About This Artist

Gabriel Christian is an artist bred in New York City and baking in Oakland. Their work metabolizes the vernaculars within BlaQ diasporafuturity, afrovivalism, faggotrythrough body-based live performance and poetics; moreover, they feel the bio to be an unfortunate by-product of capitalistic modes like chattel slavery.

Chibueze Crouch is a queer Nigerian-American (Igbo) actor and artist from Danbury, Connecticut (Paugussett land) currently living in Oakland, CA (Chochenyo Ohlone land). Her creative practice straddles theater and performance art, examining Diasporic longing and constructions of identity through masquerade, song, text and multidisciplinary live performance. Chibueze has performed at Brava Theater, Finnish Hall, SFSU, the National Queer Arts Festival, BAMPFA, and Crowded Fire Theater, among others. Her work is a slow trickle of blood sliding down your forearm, the sweetest juice of an overripe fruit: you almost don’t notice until it stains your good shirt, and then you can never forget where it came from.


Alexa Burrell creates collages composed of narrative film, animation and soundscapes that center the Black femme experience. She is best known for her site-specific video and sound installations in House/Full of Blackwomen, an Oakland based collective addressing the displacement and trafficking of Black women and girls. 


Wesley Chavis is an interdisciplinary artist/vocalist living in New Orleans, LA. His layered explorations of vocalized prayer, site-specific sounds, and sensuous physicality transfer sensations of love and loss that flow from black communities – seeking home, rest, warmth, and God. 


Stephanie Anne Johnson is a second-generation theater worker specializing in lighting design. Inspired by her mother Virginia Johnson who worked with the American Negro Theatre in N.Y., Johnson takes pride in a career that spans over four decades. Dr. Johnson is a professor in the Visual and Public Art Department at Cal State University Monterey Bay.


Celeste Martore is a spatial designer from the Bay Area. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Her most recent work was Kill, Move, Paradise at Shotgun Players in Berkeley. She is currently working on an upcoming installation for Gray Area Art & Technology that will show in early 2020. 


summer fucking mason: “My goal is to always make the viewer find doubt in the ideas they find certain…I use intimate visions of my fears as the key motivating factor in my work…It is my job as an artist to raise a delicate idea into a compelling and influential piece.”


Amadia Shadow Rabbit is a Southern-bred multimedia creatrix, teacher, diviner, student of healing arts. An unfolding lifetime occupying liminal thresholds of mixed blackness, queerness, neurodivergence, bodily trauma/disability, and synesthesia, their contribution is dedicated to their great grandfather Lewis Tate, a black southern baptist pastor and medicine man in Alabama and Louisiana.


Uzo Nwankpa is a storyteller, dancer, choreographer, facilitator, entrepreneur, researcher and an advocate for healing through indigenous practices. Originally from Enugu, Nigeria, West Africa, Uzo has created diverse ways to preserve and share aspects of Igbo culture and beyond around the world through innovative workshops, speaking engagements, presentations and performances.


Rhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, director, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle, a performance workshop with incarcerated women and women living with HIV.


Praise Break Guest Artists

December 5th


Mo Clearly (Monica Hastings-Smith), an Oakland native,  is a songwriter, music teacher, performer and part of a well-respected line of local drum and dance communities (Boom Shake, Samba Funk! & Fogo Na Roupa). She teaches and studies the culture and sounds of African-rooted Carnaval music, funk and social justice actions to all ages. 


Queen Reverend Mutima Imani, MPA is a Social Justice Visionary, Master Trainer and Facilitator working to Heal the Heart of Humanity by providing 21st Century Tools for Personal/Professional Development and Transformation. Highly skilled at bringing diverse groups together to resolve conflicts, Imani works with people conducting Civic Leadership Training and Restorative Justice Circles. 


December 6th


Europa Grace Baker-Brathwaite is a black, queer, non-binary person, currently living in San Francisco, originally from Albany, NY. Since 2012, they have been a teacher of the healing somatic practice of yoga. Europa is a poet, dancer, installation artist and cellist – taking risks to push the boundaries of praxis within these mediums. 


brontë velez (they/them) is guided by the call that “black wellness is the antithesis to state violence” (Mark Anthony Johnson). as a black-latinx transdisciplinary artist, designer, trickster, and wakeworker, their eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking & prophetic community traditions, environmental justice, and death doulaship.


