CNP is CalArts’ professional producing arm, offering an alternative model to support emerging directions in the performing arts. In this new role, Jones will identify artists to engage and develop through the CNP residency program, as well as overall programming decisions. Another key component of his work will be leading a new center initiative dedicated to Afromysticism, which Jones discusses in the official release:
I am thrilled to partner with the CalArts Center for New Performance at this particular time to help fellow artist-citizens cultivate bravery, compassion, and wild creation through this generous, applied practice. I use the term “Afromysticism” to conjure the soulful dimensions. It describes art born from the long, radical, and participatory tradition of visionary Black artists, committed in word and deed to liberation. They offered creative technology to get us all freer. Afromysticism radiates when we come together with generative connections between individuals and communities, between the subjective and the collective, among and across past, present, and future possibilities. Freedom must be practiced.
“Having admired and worked with Daniel for years, it became crucial to embrace his broad range of skills and impulses as part of our core leadership team,” said CNP Executive Artistic Director and CalArts School of Theater Dean Travis Preston. “We are thrilled to work together with him to define the future of performance and to embrace Daniel’s concept of Afromysticism as a major focus of our producing activities.”
Jones is a playwright, director, and essayist whose critically acclaimed performance pieces include Radiate (Soho Rep and National Tour including the Kirk Douglas Theatre/Center Theatre Group), Black Light (Public Theater, Greenwich House Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre), Duat (Soho Rep), and An Integrator’s Manual (La MaMa, etc. and Fusebox Festival). Through his alter ego Jomama Jones, he has recorded five albums of original songs.
Jones is also an educator, currently serving as the head of the playwriting program at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. Among his accolades are a 2021 Artist2Artist Fellowship, a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award.