COLA Artist Fellows Showcase

@ Grand Performances

Friday June 21, 2024

06:00 PM - 10:00 pm

The City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship by the DCA (Department of Cultural Affairs) allows accomplished artists to create new work with increased freedom to innovate and experiment in the disciplines of design, visual arts, literary arts, and performing arts.

Grand Performances presents live showcases by 2024 COLA Artist Fellows Sehba Sarwar, Dorian Wood, Gina Loring, Chris Wabich, and Jay Carlon.


Sehba Sarwar is a transnational writer, workshop leader, artist and community activist tackling gender, displacement and border issues. She has been writing and organizing in the community for more than twenty-five years, and has taught high school, university, and community courses, given talks and offered readings. Her work tackles immigration and border issues and has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Creative Time Reports, ASIA: Magazine of Asian Literature and elsewhere. A second edition of her novel, Black Wings (Veliz Books, 2019), was released in the US for the first time, and she has been on tour. On Belonging, through which she explores my family’s roots and migration pattern while engaging with the community through site-specific installations and workshops. In 2000, while living in Houston, she founded Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB), an alternative arts organization that tackled social justice issues at a local and global level.


Dorian Wood (she/her/they/them)is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her intent of “infecting” spaces and ideologies with her artistic practice is born from a desire to challenge traditions and systems that have contributed to the marginalization of people. Wood has performed at institutions that include The Broad, Los Angeles, CA (2018), REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2019), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, CA (2010), Museo Nacional Del Prado, Madrid, Spain (2019), the City Hall of Madrid, Spain (2015), Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris, Mexico City, Mexico (2019), Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2017), Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Germany (2014), Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany (2014) and Moods, Zurich, Switzerland (2019), and at festivals that include Pacific Standard Time, Los Angeles, CA (2011). From 2019 to 2020, Wood completed several successful international tours with their chamber orchestra tribute to Chavela Vargas, XAVELA LUX AETERNA. In 2022, Wood debuted their tribute to the singer Lhasa De Sela, entitled LHASA, at the Festival Internacional de Arte Sacro in Madrid.


Of African American, Eastern European Jewish and Muscogee Creek Native American descent, Dr. Gina Loring is a poet, vocalist, scholar, activist, and teaching artist. She has served as the Poet-in-Residence at UC Berkeley Law School and is the current Poet Laureate of the African American Policy Forum. She has facilitated writing workshops and performed in over ten countries, and toured with Norman Lear’s Declare Yourself project. Her personal essays and poetry have been featured in As If Magazine, The Root, Chime for Change, Angels Flight/Literary West, Thrive Global, and For Harriet. With a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College, and a Master of Fine Arts from Antioch University Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Education for which she studied at the University of Southern California and Clark Atlanta University, she teaches in the Los Angeles Community College district. She has provided curriculum development and cultural event planning for youth-centered organizations, including incarcerated teens and youth transitioning out of trafficking.


Chris Wabich (he, him) is a 23-year resident of Echo Park, 33-year Los Angeles resident, volunteer board member for LA HPOZ 1, full time artistic musician, and otherwise exotic instrument maker.  His solo concerts are moments of respite and solace from working in the industry. Often, his work is the backbone for other events to occur. What’s often missing in industry life is the opportunity to express subtlety and emotion through a wider range of dynamics and phrasing against the standard. The latest period of his personal life has influenced his works deeply. For reasons being revealed daily, he retains a never ending optimism, constantly moving forward despite the many losses of important people in his life due to Muscular Dystrophy, Cancer, Suicide from sexual orientation, drug addiction, dementia (and more). His own cancer survival served as a process of “joining them” as opposed to “playing for them” and his understanding of writing and “playing for all of us” has become so much greater.


Jay Carlon (he/they) is a queer dance artist, choreographer and community organizer whose work is grounded in a collective journey toward decolonization and sustainability. Carlon grew up the youngest of twelve in a Filipino Catholic migrant family, on the Central Coast of California. His work facilitates collective healing and the exploration of post-colonial identity, ancestry, and the complex experience of queer and Filipinx communities in relationship to site and space. As a teacher and facilitator, he also leads workshops and gatherings investigating these themes. Choreographic residencies, community conversation, and movement-based workshops like queering technique and Body as Site explore decolonizing the body, reclaiming space, and their relationship to each other. Investigating this work has included teaching engagements at Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, University of the Arts, Oberlin College; and speaking engagements at Purdue University, USC, School of the Art Institute Chicago, and Asians @ Google.

Friday June 21, 2024

6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

All Ages

Cover: FREE

Grand Performances, Los Angeles