#SmartBrownVoices – EP 62 – Jonathan McCory & Tiffany Vega

Jonathan McCrory – An Obie Award Winning, Harlem-based artist currently the Director of Theatre Arts Program at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre since 2012. He has worked professionally as a director, producer and actor for the past 11 years. Directing Credits include: Dead And Breathing, HandsUp, Hope Speaks Blacken The Bubble, Asking for More, Last Laugh and Enter Your Sleep. A Washington, DC native, he attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, then New York University TISCH School of the Arts. In 2013 he was awarded the Emerging Producer Award by the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC and the Torch Bearer Award by Woodie King Jr. He is a founding member of Harlem9 and The Movement Theatre Company. He officially sits on the National Advisory Committee for Howlround.com. To learn more please head to jonathanmccrory.com.
Tiffany Vega joined the staff of Hi-ARTS/Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2010 and currently serves as its General Manager. She is a graduate of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership and Advocacy Leadership Institutes, is a member of the 2015 ArtEquity Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Facilitator Training cohort, is on the Steering Committee for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, is on the Artistic Selection Committee for the Harlem Arts Festival and was on the Artist Selection Committee for El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. She is a member of Women of Color in the Arts, a founding member of La Cooperativa of NYC Latin@ Theatre Artists and was a Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Scholarship Recipient. She is also the President & Founder of La Vega Management, a company that focuses on theatrical general management and producing. Tiffany received a MFA in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University and a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland-College Park. She is a second-generation Nuyorican and was born and raised and currently lives and works in El Barrio, NYC.

“The future of this society lies in our ability to actively create spaces that uplift the next generation to understand their brilliance, talents, and unique responsibility to utilized their energy to dismantle the systems of power that are inadequate. To give them the space to vision! Through this production we have an opportunity to empower the community to own their position as liberators within this quest for FREEDOM.” – Jonathan McCrory, Director of Theatre Arts, National Black Theater

“In a time in which we as a society are involved in an urgent conversation around equity and the demand for social justice, this piece of theater is a necessity. We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with Dominique in the producing of this work and also furthering our partnership through this collaboration with National Black Theater”. -Kamilah Forbes, Producing Artistic Director, Hi-ARTS

National Black Theatre:
Founded by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1968, NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE (NBT) is a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution. Dr. Teer pioneered “the healing art of black theatre as an instrument for wholeness in urban communities where entrepreneurial artists of African descent live and work.” In 1983, Dr. Teer expanded the vision of NBT by purchasing a 64,000-square-foot building on 125th Street and Fifth Avenue (renamed “National Black Theatre Way” in 1994). This was the first revenue-generating black arts complex in the country, an innovative arrangement through which for-profit businesses who shared NBT’s spiritual and aesthetic values rented retail space to subsidize the arts. Out of her vision, NBT houses the largest collection of Nigerian new sacred art in the Western hemisphere and is considered the authentic representation of a model whose time has come. NBT is partially supported by grants from the City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Ford Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Columbia University Service Society and private donations. Follow NBT on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagra(@NatBlackTheatre).For more information visit www.nationalblacktheatre.org.

Hi-ARTS:
Hi-ARTS (formally known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) is a leading organization within the urban arts movement who’s mission is to develop and produce new works of performance and visual arts; to provide a platform for artists; and to create educational and community programs that connect to and expand the audience for urban arts. Located at the center of creative and community practice in El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, Hi-ARTS engages arts and culture both locally and nationally. www.hi-artsnyc.org. Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @hiartsnyc

For over a decade, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival has presented hundreds of artists and performances around the country by, for and about the Hip-Hop generation. More often than not this art is imbued with a sense of urgency for social justice. The Festival has also served as an early home for emerging artists, many of whom are now surfacing as household names. With the advent of Hi-ARTS as its new home, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival is poised to grow beyond a festival, into new realms of artistic creation, advocacy and service to artist and the communities they serve. A while ago, I worked at a Miami Beach real estate firm, I had to deal with this situation.

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