Friday, August 19, 2016

I am full with the deepest inspiration. Why? Because this July I joined a collective of Black women artists and cultural workers to co-birth Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Simone Leigh, the brilliant Artist in Residence at The New Museum, generously opened up her residency to all of us. She has made it possible for us to build this collective action as an addition to her exhibition at the museum, The Medicine Room. And we are definitely making strong medicine, or as some of us say, "That Good Good."

Because ...

this July 2016 was a time of continued rage, deep sadness, and absolute frustration as our minds and souls rocked in response to state sanctioned violence against Black lives again. It was also a time for continued love and organizing for justice. What I could not have known was that this intense love for community would bring so many beautiful folk together in this way. But now I do know through experiencing it. And we want you to share in our offering Thursday, September 1st from 4:30pm to 8:30pm at The New Museum in NYC. RSVP at the link below. Thanks to the New Museum for supporting us with such integrity and vision!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I am looking forward to being a panelist and facilitating an interactive workshop at the National Black Arts Festival this year!

National Black Arts Festival 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
“Call and Response: Contextualizing African American Presence in the American Theater”
A partnership with Arts at Emory and Emory University
Tickets: $40 to include a private tour of the exhibition “Raising Hell: The Art, Archives and Activism of Camille Billops and James V. Hatch”
Goodrich C. White Hall, Emory University, Room 208
NBAF in partnership with Arts at Emory and Emory University presents a day long symposium with distinguished local and national scholars addressing the issue of the presence and influence of African Americans on performance arts and theater. Participants will include: Michael D. Harris, Artist, Associate Professor of Art Historian, Emory University; Krista Thompson, Northwestern University, author of Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (2015); McKinley Melton, Professor of English at Gettysburg College, whose research focuses primarily on spiritual and religious traditions throughout the African Diaspora and its influence on Diasporan literary, artistic, and cultural expressions; moderator Dr. Paul Carter Harrison, Emory Scholar/artist in residence, playwright, director and author of “The Drama of Nommo;” Nina Angela Mercer, playwright, poet, theater scholar based in NY City who will conduct interactive breakout sessions; Dianne Stewart, Associate Professor in the Emory Department of Religion; Dr. Pellom McDaniel, curator at Emory University’s Rose Manuscript and Rare Books Library and Playwriting Fellow Jireh Holder.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Walking the Talk, or Why We Changed Our Venue for Sunday, Aug 9th, 2015!

Dear friends,

Some of you have been following the announcements I've been making about the upcoming performance of my choreopoem, ITAGUA MEJI: A Road & A Prayer, as I have posted rehearsal update photos and reminders about the show for the past month or so. The show is still on for Sunday, August 9th, but we have changed our venue to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe at 236 East 3rd Street, NYC from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Join us.
This decision to change venues is grounded in my heart-felt commitment to justice, Black lives, courageous truth-telling, and the very important choice to walk my talk, always. I am standing in solidarity with many artists, but most especially, Eboni Hogan, a spoken word artist and mother who was treated with gross disrespect at The Sidewalk Cafe (the former venue) as she advocated for proper treatment for her son. Thanks to Mahogany L. Browne for mobilizing the people and making it possible for the show to go on.
I have tagged all of my folk who responded to the event invite, but all are welcome to attend. Please spread the word. Thank you. Onward.

Check out the Facebook Event Link here:

Monday, June 29, 2015

right here/right now

I will find a way into this troubled truth that makes my most sensitive child shed hot tears because "this is how they treat us." I will find answers stronger than hugs. I will find words and do what writers do with them. And I will wonder if those words could ever be enough. Probably not. That's why the poets and singers, the music-makers and dramatists, the painters and provocative visionaries will not stop. Because it's never enough. And I will seek action, and after that, I will wonder the same things about ceilings, iron bars, escape routes, and this strange weather, this seeming drought in some of our souls. It don't stop. Neither will we.

Check out ITAGUA MEJI: A Road & A Prayer by Nina Angela Mercer on Sunday, August 9th in NYC!

 (photo by Hemamset Angaza)

Join us for ITAGUA MEJI: A Road & A Prayer by Nina Angela Mercer, with choreography by Kimani Fowlin, at The 9th Annual Boog City Poetry, Music and Theater Festival in NYC at The Sidewalk Cafe at 94 Avenue A on Sunday, August 9th!

In ITAGUA MEJI, Aisha struggles to find Ori, the divinity of her own head ...

Aisha, performed by Audrey Hailes
Ori, performed by Kimani Fowlin
The Source, all percussion by Pamela Patrick
Written & Directed by Nina Angela Mercer

Facebook Event link here:

Reflection: MOTHER WIT & WATER BORN by Nina Angela Mercer at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre, Nov 2014

In November 2014, I had the wonderful opportunity of having the 1st stage reading of my play MOTHER WIT & WATER BORN at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre for the Keep Soul Alive Reading Series. For this reading, the play was directed by Maya James with choreography by Kimani Fowlin. I was absolutely inspired by this opportunity to share my work at NBT. It is an institution founded in love and deep-rooted purpose. It is home for many of us.

Synopsis: In 1795, a Girl-Child is born on the ship, Mary Mother of God, as it sails across the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Coast. The Baby Girl’s cries are fierce as machetes raining from the darkest night sky. Many believe She is more aberration than human, more curse than precious cargo. She certainly isn’t meant to survive. But She does …

MOTHER WIT & WATER BORN is a choreo-drama telling the story of 7 generations of women born from that Girl Child’s lineage as they fight to remember and forget the blood memory encoded into their DNA. It is the blood memory that birthed them into America and pushes them into an unknowable future. It is ritual and dance. It is Herstory.

The reading was well-received by the audience, and I look forward to developing MOTHER WIT & WATER BORN as a full production.