Emerging choreographers provided with three-month space grant to create and perform

HOUSTON, TEXAS – October 8, 2012 – Hope Stone, Inc. is proud to announce the second full season of its HopeWerks residency, presenting three amazingly, talented, fresh newartists/choreographers, including Donna Meadows & Neil Ellis Orts, Susan Blair and Amy Llanes.

HopeWerks is a space grant offered to emerging choreographers and performance artists to assist them in the early stages of their artistic journey. Artists are given three months of unlimited rehearsal time at Hope Stone Studio to create their work. At the end of the three months, the artists present a “work-in-progress” showing to the public at Hope Stone Studio. Why is this important? With the reduction of and competitiveness in artistic funding, a newcomer to the arts scene struggles with the expenses of starting a new company and presenting work. Without these funds, young companies and artists are often unable to have the time and space to explore their creativity and present it to the public. HopeWerks empowers these artists and allows them to unleash their creativity in the city of Houston, and hopefully beyond.

HopeWerks was formed not only to be a creative residency, but as an opportunity for artists to learn all aspects of presenting an evening of artistic work. There are many details in presenting work – scheduling, marketing, promotion, press releases, print materials – and HopeWerks serves as a mini classroom for the artists during their three-month residency. Supporting these young artists as they create and present their work is a major goal of the program and aligns with Hope Stone’s mission to create art for all.

HopeWerks has proudly presented a variety of new and upcoming artists in the past, and this season marks the fifth year of the program. Under the direction of HopeWerks Director Laura Gutierrez, the artists will be given guidelines designed to help them stay on track and have a successful experience in presenting their work.

Meadows and Orts will partner together for the first HopeWerks residency from September to November 2012. Meadows has taught dance at St. Agnes Academy and has danced with Josephine John Generating Company, Houston Grand Opera and Frame Dance Productions video, Framing Bodies: Love Me. She currently is on staff at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and is a long-time supporter of Hope Stone.

Orts, a native Texan, studied art and theology with a BFA in theater from Texas State University, a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago. He is a writer and performer with a resume of quite disparate credits.

Blair, who will participate in HopeWerks from January to March 2013, holds a degree in Modern Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a degree in architecture. A recipient of both a CACHH Artist Grant Award and Projects Grant Award, her work has been seen at DiverseWorks, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Jewish Community Center and the 1894 Grand Opera House in Galveston.

Llanes will participate in HopeWerks from April to June 2013. Llanes is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company. She holds both BFA and MFA degrees from Sam Houston State University. Her choreography has been showcased at American College Dance Festival, Big Range Dance Festival and Dance Gallery Festival: Houston meets New York. She is currently on adjunct faculty at Lone Star College and Houston Community College.

Tickets for each of the shows are $5 and are available at the door. Hope Stone Studio is located at 1210 W. Clay #26, Houston, TX 77019.

For more information regarding HopeWerks, please visit www.hopestoneinc.org.