Dialogue and Healing Programs

HaMapah/The Map

Concept, Choreography, and Performed by: Adam McKinney
Directed by: Daniel Banks

“I am the map, the quilt, and the tablecloth of those who have come before me." --Adam McKinney

HaMapah/The Map is a multimedia dance journey that traces the intersections of dancer Adam McKinney's African American, Native American, and Jewish heritages. HaMapah/The Map weaves contemporary dance with archival material, personal interviews, Yiddish and American songs, and video set to traditional, contemporary, and classical music. In the piece, McKinney explores issues of identity, ancestry, and family.

As part of the program, immediately following the performance, DNAWORKS Co-Directors McKinney and Banks will lead a community dialogue with the audience about the core ideas of the piece.

To view a clip of HaMapah/The Map, CLICK HERE. (6.16 MB)

To download Press Kit, CLICK HERE. (15.4 MB)

View the Gallery

Belonging Everywhere


Adam McKinney and Daniel Banks screen the filmed oral history they led with members of the Jewish community in Sefwi Wiawso, Western Region, Ghana. Through discussion and dialogue, the program highlights the ethnic and cultural diversity of K’lal Yisrael (the community of Israel) and reconnects the fragmented histories of the Jewish Diaspora.

Photo (right): Charm Joseph Mintah, Community Member

We The Griot: Performance and Community Healing


In traditional African societies, the griot or djeli is the community storyteller, historian, and archive for communal knowledge. In this workshop, participants are asked to consider what it would mean to live in a society where the artist is seen and valued as the conduit for community healing and health. What if the individual’s health and (dis)ease were still seen as the barometer for the society’s (dis)function?

In We the Griot, Daniel Banks and Adam McKinney, founders of DNAWORKS, will guide participants through the progression they use in their work to think about the role and function of the griot. Using movement, storytelling, improvisation, writing, group dialogue, song, and games, participants will explore the power of their own experiences and stories as they relate to important issues in their communities. They will then consider how these stories interrelate and, finally, begin to think about composition and staging the community’s voices.

Out of this workshop will come an understanding of devising theatre from one’s own personal source material. Participants will also learn a model for generating community dialogue and story circles in order to explore the relationship between art-making and community building.



DNAWORKSHOP responds to the growing need among artists to break through isolation and to collaborate and empower one another towards creating new, socially relevant work. The goals of the WORKSHOP are to nurture exchange, communication, and the sharing of ideas and practices.

The first iteration of the DNAWORKSHOP in NYC 2009-10 was a monthly, three-hour gathering allowed artists to connect, discuss projects and opportunities, share skills and methodologies, build partnerships, and get advice on practical problems related to their work. We met at a new organization each month that donated space and whose representatives met with the participants to discuss future involvement. While the initiative engaged primarily early career artists who shared the vision of using their art to make a positive difference in the world, the sessions were open to all artists residing in or visiting New York who were interested in becoming part of the process.

DNAWORKSHOP can be replicated in other cities and has a flexible format.


Adam McKinney with Move2Heal Class

In Move2Heal workshops, Adam McKinney leads group self-exploration using active listening, community building exercises, and creative expression through movement, voice, language, improvisation, and physical, impulse-based autobiography.

Traditional and indigenous cultures around the world have used movement, voice and performance to heal individuals and communities from illness, dysfunction, natural disaster and war. Participants explore the inherent connection between movement, performance and healing.

Phone: 212-765-4914     Fax: 866-394-6033     info@dnaworks.org