Fisher Center LAB is the Fisher Center’s artist residency and commissioning program, providing custom-made and meaningful support for innovative artists across disciplines.
Since its launch in 2012, Fisher Center LAB has supported residencies, workshops, and performances for hundreds of artists, incubating new projects and engaging audiences, students, faculty, and staff in the process of creating contemporary performances.
LAB strives to provide artists with the environment, resources, and funding they need to experiment, dream, and fully realize their artistic potential. Where possible, Fisher Center LAB builds long-term relationships for artists, powering their work by taking on administrative and producing support of their practices and companies. Productions developed by Fisher Center LAB often premiere in the annual Bard SummerScape festival and frequently tour around the country and across the world.
Artists currently under commission from Fisher Center LAB include Pam Tanowitz, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Courtney Bryan, SITI Company, Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo, Raja Feather Kelly, Paul Soileau, Beth Gill, Sxip Shirey and Coco Karol, and Daaimah Mubashshir.
Choreographer in Residence
Pam Tanowitz is the first-ever Choreographer in Residence at the Fisher Center. Tanowitz is a critically acclaimed choreographer and founder of Pam Tanowitz Dance. Quick-witted and rigorous, the New York-based choreographer and collaborator has steadily delineated her own dance language through decades of research and creation.
Since 2019, Tanowitz has created three large-scale commissions with the support of the Fisher Center residency. We’re proud to extend her appointment and make the Fisher Center her artistic home.
Photo by Sara Kerens
Tania El Khoury
Tania El Khoury is a commissioned artist and guest cocurator at the Fisher Center, founding director of the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard (CHRA), and a distinguished artist in residence at Bard’s Theater & Performance Program. Her live art engages the audience in close encounters with narratives drawn from the political realities of borders, displacement, and state violence.
Since 2017, El Khoury has cocurated two editions of the Fisher Center LAB Biennial, both featuring commissions of her own artistic work. In partnership with CHRA, we have received a grant from the Mellon Foundation to support three years of live art production and touring of her work, her scholarly and artistic research, and her curatorial work at the Fisher Center and CHRA.
Photo by Nour Annan HRA ’23
The Fisher Center LAB Biennial
The Fisher Center LAB Biennial is a multidisciplinary festival and commissioning series that explores some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.
The Biennial reimagines the Fisher Center as a flexible and inventive site for contemporary performance and installation and frequently activates other locations at Bard and in the Hudson Valley. The artistic, contextual, and discursive programs are created in partnership with several units of Bard College and the Open Society University Network and introduce audiences to complex responses to contemporary challenges in the arts and social justice.
Recent editions have included We’re Watching in 2017, which investigated government surveillance, Where No Wall Remains in 2019, on the subject of borders, and Common Ground in 2022–23, on the politics of land and food.
Future editions of the Biennial will focus on such topics as urbanism and human rights, water and the environment, and indigenous rights and repatriation.
Photo by Maria Baranova
PAST Fisher Center LAB REPORTS
The Performing Arts are Essential
Support the creation of innovative work by adventurous artists.