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Home » News » MANCC Welcomes Returning Artist Emily Johnson

MANCC Welcomes Returning Artist Emily Johnson

Published February 23, 2016

February 21 – March 6, 2016

Emily Johnson during 2014 SHORE residency

Emily Johnson during 2014 SHORE residency

Please join us in welcoming MANCC Artist and Partnership Project: McKnight Choreography Fellow Emily Johnson, who returns to FSU to work on her current project, Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars. The work is a multi-year project focused on all night stargazing, which includes in equal measure: making quilts, performance, storytelling, song, and a night of stargazing. Then a Cunning Voice…, which in Johnson’s writing alludes to the trickster storyteller archetype found in many cultures, relies upon people coming together to voice intentions, witness, work, experience time, rest, and imagine.

During their time at MANCC, Emily Johnson—with collaborators Ain Gordon, Aretha Aoki and Krista Langberg—will be developing the performance for Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars. Johnson and Community Engagement Coordinator Julia Bither will be holding Community Visioning and Sewing Bee Sessions at FSU and with the larger Tallahassee community. Johnson will also open up her rehearsal process to four student scribes, who will observe her creative process and provide reflection on the work-in-development at the end of the residency. The studio-based work, created by Emily Johnson her collaborators, will accumulate into an Informal Showing at an FSU School of Dance Open Forum toward the end of the residency, which will be also open to the public.

The Community Visioning Session ask participants “What do you want for your well-being? For your family and friends? Your neighborhood? Your city, town, or reserve?” These intentions will be gathered on quilt squares and then sewn into a modular series of quilts during the Community Sewing Bee. Once created, the quilts are laid together to become one 4,000 square foot area, designed by textile artist Maggie Thompson, upon which an all night stargazing—including moments of silence, performance, stories, and First-Nations star knowledge—will be hosted.


February 24, 2016

Community Visioning Session w/ Emily Johnson and Julia Bither
Montgomery Hall – Studio 404
5:30pm – 7:30
Through games and discourse, we will brainstorm and expand on hundreds of ideas, creating a map to the future we want.

March 2, 2016

Informal Showing
School of Dance – Open Forum
Nancy Smith Fichter Theater
10:30am – 11:50am
An informal showing of the studio based work developed during the residency.

March 5, 2016

Community Sewing Bee with Emily Johnson and Maggie Thompson
Council on Culture and Arts (COCA)
10:00am – 2:00pm
Sewing experience is not required. You are welcome to drop-in at anytime to help make the quilt that will represent the intentions of the Tallahassee community.

Please e-mail Research Associate Afua Hall at to RSVP for the Entrypoints or visit Emily Johnson’s MANCC artist profile for more information about the residency.

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The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), at the FSU School of Dance, is a choreographic research and development center whose mission is to raise the value of the creative process in dance.