Astronomer in Residence program offers hands-on experience to stargazers

Starry sky reflecting on lake at Lost Lake, USA

Applications are now open for York University’s 2024 Astronomer in Residence (AIR) program, an initiative led by the Allan I. Carswell Observatory in partnership with Killarney Provincial Park allowing qualified individuals to enjoy astronomy under the park’s dark skies and lead programming using its observatory. This year’s program runs from May 13 to Oct. 20.

Launched in 2022, the program calls on qualified astronomers – both professional and amateur – to apply to be an astronomer in residence at Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park for a period of one to three weeks this summer and fall. The selected individuals will be expected to run in-person tours two to five times a week and create observatory shows, YouTube livestreams and recorded video sessions, as well as author a blog. Participants are offered free parking and lodging, as well as a $400-per-week stipend for their residency.

The full summer schedule can be found on the program’s website.

Those interested in applying can do so via the application form. For more information about qualifications, visit the Candidate Expectations page.

Throughout the duration of the program, passionate stargazers can follow along through the Astronomer in Residence Blog and livestreams on the Allan I. Carswell Observatory YouTube page, or by attending live viewings and programming at Killarney Provincial Park.

YSpace program gets boost for under-represented founders

hands holding out food banner

YSpace will receive more than $476,000 in new funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) over the next two years to expand its Food & Beverage Accelerator program across the country and support over 100 racialized and women founders to scale and thrive in the industry.

YSpace created Ontario’s first food and beverage accelerator in 2019 to help grow consumer packaged goods ventures in the field. The five-month program provides customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles to ventures as they develop their strategy, grow their network and scale their business.

To date, the YSpace accelerator has supported 93 ventures and over 200 entrepreneurs who are scaling into mass retail, raising funds and getting acquired. Many ventures in the program have seen exponential growth and established valuable connections in the industry.

YSpace Food Accelerator entrepreneurs gather at the September 2023 Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Pitch Competition. From left: Ari Alli – Noble Snacks, Charlene Li – EATABLE, Kieran Klassen – Heartwood Farm & Cidery, Dominique Mastronardi – The Happy Era, Rebecca Prime – Beck’s Broth, Muna Mohammed – eight50 Coffee).
YSpace Food Accelerator entrepreneurs gather at the September 2023 Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Pitch Competition.
From left: Ari Alli, Charlene Li, Kieran Klassen, Dominique Mastronardi, Rebecca Prime and Muna Mohammed.

One example is EATABLE, a company that produces all-natural gourmet popcorn with flavours inspired by classic cocktails, wines and spirits, which has expanded their retail footprint to over 1,600 doors across Canada and the U.S. “As part of the YSpace Food Accelerator, we connected with industry experts who helped us grow 19 times in revenues since our launch in 2019,” says Charlene Li, co-founder and CEO.

Another example is Zing, which creates vegan and gluten-free condiments and seasoning salts that are designed to be pantry shortcuts. It is available in over 400 retail doors across Canada and the U.S. “YSpace programming and mentorship helped our company develop and execute an effective retail strategy that allowed us transition from an e-commerce to an omni-channel business,” says co-founder and CEO Jannine Rane.

The new funding provided by the AAFC’s AgriDiversity Program will support under-represented groups in the food and beverage industry and help provide them with the resources to build their entrepreneurial and business skills. The program was created under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a $3.5-billion, five-year agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector.

“We are thrilled that our Food & Beverage Accelerator will soon be able to support racialized and women founders nationally,” says David Kwok, director of entrepreneurship and innovation at YSpace. “We have built a robust and impactful program, and now with the funding resources to serve these groups, we can expand not only our reach but impact across Canada.”

In his role as Canada’s minister of agriculture and agri-food, Lawrence MacAulay has seen first-hand how integral women are to creating a thriving economy. “A more diverse and inclusive labour force can provide significant benefits to the agriculture sector by supporting competitiveness and risk management, innovation and rural vitality, and sustainable growth,” he says.

The new Food & Beverage Accelerator program will build and implement specialized tools and resources to support the unique challenges faced by under-represented groups in the consumer packaged goods and agri-food sector. To achieve this, YSpace will be leveraging its expertise from both ELLA, which provides dedicated programming for women entrepreneurs, and the Black Entrepreneurship Alliance, which provides specialized streams for Black entrepreneurs to better engage with those communities. YSpace will also look to leverage those experiences and expertise to consciously expand its offering into other under-represented communities in consultation with those communities.

