FALL 2019

DECELERATOR COHORT

FALL 2019

DECELERATOR COHORT

FALL 2019 DECELERATOR COHORT

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Throughout October and November of 2019, we look forward to hosting 22 creative practitioners for the second-ever installment of The Strange's biannual Decelerator residency program. This fall's cohort features an incredible array of organizers, writers, cultural workers, curators, designers, and facilitators whose regenerative, radical, and ambitious work generates critical opportunities and support for others. Residents were selected from more than 200 applicants, and were accepted based on the demonstrated impact of their creative work, their plan for using the residency time in both personally meaningful and strategic ways, and the overall clarity and inventiveness of their vision.

Each Decelerator participant will stay at Strange HQ for a short-term retreat and, while here, will have the chance to refuel and refocus on what matters to them in a supportive and nourishing environment. Scroll on to meet the Fall 2019 cohort, and to learn a little bit about how they plan to spend their time while decelerating.

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Janna Añonuevo Langholz is the founder and director of Filipino American Artist Directory, an initiative that aims to increase the recognition of Filipino American artists through an online resource and series of publications, as well as events, exhibitions, commissions, and collaborations. While at Strange HQ, Janna will focus on future programming, including the organization of a large-scale convening at the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, which was significant for the Philippine Exhibit of 1,200 Filipinos that largely (mis)shaped American perception of the Philippines.

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DéLana R.A. Dameron is a nonprofit fundraising strategist for arts & culture. In 2013, she launched Red Olive, a boutique consulting firm, and in 2017 she launched Black Art Futures Fund, a collaborative grant-making initiative for small Black arts organizations. DéLana also serves as the Board Chair of Recess. During her residency, she plans to focus on intentional business and community building in service of the artistic future we all want, as well as to continue developing two long-term writing projects related to her familial history.

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Tal Beery is an artist, curator, and educator. He is a founding faculty member of School of Apocalypse and co-founder of Eco Practicum, an artist-run school for ecological justice. He is currently building Inter Institute, a rural haven for art and ecological justice in the Catskills. While Decelerating, Tal will be working on a curatorial project for an outdoor sculpture park concerning land-based responses to our culture of domination and supremacy, in addition to developing a broader curatorial vision for Inter Institute.

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Holley M. Kholi-Murchison is an entrepreneur exploring the intersections of communication, culture, and education to create opportunities for historically marginalized voices. With a background in multimedia storytelling, experiential learning, and talent development, she produces content and spaces for purpose-driven creators to cultivate the skills they need to grow and thrive. While at Strange HQ, she'll be focusing on strategic planning for the launch of a pop-up school tailored to the needs of rising (QT)POC + women interdisciplinary artists, creators, and entrepreneurs.

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Happy Family Night Market is an annual festival that celebrates the Asian diaspora through food, art, and education, co-founded by Angeline Gragasin and Phoebe Tran. As NYC’s only pan-Asian cultural and culinary festival, HFNM has thus far supported over 200 participating artists, 80 speakers and educators, and 30 chefs and restaurants—and has plans to grow into a non-profit organization working to deepen knowledge of and engagement with Asian heritage, challenge preconceived / colonial notions of Asia, and support Asian artists, scholars, chefs, and social entrepreneurs. While at Strange HQ, Phoebe and Angeline plan to reevaluate their long-term vision and strategic plan, and creatively realign this plan to best support their mission and values.

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The Creative Resilience Collective is a multidisciplinary group partnering with underserved communities and advocates looking to combat stigma and improve access to self-determined mental health care support. To achieve this mission, CRC produces workshops, study groups, critical writing, public art, youth programs, and tools designed to help shape the evolution of dignified care. While decelerating, five members from the collective—Andrea Ngan, Bennett Kuhn, Dianne Loftis, Sterling Johnson, and El Sigelman—plan to spend time reflecting and writing about "creative resilient" strategies that have emerged from the last two years of organizing and co-creating, with the hope of turning those reflections into tools in service of space making, holding, and sharing.

