Yes, And is a collection of performance experiments that place an expanded vision of Black womanhood at the center of its creative process. It takes an iterative approach to performance informed by the creative expertise and lived experiences of Black women (cisgender, transgender, and gender non-conforming.) Yes, And asks: “Who would you be and what would you do if, as a Black woman, you had nothing to worry about? What would you create and how might you be in community with others?” These questions catalyze a methodology of undoing and re-imagining that offers participants and witnesses the freedom “to find” and to “be found” from this recalibrated place.
Manifesting as virtual and/or live public engagement “chapters” or events that are unique and remixed to each location, the project invites us to inhabit inspired realities that reclaim the past, transform the present and dream new futures into being. The result is a work that is both: YES, an unapologetic celebration of Black sisterhood, AND, a complex investigation of issues that impact of Black women and our communities. The project is supported by National Performance Network and New England Foundation for the Arts.
Yes, And Inside the Pillow Lab
Videography by Erica Spizz
Videography by Maggie Bailey
Videography by Essentials Creative
"Who Would You Be: Gesel Mason on Black Women and the Permission to Worry Less"
Gesel Mason speaks about the origins of Yes, And
(Interview by National Performance Network)
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Creative Residencies and Performances
Lake Forest, Illinois
Yes, And Community
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has extended the creative timeline and expanded engagement possibilities through virtual platforms that allow me to build new community relationships. If you are interested in joining the Yes, And Community please email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Yes, And Community Facebook Group!
About the terms "women" and "women of color":
The Yes, And Community uses the term “women” to encompass all those that self-identify as women including cisgender and transgender femmes. Our intention is to uplift and address the very specific ways in which this particular group of people are impacted by various forms of oppression including sexism and racism. We use the term “women of color” as an organizing tool, acknowledging the expression is a political designation, not a biological one, and borne out of a solidarity movement originating from the labor of Black women.
Yes, And was made possible in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The project has been supported by the Rauschenberg Residency, the Ragdale Foundation Themed Residency, the Alan M. Kriegsman Residency at Dance Place, and the Texas Performing Arts and Fusebox Residency Program.