Patricia Nicholson has been writing and publicly sharing her poetry since childhood. Though she gives occasional readings, Nicholson's poems are most often tied to performance, whether serving as a written score for dancers or accompanying, rather than guiding, creative movement.
There is a choreography to Nicholson's approach to programming. She curates evenings with a deliberate arc, while emphasizing a dynamic flow and messaging. Her goal is to design nights that create a complete experience and engage audiences in active, and creative, witnessing.
Nicholson's widest-reaching influence has perhaps been in her capacity as an artistic and community organizer. In 1981, Nicholson choreographed and organized A Thousand Cranes Peace Opera, with 1,000 children performing in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza for the opening of the Special Sessions on Disarmament; in the mid- and late-1980s, she responded to a lack of visibility for free jazz by helping to organize the Sound Unity Festivals. In 1994, Nicholson brought together fifty artists to form The Improvisors Collective, whose highlights over the next two years included weekly events at Context Studios, 28 Ave A. Following that success, in 1996, Nicholson founded Arts For Art and the Vision Festival to promote and advocate for free jazz, raising awareness through this notable and uncommonly visible platform. Since, AFA has grown to be a movement that supports hundreds of artists annually working with the free jazz aesthetic.
After decades of creative production, programming, and organization, Nicholson has begun focusing on developing strategies for the future: how to better the world in which we live; how to inspire, grow, and build a diverse community of uncompromising artists and audiences; and, most immediately, how to build a sustainable structure for AFA that will outlive her service and serve as a fitting legacy, one steeped in the ideals of artistic excellence and community responsibility she holds most dear.
Recent AFA Performaces:
July 3, 2020 On_Line Salon w/ Ellen Christi, Jean Carla Rodea, William Parker