We invite you to engage with us in building community and activating collective transformation.
Angela’s Pulse designs rich engagements that help build and bridge communities. We work with both existing and newly formed groups to
- facilitate the development and deepening of connections,
- surface their assets, stretch their capacity for collaboration
- and cultivate their own visions.
Our work is infused with creative practices and built upon anti-racist organizing principles. Guided by our values, we move among the legacies of Urban Bush Women and The People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond. While we are available to share our voice and practice at singular events, we are most excited by opportunities to cultivate deep relationships over time as we have done through the annual Faculty Women of Color in the Academy Conference, Pittsfield Moves! and Virginia Commonwealth University.
“That minute of silence/breathing literally gave me chills. I felt the strength of my ancestors fill and restore me.” – Monet Roberts, PhD
The Annual Faculty Women of Color in the Academy Conference, hosted by Virginia Tech, is an opportunity for indigenous and women of color in higher education to network, engage and learn with colleagues from around the country.
Since 2020, Angela’s Pulse has connected with over 1,000 participants through offering grounding opening and closing rituals during the annual conferences and facilitating Healing Hour gatherings. Breath, movement, song and reflection have been led by AP Core Collaborators MK Abadoo, Christine King, Erica Saucedo and Joya Powell alongside Paloma McGregor. Adapting our community-building practices to the virtual world, we were able to create a sense of connection and celebration among this group of scholars and administrators.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with FWCA and exploring how our practices of grounding, movement and connection might show up when the conference returns to gathering in person in 2022.
“[Angela’s Pulse’s year-long engagement] allowed us to begin imagining ways to keep our community connected even across the virtual space, as well as fuel our individual creative endeavors in a creatively challenging time.”
– VCU student Joi Brown [read more]
Angela’s Pulse’s relationship with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) exemplifies our commitment to deep collaborations developed over time that integrate creative and community practice. In 2018, we began exploring a multi-year, multi-site performance project during a creative residency at VCU, made possible by the VCUarts Department of Dance and Choreography and Paloma’s Fellowship with the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Institute. From 2018-2019, AP core collaborators joined Paloma at VCU in choreographic process informed by the iterative development of Building A Better Fishtrap.
In 2021, we collaboratively envisioned a responsive shift in our engagement which began with a two-week virtual Fishtrap Method workshop inviting VCU community into a creative process in collaboration with Dr. Gaynell Sherrod, faculty member and longtime colleague of Paloma. Fishtrap Method is Paloma’s adaptive methodology for building performance work and building community. Over the past decade, she has been honing myriad processes – including writing, moving, story telling, map making and breaking bread – in order to elicit personal voice and develop connective tissues between people, places and practices. The Method is rooted in her father’s vanishing fishing tradition and three driving questions: What do we take with us? Leave behind? Reclaim?
The 2021 Community Building residency continued with a focus on building upon, deepening and developing student leadership. We engaged a broad swathe of the Angela’s Pulse network in the process with Paloma: AP Core Collaborators MK Abadoo Jessica Lee and Christine King; North Star Arts Incubator cohort members Joya Powell, Maria Bauman-Morales and Sarita Covington; and longtime comrade Johnnie Mercer. Using anti-racist and embodied practices – including Culture Shares, Story Circles and Shared Practice – students were able to deepen their relationships, organize into focus groups, and produce a list of collective concerns and recommendations for the department. VCU Dance Students went on to self-organize in three Working Groups: Communications: Systems of Practice and Modalities; Health, Wellness and Care; Deepening Values and Agreements.
Angela’s Pulse and VCUarts continue to seek ways of deepening our relationship including possible presentation of A’we deh ya, the most recent iteration of the Fishtrap journey.
From 2017-2018, Angela’s Pulse designed and facilitated Pittsfield Moves!, a year-long community engagement project using dance to support and connect local stakeholders in educational, social, and economic justice and amplify their stories on stage. Pittsfield Moves! was envisioned by Jacob’s Pillow and the resident-driven initiative working to increase economic opportunity, Working Cities Pittsfield. Our team included Paloma McGregor, along with AP Core Collaborators MK Abadoo, Christine King, and Rosa Navarrete. The project was managed by Adelaide Matthew Dicken and Lizzy Cooper Davis served as dramaturg and documenter.
The arc for Pittsfield Moves! was modeled on Urban Bush Women’s Entering, Building and Exiting Community framework. This engagement rehearsed new ways Berkshire County residents might move together. As with any rehearsal process, there were triumphs and stumbling blocks, revelations about past failings and lessons for building future successes, and as many questions as answers.
The residency culminated September 15-23, 2018 with a performance at the Harvest of Hope Festival, a multicultural, community- building festival in Pittsfield. Key Berkshire County community partners throughout this initiative include Working Cities, Youth Alive!, NAACP Berkshire County Branch, Manos Unidas Multicultural Education Cooperative, Railroad Street Youth Project, Berkshire Children & Families, and Transformative Development Initiative, among others. Through these relationships, outgrowths of this work can be woven into locally generated events, seeding possibilities for future visioning and organizing.