Naila Ansari and Marquis Burton are “Creating Space For Joy”

There’s still time to sign up  for plenty more JOY!  

April 3 was the kick  off for a month long collaboration “Creating Space for Joy,” a new project by two outstanding Buffalo artists, Naila Ansari and Maquis “Ten Thousand” Burton who build a multidisciplinary work in process that imagines the performance of joy.  

Held at UB Arts Collaboratory The Space Between, “Creating  Space for Joy” builds upon an improvisational practice deriving from African American experiences that connects the virtual and physical world to explore joy.  Naila and Marquis combine artists interviews, community discussions, and multimedia art to create an interactive archivable documentation of joy. 

Also part of the project support team are artists Tara Sasiadek whose work is featured in the creative space where performances take place. Paulette Harris directs and develops the projections. Other support teams include Fitz Books and Waffles (just next door   for booklist and giveaways)  and the Buffalo Documentary Project who will capture the entire process.  “We are honored and excited to perform, receive and share joy here in Buffalo, ” said Ansari who  added she looks forward to collecting joy from the community on Saturdays.

The Saturday sessions are being held at UB Arts Collaboratory at 431 Ellicott Street  with remaining dates of  April 17, 24 and May 1 from 5-9pm  and May 8 from 12-9pm. 

Registration is required to participate in this actual work in progress at and you can also find a link to registration at The performances will be recorded live and also saved and made available  for people to view at a later date on both websites.

Naila Ansari is an award-winning choreographer, director and performing artist who has merged artistry and scholarship to build and create works through community and collaborative processes that facilitate conversations on race and Black performance.(stay tuned for her forthcoming book The Movement of Joy)    

Marquis “Ten Thousand” Burton is a  visual artist, educator and decorate poet who has coached the Buffalo poetry teams at the National Poetry Slams to Top 10 finishes has has partnered with Naila Ansari since 2019 to create immersive interactive dance and poetry experiences that explore joy in play, resistance, community and self.

Follow the artists @naila_moves_joy  and @tenthousandpoetry on social media sites Instagram and Facebook.                        

Support for this project is provided by Just Buffalo Literary Center and the Civil Writes Project Support Award.

Go to register to be a participant in your joyful expressions  at 

challenger staff

image provided by artists pr