CCNY's MFA DIAP student, Alethea Pace, receives Harkness Promise Award

Alethea Pace, a student in the MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice (DIAP) program at The City College of New York, is one of two recipients of the Harkness Promise Award by Dance Magazine

Pace is a multidisciplinary choreographer and performer committed to creating work in and with her community that is rooted in social justice. She strives to help her community overcome challenges facing people of color.

She was a member of Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre for eight years and collaborated with various multimedia community-centered organizations, such as Angela’s Pulse and the Laundromat Project. She received support for her work from companies like, Dancing While Black, Pregones Theater, New Dance Alliance, New York Live Arts and 92Y Harkness Dance. Additionally, she received the BRIO award and CUNY Dance Initiative in 2019 and is currently BAAD!’s Muse Artist in Residence. 

As a performer, she trained at the Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center in the Bronx and has a BA in urban design from NYU where she studied the history of Bronx housing. Pace is currently in her third semester in the MFA DIAP program, that invites students with wide ranging interests to encourage the use of technology with contemporary art to create digital media art.

Specializing in contemporary modern dance and dances of the African diaspora, Pace’s work incorporates an interdisciplinary approach that includes experimentation with text, video, projection mapping, sound design, creative coding, oral history and community-based practices. She believes in using these artistic outlets to unite people from underrepresented communities so that their cultures and histories are validated and shared.

The Harkness Promise Award is funded by net proceeds from the Dance Magazine Awards ceremony. The award offers a $5,000 grant and 40 hours of rehearsal space for outstanding choreographers to use within their first decade of professional work. 

Currently, Pace is working on “here goes the neighborhood...,” a performance created in collaboration with Bronx community members, to dignify stories of Bronx residents and Black and brown communities. 

The Guggenheim Museum honored the recipients in a ceremony on Dec. 6.

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Elena Johnson/ Ashley Arocho
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