Berkshire-based A4A grantees Stefanie Weber and Monika Pizzichemi have an artistic scope that spans continents. Stefanie is a dancer and instructor whose “action-based” approach focuses on opportunities to create across disciplines. Monika is a sculptor, painter, and documentary photographer who works primarily from her studio empty set studios in Pittsfield. Together, the two artists travelled this past year to Nairobi, Kenya, where they worked together to create They Dance for Rain.
They Dance for Rain is a cross-cultural collaborative project that combines dance, art, and a push for social changes. When Stefanie first travelled to Nairobi in 2012, she connected with several arts-for-social-change organizations and quickly began to conceive of her own. With a strong belief in the power of dance to connect and foster understanding, Stefanie launched a program that would introduce new forms of dance in Kenya.
Specifically, Stefanie teaches tap dance and hoop dance at several rescue and arts centers. The project not only teaches the movements of these two dance styles, but also provides dance students in Nairobi with the tools to continue dancing. So far, the program has distributed 30 pairs of tap shoes and has instructed dancers on how to make their own hoops for hoop dancing. In 2013, Stefanie went back to Nairobi, this time with Monika Pizzichemi along to document and help expand the project.
On October 9th at 7pm, Stefanie and Monika will present a slideshow of Monika’s images of the project. The show will be held at the Berkshire Atheneum on Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA. The duo will also exhibit images from their time in Nairobi with a reception on Friday, November 1st from 5 to 8pm at The Lichtenstein Center For The Arts at 28 Renne Avenue in Pittsfield, MA during the city-wide ArtsWalk.