“This specialized and comprehensive programming designed for under-represented communities doesn’t quite exist yet on a national level and will fill an ecosystem gap in the consumer packaged goods and agri-food sector,” says Judy Wong, consumer packaged goods program advisor at YSpace. “This is incredibly important for both our economy and the entrepreneurial ecosystem to further drive growth and innovation in the agri-food sector.”

Further information about YSpace and its diverse programming for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs can be found through its website.

York alumna launches centre to empower youth in Scarborough

Two Black students outside on York's Keele Campus

Back 2 Basickz Youth Support Services, an organization founded by York University alumna Amanda Coombs, recently celebrated the grand opening of its new centre in Scarborough, Ont., building on her work to create a safe haven for marginalized, Black and racialized youth.

Amanda Coombs
Amanda Coombs

The newly opened Back 2 Basickz Scarborough location represents an expansion of the program that began in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood in 2013.

The centre will operate as an extension of the organization’s Black Youth Outreach United program, which employs Black professionals who share similar life experiences with participating youth, enabling them to provide guidance and personal advocacy, along with essential life skills and support systems to help break the cycle of poverty and disengagement.

“We strive to break the cycle of poverty that many of these youth experience by providing them with valuable resources, and the tools to help them excel and overcome the challenges they are experiencing,” says Coombs, who serves as the organization’s executive director.

Back 2 Basickz achieves this through a variety of programs and initiatives that provide academic support, mentorship, employment opportunities and culturally sensitive counselling tailored to the unique needs of its participants.

Its after-school program, for instance, provides a safe space exclusively for Black youth, offering academic support in subjects such as math, English, science and computer technology. Additionally, students can engage in recreational activities aimed at fostering social bonds and building positive relationships.

Furthermore, its employment program aims to empower Black youth and young adults by providing access to meaningful employment opportunities in sectors where they are historically underrepresented. Mentorship and job placement assistance are key components of this initiative.

The centre also provides post-incarceration soft-landing programs, as well as counselling for youth facing mental health challenges or crises. Staffed by Black therapists and case managers, these programs offer a compassionate and holistic approach to mental health care.

“Mentorship is provided by men and women who have walked similar paths and successfully transformed their lives,” Coombs says. “Graduates from the Youth Reset program have the unique opportunity to mentor younger youth, creating a powerful cycle of growth, leadership and positive change.”

The Jan. 30 grand opening event saw more than 50 attendees, including parents, youth from the Scarborough community, representatives from various organizations and government officials. Notable guests included member of provincial parliament David Smith, city councillor Michael Thompson and Shauna-Marie Benn, a fellow York grad who is the office manager for member of Parliament Gary Anandasangaree. Also present was Stachen Frederick, another York alumna, who is executive director of the Frontlines youth charity in Toronto’s west end.

“It’s crucial,” says Coombs, “for Black youth to recognize that with persistence, hard work and the right support, achieving their dreams is entirely within reach.”

Back 2 Basickz is there to show them the way.

For more information, visit or email Coombs at

York alumna to champion respect at Ontario Soccer Summit

soccer ball on field

York University women’s soccer coach and former Lions star player Farkhunda Muhtaj takes the stage at the 2024 edition of the Ontario Soccer Summit, where – as a celebrated advocate for social justice – she will emphasize the critical need for promoting respect in sport within Canada’s soccer community.

A two-time York graduate who holds degrees from the Faculty of Education and the University’s kinesiology program, she is one of 600 delegates expected to attend the summit, a gathering of coaches, staff, administrators and stakeholders from across Canada’s soccer community, taking place on the Keele Campus from Feb. 23 to 25.

Farkhunda Muhtaj 
(Credit: Mike Ford for York U Magazine)
Farkhunda Muhtaj
(photo credit: Mike Ford for The York University Magazine)

As a keynote speaker, Muhtaj will draw from her experiences within Ontario’s soccer system and her journey as an Afghan-Canadian professional soccer player. Muhtaj gained international recognition when, in 2021, she defied the Taliban by successfully relocating Afghanistan’s junior soccer team outside the country to safeguard its female players and their ability to play.

