OAR Live On Stage produces live theatrical productions written by women of color, facilitating the development of original work for the stage that may have lacked adequate production and/or dramaturgical support before entering the OAR Live On Stage program.  Productions include multi media stage plays, environmental & street theatre, as well as a performance series More »

Generations of GO-GO

[youtube ZSclOBEpB0c 420 325] For over thirty years, the sound of the DMV has been Go-Go music. No amount of negative press, associations with sex, violence and the street life have been able to squash this musical movement. Now filmmaker K. Dene’ Mitchell has set out to uncover the love affair Washingtonians have with the More »

WOW Women on Wednesday

Engage. Create. Empower. THE WOMEN ON WEDNESDAYS ART AND CULTURE PROJECT 2012: THE NAKED EDITION is co produced by Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, Ocean Ana Rising, Inc., and The Brecht Forum. Each Wednesday in the month of February, from 7pm-11pm, will feature the phenomenal creative expressions of women of the African Diaspora in poetry/spoken More »

Outreach Programs


The Safe Spaces Workshop is designed to provide women survivors of violence with tools of creative expression to help them transform trauma into healing and liberation. Through this workshop, participants are encouraged to express their own sacred, magical selves, using cultural art techniques that can be revisited long after participation in the workshop.  We consider More »

Safe Spaces Theatre Arts Workshop Residency – from Trauma to Triumph

Trauma to Triumph

The Safe Spaces Theatre Arts Workshop Residency is offered for 8 hours or for a 4-6 week time period.  Participants will share stories and develop these stories into monologues, which will be performed at the close of the residency.  Participants will also create visual art narratives which will be used as the set for the performance.  The components of the Safe Spaces Theatre Arts Residency include the following: forum discussion, dynamization/body sculpting of trauma and triumph, visual art, creative movement/dance, creative visioning & writing, and performance techniques. The Safe Spaces Theatre Arts Workshop Residency includes the following components:


Safe Spaces Program Design Options:

Safe Spaces – Design & Dance It Out
Safe Spaces – The Soul’s Mask (mask-making)
Safe Spaces Theatre Arts Workshop Residency – from Trauma to Triumph

Kimani Fowlin

KimaniKimani Fowlin is a Native New Yorker and co-founder of ChoreoConcepts. Kimani’s choreography (while at Sarah Lawrence College) was selected to compete in the American College Dance Festival in Columbus, Ohio. She co-directed M’Zawa Danz from 1995 to 2000 with Maia Claire Garrison; during this time she choreographed and performed as an independent artist with Ronald K. Brown, David Rousseve, Youssef Koumbassa, Andrea E. Woods, Souloworks, Umoja Dance, Harambee Dance Company, Antibalis (a 15-member Afrobeat orchestra). Kimani has performed nationally and internationally in Lima, Peru where she received a grant to teach, to choreograph and perform.  There she had the great honor of collaborating with acclaimed composer and percussionists Manongo Mujica and Julio Chocolate Algendones.  Her work abroad also includes performing and teaching in Russia as part of the Fifth International Festival of Movement and Dance on the Volga, performing in Ghana for Panafest 2003 and choreographing and performing in Greece with funk R&B band Milo Z in 2006. Kimani had the opportunity to work with Nina on highly praised play Gutta Beautiful that premiered at the Abrons Art Center/Henry Street Settlement in 2007.  As an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor she teaches at Crunch. She also teaches at Rutgers University at Mason Gross of the Arts Campus, Sandra Cameron Dance Center and Community Works.  Kimani premiered recent works at Dance Theater Workshop in February 2008 and at BAX in November 2008.  She received her MFA in Dance at UWM, where she last premiered Café Study #1&2 at Dancemakers in July 2008.  In June 2009, Kimani also premiered Café Study #1&2 at Escualita’s in NYC and Milwaukee in July. Most recently, she performed in the choreo poem “Itagua Meji” written by Nina Angela Mercer at Brecht Forum NYC, Rutgers-Newark, and Alternate ROOTS in Arden, North Carolina from February-August 2010.


OAR Board of Directors | Staff | Safe Spaces Teaching Artists list

Carmen Mojica Fabian

Carmen MojicaCarmen Mojica is an Afro-Dominican woman born and raised in the Bronx. She is a poet, writer, workshop facilitator, model and birth doula. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz, with a bachelor’s degree in Black Studies and Television/Radio Productions. She has graced the stages of the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Bowery Poetry Café and The Brecht Forum with her poetry, and has presented at various colleges and universities such as SUNY Albany, Binghamton University, DePauw University, Northeastern University, and Ramapo College. Carmen is a founding sister of the Orisha Chapter of Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated. She is also a member of the Intangible Collective. Carmen runs a creative writing class after school at Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice while also helping students with their college essays. In October 2009, she completed and self-published her literary work called ‘Hija De Mi Madre’ (My Mother’s Daughter), which is a combination of memoirs, poems and research material that not only explain the effects of race on identity from an academic standpoint but also shares her life as a living example. Her writing has also been published in Spirit First, Maintenant 5: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art, Fahari/Libertad, Awaken Consciousness, Equality 101 and The Period Project.

In 2011, she launched the multimedia project, These Waters Run Deep, which blends passion for life with words, visual arts, music and dance to celebrate the joy of creation, while uncovering and evaluating the sorrow and death in our communities. The heart of this project is to raise awareness on maternal and infant health for women of color, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States. It is a 13 workshop-cycle that culminates with a gallery show and reception for the completion of the cycle and the signature of the project, 13 painted belly casts. Carmen is working on her first collection of poetry in Spanish, a novel and various collaborative projects.


OAR Board of Directors | Staff | Safe Spaces Teaching Artists list

Alexis Flanagan

Alexis FlanaganAlexis Flanagan is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and the Community Organizer for the Safe and Sound Campaign.  She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and holds a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Maryland.  Prior to coming to the Safe and Sound Campaign, she worked as an advocate and activist in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence in all its forms.  Her ongoing commitment to the health of the whole person and the whole community drives her work to organize Baltimore’s communities in favor of healthy, safe, nurturing and just environments for all.


OAR Board of Directors | Staff | Safe Spaces Teaching Artists list

OAR Board of Directors | Staff | Safe Spaces Teaching Artists

Board of Directors

Mahmoud Hylton
Kraig Long, Esq.
Janis Mercer, DDS
John Mercer, Esq.
Medina Mercer
Emille Robinson


OAR Staff

Nina Angela Mercer, Executive Director
Alexis Flanagan, Co-Director


Safe Spaces Teaching Artists

Sofale Ellis (visual art)
Carmen Mojica Fabian (writing/performance/dance)
Alexis Flanagan (meditation/writing/drum)
Kimani Fowlin (dance)
Nina Angela Mercer (meditation/writing/performance