13% of $3,500 goal
Get What You Need (GWYN) started in 2015 as a way for a new mom to make space for herself to continue making dance work and to stay connected to her community. She scheduled a time in a studio during naptime and invited other artists to share their process, at whatever stage they were at—to essentially, get what they need, build community and keep going despite obstacles of time and money. It worked. Since then, GWYN has evolved to support over 60 different dance and performance artists in Philadelphia in the creation of their work.
Now, 8 years later, we continue this important mission and have developed it into a 8 month-long residency crafted by artists, for artists.
Because we need art to survive the dailiness of this problematic world and we need the community to create it. Because art is the axis on which the world turns--it is a platform for social evaluation and expression of our human experience. Art brings life into life.
Unfortunately, artists are often undervalued at the most crucial part of their development. Pre-pandemic times, funding for the creation of performance was already dwindling. If you didn't have any famous people in your project, funding was close to impossible to get. To this day, getting support for research and development is almost non-existent. And NOW more than ever, we feel that art is needed for healing, sanity, and community.
As parents and independent artists, it can be unsustainable to travel for residencies in order to create work. So, we created GWYN to establish focused time and energy for Philly-based artists to think through and harness their own process and get whatever resources they might need to bring their vision into form.
By artists of Philadelphia and for the artists of Philadelphia.
GWYN Residency is a consortium of 4 Philadelphia movement-based artists who have all been involved in various iterations of GWYN since the beginning. In 2020, amid pandemic isolation, we began having conversations via Zoom about the purpose and meaning of the work we do as artists, the incredible amount of resources we each have to share, and the obstacles that remain in our midst for bringing work into reality. Through these conversations, we established the framework of the residency which is designed from a unique artistic perspective to support artists mid-process in creating the residency for themselves. In other words, we decentralize ourselves as leaders and focus on empowering the artists to chart their own path, yet not do it alone.
Zornitsa Stoyanova (USA/BUL) (she/her) is the founder of GWYN. She is an award-winning performance artist, curator, writer, lighting, and video designer. Based between Sofia, Bulgaria, and Philadelphia, US, she directs her company BodyMeld which along with presenting her work, focuses on creating programs in support of independent choreographers in both her locales.
Her stage, video, and photographic work use the female body as an abstract object revealing ideas of strength in female sensuality and emotionality. On stage, she explores feminist ideals, the power dynamics between dancers and audiences, and personal stories revealing vulnerability and strength.
Her performance, AndroMeda, was presented by The Philadelphia Museum of Art (2020), and her solo performance Explicit Female (2016) was awarded a "Rocky" – the Philadelphia contemporary dance award. Her choreographic work has been shown in festivals around the U.S. as well as in Bulgaria and France. As a dancer, she has performed for Eiko & Koma, Boris Charmatz, Cie. Willy Dorner, Lionel Popkin, Group Motion, and others. Her screendance films have been shown across the U.S. and in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany, and Bangladesh. She is a writer and editor for thINKingDance.net, loves sci-fi, and has two not so little any more boys.
Keila Cordova (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based dance-maker, performer, and writer. She creates original dance theatre works for her company, 3 Pony Show. Past evening-length dances include KITH, Linear Default, As Pretty Does and Volcano, My Love, As Pretty Does, Agnes Falling, Gold and Janet 2.0 and Mamibaile.
Her works have been performed at numerous festivals, including – the Philadelphia Fringe, newMoves Contemporary Dance (Pittsburgh, PA), E-Moves (Harlem Stage), Around the Coyote (Chicago), Dixon Place’s Moving Men (NY), Celebrate Dance (San Diego, CA), HERE Arts Center/Lincoln Center’s American Living Room, Boogie Down Dance (Bronx), D.U.M.B.O Arts (Brooklyn), Sweat Modern Dance (Hoboken, NJ), Toronto Fringe - as well as Judson Church (NY), BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Art & Dance) and Outlet Dance Project at the Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ).
