Photo: Kiyan Williams, “Unearthing,” EmergeNYC 2014 final performance at La MaMa.

EmergeNYC is a Latinx-led incubator and affinity network for socially engaged artists to develop their creative voice, explore the intersections of art and activism, and connect to a thriving community of BIPOC, migrant, and LGBTQIA+ practitioners who challenge dominant narratives through cultural resistance.

First launched in 2008 at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute—and now housed at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, EmergeNYC offers varied entry points into art and activism, prioritizing process, discovery and reflection, and fostering a brave space for experimentation, risk-taking and community-building. Through in-person and virtual annual programs, EmergeNYC encourages participants to take interdisciplinary leaps, mix styles and traditions, and develop incisive new work at the intersection of performance and politics. Over the years, EmergeNYC has activated a strong network of artivists—in NYC and beyond—who have built solidarity across differences and engaged in artistic world-making together.

Since its founding, our cohorts of emerging practitioners have learned from artist, scholar, and activist george emilio sánchez, as well as other leading practitioners, including Carmelita Tropicana, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Karen Finley, Tim Miller, Favianna Rodríguez, Daniel Alexander Jones, Avram Finkelstein, Ebony Noelle Golden, nia love, and Ayana Evans, to name a few.

EMERGENYC is entering its next stage of evolution and growth. We have expanded out from our flagship annual training program towards building a robust network of intergenerational artists and like-minded institutions that can mentor and support our Emergers as they bring their ideas and urgencies into professional art, activist, and community settings. In its expanded form, EMERGENYC seeks to address a gap in the commitment to radical cultural change: While there is support for individual projects and artists doing transformative cultural work, there are not adequate structures for harnessing the collective power of these diverse emerging artists, nor building the continuity of support that will allow them to take the necessary risks at the core of their practice, develop and present their work, and build power by strengthening their collaborative communities. Building this network of advocacy, support, continued growth, mentorship, and opportunity for bold, politically committed artist-activists who address inequity is the work of EMERGENYC.


Marlène Ramírez-Cancio Headshot

Marlène Ramírez-Cancio


Marlène Ramírez-Cancio is a Puerto Rican cultural producer, artist, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. As Artistic Director of BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a multigenerational arts organization nurturing creative expression and artistic process, she creates spaces of inquiry and praxis for artist-led initiatives. Since 2008, she has directed EmergeNYC, an incubator and affinity network for socially engaged artists to develop their creative voice, explore the intersections of art and activism, and connect to a thriving community of BIPOC, migrant, and LGBTQIA+ practitioners. Now housed at BAX, EmergeNYC fosters a brave space for experimentation, risk-taking, and mutual accountability, and has over 300 alumni in New York City and beyond. Through Mujer Que Pregunta, Marlène works as a Process Doula and Tarot practitioner, helping artists, scholars, and cultural workers shape their ideas and clarify their vision. As Artist in Residence with Aster(ix) Journal, she created the Chancletazo for Your Soul deck, a reimagining of the Tarot Major Arcana with Latinx cultural icons. Marlène also co-founded Fulana, a Latina satire collective (active 2000-2018), and leads yearly satire and parody workshops for emerging artists. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Performance Network,  is on the Steering Committee of LxNY | Latinx Arts Consortium of New York, and serves on the Board of Advisors of The Action Lab and the Center for Artistic Activism. |

IG: @mujerquepregunta
IG: @emergenyc_art

george emilio sánchez


george emilio sánchez has been EmergeNYC’s Director of Performance and Pedagogy, as well as the Flagship program’s lead instructor, since its inception in 2008. He is a writer, performance artist and social justice activist. He was born in Los Angeles, raised in Orange County, California, and became a New York transplant in 1978. He began making original pieces in 1992 and has continued making performance work and social justice projects to this day. He is currently in the process of crafting a new performance series titled “Performing the Constitution.” The first installment of the series, titled XIV, will premiere at Dixon Place in June 2019. This work melds autobiography and history in a performance that gives narrative to the injustices racialized communities face as they fight for “equal protection of the laws.” The second performance in the series is titled In the Court of the Conqueror and confronts the over 200 year-old history of U.S. Supreme Court
rulings that have diluted the Tribal Sovereignty of Native Nations. This second installment will premiere at Abrons Arts Center in fall of 2020, where George is the 2019–20 PATHS Social Practice Artist in Residence. As the Abrons Social Practice AIR he works with youth groups on the Lower East Side to use the arts as a restorative tool while addressing the reality and trauma of gun violence. For the past two years, he organized and facilitated BANG BANG GUN AMOK, a 24-hour performance filibuster on gun culture.

George Emilio Sánchez

What can we do better together than alone? How can we join forces to strengthen our work and the field at large?

If you’re supporting BIPOC or queer emerging artists anywhere in the US, let’s talk! How can we—together—be better connective tissue for these fierce world-makers? What are you already doing that EMERGENYC can amplify? What do you need that we might have? Who can we introduce to one another? To the artists we work with? Contact us through the form below!

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