Prior Artist Residents

Academic Year 2015-2016

Fall 2015

Janusz Prusinowski KompaniaPoland

Residency Description: CWPS welcomed the Janusz Prusinowski Kompania to the University of Michigan for one week during the fall of 2015. While on campus, the group delivered a lecture, facilitated instrumental and dance workshops, and performed two concerts.

The Janusz Prusinowski Kompania is comprised of musicians and dancers who specialize in Mazurka music and Polish folk dance. In 2013, the Janusz PrusinowskiKompania spent an entire month touring the United States. Since then, they have traveled to Germany, France, Benelux, Great Britain, and Croatia. While in Ann Arbor the group promoted it’s new album, "Knee-deep in Heaven,” which was produced in 2014, inspired after a year of international music exploration.

Visitors included:

Janusz Prusinowski
A fiddler who also plays the dulcimer, Polish accordion, and the hurdy-gurdy. A singer and composer. A pioneer and icon of the traditional village music revival in Poland. Over the years he has performed concerts in the best venues across the world, but he always comes back home to play for dances at village barns and to sing at church fairs. Together, with his wife Kaja, he runs the “Play by Ear” children’s theatre. He is the founder and artistic director of the “Mazurkas of the World” festival and has won numerous prizes by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Piotr Piszczatowski
A sociologist and actor who has fallen in love with traditional music and continued learning from village masters during his various exploratory escapades. He is a percussionist, accordionist, and a keen dancer. He is in fact master of ceremonies at every dance party. Creator of the “Instruments Fair” idea and the event itself: He also works with the “Mazurkas of the World” festival and the “Play by Ear” children’s theatre.

Michał Żak
A flautist, clarinetist and shawm-player. Once fascinated with Breton and Caucasian tunes, he finally rediscovered Polish village music and has been exploring it ever since.  A ubiquitous player of world music, early music, jazz and fusion. He travels to lands near and far in search of new melodies and exotic flavours and has performed at hundreds of venues around the world, from festivals to concert halls.

Piotr Zgorzelski
A folk-bass player, dance teacher, and co-founder of the “House of Dance” Association. He has been running dance workshops in Poland, and all over the world, for the last twenty years. He is an ethnologist who learned to dance from village people and archival sources. Piotr developed his own unique dance teaching techniques and tools, and became probably the best - and best known - folk dance teacher in Poland. Lately he’s been working on his trailblazing YouTube dance tutorials:

Szczepan Pospieszalski
A composer, trumpeter, and free spirit moving across different musical genres. A gifted instrumentalist and singer, he has been involved in multiple musical projects of the 'Pospieszalscy,' a famous musical family since childhood. When not composing theatre scores, he loves teaching amateurs how to play folk tunes on the trumpet in village settings.

Justyna Piernik
A singer and persistent documentalist researching traditional music from Poland, Russia and Ukraine. The leader of Warszawa Wschodnia (East Warsaw) vocal band and a journalist of Polish national radio. A cultural idealist and activist, rescuing old melodies from backwoods.

Joanna Wiedro
A culture manager and unstoppable dancer involved in various projects related to traditional music. She firmly believes that spreading Polish village tunes and dances through practicality and promotion is her destiny. She joins JPK during dance workshops and events.

Co-sponsors: Wild Music from the Heart of Poland was part of Campus Project, organized by culture-pl. Additional co-sponsors included CPPS and the Department of Dance.

Dates: November 8 – 14, 2015


Academic Year 2014-2015

Fall 2014

Nana Kwadwo Nyantakyi III (Sanaahene) and Nana Afia Adoma II (Queen Mother)Kumasi, Ghana

Residency Description: CWPS welcomed Nana Kwadwo Nyantakyi III (Sanaahene) and Nana Afia Adoma II (Queen) to the University of Michigan for a one-month residency during the fall of 2014. While at the University of Michigan, they joined both Professors Kwasi Ampene and Raymond Silverman every Tuesday and Thursday as guest lecturers for their combined course on the music and visual cultures of Africa. As part of our Community Outreach, they presented four public lectures; two at the Ann Arbor District Library and two on campus.  

Having served three kings, Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh II, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, and currently Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Nana Kwadwo Nyantakyi III has accumulated extraordinary wealth of knowledge of Akan and Asante culture. As a matrilineal society, Akan Queens are entrusted with lineage history, values, the complex political hierarchy, and succession procedures. While in Ann Arbor, they shared valuable first-hand experience with students at the University of Michigan about the Akan in Ghana.

Co-sponsors: African Studies Center, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, African Students Association, Sterns Collection, Ann Arbor District Library,King•Chavéz•Parks Visiting Professors Program and the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs, International Institute

Dates: 9/7/14 – 10/11/14


Winter 2015

Professor Kofi AgawuGhana; Princeton University

Residency Description: CWPS welcomed Princeton music Professor, Kofi Agawu, for a one-week residency during the winter of 2015. While at the University of Michigan, he taught classes with CWPS affiliated faculty and delivered a Musicology Distinguished Lecture for the University of Michigan School of Music on Friday, March 20th.

A native of Ghana, Agawu earned a bachelor's degree in music from Reading University in the United Kingdom in 1977, a master's degree in musical analysis from King's College London in 1978, and a Ph.D. in historical musicology from Stanford University in 1982. Agawu, who has taught at Princeton since 1998, teaches classes on African music and European classical music. He has previously taught at Yale University, Cornell University, King's College London, Duke University, and Haverford College.

Co-sponsors: African Studies Center, School of Music Theater and Dance

Dates: 3/17/15 – 3/21/15

Louisa Babari, Pascale Obolo, Anita AfonuFrance and Ghana

Residency Description: 

CWPS and DAAS welcomed Louisa Babari, Pascale Obolo and Anita Afonu to the University of Michigan for a week during the winter of 2015. While in Ann Arbor the women attended the CWPS Graduate Certificate course, "Intro to World Performance Studies," and  Kwasi Ampene's course, "Introduction to Africa and Its Diaspora."

The main event was a round table discussion titled, "Archiving Images: African Artists Visualizing Africa." This round table considered how images shape the substance of our personal and collective memories, at the same time as they locate visions of the past, and project scenes of the future. Images of the archive, archiving images, images as archiving in process: at the crossroads of this Borgesian garden of forking paths we find the African artist. What then, is the role of the African artist vis-à-vis the archive and its images? This was the question to which the participants at this round table turned their attention.

Co-sponsors: African Studies Center, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

Participant Bios

Dates: 3/19/15 - 3/28/15


Artist Residency Archives

The below may include both CWPS-sponsored and co-sponsored artist residencies.

Academic Year 2013-2014

Academic Year 2012-2013

Academic Year 2011-2012