In her talk, the 26-year-old former midfielder will highlight the transformative influence of sports, particularly in marginalized communities. She will also present the documentary about the Afghan team’s story, We Are Ayenda, to underscore the resilience of the Afghan youth women’s national team and the power of soccer in shaping lives.

“I’ll discuss strategies for creating inclusive environments, prioritizing player safety and combatting bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination. Soccer has empowered me to give back to my communities as a global active citizen, and I believe it’s imperative to offer others similarly enriching experiences,” she says.

Named a York University Top 30 Under 30 in 2022 for her active dedication to social justice through sport, Muhtaj will also stress the urgency of rebuilding trust within the soccer community just as Canada is getting ready to host 13 of the 104 games at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, with seven in Vancouver and six in Toronto.

Her ongoing role as a mentor and role model for aspiring soccer players, particularly those from under-represented backgrounds, underscores her commitment to nurturing talent and diversity within Canadian soccer.

Through partnerships with soccer organizations, government agencies and community groups such as the Scarborough Simbas – a Toronto-based soccer program for refugees and other newcomers to Canada – Muhtaj aims to promote inclusivity and growth within the sport. She does so as well through Respect in Sport, a program within the Respect Group, which educates youth leaders, coaches, officials and others on how to approach bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

“As an Afghan-Canadian professional soccer player, the director of culture and conscience at the Respect Group and the co-founder of Scarborough Simbas, I am uniquely positioned to contribute to the development of soccer in Canada,” she says, “ensuring it is truly inclusive and growing the game.”

Muhtaj’s ongoing advocacy for policy changes within Canadian soccer governing bodies also aims to guarantee that diversity, equity and inclusion remain top priorities at all levels of the sport. By actively participating in policy discussions and decision-making processes, Muhtaj continues to shape the future of soccer in Canada. She believes the need for comprehensive, long-term plans to foster a culture of respect and integrity within the sport is important.

“In light of significant milestones in Canadian soccer, such as the establishment of a women’s professional league and the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2026, there’s an urgent need for unity within the sports community,” she says. “It’s crucial to safeguard our children, keeping them engaged in sport for a lifetime.”

York entrepreneurs recognized by award, prime minister

BEA Demo Day image BANNER

York University alumni Yemi Ifegbuyi (BA ’10) and Zainab Williams (BA ’07) are among the top three Black entrepreneurs named the winners of a startup pitch competition hosted by the Black Entrepreneurship Alliance (BEA) founded by the Black Creek Community Health Centre in partnership with York University’s YSpace.

The competition, the inaugural BEA Investment Bootcamp Demo Day, is the final assignment of a four-month program run in partnership with YSpace for early-stage and capital-ready, Black-led startups.

The Investment Bootcamp program is aimed at supporting Black-led tech startups with training, mentorship and fundraising insights to secure early capital. With a community-driven approach, the program offers curated content and resources to support entrepreneurs through educational workshops, one-on-one coaching and peer founder circles, which provides a safe and open space for founders to connect and receive support.

The nine startup finalists in the BEA Investment Bootcamp program
The nine startup finalists in the BEA Investment Bootcamp program.

Applicants to the competition were narrowed down from the 17 Black entrepreneurs who participated in the program to nine finalists who pitched their businesses to a live audience at an event on Feb. 1 celebrating Black excellence.

The Demo Day event, which also marked the start of Black History Month, was attended by a number of government officials, including Filomena Tassi, the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Judy Sgro, member of Parliament for Humber River – Black Creek, was also in attendance and was impressed by the entrepreneurs. “Witnessing the dedication and leadership of these young entrepreneurs has not only inspired me, but it reaffirms my belief in the incredible potential of our community’s future leaders,” she says.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with first place winner Yemi Ifegbuyi
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who met finalists at a special event before the awards were announced, with first-place winner Yemi Ifegbuyi.

First-place winner Ifegbuyi will receive $5,000 toward his business, Cozii Technologies, an artificial intelligence-driven property management platform tailored to multi-unit landlords. Ifegbuyi immigrated from Nigeria about 15 years ago and received his degree in international development and urban studies at York as well as a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation. As a founder known for his entrepreneurial drive, Ifegbuyi is excited for the future as his business continues to grow.

“This fund will be channelled into our sales and marketing endeavours, with the goal of reaching and serving more small- and medium-scale rental property owners and managers,” he says. “It’s not just a cash prize. It’s an investment in Cozii Technologies’ vision to revolutionize the way we approach property management.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with second place winner Zainab Williams
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with second-place winner Zainab Williams.

