Nick Slie, Mondo Bizarro
Nick Slie is a New Orleans-based performer, producer and cultural organizer that works with his company, Mondo Bizarro, to use art as a tool for understanding what makes us commonly human and individually unique. Nick’s creative endeavors range from interdisciplinary solo performances to large-scale community festivals, from innovative digital storytelling projects to site-responsive productions. Since 2002, his wide array of imaginative projects such as Flight (2007-2011), Loup Garou (2009-Present), Race Peace (2008-Present) and Cry You One (2013-Present), have been experienced in art centers, universities and outdoor locations in 34 states across the country and occasionally abroad.
For more than a decade, Nick has been passionately engaged in rebuilding his hometown of New Orleans, collaborating across sectors on a vast array of local performance and arts-based civic engagement projects. From 2004-2008, he served on the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS and is the former board chair for the Network of Ensemble Theaters. He currently serves on the inaugural APAP Artists Committee.
Where – in what community – do you primarily do your work?
New Orleans, Coastal Louisiana, Social Justice, Live Performance, Territories of Experience, Disappearing Landscapes, Radical Love Spaces.
What gets you going each day and inspires your current work?
The fact that my home will likely be underwater in less than 50 years. My ancestors. My love for this place.
When you work in your community, what are the most valuable assets of the community that you experience aside from real estate and money?
Friendships. Hearts that are big enough to allow grief. The land, the water and the trees. Cultural centers. Musicians and all that they offer. Those who cook food for others. Elders, always elders.
How does your artistic practice inform and/or is integrated into your enterprise?
In every possible way. From the way we check in, to the way listen deeply. Everything we do is fused with the basic principles of our art: seeing and hearing anew.
What is the impact of your work on your community? Today? Over a long period of time?
To make sure that we have space to remember what has been lost and to dream about what is to come. To create spaces of nourishment and laughter, tears and great joy. To honor memory as the great innovator of our times.
The Nitty Gritty
When was your organization or project founded?
What is your staffing situation like?
4 Part time employees.
What is your annual budget?
$120,000. Mostly, we pay salaries and artist fees. Other major hard costs are applied to our collective space, Catapult.