meet the 2018-19
artist commissioning program awardees
ACP PROJECT: BIRMINGHAM JAIL
Birmingham Jail uses tap dance as a vehicle to shed light on the racial disparities in the American criminal justice system encouraging others to advocate for legislation. The collection of tap dance monologues set to music, poetry and film tell stories that highlight the African American male experience with the criminal justice system and the lasting effects on both the African American family and the community at large. The short stories are compiled into a unified work presented in order to stand with victims threatened by the increased discrimination and encourage audience members to work to realize the promise of equality America makes to us all.
about the artist
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.