Second-place winner Williams, the founder of Fundevolve Inc., a pioneering platform dedicated to empowering women in their financial journey, will receive $3,000 to further her company. Williams developed her passion for business while studying business administration and management at York. Born out of an investment gone wrong, Williams became an independent financial planner and was determined to empower individuals to make the right financial decisions. Her business is quickly building momentum as she works to further develop the web-based platform and equip women with the tools to take control of their financials.

“We plan to use the prize winnings for testing before launching our platform,” says Williams. “This investment in security ensures not only our project’s safety but also our users’ trust.”

Both Ifegbuyi and Williams cite the boot camp’s collaborative spirit as a contributor to their startup’s success. “Participating in the program has been a transformative journey,” says Ifegbuyi. “The unwavering support and mentorship we received are catalysts for long-term growth.”

Special guest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended a private event – where York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton was also present – held before the awards to meet the finalists and learn more about their businesses.

“Meeting Justin Trudeau was a great honour and opportunity,” says Ifegbuyi. “It symbolized the recognition of our hard work and the federal government commitment to supporting the Black entrepreneurial community. It’s a reminder that our efforts are making an impact, and it inspires us to continue pushing boundaries and striving for excellence in everything we do.”

Both BEA and YSpace offer several innovative programs and events for entrepreneurs at all stages, including curated programming dedicated to under-represented groups like Black entrepreneurs and women founders.

To learn more about this partnership, visit BEA’s website at YSpace.

Workshop explores relationship between art and anthropology

Audra Townsend art on display at gallery

Art exhibits can serve as powerful forms of public anthropology, putting on display an individual’s creative exploration of what it means to be human. As part of its Anthropology Beyond the Academy series, the York University Department of Anthropology’s Winter 2024 event will demonstrate just that by featuring the work of abstract and mixed-media artist Audra Townsend, a York alumna.

Audra Townsend
Audra Townsend

Titled Art & Anthropology, the Feb. 9 event will showcase Townsend’s artwork in the Vari Hall Rotunda from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a workshop from 3 to 4 p.m. where Townsend will discuss her professional path and her work in exploring humanity through art. All are welcome to attend.

Townsend is a British-born, Jamaican Canadian artist based in Toronto, who believes art is a manifestation of our curiosity about the material world and an essential part of what it means to be human. A former Ontario public servant, she is a trained sociocultural anthropologist who currently works as a data privacy consultant.

“Anthropologists use art to explore the essence of lived experiences, enabling a more immersive and emotive engagement with the subject of their studies,” explains Othon Alexandrakis, Chair of York’s Department of Anthropology. “By integrating visual storytelling into their research, anthropologists enhance the accessibility and impact of their narratives, fostering cross-cultural empathy and promoting a deeper appreciation for the richness of human diversity.”

When Townsend examines the relationship between art and the human experience, she borrows from intuitive and tactile art forms. Her work is characterized by a dense network of criss-crossing and squiggly lines separating rectangles of multiple shapes made of different materials, earthy and celestial colours, and textures of sand and stone, among others.

“We are excited to welcome Audra back to the department for this exciting workshop,” says Alexandrakis. “Audra’s art is extraordinary. We invite the York University community to come meet Audra, hear about her journey, and learn about art and anthropology.”

To register for the workshop, visit Winter Workshop: Art & Anthropology w/ Audra Townsend. For more information about Townsend’s art, visit her website.

Faculty of Health helps students take their learning global

airplane landing at dusk banner

The world, as the saying goes, is a classroom, and a special award from the Faculty of Health is making it easier for students to access it. The Global Health Travel Award provides students with funding to help cover travel and accommodation expenses, empowering them to pursue global learning opportunities that can make an impact on their academic and career paths.

The Global Health Travel Award is among several opportunities the Faculty of Health extends to support its students looking to pursue global learning, and it ties to the University’s larger active efforts to reduce financial barriers to international experiences for students, encouraging the development of global citizenship, interpersonal skills, adaptability and more.

The award is given to Faculty of Health undergraduate students who want to complete a global health project as part of a single-term (11-week) international placement that meets the requirement of their academic program.

