About Eva Yaa Asantewaa

photo by Scott Shaw

For her capacity to reflect, contextualize and discern dance,
providing a necessary voice for dance artists' varied practices
For her work as writer, educator, mentor, and activist
over many decades in print, radio, and online
For strengthening the city's arts community as an important witness,
an intentional healer, and a mindful presence

2017 NY Dance and Performance Award
Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance
Eva Yaa Asantewaa

photo by Joel Newman

Eva Yaa Asantewaa
is Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney, New York’s acclaimed center for dance and social activism. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance as a veteran writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed writing on dance to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York and other publications and interviewed dance artists and advocates as host of two podcasts, Body and Soul and Serious Moonlight. She blogs on the arts, with dance as a specialty, for InfiniteBody and served as Editor in Chief of Dancer's Turn, a blog devoted to longform profiles of dance artists, created by students of her "Writing on Dance" workshop series at New York Live Arts.

Ms. Yaa Asantewaa joined the curatorial team for Danspace Project’s Platform 2016: Lost and Found and created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, an evening of group improvisation featuring 21 Black women and gender-nonconforming performers. Her cast was awarded a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. In 2018, Queer|Art named one of its awards in her honor, and Detroit-based choreographer Jennifer Harge won 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.

As EYA Projects, she established partnerships with organizations such as GIBNEY, Abrons Arts Center, Dance/NYC, BAX and Dancing While Black to curate and facilitate Long Table conversations on topics of concern in the dance/performance community.

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. In May 2017, she served on the faculty for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography's inaugural Forward Dialogues Dance Lab for Emerging Choreographers and will return in 2019 as a workshop facilitator.

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.

A native New Yorker of Black Caribbean heritage, Eva makes her home in the East Village with her wife, Deborah, and cat, Crystal.

photo by Eva Yaa Asantewaa

photo by Axel Jenson

In addition to her work in the arts, Eva maintains a private practice in Tarot-based psychic 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--Eva 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), Eva 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.)

Eva’s 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.

As a WBAI radio broadcaster (1987-89), Eva 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.

Connect with Eva Yaa Asantewaa:

Twitter @magickaleva


Eva 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 While Black

Danspace Project

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

Healing Works

Housing Works

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

Rivington House

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 Cauldron

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


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