call her by her name: lenape sippu

Propelled Animals with Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Raquel Monroe, Barber, Courtney “Doc” Jones

Trade School: PHL+Detroit


Friday June 24th 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Our site responsive performance, featuring Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Raquel Monroe, Barber, and Courtney Jones will take place at Cherry Street Pier next to Lenape Sippu, which is one of the Lenape names of the Delaware River, a colonial naming. This hour-long performance will explore the themes of water, memorials, and gun violence. Our live action event integrates dance, live music, and temporary installations in the large pier space and outside next to the river. Audience members are encouraged to move through and around the space and engage with the performers.


Saturday June 18th 1 to 3pm at Washington Avenue Green

We will be moving in relation to the river and the trees and land in this beautiful nature trail next to Lenape Sippu (Delaware River). This workshop will focus on listening, creating, and improvising using movement, the voice, and natural materials in the site. It is open to all. Wear tennis shoes and bring a water bottle.


SWITCH SIGNAL is a site-responsive film rooted in the technologies of imagination and mindfulness taught by Pittsburgh’s beloved Mister Rogers. The film was shot on location at Kelly Strayhorn Theater and throughout Pittsburgh with moments in The Hill District and at the Carrie Furnaces in June 2021. Conjuring the absent presence of community during the global pandemic, this work is about listening and includes movement, marches, choreographies, music, and rites as a love letter to Pittsburgh. Through performance we simultaneously mourn what we lose in our quest for growth, while embodying hope for the future.


Esther Baker-Tarpaga
Courtney “Doc” Jones
Raquel Monroe

Creative Team

Propelled Animals
Film: Heidi Wiren Bartlett 


Founded in 2014, Propelled Animals is a group of artists, dancers, scholars, musicians, and visual artists who embed innovative and provocative art in unconventional spaces. We are committed to creating work that interrogates, challenges, and ultimately attempts to dismantle the systemic "isms" of oppression. Our work is centered on art as social action and ritual as performance. The Propelled Animals have presented work nationally including site-specific performances at: University of Iowa and Englert Theatre (Iowa City, IA); University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA); Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY); Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA); Lynden Sculpture Garden (Milwaukee, WI); Pivot Arts Festival (Chicago, IL); Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA); The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (Philadelphia, PA). In 2019 we were recipients of a MAP Fund grant for our project TRANSMISSION and a Frank-Ratchye Fund for Arts @ the Frontier grant through the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2021 TRANSMISSION became SWITCH SIGNAL and morphed from a live stage performance to a performance film that premiered in September 2021 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Our work has been made possible with the generous support of the National Performance Network (NPN), USArtists International, MAP Fund, Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of the Arts Midwest & Crane Group, and The Puffin Foundation. We are fiscally sponsored by Headlong Studios in Philadelphia, PA and International LabX-change artists-in-residence at High Concept Labs (Chicago, IL).

Esther Baker-Tarpaga (MA, MFA UCLA) is a choreographer, performance artist interested in how art is a tool for transformation and co-organizes groups of artists for projects that are multidisciplinary, site-responsive, and collectively derived; aiming for an ethic of shared time and space. She recently performed at La Ville En Mouvement, Dakar Senegal, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre Pittsburgh, The Chicago Architecture Biennale, ArtYard, No New Idols Festival in Riga, Latvia, and BAAD Bronx. She was an AIR at Marin Headlands, a recipient of a NY Live Arts Suitcase Fund, NY Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, Grant Wood Fellow, and a Cultural Envoy in Guinea, Botswana, and South Africa. She co-founded Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. She currently teaches at Temple University and has taught at University of the Arts, Princeton, Ohio State University, and University of Iowa. She grew up in the foothills of Fort Collins, Colorado and lives in Lenapehoking/Philadelphia with her family.

Barber (MA, MFA, University of Iowa) recently graduated Cum Laude from University of Iowa. Barber uses interdisciplinary art practices to articulate various testimonies within and surrounding Black America. Selected recognitions include 2020 Biennial Artist Research fellowship at Sam Fox Island Press, Washington University, St. Louis, published by New American Painting, nominated for Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors award and for the 2022 United States Artists Fellowship. Barber recently completed a residency at Fortuna in Mexico City, Mexico.

Raquel Monroe (Ph.D., UCLA) is an interdisciplinary performance scholar whose scholarship appears in journals and anthologies on race, sexuality, dance and popular culture. She is completing a monograph analyzing the intersections of Black feminism and Black liberation by Black female cultural producers in popular culture and the Black public sphere. Monroe is the Co-Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and an Associate Professor in Dance at Columbia College Chicago. She is a founding board member of the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance and a mom to Marielle.

The newest directions in 21st Century trumpet performance are being explored and defined by Courtney D. Jones (D.M.A., UCLA) an award-winning Bach performing and recording artist who has also emerged as a leading figure in contemporary performance and pedagogy, conducting, and service to inner-city youth through music outreach programs. An artist who transcends stylistic boundaries, Courtney has performed as soloist with classical ensembles, orchestras, and jazz bands throughout the United States, internationally, and has won multiple solo awards and accolades through regional and national trumpet competitions. Jones is currently the Assistant Professor of Trumpet & Artistic Director of Jazz and Chamber Ensembles at Florida Atlantic University.

Special Thanks

Philadelphia Contemporary- Kerry Bickford, Heidi Wiren Bartlett, We Are The Seeds- Tailinh Agoyo, Headlong