Rebel Alliance Skype Sessions

Join us for the U.S. premiere of Artistic Directors of the Future's Rebel Alliance event, an exciting new initiative that connects the next generation of culturally diverse leaders with some of the most innovative international leaders from across the globe as they speak on artistic revolution, groundbreaking initiatives, and challenging the status quo.

This exclusive event will provide participants with a global viewpoint from the most inspiring minds of the 21st century.

This is a FREE Industry-Only Event. After you RSVP, you will receive an email from BLBW confirming your space in this program.

This event will take place in the Goodman's Alice Center with the presenters teleconferencing in to speak to participants.


Saturday, April 27

Sunday, April 29

  • Yari Helfeld | San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Yari is an artist from Puerto Rico. She is a graduate from Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Scenic Art. Yari is member of “La Compañía de Teatro Y No Había Luz” where she is an actress, producer, and artistic director. Yari is a collaborator with theatre groups, Jóvenes del 98, Agua Sol y Sereno, El Kibutz y El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico. She is currently a theatre teacher at El Pueblo Trabajador school since 2005 where she teaches workshops on masks and papier-mâché puppets with recycled materials such as clay or plasticine. She also offers workshops on Juegos Teatrales, Expresión Corporal, Tango y Manipulación de Objetos. Yari has worked as an actress and dancer with Maritza Pérez, Deborah Hunt, Pedro Adorno, Petra Bravo, Viveca Vázquez, Rosa Luisa Márquez y Nelson Rivera. She has performed in different countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, México, Ecuador, Chile y Santo Domingo.

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  • Pushpamala N | Vancouver, Canada

    Born in Bangalore, 1956, Pushpamala N has been called “the most entertaining artist-iconoclast of contemporary Indian art”. In her sharp and witty work as a photo- and video-performance artist, sculptor, writer, curator and provocateur, and in her collaborations with writers, theatre directors and filmmakers, she seeks to subvert the dominant cultural and intellectual discourse. She is known for her strongly feminist work and for her rejection of authenticity and embracing of multiple realities. As one of the pioneers of conceptual art in India and a leading figure in the feminist experiments in subject, material and language, her inventive work in sculpture, conceptual photography, video and performance have had a deep influence on art practice in India. Starting off her career as a sculptor, Pushpamala began using photography and video in the mid -1990s, creating tableaux and photoromances in which she casts herself in various roles. Interested in history and the idea of cultural memory, she cites a wide range of references in her series of masquerades where she simultaneously inhabits and questions familiar frames fromart history, photography, film, theatre and popular culture, thereby placing herself as the artist at the centre of social and political inquiry. Pushpamala N lives and works in Bangalore after having lived for periods in different Indian cities. She exhibits widely in India and internationally, and speaks often at seminars and conferences.

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  • Mariana D. Silva | Lisbon, Portugal

    Mariana is co-founder and director of Village Underground Lisboa which is a coworking and events space housed in a collection of shipping containers and double-decker busses. Mariana exported Village Underground to Lisbon after coming across the concept in London, where she worked for running her own events and managing artists under the brand Madame Management. In London she devoted herself to producing several events to promote Portuguese music, using her expertise in press relations, advisory and public relations in the music industry. Village Underground Lisboa has been running for 5 years as a melting pot for creative people and ideas to gather and evolve, a true creative community in Lisbon. The coworking was recently ranked as 10th best spaces to work in Europe by Big 7 Media. The project itself is an award-winning ""Best New Project of the Year"" by Time Out magazine and ""One of the Best Seven Things to happen in Lisbon"" by Visão magazine when it was launched. Mariana herself was awarded the Innovation in Business Prize by Máxima and Jornal de Negócios in 2014 and is part of the ""50 Women that do more for Lisbon"" list, chosen by Time Out magazine. Mariana is particularly dedicated to promoting women in the music and entrepreneurial sector in Portugal, and contributing to the cultural development of her home city Lisbon.

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  • Michelle Angela Ortiz

    Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist/ skilled muralist/ community arts educator who uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through community arts practices, painting, and public art installations, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community.

