Mapping the Future of Art, Impact + Innovation

The worlds of contemporary music, opera and the performing arts are in dire need of a vision for how to make socially-engaged work in the 21st century. We need new models, methods and ecosystems to drive change across these industries - which take a holistic approach to reimagining the way we create impactful art.

What is Impact Lab?

Impact Lab, a collaborative initiative between National Sawdust and VisionIntoArt, is envisioned as a Research & Development (R&D) Lab to explore new models for creating interdisciplinary music and arts projects - with a particular focus on works which are committed to driving social change and equity in the arts.

Key Components of Impact Lab

Arts Projects

Major interdisciplinary music and arts projects, driven by world-class artists, exploring socially-engaged themes and committed to centering equity in all aspects of the work - artistic methods; narratives, storytelling and aesthetics; creative production; audience experience; funding models; etc.

Focus Projects

A research, arts and technology project, aiming to expand the possibilities for the creative expression of voice - cocreating with disabled artists to develop new artistic voice technologies and an interactive installation, driven by the NYU Ability Project and Arup.

Poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s landmark, 975-line poem Primero Sueño was first published in 1692 and is one of the greatest literary works of the Hispanic Baroque. Now, it appears for the first time in operatic form.

We Were Fridays will be Jeffrey Zeigler’s fifth solo album, an exploration of a deeply personal family history following the Griot tradition of West Africa and traveling to South Carolina by way of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Impact Fellows

The VIA:LAB Fellows are visionary artist-scholars, arts researchers or creative producers who will serve as key through lines and thought leaders across each Impact Lab project - leading the research + development process and serving as core members of the project/artist producing team.

Greg Moomjy
Sensorium Ex Impact Lab Fellow

As a disabled person with Cerebral Palsy, the intersection of opera and disability is a cornerstone of Greg’s work. This perspective informs his role as co-founder and artistic director of OperaPraktikos. New York City's first disability affirmative Opera Company. He serves as Assistant to the Librettists for Touch, an opera by Carla Lucero and Marianna Mott Newirth on the radical life of Helen Keller, commissioned by Opera Birmingham which premiered in 2024. Additionally, Greg is the Resident Musicologist for Divaria Productions, a New York City-based company dedicated to educating audiences about the historical circumstances surrounding classic works and watershed moments in operatic history.

Camille Charara
Primero Sueno Impact Lab Fellow

As an artist, Camille builds worlds, and as a person, she builds communities. She believes that collaboration is needed to create a piece of theater and a community is needed to witness. To her, stories are what make us human. She hopes to tell socially relevant stories, amplify women’s voices, and the voices of those with disabilities, like herself.  She honors people’s histories and individualities while creating characters and meticulously looks at character’s motivations and relationships to uncover truths. While tackling world issues and injustices, she maintains a hopeful outlook. Camille’s background in fine art is in service of this, solidifying clear visuals and artistic execution. Camille has designed plays, musicals, operas, and films, but particularly loves designing pieces connected to music. She holds a BFA in costume design and BA in art & design from the University of Michigan.