The Black (W)hole

How do we remember the ghosts of the gone-too-soon... the young souls of a town in transition?

To keep our community healthy and safe, and in accordance with the statewide shelter-in-place, we have postponed all of the project’s performances and events slated for this spring, including ten public performances and six site-specific healing gatherings. The Black (W)hole team is working closely with Destiny’s leadership and funders to creatively adapt, while still powerfully fulfilling the project’s mission. We are excited to announce that we’re producing a feature-length dance film/documentary to share this work with the public. We will keep you updated on the details of this forthcoming feature film, and will let you know as we are able to reschedule public performances.


The Black (W)hole is a healing, celebratory experience which mourns and honors the lives of six young people who died in and around Oakland before the age of 32. The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company (DAYPC), under the direction of Sarah Crowell, Rashidi Omari, and commissioned artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, will work with the Elders Project, under the direction of Risa Jaroslow, and a team of powerful collaborators, to create art works dedicated to six young ancestors, guided by conversations with their family members. This social practice work is supported by the talents of many visionary collaborators, including celebrated Oakland muralist Brett Cook, Yoram Savion of YAKfilms, choreographers from the vertical dance company BANDALOOP, lighting design by Jenny B of Shady Lady Lighting, and costume design by Angie Wilson.


We believe we can heal, grieve, and celebrate in community. The collaborators will use this work of public ritual to respond to past/ongoing Oakland youth homicide, while gentrification displaces families and culture, asking: How do we remember the ghosts of the gone-too-soon… the young souls of a town in transition?


The Black (W)hole is created with funding from a Hewlett Foundation 50 Arts Commission. Major funding also comes from Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists, made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation; Kenneth Rainin Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and The Betsy Gordon Foundation. This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at