EXCHANGE: Social Practice/Potluck – Wed, January 4, 11 & 18, 2017 – 7:30pm

You are here: Home - - EXCHANGE: Social Practice/Potluck – Wed, January 4, 11 & 18, 2017 – 7:30pm

Project Details
Project Description



Social Practice/Potlucks [collaborative coexistence]

WEDNESDAYS January 4, 11, 18   

7:30-9:30pm | by donation [notaflof]

Red Poppy Art House [2698 Folsom Street]    

Social Practice/Potlucks are collaborative meals and interactivities co-hosted by FRESH artists notorious for generating situations of connectivity, improvisation, inclusivity and direct action.

January 4
one on one but also all together
Rachael Dichter + Jesse Hewit

January 11
José Navarrete, Amara Tabor-Smith, Regina Evans

January 18
empathetic disruptors
Kathleen Hermesdorf, Stephanie Maher,
Abby Crain, Keith Hennessy, Sara Shelton Mann   


FRESH EXCHANGES are free and by donation events made to cultivate, cross-pollinate, invigorate, create access and generate outreach within and outwith the dance, music and performance communities. FRESH 2017, in collaboration with local allies, presents 15 new and existing models of interaction. FRESH Exchanges happen from January 2-22 at Red Poppy Art House, Joe Goode Annex and F8 in San Francisco and CTRL+SHFT in Oakland.


January 4
one on one but also all together

Rachael Dichter and Jesse Hewit co-host a collaborative meal and inter-activity, involving a gentle evening of warm food and structured care within some permutation of “collectivity.”

As strategies and sensitivities swirl around our social and political lives, we have been thinking about how to be together in permeable ways that keep our ties of collectivity intact, while also acknowledging our individual needs for social and energetic smallness, introversion, and focus. In response to this, “one on one but also all together” offers folks a place to go, connect or disconnect, and get fed; both literally and otherwise. For the first hour, we’ll share food and decompress in whatever way happens. For the second hour, Rachael and Jesse will initiate one-on-one offerings to each person who would like to partake; ranging from soft and silent physical contact or energetic healing to lively/challenging conversation, free advice, a listening ear, or individually tailored journeys.  There will be a menu of services to choose from and special requests will be considered. Rachael, long time host of her weekly potlucks (a Bay Area standard), will hold space and spin warmth, while Jesse, recent sous chef at Headlands Center for the Arts, will warm and ground you with a spicy black bean and coconut stew over local greens and brown rice pilaf.

January 11

José Navarrete, Cat Brooks and Amara Tabor-Smith co-host an evening of food for the heart, mind and soul, looking at empathetic and disruptive ability and agency in art and activism.

January 18
empathetic disruptors

Kathleen Hermesdorf, Stephanie Maher, Keith Hennessy, Abby Crain and Sara Shelton Mann co-host an evening about sharing food, experience, embodiment, improvisation and agency.


Rachael Dichter is a San Francisco based dancer, performer, choreographer and curator. She studied dance and art history at Mills College and was a 2015 Danceweb Scholar. Her work has shown at Dock 11 Berlin, Ponderosa Tanzland Berlin, Joe Goode Annex San Francisco, On the Boards Seattle, and she has been lucky to collaborate with a number of fierce and talented folks including Laura Arrington, Mica Sigourney, Ruairi Donovan, Allie Hankins, Sara Kraft, Abby Crain, Jesse Hewit, Marten Spangberg, Keith Hennessy and Jess Curtis, and for four years she co-curated the San Francisco based live arts festival THIS IS WHAT I WANT.

Jesse Hewit is a three-way cross between a diabolical valedictorian fratboy at a therapy intake session, a fussy-but-useful little baby bear who can make a fierce sandwich, and a really old and mostly unremarkable leather shoe. He makes art and discourse actions in order to move societies toward equity, complexity, and other poetic and impossible clouds and ghostlike things. Additionally, Jesse does not actually exist, but is instead a cobbled together science fair project, composed of the practices and ideas of his friends/heroes mixed with the inclinations of his soul (?). “His” work, curations, collaborations, and teachings have happened in various parts of the US and Europe, and his upcoming offering called FAITH MATERIAL: Activism will happen first in San Francisco in February of 2017, and then later next year in Los Angeles and Portland. Jesse works as a cook, and lives precariously in San Francisco with a 5th grade teacher and two motherfucking beasts.

José Navarrete is a native of México City where he was first exposed to theater and dance, choreographing and performing in parks, hospitals, and children’s parties as a clown and dancer. He studied dance at the National Institute of Fine Arts in México and has a BA in Anthropology from UC/Berkeley and MFA in Dance from Mills College. He has studied dance with Sara Shelton Mann, Taiko with Hiroyuki Nakagawa and Argentine Tango with Nora Dinzelbacher. In 2004, José was the recipient of a Bessie Schönberg residency at The Yard and a Djerassi residency. José received a CHIME Mentorship with Jess Curtis, and a CHIME Across Borders fellowship with Ralph Lemon. He has taught dance and performance to youth and adults in Mexico and in the San Francisco Bay Area at Berkeley High School, Marin Academy, Cal State/East Bay, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He currently leads the Guerilla Performance Group, and curates and produces the Live Arts in Resistance (LAIR) initiative at Eastside Arts Alliance, which provides residencies and performing opportunities for artists of color in East Oakland. José has been participating in FRESH since 2015 and acting as a curator for 2017 + 2018.

Amara Tabor-Smith is an Oakland based performer/sometimes poet/dance maker who makes Conjure Art. Her dance making practice, utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of race, gender, social and environmental justice, community, identity and belonging. She is still here.

