Recent Work

Short Course: Performed Encounter

Performed Encounter: Playing the Interview

Columbia University

May 5 and May 12, 5pm-8pm

509 Knox Hall – 606 W. 122nd St., New York, NY 10027 – View Map

Instructors: Nicki Pombier Berger & Liza Zapol
This hands-on workshop explores the many possibilities at the intersection of theater and oral history, looking closely at the site of the interview.

For those interested in staging oral histories, and for those who want to examine the performative elements of oral history, we will explore how the language of theater can enrich the practice of oral history. We will invite participants to experiment through play, newly considering or considering anew the experience at the core of oral historical practice – what happens in the space of the interview.


02. May 2016

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories, News, Performance

Artist Workshop

Join me at the Whitney Museum for a memory mapping experiment as we celebrate the Whitney’s first anniversary in the Meatpacking District and Jane Jacobs’ 100th birthday.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 9.38.45 AM

28. April 2016

Categories: Performance, See My Work

Public Program: Oral Histories of Extraordinary East Villagers

New Additions to the GVSHP Archive
[Video of this event here]
Monday, November 2
6:30 – 8:00 P.M..
Sixth Street Community Center
638 East 6th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C

In 2014, GVSHP began an ongoing series of interviews with cultural pioneers and community leaders in the South and East Village. The project aims to record, preserve, and use the stories of of these exceptional individuals to increase our understanding of the cultural and social history of these historically diverse and dynamic neighborhoods and preserve these voices and stories for future generations to learn from.

Our most recent oral history interviews with notable East Villagers, which may be sampled that evening, include Anthology Film Archives founder Jonas Mekas, Veselka owner Tom Birchard, community activist Marilyn Appleberg, and Phil Hartman of Two Boots Pizza.

Karen Loew, GVSHP Director of East Village and Special Projects, and Liza Zapol, documentarian and oral historian, will discuss the importance of oral histories, and the process of interviewing, recording and transcribing them. Profiles from our growing collection will be shared in this mixed-media program.

05. November 2015

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories, News

Embodied Mapping at Pier 42


Embodied Mapping Workshop creation, April 22, 2015. Photograph by Jennifer Wen Ma

Image by Jennifer Wen Ma, Embodied Mapping Workshop, April 18, 2015.

This residency was focused on the site of Pier 42, in the Lower East Side. A team of artists explored the notion of Embodied Mapping, using multi-disciplinary scores, practices, prompts and exercises. This mapping process was personal and experiential, allowing a questioning of existing ideas about how we relate to our surroundings –whether physically, temporally, intellectually, emotionally, personally, socially or politically.

Residency dates: July 2014 – November 2015

Commissioned by: iLand (Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Art, Nature and Dance), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Paths to Pier 42

Events: iLand Symposium, April 18th, 2015 at Two Bridges Community Center,

Paths to Pier 42 closing event, October 25, 2015.

Collaborators: Kate Cahill, Kathy Creutzburg, Meredith Drum, Joe Goldman, Meredith Ramirez Talusan, Jennifer Wen Ma, and Liza Zapol.

Embodied Mapping Residency Gallery

Assorted images from the Embodied Mapping residency, Pier 42, NYC, 2014-2015. Photographs by Joe Goldman and Jennifer Wen Ma.


Research for the Embodied Mapping Residency, photography by Joe Goldman


Embodied Mapping Workshop, April 18, 2015. Photograph by Jennifer Wen Ma.


22. October 2015

Categories: Current Commissions, Multimedia, News, Performance, See My Work

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations in the NYT


I was an oral historian for the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Project (CBBG) started by Sady Sullivan at Brooklyn Historical Society from 2012-2014. The project was featured on the cover of the Arts Section of the New York Times. For an example of the work of CBBG, You can listen to my interview with fantastic dancer Caroline Fermin here.

When we did the census a few times, she would be on the phone with them and they’d be like, “Well, whatever language you speak at home is what race you are. My mom would be furious. Having to choose I felt like was the hardest part.

-Caroline Fermin


04. December 2014

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories, News

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 9.49.18 AM


My thoughts about the National September 11 Memorial and Museum were noted in this article in Tablet Magazine.

Read the whole paper quoted by writer Julia Bosson here:
The Museum as Ventriloquist: The Use of Oral History at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.”

The paper was included in The New School Memory Conference.  Download the Powerpoint here.


11. September 2014

Categories: News

More Press on “Seniors and the City”- American Theatre

American Theatre

American Theatre Magazine features my work with Julie Kline and the seniors of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House at Saint Peter’s Church. Julie and I were artists in residence for two years, in which we created performance featuring the seniors using oral history, storytelling, choral choreography, and recorded sound. Funded by the SPARC program (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) in collaboration with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Department for the Aging.

21. May 2014

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories, News, Performance

Exploring the Legacy of the Meatpacking District

Whitney Stories features my research in the Meatpacking District for the Whitney Museum, and a film I produced about artist Tom Otterness. Check it out by clicking here!

10. January 2014

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories, Multimedia

Voicing The Legacy

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 9.58.36 AM

My Art Cart graduate students conducted oral histories of a older artists in New York City.

I produced and oversaw this audio compilation for the exhibition at Stovall Gallery, Kimmel Center, New York University

Opening September 5- October 20, 2013

Research Center for Arts & Culture

ART CART is an intergenerational arts legacy project that connects aging professional artists with teams of graduate students to undertake the preparation and documentation of their creative work, offering both groups an educational experience that will help shape the future of our cultural legacy.


01. October 2013

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories

Press on “Seniors and the City”


The Brooklyn Rail discusses my work with Julie Kline: creating an expressive, oral history approach to theater with seniors.

The Theater of Aging: Lighting a SPARC, by Larissa Lury


23. September 2013

Categories: Audio / Oral Histories, News, Performance

← Older posts