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One year ago, BPL Presents launched a creative residency program with a cohort of Fellows working across disciplines, a residency centered on the idea of making the creative process visible and on embracing failure as a productive catalyst. Little did we know how much we would need to embrace - if not failure - the unexpected. Join us for this event as we follow the Fellows’ creative odyssey through work in and across genres of writing, visual art, music and architecture—not to mention the lived experience of a global pandemic. This virtual ‘dinner party’ is a convivial space to share this creative network’s insights and widen the circle of conversation.

Moderated by Creative Time curator Diya Vij and special guests will also respond to the Fellows’ work.

BPL Creatives-in-Residence are Damali Abrams, Jonathan Kirschenfeld, ETHEL [ETHEL is Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin)], Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, and Suzanne Maria Menghraj

About our Moderator:

Diya Vij is a curator and cultural producer in New York City who critically investigates the evolving role of public art in politics and civic life. Over the past decade, she has held programming, curatorial, and communications positions at the High Line, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), and the Queens Museum respectively. As the Associate Curator of Public Programs at the High Line, she organized dozens of live events and performances with artists, activists, practitioners, and healers. At DCLA, Vij launched and co-directed the Public Artists in Residence (PAIR) program, a municipal residency program that embeds artists into city agencies to address New York City’s most pressing issues. Additionally, she led the Agency’s citywide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, and played an active role in public monument efforts, and CreateNYC — New York City’s first cultural plan. She was a curatorial fellow and the communications manager at the Queens Museum from 2010-2014. She received her MA in Art History from Hunter College in 2015 and her BA from Bard College in 2008.

About our Creatives in Residence:

Damali Abrams, A.K.A the Glitter Priestess is a New York City based artist, educator and reiki practitioner. Damali attended the Whitney Independent Study Program and earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and her BA from New York University.

ETHEL: In addition to premiering 21st century works by a broad range of groundbreaking composers, the quartet creates and tours rich, often multimedia, productions. Since 1998 ETHEL has released nine feature recordings, won a GRAMMY® with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and performed in 14 countries, 45 states, and 250 cities.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and theorist whose work explores the interplay between aesthetic and political valences in the public domain. Her most recent solo exhibition is “Life of Mohammad” at Recess. She lives and works in New York.

Jonathan Kirschenfeld is an architect and the principal/ founder of Jonathan Kirschenfeld Architect PC, a firm recognized for its environmentally- and socially-sustainable projects spanning urban housing, childcare centers, and recreation and performance facilities.

Suzanne Maria Menghraj is an essayist whose work has focused primarily on art and wilderness, she teaches writing and critical creative production in Liberal Studies at New York University.

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