Open Society Project

The Open Society Project is at its heart a community based residency project where we share our creative seeds with a community and evolve a public performance presentation for its expression to be witnessed in its blossoming. It is a means of using the tools of our craft to build bridges between people by creating a new world for them to explore together. Primarily focused around stilts the Open Society Project can integrate spoken word, singing, live music, dance, skateboarding, folkloric dance, fire, aerial or whatever is unique and vital to a given community’s fabric of expression.

The roots of the Open Society Project go back to our early experiments with sharing our work with high school students and creating public open air work with them. This process was nurtured into a traveling stilts workshop we shared with communities we met in our early years of touring. (2004-2006). It has been informed by our residencies with Crimson Coast Dance Society in Nanaimo, Canada and the creation of our Grande performances at the Universal Forum of the Cultures in Monterrey, Mexico.

The Open Society Project was the name we gave to the residencies we conducted on stilts with Nemcatacoa Teatro during the Bi Cultural Road Show in 2013. The Open Society Project was a means of bridging the cultural differences between latino and anglo artists by creating a world they equally shared and invested in.

The Open Society Project continues as an artistic endeavor designed to integrate diverse elements into a unique open air artistic expression through a residency specifically modelled to fit the needs of the community it is serving.

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THE OPEN SOCIETY PROJECT 2013

“Wonderful to take on physical challenges with such expertise & heart.”  
– Richard Schoumen, Q-Staff Theatre  (Albuquerque workshop participant)
 
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“We learnt art is a journey and our motions, gestures, coordination, symmetry, rhythm and energy create the journey’s landscape.”
– Bill & Kai Bradley, Father & Son (Albuquerque workshop participants)
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“[The Open Society Project] was an amazing glimpse at the peak of skills combining stilting and theatre brought together to demonstrate the significance of cultural symbiosis.” 
– Laura Sutton, Circus Barrcus, (Flagstaff workshop participant)
 
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“I was finally given the opportunity to be accepted into a community of like-minded people, where failure is seen as just another step toward success. I learned to trust myself more, but also the people around me.”
– Mishi LaPlante (Flagstaff workshop participant)
 
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“The open society project is an amazing project that unites people of all ages and backgrounds.” 
– Jeannette Chavez, Director of Guadalupe Dance Company (San Antonio workshop participant) 

PRESCOTT, ARIZONA

Flourish Before the Flood was an ambulant stilts performance series that occued along Granite Creek in downtown Prescott, Arizona as part of the Tsunami on the Square Festival. This Open Society Project featured “Nemcatacoa Teatro” from Bogota, Colombia and their musicians “Hojarasca” along with The Carpetbag Brigade, aerialist Helen Goodrum and Prescott based dancers Delisa Myles, Ashley Fine, Breanna Rogers and Lilly Ruffner and the musicians Inesis Vitols and Meg Bohrmann.

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FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA

This Open Society Project sponsored by Flagstaff Cultural Partners began with a three part stilts workshop series culminating in a presentation on Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff on the 26th of July. Performers consisted of local Flagstaff Residents, Nemcatacoa Teatro and Hojarasca.

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ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Carpetbag Brigade worked with stilters associated with the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Nemcatacoa Teatro for the Globalquerque Open Society Project. For one week the participants were taught in a stilts workshop, in the second week we created and performed at Globalquerque!

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TUCSON, ARIZONA

Hosted by Many Mouths One Stomach, the Tucson Open Society Project was created and performed with Flam Chen for The All Souls Procession. The stilt performance was watched by an audience over 65,000. 

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Carpetbag Brigade was hosted by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and worked with local artists, Guadalupe folklorico dance Company, Aerial Horizon and Nemcatacoa Teatro. For one week the participants were taught in a stilts workshop, in the second week we created and performed the San Antonio Open Society Project.

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