meet the 2018-19
artist commissioning program awardees
Queens Council on the Arts is pleased to announce the four selected artists for the second year of the Artist Commissioning Program. Two artists were selected to represent the communities of Jamaica and Southeast Queens communities, as well as two to represent the neighborhoods of Flushing & Central Queens. Each awardee will receive a $10,000 commission to create a new performing arts project, as well as additional production support towards the work’s World Premiere in Queens.
jamaica and southeast queens
Kerri Edge is an artivist who uses dance and film as vehicles to shed light on issues of social injustice and commemorate the achievements of African American people. She is Artistic Director of the Edge School of the Arts (ESOTA). In the image of the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center (BJCAC), ESOTA has dedicated itself to bringing the art and discipline of African American dance to young aspiring artists and both community and international audiences. Ms. Edge began her dance training at the age of three at BJCAC in Jamaica, Queens where she met her mentor Michael Peters who would take her under his wing sparking her interest in dance for film. She continued her studies at The Eglevsky Ballet School, LaGuardia High School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Martha Graham School, and SUNY Purchase. She earned her Masters in Arts Administration from NYU and is currently a Professor of Dance at Medgar Evers College. Her commitment to the Jamaica arts community is evidenced by her volunteer work with the Jamaica Is . . . Arts Alliance, the Afrikan Poetry Theatre, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network.
Y? is an artist/ educator from Jamaica Queens in the small city of New York. After flunking out of school he began a career as an audio engineer, interning at "Electric Lady Studios" learning how music was created professionally by world class musicians. The collapse of the music industry inspired Y? to host monthly showcases raising funds to provide free after school music programs in housing project community centers throughout Queens. From these workshops he was hired by various non-profit organizations to build student centered arts programs and work as a teaching artist creating original music compositions and performances the community. The youth in these programs taught him how to be an artist creating from an authentic space with purpose and intention. Y? uses art as a tool for liberation, and founded a company Creative Expressions to serve others and continue his journey as a lifelong student of expression and the arts. He lives by the mantra "Why not show love?" and his favorite quote is "I don't know".
flushing and central queens
Born in Singapore and based in the United States, Claire Marie Lim is a music technologist and interdisciplinary artist. As an advocate of female and Asian representation in electronic music, she is a clinician specializing in audio production, writing, and technology, and has worked with organizations such as Beats By Girlz, SisterSMATR, Girls Rock Campaign, and Women in Music.
Under her artist project “dolltr!ck”, Claire performs as a live electronic act and creates works that fuse electronica, hip hop, future bass, and dance music. Painting soundscapes and building with synths, drum machines, and controllers, dolltr!ck aims to engage emotions and highlight ideas related to the human condition. She is a proud DJ for Alphabet Rockers, a Grammy-nominated group that spreads messages of social justice and empowerment to children and youths via hip hop music and dance.
Originally from China, Guang-lei is an independent artist, choreographer, dancer and teacher. He studied at The Russian National Ballet Dance Academy from 2001-2003 and earned a major in Choreography/ Classical Ballet Performance with Education. While studying in Russia, he took second place in the Russian International Dance Competition. In 2005, Guang-lei joined the first modern dance company in China, Guangdong Modern Dance Company. In 2008, he was invited to perform with GMDC in the anniversary celebration of the Pina Bausch Dance Company. He participated as a young choreographer for Yokohama Dance Collection in 2011; and in 2012, he joined the International Choreographers Residency Program (ICR) at the American Dance Festival. In 2013, Guang-lei joined White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Company. He began working with Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2014, as well as with the Taipei Dance Round Table Project to work on a new original piece. He has toured to international arts festivals in more than twenty countries. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of Cross Move Lab and an Adjunct Professor at Queens College.