HDD has designed a project to bring its place-based practice of storytelling and art making to the Martin Luther King campus. The artistic residency, which began in 2018 and will continue through 2021, promotes civic pride, enhances the cultural vitality of the neighborhood, and bridges efforts between public health, art and culture.

HDD received the distinction of becoming the first dance company to be awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant. This grant will be used to develop and execute the first phase of the project (2019-20), and has received matching funds from Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ office, LA County Arts Commission, CalMHSA and the Weingart Foundation. Additionally, HDD has convened a team of community leaders to serve as project advisors, including: Yolanda Vera and Dr. Jasmine Eugenio (LA County Department of Health Services), Dr. Jan King and Beatriz Navarro (LA County Department of Public Health), Karly Katona and Salya Mohamedy (Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ staff), Linda Griego and Denise Rodriguez (MLK Health & Wellness Community Development Corporation).

HDD will continue this artist residency with workshops, performances (by HDD dancers and the community), and intergenerational conversations thanks to support from the California Arts Council and its Creative California Communities grant. These activities will be lead by HDD company dancers, teaching artists and collaborators. Community members at large will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, attend rehearsals and performances, volunteer at events, and engage in activities that promote healing through creative expression, connection and transformation.

Stay Awake

Saturday, August 24
6 pm bring food to share
7:30 pm performance
Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Campus
Free – RSVP link: hdd_stayawake.eventbrite.com
Wilmington Ave. & 120th St., Los Angeles, CA 90059
Front Lawn – Free parking in Structure A

Stay Awake is a cross disciplinary work created on site at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. Choreographed and directed by Heidi Duckler, this new work is inspired by the ecosystems of the new hospital and explores how human interactions influence our health and our community. An original composition will be performed live by NewYork-based experimental percussionist and composer Jessie Cox, along with live music by Large Shiva, a Los Angeles-based improvisational orchestra directed by Justin Bardales.

MoveWell@ King/Drew High School & Recuperative Care

First person stories of Recuperative Care clients were recorded and shared with dance students at King/Drew High School who created original choreography inspired by these personal narratives. The piece was presented at the high school’s Multicultural Day (see below). The project focused on transformation and how we can use our creativity to advance empathy, optimism, and connection.


HDD held workshops at the newly constructed affordable housing project for seniors, the Gateway at Willowbrook. Teaching artists provided wellness education using healing movement activities in collaboration with the senior residency and local community partners from the Department of Public Health. The workshop focused on supporting mental health through movement. Immediately following the workshops, there was a Q& A.