On the Boards announces Berette S Macaulay as inaugural Curatorial Fellow


The performing arts organization, On the Boards, has announced M.A. in Cultural Studies alum Berette S Macaulay as their inaugural Curatorial Fellow. Macaulay is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and writer from Jamaica and Sierra Leone whose research and visual arts practice engage themes of belonging, identity-performance, illegibility, love, memory, and mythmaking.

The Curatorial Fellow has the opportunity to conceive, develop, and implement designated performances, commissioned projects, discursive public programs, and publications for On the Boards. Fellows receive mentorship, on-the-job training, and are able to connect with a national and international network of curatorial and producers. The fellow will collaborate with On the Boards Artistic Director Rachel Cook to develop, research, and realize performances, programs, and events that support and express the artistic vision of On the Boards fulfilling its mission to invest in artists near and far, and to connect them with audiences interested in forward-thinking art and ideas.

Macaulay’s proposal is a site-specific, multi-locational project that leads audiences through a series of visceral engagements with site histories, community meaning, cultural memory, and healing activations. She will be working with an architectural designer, a performing arts company, and community research partners to present this series – which will include an interdisciplinary mapping of sound, movement performances, and visual installations, and a roving podcast—culminating in a performance at On the Boards.

The aspirational scope of this project is to animate, engage, and serve displacement hi/stories of cultural erasures in Seattle - with a particular care for QTBIPOC and immigrant communities. Through a network of collaborating actors, participants, and attending community audiences, Macaulay’s curatorial intention is for the commissioned artists to create both a witnessing and immersive pedestrian experience amplifying at-risk or lost cultural sites, juxtaposed with ceremonial honoring of place and community reclamation. Her project holds the potential of facilitating existing calls for practical and accountable public interventions in reimagining and preserving site legacies around Seattle.

In 2020, Macaulay curated the multi-faceted project, “MFON in Seattle,” in collaboration with the founders of the book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, Frye Art Museum, Jacob Lawrence Gallery and Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW). Macaulay organized events and exhibitions at each venue, including the exhibit, “Exploring Passages Within the Black Diaspora,” at PCNW. An output of the project is the MFON in Seattle catalogue, an archive of this collaborative program of exhibitions and panels. Learn more about Macaulay’s work at: berettemacaulay.com.

Photo credit: J Quazi Babatunde King

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