Regina Y. Evans, a native of Oakland, Ca, is a Poet/Playwright/Actor, a Modern Day Abolitionist/Survivor Leader in the fight against human trafficking, and an Entrepreneur. Ms. Evans is the Owner of Regina’s Door, a vintage clothing boutique which serves as a safe haven for at-risk youth, survivors of sex trafficking, homeless youth and women, and young creatives. Regina’s Door was honored to be the recipient of the 2015 Oakland Indie Social Change-maker Award and the 2016 District Attorney Nancy O’Malley Hero Award. Ms. Evans’ most current stage play, 52 Letters (Writer, Producer, Director, Performer), a poetic stage play bringing awareness to the issue of sex trafficking in the United States, was honored to win a Best of 2013 San Francisco Fringe Festival Award. Additionally, Ms Evans has performed 52 Letters at many local and regional venues. As a Modern Day Abolitionist, Ms. Evans a member of The S.H.A.D.E. Project (Survivors Healing, Advising and Dedicated to Empowerment), a survivor run consulting/advocacy project, founded by Social Justice Advocate and Survivor Leader Sarai Theolinda Smith-Mazariegos. She is also a member of the Mayor’s CSEC (Commercial Exploitation of Children) Task Force and the C.E.A.S.E. (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) Network. Ms. Evans is a board member of the non-profit Seek and Save which serves Bay Area at-risk youth (including victims of sex trafficking) by providing mentoring and financial resources, founded by Humanitarian Mark Fisher.   

Abby Crain is an Oakland, California based artist who makes dances and other structures for performance, most recently in the collaborative creation of the epic feminist, gothic, transformational spectacle aka Snake Talk with Maryanna Lachman and Mara Poliak. She also works in the field as a teacher, performer, writer, and curator. Her solo and collaborative work has been presented in Berlin, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles. She teaches annually in FRESH Festival in San Francisco, Drop Your City Armor Retreat in Dos Rios, California, with Jesse Hewit and Sara Shelton Mann, Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen, Germany, and has also taught in New York City through Movement Research. As a performer, Abby has worked extensively with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (2001-2009), Sara Shelton Mann (1999-2001 and 2010 present), and also with Jesse Hewit, Guillermo Gomez Peña, Jess Curtis Gravity, Kathleen Hermesdorf and David Dorfman Dance. Her writing and interviews have been published by Itch Performance Journal (LA), PAPER FRONT (Portland), Critical Correspondence (NYC), and the Off Center (SF). Her curatorial projects include the NO THANK YOU SHOW, which asked artists to represent or stage work that has been rejected by granting organizations, theaters, collaborators, or the artist herself, the NON MAJOR SHOW, which asked artists to show work was not in their primary medium, as well as being on the curatorial panel of FRESH Festival.

Keith Hennessy dances in and around performance. Born in Sudbury Ontario, he lives in San Francisco and tours internationally. His performances engage improvisation, ritual and public action as tools for investigating political realities. His awards include Izzies, a NY Bessie, and the United States Artist award. Practices inspired by anarchism, critical whiteness, punk, and queer-feminism motivate and mobilize Hennessy’s teaching, writing, dancing. Keith started practicing contact improvisation in 1979, the same year that he discovered body-based performance art. 2016 was a huge year with 5 premiers created in collaboration with Meg Stuart, Scott Wells, Blank Map, Jassem Hindi, and Peaches. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband with Sara Shelton Mann, 1985-1994. Keith earned an MFA in Choreography and a PhD in Performance Studies from UC Davis.

Kathleen Hermesdorf is an international dance artist, educator and producer, and the Director of ALTERNATIVA and FRESH Festival in San Francisco. She has been dancing in the Bay Area since 1991 and teaches, performs, improvises, creates, curates and mentors around the world. Hermesdorf was a member of Bebe Miller Company, Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. A collaborator at heart, she co-directed Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells and Collusion with Stephanie Maher, a partner in PORCH summer/school at Ponderosa in Germany since 2010. Hermesdorf brings over 20 years of experience from the field, studio and stage to her work and holds a BFA and an MFA in Dance Performance + Pedagogy.

Stephanie Maher – based in New York and then San Francisco 1989-1995. Known for her breathtaking physicality and for creating works that express a unique blend of intimacy, sensitivity and wild humor. In 1998, Maher relocated to Berlin, Germany, where she continued to perform, organize, develop and teach in the community-based settings of K77 Studios and founded the Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen, Germany with Uli Kaiser and PORCH with Kathleen Hermesdorf, a 3 month module-based program for aspiring professionals. Improvisationally structuring and unknowingly creating a life of curating dance between the urban environment and nature, Maher’s focus has deepened towards the small networkings of the international dance scene, creating avenues of support for self-realized and non-profit organizations. This includes the facets of liminal, spontaneous, curious and outspoken performance installations that occur within the permissible space of Ponderosa work and art made at home. Maher recently finished an MFA in Choreography from Smith College.

Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, teacher since 1967.  She was a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Lewis in N.Y.C. before moving to Canada where she met Andrew Harwood and fell in love with contact improvisation. In 1979 she moved to SFCA and started the company Contraband as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body and spiritual practice into a unified system of research.  Among her awards are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 6 Isadora Duncan Awards,  Djerassi Artist in Residence Awards, Headlands Center for  the Arts Residency 2016,  Lifetime Achievement Bay Guardian Award, Foundation for Contemporary Arts artist award 2016. Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions. Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.



Back to top