The NWA Project creates interdisciplinary and site specific performance that speaks to space making and shape shifting in the lives of Queer people of color and the African Diaspora. Consisting primarily in partnership between Ni’Ja Whitson and Kirsten Flores-Davis with rotating guest artists, The NWA Project makes a loud visible space for ourselves, communities and ancestors through work that is rigorous and unapologetic. Our mission is synonymous to our creative principles, it relies on its existence, the sacred, experimentalism, redefines the conceptions and notions of the body/gender/sexuality through our immediate physical presence and conceptual inquiries. Our practices reject a marginalized body through decolonized and liberated sensory-dense experiences, and resists nostalgic/voyeuristic consumption, deconstructs meaning and language systems of “dominant” narratives.
An award-winning interdisciplinary artist, performer and writer, Ni’Ja Whitson, has been referred to as “majestic” and “powerful” by The New York Times. Recent awards include an LMCC Process Space Residency, Bogliasco Fellowship, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Artist Residency, two-time Creative Capital “On Our Radar” award including being in its inaugural group, among dozens of other residencies and awards across disciplines.
Whitson has been a student and practitioner of indigenous African ritual and resistance forms for over ten years, creating work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and interdisciplinary performance. They engage a nexus of postmodern and African Diasporic performance practices, through a critical intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and spirituality. [read more]
Kirsten Flores-Davis earned their BA in Dance Movement Therapy from Hunter College while performing with the National Liturgical Dance Network in Bridgetown, Barbados and Canberra, Australia. Combining a love for dance and theater, Davis joined the casts of the Messiah Project at HERE! Arts Center and BRIC and Boogieman: Diary of a Broken Home, of the Thespis Theatre festival. Choreographic works have been presented at the South Orange Performance Arts Center, the Danny Kaye Playhouse and in the 2016 Dance Block Festival. Recently, Davis has worked with movement based choreographers Ursula Eagly, Maura Donohue, and Chafin Seymour. This is Davis’ third year as a company member of the NWA Project.