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Creating Equal

Creating Equal

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The Creating Equal Steering Committee is a new collective of artists, organizers, and facilitators who will generate public art-making projects, arts-based workshops, connectivity events, and original artworks in conversation with the themes of the musical 1776 in order to foster civic engagement in Greater Boston.

Those who participate in Creating Equal events, to be held in spring and summer 2021, will respond to topics from the United States Declaration of Independence, interpreting them through the lens of our nation today. Creating Equal Steering Committee members will also create their own artistic responses to the topics, processes, and relationships that emerge throughout the project. If you have any questions about Creating Equal, please contact Education@amrep.org.

“Theater as practiced in Western culture shares its origin story with democracy. Creating Equal gives us the opportunity to catalyze the power of personal narrative, to reckon with the origin of our American democracy, and to lift those who might not see themselves reflected in the Declaration of Independence. I hope that through this hyper-collaborative initiative, the intentional barriers that divide and polarize us begin to fade, and the threads that link us become more apparent,” says Dayron J. Miles, Senior Advisor For Civic Engagement And Strategic Partnerships.

Steering Committee

Janice Amaya
Janice Amaya

Janice Amaya

Janice Amaya (they/them) is an actor, theatermaker, and organizer based in New York City. There they have been working for years with organizations such as the New Sanctuary Coalition, Performance Space New York, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and Pipeline Theatre Company, to name a few. They are also a founding member of The Hummm, a theater collective whose aim is to democratize the experimental. Currently they are touring and leading virtual engagements with CARTOGRAPHY, a show that combines simple storytelling with interactive video technology to recount experiences of modern-day migration from a youth perspective and empowers viewers of all ages to share their experiences of searching for home. They are extremely excited to be back at the American Repertory Theater, where they trained at the Institute for Advanced Theater Training (Class of 2016).

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Erin Genia
Erin Genia

Erin Genia

Erin Genia (she/her), Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate/Odawa, is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and community organizer specializing in Indigenous arts and culture. Genia’s work in these areas is focused on amplifying the powerful presence of Indigenous peoples on the occupied lands of America in the arts, sciences, and public realm to invoke an evolution of thought and practice that is aligned with the cycles of the natural world and the potential of humanity. Genia’s artistic practice merges Dakota cultural imperatives, pure expression, and exploration of materiality with the conceptual. Erin is fluent in multiple modes of expression: sculpture, fiber, sound, performance, digital media, painting, printmaking, jewelry, and ceramics. Her work has received attention from diverse audiences, and been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Urbano Project in Boston, the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, the Museum of Northwest Art, and the International Space Station. Erin has an M.S. in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT, an M.P.A. in Tribal Governance from The Evergreen State College, and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She was awarded the 2019 MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellowship and the AAF/Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts in 2018. Erin’s public art commissions include the Minnesota Historical Society and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Erin is an artist-in-residence for the City of Boston and works with the New England Foundation for the Arts Public Art Team on the project Centering Justice: Indigenous Artists’ Perspectives on Public Art.

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Elizabeth James-Perry
Elizabeth James-Perry

Elizabeth James-Perry

Elizabeth James-Perry (she/her) is enrolled with the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head-Aquinnah in Massachusetts. An internationally known artist and speaker, Elizabeth makes distinctive wampum shell jewelry, porcupine quillwork, and northeastern twined textiles. She cultivates many of the plants used in natural dyes; the rest are wild harvested in a sustainable way. The artist was awarded a Traditional Arts fellowship in 2014 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. A member of a Nation that has long lived on and harvested the sea, James-Perry’s is a perspective that combines Algonquian traditional ecological knowledge, genealogy, art, and science in her ways of relating to life on the North Atlantic. Her new recording about King Philip’s Sash, linking the rare textile to the colonization of Native homelands, will be included in the upcoming Hoist/Acknowledge + Listen exhibit as part of the initiative to replace the Massachusetts State Seal; the recording will also be played before the Massachusetts State Legislators. She worked as an archivist for Radcliffe’s Digital Indian Petitions Project to make historic tribal documents available online to tribes, the public, and educators. Film credits include producing shorts between 2005 and 2007 on King Philip’s War, with support from Mass Humanities grants; and the background scenery photography in Dartmouth for As Nutayunean, the Wampanoag Language Reclamation film. Among her tribal mentors she counts her mother Patricia James-Perry, a scrimshaw artist, along with her cousins Nanepashemet Tony Pollard and Helen Attaquin. She was honored to be a thirty-eighth voyager aboard the historic Charles W. Morgan whaling vessel as a descendant of the Gay Head crewmembers. James-Perry continues to shore up oral traditions and conducts research in local and European museums. She was employed for more than a decade in the Aquinnah Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Elizabeth holds a degree in Marine Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