December 7th 


Rashad Pridgen is a multidisciplinary dance artist, creative director and conceptual creator of The Global Street Dance Masquerade #gsdmq8. Recent works include: masquerade performances in collaboration with Sadie Barnette’s Eagle Creek Saloon (Institute for Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and SF LAB). For more artistry: www.soulnubian.com


December 12th


SPELLLING is a Bay Area  based experimental musician and multimedia artist. Her work explores themes of the afterlife, utopia, creation and death. Her debut solo music project, Pantheon of Me, was independently produced and released in September 2017 and her sophomore album, Mazy Fly, was independently produced and released in February 2019 on Sacred Bones Records. 


Tyler Holmes (They/Them) is a music producer, singer-songwriter, and performance artist who uses music as a therapeutic device. Holmes creates a manic digital-age take on soul singing by blending a variety of vocal genres including R&B, Folk,Goth and Gospel. They perform with constantly changing electro-acoustic arrangement, always finding new ways to showcase an intimate horror.  


December 13th


WIZARD APPRENTICE (pronouns: she and/or they) is a music producer, live performer, and video artist. As a highly sensitive introvert, her multimedia projects are strategies for managing an overwhelming world. She combines song and video to create live performances that explore intimate emotional themes ranging from the challenges/triumphs of being an empath to overstimulation in the Internet Age.


jose e. abad is a queer social practice performance artist exploring queer futurity through an intersectional lens. Using dance, storytelling, and ritual, abad’s work unearths lost histories, memories, and wisdom that are held within the body that the mind has forgotten or dominant culture has erased.


December 14th


Indira Allegra is re-imagining what a memorial can feel like, the scale on which it can exist and how it can function through the practices of performance, sculpture and installation. She is the 2019 Burke Prize winner and a triennial 2019-2022 Montalvo Art Center Sally and Don Lucas Artist Fellow.   


Stephanie Hewett is a choreographer, movement researcher, DJ, performer, and teacher from the Bronx, New York (Lenape territory). Current movement-based research entails navigating performance through injury, pleasure frequencies, dance floor exorcisms, Detroit techno, and discovering ancestral vestiges in the body. Hewett DJ’s under the moniker, Madre Gitana.


About this Project

mouth/full explores faith in the Black body, as told through testimonies of two artists from the African Diaspora. By mining their personal relationships to spirituality within and outside religious institutions, they will create a new Mas(s) where all can feel truly whole and holy.

Upcoming Events

The CounterPulse Festival 2021

September 9-18, 2021


Sept 9 - Oct 30 Thursdays & Fridays from 5pm-9pm Saturdays & Sundays* from 3pm-7pm at CounterPulse Project Space + Basement

Saint Leroi

Weds, Sept 15th at CounterPulse and Fri, Sept 17th on Twitch

TenderArts Drumming Circle

Dana Fontana
Thursdays, 2:30-3:30pm PDT at Boeddeker Park

Archived Events

(Re)Weaving with Two-Spirits

Film Screening with Weaving Spirits Festival Curators and Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest
Sat, Sept 18, 3-4:30pm PDT on Twitch

Queeratorial Collectives Do It Themselves

Performance Primers
Fri, Sept 17, 2-4pm PDT at Oakland Township Commons

CounterPulse at SkyBridge on Stevenson

Skybridge / TenderArts
Thurs, Sept 16, 6-10pm PDT at SkyBridge on Stevenson Alley, Tenderloin, San Francisco


Thu & Fri, Sept 16 & 17, 6:30pm-8pm PDT at Oakland Estuary Park

Blog Roll

  • Embodied Divination with Amara Tabor-Smith

    Amara Tabor-Smith (she/her/we) is a choreographer/performance maker and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater.  On Tuesday September 14th as part of the CounterPulse Festival 2021, we will be hosting Embodied Divination, a movement-based workshop where participants are invited to “contemplate their body as oracle, as compass, and a site for social repair”. Limited […]

    Read More

  • On Permission

    At the CounterPulse Festival this September, The Performance Primers will be hosting a virtual panel discussion and mixer titled “Queeratorial Collectives Do It Themselves“. This conversation will explore how working on a grassroots level outside conventional venues and capitalist values opens up new possibilities and invites deeper engagement among audiences and artists. Ahead of this […]

    Read More

  • Welcome back to CounterPulse!

    With the CounterPulse Festival 2021 just one week away, we are so excited to be opening our doors to the public once again! CounterPulse exists, above all, to make space for people to gather and to be united in collective experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to change and shift the ways we bring people […]

    Read More

  • Reverse Chariot I

    While at CounterPulse I first felt out the space and listened to mentor Joanna Haigood and used the first moments to get into my body and meditate on how I wanted to utilize it as a tool to begin telling these stories which I am still learning but that also live within me. I did […]

    Read More