Pelenakeke Brown

Pelenakeke Brown is an interdisciplinary artist. Born in Aotearoa she is a Samoan/Pakeha disabled artist whose work explores the overlaps and intersections within disability culture/concepts and Samoan concepts. Recently she has returned to Aotearoa after being based in NYC for six and a half years to assume the role of interim Artistic Director of Touch Compass. She is the first disabled artist to lead the company in its 24 history and a founding member.

She has created projects with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Gibney Dance Center and The Goethe Institute. She is a 2020 Eyebeam Artist-in-Residence. She was selected as one of four choreographers for AXIS Dance Company’s 2020 Choreo-Lab.

In 2019 she received a Dance/NYC’s Disability Dance Artistry Award and was the curator for the Artists of Color Council with Movement Research at the Judson Church, Spring season. She has performed and exhibited her work in the US and internationally. Her work has been published in the Hawai‘i Review, Apogee Journal, and the Movement Research Performance Journal issue- including their first issue dedicated to Native/Indigenous Performance. She has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center (VT), New York Foundation for the Arts (NY), the Laundromat Project (NY) and Denniston Hill (NY). Most recently she was the Assistant Director at Culture Push, a small arts non-profit in New York.

She attended the National Academy School of Fine Art, Studio Intensive Program, NY and received a BA in English literature and Pacific Studies, focusing on art and literature by Pasifika artists, from Auckland University, NZ.