life have been like? Would she have received the mental health services she needed in order to thrive?
I’ll never know the answers to those questions now. However, I don’t want others to feel they must struggle alone as artists. It’s not about the finished product but The Journey of how you get there!"
- Wendy Ann Powell
Wendy Ann Powell
Director / Author / Choreographer
WENDY ANN POWELL is an African American dancer, actress, cancer survivor and disability advocate. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she has performed with Dance June Lewis & Company. As an original member of Ayita la Dance Company, Dance Danamaria, and Alden Moves Dance Theater she performed in an immersive version of the Nutcracker. Wendy has performed for elected officials, religious institutions, hospitals, schools, cultural institutions and senior citizen centers. As a Girl Scout leader, she has taught dance workshops to Daises, Brownies, and mentored various Girl Scout dance projects.
In 2015, she was invited to perform by National Teaching Artist, Margaret Elaine Plaza of Omega Dance Company. She’s a 2016 Brooklyn Arts Council Grant recipient. She teaches Modern, Haitian, Ballet, Jazz dance and is a certified Zumba Instructor. In March of 2020, she joined ZCO/DANCEPROJECT, an inclusive disability dance company and choreographed for the ADA 31st celebration held virtually on July 26th 2020. She has performed for Mount Sinai Open Mic Night and is also a member of Agoci Inc. a contemporary modern dance and Haitian dance company in East New York, Brooklyn. She continues her craft by choreographing and writing plays that address social issues. The pandemic has inspired her to create work that explores the intersectionality of being Young, Disabled and a Person of Color. The Journey for which she received a City Artists Corps Grant, is an evolving work that focuses on who we are and who we hope to be.
Other projects that Ms. Powell completed in 2021 included being an interviewer for the Dance Division’s Oral History Project at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts where she interviewed Zazel O’garra of ZCO/Dance Project. Wendy is also on staff as an Assistant Teaching Artist at Mark Morris Dance Group and a lead TA at Marquis Studios. She is a graduate of the City College of New York, Dept. of Theatre and is pursuing a Masters of Ed. in Educational Theatre at City College.
Assistant Director / Actor / Dancer
ANGEL SMITH (Salima / Mrs. J / Corrie): Angel is a recent graduate of The City College of New York. She has received her Bachelors in Arts and plans to use it to make a difference in the theatre world. Angel wants to thank Wendy for inviting her to be a part of this project for the past year, loving every minute of it. She also wants to thank her family and friends for continuing to give love and support for the profession she loves.