Shift the Space: A Series of Interviews with Black Artists

Shift the Space: A Series of Interviews with Black Artists is a project through which we are interviewing black creatives (the interviews are in the form of zoom recordings or written interviews) whose art we either have witnessed first hand by working with them or have seen from afar and admired.

Every Friday we will be posting an episode and we would love for you to watch/read them and take the time to check out these people's amazing art. Along with the interviews, we will post a bio of the artist and a list of resources/inspiration they mention during the interview. 

Episode 1: Soma Okoye 

Soma Okoye @soma.okoye is an actor, content creator, and creative director. Her work takes on many forms but her through-line is to use her artistry to explore the nature of humanity, both through and beyond her identity as a Black, Queer, Nigerian-American Womxn. Most recently she founded the online platform Naked & Nourished @nakedxnourished that explores the nature of existence, our capacity to love, and our intrinsic role in the universe. She graduated from NYU Tisch School of Arts with a BFA in Drama.


Here is a list of the inspiration Soma mentioned during her interview: 

- Jean-Michel Basquait

- "Children of Blood and Bone" - book by Tomi Adeyemi

- Ava DuVernay (director of the documentary "13th" and TV Series "When They See Us," both available on Netflix)

- Lupita Nyong’o

- "Pose" (Netflix)

- "Disclosure" (Netflix)

Episode 2: Cris Eli Blak

Cris Eli Blak is a playwright, screenwriter, performer, poet, producer and theatre practitioner. He wrote and co-produced the film The Brother’s Survivor, which won an award at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, and is a two-time poetry slam champion. His plays have been produced, performed and/or published by Urban Stages (Off-Broadway), The Quean’s Theatre and Flaw State (London), Melting Pot Theatre (Australia), Cleveland Public Theatre, Illuminate Theatre, Little Red Theatre Company, among others, and is currently developing new works with The Pressure Players, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre and, of course, Et Alia Theater Company. He continues to strive to tell stories of real people in our society.

Episode 3: Josca Moore

Josca Moore is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A in Drama. During her time at NYU Josca performed in several plays such as Crave, The Colored Museum, and We are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915. She is also a trained ballet and modern dancer and has worked with legends such as Debbie Allen, Lisa Simone (Daughter of Nina Simone), Sting, and Paul Simon. Josca is a writer at heart, and aims to invoke a call to action in all of her work. She is currently working on a script that she plans to workshop as soon as it is safest to do so; in the meantime she is focused on submitting her work to theater festivals.

Episode 4:  Letícia Calvosa

Letícia Calvosa graduated from Centro Universitário Senac São Paulo with a degree in Multimedia Production and from the acting conservatory program at Globe-SP Centro de Formação de Ator. She performed in Aristophanes' The Clouds, adapted and directed by Hugo Possolo, as part of Parlapatōes' showcase. She was also a performer in the show  Distopia Brasil, directed by Pedro Granato. She is an actor and producer at Cia. do Liquidificador, a theater company focused on storytelling, literary interventions and children's plays, one of their recent productions being Vida de Pirata, written and directed by Fábio Spila. Her most recent project is Caso Cabaré Privê, an online immersive experience also directed by Pedro Granato, which will be running every Saturday and Sunday until September 6th.