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Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Timothy Patrick McCarthy (he/him) is an award-winning historian, educator, and human rights and social justice activist who has taught on the faculty at Harvard University since 2005. The adopted only son and grandson of public school teachers and faculty workers, Dr. McCarthy currently holds a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Education and John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he is Core Faculty at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He is also the Academic Director Emeritus and Stanley Paterson Professor of American History in the Boston Clemente Course, a free college humanities program for lower income adults, and co-recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. Twice named one of Harvard Crimson’s “Professors of the Year,” he is the recipient of the 2019 Manuel C. Carballo Award, the Kennedy School’s highest teaching honor. Educated at Harvard College and Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in History, Dr. McCarthy is the author or editor of six books, including the forthcoming Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love (New Press) and Reckoning with History: Unfinished Stories of American Freedom (Columbia UP). He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the American Repertory Theater, where he hosts and directs A.R.T. of Human Rights and Resistance Mic!.

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Brisa Areli Muñoz
Brisa Areli Muñoz

Brisa Areli Muñoz

Brisa Areli Muñoz (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based theater director, cultural worker, and arts educator. Her expertise lies in devising original participatory works, and she is currently the Artistic Director of the New York City Department of Education’s All-City Theatre. Muñoz seeks to develop cross-sector collaborations between organizations and communities, and has facilitated work with urban planners, architects, international mediators, social workers, educators, organizers, and artists. She has been published in the Journal of Mediation on her work with peace-building educators in Dohuk, Iraq. Muñoz obtained her Masters in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York, including additional Master’s coursework in Organizational Change Management at The New School. She is currently on the directing team for American Repertory Theater’s upcoming production of 1776.

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Brenna Nicely
Brenna Nicely

Brenna Nicely

Brenna Nicely (she/they) is an educator, arts administrator, facilitator, and fiber artist who serves as the Education and Engagement Director at the American Repertory Theater, a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, owner of FreshWeft Handmade fiber arts, and an Alumni Co-Organizer for artEquity. Recent production credits include work at A.R.T., Boston Experimental Theatre, Fort Point Theater Channel, Moscow Art Theatre, and Goethe-Institut Boston.

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Alessandra Panares
Alessandra Panares

Alessandra Panares

Alessandra Panares (she/her) is a queer Filipina poet, playwright, and lifelong storyteller. Born in Texas, she spent much of her childhood overseas in Asia. She returned to America to study at Creighton University in Nebraska, earning degrees in Psychology and History, with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Upon graduation, she decided to call Boston home. She has since built connections with local historians, creatives, activists, and her cat. In 2020, Panares had the pleasure of having her first play, It Comes at a Cost, virtually produced by Third Citizen Theatre Company. She also began volunteering with Allston-Brighton Mutual Aid (ABMA) and was selected to be part of the 2021 SPARK Boston Council. It is her hope that her work with ABMA, SPARK, and now Creating Equal is just the beginning of a life devoted to civic engagement and continued community care.