During the Winter 2024 term, nine students will be able to travel to countries such as Jordan, Ghana, Kenya, Denmark, Germany and Belize thanks to the award. They will gain experiences echoing those of the following current and past students from the Global Health Promotion & Disease Prevention program within York’s School of Global Health whose journeys illustrate the impact the international opportunity and award can have.

Autumn Langford, current student

Langford, who will be graduating following the completion of her practicum, recently won the travel award to journey to Kenya to focus on HIV prevention, particularly among adolescent girls. There, she’ll observe and seek to understand how Kenyan communities address health issues, acknowledging the unique differences from handling HIV in Toronto.

Langford credits the bursary for being pivotal to the opportunity because she is juggling part-time work to cover her other expenses. Without it, her Kenya plans might have faced a financial roadblock. It covered essential needs and unforeseen expenses, such as mandatory immunization for global travel, ensuring her health and safety during the stay.

Daniel Ramlogan, alumnus

Ramlogan saw his academic journey at York culminate with a global health practicum in the Middle East. With the $5,000 of support from the award, he was able to travel to Amman, Jordan, to pursue a placement with the Jordan Health Aid Society International.

The relief from financial concerns, which he describes as a significant weight lifted off his shoulders, allowed Ramlogan to fully engage in the cultural and learning experience. In the process, his passion for research and program development were sparked, resulting in two successful projects: workshops on gender-based violence and sexual health in Amman, and a grant for the Za’atari refugee camp’s medical facilities. Recognized by the Jordanian government and donors, Ramlogan’s contributions continue to positively impact lives, even after his departure.

Mahilet Girma, alumna

The funding Girma received from his award allowed her to travel to Brazil to pursue an opportunity to work with MSF (Doctors Without Borders). There, she played a key role in crafting a training module for community health workers, and she emerged from the experience more confident and with more polished social and professional skills. Her journey wasn’t just an academic and professional, though – it ignited personal growth.

To learn more about awards issued, visit the Global Learning website.

Nominations open for York University Alumni Awards

York University Alumni Awards banner

Each year, the York University Alumni Awards celebrate outstanding alumni who have achieved the extraordinary and made remarkable contributions to the University and the broader community. Nominations for award recipients are being accepted until Tuesday, Feb. 20, and the Alumni Awards ceremony to honour them will be held in the fall.

Nominations are open for the following awards:

  • Outstanding Contribution: an alum who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of York and its students through exceptional service, commitment and/or philanthropic contributions.
  • Outstanding Achievement: an alum who has achieved distinction in their field and whose integrity and ability inspire alumni, faculty, staff and students.
  • Tentanda Via: an alum who has demonstrated innovative, unconventional and daring leadership and success, reflecting the University’s motto, “The way must be tried.”
  • One to Watch: an alum who has made a significant impact in their field and/or community within 15 years of a bachelor’s degree or 10 years of a professional/graduate degree.

Past recipients included a wide range of people contributing to society in their professional field.

Do you know a remarkable individual deserving of an Alumni Award? Complete the nomination form.

For questions about the nomination process, contact Nicole Light, senior alumni engagement officer, at For more information about the Alumni Awards, visit the Alumni Awards page and YouTube channel. Looking for some inspiration? Check out the 2023 Alumni Award recipients.

Pioneering York physicist honoured with memorial fund

formulas on blackboard banner

York University science alumni Itay and Mina Yavin have donated $200,000 to the Department of Physics & Astronomy in honour of late Professor Helen Freedhoff, a pioneering theoretical physicist, to create a memorial fund supporting students in the department.

Itay Yavin
Itay Yavin, the York alumn whose gift donation led to the creation of the Helen Freedhoff Memorial Fund. To his left is an image of Helen Freedhoff.

The gift will create the the Helen Freedhoff Memorial Fund, with a focus on supporting student mentorship and research at the undergraduate level. Specifically, it will further enable research in the lab of Professor Anantharaman Kumarakrishnan’s Atomic Physics Research Group.

It will also establish the Helen Freedhoff First Year Award for select entering domestic and international undergraduate students admitted into the Department of Physics & Astronomy with high academic achievement and a passion for science.

“We are thrilled to give back to York University, where we spent formative years, and to collaborate with the Faculty of Science to memorialize Professor Freedhoff’s life and work,” said Itay Yavin, who was personally mentored and supervised by Freedhoff. “We hope the funds will foster excellence in students’ research at the physics and astronomy department. We are excited that the funds will also support the lab of Professor Kumarakrishnan, whose devotion to students’ research and development over the past two decades truly exemplifies Professor Freedhoff’s legacy.”  

