Cynthia Hopkins is a writer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and internationally acclaimed musical performance artist: she writes and sings songs, records albums, and creates groundbreaking multi-media performance works that intertwine truth and fiction, blurring the lines between edification and entertainment. Through the process of making performances, she attempts to alchemize disturbance into works of intrigue and hope that simultaneously stimulate the senses, provoke emotion, and enliven the mind. She is dedicated to creating groundbreaking original works that investigate innovative forms of communication, melding music, text, technical and theatrical design, and video with unbelievable fact and outrageous fiction. Her mission is to obscure the distinction between edification and entertainment through the creation of works that are as philosophical as they are entertaining, as intellectually challenging as they are viscerally emotional, as deeply comical as they are tragic, and as historically aware as they are immediately engaging.
She has produced seven musical performance works, eight albums of original music, and one museum installation. Her work has been honored with many awards, including a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award, a 2015 Grants to Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2007 Alpert Award in Theater. She most recently premiered The Alcoholic Movie Musical! (a collaboration with video artist Jeff Sugg) at commissioning venue The Bushwick Starr; and Memorabilia (an exhibit of five memorial quilts and one requiem in honor of five deceased musical performance works) at commissioning venue The Fabric Workshop & Museum in Philadelphia. Ms. Hopkins is currently at work on two new projects: a podcast titled Moving to Philadelphia chronicling the challenging and thrilling adventure of her relocation to Philadelphia after twenty years in Brooklyn (subscribe for free via iTunes!); and a new musical storytelling experiment titled Articles of Faith about a catastrophic fire that destroyed her home (scheduled to premiere in the 2016-17 season at commissioning venues American Dance Institute and The Kitchen) while continuing to work as a performer, composer, voice over artist, and musician for many other folks.
“I consider myself a storyteller whose multi-layered stories – addressing relevant social issues through a deeply personal lens, and incorporating elements of documentary-like truth as well as extravagant fiction – require a multi-faceted structure to be communicated. Whatever enrages, disturbs, and/or frightens me most becomes the subject of my work. My creative process is a survival technique which alchemizes a combination of inner and outer (personal and socio-political) demons into works of intrigue and hope, for the audience and for myself.”