Crossover Residencies

An Exploration of Cross-Discipline Collaboration

An interdisciplinary residency program supported by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and San Francisco Arts Commission, Crossover Collaborative Residencies provides a framework to support the exploration of collaborative processes between artists in dance and music disciplines. Pairing six choreographer/dancers and six composer/musicians, the program follows a four-stage development from preliminary artists gatherings and orientation workshops, to early-stage “raw” presentations of works in progress, a middle-stage free community-engaged presentation, and a final performance/presentation.




Crossover Residencies seeks to facilitate the following:

  • To challenge artists to explore a deep level of cross-discipline collaboration on a one-to-one scale with opportunities for the public to experience the work/collaboration at different stages of evolution.
  • To chart a residency program that devotes special attention to both artistic excellence and reflection and discourse on cultural biases and social values that manifest both within the arts sector and with society at large.
  • To cultivate a strong inter-dynamic arts ecology in the Bay Area by bridging the multi-layered cultural divides between artistic disciplines and aesthetics, thereby fostering an intersection between the artists and audiences of different disciplines/aesthetics.

The residencies occur in two four-month cycles with three artist pairs in each. Artists are provided with rehearsal space, commissioning and performance fees, administrative, marketing, and production support, and performance dates.




Sandra Ndu
Larry Arrington
Erika Oba
Sammay Dizon
Daniel Riera
Latanya Tigner
Byb Chanel Bibene
Daniel Berkman
David Molina
Dohee Lee
Chris Evans
José Navarrete

Click here to learn more about the artists.






Zena Carlota (Music Curator/Project Co-Director) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, and visual artist-based in the Bay Area. As one of the few traditionally trained women who specialize in kora, the West African harp, Zena has immersed herself in learning the oral histories and accompanying music of the Jaliyaa tradition in which kora music exists. On three different continents, she has lived and studied with kora masters from the United States, Guineau, Mali, and the Gambia, learning traditional and contemporary forms of classical African string music. She most recently travelled to France to be trained by Grammy Award-winning kora master Toumani Diabate of Mali. Zena currently works as Managing Director of the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco.

Amara Tabor-Smith (Dance Curator/Project Co-Director) is an SF native and Oakland-based dance maker who describes her work as Afro-Futurist Conjure Art. She is the artistic director and founder of Deep Waters Dance Theater and the co-artistic director of Headmistress with dancer Sherwood Chen. Her work has been performed nationally and internationally, and she is a 2016 recipient of the Creative Capital grant. She has performed in the works of artists such as Anna Deveare Smith, Ronald K. Brown, Faustin Linyekula, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Joanna Haigood. Amara is the former associate artistic director and dancer with the Urban Bush Women Dance Company, and she has curated several performance series throughout the Bay Area, which includes the work-in-progress series Fleshing it (in) OUT at the Red Poppy Art House.



A unique aspect of the Crossover Residencies is its preliminary process of orientation designed to support the artists in developing a thoughtful and culturally insightful/aware collaborative process. Curators will first convene artists for a potluck gathering, crafting an intimate environment of informal exchange that allows new artists to relax into the presence of each other – central to the collaborative process.

All 12 artists are required to attend two orientation workshops. The first is an exploration of techniques/exercises that facilitate a deeper collaborative process, challenging artists in their assumptions about other disciplines in which they do not work. The second orientation centers on diversity training with an emphasis on deconstructing the social valuing of different art forms according to discipline, especially in relation to outdated concepts of traditional vs. contemporary as they are framed within a western or non-western lens. These workshops will also investigate the meaning of place/geography and displacement as it portends to the present Bay Area economy’s impact on artists, an aspect to which San Francisco native Amara Smith brings particular insight. Both workshops will be led by professional facilitators, laying the ground for the development of crossover collaborations.

During the second month of the residency, artist-pairs will participate in Fleshing it (in) OUT, an evening of works-in-progress presentations in which the public is invited to experience the emergent nature of the collaborations as the artist-pairs present their raw sketches/ideas, followed by the sharing of home-cooked food. The artist-pairs may choose to invite direct discussion about the work. These performances allow the artists to experience how the presence of an audience influences the work’s evolution, challenging the cultural assumptions that view the artist as a lone individual masterminding work in private. Here, the energies of artist and community converge in ways that are subtle and non-linear.

The third month of the residency utilizes the Mission Arts & Performance Project’s bimonthly neighborhood festival as a platform to put the work before a larger and more spontaneous audience. Hundreds of attendees come out to the MAPP to experience free performances among its 12-15 mostly residentially-based locations.