Elevate Atlanta 2021 Performance

Idle Crimes & Heavy Work

Community Engagement

Sunday, Sep 19 @ 4pm - 6pm

Registration is free. Please look under "public programs" to register.

ELEVATE Atlanta is proud to collaborate with Atlanta History Center to present Idle Crimes & Heavy Work, an interactive dance performance and dialogue by Giwayen Mata and Moving Our Stories exploring the history of Black women’s incarcerated labor, resistance, and restoration in Georgia. This performance will take place at Atlanta History Center on Sunday, September 19th from 4-6 PM. Registration is free but required.

Hosted annually by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs in various locations around Atlanta, ELEVATE is a temporary public art program that seeks to invigorate the Atlanta area through visual art, performances, and cultural events. The focus of ELEVATE is to enhance the city’s cultural offerings by providing free, quality cultural experiences that highlight what makes Atlanta unique and increasing Atlanta’s cultural and economic vitality. More information is available at: https://www.elevateatlart.com/.

About the Collaborators

Tambra Omiyale Harris is a native of Oakland, California and is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science. She is a choreographer, musician, teacher, dancer, and the Artistic Director with Giwayen Mata in Atlanta, GA.

Giwayen Mata is an award-winning, dynamic, soul-stirring, all-sistah, dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble that celebrates the richness of traditional Africa by exhibiting its exemplary art forms. The ensemble performs traditional, contemporary and original pieces that address issues pertaining to people of color, women, and the environment.

Giwayen Mata’s mission is “to celebrate our lives as women and uplift our communities and our planet, while perpetuating the cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora through the study, creation, teaching, and presentation of artistic media including dances, rhythms, songs, poetry, and prose around the world.”

Tambra Omiyale has studied and performed under the direction of world renowned African and Contemporary dancers such as Abdulaye Camara, Assane Konte, Youssouf Koumbassa, Marie Basse Wiles, Djian Tie, Omelika Kuumba, Kwame Ross, Abdel Salam, Ronald K. Brown, Jawole Zolar, Deborah Vaughn, Dr. Veta Goler, Kenneth Green, Pamelah Maragh and Debbie Allen. She has enjoyed the opportunities to perform with world-renowned artists such as Dionne Farris, Laurnea, Nadira Shakoor, and The SOS Band. She was also in TLC’s music video “Girl Talk”, a featured extra in “Coming to America 2”, and a member of the opening cast of Busch Garden’s Broadway style production “KATONGA”. Tambra Omiyale is also developing a dance program at Price Middle School in Atlanta, GA which focuses on social emotional learning, identity resurrection, and project based learning through the arts.

Julie B. Johnson, PhD, is a dance artist and educator driven by the ways that dance can

serve as a practice of inquiry, empathy, and empowerment. Her creative practice, Moving Our Stories, uses participatory dance and embodied memory mapping to amplify the histories, lived experiences, and bodily knowledge of Black women as a strategy towards building collective empathy, empowerment, and joy for all. Julie is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Dance at Spelman College, serves as Chair of the Department of Dance Performance & Choreography, and is affiliated faculty of Spelman’s African Diaspora & the World Program. She is a Co-Founder/Consulting Editor for the Dancer-Citizen, an online open-access scholarly journal exploring the work of socially engaged artists.

Julie is honored to have been selected as a Partners for Change Artist as part of the inaugural 2020-23 cohort through Alternate ROOTS and The Surdna Foundation. She is also the recipient of the inaugural Mellon-Funded Mini Research Grant through Spelman College’s Institute for Gender & Sexuality Studies in support of ICHW. Julie was a 2021 Distinguished Fellow in-residence at the Hambidge Center, made possible through the Georgia Council on the Arts Scholarship, and a member of the 2020-21 cohort of the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion Institute. In 2019, she received the Arbes Award and Black Spatial Relics Residency Award for her work on Idle Crimes & Heavy Work, and she was a Hughley Artist Fellow as part of the final 2018-2019 cohort.


Elevate 2021 is presented by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs.

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