for reading and responding


Poetic respondents include mayfield brooks, Justin Cabrillos, Marguerite Hemmings, Sarah Maxfield, and Ni’Ja Whitson.

Self-care, utopian visions, poetic and emotional labor, porous and transient structures. The Festival pairs with Art/Fem Book Club to fill the room with conversation, readings, and movement, in and around a series of Houses.* Liliana Dirks-Goodman and Tara Aisha Willis will (softly) guide a discussion about short essays by Silvia Federici, Audre Lorde, and Fred Moten in relation to our performance/art practices, preceding and following (and perhaps interspersed) by short poetic responses from writers and performers.

Co-sponsored by Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory.
*See Houses 1, 2 and 3 under “Ongoing” for more details.




mayfield brooks is a cultural worker, dancer, and performance artist currently pursuing a PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University in the Chicago area. Before landing at Northwestern, mayfield completed a MFA in Theater and Dance at UC Davis in California, danced with San Francisco aerial dance company Fly Away Productions, studied contemporary dance at the School for New Dance in Amsterdam (SNDO), and was a student of somatics and performance at Moving On Center in Oakland California.

Justin Cabrillos is a choreographer, artist, and writer based in Brooklyn. He is a 2016 danceWEB scholar at ImPulsTanz and a recipient of a 2011 Greenhouse grant from the Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum. His work has been commissioned by the IN>TIME Series in Chicago, and his latest project, Holdings, has been commissioned by Danspace Project and is supported by a residency at Chez Bushwick. Cabrillos has shown work at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Roulette, and Movement Research at Judson Church. He has performed with Every house has a door and Jen Rosenblit.

As a dancer, Marguerite Hemmings specializes in street styles, social dances, hip hop, and dancehall, and has been training in modern and West African dance. Choreographically, Marguerite has received commissions and grants from Harlem Stage, Jerome Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, University Settlement, and the Dancing While Black Fellowship furthering her work as an artist/organizer. As for her current artistic work, she recently self-directed the Blacker the Berry Project, part of an overarching multimedia endeavor called ‘we free’ that explores the millennial generation’s take on liberation. The first installment of ‘we free’ was recently shown at Gibney Dance’s Double Plus Series.

Sarah Maxfield creates performance and structures for viewing/discussing performance and its context. Maxfield’s work has been presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater, P.S. 122, and the Museum of Arts and Design, etc.. Maxfield has written for The Brooklyn Rail, The Performance Club, Contact Quarterly, and the Movement Research Performance Journal. She was a Context Notes Writer for DTW’s final season. For nearly a decade, Maxfield curated THROW, a performance development series she created, presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater. As a Fellow at Abrons Arts Center, she launched Now and Then, a performance reading series. Currently, Maxfield is collecting an artist driven archive with Nonlinear Lineage, is a founding manager of ArtsPool, and improvising with her kiddo.

Ni’Ja Whitson is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist and educator. Recent awards include an LMCC Process Space Residency, Bogliasco Fellowship, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Artist Residency, two-time Creative Capital “On Our Radar” award, and dozens of other residencies and awards across disciplines. They are a practitioner of indigenous and diasporic African ritual and resistance forms, creating work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and indigenous performance. Proudly, they have worked with many notables in theatre, dance, visual art, and music including closely with Sharon Bridgforth and Douglas Ewart, and other leaders such as Dianne McIntyre, Oliver Lake, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Guillermo Gomez Peña / La Pocha Nostra, and Baba Israel.