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Michelle Tabnick
Dance New York
Press Releases
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY


by Michelle Tabnick
June 22, 2020
New York, NY
Satellite Collective (Kevin Draper, Artistic Director) is pleased to announce the recipients of its fiscal sponsorships and mentorship programs for artists, entitled Satellite Fellows.

The inaugural recipients are Nikhil Melnechuk, Moscelyne ParkeHarrison/BodySonnet, ARKAI, Collaborative Arts Ensemble, and Frank Alfredo Barnett Andreu. Satellite Fellowships are a combination of financial services and fiscal sponsorship at cost, direct support for online advertising, and a professional mentorship program. Satellite Fellowships are an avenue to join Satellite Collective productions. More information on fellows may be found at satellitecollective.org/fellows/.

Executive Director, Lora Robertson announced the program as the first of Spring has shown up. "Satellite welcomes a new cohort - our inaugural Fellows are New York City's arts at its best and most visionary. We are returning from so many parts of the country. Satellite promotes truly collective work, incubating artists as equals, and the kind of collaborative work that appeals to other artists and kindles a desire to work with each other."

Kevin Draper led the selection committee. "We believe an important part of this is mentoring artists in organizational growth and providing fiscal sponsorship at realistic rates. Satellite's own experience as a graduate of the BAM professional development program has taught us the depth and importance of artists developing successful businesses and we plan to impact the artistic community in New York in just this way with our fellowship program."

Satellite plans to grow the program through a regional, city-wide rollout supported by creative programming with the goal of 25 regional fellowships by late autumn of 2020.The company then plans to expand the program to a national level with an ultimate target of fiscal support for 250 artists by the end of 2021. Applications are available at satellitecollective.org/landing/sponsorships/.

"With the impact of COVID-19, there is a sudden shift in the foundations and Satellite Fellows are adjusting to profound changes and uncertainties - some in New York, and others around the country," said Mr. Draper. "The financial impact on our community will not be sorted out easily, or quickly; the arts is an unforgiving marketplace. But we see our fellows approaching the disruption practically. We're workshopping the business strengths we think will be essential: online fundraising and communication ability, branding and business planning. Those are the kitchen table issues, and a way to feel more secure in the future. I can hardly wait to see how artists will respond in full bloom to the cultural change and upheaval."

The 2020 Satellite Fellows have also reflected on the state of their art and the arts community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARKAI: "We are thrilled to be entering this relationship with Satellite and look forward to developing our upcoming projects with their support and guidance. In the wake of COVID-19, we have been forced to reimagine our creative process, leading to new innovations and discoveries that we would not have found otherwise. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to remain creative in the safety of social distancing, and look forward to sharing the results of this season through a number of new compositions: musical reflections of our collective struggle within isolation, and the power of human connection to overcome even the hardest of circumstances."

Collaborative Arts Ensemble: "COVID-19 has changed the game for every industry, but the arts are hit especially hard. We are highly dependent upon social gatherings of all sizes to share our work with the world, but we are now forced to embrace the fact that these things can, and must, happen virtually during this crisis. While most of the institutions we rely on are struggling and will likely be forever changed, Collaborative Arts Ensemble is deeply grateful for the steadfast support of Satellite Collective and for their innovative model of remote collaboration. The artists of Collaborative Arts Ensemble are spread across the country and live with different circumstances year-round, but the current situation has highlighted how we can continue to plan, create and share together while living with social distance. From teleconferencing rehearsals, to cloud-based creation and brainstorming, to the use of social media as a platform for our content, CAE has been able to integrate many of the principles of virtual creation, organization and workflow that Satellite Collective has been modelling for small arts non-profits for years. And while we don't know what the future holds, we are grateful for the artistic guidance, fiscal sponsorship, and business growth mentorship that Satellite Collective continues to provide during these times and beyond."

BodySonnet: "BodySonnet feels more grateful than ever to be artists during this time. We are proud how quickly the dance community came together in the midst of this crisis to support each other. At the same time we feel very scared in recognizing the fragility of our art form. Institutions and aesthetics we have upheld are dissolving before our eyes. The nature of dance is directly impacted due to our need for interaction, and the power of kinesthesia one experiences in performance. However, from being in a creative headspace daily, we artists seem to be able to adjust more quickly and smoothly to this new situation, almost just like an improvisation. On a personal note, BodySonnet feels fortunate to have had an artistic outlet as a means of escape, if even temporarily, throughout this time of quarantine and isolation. We see a future as a result of this crisis where the arts will be recognized as a vital part of life. We are already proving this thanks to our accessibility to social media, not just as an object to be appreciated, but as a powerful means to create a community. We look forward to seeing how the arts will evolve through this opportunity and carry the lessons learned from this challenge on to the next generation. The art which is made in the wake of COVID-19 will be distinctly different. It will be powered by a true hunger to create, and a humbleness for that which we share as humans: a body, a need to move, and a yearning to connect."