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Moe Pope
Moe Pope

Moe Pope

Moe Pope (he/him), born and raised in Roxbury, MA, is a lyricist and visual artist who reflects on equality, love, family, community, and the human experience through his music. With over twenty years in the music industry, Pope has been a part of the bands Mission, Electric Company, Project Move, and is currently the lead vocalist in the Boston based hip hop band STL GLD. Known for their genre-infused sounds, STL GLD draws from indie rock, punk, soul, jazz, and various other genres to create their unique style of music, which culminates in a live experience that you can only understand by being at their performances. Rich with visual art, unique collaborations between musicians, and interaction with the audience, STL GLD challenges the perception of what hip hop is supposed to be. Having released a piece of art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in the form of a hip hop album and engaged in a historic collaboration and performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Moe Pope is shattering limitations imposed on hip hop that never should have been there. Currently, he is working on his fourth studio album with STL GLD.

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Ireon Roach
Ireon Roach

Ireon Roach

Ireon Roach (she/her) is a Chicago-bred writer, performer, curator, and teaching artist. Her writing has appeared in Hoochie, BU’s feminist mag, and her plays in Boston University’s 20/21 Season, and Reground Theatre Festival in Boston. Roach will soon be published in Lindsay Clowes and Nadia Sanger’s collection Living African Feminist Theory (2021) on Afrocentrism and performance. She was last seen in SCHOOL GIRLS; or, the African Mean Girls Play (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and Laughs in Spanish (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre). Film/television credits include “Chicago P.D.”, Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin (2019), and Nia DaCosta’s Candyman (2020). Her work strives to communicate regrounding as a means to unearth—our bodies, our histories, ourselves.

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Micah Rosegrant
Micah Rosegrant

Micah Rosegrant

Micah Rosegrant (they/them) nurtures divinity to mother liberated futures for queer and trans peoples. They emerge beauty out of the english language’s colonial landscape, centering breath / memory / space in all they do. They are an Artist in Community Fellow at Arts Connect International, and their writing is published in The Wave, HowlRound Theatre Commons, CONSTRUCT zine, and The Margins. They craft art for healing with communities including Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston (AATAB), The Theater Offensive, Pao Arts Center, Company One, and StageSource. Photo: Meghan Cronin

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Jessi Stegall
Jessi Stegall

Jessi Stegall

Jessi Stegall (she/her) is a multimodal artist committed to facilitating and documenting creative processes through arts-based research. She is a graduate student at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, where she researches the intersections and ethical underpinnings of creative therapies and arts education. She studied Expressive Art Therapy at Lesley University and is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Jessi has been an artist-in-residence at the Harvard ArtLab, National Parks Service, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the New Museum, and is a research-practitioner at the Partnering Lab.

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Imani Pearl Williams
Imani Pearl Williams

Imani Pearl Williams

Imani Pearl Williams (she/her) is a lover of inclusion, collaboration, and art, so she’s very excited to be a part of this committee. She’s recently been a part of the Pippin national tours (Ensemble, u/s Leading Player) and an immersive theater experience aboard Celebrity Edge (Eden). She will appear in the A.R.T.’s upcoming revival of 1776 (Standby) and is thrilled to be working with A.R.T. in yet another way. Black Lives Matter, love is love, and wear your mask 🙂

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Karen Young
Karen Young

Karen Young

Karen Young (she/her) is a cultural organizer, artist, and educator living in Boston, MA. She combines taiko and creativity with community organizing strategies to elevate issues of power, identity, and marginalization. Influenced by Japanese-American taiko activists of the 70s, Young is most interested in the intersection of art, grassroots organizing, and policy. As a Boston Artist-in-Residence, she used the arts to bolster the voice of elders concerned about street safety from BCYF Grove Hall Senior Center in Dorchester. She is a Live Arts Boston awardee, the founding director of The Genki Spark, co-founder of the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival, and is a 2019-2021 Boston Foundation Neighborhood Fellow. As a Boston AIR mentor and advisory group member of Radical Imagination for Racial Justice, Young remains committed to preserving and growing a diverse arts ecosystem in Boston.

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