|Eva Yaa Asantewaa (photo: Scott Shaw)|
Eva Yaa Asantewaa (she/her) is a veteran writer, editor, curator and community educator. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.
Since 1976, she has contributed dance criticism and journalism to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York, her arts blog, InfiniteBody, and other publications and podcasts (Body and Soul; Serious Moonlight).
In 2016, for Danspace Project’s Lost and Found platform, Ms. Yaa Asantewaa created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, an evening of group improvisation featuring 21 Black women and gender-nonconforming performers, a cast that won a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. In 2018, Queer|Art named one of its awards in her honor, the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists. In 2019, Yaa Asantewaa was a recipient of a BAX Arts & Artists in Progress Award. She is a founder of Black Curators in Dance and Performance.
From 2018-2021, Ms. Yaa Asantewaa served as Senior Director of Curation as well as Editorial Director at Gibney and now continues some of that work as an independent consultant directing and curating some of the programs she initiated for Gibney--Black Diaspora, Imagining journal, Deeper Lectures, Deeper Duets, and WORD!
She was a member of the inaugural faculty of Montclair State University’s MFA in Dance program. She has also served on the faculty for New England Foundation for the Arts' Regional Dance Development Initiative Dance Lab 2016 for emerging Chicago-area dance artists as well as the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography's inaugural Forward Dialogues Dance Lab for Emerging Choreographers.
Ms. Yaa Asantewaa was a member of the New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards committee for three years and has been a consultant or panelist for numerous arts funding or awards organizations including the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
As a WBAI radio broadcaster (1987-89), Ms. Yaa Asantewaa worked with the Women’s Radio Collective and the Gay and Lesbian Independent Broadcasters Collective (OUTLOOKS) and co-hosted the Tuesday Afternoon Arts Magazine with Jennifer Bernet as well as producing her own specials.
Ms. Yaa Asantewaa was born in New York of Barbadian immigrant heritage and makes her home in the East Village/Lenapehoking.
At Gibney, A New Curatorial Director Makes A Revolution by Gia Kourlas, The New York Times, September 29, 2019
|Eva Yaa Asantewaa (Photo: D. Feller)|
In addition to her work in the arts, Ms. Yaa Asantewaa maintains a private practice in Tarot counseling. From January 2001 to January 2005, Eva published DancingWorld, a monthly email newsletter devoted to Tarot, psychic and spiritual development, and creativity. She is an ordained minister (ULC, Modesto, CA) and legally registered with the City of New York as a marriage officiant with special interest in neo-pagan and secular-humanist ceremony.
While studying at Fordham University--where she received her B.A. in Communications in 1974--Ms. Yaa Asantewaa was introduced to Jungian psychology and the "mind games" techniques created by Robert Masters and Jean Houston. She also studied Community Health Education at Hunter College School of Health Sciences and received the Hunter College President's Award for HIV/AIDS Creative and Scholarly Work, First Prize, 1992.
Through Radical Magick (which she founded in 1992), Ms. Yaa Asantewaa produced and facilitated workshops and special events sponsored by over sixty health and social service, spiritual, feminist, people of color, and GLBT organizations in the New York metropolitan area. Among these are the New York Open Center’s Womanspirit Journey program, New York Theosophical Society, College of New Rochelle, Healing Works, New York State Conference on Women’s Health, Riverside Church Wellness Center, Women’s Health Education Project, and Women’s Rites Center. (See below for complete list.)
Her poetry appears in The Zenith of Desire: Contemporary Lesbian Poems about Sex (ed., Gerry Gomez Pearlberg, Crown, 1996), Does Your Mama Know? An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories (ed., Lisa C. Moore, RedBone Press, 1997), Queer Dog: Homo Pup Poetry (ed., Gerry Gomez Pearlberg, Cleis, 1997), Isis Rising: The Goddess in the New Aeon (ed., Denise Dumars, 2000), Brooklyn Review, Kuumba, Starfish, WV, Tempus, The Isis Papers, and the Pegasus Dreaming, Star Leaper, and Pedestal Magazine Web sites. She was also published in An Eye for An Eye Makes the Whole World Blind: Poets on 9/11 (Regent Press). She has read her work at numerous venues including the Brooklyn Museum, the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, A Different Light Bookstore, Bowery Poetry Club, and Cornelia Street Cafe.
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Ms. Yaa Asantewaa has produced and/or offered presentations, special events, workshops, groups, counseling or other services for many organizations and projects including:
92Y Harkness Dance Center
Abrons Arts Center
African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change (AALUSC)
AIDS Center of Queens County
AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan
Audre Lorde Project’s Arms Akimbo Organizing Institute, 1998
Audre Lorde Project’s Wellness Forum, 2002
Barnard College Dance Program
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Brooklyn Dance Festival
Brooklyn Historical Society
Changing Times, Changing Women Conference
College of New Rochelle (Brooklyn campus)
The Crystal Quilt
Dancing Queerly Festival (Boston)
Dancing While Black
Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc)
First Universal Spiritual Church
Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) Adult HIV Prevention Program
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) Intensive Case Management Unit
13th Annual Gay and Lesbian Addiction Studies (GLAS) Conference
12th Annual GLAS Conference -- Reconstructing Recovery: Healing Technologies for the 21st Century
Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Alliance, Kingsborough Community College
Haitian Women’s Program
HAPI, Inc. (agency for home healthcare workers)
Healing Path Farm
Howie the Harp Advocacy Center
Hunter College Dance Program
Initiative for Women with Disabilities (Hospital for Joint Diseases, Beth Israel Medical Center)
Inside Out Conference (Spirit Crossroads), 1997
Inside Out: Pride in Spirit (Spirit Crossroads)
The Lesbian Care Center
Lesbian Feminist Liberation
Liberate Your Health! Bodywork Fair
Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography
Manhattan Center for Living
Men of All Colors Together (MACT)
Montclair State University MFA Dance Program
New England Foundation for the Arts
New York City Lesbian Health Fair
New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop)
New York Open Center: Womanspirit Journey Program
New York State Conference on Women's Health, 1994
New York Theosophical Society
New York University Tisch School of the Arts Dance Program
Northeastern Tarot Conclave
Pillars of HER Tradition
PWA Coalition Men’s Group
Queens Women's Health Network
Queensborough Community College Dance Program
Rising Spirits Healing and Learning Center
Riverside Church Wellness Center: Holistic Approaches to Cancer Care series
SAGE: Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (formerly Senior Action in A Gay Environment)
Shades of Lavender (Brooklyn AIDS Task Force)
Staten Island HIV Care Network: Conference 1998
Stuyvesant Chiropractic Center
The Tarot School
To Tell The Truth 2002 Conference (Incest Awareness Foundation)
A. J. Vargas Seminars
W.E.R.I.S.E. International Women Artist Conference 2003
Women’s Coffee House
Women’s Health Education Project
Women’s Rites Center