I tend to always get a bit excited when I see a fellow Detroiter-ish taking on their Michigan upbringing and bringing it to California ( Northern CA in her case ). A very different flow, a very sunny climate, yet a familiar self struggle. I guess in a way I felt kin to Marlee Grace without ever meeting her because of that commonality. I started following Marlee back when she had a store that focused on artists work, including a residency space, and practiced her own body movement within that space. Her @personalpractice feed was something I would go back to, secretly wishing there was a contemporary dancer within myself. I began listening to her podcast where she would interview the artists she was hosting with her residency space, discuss their work, their lessons learned, and their process.
Sometimes we can lack the conversations between friends on our own time that bring up ideas of our artistic process, or philosophizing on concept. Though that's something I hope to work on changing in my own life - I would go to her conversations and tune in to feel like I was a part of that conversation.
Over the last year, Marlee dove into her unknown- leaving behind her shop, town, and familiarity, moving into a place that eliminated the machine she began creating which enabled her to focus on her own soul's artistic calling. It's been very inspiring watching her go into something so bravely unknown but trusted in the process.
She is now working on a new space called CENTER ( @__center__ ) - which seems to be a hosting space that caters to expressions of dance, movement, fine art , and creative ideas all around. Life is what we make of it. Sometimes there are those who live within a society yet still create their own world within that. Melting the two perfectly. Deep down I thrive in creating my own world. And it's because of people like her, who inspire me to continue to do so.
Who are you?
I am Marlee Grace, a writer & dancer who works with improvisation as a method for art making, advising, & being alive
Why do you make your work?
I make work to remind myself and others that we have permission to make art, that we have permission to be living breathing flailing beings. I make my work because it is how I process everything that happens in my heart and mind.
What do you believe in?
I believe in beginning again. Over and over and over again. I believe in devotion to self, as an attempted discipline. I believe that being undisciplined will keep happening and as devotion to self it's imperative to JUST start again.
Name one thing you say yes to - and one thing you say no to?
I say yes every single day to being alive.
I say no every single day to drinking.
What change would you like to see?
I'd like to see more pause. From myself, from others, from the collective body. More laying on the ground more feet in the dirt.
Name one thing that makes you happy?
My friends. My friends make me laugh so hard and my friends make me so happy.
How would you describe your personal routine ?
Clunky and imperfect and rooted in hope.
What did you want to be as a child?
A morning TV talk show host who transitions into Night Time news later in her career aka Diane Sawyer
Can you remember one solid piece of advice you've gotten for the growth of your business ?
To focus on my vision rather than my income. What is my vision or hope for reaching people, rather than how much money do I want to make. Although financial goals are helpful to me, what is more helpful is considering why reaching people is important to me.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Marie Forleo. I want to bring Marie a punk DIY vibe and let her tidy me up a little bit.
Who is one person in culture that you feel is making positive and inspiring change ?
Solange brings change in the way of her movement and words, presented in a way where we can all hear them and know them and feel them. I love Solange.
Also Sarah Gottesdiener. Sarah's Many Moons Workbook, her commitment to social justice through her beuisness model, and her art in the world - I see this ripple through people in a way I haven't seen other work do. She really reintroduced people the to ways of the moon, demystifying it, and letting us understand its complexities.