The New World School of the Arts Alumni Foundation has awarded the organization’s first Inspiration Grant to alumnus Christopher Rudd of New York City.
Rudd is a 1998 graduate of the High School Dance Division of New World School of the Arts in Miami. In addition to his studies at New World, he also received training under scholarship by The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet in Miami which led to training at The Dance Theater of Harlem.
Having performed in numerous principal and soloist roles in companies from North Carolina to New York and Montreal, Rudd has started the dance company, RudduR Dance, and is focusing a portion of his efforts to the creation of his own original piece, titled Witness. This contemporary ballet has been inspired by the murders of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray, and subsequent social unrest stemming from the failure to convict their killers.
In Rudd’s own words: “Witness is an original composition that explores and portrays a people’s exasperation. In this artistic cry for change, I want to create a work that makes the audience aware that they are indeed members of the outraged community. The objective is to leave the audience wondering, ‘What can I do to effect change?’ In addition, this piece will also provide options for action and galvanize the audience towards productive avenues.”
This 40-minute work from the point of view of the bystanders will depict a community’s frustration and outrage. Witness will be presented in New York City with the hopes of finding more venues to exhibit this work.
“We are honored to assist with funding to create this important and timely piece,” said Elizabeth Gainer, who chaired the selection committee that chose Witness for the Inspiration Grant. “There were numerous applications from alumni spanning many years of graduating classes from New World School of the Arts High School and College. This was not an easy decision based on the level of talent in each of the worthy applicants. Christopher’s piece is very current, and the committee members agreed that this is a very special project.”
The New World School of the Art Alumni Foundation, a non-profit corporation founded in 2012, is planning to announce its second Inspiration Grant in the coming weeks. The grant is the centerpiece of the Foundation’s mission to provide support to alumni creative projects and artistic endeavors while also connecting New World School of the Arts alumni for collaboration across the years and around the globe.