Andrew Pester

Artistic Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: Park Slope

FAILSPACE was founded by Andrew Pester in March 2019. They recognized in the performance community a barrier to teaching as well as a need for training that advances both technicality and creative decision making. For teachers, FAILSPACE is a platform for emerging live performance artists to grow their teaching practice among peers. The organization serves to support this process with space, time, mentorship, and money. For participants, FAILSPACE provides a diverse and rigorous performance training inside a collaborative learning environment. The curriculum recognizes the faculties' creative processes as a resource for the concurrent creation of both knowledge and technique.

Each workshop will be co-taught by a pairing of an established performing artist mentor and a FAILSPACE faculty member, chosen by the FAILSPACE steering committee and the mentors from an open application pool. The first two hours of the workshop will be taught by the FAILSPACE faculty member and the second two hours will be taught by the mentor. Both the FAILSPACE faculty and the mentor will be participating in each other’s teaching. Each day will end with a one-on-one meeting between the co-teachers for debriefing, reflection, and mentorship. At the end of the workshop, participants in the workshop will give feedback to the FAILSPACE faculty via group discussion facilitated by the mentor.

The administrative efforts of the project will be led by the FAILSPACE Steering Committee which includes Andrew Pester, Angel Acuna, Rebecca Fitton, Nora Alami, and Pablo Munoz. The quarterly workshops will be taught by four pairings of a FAILSPACE faculty and a mentor in their field.

This platform is both necessary and urgent. We are creating a mentorship space for intergenerational knowledge to be passed down experientially. In line with Queer/Art’s mentorship program, we strive to fill a field-wide gap in equitable mentorship programs. FAILSPACE is an organization that seeks to expand its role in mentoring a new generation of teachers that is self-selected, self-defined, and fills the needs of the community. It is urgent that we reshape the barrier to teach and how we learn as a community if we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow. We are shaping a resilient, interdependent, and inclusive performing arts community that questions boundaries and challenges preconceived notions of who can participate.