"In terms of inspiration, Satellite Collective bubbles over with creative energy."
- Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

"These are people who know how to produce a show."
- Siobhan Burke, The New York Times

"Satellite Collective is an admirably cooperative endeavor and a peculiar one."
- Brian Seibert, The New York Times

"Satellite Collective aims to open up the stage to diverse artistic practice, producing alternate channels for performance to envelope the audience-expressing the theatrical and choreographic gesture, sound, décor, film, stagecraft and storytelling into a total artwork."
- Wayne Northcross, New York Observer


Drawing their name from the Greek ??€ρχα? meaning "source of action," ARKAI channels the diversity of the world through genre-bending music and sonic exploration. Recent graduates of The Juilliard School, violinist Jonathan Miron and cellist Philip Sheegog formed ARKAI after meeting through the Artist as Citizen Conference, a gathering of young artists from around the country intent on using the arts for social change. Past engagements have included performances at The Met Breuer's first commissioned sound-based installation: Oliver Beer's Vessel Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall's Studio 57, The Peace Studio, and the 92nd Street Y. ARKAI is a recipient of a Chamber Music America Ensemble Forward Grant, made possible with generous support from the New York Community Trust.

They have also created Global Perspectives, an educational program that provides participants with the opportunity to learn artistic traditions from around the world from master artists, employing the performing arts as a model for exploring global citizenship within our increasingly globalized world. The program was most recently featured at The Juilliard School as part of the ChamberFest series - culminating in a performance at Lincoln Center's Peter Jay Sharp Theater - with future collaborations on the horizon.

Frank Alfredo Barnett Andreu paints with a satiric clarity and a sharp eye for social constructs in the Caribbean. Born in the Dominican Republic, he paints in a studio perched above the sea on the north side of the country, but shows and works in the urban center of and capitol of Santo Domingo. There, his naif approach and cunning commentary combine with paintings in series and draw on stories and political myths of the Caribbean in its long history of interaction with Europe and the Americas. Frank and other young artists like him are bringing the extreme present into older painterly narratives, something which hits classical storytelling with a new jolt of energy. Satellite has begun to work with this new Caribbean school, and Frank Barnett is the first to join the Fellows.

BodySonnet is a traveling collective of contemporary dance makers. We share tools to create cultures of growth and discovery through interactive workshops, open rehearsals, and educational seminars. BodySonnet is passionate about engaging the community in our creative process for site-specific spaces, thus reframing conceptions of art and its accessibility both conceptually and physically.
BodySonnet is a recipient of the inaugural Anthony Quinn Foundation Fellowship. The collective is currently engaged with the community of the Berkshires in Massachusetts. Sean Lammer, Moscelyne ParkeHarrison, and Mio Ishikawa, lead a residency, performance, and workshop at Berkshire Pulse this past January. The artists created and performed a site-specific work in collaboration with the Harlow Chamber Players, in the Kilpatrick Athletic Center racquetball courts at Bard College at Simon's Rock on January 4th.

Collaborative Arts Ensemble, helmed by Artistic Director Philip Stoddard, is an arts production organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of world-class emerging artists and enacting positive social transformation through cross-disciplinary programming. CAE provides a home for citizen-artists of diverse backgrounds to refine and expand the craft of interdisciplinary creation through public performances, education and community building initiatives. Our vision is to radically rethink the way emerging artists are engaged and employed by acknowledging the demand society has put on its artists to be self-starters and the urgent need for artists to be the motor behind social change in the world. To that end, we function as a creative engine and producing house, providing space and resources for artists to create powerful programs that engage difference to spark community building dialogue in diverse venues around the world.

Our inaugural concert program, Letters of the American South, has toured in Georgia and Alabama and was recently featured on Governor's Island in New York as part of the Rite of Summer Music Festival. Other programs include: HOPE, built for the Peace First Summit in New York City in September, 2019; The Bach Project, which premiered at The Juilliard School in 2019 and will begin public performances in 2020; The Humanity Project, created in collaboration with the Mashirika Theater Company in Kigali, Rwanda; Magnificat, a co-production with the Counterpoint Concert Series in support of the Chattanooga, TN Food Bank in December, 2019; and Propositions of Home, currently still in development for its world-premiere in the coming season.