    For 20 years, Ortiz has designed and created over 50 large-scale public works nationally and internationally. Since 2008, Ortiz has led art for social change public art projects in Costa Rica & Ecuador and through the US Embassy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba. Ortiz is a 2018 Pew Fellow, a Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellow, a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist National Fellow, and a Santa Fe Art Institute Equal Justice Resident Artist. In 2016, she received the Americans for the Arts' Public Art Year in Review Award which honors outstanding public art projects in the nation.  

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  • Hana Sharif

    Hana's multi-faceted theatre career includes roles as an artistic leader, director, playwright and producer. Beginning her professional career at Hartford Stage in 2003, she rose from an entry-level artistic assistant to the associate artistic director within seven years. During that time, Hana also served as Hartford Stage’s director of new play development. Starting in 2012, she served as program manager at ArtsEmerson, a leading world theatre company based at Boston’s Emerson College. Hana has been Baltimore Center Stage’s associate artistic director since 2014, directing acclaimed productions of Pride and Prejudice, The Christians and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Her other achievements at Baltimore Center Stage include strengthening community engagement, producing multiple world and regional premieres and helping to guide the theatre through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort. She is now the Artistic Director of St. Louis Repertory Theatre and the First Black Woman to be named to run a LORT theatre.

  • Muthoni Drummer Queen

    Muthoni Drummer Queen is a musical and cultural firebrand with a timeless, thought-provoking, genre-bending, afro-diasporic sound, which, is an infectious club and radio-friendly fusion of african drum patterns, hip-hop,reggae/dancehall and neo-soul/blues. Her live performance seamlessly weaves together singing, rapping and drumming, embodying at once the consciousness of Lauryn Hill and flawless choreography, costuming and delivery à la Beyoncé. She pours forth the bold, the riveting, the immersive; she is the storm you will unreservedly be taken by. Muthoni’s music often finds itself musing on the state of Nairobi (and Africans at large) the human condition/ the human experience and the state of women. The underlying purpose of the works is to awaken the listener to their inherent divinity, their purpose and ignite/heal their longing for freedom. In Muthoni’s words, “Freedom is the core of my existence and indeed of any work/platform I create.”

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  • Amyra Leon | London, England

    Amyra is a musician, playwright, author and educator. She has toured numerous times across the US & UK performing in collaboration with the likes of the BBC, Roundhouse, Amnesty International and more. An alumna of the Nuyorican Slam Team, she fuses music and poetry through powerfully transparent performances focusing on social inequalities and celebrating love, blackness, and what it means to be woman. She is the author of two collections of poetry: the water under the bridge and Mouth Full of Concrete and has several literary projects in the works. Her musical debut, Something Melancholy, has led to her sharing stages with Talib Kweli, Common, Melanie Fiona, Alice Smith and more.

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  • Peace Hyde | Lagos, Nigeria

    Peace Hyde is the Founder of Aim Higher Africa, Head of Digital Media and Partnership as well as the West African Correspondent at Forbes Africa. In her current role, she is responsible for working across the company’s digital platform on revenue and audience growth initiatives as well as the editorial head for the West African region. Prior to Joining Forbes Africa, she was an education senior management executive in the United Kingdom where she also practiced as physics, Chemistry and Biology teacher for 7 years. She was responsible for ensuring the school reached the stringent Ofsted Standards of the United Kingdom. Her innovative strategies raised £2.5 million for her school in Westminster. Hyde is an award-winning journalist who has been featured in CNN, Forbes, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, Ebony, Fox News among many others. She was named to the United Nations Most Influential People of African Decent list for 2017. She also sits on the judging panel for The Chivas Venture Fund as well as being the host of two leading flagship talk shows, Forbes Africa’s My Worst Day with Peace Hyde, the only show that speaks to Africa’s billionaires and Forbes Woman Africa’s Against The Odds on CNBC Africa reaching over 60 million households in Sub Saharan Africa. Hyde is also a 2018 Obama Foundation Africa Leader fellow and a judge on the prestigious CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

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