Event Description

Join Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA) ​and Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for The Wave, a series of three online conversations, with this session hosted by artist Nyugen Smith and moderated by PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz, and features poet Nyamuon Nguany Machar (AKA—Moon), journalist Trymaine Lee, art historian and multidisciplinary creative Ciara Elle Bryant, and emergency medicine physician at Greenwich Hospital Dr. Aisha Stroop.

Current headlines tout pre-existing conditions as the reason for disproportionately high coronavirus cases and mortality rate among Black and other communities of color. The focus of such conversations is personal responsibility and overall health. 

Social determinants such as low-wage employment, cost of medical care, food and housing insecurity, and reliance on public transportation are among the list of pre-existing conditions. The determinants should be highlighted as part of various discussions related to this topic. The panel will discuss how they have been responding to the developments in these areas as it relates to each of their professions, interests, and research.

This series will create dialogue around the current and future impact of the pandemic on Black and Brown communities locally and globally, and prioritizes the need for generative conversations, together with concrete actions, that are in service of and benefit to our communities. 

Series Dates
  • The Wave: EXODUS | Movement of our people | May 30, 2–3pm | More info 
  • The Wave: SPIRITUAL SUSTENANCE | June 17, 7–8pm | More info
Panelist Bios

Ciara Elle Bryant was born and raised in Miami, Florida and is a multidisciplinary creative residing in Dallas, Texas. Bryant uses photography and mixed media techniques to discuss the identity of Black culture and how it exists in the new millennium.

Trymaine Lee an American journalist. Lee is a national reporter for MSNBC, where he writes for the network's digital arm. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Hurricane Katrina as part of a team at The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

Nyamuon Nguany Machar first began her work with the ACE program in the Army National Guard, where she received training in suicide prevention for soldiers struggling with their mental health. While serving, Moon recognized the stigma attached to mental health struggles and saw that conversations about mental health issues were prevalent across many cultures. She also understands that there is a potential for damage to be done when safe spaces aren’t provided for communities’ members to feel comfortable enough to share their vulnerability, which affects attempts to provide quality service and care to vulnerable and at-risk populations. In 2017, Moon received the Pearl Johnson Award from the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy for her passionate advocacy on behalf of individuals with psychiatric labels in disproportionate and low-income communities. In 2019, Moon was honored with the Emerging Young Advocates Award from The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. Moon Now owns her own consulting firm where she works to provide insightful training around racial equity and inclusive practices.

Dr. Aisha Stroop has been an emergency medicine physician at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut since 2017. Prior to that, she was an ER physician at Nyack Hospital for 10 years and JFK Medical Center for two years. She continues to work at Nyack hospital part time.

After graduating from her high school, Milton Hershey School, Dr. Stroop earned a Bachelor’s degree in human biology from Brown University, where she participated in track and field and was a member of the Heptagonal Championship Team, the Ivy League women’s track champions and Student National Medical Association. She went on to complete a medical degree at the Penn State College of Medicine, where she was awarded the Lehigh Valley Hospital Community Service Award—given to a medical student who displayed exemplary service in the community—and the Dean’s Award, an academic scholarship awarded to a medical student who displayed academic excellence. In 2006, Dr. Stroop specialized in emergency medicine by completing her residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. During her free time, she enjoys her family, travel, and community events. She continues to give back to her Alma Mater and participate in mentorship and as a career day speaker. She has participated as a panelist and speaker for various health conferences and provided medical services to international health missions in Jamaica. She understands the importance of research, treatment and community engagement for underprivileged as well as promoting healthy life choices and enjoys volunteering.

María Elena Ortiz is curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami, where she has curated the exhibitions william cordova: now's the time, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: A Universe of Fragile Mirrors, Ulla von Brandenburg: It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon, Firelei Báez: Bloodlines, and Carlos MottaHistories for the Future, among others. Many of her exhibitions have traveled to prestigious institutions, including the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; El Museo de Barrio, New York; and the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago. Ortiz has also developed significant public programs, such as At the Crossroads: Critical Film and Video from the Caribbean and Latinx Art Sessions, along with other symposia related to exhibitions. Formerly, Ortiz was curator of contemporary arts at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico City. She has contributed to writing plat­forms such as the Davidoff Art Initiative, Fluent Collaborative, Curating Now, and Terremoto. In 2014 she was awarded the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) and Independent Curators International (ICI) Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean, and she received the Emerging Curator Award from the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California, in 2012.

Nyugen Smith (USA, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago) is a first-generation Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist based in Jersey City, NJ and Dallas, TX, where he is a Lecturer of Interdisciplinary Art in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Through performance, found object sculpture, mixed media drawing, painting, video, photo and writing, Nyugen deepens his knowledge of historical and present-day conditions of Black African descendants in the diaspora. Trauma, spiritual practices, language, violence, memory, architecture, landscape and climate change are primary concerns in his practice. He holds a BA, Fine Art from Seton Hall University and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nyugen is the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Performing and Visual Arts Fund, Franklin Furnace Fund, and Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.