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Adobo-Fish-Sauce facilitates human connection using spoken word and cooking as vital ingredients to create recipes for celebrations. Artist and educator Anthony Febo and organizer, designer, and storyteller Ricky Orng invite their community in and encourage them to actively participate as audience members in their performances, or as co-creators in guided experiences. While at Strange HQ, they plan to put language to the guiding principles of Adobo-Fish-Sauce, which will inform how the project grows, and how new opportunities and future collaborations are shaped.

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Ariel Zambelich collaborates to tell investigative stories through photojournalism, illustration, and design at The Intercept, and is a board member for the Authority Collective, a group that empowers marginalized artists to combat systemic and individual abuses in the world of lens-based visual work. Ariel is also a member of Diversify.Photo, an organization that amplifies the work of photographers of color, and a mentor for Women Photograph. While decelerating, she'll be working on a years-long personal project about the history of her family, as well as ruminating on how to better strengthen and diversify the visual journalism community at large.

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Simone John is a black poet, educator, and facilitator based in Boston, MA. Her debut collection, TESTIFY, was published by Octopus Books in 2017. In addition to being a member of UnBound Bodies, a multidisciplinary QTBIPOC arts collective, she is also the Associate Director of Organizational Equity Practice at Trinity Boston Connects, and the Chief Creative Officer of Hive Soul Yoga, a community wellness business. While decelerating, Simone will be developing a book project that uses documentary poetry techniques to uplift black prophetic traditions and illuminate new possibilities for healing and resilience. Photo of Simone by Tyahra Angus

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Caits Meissner is a D.I.Y.-spirited, poly-creative writer, artist, cultural worker, and the author of the illustrated hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016). She currently serves as the Prison and Justice Writing Program Director at PEN America. During her time at the Decelerator residency, Caits will work on a radical expansion of the Handbook for Writers in Prison, which, over the past 40 years, has grown from a grassroots photocopied pamphlet to its current form as a free, 120-page resource book sent to 500 incarcerated writers every month.

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Christin Lee is a writer and teacher from Los Angeles living in Detroit, MI. She is the founder of Room Project, an intersectional space for women and non-binary writers and artists in Detroit. Room Project fosters collaboration among its community and strives to make the creative labor of writers and artists visible. While decelerating at Strange HQ, she plans to push back from her hectic day-to-day hustle to instead spend time reading, reflecting, writing, and imagining a more ambitious future for Room Project.

Christin Lee is a writer and teacher from Los Angeles living in Detroit, MI. She is the founder of Room Project, an intersectional space for women and non-binary writers and artists in Detroit. Room Project fosters collaboration among its community and strives to make the creative labor of writers and artists visible. While decelerating at Strange HQ, she plans to push back from her hectic day-to-day hustle to instead spend time reading, reflecting, writing, and imagining a more ambitious future for Room Project.

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FICTILIS (Andrea Steves and Timothy Furstnauand) and Rose Linke's exhibition and editorial projects support artists, designers, architects, and activists whose work engages with issues of political economy and related social and environmental phenomena. As the trio is currently working on a collaborative project together, they plan to use their time at Strange HQ to reflect on recent exhibitions and publications, and to develop strategic planning around future platforms and partnerships.

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Sheetal Prajapati is Brooklyn-based educator, artist, advisor, and administrator. Currently she is on faculty in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts (New York), and in 2019, she founded Lohar Projects, a boutique agency providing consulting and advisory services for cultural organizations, emerging artists, and young creative professionals. Professionally, Sheetal has worked at such institutions as Pioneer Works and The Museum of Modern Art (New York), and while decelerating, Sheetal will be working on a writing project exploring the experience of otherness in the United States. 

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Esther Y. Kang strives to center voices that are typically in the margins and aims to help their stories shape how systems move forward. She achieves this across sectors as an educator, researcher, and strategist working at the intersection of civic innovation, public policy, and social justice. Esther also teaches at NYU, and served as the inaugural Designer-in-Residence for a White House Initiative under the Obama administration. While decelerating, she plans to reevaluate her practice as a whole by understanding the foundation, motivators, and questions that drive her work.

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Curious who else has participated in The Strange's Decelerator program? You can view the Spring '19 Cohort here, and learn more about the overall experience in our publication, Strange Methods 1: Notes on Deceleration, which is available here.

The next Decelerator program will be offered in spring of 2020. To find out when applications are open, subscribe to our newsletter.