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My summer 2020 in-person residency at Indigo Arts Alliance became a virtual residency due to the

Covid-19 pandemic. The result was a series of online conversations hosted by Indigo Arts Alliance in partnership with the Pérez Art Museum, Miami titled,The Wave, a series of three online conversations between artists, scholars, and others who are specialists in their fields. This series will create dialogue around the current and future impact of the pandemic on Black and Brown communities locally and globally, and prioritizes the need for generative conversations, together with concrete actions, that are in service of and benefit to our communities. Click each image below to watch.


The Wave: EXODUS (Movement of our people)

Immigrant and Migrant communities of color are heavily impacted by intended and unintended consequences of policies instituted by governments worldwide, and Covid-19 has further exacerbated their plight. The outbreak of this pandemic is the largest mobility crisis the world has ever seen, according to the International Organization for Migration. Border closings, lack of access to food and medical care, racial profiling, and nationalistic responses are putting already vulnerable communities at an even greater risk. The panel will respond to such pressing issues as it relates to their profession, interests, and research. The panel is hosted by artist Nyugen Smith, moderated by PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz, and features poet and spoken-word artist Roger Bonair-Agard; respected scholar, producer, activist, educator, author, professor, and Yoruba priestess Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega; multidisciplinary artist, mother and former doula Tsedaye Makonnen.



Join Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA and Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for The Wave, a series of three online conversations, with this session hosted by artist Nyugen Smith and moderated by PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz, and features poet Nyamuon Nguany Machar (AKA—Moon), journalist Trymaine Lee, art historian and multidisciplinary creative 

Ciara Elle Bryant, and emergency medicine physician at Greenwich Hospital 

Dr. Aisha Stroop. Current headlines tout pre-existing conditions as the reason for disproportionately high coronavirus cases and mortality rate among Black and other communities of color. The focus of such conversations is personal responsibility and overall health.


Ritual and spiritual practice have been employed by our ancestors to guide them in the physical realm as they prepare for entry into, and in communication with, the spirit world. Indigenous technologies serve as coping mechanisms in times of crisis. African Diasporic sacred and ritual practice have played a distinct role in the formative issues of the (late 1960s) such as civil rights and world peace movements.* Our panelists discuss how they have been responding to the developments in these areas as it relates to each of their professions, interests, and research. The panel is hosted by artist Daniel Minter, moderated by PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz, and features American contemporary poet, writer, lyricist and activist Aja Monet; multidisciplinary artist Guadalupe Maravilla; writer, historian, and poet Rachel Elizabeth Harding. *Sirmans, Franklin. Budney, Jen., eds. NeoHooDoo: Art For A Forgotten Faith. Houston, Tex. : The Menil Collection ; 2008. Print.

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Emerson Contemporary / Emerson College, Boston MA

Missed out on the Art and Healing talk with Nyugen Smith and Curator Leonie Bradbury? Catch the highlights and Q&A here! This was in conjunction with Nyugen's campus-wide exhibit, Bundlehouse: Rising Into Something Else, on display until November 24, 2020.

Archived video of conversation coming soon


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Distinguished Alumni Lecture

Tuesday, November 10

Artist talk and conversation with Nyugen Smith and  Lisa Wainwright

Click to view Archived conversation

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