MAPC ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM
Hortense Gerardo is a playwright and movement artist as well as a professor of anthropology. Her skills in directing complex artistic collaborations, her commitment to engaging performers of all skills and disciplines, and her rigorous training in anthropological research and systems thinking are evident in the creative work she has led during her residency.
Gerardo is MAPC's Artist-in-Residence from late 2018 to June 2020.
Gerardo wrote and choreographed "The Medfield Anthology," a site-informed, immersive play, as part of the Medfield State Hospital Creative Placemaking project.
The play is based on archival research and original interviews with people affiliated with the former Medfield State Hospital. To create the play, Gerardo combined her skills as an ethnographer, dancer, and playwright and experimented with a socially-engaged process.
Photo courtesy of Osler Peterson
Gerardo worked with Senior Environmental Planner Darci Schofield on "Small Steps: Dances of Resilience," a full-length documentary film about resilience, climate, and creating during a global pandemic.
The project started as a performance using dance to convey messages of resilience and hope in the face of climate change. Six weeks before opening night, COVID-19 altered the path. In the new documentary format, the dancers tell their stories of climate, COVID, art, and hope, and, finally, they dance.
Gerardo, filmaker Monica Cohen, and the Boom House interviewed two people effected by climate change: fisherman Jamie Bassett and farmer Dave Dumaresq.
The short "video-lets" integrate into MAPC's Schools of Thought art installation, which highlights how climate change impacts home health care aides, farmers, those in the fishing industry, and construction workers, but also serve on their own as powerful reminders of the current costs of climate change and how people are adapting innovatively.
Gerardo worked withThe Boom House Productions to create a “video-let” to highlight the story of a mother and daughter whose lives were upended by the opioid epidemic. Robyn Houston-Bean’s son, Nick, died of an opioid overdose at the age of 20 in his bedroom of the family home in Braintree. The video-let follows Robyn and her daughter's journey of loss and recovery.