Ms. Cordova has received artistic support from The Director’s Lab West, The Leeway Foundation, Small But Mighty Arts, the Puffin Foundation, a Funds for New Work awards from Aaron Davis Hall (Harlem Stage), a commission from the Greenwall Foundation and the International Center for Advanced Studies (NYU); artist residency awards from the Constance B. Saltonstall Foundation, The Millay Colony, Norcroft; as well as a Story Changers Award for Outstanding Leadership and for Empowering Women in the Arts in Philadelphia from the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival and an Audre Lorde Fellowship from The Union Institute Centre for Women. She is an alumni of UC, Berkeley and the New School for Social Research (MFA). She has taught movement workshops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Atlanta.
Kenwyn Samuel(she/they) is a Philadelphia-based Disability Justice advocate and multidisciplinary performance artist striving to build bridges of empathy and advocacy. They are a co-founder of the Au/racle collective, and recipient of a 2020 Art & Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation and 2021 Visibility Impact Fund Grant for their project VISIBILITYtalks, which collaborates with artists on the Disability Spectrum to create artistic documentaries highlighting their work and lives in a format that gives them full agency over the final product. As a creator, artist, and actor, they have worked/presented work throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding areas at pilot+projects gallery/Free Fringe Philly, Rowan University, thINKingDANCE.net, the Shoebox Festival, the Ritz Theater, and Jersey Fringe. Kenwyn holds a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Musical Theatre from Rowan University. They move through the world with a drive to create inclusive and accessible multimedia content, focused on the expansion of the generalized perception of the “artist.”
Janna Meiring (she/her) is a queer movement-based performing artist living in Philadelphia, PA. With an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University, Janna anchors her work in contemplative practices and somatic approaches to creative thinking and the creative process. She has continued study of Body Mind Centering® and developmental movement, Contemplative Dance Practice, the Performative Self, and many forms of compositional improvisation and other somatic practices.
Since moving to Philadelphia in 2014, she has been an artist-in-residence at Mascher Space Cooperative and The Whole Shebang, has performed at various show-cases including ETC at the CEC, and with The Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure (IPA) at Fringe 2015. She was a writer, editor and Head of Education Committee at thINKingDANCE.net for 3 years, and has continued to teach and develop classes and workshops through various studios in the Philly community.
As a solo artist, Janna utilizes states of embodied awareness as sites for inquiry, shaping impulse and response through layers of movement, sound, text and theatrical elements. Janna was an artist-in-residence at E|MERGE, Earthdance in 2016 and then with Get What You Need (GWYN), through Bodymeld New Dance Platform in 2019-2020, amid the first lockdown of the pandemic. After the residency, she went on to become one of the consortia of artists who develop and manage the program in addition to mentoring artists through their process.
In addition, she has worked in many collaborations, including with Asimina Chremos, Miryam Coppersmith, Nicole Bindler, Vervet Dance, From the Earth Dance Project, , and the Impermanent Society of Philadelphia.
Fundraising first goes to supporting all the artists involved which include the consortium of mentors as well as the artists and their specific projects. Additional support goes towards renting of actual space for public sharing of works in progress and/or final events. This, in turn, supports artist-run spaces in Philadelphia.
The consortium - who works on GWYN year-round as thinkers, artist-philosophers, and organizers. We have regular meetings to assess the challenges of artists in our community and society and engage in dialogue about how to up-end, re-imagine and anchor the work we do in action. We also collectively carry out basic functions of planning and implementing and are available for artist support outside of our monthly GWYN meetings.
The Residency Artists - Each year 2-3 artists are selected. We allocate some financial support for these artists and envision this amount to increase in the future. Artists have full control of their own money. They can use it to funnel into production elements or space rental, or can pay their own bills, whatever they decide is exactly what is important.
Space for events/public showings at $20 to $25 per hour. This year we envision at least 3 in-person public meetings/sharings with the Philly community.
An outside artist mentor who comes in mid-process for an outside eye and meets with the GWYN residents to support their work.