A. Nia Austin-Edwards (ANAE) (pronoun: yeye or they) is a southern-ish queer Black nonbinary witch*-child of the Edwards, Austin, Veit, and Jones clans. Grand-witch-child of the Cole, Greene, Biddle, and Eversley clans. And great-grand-witch-child of many more. Yeye’s dance began in a mother’s womb, developed in Atlanta, GA at Total Dance / Dancical Productions, Inc., and was further formalized through Tri-Cities Visual and Performing Arts Magnet High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This lifelong choreography has cultivated Nia’s praxis of collective care through writing, performing, creating, marketing, listening, mothering, and more.
Nia has performed with phenomenal dance artists such as Gus Solomons, Jr., Adia Tamar Whitaker, Ronald K. Brown, Camille A. Brown, Stefanie Batten Bland, Paloma McGregor, and Marjani Forte-Saunders. ANAE has also presented choreography throughout Brooklyn, NY. Nia was a Dance/USA John R. Munger Research Fellow from 2014-2015 and an Editor & Contributor for The Dance Enthusiast from 2013-2016. Yeye has been featured in Dance Magazine and has writing published on matermea.com, Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s InfiniteBody, and in the 2016 and 2017 editions of Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Color.
Nia named and claimed PURPOSE Productions during Kwanzaa of 2012. This collective of anti-capitalist freelancers supports artists and organizers in the mothering of purpose-full work that seeks to unify and develop our world community. PURPOSE defines their work as mothering because it encompasses the mental, emotional and spiritual labor alongside valuable organizing skills necessary to activate purpose. Their collaborative practice continues to define and refine the work space, flow, and practice that sustains individual and collective thriving. PURPOSE provides creatives with responsive, collaborative guidance through visioning partnership, project management, marketing, event support, family-centered strategizing, and a range of unnameable caretaking.
*In the traditions indigenous to the many lands of Nia’s people, a witch is a healer and worker for the community.
Regina Dowdell is a digital-minded, marketing and PR creative with an entrepreneurial spirit focused on helping individuals and emerging companies change the world. Through effective communication, media engagement and a strong digital presence, Regina supports forward-thinking organizations, across all industries from non-profit to technology, spread their messages and scale.
An avid traveler and self-proclaimed Super Mom, Regina is based in New York City.
Born and raised in St. Louis and currently residing in Brooklyn, Tara Daniels is an educator and a multidisciplinary artist. Blessed by the Creator, she supports the experiences and stories of historically marginalized people and uses her ability to empathize with others within her work. Along with her work at PURPOSE Productions, Tara guides Black and brown young people with restorative justice, mediations, and community building skills. She is also studying to receive her MA in Youth Studies. Yes, she’s aware she’s doing a lot.
While Timothy is not currently collaborating with PURPOSE Productions, the value of his contribution is beyond what can be named. As the very first PURPOSE team member, Timothy held every role from building websites to inviting fellow PURPOSE Leaders to ask for more help to calling for organizational culture conversations to co-visioning team retreats to being an all star note taker and so much more. We are immensely grateful for all that Timothy has poured into PURPOSE and look forward to future ways of collaboration.
Timothy Prolific Edwaujonte (formerly Veit Jones) is a poet, educator, genealogist, and organizer whose creative work operates in the continuum of the Black Arts Movement, using a multi-disciplinary approach rooted in Hip-Hop culture as an Afro-Indigenous folkloric praxis. Prolific has performed poetry and facilitated workshops at venues including Cornell University, Columbia University, Rikers Island, STooPS, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, SOB’s, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. Timothy has been published in African Voices, The Inquisitive Eater, Voicemail Poems, the Dancing While Black 2012-2018 Community Syllabus, 12th Street, the graphic novel Gunplay, the Penmanship Book anthology 30/30 Vol. 2, The Ferguson Moment, and YRB Magazine. He appeared as a cultural critic on the MNet show “Headliners,” is the former co-host of Sweet Success Sundaes – a show about entrepreneurship on Bondfire Radio, and managed the Queens-bred emcee SoSoon (and co-executive produced his debut album The Bandwagon). Through his former publishing company, Andre Maurice Press/Indelible Books, he edited and released Blackout Arts Collective’s One Mic: A Lyrics on Lockdown Anthology and Peuo Tuy’s Khmer Girl. Tim was a Riggio Writing and Democracy Fellow at The New School, and is a graduate fellow at The Watering Hole. He is the author of Prolific, Musaic: 40 Days, 40 Nights, Ofrenda para las ancestras, and the forthcoming ethnographic book of poetry titled Water + Blood.
One of the driving forces in Edwaujonte’s life is a dedication to supporting individuals and communities through visionary partnerships. As part of the Blackout Arts Collective, Prolific learned how to use art to pursue social justice, which often entailed organizing showcases, teaching classes and workshops in schools, community centers, and prisons. Working at WiT Media for two years allowed him to learn the ins and outs of arts/cultural/lifestyle marketing, web design, advertising sales, and project management. He joined the team at PURPOSE Productions in the fall of 2013, where he applies the sum of his collective experiences to its sojourners as its Visioning Partner for Institutional Culture.
As an educator, Timothy has worked at a teaching artist at Harlem Village Academies, Unity Preparatory Charter School (through EM Movement Techniques), TRUCE Media and Arts at the Harlem Children’s Zone (where he served as Managing Editor of Harlem Overheard, a magazine of student work). Prolific is currently teaching Kuumba/Integrated Arts at the Ember Charter School for Mindful Education, and is the co-founder of the Owo Foro Adobe publishing and performance collaborative.
He is from Uniondale (Long Island), and lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York.