When she joined York University in 1967, Freedhoff was the first woman physics faculty member on a Canadian University campus. She worked to develop a new theory to describe novel physical phenomena in strongly coupled light-plus-atom systems. Her research focused on the areas of co-operative atomic effects, intense field resonance fluorescence and two-photon transitions. These remain important contributions to the field today.

The donation was celebrated on Monday, Jan. 15 with a plaque-unveiling ceremony and a dedication of the Helen Freedhoff Meeting Room in the Petrie Science & Engineering Building. The ceremony was attended by Freedhoff’s family, the donors and their family, members of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and other science community members. The ceremony was followed by a tour of Kumarakrishnan’s lab.

“It’s so wonderful to see this relationship come full circle, where the student and mentee is now giving back so much to our Faculty, just as his mentor did,” said Rui Wang, dean, Faculty of Science. “I’m so pleased that Professor Freedhoff’s legacy – her important research contributions, her trailblazing career as a woman physicist, and her attention to and care for her students – has been memorialized with this donation that will benefit so many science students, current and future. This donation exemplifies the spirit of the Faculty of Science, working collaboratively and solving challenges head on in innovative ways that will benefit our community and beyond.”

Roll out the red carpet: York alum’s film premieres at festival

moving matter yellow banner

Moving Matter, a short film co-created by actor, director and York University alumnus Beau Han Bridge, will see its world premiere at the Dance on Camera Festival at the Film at Lincoln Center venue in New York City.

Beau Han Bridge
Beau Han Bridge

Five years ago, Bridge, who holds a master of fine arts in film production from York, was visiting New York City and decided to see a movie premiere – followed by a director Q-and-A – at the Film at Lincoln Center, one of the foremost cinematic institutions in the world. “The experience stuck with me in a way that I really admired and cherished,” says Bridge. As a filmmaker himself, his mind drifted to what-ifs, imagining if a movie of his might ever end up at the Lincoln Center. “I never saw myself premiering any work of my own there,” Bridge recalls thinking at the time.

He was – happily – wrong.

Moving Matter, a 12-minute short film that Bridge co-created, shot, edited, sound designed and directed, will receive a world premiere at the Lincoln Center in February as part of the Dance on Camera Festival, the longest running dance film festival in the world that celebrates choreographic storytelling in cinema.

The short film is a product of a unique interdisciplinary collaborative project with two movement artists and educators, Rob Kitsos and Meagan Woods from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts. The conceptual goal of the project was to explore a form of dance choreography and costume design influenced by materials – not as objects, but as a kind of collaborator. As described in an academic article published in the journal Theatre, Dance and Performance Training to provide a template for others to pursue material-led artistic projects, “In a challenge to normative structures where costumery operates ‘in service’ of dance, the textile designs for Moving Matter do not support the complete autonomy and freedom of moving humans; the wearables have striking characteristics of their own that limit what the human body can do.”

Still from Moving Matter short film
A moment from Bridge’s short film, Moving Matter.

The project began with a study of old kitchen flooring about to be discarded and – with artists from the world of dance and costume design – explored ways that raw materials like linoleum, wool and plastic could be integrated into garments and choreography. “I was drawn to the idea of how we could harness compositional ideas from non-human material and translate it into choreographic works,” says Bridge, who hopes audiences who see his, Kitsos and Woods’ film will share that interest. “I also hope viewers appreciate and see our efforts in attempting to give the materials an equal voice and consider them equal collaborators in the creative process.”

The short film is the latest in Bridge’s body of work, which has included films screened at international film festivals, as well as acting performances in numerous theatre productions. This latest accomplishment, however, is something special, he says. “A film premiere at Lincoln Center means the world to me, as I honestly could not have imagined ever having a work premiering there in my life,” Bridge says. “To have Moving Matter be the first original work that brings me so close to it is quite surreal … I honestly owe it all to my co-collaborators, Rob Kitsos and Meagan Woods. If it wasn’t for them bringing me into this very exciting and beautiful process back in February 2023, and introducing me to new ways of filmmaking through interdisciplinary collaboration, then I wouldn’t be here.”

You can see the trailer for Moving Matter here: