Recent Artist Collaborations with AAI Partners
Whoop Dee Doo
May 15, 2021
Garden of the Humanitarians (LES, NYC)
In the spring of 2021, LES Studio Program resident and New York-based collective Whoop Dee Doo worked with local youth connected to the Garden of the Humanitarians in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Classical Indian dance group Aalokam to create a free, live show for the community, open to all ages. Working closely with Bharathi Penneswaran, Director of Aalokam, and Albert Santana, Founder of the Garden of the Humanitarians, Aalokam designed a new Classical Indian-style dance to portray the transformation story of the Garden over the past several decades, all in an oversized set of a filthy kitchen sink.
Bharathi’s dance reflected the “before” and “after” of Albert’s story as a youth in the troublesome and bedraggled garden, and his adulthood transformation of the space into a community hub for performance, gatherings, flowers, fruit, abundance, and love. Local youth created a “washing” sequence within the oversized sink and “washed” the dishes, representing Albert’s transformation and hard work within the garden over many years.
Manuel Molina Martagon
February 21 through March 8, 2020
Essex Market Kitchen (LES, NYC)
Acquired Taste was a series of workshops during which cooking and food were used as a vehicle for conversation ranging from authenticity and tradition to technology and access while considering the labor, economic, and emotional implications in the food we eat. During each class, participants worked with LES Studio Program resident and New York-based artist Manuel Molina Martagon to prepare Chiles en Nogada, Puebla, Mexico’s most celebrated dish. Throughout each class, participants shared personal stories sparked by the process of preparing a communal meal.
The project included nine free public workshops in the Essex Market Kitchen, serving a total of 100 participants from diverse backgrounds and areas of New York City. Each participant was gifted an apron designed by the artist and a small book produced by Artists Alliance, which included the recipes made in the class and an essay written by the artist.