Director and Co-Founder (she/her)
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, a 2018 Movement Research NYSCA Artist-in-Residence, and a 2021 Gibney DiP 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 Open Society Foundation’s Soros Art Fellowship (2020) and 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
Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Co-Founder Patricia McGregor is a director and writer working in theater, TV/film and music. McGregor has twice been profiled by The New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Productions include Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (co-writer and director, Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light); Sisters In Law (Wallis Annenberg) What You Are, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure (The Old Globe);Skeleton Crew (Geffen Playhouse); Good Grief (Center Theater Group); Hamlet (The Public Theater); Place (BAM);The Parchman Hour (The Guthrie Theater); Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company); brownsville song… (Lincoln Center); Indomitable: James Brown (The Apollo); Holding It Down (Metropolitan Museum); A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale, Spunk (California Shakespeare Theater); Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR); Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage); Four Electric Ghosts (The Kitchen) and the world premiere of Hurt Village (Signature Theatre Company). She served as Associate Director of Fela! on Broadway. For many years she has directed The 24-Hour Plays on Broadway. She served as director for HBO emerging writer’s showcase and tour consultant to Raphael Saadiq and J Cole. Her short film Good Grief will premiere this year. Additionally she was a directing shadow on HBO’s Lovecraft Country. She co-founded Angela’s Pulse with her sister, choreographer, and organizer Paloma McGregor, and sits on the advisory board of Adam Driver’s Arts In the Armed Forces and the Parent Artist Advocacy League as well as a Usual Suspect at New York Theater Workshop. McGregor attended the Yale School of Drama, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.
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 (she/her)
Social Media Manager
Mshairi is an educator, creative, nurturer, artivist and justice seeker.
Marisol Ybarra (she/her)
Project Support for
Building a Better Fishtrap
Marisol is a healer, social justice advocate, and reader who loves bad tv, podcasts, and golf.
Producing Collaborator & Thought Partner
Shalonda Ingram is an innovator embodying the mantra:
Strategize. Design. Produce.
Shalonda specializes in elevating community, business development, and creating impactful strategies. Shalonda intersects expertise in placemaking, belonging & inclusion training, spiritual entrepreneurship, digital platforms, and the arts. Shalonda is committed to elevating awareness of underutilized space, hosting dialogue that empowers, implementing system based transformation and leveraging assets for unique outcomes.
Organizations partner with Shalonda to turn ideas into reality, establish their strategy in an ongoing relationship, and discover how to elevate diverse voices at all levels to scale.
To date Shalonda’s efforts have been acknowledged by a range of entities: AmeriCorp St. Louis, US Chamber of Commerce Youth Entrepreneurship, Alliance for Artists Communities Leadership Institute, the Port of Oakland Community Advisory Board, the New York Innovative Theater Awards, Fierce NYC, Brooklyn Arts Council ReGrant Program and the City of Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission.
Shalonda has also accepted nominations by Fronde Baliste founder Rhesa Jenkins for a Pop Tech Innovation Award and The Corporation for National & Community Service Eli Segal Award.
Shalonda is nomadic and has established home-bases throughout North America; Brooklyn + Rochester, New York I Washington DC Area I SF Bay Area I Saint Louis