In just two short years, our programs have reached thousands in communities around the country, including school children, foreign dignitaries, thought-leaders and luminaries such as Bryan Stevenson (NY Times Best-Selling Author and Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative), Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng (Obama Foundation adviser, educator, and President Obama's half-sister) and Arun Gandhi (socio-political activist and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi). Collaborative Arts Ensemble has received grant support from the Marks Center for Entrepreneurship at The Juilliard School, NPR'S From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant, the John D. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, and the Robert & Mercedes Eicholz Arts Entrepreneurship Prize. We are the proud recipients of the inaugural Satellite Fellowship, awarded by our close partner and fiscal sponsor, Satellite Collective.

By blurring the lines of performance disciplines and embracing hyphenate artistry, CAE leads an innovative new movement of powerful, collaborative work built on the values of social-historical curiosity, artistic cross-pollination, global interconnectedness, and local community building. For more information, please visit: collaborativeartsensemble.com.

Nikhil Melnechuk is a filmmaker, poet, actor, and former nonprofit executive originally from Amherst, MA. A graduate of Wesleyan University and India's National Institute of Design, Melnechuk is based in New York City. His films have won numerous international festival awards, and his latest documentary production,
Don't Be Nice, qualified for the 2020 Academy Awards and is currently broadcast on the FUSE network. Melnechuk recently appeared in the Sundance-winning
The Kindergarten Teacher and in Lionsgate's Love Beats Rhymes, for which he also provided poetry. Melnechuk cofounded Mystic Entertainment with partner Melissa Jackson and is developing feature and television projects based on their short films and original intellectual properties. Melnechuk was Executive Director of New York's haven of the avant-garde-the Bowery Poetry Club-from 2013-18 and has toured his poetry internationally. For more information, visit mysticenter.com or imdb.com/name/nm3518548/

Moscelyne ParkeHarrison Moscelyne is the co-founder and artistic director of BodySonnet. She graduated from The Juilliard School in 2019, with the Joseph W. Polisi Award for Artist as Citizen. She attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts, where she received her high school degree. She has had the pleasure of performing new works by Helen Simoneau, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Roy Assaf, Hannes Langolf, Dana Foglia, Ryan Mason, Iztok Kovac, Elijah Labay, Diane Arvanites, Mikaela Kelly, and Stefanie Batten Bland, as well as the repertoire of José Limón, Nacho Duato, Martha Graham, Ihsan Rustem, Johannes Wieland, and Crystal Pite. Her works have been performed as a part of Juilliard's ChoreoComp, Choreographic Honors, and Senior Production, as well Triskelion Arts CollabFest in Brooklyn, NY. She has performed in solo works at Juilliard, and the Studebaker Theater. ParkeHarrison is passionate about community engagement, and dance as catalyst within society. She has been a group leader in the Gluck Community Fellowship program, a member of Performing Education Programs for Schools, and Dance for Parkinson's disease. She recently founded a dance collective entitled BodySonnet along with Sean Lammer. ParkeHarrison is a member of Post:Ballet in San Francisco, Collaborative Arts Ensemble in NYC, and resides in Chicago where she dances with HSpro lead by Alexandra Wells.


In a few short years, Satellite Collective has fearlessly styled multiple seasons of dance, music, film and word to their vision. Under the leadership of Kevin Draper, Satellite has launched young choreographers, composers, film makers, poets and artists with an uncanny sense of timing, tapping into an intense scene of NYC artists from New York City Ballet, Juilliard, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Bowery Poetry Club. Satellite has bridged a global network of artists working in every medium from video games to installation and has fused pop music from members of The Lumineers, San Fermin and the song writing scenes in the Pacific Northwest into arresting short film and stage work. Always, with a stylish and confident manner, always with a vision.

Satellite believes in artists collaborating as equals, globally and virtually. They incubate performances, arts exchanges, and publications that allow artists to work together, because they believe that is the future. Founded in 2010, Satellite Collective has produced three evening-length ballets, four hours of original music, and two hours of original film, commissioned eight modern dance works, founded the arts publication Transmission, hosted five annual arts retreats, and launched both Telephone, which simultaneously published the interconnected works of 315 artists from 42 countries, and Satellite Press, a small independent press publishing emerging and established authors and poets.

Satellite is proud to have received support from BAM, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Frey Foundation, Nestle, SAP, 92Y, DeVos Institute of Arts Management, Brooklyn Arts Council and many others government, public and private supporters.

Satellite is a graduate of the 2015-16 BAM Professional Development Program in collaboration with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.

To learn more about Satellite, visit:
- satellitecollective.org
- transmission.satellitecollective.org
- satellitepress.org
- satellitecollective.org
- telephone.satellitecollective.org

To learn more about Artistic Director Kevin Draper, visit www.kevindraper.org.


Photo © & courtesy of Pedro Estevez

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