The Team

Director and Co-Founder (she/her)

Paloma McGregor headshot by Melisa Cardona

Paloma McGregor (b. 1974) is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer and arts leader. As co-founder and Artistic Director of Angela’s Pulse, McGregor has spent more than a decade centering Black voices through collaborative, “community-specific” performance projects. A former newspaper editor, McGregor brings a choreographer’s craft, a journalist’s urgency, and a community organizer’s framework in the service of big visions. The daughter of a fisherman and public school art teacher, McGregor amplifies and remixes the quotidian choreographies of Black folks, reactivating them in often-embattled public spaces. McGregor’s work situates performers and witnesses at the embodied intersection of the ancestral past and an envisioned future; for her, tradition transcends time.

Working at the growing edge of her field, McGregor has been an inaugural recipient of several major awards, including: Dance/USA’s Fellowship to Artists (2019); Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Institute Fellowship (2018); and Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaging in Social Change (2015). Paloma was a 2013‐14 Artist In Residence at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute, a 2014-16 Artist In Residence at BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a 2016-18 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist, and a 2018 Movement Research NYSCA Artist-in-Residence. She has been nominated for the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship and the Herb Alpert Award. Recent support for her work includes grants from the New York Community Trust (Mosaic Fund), MAP Fund, Surdna Foundation, Dance/NYC, NYSCA and Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences.

Paloma also facilitates technique, creative process and community engagement workshops around the world. She toured internationally for six years with Urban Bush Women and two years with Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, and continues to perform in project‐based work, including Skeleton Architecture, an acclaimed collective of Black women(+) improvisers with whom she received a coveted New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for performance in 2017.

Alongside her choreographic work, McGregor founded Dancing While Black (DWB), a platform for community-building, intergenerational exchange and visibility among Black dance artists whose work, like hers, doesn’t fit neatly into boxes. Since 2012, DWB has produced more than two dozen public dialogues and performances, supported the development of 22 Black artists through the DWB Fellowship, and published the country’s first digital journal by and for Black experimental dance artists.

Read Paloma’s contribution to “Why I Dance” in Dance Magazine.

[PHOTO CREDIT] Paloma McGregor by Melisa Cardona

Co-Founder (she/her)

patriciaCo-Founder Patricia McGregor  is a director and writer from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. She has twice been profiled by The New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Recent credits include the world premier of Lights Out: Nat “King Cole” (People’s Light) Skeleton Crew (Studio Theater) , the world premier of Good Grief (Center Theater Group), Measure for Measure (The Old Globe), The Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater), Hamlet (The Public Theater), NY premier of Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company), NY premier of brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Lincoln Center Theater), the world premiere of Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), the world premiere of Hurt Village (Signature Theatre Company) the world premieres of Holding It Down and Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage) and the world premier of The House That Would Not Stand (Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep). Other credits include tour consultant for J Cole World Tour, director and co-creator of the upcoming oratorio Place at BAM and LA Phil, and director of A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale,Spunk, Becky Shaw, Adoration of the Old Woman, Four Electric Ghosts, and Nothing Personal. She has often directed the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and staged readings for HBO’s Writer’s Access program. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. She was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Yale School of Drama, where she earned her MFA and served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

PURPOSE Productions supports artists and organizers in the mothering of PURPOSE-full work that seeks to unify and develop our world community.

Founded by A. Nia Austin-Edwards, PURPOSE Productions​ works with individuals and institutions to collaboratively bring visions to fruition through marketing, management, support with children, and more. Named after the Swahili translation of her own name (Nia), PURPOSE Productions grounds itself in the principles of Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday celebrating the fruits of ancestral, communal, and individual labor.

Since 2013, PURPOSE Productions has supported dance artists such as Adia Tamar Whitaker and Marjani Forte­-Saunders, theater artists such as Ella Turenne and Latonia Phipps, organizations such as 651 ARTS and Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance, and initiatives such as Paloma McGregor’s Dancing While Black and Camille A. Brown’s The Gathering, among others. Their work is rooted in an Africanist aesthetic and anti-captalist value system, and their community represents diverse cultures, genres, and experiences. While Kwanzaa focuses on the African-American community, PURPOSE Productions supports and engages a world community joined by the common thread of humanity.

As a longstanding Angela's Pulse partner, PURPOSE Productions provides multiple team members to support the organization's visions and projects.

A. Nia Austin-Edwards (they/them)

Managing Partner and Strategic Collaborator

Nia is the Founder of PURPOSE Productions and works as a cultivator, emancipator, and oracle (CEO) who is committed to the liberation of all people.

Jessica Lee (she/her)

Team Guide and Marketing Manager

Jessica is a dance and teaching artist, arts and administrative organizer, and creative collaborator.

Mshairi Siyanda

Mshairi Siyanda (she/her)

Social Media Manager

Mshairi is an educator, creative, nurturer, artivist and justice seeker.

Maya Simone Z.

Maya Simone Z. (she/her)

Project Support for
Building a Better Fishtrap

Maya is an art maker, facilitator and educator.

Project Manager for Building a Better Fishtrap / from the river's mouth (she/her)

Erica Saucedo

Erica Saucedo was born in Austin, Texas to Patricia and Edgar Saucedo. She is a movement artist, collaborating with visionaries Paloma McGregor, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Indah Walsh, and is the co-founder of vis-á-vis dances–alongside partner, Kaitlyn Bishop. Erica serves the world by creating space for processes of reflection and expression, whether through art-making, administrative assistance, or facilitated engagement. She currently works as the Project Manager for Building a Better Fishtrap / from the river’s mouth and is a Community Actionist with Gibney Dance’s youth program, Hands are for Holding.

[PHOTO CREDIT] Erica Saucedo by Dylan Baker

Project Manager for Jacob's Pillow's Pittsfield Moves! (she/they)

Matthew DickenMatthew Dicken is a non-binary trans femme storyteller, curator, facilitator, and teaching artist. Their perspective as a cultural worker has been deeply informed by the values of Artists Co-Creating Real Equity (ACRE), a multi-racial group of artists and arts workers committed to organizing for racial justice and unified by the principles of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, as well as her role as a solidarity fundraiser with the anti-incarceration work of queer and trans people of color-led grassroots network F2L and non-profit Sylvia Rivera Law Project. As an administrator, she has worked in programming, marketing, & community outreach roles with PURPOSE Productions, Spaceworks, and Dixon Place. Recent collaborative projects have included: Queer Scouts and the TransGenerational Theatre Project (a multigenerational theatre devising workshop for trans & gender non-conforming folx). She conducts interviews with the NYC Trans Oral History Project. Matthew has studied both Hindi and Urdu through the American Institute of Indian Studies (U.S. Department of Education fellowships); during studies in Jaipur and Lucknow, she has written on Indian people’s movements and on a community-based organization of the India HIV/AIDS Alliance’s program for men who have sex with men, transgender, and hijra communities. Their solo performance butyou’reaman or: The Seven Men I Came Out to in India (directed by Arthur Strimling) won an Overall Excellence Award for Solo Performance in The New York International Fringe Festival in August 2015. Follow her (and become a monthly sustainer of F2L) on Instagram @adeles_lil_sis_adelaide.

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