The SURGE Coastal Community Fellowship is a two month residency program that accompanies Boston Dance Theater's SURGE performance. The program has been designed for a group of BIPOC movement artists residing in coastal communities that are vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise. The SURGE Fellowship provides the opportunity for Fellows to reflect on the impacts of local climate events, build on existing narratives of resilience to climate change, and to envision a thriving future for the community through artistic presentation. During six meetings Fellows are guided through a creative art+science+climate activism process designed by Jessie Jeanne Stinnett (SURGE Project Lead & Choreographer), Dr. Larry J. Pratt (Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) , and the BIPOC Core Members of BDT. Fellows will learn about recent trends in Boston-area sea level rise research, Stinnett/Pratt's strategies for art+science collaboration, gain access to resources for climate activism and continued learning through the Climate Reality Project (founded by former US Vice President and Climate Activist Al Gore), and will have the opportunity to share their artistic contributions alongside Boston Dance Theater's performance of SURGE.
The Boston Foundation has provided support to BDT to launch the pilot SURGE Fellowship in East Boston in Spring 2022, in partnership with The Trustees of Reservations.
The SURGE performance is a participatory dance work by BDT of approximately 45 minutes in length. Audience members mingle with performers and a scientist to witness dance and engage in dialogue about the climate crisis, current sea level rise science, and coastal impacts to come. The work was initially funded by the Boston Dancemakers Residency award in 2020, but the creation was cut short by COVID-19 cancellations. In partnership with The Trustees of Reservations, SURGE will premiere in East Boston at Pier’s Park in July 2022 with a subsequent presentation at deCordova Sculpture Park in late summer 2022.