Apr 29, 2020

LiveTalks: Take 5

Moderated by Ryan Leach (La MaMa)

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La MaMa LiveTalks Weekly conversations with artists, activists and thought leaders from around the country and around the world who join in discussions about art and life in time of crisis. Every Wednesday @ 6:30PM (EST)

This week features:
Sarah Mathews & Derek Smith (Bed-Stuy Strong)
Adela Wagner (Crown Heights Mutual Aid), Nadia Pinder (StuyDYED)

Moderated by Ryan Leach (La MaMa)

This discussion highlights how artists in New York City can get involved in their communities and help other New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic with information from leaders in Bed-Stuy Strong, Crown Heights Mutual Aid and more.


Find out more about Bed-Stuy Strong at www.bedstuystrong.com!

Follow Bed-Stuy Strong on Instagram and Twitter: @bedstuystrong

Crown Heights Mutual Aid links:
Sign up to Volunteer: https://bit.ly/CHMAvolunteer
Follow them on Facebook https://bit.ly/CHMAFacebook

Ask for help via email CrownHeightsMutualAid@gmail.com or call (917) 341-7675

Join the Crown Heights Mutual Aid Slack (for volunteer for rapid response): https://bit.ly/CHMAslack

Housing Resources include:

Find more information at NoRent.org
Also follow @housingjustice4all and @justfixnyc on social media
Follow @nadiapinder for more resources and information in New York City

(cover photo from: π= 3.14.. NOTHINg, or EVERYTHINg by Yoshiko Chuma

Headshot of Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sarah Thankam Mathews grew up between Oman, India, and Canada, immigrating to the United States at seventeen. She has worked in advocacy and organizing in various capacities, most recently founding the mutual aid network Bed-Stuy Strong. She was recently a Rona Jaffe Fellow in fiction at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and is a current Margins Fellow at The Asian American Writers Workshop. She has been published in The Kenyon Review, AGNI, Platypus Press, and Buzzfeed Reader, and has work forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2020, edited by Curtis Sittenfeld and Heidi Pitlor. A novel is at work on her.

Headshot of Nadia Pinder

Nadia Pinder is a comedian, teaching artist,  small business owner and Brooklyn resident since 2013. Her previous work in housing, specifically in tenant advocacy with Met Council on Housing introduced her to the world of tenant associations and collective action. She is coordinating a rent strike in her building and her rent strike resource doc has been well circulated online and used in many buildings as a template for organizing efforts in response to covid-19.

Headshot of Derek Smith

Derek Smith is a writer, producer and performer in New York City @gayhorsederek

Headshot of Adela Wagner

Adela Wagner, is a multidisciplinary artist, visual activist, and educator, born in Prague, Czech Republic. Her work centers the problematics of gun violence, refugeeism, gender and socio-economic injustice. She challenges the viewer’s ingrained beliefs with an invitation to an immersive experience that familiarizes them with the issue through a dialogue, and aims to inspire to take action on an individual level.

Adela’s practice lies at the intersection of various art forms, ranging from music to photography and film, through immersive installation and interactive art. She calls attention to the issues where we collectively became desensitized, to the point of completely forgetting about those who cannot advocate for themselves. In her latest piece, Gravity of Equilibrium, she informs about mass shootings in the US through the use of data visualizations, in parallel with stone sculptures that bring up thematics of fragility and impermanence in the socio-political context of the country.

Adela’s work was selected for “Pixels of Identities” in Argentina, displayed in various NYC galleries including BRIC and A.I.R. Gallery, venues around Europe and solo exhibited in the Czech Center Gallery. Additionally, she has been awarded “NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice” and “Arts, Letters and Numbers” fellowships, as well as the Civic Ignition Grant with Burners Without Borders. Since March 15th 2020 she has been acting as an organizer at a grassroots initiative, Crown Heights Mutual Aid, in Brooklyn New York.

Headshot of Ryan Leach

Ryan Leach (he/him) is a New York based actor, writer and comedian originally from Virginia. Film credits include We Demand (Berlinale 2016, BAM), Little Men (Sundance) and The Ducks Migration (OUTFest, Queer Lisboa). Television credits include Comedy Central’s The Other Two and At Home With Amy Sedaris on TruTV. He has performed at La MaMa, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, Dixon Place and the New York International Fringe Festival. His comedy can be seen at Broadway Comedy Club, MTV News, StandUp NY, Littlefield, Union Hall, The Bell House, Upright Citizens Brigade, Caveat and more. He is proud to be a co-founder of Awf Magazine — the first online LGBTQ+ satire publication

La MaMa LiveTalks


La MaMa LiveTalks are conversations with artists, activists and thought leaders from around the country and around the world who join in discussions about art and life in time of crisis. La MaMa will continue to use emerging technologies to create a new venue for artistic expression that questions how art can function and how we as a society can survive challenging periods of history.

Online Happenings


Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.

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